Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The King's Blooming Rose is Holding a Giveaway!

Sarah Bryant's magazine has greatly blessed me in the past several months. The magazine is beautifully put together, and the articles are both encouraging and convicting!
And, the King's Blooming Rose website is holding a giveaway!
In the giveaway is included $55 worth of goodies :)! Both of Miss Bryant's books, their cookbook, the magazine that my friend's picture placed in :), and a YEAR'S subscription to their magazine :)!!! I haven't  read Sarah's books yet, but they have been on my want-to-read list for a couple months now :). You still have three days to enter to win these to encourage in you or a friend in your walk with the Lord :)!

Monday, December 2, 2013

The December Hidden Treasures Auction...

...is up and running! Bidders have until midnight, December 7th, to win some fun goodies, with all the money bid going to help bring home Tony :)! This auction is getting pretty big already, and they are still taking donations!
I'll try to be back in the next few days with some real news (and, no, I haven't forgotten about our... umm... October... trip, lol!... pictures are coming, eventually! Haha :)...)... but in the meantime, you can enjoy browsing through the auction items :)... oh, and the fact that we got some yard work done today, during which Emmi took a flying leap off the 12 ft. high deck railing, and lived to tell the tale (and tell it she did!). Oh, my...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mega Thankful Thursday Post... November's Thankful Thoughts on Thanksgiving ;)

~Chocolate fudge pie (you knew the first one had to be chocolate, right ;)?!).
~Memories brought back by a black-spotted ladybug :).
~An early(ish), quiet morning spent snuggling sleepy Peter before everybody else woke up.
~Books and time to read. I've been reading more lately, and several books have made it onto this list ;)!
~Time change... I like fall time better than summer ;). Remember, people, I'm a night owl ;)...
~Toasting marshmallows together as a family "just for" :)...

~Bethi's work on a hat for baby "Seaweed" :).
~The sight of Peter and Tori reading together.
~Letters from Granny. These have been a sweet part of my life for several years now :).

We children with Granny in October.

~Abbi's "medallion" watch. She is so proud of that thing :)!....

~Abbi and Emmi's excitement to help like one of the "big ones".
~Making new friends here.
~The beautiful colors on the road to our house....
~Blueberry muffins. Even if the blueberries turn the batter purple (which then bakes into a blue?! Whatever ;)...). But it was a pretty purple!!!
~Tori, and all the games played and baking done together lately :).
~"Spontaneous" walks as a family (as spontaneous as they can be, anyway ;)!).
~My friend Katie, who has been such an encouragement to me! We've been reading the bible together for over two years now... it doesn't seem like that long!
~And, the six month bible challenge, that turned into more like a year :P, that we are finishing up now :).
~Family dinner time! I love it when we all sit down as a family for dinner :)...
~The way Emmi loves to make beds and fold blankets :). And she does such a good job, too :)!
~Peter's first taste of oreo cookies.
~Socks. Especially since it's cold now! Haha :).
~And, on that note, hot water ;)!
~The way Abbi loves to rub Daddy's head during bible time.
~Bright, beautiful, juicy pomegranates. I love the taste as much as the look ;).
~Tacos. I'm not sure what our family would do without tacos. Especially one certain member of us...

~"Joseph and the Gospel of Many Colors". It was a really good book!
~Enjoying time outside,
~Making leaf piles.
~In sweaters :). I love it when it gets cool enough for sweaters!
~Some organizing done.
~Peter "playing" the harmonica :).
~11/12/13... fun date for it to....
~SNOW! :)
~Mommy's delicious chili.
~Our Christmas kick-off.
~The little chairs that Gramma gave the little ones for movie nights.

~"Worship: The Ultimate Priority". This book by John MacArthur was really good, too :).
~Emmi's simple comment that "I took my ponytail out, because I wanted to look just like you!"
~Abbi's little arms around my neck in a gentle hug.
~Emmi's excitement to be able to find the items in her "Look and Find" book, all by herself :)...
~Peter's trying so hard to put on his own pants by himself, that was so cute :). He finally resorted to using Andrew, but he made a good effort!
~Math-U-See. I really wanted to use Mommy's math curriculum, but since the videos (the only means of instruction!), didn't work, we decided it would be best to get something I could actually learn from ;)!
~Milk Duds, Root Beer, popcorn, and a movie from Gramma :).
~Daddy's call from Granny.
~Peter's calling chocolate chips "green". Because Gramma sent a wonderfully large amount of chocolate chips home with us last month :), and  they got put in the green container she also sent home with us, and Tori says "Oh, he saw the green thing!" whenever he wants a chocolate chip, we believe he now thinks they are called green!
~Comforters and bedsheets.
~Daddy's wonderful photography and computer skills, he has made some beautiful inspirational photos lately :).
~How Peter claps after everybody repeats the catechism question answer. Sooo sweet :)...
~Granola bars for Sunday.
~"Practical Religion", by J. C. Ryle. Although it took me forever to read it. Haha :). It was very good, but I found it hard to read without thinking hard, haha ;).
~A play set at church that the little ones enjoyed :).
~That whatever stung Emmi while we were outside a couple weeks ago wasn't something she was allergic to!
~The way windows look so bright after they are washed :).
~"If", by Amy Carmichael.
~The little side-pony tails Abbi and Emmi wore that, when they side by side, they looked like a two headed monster ;). A cute one! :) I'll share pictures after I find them... haha :).
~And I heard that somebody can't get on alone with a quiet time without me... Awwww :)... I enjoy quiet times with you, too, Tori ;)!
~Waking up to Abbi on one side of me, and Emmi on the other :)...
~Peter's sitting on his bed looking at a book waiting patiently for Tori to get back, just like she told him to :)...
~And his little "woo-hoo" when he wants something ;). I love it :)!
~The girls' eagerness to have me do their hair.
~Emmi's love for (boxed, haha!) mac'n'cheese... haha :). She is hilarious!
~Gramma... I'm thankful for "Feliz Navidad" ;)...
~My new glasses :)! There has been a little bit of a learning curve, but they've been a blessing :).
~That all the Christmas outfits are out and found.
~This story about a little boy using his art to bless others...
~The sound of bible pages turning in a group of believers.
~The wintery feeling that comes with a bowl of soup :).
~Times of fellowship and counting the ways the Lord has blessed us.
~And for all the prayers that others have prayed for our family this past year! Thank you all sooo much!
~The extra heater Daddy placed in our room as it continues to get colder... haha :).
~Peter's begging for a "Coo-ie, coo-ie!!!". Stinker ;).... he has had far more than is good for him lately ;)!
~Daddy and Andrew working together on fixing projects :).
~That the hand mixer, that is older then me, was repairable.. Daddy fixed it last Sunday, and we should be using it for several more years! Ya :)! It's the only hand mixer I've ever used at home ;)!
~Scrabble :).
~ That the maple twist I made yesterday came out right the first time! (If you don't count the fact that I used the wrong flour... but I wasn't told we were using different! Haha :).)
~Bethi's yummy supper she made for us last night :).
~Emmi's little pony tail, it's so cute as it swings around :)!
~Pie crusts made ahead of time.
~The smell of fresh, warm cranberry sauce (although the taste could be better... nothing is perfect, haha!).
~The Pilgrim's devotion to God, the way they listened to his word, and paved the way for those of us in America to be free under God.
~The movie "Monumental", that tells the story quite clearly.
~And that our family is together for Thanksgiving this year... last year we were not! So much has changed in this year, but I am so happy that we are finally together again!!!! With another little one on the way :)...
~This day set aside to give thanks :)...
"Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!"
                                        ~Psalm 106:1

Today, as We Prepare for Tomorrow, a Day that Our Nation Sets Aside to Give Thanks on...

... to give thanks for family...
...and friends...
...and love...
...and salvation...
...and so many other things...

Barton  still needs a family

Please, pray for him. Help spread the word. He needs a family just as much as any of us! And his time is running out! May the Lord use this situation for HIS glory!

Monday, November 25, 2013


...that you had lived without a family for almost sixteen years.

...that nobody told you that you were needed (or wanted...).

...that, instead of a cake with candles on your birthday, with a family singing around you...

...instead of celebration, you lost all hope of anything ever changing.

December 1st will be an important day for two little ones without a family. The Hidden Treasures auction will start up to bring sweet Tony home.

But for Barton, it will mean his last chance of a family has come and gone.

Unless! Unless his family finds him and sends in their paperwork by tomorrow night.

That sounds impossible. But God can do all His Holy will!!!!

Please share his story! Pray for Barton! That he would become part of a family, that the Lord will wrap a hedge of protection around him, and that no matter what happens, God will receive all glory and honor and praise!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I'm Actually Very Shocked!

We had all kinds of hints we were going to throw out...

Like, no it's not a fish...
Or wet gumdrops.

 And, does a larger view help?

But apparently, I have a friend who has eaten a pomegranate or two in her lifetime, because she guessed it right off the bat....

It was a picture of the gorgeous pomegranate seeds we enjoyed last week! (I love how they shimmer... I do believe it's the prettiest fruit ever :).)
Congratulations, Kaitlyn :)!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Trick pic :)...

I haven't done a Trick Pic yet on "Forget Not His Benefits:", but I had actually started these posts before on "Home Life". Daddy got some really good pictures about a week ago, and he told me he thought it was time to have another little Trick post... and after seeing his pictures, I think I agree...

So, what do you think this is :)?... (And, yes, this is the hardest yet ;)!)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Highlight from Today :)...

 For weeks now all the little ones have been asking often the past few weeks "Do you think it's going to snow this year?!"...

Yesterday everybody but Peter, who was napping, went outside and worked on raking up some of the leaves in the back into a nice pile...

Right under the slide. Can't get much better than that, huh ;)?!

 It's very large!!! It reminds Tori and I over the pile our grandpa 
spent an afternoon raking for us when we were Andrew and Emmi's age :).
Favorite leaf pile ever!!! Haha :).

Today, Mommy looked up and asked, "What is going on out- it's snowing! Everybody, look, it's snowing!"

Sure enough, it was! We all rushed out, no coats or anything, haha. Everybody was so excited! I didn't get any good pictures... they are either blurry or you can't see anybody's faces. But it was so cute :). Peter was jumping around with the rest of the little ones, saying "'nowing! 'nowing!", and then a snowflake landed on his hand... and he looked at it like "What is this?" And then it melted, and he looked more like "Where did it go?..." Haha :). None of it stuck, but I think that answered everybody's question ;)! 

Tori commented "It's kind of weird for it to be raining orange leaves AND snowing at the same time!" Haha, ya, kind of, heehee :).

And, so, after we got inside, I went straight to the cd drawer and grapped a Christmas carols cd, and Mommy started some beans for chili ;). I think we plan on having our Christmas kick off tonight... amazing what a little bit of fine ice, I mean, "snow", can start, huh ;)?!

"For everything there is a season, and
time for every matter under heaven:"
                                        ~Ecclesiastes 3:1

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

All Things are by HIS Hand...

"The Lord Jesus makes no mistakes in managing his friends' affairs. He orders all their concerns with perfect wisdom: all things happen to them at the right time, and in the right way. He gives them as much of sickness and as much of health, as much of poverty and as much of riches, as much of sorrow and as much of joy, as He sees heir souls require. He leads hem by the right way to bring them to the city of habitation. He mixes their bitterest cups like a wise physician, and takes  care that they have not a drop too little or too much. His people often misunderstand His dealings; they are silly enough to fancy their course of life might have been better ordered: but in the resurrection-day they will thank God that not their will, but Christ's was done."
~J. C. Ryle in his book "Practical Religion"    

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Long Neglected Update...

So, after I left on the twelfth, we had one day were nobody came down sick and those who had already caught it appeared to be mending, leaving us hoping that the rest of us wouldn't catch it... hopes which were dashed the following day in the wee hours of the morning, when Daddy, and Mommy and I all caught it at once! Tori was awesome, she kept the house running while we were miserable, haha :)! It was only really bad for a day, but since then we've only had one computer, as the laptop died, so I haven't had as much time for blogging. I've been using that extra time for finishing up projects like sewing up some crocheted toys that were missing arms or ears, heehee, working on sewing up some skirts for us girls, reading some of the books on my reading list (and finally catching up in my bible reading!), and the like. I wrote a couple of letters yesterday, and then Daddy brought in three from the mailbox- two from friends in SC, and a "vintage" postcard from AZ. Who in the world do I know from AZ?! It turned out to be a thank you for the items the lady had won in the Hidden Treasures auction, it was so sweet! I also finished the math book I was working on a couple weeks ago... now I have another to work on ;). But, I'll be using the same curriculum that Mommy used when she was working on Algebra, so, for sentimental reasons, that is neat ;). Oh, and one of my friend's photos was placed in the KBR 2014 calendar, on the January page... that was fun :)!
As well, last week we tried another church. We're still not sure where the Lord is going to have us join at this point... both churches have sound doctrine, but otherwise are very different from each other... We'll see how that works out. The pastor of the "new-new" church (Abbi's term) used to work for Daddy, so Daddy found it that way :).
We made a batch of gingersnaps about a week ago, what with that and the dropping in temperatures, and the fact that I actually see some trees that are predominately yellow or orange, I would say that it really feels like fall! Most of the trees are still predominately green despite that, though ;). But when we were out doing yard work last Saturday, it felt wonderful out :)!
This week after church, we were able to help Daddy with some organizing projects that he had to do at his store, and had a pizza party afterwards... we were able to clean the house and work on getting some crayon off the walls (Peter's at that age... haha ;)!)... Mommy got some school stuff organized so that we can switch some stuff on Wednesday... Today Daddy's home... Peter seems a bit miserable, hopefully it's teething and not a cold... and I should be getting to some more projects on my list :). But I'll try (try being the key word here...) to be back on Thursday with some thankful posts, and I'll work on our trip posts as soon as I am able, I promise!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Thankful Thursday, for Weeks 32 (somehow missed, and I just noticed!), 74 , 75, 79, and 80

There has been so much going on lately!!!! After Andrew and Tori's birthdays, three days apart, we spent the day after Tori's special day cleaning the car, packing for our trip to see family, and listing our items for the Hidden Treasures auction. The next day, everybody but Daddy headed for SC. Daddy had a business meeting (our reason for leaving for a week, haha), so he was staying home until he flew to TN the next Sunday. We were in SC for a week, got to visit some friends, and all our family in the area. Aunt Donna took us to Chuck E. Cheese (a first for the youngest three), we spent an afternoon at Gramma's, an afternoon at Granny's, and stayed with Mommy's family (got in some geo-caching, too ;)!).
We got back Thursday night (as did Daddy), and the next day Andrew, Abbi, and Peter fell down with the stomach virus that Bethi apparently had on Wednesday, that we thought was just due to breakfast not settling well with her stomach, apparently not :(. They are doing "better" now, but last night was, umm... "fun", to say the least ;), and they are still feeling fairly under the weather. To top it all off, Tori caught it this afternoon, and Emmi took the blow during supper tonight :(.. I'm dreadfully behind in my bible reading, but catching up better than I expected to, for which I am thankful, and hopefully next week will start to settle down. Haha! Busyness, busyness, which is why I have probably appeared to have vanished for a time!... But most of it has been fun :). Not so much the sickness, but I'm so glad it appears to be short lived.
Now, I was really here to work on Thankful Thursdays, remember ;)?! So, these first few are ones that I wrote down but never posted early last month...

Early last month, I was especially thankful for ...

~Hearing from friends whom I hadn't heard from since we moved :).
~New outfits in the attic for growing people.
~And Emmi's love to "match" me.
~The flower centerpieces that Miss Doris gave Tori and I several years ago.
~Time to read to the little ones.
~Our new Skype account, that I used to talk to a dear friend in NE... that was such a blessing!
~That plans are coming together well for a bible study that a friend and I are trying to coordinate with several other friends :). 
~My family's showering me with love, they put so much time and thought into making my birthday special :)...
~Watching a distant lightning show with Daddy while walking some of the trails around our house :).
~Photography lessons :).
~Yummy brownies! Tori made them for my birthday, and then told me "You know, that was the first time I've ever made brownies from a mix. I've always made them from scratch...". Is she talented, or what ;)?!
~The deer we saw in the thin strip of woods in between our house and the house behind us. That was neat :).
~Free video downloads from Answers in Genesis
~Dish soap.
~Paisley print... Tori ;)...
~The book, "A is for Almighty" that Bethi is writing... so precious :)...
~Bethi's love to help with Peter :).
And here are some thankful thoughts for the past two weeks, with some extra stuck in to make up for missing week thirty-two (?), somehow, and just finding out when I made my Thankful Thursdays page a couple weeks ago...

~Andrew, who is now 7!
~Tori, who is now 12!
~That Tori and Mommy finished their Bible reading plan right on time :).
~Tori's current enjoyment of the "Lord of the Ring" books.
~The cute little "yarn" rock Tori and Daddy got me while at the rock shop celebrating Tori's birthday :). I'll try to remember to get a picture...
~Peter's new clothes (that make him look like such a big boy :( :)!).
~Sitting beside a sweet Peter in the car on our trip to SC to visit family :).
~Coffee treats :).
~Memories brought back from a cd, haha :).
~Laundry baskets.
~Suit cases, pillows, and blankets.
~That we only left two hours later than we had hoped the day we left for SC ;). Not bad for us!
~Special Twizzler snacks on the road- of course ;)! Tradition, tradition!
 ~My brown sandals.
~Time to crochet in the car.
~Hymns playing in the car.
~Abbi's excitement at finding a watch while geo-caching :). 
~"Stonehenge"- the geo-cache, that is ;)!
~(And that nobody was hurt by the ax head holding it up.. ahem... no details, to protect the guilty ;)! But we were laughing about that for hours!)
~Little ones excitement over using glitter :).
~A table full of art.
~Fold out chairs.
~Potato chips.
~Bethi's new "horsie" bank.
~And Tori's new journal.
~Little boys matching Grandpa.
~Laughing with my family. :)!
~Aunt Donna's generosity and love. When she took everybody to Chuck E. Cheese for a joint birthday party, we had a blast (and maybe just a bit too much cake ;).) :)! 600 tokens and five hours... ya, we were tired by the time we were done, but it was fun :).
~Gramma's surprising us by being there, as well :).
~Note cards from Granny.
~Peter's enjoyment playing ball :).
~Visits with old friends.
~And their offer to check on the house for us so that we don't have to :), so sweet!
~Two more girls joining our plan to read through Mark.
~And words of encouragement.
~Frog tanks.
~Visits with family.
~Basket balls (that, incidentally, we have next to no clue how to use... but that just makes it more fun, ya know? ;)!)
~Emmi's baby doll, Melody.
~The "popcorn bowl" that Mommy grew up with, now ours :).
~Crushed ice.
~Time spent visiting Granny.
~Risa, our old kitty cat (but now Aunt Tessa's- but living with Grandpa and Grandma. have fun figuring that one out,. heeheehee ;)!), and Peter's love for "kikkies" :).
~Peter's speech explosion last week!
~Little ones piled on me as I read to them.
~Octopus claws.
~Wall decorations.
~Lollipops enjoyed on the road.
~Being able to go back to SC,
~And yet knowing that the Lord has a plan for us here.
~That Chad's auction went well- next we're helping bring home Tony :)!
~Emails and letters to be answered.
~My special coffee cup.
~That Miss Maureen was able to visit Penny and Julie this week :)...
~And that we saw a picture of Penny wearing BETHI'S hair things from the Hidden Treasures auction :)!!!! Bethi is so excited! (And so am I for that matter... haha :). Penny is a doll, and I helped a bit making the hair clips... My Aunt Tessa may find this very exciting, as well, as she showed us how to make them :)!)
~The slight color changes of the trees.
~And the leaves in the yard.
~Cooler weather.
~And long sleeves.
~Little ones helping in the kitchen..
~And snitching chocolate together while we bake ;). Chef's honors ;)!
~A "Kings Blooming Rose" magazine, waiting to be read :). (As soon as I catch up in my bible reading!)
~And that it sounds like another little one has a family coming for her, as well :)!!!
~Reading through a couple of Thankful Thursday posts Thursday night, realizing again how important they are in my life :)!
~A love for writing.
~A pen that writes smoothly across a page of paper.
~Pictures to capture memories.
~Extra camera batteries.
~Efficient pencil sharpeners.
~New puzzles.
~Little people all over the house :).
~Cleaners and rags,
~Towels and soap,
~And that so far most of the older ones (except poor Tori :(.) haven't gotten sick, as we are taking care of several little ones who are feeling awful, poor things :(. 
~Emmi's little hand in mine.
~Peter's big brown eyes.
~And that his hair is growing longer again after Daddy chopped it, hahaha :).
~The new Answers magazine we got today.
~Leftover meals.
~That the extra fridge is plugged in again!Now we can start shopping for more than three days at a time ;)!
~Chubby baby hands rubbing tired eyes :)...
~To be writing a Thankful Thursday again-
~And to have so much to be thankful for :).
~All the rejoicing verses in Psalms...
~Especially in my favorite chapter...
Praise the Lord!
for it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
The Lord lifts up the humble;
he casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre!
He covers the heavens with clouds;
he prepares rain for the earth;
he makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to the beasts their food,
and to the young ravens that cry.
10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
11 but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.
12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!
13 For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
he blesses your children within you.
14 He makes peace in your borders;
he fills you with the finest of the wheat.
15 He sends out his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
16 He gives snow like wool;
he scatters frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;
who can stand before his cold?
18 He sends out his word, and melts them;
he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
19 He declares his word to Jacob,
his statutes and rules to Israel.
20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
they do not know his rules.
Praise the Lord!
                                                   ~Psalm 147 

And now, I shall be going. We're not sure what this night is going to hold, it could be worse than last night, but we're hoping for better! We'll see! I'll try to write about our trip as soon as possible, it will just depend on how quickly everybody recovers, and if I catch the illness, haha :). Goodnight!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Happy 12TH Birthday, Tori!!!

Tori is twelve years old today!!!

Tori has grown so much this past year :). She makes delicious bread, puts Peter to bed at night effortlessly, laughs at sooooo much, has a great sense of humor, and yet knows when to offer a wonderful bit of encouragement :)... AND, this year, she didn't something very special... 

...She read the bible cover-to-cover, from Genesis 1, to Revelation 22, in six months :)! She worked so diligently at it, and I am so proud of her :)! I also can't wait to do a study through Mark with her :)...

I love you Tori, and I am so thankful for YOU :)!!!!

Happy Birthday, Tori!!!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Happy Birthday, Andrew!!!

Andrew turns seven years old today :)!

Andrew is reading very well now, and was very excited after our move to get a real "boys" room, shared with Peter, something he has looked forward to since Peter was born :). He learned how to do many odd jobs while Daddy was in VA and we were in SC that he made good use of :), that were a great help :).

We love you so much, Andrew, and are so thankful you are a part of our family :). I am excited to see all that the Lord will do in your life :)! 

Happy 7th Birthday, Andrew :)!!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Thankful Thursday, Week 73, Post that was Written but Never Posted...

During that time I was thankful for...
~That we are D.O.N.E. unpacking! Yay! (See? I told you this was old ;)!)
~Daddy and Mommy :).
~Free paint sitting in our garage ;).
~And no more teal blue walls :).
~Abbi-girl! (I still can't believe she is 5!)
~Monkeys. Abbi's party was monkey themed ;). 
~Helium balloons... Peter absolutely loves them, it is so sweet :).
~That Bethi, Mommy, Tori, and I are all "caught up" with our current bible reading plans, heeheehee :). Between us we're working on three different plans, but we all had to take some time off last week and get caught up, haha :). I heard a lot of "Hosea! I reached Hosea!" "I'm in Joel!" I'm almost done with Genesis!!!" And "I am Caught Up!!!" the last week of August ;). I was probably the quietest of all of us... my current bible-reading-buddy lives in NE, so it doesn't do much good to state where I'm at, heeheehee ;). Unless you count the one year bible reading plan I was doing with Bethi, but she decided to start over and just do an eight month one, instead, so it doesn't count to say I'm ahead until she's caught up, haha.
~New, creative oatmeal recipes :). Mommy found me a whole list after I found out how fun it was to make different kinds other than our standard "fall" oatmeal (we eat it all year round, but it tastes like a fall dish to me -warm and sweetly-spicy :).)
~A chat with a friend from SC :). It was great to talk with her again :).
~Peter's "fake" laugh when we are laughing. He's so cute! Haha :).
~Our new history study.
~The freedom we have in America to be homeschooled.
~Watching clouds through the Skylight with Abbi and Emmi.
~Extra sheets.
~Reminders to cherish every moment.
~Freshly washed sheets.
~Fun telling Abbi about some of her "quirks" (such as the bottle launching morning ritual... heeheeheehee!) as a toddler. She thought she was funny, haha!
~Green onions. Which Mommy said she would never grow again. Which are sprouting on our counter. Heeheehee :). I love green onions, I'm glad she didn't stick to her threat ;).
~Mommy's creativity in making Chinese food :). That is something that Mommy and Daddy have missed, and it was very interesting to watch it come together, haha :).
"Sing to the Lord;
praise the Lord!
For he has delivered the life of the needy
from the hand of evildoers"
                               ~Jeremiah 20:13

Thankful Thursday, Week 77

This week I am especially thankful for...
~Bethi's generous offer to make Cinnamon muffins Friday :). Thank you, Bethi :).
~The changing colors of the trees.
~Peter's love for swings... and how relaxed he gets in them... I'll have to find the picture of Peter sleeping in the swing... it looked highly uncomfortable, but he was cute, haha :).
~Abbi's love for animals.
~Daddy's beautiful photography.
~Pumpkin muffins with hot coffee.
~Emmi's wonderful job making the bed as a blessing for me, several times, the past week :)...
~Help in the kitchen, and banana bread for breakfast :).
~The Lord's hand over these little ones. Brenton especially needs a family to commit to him before October 7th, or he ages out of adoption.
~And Chad, the little guy receiving help to come home from October's auction :)! There's plenty of time to help out :)!
~Peter's love for sweeping ;)... he is so cute with a broom twice his size, heeheehee :).
~Pencils and paper.
~Andrew's hard work on reading.
~That we are done grocery shopping for the week... haha.
~.Soup and biscuits... fall is here, ya know :).
~Being able to watch Peter as he goes about his every day life... it always amazes me what these little people can do. I mean, really, the boy might not be suppose to be climbing chairs, but really, think of the accomplishment he has being able to climb onto something that is higher than his waist! He's so funny... he was just trying to tuck a toy potato to bed :).
~The sun shining down on our yard today :).
~Amigurami projects and lots of yarn.
~Time and the ability to complete items on my to-do list... which I very much need to go make the most of, haha :)!

"Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!"
                           ~Psalm 103

Monday, September 23, 2013

It is Officially Autumn,

No matter what calender you go by ;)!

Fall is one of my favorite times of year! Cooler days call for soup and pumpkin muffins, pie, and bread. It brings on the changing colors of the leaves, swirling down to make a blanket of color on the ground (as long as you have something more than pines in your yard ;).). The breezes call for the comfort of sweaters, and a hot cup of something is a welcome addition to the day. Fall calls for the smell of baking spices, and the welcoming of winter.

It often involves apples, and nuts (oh, some edible ones, too... ;)...), cameras and colors, and lots and lots of yarn :)... Between fall birthdays and the upcoming Christmas season, I can be found now more than any other time of the year with a pattern, some yarn, and a cup of coffee ;).

The very sound of autumn sounds cozy! It involves some special family times. The weather isn't cold enough to need to bundle, but it is cool enough to go outside ;)! We always take more walks as a family around this time of year :).

But for some little ones, fall means nothing. It's no different than any other time of the year. They are still just as neglected, just as unloved.

For some other little ones, it means a whole lot more.

With the coming of fall, this little boy's birthday also comes, and in two weeks he will be past the point of adoption. He needs a family to step forward for him now! Brenton is worth it! Any little bit would help... prayers, donations, and sharing his file are all little ways you can help this little boy be noticed! He has two weeks. Two weeks, and his life will be changed forever. He will either be put in an institution... or be placed in a family!

Friday, September 20, 2013

An Epic Tale of the History of the Evolving of the Muffins

(A light, long, true, yummy and humorous post about this family's association between muffins and aspiring cooks...)

Our family has this thing for muffins. We love muffins. They are a yummy, memory filled breakfast. They are the first "involved" breakfast that young cooks make by themselves in our family. And they are down right humorous.

My memories of muffins go back to before Bethi was born. Mommy would make a batch of Muffins every Monday for "Muffin Morning Monday". Tori and I always begged for a spoonful of the batter. Which Mommy thought was absolutely disgusting, but let us have some anyway ;).

When Mommy was expecting Bethi, I took over the muffins when Mommy started having morning sickness. This was great fun for me, and I traded in eating batter for snitching some of the dried blueberries in the mix. Heehee :). Daddy taught me how to cook, what can I say? I fondly remember a Christmas in Indiana when Daddy and I made the peanut butter balls while Tori helped Mommy with some of the other treats, and Daddy gave me some of the filling, telling me, as he did so, "That's what makes cooking with Daddy fun, isn't it ;)?". Mommy didn't find out about that philosophy until just recently, haha :). 

After I had mastered those simple mixes, Mommy got a great idea. She bought a mix with canned blueberries instead of dried! It also involved adding more than eggs and water to the mix. And that became known as one of the worst muffin making experiences I ever had ;).  After the egg rolling off the counter and cracking on the floor (and Tori promptly running to the bathroom when she saw it, heeheehee ;) ), the jar lids all jumping out of the cupboard at me when I opened it ("No worries Mom! This time it was just a lid!"), and the juice stains that were left on the counter from the canned blueberry juice (which were finally taken off with a magic eraser), we finally had muffins. But we never bought that particular kind of mix again ;).

Once we started making more foods from scratch, muffins also changed. I now made them from scratch every week, and Daddy spent a good bit of time helping me convert all our recipes to be used with whole wheat flour. He worked through our chocolate chip muffins with me, and we spent an evening making blueberry muffins from scratch, using all the tips Daddy had collected to make delicious muffins :). Don't over beat, only grease the pans halfway up the sides, do not over fill, don't open the door until at least 3/4s of the way into the baking time, get them in the oven as soon as you are done putting them in the pan so that they don't fall. Most of which I had not known before ;).

And then I made these. I changed the recipe slightly, and they became a favorite! (One thing you must remember, though. After we found out that Andrew was sensitive to cinnamon, I cut that down, so they now have a stronger ginger flavor. So, although they are, officially called Cinnamon muffins, Daddy asks for Ginger muffins when he wants them. And Tori calls them Cinnamon Sugar, due to the topping. And Abbi and Emmi call them Brown Sugar, due to the color of the topping. But Mommy continues to call them Cinnamon. By the way, I make muffins that are called Brown Sugar muffins. And they are not these. Can you remember all that without reading through it a second time? Heeheeheehee :).)

I can't think of too many mistakes Tori has made while making muffins (to which, if she was reading over my shoulder- where is she, come to think of it?!- she would say "That's because... I'm perfect. *evil laughter*." She did stir some blueberry muffins she was helping me with one time so hard that they turned green... but I go on...

Bethi is our newest little muffin maker :). When she woke up early today, I asked her if she wanted to make the muffins today :). She eagerly said yes, and the next thing I knew, she had called Andrew in to help her. And Abbi. And Emmi. Yes, four people under the age of nine made breakfast together. She's much braver than I am.

Amid navigating between multiple stools, and eating quite a few apples, they worked on making the muffins. 

All was going well.

Until all of the sudden I heard "Ummm... Bri?"


"Were we suppose to grind the wheat?"

"Ummm... are you telling me you didn't?!"


"How do you forget to grind the wheat?!!!"

"Well, the recipe doesn't say to grind it..."

(Neither does it say to pour the wheat in the bowl, my darling. It says flour...)

"What else have you put in the bowl?"

"Umm.... the baking soda. And the rest of the flour. And the last of our baking powder."

And she wasn't joking in any way, shape or form.

After much debate, we settled on using a mesh strainer to sift the wheat out of the rest of the ingredients. And put it through the grinder ;).

All fixed, they went back to work. Happily, they stirred all the ingredients together. And remembered they had forgotten to stir the ground wheat into it. So they stirred it again. And started putting the muffin batter in the pans (after eating some of said batter). And found a mound of flour in the corner of the bowl. So they stirred it again. And broke the spoon.

A spoon that we have been using for as long as I can remember making muffins. That they then had to dig the bottom out of the batter. And find another spoon. Fare thee well ye ancient spoon. Hahahaha!

By this time I was starving (I don't eat apples in the morning unless there in a fruit salad... Tori doesn't either, but leaves the complaining to me, anyway), so I plopped on the couch next to Tori and started my most professional "humorous dramatic starvation jokes". You can just imagine that part. But Tori was laughing pretty hard. Hahaha :).

The muffins got put in the oven, and Mommy came downstairs, and got to hear the whole story. Daddy came down in the middle, and was very confused, so we had to back the story up.

By that time, the muffins were ready to come out of the oven. We pulled them out, mixed up the cinnamon sugar... and Bethi sprinkled it on as I looked for a pastry brush to brush on the butter. When she saw the brush in my hand, she couldn't believe herself. Heeheehee :)! I brushed the butter on, and she put more cinnamon sugar on the top, so that it would stick ;). We called Tori down for breakfast, and she asked "Did you put the butter on them before the sugar?" To which Bethi answered "Not at first..."

We were laughing so hard! And they were yummy, despite it all :)! We'll make a wonderful muffin baker out of her yet... with plenty of memories of her own ;)!!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thankful Thursday, Week 76

This week, I am especially grateful for...
~Getting to hear the baby's heart beat last Tuesday :).
~The satisfaction of getting our room clean (for a night...haha).
~Our trip to the park last night.
~Sunset over the water :).
~Cooler days.
~The trees as they start to change shades :)...
~Peter's love for music.
~And his love for animals in general, and specifically kitty cats :).
~Peter's more frequent attempts to form words lately. He has been trying to say "apple" lately :).
~Tori's diligence in her bible reading... she is on Revelation chapter 22! And she isn't suppose to finish before her birthday, on October 2nd, because the plan is to finish on a memorable date. Haha :). She's done so well :)!
~That I am done with math for the day... heeheehee ;)!
~Hearing the little ones planning a surprise for Tori's upcoming birthday :). They are so excited about it, and I'm privileged to get to hear all their plans ;). Don't worry, Tori, you'll find out soon enough ;)...
~The fun of being able to sit down and write a letter.
~(On pretty note cards- thanks Tori :)!).
~Simple, yummy meals.
~And Tori's wonderful lasagna the other day!
~The book of Isaiah.
~And coffee to sip while reading it :).
~Being able to listen to conference downloads online.
~All the Godly resources we have available for homeschooling :).
~Time to work on projects that need done. Which I need to make use of, haha :).

"I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;
my soul shall exult in my God,

for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;

he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,

as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress"
                                                  ~Isaiah 61:10


...since it's been almost a month since I posted a "real" family update (excluding birthday posts)...
It's probably about time for one, isn't it ; )?

There's been a lot going on lately, in a fairly quiet way ; ). School is going pretty well... math continues to pose challenges for most of us, but we are making headway ; )! Our history study is especially interesting this year : ). We are using the Answers in Genesis "What in the World?" by Diana Waring : ). Our biology is also coming in part from the Answers in Genesis site, although we are also using the Weaver curriculum and some other resources Mommy has pulled together : ). Andrew's reading is coming on wonderfully : )! Math books, paper and pencils are once again typical decor ; )!

Mommy had a midwife's appointment Tuesday, and we got to hear Seaweed's  little heart beating : )... that is always a highlight while waiting for the arrival of each baby : )!

We took a walk through our neighborhood last night, straight through to the park down by the lake that has the trails running through it : ). Everybody had so much fun, Abbi accomplished the monkey bars in a rather genius way ; )! We'll have to see if we can take the video camera next time we go. She was so funny, haha : )! She also wanted to go swimming, heeheehee! To which Mommy answered "No! Don't try! You don't know how! Like, at all!!!" To which Daddy said to Mommy, "She moves so fast, she probably wouldn't have to swim... she could just walk right across..." Haha!

When we got home, Emmi's first words were "Now can we play on our swings?!" At eight o'clock at night. Heeheehee : )!

Andrew and Tori's birthdays are coming up fast : )! Andrew has his day planned down to the minute, haha ; ). I thought only Bethi made such detailed birthday lists. Oh, wait... since she helped him with the writing part, there was probably some prompting on her part to "plan some more", haha : ). She makes more lists then I do, I believe ; ). She is almost caught up in her "new" bible challenge, though : )!

Tori's and Mommy's bible challenge will end on Tori's birthday : ). They are getting close! And they are both at least on schedule, if not ahead, so they should finish right on time ; ). As for me, I am nine months into a six month reading plan, and only in Isaiah (although I'll be out of it today) ; ). Studying Romans took several months out of our reading, haha, so the casual passer-by might assume I was a very slow reader ; ). There are still verses that pop up all the time out of Romans, and it really makes you wonder, do I notice them more now that we've done the study? Or is Romans literally quoted twice as often as any other book of the bible? Hopefully I'll come to a better conclusion after studying another book of the bible that in depth.... which I plan to do next January, with several friends : ). We're still trying to work out all the details, but I can't wait to start that :)... And Mommy, who has been great at listen to me muse about ideas on how  to coordinate everything, specially planned some of my birthday surprises to be used during that time : ). So sweet : )!

The mornings have been slightly chilly here, this week. The first day of Fall could be on the 21st, the 22nd, or the 23d, this year, depending on who's calendar you are using. The one I'm hearing most is the 22nd (at 4:44 a.m., I heard, due to the time that the earth will make the last "move" of summer and continue with it's "fall" orbiting at that time), but we're going to "celebrate it" on Saturday, the 21st, since Daddy will be home. We'll make pumpkin muffins and fresh coffee for breakfast : ). You do not know how many times over the past week I have heard somebody asking for pumpkin (or, icing, if it happened to be Abbi or Emmi ; ).) muffins ; ). I told them in spring, that we finally had run out of pumpkin after two years, and I wasn't making pumpkin muffins again until the fall ; ). So they can't wait for Saturday : )! I should go make sure that we have all the items for that, Daddy's not going to want to shop tomorrow after working a late shift... ...I might even pop in to post a little something about fall this Saturday, you never know ; )!

(And Thankful Thursday will be posted today!... I'm just not sure if it will be just this week's, or several weeks worth. We'll see : )!)

Monday, September 2, 2013

He Sets the Lonely in Families

You've heard me talk about the orphans that we help with the auctions for. I mentioned a few weeks ago, that the Lord gave us a wonderful ministry opportunity on the tenth, when Daddy's store held it's fifth year anniversary.

It was a wonderful blessing! We saw so many people give to help bring Penny and Julia, coming from that orphanage, home to their family here in VA!

I made over a hundred tatted bookmarks and zipper tags (at least eighty of them in less than a week!) for a tatting table, and we made some signs and set out a jar. For every donation made, the donor got a tatted item :). Daddy had a basket drawing going, and I was able to give people a run down about what we were raising money for as they signed up to enter for the basket, waited for their child to get their face painted, or get a balloon animal (before heading to the back to see Bob and Larry- haha ;).)

There were some people who passed by who were genuinely interested, and stayed to talk about it for several minutes, before taking a flyer with links on spots to read more about it once they got home. One lady who donated was there with her own little adopted duaghter :). One man didn't have cash with him, but took a flyer with the donation page address on it, and his little girls were adorable, haha :). One family came in with a three year old Emmi :). There were so many others, as well. It was so exciting to see the response we got! One man actually donated before the table was even set up.

My favorite story, though, was the elderly gentleman who came after the "celebration" was over. Bob and Larry had left, balloons were gone, and snacks were eaten, but Tori and I kept the table up until Daddy was ready to leave. I am so glad we did, not only because there was still a great deal of interest, but because of the older couple who walked by and signed up for the gift basket. While they did so, I mentioned the fact that we were also raising money for the adoption fund of little Miss Penny, and her future sister Julia, who are waiting to come to their family in the next several months. They both seemed really interested. The man then shared with us, as he placed a donation in the jar, his love for those with special needs. He told us that his father had had special needs, and that he felt that his training would have actually been lacking had his father not had those handicaps! Obviously, he was not saying that he thinks that those who do not are inferior, but he does believe the Lord knew that he personally needed that kind of father. Just from the way he talked about him, I could tell that he had a great respect and love for his father, and that he was truly thankful for his father's "teaching him how to be a man". He was thrilled that we had something going to help these little ones come home! He stayed and chatted about it for quite a while before telling us, before taking leave, that he prayed that "our efforts would be rewarded". 

Let it suffice to say that they were! We were blessed that day by the whole experience. We made a few friends, met some wonderful people, and raised a good bit that will help these two girls! Daddy also kept up a box in front for others to donate throughout the following week. One man, during that week, asked him to tell him more about what the money was to be used for (Daddy had the sign up, but there is only so much you can fit on a piece of paper!). After learning a bit more about the orphanage, the girls, their family, and the fundraiser he gave $100. I was completely shocked when Daddy brought that home and told me the story! 

Of course, not everybody gave that much. Most gave two or three dollars. But you know what? That is all it took! We personally can't give over two hundred dollars right now. But once the Lord brought this ministry opportunity into our life, he also brought others who weren't able to donate over two hundred dollars right now. And together, we did.

Maybe we can't adopt right now. Maybe we can't even give much to an adoption fund right now. But we can do something. God has given us our gifts to use for his glory, and he has given us a command to "care for the widows and the fatherless".  No certain one of us will be able to do it all- otherwise, God would have given this specific command to those who could, not to all of us! Our means of help might be a kind word, a day spent helping out, a prayer. There are many ways to help that don't even involve money- in fact, many times, it is the gifts that you don't even mean to give that bless the most. Many times a note or a smile is all it takes to help some one going through a hard time to feel a bit brighter! Any little bit of help could mean so much in the lives of these little ones who have nothing. Because...

There are still little ones waiting. 

Waiting for someone to come rescue them. 
Waiting for someone to feed them, change them, and brush their teeth. 
Waiting for someone to come help them reach their fullest potential.
Waiting for someone to love them even though they haven't reached that full potential yet.
Waiting for someone to smile at them.
Waiting for someone to love them.

To tell them that they have worth.
To tell them that they matter.
To tell them that Jesus loves them, no matter what.
To tell them that, when they have been looked on with disfavor, it was through blinded eyes.
To tell them that, whether we are to play a major or minor part in their story, we care how that story ends.

Some little ones, like Penny, Julia, and Chad, are just waiting to come home to their family that has already committed to do this already, families eagerly waiting for the government to release their hold and let them bring those children home.

Others, like Brandi, are waiting for the Lord to send them a family to commit to this. Still waiting for the day when someone will say, you matter to me. And I love you.

The stories of the lives of these children are sad, not only because the Lord has given us families for a reason. It is also heartbreaking, because these children aren't even being treated like they are human.

How would you feel, if the Lord himself gave you a photo of himself? Not a painting of what someone thinks Jesus looks like. No, imagine that this was a photograph of Jesus himself. From Jesus himself.

And somebody destroyed that photo. Placed it through a shredding machine, and crumbled up the pages before throwing them on the floor to be walked on. 

You would do your best to put the pieces back together, of course. But it would never be fully fixed.

Remember Tommy? Just a year ago, on Abbi's fourth birthday, I shared that he had a family coming to get him. 

For years, this little soul, made in the image of God, was being destroyed. He was neglected, broken, hurt, and badly. He suffered far too much. The only thing that Tommy had wrong with him was low muscle tone! Low muscle tone is not the cause of all the health problems he now has!!! It was neglect and starvation.

The Lord led his family to this little image. And they are doing all they can to mend the past. To show him what love is, to help him to heal.

But he will never be fully healed on this earth.

Tommy is the size of a five year old, who acts much like a two month old, because until the Lord showed him to his family, nobody else had ever taken the time to love, nurture, and teach him.

Many others in his former orphanage are suffering the same neglect. They are in much the same state, although some have not been suffering so long. Maybe, Tommy was allowed to stay there so long, so that he could be used to show others what is happening. So that others wouldn't be left to suffer like this.

And we can help! These little ones most desperately need families. Not even just these children; all orphans. Even if we are not their family, they still need our help, as well. Prayers, donations, other help to those we may know who are working on rescuing them, sharing the importance of these little ones, anything we can do to show the world that they matter in God's kingdom, and we agree with our King!

4 Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts;
his name is the Lord;
exult before him!
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows
is God in his holy habitation.
God settles the solitary in a home;
he leads out the prisoners to prosperity,
but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.
                                             ~Psalm 68:4-6

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Happy Birthday, Abbi-girl!

Happy fifth birthday, Abigail :)!!!

Abbi is the very bouncy, mischievous, Abbi-tude member (with many names ;)...) of our family, with the biggest grin and the loudest voice, heeheehee :). She loves her role as a big sister, and talks often with excitement about the new baby :). She finds it great fun to get in the kitchen and help bake, and wants to be in on all the excitement :). She can tell some highly entertaining stories, let me tell ya', and she loves chocolate! She is a very extroverted and passionate little girl, something that I think will serve her well in many ways as she serves the Lord in the years to come!
I love you, Abbi :)! I am so thankful that the Lord placed you in our family :)...
Happy Birthday, Abbi! 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Happy Birthday!!!...

Happy birthday, Mommy and Daddy!!!!
We love you so much, and we are so blessed by all that you have done for us! I know that this past year has been hard for all of us in many ways, you two especially as you had to make so many decisions for all of us. Mommy had to juggle so much while Daddy was gone, and Daddy was often up in VA alone, in between the long drives to SC for visits. But I can't tell you how happy I am to be all together again.
Daddy and Mommy, you have both followed the Lord's will for your life, and I thank you so much for your desire to show all of us the importance of loving the Lord and following his leading in our own lives.
I love you both so much, and I am so thankful to the Lord for both of you!!!
Happy Birthday, Daddy and Mommy!!!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Nearing the End of the Journey...

We woke up on the third, delighted to hear that our furniture was, indeed, going to be delivered that day! The driver had even called and said that he just needed the last directions to our house before he got there :)! We were so excited to be getting ready to leave and see the house filled up with the stuff that would make it "our" home!!! Unfortunately, several of us had obviously come down with colds, so things went rather slowly getting ready to get to the house, although we were all living in denial for the first couple hours. It is like everybody assumed that if they said something about it, there was no stopping it, because you could tell everybody was miserable (except Daddy, he never gets sick! Okay, well, rarely ever ;).), but nobody said anything until Andrew stated his throat hurt. After that, nobody seemed afraid to complain about anything, haha ;).

Daddy took Tori and the little girls to the house so he could be there so that the unloading process could start, while Mommy took the rest of us to the store to get some breakfast items. Amidst Andrew's falling over in the store, and accidentally supplying a group of ants some banana for breakfast, we were able to get all that we needed, and headed for the house :)! Tori had the little girls already on the swing set :). Andrew and Bethi quickly joined them, while Mommy and I started to try to make breakfast, which couldn't be fixed fast enough for Emmi, who was in a grumpy mood due to needing food, and is slightly possessive over the swing set, haha ;).

We got breakfast plates made, and sat the little ones down on a sheet to have picnic breakfast, inside ;). Daddy worked on making the first pot of coffee in our new house. You know it wouldn't take him long ;). Tori enjoyed some to celebrate being so close to moved in (after being assured that just one cup would not stunt her growth significantly. She has a self-imposed rule that she will not, repeat, will not, drink coffee regularly until she is at least half an inch taller than me ;)...).

After breakfast, we cleaned out the big fifteen passenger van, and Daddy's smaller van. Daddy's van seems really big after his old van, but the fifteen passenger van is still the hands-on winner in size without a shadow of a doubt! We call it "Van-illa", a mix of "Van" and "Godzilla", heeheehee! We ended up replacing the back seat in Van-illa (which we had thought to take out of the car before the moving van left our SC house, thank the Lord! We could never have fit everything in with it!), and piling several boxes of items that became unpacked and never repacked during the trip, in the living room before collapsing on the couch determining  to sort through and put it away later ;). Daddy was able to help a bit with moving boxes into the house from the truck, but the rest of us pretty much just kept babies occupied. Tori finished her Rubik's cube, totally flabbergasting one of the men helping unload the furniture :)! It was so funny :). 

They were done unloading early in the afternoon, and we set to work getting a few small things done. Nothing much happened the rest of the day... we took care of some house stuff, had supper. and flopped at the end of the day ;).

The next morning, Daddy had to get back to work, and the rest of us were making headway to get out of the hotel for the last time! We were so excited :)! I checked Facebook while Mommy and Tori took some of the bags down to the car, and was shocked to find many "Happy Fourth" posts, heeheehee. I got so lost as to what date it was during the move! It was kind of funny :).

We stopped at the grocery store on our way, and we also stopped to see Daddy at his store for the first time since moving :). Then we were on our way home.

We set up the beds and washed loads and loads of clothes, before making the aforementioned beds with freshly washed sheets :). We completed some more cleaning, and some of the little ones accomplished some much needed activities...

 Like sleep...

 ...more sleep...

 ...and helping clean :P.

The house needed such a cleaning before we settled! There was - no kidding- dog hair in the oven door. Just a wee bit disturbing. Haha!

Since then, we have been settling into our new life here in Virginia. We recovered from our colds, got the house cleaned, and got most of the big unpacking projects done. Mommy found out that she was expecting baby blessing number eight, little Seaweed :)!!! Miss Kathy at Daddy's store blessed us with a couple of meals, and all of his employees got together and blessed us with a welcome basket. Tori threw a big tea party that she invited me to (took six hours if you count cooking, cleaning, and enjoying- now that is dedication for you ;)!), that was absolutely beautiful. We took the little ones to Daddy's store for his store's "Kid's Day" one day, and have stopped various other times while out and about, we have greatly enjoyed being able to do that again!!! The neighbor on one side of us helped us get our lawn mower put together, the ones on the other side just moved in like us, and the lady from across the the street blessed us with some fresh corn :). Daddy has been taking us to the church that he has been attending for the past several months, and the people there have really welcomed us :). I was able to make and sell a couple of crocheted kittens, which, although they didn't get to their destination when we had hoped, was a fun experience :). Our family was able to set up a ministry table at Daddy's store's 5th anniversary a couple weeks ago, that was a wonderful blessing! Daddy gets back from his meeting tonight, and we finished unpacking this week. 

I'm going to go help give the house one more thoroughly cleaning, and then we will be done with this moving adventure. It has been a long, sometimes stressful, process. But by tonight, we will be officially settled in "home", and together.

The Lord has richly blessed us.

And I am so thankful!!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thankful Thursday, Week 72

This week I am especially thankful for such things as....
~The box we received from our Gramma last weekend. It had some really neat items in it :)!
~Like, balloons to make balloon animals with :). Tori was really excited about that :).
~And towels. We are constantly running out of towels, so that was a very functional gift, as well as fun :). And, Gramma, I do believe that even Peter looks forward to using his towel- he points to it every time he is in the bathroom!
~Little reminders from the Lord that he knows all our needs, and will supply over and beyond what we need :)...
~A dear friend's sharing with me that she was caring for our old garden back in SC- "just so I didn't feel too bad" about it :). I enjoyed hearing how well it was doing, but even more of a blessing was the time she took just to be a blessing and let me know that she doing that for us. We miss you and your family, Kaitlyn!
 ~My new "garden". Thank you, Tori and Mommy :)...

~Gramma and Miss Mary's encouragement to keep blogging. They are some of the most rewarding people to write for, let me tell ya ;). :)
~Yummy family recipes simmering on the stove.
~Can openers.
~Getting to snuggle lots of little people.
~Time with Mommy and Tori.
~Emmi's snuggles late at night :).
~Clean bed sheets.
~Aluminum foil.
~Passages from Romans... you find them all over the place :). That study was such a blessing, and continues to be :)!
~Lil' sleepy baby :)...

~That I was able to get that spot off our bedroom wall... hahaha :).
~That the library is finished :)!
~That Daddy has been so blessed by his meetings this week :)! That is such a big change from when he worked at Family Christian Stores, and a very big blessing from the Lord :)!
~That Peter's leg seems to be fine this morning, he isn't limping at all that we can tell :).

Oh, and, don't ask me how, because I don't know the answer, but our laundry baskets were all empty of dirty clothes for a half hour yesterday! Haha! :)...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Who Would Have Thought?!

Supper is cooking, the little ones are finishing cleaning their room, and I'm taking a little break from my current, self-imposed, "nothing but trip posts and Thankful Thursdays until trip posts are all posted" posting habit of late. I thought I'd share a tiny update, and a humorous removing "paint" tip I gained this afternoon. :)

Daddy left for a business meeting last Monday, and is arriving back on Friday. It is a disappointment that he had to leave again, seemingly just after we got here together, but we are looking forward to him getting back :). We're taking this time to finish some of the little things that are still waiting to be done from our move. Things like unpacking the miscellaneous box, and reorganizing the library shelves and the girl's room closet (and, like any other time we do any cleaning, folding laundry and cleaning our bedroom, haha ;)!).

Poor Peter did something to his little knee earlier, and we were afraid at first that it was sprained, but he is using it wonderfully at the moment, so either it was a very slight sprain or it was just such a bad bump it hurt longer than you'd think it should. Why does it always happen when Daddy is gone?! we are just thankful he is okay :).

While working in our room earlier, I was contemplating going to get some paint from our garage, and painting over the big white mark that has glared at me from my bed every night since we moved in (on the fourth, mind you). The spot has bothered me, but I never felt up to getting the paint out, finding the brushes (I'm not sure where they are!), and laying down plastic. So, I've left it. Today I was trying to decide whether I should paint and then do the closet, or just paint tomorrow. I was staring at it, and thought to myself, "That is the thinnest layer of paint I have ever seen! If they were going to use white instead of yellow, they could have at least made it thick so that it looked finished." I really thought it looked odd, so I brushed it with my finger. And realized that that said finger was now white. I got really excited :P, and ran for a wet rag. I started (gently!) rubbing the wall.

"Tori, come look at this!" I exclaimed in excitement.

She came and looked. "Great. Now all we have to do is keep it wet," she replied rather drily. Haha!

"It isn't because it's wet," I assured her. "Whatever is on here comes right off. Just- brushes off."

45 seconds later, the white splotch was gone. I don't know if it was chalk (that's what it felt like!), or what, but it's gone. (And, thanks to a magic eraser, so are the black marks from our vanity hitting the wall). 

And I waited a month and a half to get rid of the stuff.

So my painting tip just happens to be... make sure it really needs painted before you go through the work of painting.