Then I heard the Voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said,"Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sharing Our Joy with the World

The First Feeding

With eager anticipation, Titus eyed his first spoon of solid foods. The famous dish of baby rice cereal was about to be served.

Upon his first taste, Titus was not as anxious and devourous as I had expected. My assumption is that he is holding out for the real good stuff. "Mom, could we just get to the meat already?"

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ziah's Birthday

Here's to a Happy Birthday. We had a great time and loved all that were able to celebrate with us this year.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A rare collection...

During 'quiet' time we were listening to Peter Pan in Scarlet, the sequel to the original Peter Pan. The Darling children return to Never land and are in search of Hook's treasure. While guessing what might be in the treasure chest, the narrator comments that Mr. Darling often proclaimed that he should "keep all his children in the bank, because they were worth more than all the money in the world."
As I look at these last few months, I can't help but reflect the same thoughts. So here are my treasures, and the joys we have experienced as we invest our time together.

We did not bring too many Christmas items with us this move, but we could not leave behind our favorite manger scene. The children celebrated when this one came out of the box. It is fun to see Elise and Josiah playing out the First Christmas for their brother Titus.

We also elected to leave behind the big tree, so this year we got a cute, live tree from the local nursery. After Christmas, we plan on donating it to our church for them to plant on their property. We also are making all of our decorations. This is our angel, and since we have added many bedazzled green bean can lids! It may be one of my favorite trees we have had yet.

As I have been giving the children a little more freedom in their clothing selection, I am always interested to see what they come up with for attire. This is their choice one day as they are about to go off to school. STYLE!

SNOW! Yes, two brief hours we had a collection of snow grand enough to go out and play in! It took us about 30 minutes to find snow clothes, but it was well worth the wait. The kids played for at least an hour outside. Funny thing is, they could not pick up the snow at all because it would melt. So, they just enjoyed running back and forth and seeing their footprints.

Peek a Boo, baby!

Here he is sharing a couple thoughts on his day.

Fresh out of the tub and into the warming towel.

I went on a shooting spree one fall afternoon. The weather was ideal, and there were only a few golfers by the pond, so the kids and I escaped for a little mosey around. We had fun enjoying the beauty of the cool air and hot sun.

Some have said that I only send the smiley is one in between smiles!

Here is my six year old! Such a sweet boy.

He later asked if staring into the sun could really make you blind.

Are you surprised? Of course there will be more of Titus, he is so expressive and can't help but be in photos. Or, the other two have the ability to say, "Mom, enough already!"

I hope you all feel as wealthy as I do today:)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A little Fun, Festival, Fall and Freaky!

Here is the latest collection to our photos out and about. Enjoy!
While in Richmond, we visited a beautiful park, it is a city I would love to live in at some point.

For school we were talking about emotions, and here are a few....can you guess what we are?

A: Exhasperated.............pensive.........................happy.
Titus is happy again in his outfit from Alaska...thanks Kathy!

Our whole family enjoyed going to the stat fair. We got to pick fruit at the 'pick your own' agriculture display. It was a rather cold weekend, so we snuggled together at the trick bikes arena. And, in the spirit of never squelching the ambitions of the youth, we waited in line for Josiah to take his picture as a wiener in front of the Wiener Mobile...

2008's Halloween adventure.... in an attempt to honor my husband's "Just let them decide what they want to be for Halloween" idea, here is our motley crew. Now, I must comment that the Halloween event on the day prior, the children were completely different in costume, and on the night of, a third ensemble fashioned. Each was fun in the end, but created a little drama until we left the house. Needless to say, I will be re-assuming the role of costume coordinator next year.

Elise: Princess and the Pauper dancer, Josiah: Pirate, Michael: a pastor, Titus: Baby Halloween, Amy: 'Queen Halloween'
Halloween night we celebrated with Tommy and Megan and big sister Jordan. Elise was Genevieve from 12 dancing princesses, Josiah was Albert Pujols from the STL Cardinals.
Even the most simple activities are enjoyable with a baby. Here Titus is enjoying a bath.
.....and he loves to snuggle in the towel afterwards.
These are the lovely fall leaves that we are enjoying out of our front door. This picture can not justify the magnitude of these leaves! Come visit us and see them.
Lastly, the thing that is freaky:
Happy 30th Birthday Michael!

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Outer Banks

Once more our breath has been stolen by the vast creation around us. We were invited to spend some time in the Outer Banks with some friends last week. Located on the northern shores of North Carolina, these small bodies of land are surrounded by strong ocean currents, continuously shifting sand bars, and over 2,000 sunken ships justifying the name "graveyard of the Atlantic". In this area are many lighthouses. And for our schooling, we did a unit on lighthouses. We studied about the reasons why thy are needed, the different types of light sources used over the years, and stories of the light keeper's lives. To complete this unit, we visited Cape Hatteras lighthouse. It is the tallest lighthouse in the North America, and was once the tallest brick building in the Americas. It is a beautiful sight, just under 200 ft tall. Josiah, Elise, Michael and I climbed to the top, while Titus enjoyed the company of our friends safely at the bottom. From the top we could see way out into the ocean as well as across the peninsula.

We also enjoyed watching a variety of animals. These white cranes were so sleek with their thin necks and moved so gracefully along the shore.

I personally enjoyed the Great Dane that was frolicking like a young puppy up and down the shoreline. He was easily as tall as Josiah when on all fours, and must have been an older dog judging by the grey hairs around his snout, but he could bound from one side of the point to the next in effortless strides. A couple times, when Josiah would run to one of us to share some of his 'news' this dog would rally up behind him looking for a good game of chase. I am just thankful Josiah didn't turn around, or he would have been terrified!

In the Outer Banks there is no law against driving your vehicle onto the beaches, so there were all sorts of 4-wheel drives along the sand. Most of them had large shore fishing poles fixed onto the front grate of their vehicle. I had never seen such a thing, and if we ever have a chance to go back I would love give shore fishing a try. They were catching fish after fish out there, and someone told us that it was one of the most incredible places for shore fishing.

At the point of Cape Hatteras, two ocean currents collide, one heading North, the other heading South. Seeing these large waves collide made me realise why this area was so well known for its rip currents. It made me want to keep a keen eye on the children....and it made Michael want to try out surfing for the first time. After a 30 minute tutorial on the world wide web, a few minutes with the locals at the surf board rental company, and a lot of positive thinking, my Big Kahuna challenged the ocean. As you may notice, there were some considerable waves surrounding him, especially since there was a nice storm about to blow on to shore!

Many failed attempts later, Moon-doggie decided to go to the bay side to learn on some smaller waves. He came home beaten by the waves, but with a smile on his face and the desire to do it again.

Much like his father, Josiah also was up for a challenge. My son, who used to not put a toe in the water, was learning to boogie board. This kid could not get enough of it! He would lay on the board where the waves would have their last break, and would be swept in by the water.

Elise enjoyed her time on the beach playing with the many sand toys our friends had brought along. She filled buckets and dumped buckets. She sang and danced around and twirled. She got dirty and was always wanting to stay longer.

Titus hung out close to me. When we first arrived at the ocean, Daddy dipped Titus' little toes in the water and I think I heard my easy going son's first protest. As the photo depicts, he was not too thrilled about what his dad was up to. However, he really enjoyed the tent that we placed on the sand. I molded the sand into a little seat for him to rest in. It was deep and soft sand, very comfortable. When it was really windy (the storm front) we tied his tent to the truck to keep him from flying away! Our friend's dog 'Ren' kept watch over Titus.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching my family. The whole time away I was relaxed, not having anything to really accomplish. I don't remember the last time I experienced this! I really was blessed by the company of our hosts, Barb has become a trusted friend. After a long day at the beach, and nice showers to wash off the salty brine, we watched Love Story. Michael and I had never seen it before, and we both thought it was good....for a depressing movie anyways. I am glad our 'story' has been a lot more joyful, even though we say 'sorry' a lot!

The house we stayed in was on a little inlet where we could take the kids in the kayak. Mike took the kiddos individually, and then Josiah took me out for a ride. He did all of the paddling. So chivalrous. :)

On our way home we took a detour to Kitty Hawk where the Wright Brothers made their first flight. It was so windy there!! Mike laughed as I kept saying this, as he thought everyone knew that they selected the spot because it was the most consistently windy place in the US. I guess I didn't learn that fact growing up. The kids had fun running down to the last landing spot of the first day of flight, and Mike loved soaking up more aviation factoids. Titus and I, well, we thought it was windy.

Needless to say, we are loving our year on the East coast. I know that these days will be memories we will keep forever. We are all so thankful to be here, and for the church and people we have been placed in ministry with.

Lastly, I want to share my favorite bumper sticker that I saw on the trip: