Friday, April 30, 2010

Five

One little girl with a cold and a cough
One little girl, who didn't sleep at nap time
One little girl, feeling down-right grumpy
One little girl, playing outside, and angry at her brother
One little girl, actually scratches brother's neck till there's blood
One little girl, needless to say, spent the rest of the night by herself in her room.
This little girl, who washes dishes and rides her bike
And helps her Mama and does her schoolwork
And reads like a big kid......
Is still ONLY five. Tonight was a reminder :)

Baby Thoughts

I'm getting ready to put up my MAY calendar. Just so you all know. I have been waiting for this month since......last fall, when we found out we were expecting :) Too bad I have to wait the entire month......but that's okay. Waiting to meet a little person whom you love beyond words, but have never even met before is one of the greatest tests of patience! I thought maybe it would be easier this time around, since she's the fourth child and everything. But it's not. She's just as loved and eagerly awaited as all her brothers and sister before her! Shortly before we were expecting Cosette, we suffered an early miscarriage. That was one of the hardest things I've ever had to endure. I remember crying and imagining that maybe we would never have children. (A bit of an extreme reaction for a first miscarriage, I know, but it's hard to put yourself in that place unless you've experienced it)


But here we are, six years later, with our fourth on the way. I know we are blessed beyond words. I know that it's not so 'easy' for some people. I know that, for whatever reason, God chooses to allow the 'waiting' to go on longer and longer, while they're arms remain empty. If you are one of those people, my heart goes out to you. I understand only on a very, very small level what you are feeling. I don't know why we have been blessed with 'almost' four......but we want to treasure, love, and raise these children God has given us to the best of our abilities. So, maybe that is part of the reason why I see each new baby that enters our household as a true treasure, as a gift from God. People have asked me "Why four in so short a time?" My response? " Why NOT four??"


You'll have to excuse me over the next few weeks as I will probably mostly be babbling on about 'baby'. But when you're this close....it's hard to think of anything else. You go through each day, teaching school, cleaning house, fixing food, giving piano lessons, getting groceries, going to Bible Study.....and all you can think about is that you're almost one day closer to meeting your little one.


Will she have blue eyes like Cosette? Will she have dark hair like the boys, or no hair at all, like her sister? Will she have Cosette's little 'strawberry' birth-mark on her arm? Will she be a good nurser? Will she sleep well at night, or keep me up? Will she be an early talker, like her sister, or will she be content with a handful of words, like Noah? And WHAT will it be like to have another baby girl? It's been so 'long' since I've dressed a little baby in pink and frills, that it will seem all 'new' again :)

Only time will answer our questions. Month of May..........you are 'time', and 'time' is a gift from God.......but please leave quickly!! ;)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The little moments

I was feeling 'housebound' this morning. Not because I couldn't get out, because I could have, if I'd really wanted to. But, there was nowhere to go. I felt one of those fleeting moments that hits me sometimes, making me wish I lived in a larger 'town', with big parks, children's museums, coffee shops....that type of thing. Sometimes, the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, you know? But, I wasn't going to waste precious gas, time, and energy 'going out' when there was no good reason to 'go'. (You have to realize, our 'town' is....well....tiny. The most 'exciting' things are the library, and then WalMart and the Mall, which are a good 20 minutes away).

But, God reminded me once again how blessed I am to live the life I do, even if it's in our small farming community.


After I packed my husband's lunch and sent him off to work, I spent a while cuddling with my kiddos in my bed, listening with contentment as Cosette actually read US a story!

I beamed with delight later as my two oldest leaped around the kitchen, demonstrating how the crippled man in today's Bible Story had jumped right up, healed right away by Jesus. They really were delighted to know how quickly and completely Jesus had healed him.

I smiled as Cosette worked diligently on her school work, and the boys played happily with legos and read books.

I felt a sense of accomplishment as I folded a huge load of laundry, and finally got around to cleaning our bed-room, complete with a much-needed scrubbing out of some dirty corners.

I breathed in the fresh air and sunshine as we took a walk down the road and the big kids rode bikes.

I was relieved to find left-over stirfry and brown rice in the fridge for lunch.

I took 20 minutes this afternoon and had a 'toe-nail painting party' with Cosette. Not because I really wanted my toenails painted ('cause I didn't, really), but I knew SHE would be tickled to death. And she was.

My husband is outside now, home early to give the lawn the first mowing of the season. Cosette is running around happily, glad to be outside, and my two little guys are still fast asleep.

There are salmon cakes, mac 'n cheese and asparagus for dinner tonight. After that, I hope to make it to my Thursday evening Bible Study.


'Home' is good. Home is a blessed, welcome, peaceful place to be. No, this 'job' of mine is not as exciting as being out and about, seeing lots of people, wearing nice clothes, or bringing home a big paycheck. But it is where I want to be. Days like today are just a little gift and reminder from God. Wherever you are, whatever season of life you are in, just remember that God is there too. Praise the Lord!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The main goal of this first video clip was to show you how well Cosette is reading these days. I did manage to catch her reading the very last page of a book to Eli. However, we all agree that the most classic part of this clip comes right at the very end. Watch carefully, and see if you can see what caused us to replay this over and over :)

Have you ever seen a cuter cowboy?(The third picture is Cosette learning to ride her bike without training wheels. Daddy was a better help at this than Mommy!)






Sunday, April 25, 2010

Confession

Usually, the only cereals to enter our grocery cart are selections such as plain cheerios, bran flakes, kix, rice chex....you get the idea. My poor husband knows that the only hope he has of ever tasting such delicacies as Lucky Charms or Cocoa Puffs is to make it around to the next person's birthday. Anyway.....my dad was shopping at Sam's Club the other day, and saw a HUGE box of chocolate cheerios. No, you read that right---CHOCOLATE cheerios. And he bought one for my husband. Because he really likes my husband, and takes pity on him having to deal with his wife's weird food ideas. My first thought when looking at the cereal was "Gross, could they mess up cheerios any more than that??!" But, the other night, Joel and I were sitting down so I could clobber him in a game of scrabble, (which I did), and he poured a bowl of these chocolate cheerios. The pregnant side of me won over. I thought "Oh, why not? It IS chocolate, after all. And it's NOT breakfast time, so what could it hurt?" I ate...ahem....three.... bowls of chocolate cheerios. Alright, alright, I'll say it louder. I ate THREE bowls of chocolate cheerios. And I have since become addicted. Good thing Dad bought a Jumbo size box. I still won't let my kids eat these for breakfast. I say it's for their good health----but mostly it's just because I want to save them all for myself ;) Although, the little 'heart' label on the front of the box DOES say "May reduce the risk of heart disease" Well, that does it. Anything that 'may reduce the risk of heart disease' needs to be eaten in large quantities, right? (Even if it does contain nine grams of sugar per serving.) But maybe I should tell Dad that next time he's in the mood to save us all from heart disease, he should just gift us with some fresh garden sweet peas.....or not :)


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Announcing the arrival of......

Haha. I made your heart skip a beat, didn't I? Sorry, I just couldn't resist! :) No, don't worry, our own little 'Toucan' is still nestled safe inside of me, hopefully for a few more weeks at least.

But, I WOULD like to introduce you to our newest nephew. He is a sweetheart! He is the third child, but first son, of Joel's sister and her husband. He was born last night (4/21) at 7:02 p.m. He is a tiny little thing, weighing 6 lb 1.8 oz. And talk about a head full of dark black hair!



Here he is with just one eye peeping open.

And here were Noah's thoughts about a whole day of looking at new cousins and grocery shopping:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

'Vroom vroom!'

My son has an obsession with anything that has a motor. No, not Eli, Noah! If I had to pin-point Eli's obsession right now, it'd probably be legos. But Noah's is definitely anything that goes 'vroom vroom'! This morning, as soon as he woke up, he found his toy motorcycle and started making his 'car' noise (which I can't figure out how to 'type' on here---it really is a good, deep, impressive car noise, though!) He then proceeded to make this car noise for....oh, the rest of the day, pretty much!

We had just pulled in the driveway from running some errands, and I made the mistake of putting Noah down so I could grab the diaper bag. When I turned around, he had spotted our neighbors riding lawn mower sitting out in his yard. Our yards kinds of 'join', so I don't think Noah realized that it wasn't sitting in 'his' yard. His eyes light up, and before I could stop him, he's running down through the yard at full speed to this lawn mower. Man, he looked like a toddler on a mission!!! Before I could catch up to him (picture pregnant Mama trying to run), he was already sitting up on the mower. When I finally got there, he looked up at me with happy eyes and said "Vroom Vroom!!" Talk about funny!! Part of me felt like scolding him for making me run so far, but the other part of me (the part that won!), just laughed and laughed, because he was obviously SOOOOO delighted to be sitting on this lawn-mower!

My son, the future motor cycle rider.....no, car mechanic...no, race-car driver....no, rocket-ship scientist.......aw, let's admit it, he's just a little boy who likes cars :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A lesson learned

You gotta love it when....


  • You look in the mirror in the middle of the afternoon at your hair, and say "Blah, that's really bad!", and a little boy's voice behind you says " I think your hair looks really nice today, Mama!"

  • You say you're going to get 12 menu plans done before the baby gets here, and you're half-way there...

  • Your one year old makes an 'owl' sound for the first time. "Whoo, whoo...." Also, his 'monkey' imitation of scratching under his arms and going 'eee-eee' is pretty funny too.

  • You think you might actually finish the current book before next weeks book club. Maybe. No guarantee. But maybe.

  • You spent over an hour on the week's budget, and it all fell into place the first time---no going back, deleting numbers, rechecking lines, re-adding, wondering if the computer is playing tricks on you, or anything. It just worked. Oh, except that you realize that you deleted a receipt out of the food budget twice, and you get to add it back in. Those kinds of mistakes I don't mind :)

  • The time ticker for your baby waiting days now says less than fifty....

  • Three little kids come inside from an afternoon of playing in the yard, filthy and a mess, but oh so ready for a good afternoon's nap!

  • You have a new niece or nephew due any day now.....

  • You are reminded that God's Word is 'living and active'----every single time you open it up!

I realized the other day that I had prayed for the ability to 'focus on You, God', and have a 'cheerful' attitude for the morning. Then, when things didn't go my way, I got.....grumpy. I scowled. I grumbled. I counted in my head the number of things going wrong. And then, I realized, that my 'ability to focus on God' shouldn't depend on my circumstances. What I had really wanted was for God to make my whole morning go perfectly without any distractions or difficulties. What I SHOULD have wanted was for God to help me get through those difficulties with grace and wisdom. Jesus said that in this world, we will have troubles....but He has already overcome them!! Working hard to show His light, finding the joy in everything, even if it's not MY idea of a 'perfect morning' :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

This and That

Any guesses as to who won the two sisterly, 'uncompetitive' games of Scrabble between my sister and I?




Also, we always hoped that my two boys would inherit their Daddy's very 'moderate' appetite, and not their mommy's (who eats like a horse). This picture may be proof that we didn't get our hopes. (He put himself up here, before anybody even mentioned anything about food.)



Saturday, April 17, 2010

Clearing my mind...

A post full of 'randomness'---because sometimes my mind just gets too 'full'


  • We bought next year's school curriculum today!! We're so thankful that a big homeschool curriculum fair happens just a couple of hours from our house. Fun, fun, fun!! I love what we picked out. I sat and looked through all the fun books tonight, and then made myself pack them back up and promise not to look at them again until after the baby comes :) Eli will be starting Kindergarten, and Cosette will be starting second grade. Oh, and did I mention I'll have a two-year old working on 'hands on' stuff and staying busy eating snacks, and a new-born baby? Motherhood truly is a 'full-time' career, but I'm loving every minute of it!

  • This next photo is just proof that my Noah-boy has always been my most cuddly baby.


  • Noah loves his baths. A lot. He loves them so much, he got in tonight with his socks still on :)

  • My kids are singing in church tomorrow. We've been practicing this song for a month now. They were doing fine with it. And for some reason, the past two days, Eli insists on singing his part in a different key than Cosette! Oh well. At least they'll be cute!

  • My main goals before the baby comes: Get out the bassinet and clean it up, and the car-seat too. Rent a carpet cleaner and scrub all the dirty carpets in my house. Finish first grade with Cosette and organize next year's school books. Have at least a dozen ready-to-go menu plans. Haha. I'll let you know which of these actually get accomplished :)

  • And finally, ending this post on a 'fun' note----My sister, who helped watch my boys today while we were at the curriculum fair, reports that Noah put pee-pee in the potty THREE times today. WHOOO HOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Monkey see, Monkey Do

Cosette and Eli have been working on a song with motions to sing in church this coming Sunday. Noah has been watching them practice each morning. Here is Noah's version of the song. Gotta love his sweet, high little voice! (Turn off the music in my sidebar before you try to watch this :)

'Daw'

We finally have a new word, folks, and it's 'Daw'! What? You say you don't know what a 'daw' is? Surely you must! They're shiny and come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. You can usually fit anywhere from four to six passengers in them......OH! A car! Why didn't I just say so? But I did----a 'Daw'! At least, that's how Noah says it :) Every time one passes the house, his eyes get as big as saucers, and he says 'Daw!' When Cosette and Eli ride around the house in their new little jeep, he exclaims 'Daw!' When we were in the van the other day, we passed a farmer on a big tractor, and he pointed and exclaimed "Daw!" Well....not quite, sweety, but you have the right idea!

So, at 21 months, Noah's royal list of words now includes:

" Mama"
" Kristin"
"Ball" (Although I myself haven't heard him say this one yet)
"Me''
"Uh-oh!"
"Daw"

And you can't really blame the little man for limiting his vocabulary to this point when you have a big sister who can 'interpret' all of your grunts and hand motions. "Noah says he needs more to drink" "Noah says he fell and bumped his head" "Noah says he wants to read a book"

Wow. Must be helpful to speak Noah-ese!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Morning Thoughts

It is 7:49 am. My favorite time of the day. I've been up for almost two hours now, and there's much running through my head; probably too much to share in one post. So, I'll just share a few things.

  • First, God has really been working on my heart lately to draw closer to Him. I'm reading the book "The Papa Prayer''. In it, the author speaks about having a really good, deep relationship with God, not just coming to Him with our petitionary type prayers. Now, I've obviously always known this was the goal, but this really spoke to my heart right now, in this season of my life. So for me, one practical step toward accomplishing that has been to start getting up just a half hour earlier so that my 'quiet' times are actually 'quiet' :) I can't boast success yet---it's only been four mornings, but so far, I'm really enjoying it. Also, along the same lines, I really appreciated Elise's post here. It spoke on intentionally making God's Word a part of our life all through the day. It is written beautifully, and would be well worth your time to go read it.




  • Second thought: My daughter is becoming quite the writer/reader! I can't keep enough books or empty note-books in her hands! This is a picture of her first thing this morning. She is filling up that note-book with pages and pages of ---well, all kinds of stuff! She re-tells Bible stories, she tells funny things that her brothers have done, she tells about her feelings or things she thinks about---it's really quite inspiring :) She told me the other day that she might want to be a 'baby doctor' when she grows up, but right now, I'm seeing more of an inclination toward her being a writer :)

Well, now it's 8:01, and my two oldest munchkins are chowing down on grapefruit. I've had my 'quiet time', packed my husband's lunch, said 'hello' to my tread-mill, started a load of laundry, emptied the dish-washer, and enjoyed my own English muffin, grapefruit and decaf tea. Now it's off to get school started for the day :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Food, Glorious Food....(Think 'Oliver'!)

Just some incredible recipe links....because next to my family(and God, of course, but doesn't that go without saying?) food excites me almost more than anything else. Pathetic, I know, but I think at eight months pregnant, I'm allowed to say that :)

  • Do you love those strawberry-lime lemonades from Applebees? Ummm.....I do! I got one the last time Joel and I had a gift-card and ate out :) Which, funny to say, is the LAST time I've eaten out. So, I was wanting to find a way to make something similar in my own kitchen. Go here to find a recipe that will give you a similar type of 'special' drink, with only a few ingredients. The only thing I did differently was to crush the ice along with everything else.

  • This recipe has made it into our 'favorites' box! It will definitely be showing up frequently in the future. Get your spinach in very painlessly! Just a couple of notes on it----it sounds complicated in the recipe, but it's really not. Just mix up the meat patties like you would a salmon cake, and sautee them in a frying pan or griddle. When they are done, make the sauce, top the patties with cheese, and smother them in the yummy sauce. OH, so good! Second note: I used chicken broth instead of the dry white wine.

  • This brownie recipe was simple and made my favorite kind of brownies---gooey and sticky! I topped them with a simple butter-cream frosting.

  • Black bean burgers----don't eat them expecting a hamburger----because they're not! Expect them to be what they are---black bean burgers--and they become quite the inexpensive, delicious meal!

  • These chocolate chip granola bars taste better than any I've had from the store. You can use whole wheat flour and throw in some ground flax seed if you want to up the nutrition content.

  • This Lime Blueberry Tiramisu looks incredible, but I haven't had a chance to make it yet. So if you try it, please let me know if it turns out yummy :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Receive the Kingdom like a child....

I looked down from my perch at the keyboard this morning during worship. The two big kids were sitting next to their Daddy. Joel was holding Noah in his arms. As the music played, Joel raised one of his arms in worship. Noah looked up in wonder at his Daddy. He studied him for a moment, then turned his little face to heaven and raised his arm as well. As long as Joel's arm was up, so was Noah's. As I struggled through my emotion to stay focused on my key-board, I thought "Noah does not realize it, but even now, he is being taught and trained to love his Heavenly Father. He may not understand this simple act of worship today, but in years to come, he will. And I pray that it will be natural for him to offer his all to his Savior"


"Lord, our task of raising these children is great. May we not waste even a precious moment..."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The daily 'grind'

Today Cosette and I went to visit a good friend of mine. I hadn't seen her since October (waaaay too long, considering we only live an hour apart!!), and it was a wonderful visit. I'm grateful for friendships that can survive time apart, distance, etc :) Anyway, it was a beautiful day for a drive, and I enjoyed my time away (a grand whopping total of about 5 1/2 hours) When I got home, my two little guys were napping. Upon their waking, though, I was greeted by these two sweet faces:



And, I was glad to be home again! I mean, who wouldn't love having this little man on the left wrap his arms around you and pat you affectionately on the back, like he was soooo glad to see you??



I pour my life into my kids---literally. I am with them 24/7. From the moment they wake up in the mornings, till the moment they are asleep almost every day, I am there. I am the one disciplining, training, teaching, instructing, loving, caring, kissing boo-boos, giving hugs, playing with legos, etc.
Some have asked how I manage to stay home with three little ones ( and a 4th on the way!) every day, without losing my mind! Simple. Two easy words. My husband.
He is the one that keeps me going! He is the one that makes sure that 'breaks' happen for me! He understands my need to re-charge every once in a while so that my time with the kids can be more profitable and loving! If I get too worn out myself, I am 'less' than the Mommy that I want to be!
Here are examples of ways that need is met for me, both on a daily basis, and those 'extra-special' time outs.
1. I always get up in the mornings before my kids. I just like to have that quiet time where I can think, read my Bible, fix Joel's lunch--whatever, before the daily grind of changing diapers and general 'life' kicks in.
2. My kids all still take naps. BIG plus in my day! Do you know what a quiet hour or two in my afternoon does for refreshing MY spirit and body?? So if you ever call me between 2-4 and my phone is off the hook, don't worry, I'm not ignoring you----I'm just making every effort to keep those little ones asleep :)
3. Joel is great about making sure that I get those occasional times away. Like today. He kept both boys for me so that I could go and enjoy a visit with a friend. He also doesn't mind that I do a 'girls only' Bible Study most Thursday evenings, and he keeps the kids and gets them in bed for me those nights as well.
4. Date nights. These are absolutely necessary! Just to have a few hours alone with my husband where we can enjoy each other's company and finish every sentence we start is necessary for keeping our relationship strong and thriving! Maybe this won't be so necessary once are kids are all older, but for right now, it's a life-saver!! Lately, we've been trying to cut back alot on our spending (see previous posts for explanations on this), so we've been really careful about any eating out that we've been doing. Okay, we haven't eaten out at all lately unless we've used a gift-card from someone else! But 'date nights' can still happen---- movie nights at home, dropping the kids off at a Grandma's house for a few hours.....whatever :)
And that is how I keep on ticking. That is how I can continue to be excited, day after day, about...well, what I do, day after day :)
How do YOU recharge YOUR battery??

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Spring in our corner of the world

I don't know if I've ever been more grateful for the early arrival of spring, cooler clothes and no snow boots, school outside at the picnic table, and open windows with breezes blowing through. I'm loving it! So are my kids, as is evident in these pictures......


Enjoying a new and very generous gift from their
great-grandpa, my mom's dad



Eli at the wheel (and with a new haircut!)

Love Eli's face in this picture as Aunt Kristin
pitches the ball to him!


And it's a hit!!



Trying to get down a 'proper' stance

Noah dying Easter eggs---and his fingers!



Grilling (and tasting!) the first hot dogs of the season





Tuesday, April 06, 2010

My birth plan---an excuse for a Mocha Frappuccino!

We are finding it amusing how different a 4th pregnancy can be! With Cosette, I read every 'natural birth' book, every nursing book, every baby book I could get my hands on. This time around......I haven't had a single natural birth book in my hands yet. I guess I'm just kinda hoping it'll go just like Noah's birth went, and I'm kind of just planning on 'winging it' when the time comes :) After all, when this baby is born, it will have been less than two years since Noah was born.....it's hard to forget what you're supposed to 'do' in that short amount of time!

One thing we are doing different this time, however, is that my sister will be present when the baby is born. In the past, it's only ever been me and Joel, a nurse, and my mid-wife. (Grant it, there is usually a surge of family members waiting soon afterwards to see the baby :)

But this time, my sister will be there, and I'm so excited about that! I got to attend the birth of one of my nephews a few years ago, and there's absolutely nothing as exciting as seeing a new-born baby right away, messy and slimy as the babe may initially be ;)

We figured it was getting close enough to my due date that we should probably sit down with Kristin and make sure she's aware of our specific birth plan---things like, "No, I don't want an epidural, thank you anyway", "No, I don't want that IV, I have actually drank three water bottles since lunch time." Our hospital that we use has always been gracious and accommodating to our wishes and desires, and we wouldn't go anywhere else. Still, I feel like anyone that is going to be there in the room needs to know what we want/don't want.

So, anyway, my sister's coming up tonight. We're grilling turkey-dogs. My husband is happy to grill anything for me, even if it is a 'fake' hot-dog, in his opinion ;) Then, we'll sit down and go over the whole birth-plan with my sister. (My sister is a CNA, by the way, so she promises not to be grossed out by anything :)

Oh, and we're using the excuse of her coming up to make Mocha Frappuccinos again. These are incredible!! I was hunting for a recipe online the other week for making a homemade starbucks frappuccino, and I couldn't find any ONE recipe that seemed quite right. So, I mushed several recipes together and came up with something that is SO CLOSE to an actual Starbucks! If you're a coffee lover, check out my recipe below!!

MOCHA FRAPPUCCINO

8-12 frozen coffee ice-cubes (just make a pot of coffee and freeze it in an ice-cube tray. You could use decaf if you're pregnant like me ;)
1/3-1/2 cup cooled coffee
2-3 T sugar
1 t vanilla
a generous drizzle of chocolate syrup
a generous handful of chocolate chips
generous spoonful of vanilla icecream
enough milk to get the right consistency

1. Blend all of the above in a good blender until the coffee ice is all broken up and smooth. You might want to blend the frozen coffee a little before you add anything else to the blender. I know I've given you approximations for several things---just use your imagination and taste-test it till it seems right!

2. Top with more ice-cream and chocolate syrup. Or, you could use cool whip if you want. This makes two BIG frappuccinos, or three smaller ones. And they don't cost an arm and a leg either :)

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Easter Blessings



"And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook; and the rocks were split........."



Matthew 27: 50-51




"And the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying."

Matthew 28: 5-6





Center piece 'picked' and decorated for Mama with love


from Cosette, with help from Grandma and her flower bed :)





Four Gospels. Count them---Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Four different tellings on the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ. And we covered them all last night, every single chapter, from Matthew through John. It took from 8:30 p.m. until 4:00a.m. We ended with a beautiful time of communion. There were 14 of us (if I'm remembering and counting properly)



Three little people were put to bed on time, and Joel and I stayed up waaaaay later than either of us are used to for our first ever experience of a 'Bible Marathon'. But it was worth it. To reflect four times over on the death and resurrection of your Lord in one evening is quite a powerful thing. It was an awesome way to 'bring in' Easter!





Last year, Easter was very sad for us. My Grandmother was in the hospital to have open heart surgery. We all expected her to come out of it fine, but as each day passed, it became clearer and clearer that she probably wouldn't be with us much longer. We rejoiced for her, but cried for us when she left the day after Easter. We still miss her, alot.


But this year, we know that she's already had a whole 'year' (you'll have to forgive me, I don't know Heaven's time-structure!!) in a beautiful place.


And we got to spend 8 straight hours drinking in the Word. And the whole time, Baby Toucan stayed awake with us, kicking and squirming and making her presence known. And I realized how blessed we are this Easter. My heart goes out to friends and loved ones who I know are having struggles of their own this Easter---know that the Lord is with you through everything!


Here is Noah trying his hand at the cello after I was done practicing for tomorrow's Easter service.

We think maybe, just maybe, he could benefit from a smaller size cello (think, 'toddler size)--what do you think? ;)

Side note: Notice his tongue sticking out. He and Cosette both do that when they are concentrating really hard. I'm afraid they get that from me!

"He is Risen!"

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