Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!



Merry Christmas from the King family!  May you have a joyful and blessed day as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the best gift imaginable.  Praise God for His love and grace!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Today

If yesterday was a sick day, today was a "say good-bye to family, run around town amidst the craziness to finish up Christmas details, come home and crash" kind of day.

Bethany was my shopping buddy and we had a BLAST cruising around town, trying to find places to park, telling jokes ect..  I love how different God has made each one of my children.  I randomly asked Bethany today what she liked.  She said she liked being funny.  And she IS!!!  That girl has us busting up all the time!

Lydia is feeling much better today which we are praising the Lord for.   Her voice is still completely gone (which is actually quite comical) but her throat is feeling so much better and her fever is gone.  This mama is so happy!

Tomorrow is our only day left to make our Christmas candies.  Talk about leaving it until the last minute!  I'm already beginning to feel that completely wiped out, tired to my toes, perfectly happy, holiday bliss that sets in around this time.  Trusting that God will give me the energy to see me through!

I was browsing through old photos tonight and came across this one.  What astounded me the most wasn't how little she seemed last Christmas, but how in my minds eye, that is still my Esther!  Somehow this mommy still cannot grasp how big her baby is getting!




Sick Day



Today was a sick day at the King house.  Poor Lydia has come down with a nasty throat bug that has completely stolen her sweet voice and has kept her in pain all day.  Please be praying for our sweet girl that she will heal and that it won't spread to the rest of us as Christmas approaches.

Days like these again remind me of what a blessed life we live.  How "normal" life for us consists of being completely healthy.  How we have the opportunities and resources to look into natural home remedies while still always having the option of turning to medical doctors should things become more serious.

Nothing is harder than watching the people you love in pain.  The only upside to all of this is getting to unabashedly serve and tend to every need of the sick person.  There is something so fulfilling in that!

Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with a good report!

(  Oh, and I started this post before midnight so hopefully this still counts as "today"!)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Soooooo...


So I spent the whole morning trying to upload the video of my girls singing in church, but Blogger and my videos have a very poor working relationship.

So instead of getting too upset, I decided to just enjoy my day with my sweet sister-in-law and my girls and forget about it.  We went and visited my grandparents today who are 90 and 91.  I am so blessed to live literally just up the road from them.  Watching them play with my girls and listening to them tell us stories of when they were young are priceless moments to me.  I love them so much!

Maybe tomorrow I'll figure out the video!  But today was a good day!



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

One of my favorite things about Christmas...




Our Christmas tree!!!  First weekend after Thanksgiving, David loads up all the big girls and takes them off to find the perfect tree while I stay home with the napping "babies".  The only one close to being a baby this year was Esther, but she performed her napping duties gracefully while I got the hot chocolate ready for the tree hunters.

They were succesful once again!


Monday, December 17, 2012

One of my favorite things about Christmas...


Is having family come and stay with us!  David's brother Andrew, his wife Hannah and their beautiful 3 month old daughter Ava are staying with us this week.  There is not much better than getting loads of quality time in with some of the people we love the most.

Oh, and Ella gets to hold Ava.  All of the girls love ALL of their cousins.  But Ella talks about Ava constantly!  She talks about holding Ava constantly!  So she is in heaven these days.  She doesn't care if she's crying (which she hardly does!) or not, she just wants to hold her all day long!

 
 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

At Least Something!

Oh, what a neglectful blogger I've been!  Either I've been to busy living life to blog about it, or I've just gotten out of the habit of sitting down and writing my thoughts and peculiarities of the day.

Either way, I'm making a new goal for this next week!  For an entire week, I'm going to try and blog SOMETHING each day.  It may not be long.  It may not be inspirational.  It may not even make sense!  But it will be something.

Hold me to this!  Can't wait to see more of you this coming week!  Blessings to you all!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Reveal

So when we first moved to our new house in October, 2007, we had two little girls with one more on the way (although we hadn't told anyone yet!).  Our new house had a small room downstairs, a small room upstairs and a larger room upstairs.  Because we only had two and a half year old Lydia and almost one year old Bethany, they went in the little room upstairs and we moved into the larger upstairs room.

Over time we added Havilah, then Ella, then Esther to that tiny room.  Then it seemed VERY tiny!!!

Last year we moved downstairs (I know, I STILL haven't posted pictures of our room!!!) so this fall we finally got the girls moved into their larger, more finished bedroom. They are loving it!!!



I always dreamed of having verses on my children's walls.  Since these verses are the ones we have talked about the most as they are heading to bed we thought it would be fitting to have them on the wall for them to see every day. 


I've kept these calender pages from when I was fifteen years old.  I knew I wanted to hang them in my daughter's room some day.


Ella sleeps on the bottom bunk.


Bethany and Havilah share the top!


Lydia has her own bed for the first time in almost five years.  She has loved sharing a bed all those years, but is excited to have her own space now.


Esther of course is still in the crib.  She loves her new room!


It is so nice to have us all moved into our new rooms.  Now if only we can figure out how to keep it as clean as this!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An Embarrassing Tale To Tell

Well first of all, all of you book winners from my giveaway last month, I sincerely apologize for the delay in getting your books out.

Before my giveaway I set a new gmail account so that all your addresses would get piled up with all the terrible clutter that is my other e-mail account.  However when I finally got past the weddings and the starting school and actually got the envelopes to send the books, I could not get into my new account for the life of me.

I tried every password I could imagine.  I tried to reset a new password (let me tell you, that is NOT an easy thing to do with gmail!).  I failed.  I was about a week overdue to sheepishly come on here and ask you all for addresses again when I gave the password one final shot in the dark. 

I was right.

So NOW I'm finally ready to mail out your books!!!!!!!!!!

Again, I sincerely apologize for the delay!

Blessings to you all!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Today...... Joy

  Life has been crazy.  It's getting crazier still.  Lately I've been feeling somewhat out of control.  And when I feel out of control, I'm not very happy.  My words are not very kind.  My countenance is much colder.  Stress just does not sit well with me.

This morning I woke up with fresh resolve.  Today,  I will choose joy.  I can't control many, many things in this life.  But I can choose joy.  There is nothing in this life that can steal the joy that Christ gives me. 

So I woke up ready to choose to smile, to speak gently, to act kindly as I went through my days.

So I started the day.  I slept in accidentally.  As I was opening my drawer, I knocked off my glasses.  As I picked up my glasses, I knocked off my earrings.   I came into the dining room to write a list for the day.  I couldn't find a pencil.  I found a new one that had never been sharpened.  Started sharpening.  Was met with a formidable foe.


Deep down in the crevices of the sharpener dwelt a long piece of pencil that was jammed in so that nothing else could be sharpened.  All it really needed was a good shake.  But it is bolted to our bookcase.  I poked and prodded but to no avail.  I knew I needed something smaller so I went in search of a large safety pin.   The only one I found had a mini safety pin jammed in the top so that it couldn't open.  It was somewhere between trying to wrench out that mini and almost poking my poor finger to death that I realized my joy slowly slipping away.  I started laughing, thinking of how a mini safety pin, a pencil sharpener and a broken lead had almost clouded the incredible joy that fills my heart.

I prevailed.


Today we are doing things a little differently.  Today I made a list of our ten top priorities for the day.  Then I changed it to the top nine.  Ranked most important to least important. 

Today we are starting with #1.  When that is finished we will go on to #2.  If we only get to number 2 or 3 or 4, at least we will have accomplished the four most important things for us to accomplish today.  And we will do it with joy.  There is nothing I have to do today, or any day really that is worth sacrificing a joyful heart.  So today, that's what I choose!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Esther~ Fall 2012



This is my Esther.  My Essie.  My Bessie.  My Bessie-boo.  My Bubby.  My Bubbly.  My Bess.  My Itty-Bitty Baby.  My Essie-Bessie-Bubbly-Bitty-Baby.  I could go on.  I know.  I need help....

She's seventeen and a half months old.

Seventeen and a half months old.  Seventeen and a half months old.  Honestly, I'm in denial.  We've never had a gap this big before and to me, she's still my baby.  It helped that she was almost seventeen months before she started walking.  She is growing up so fast though, that my denial is utterly blind.  Esther is walking, starting to talk (Mama,  HI DADA (screamed as loud as she can as soon as he walks in the door), Ella, Boppa, Nana (Anna), down), she's signing (please, thank-you, more, milk, hat, shoes, bus, baby) and wants to constantly be in the middle of whatever her big sisters are doing.  Her most used modes of communication are her little "Hmm?" sounds she makes with her mouth closed, and screaming.  But the screaming is finally subsiding and other communication is creeping in.  It's a joyous thing!

Esther is a strong willed, controlling, DARLING!  She puts us through the ringer, but we are all completely smitten with her.  Every day she is growing in obedience and contentment and becomes more and more delightful to be around.  She is very affectionate, and while I don't think she could be categorized as a "snuggler" she does like to snuggle in occasionally.  It's heavenly.

Esther's favorite pastime is..... kissing.  She loves kisses, and gives them out liberally and willingly.  And if she kisses you, she has to kiss me, and everyone else in the room.  Sometimes she'll sit kissing Mommy, then Daddy, then Mommy, then Daddy on and on and on.  It's priceless!

Poor Esther did not enjoy our last photo shoot very much.  It was if being told to sit on the porch was the most heartbreaking thing she could have imagined.

 
Sometimes being the littlest with no voice (and no nap) is just plain hard!
 
 
But our sweet Esther is growing up into a delightful little girl!
 
 
My prayer for Esther is that her heart, soul, mind and strength will be completely given over to the Lord.  That her drive and spunk will draw others to Christ.  That we will be diligent in training, disciplining and raising her up.  That she will know our love and learn how to love those around her.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ella Joy~ Fall 2012


This is my Ella.  My Bella.  My Belle.  My Elle Belle.  My Bellie Baby.

She is almost three.

Ella is my sunshine girl.  My joy bug.  Her personality is out going and friendly.  She loves going new places, meeting new  people, and being a genuine social butterfly.  Ella loves her cousins, her future flower girl dress, her "Orangie" pillow, her sister's clothes, her tooth brush and doing anything her sisters do.  Ella is so funny!  All of her "er" sounds she says "ee".  All of her "cu" sounds she says "too".  So instead of her "cutie cutie cousins" she has her "tootie tootie tousins". 

Ella's greatest struggle these days is a total lack of self-control.  Because she was the easiest baby imaginable, it's been a bit of a turn around to be struggling so much with her now.  Whether it's cutting things, eating things, getting into food, drawing on her face, drawing on her body, drawing on her bed, drawing on the walls, drawing on her shoes.... you get the idea.  Whatever her hand finds to do, she does, regardless of the consequences.  It's times like these that I begin to wonder, what in the world am I doing wrong?  It's also the times like these that I remember all of the previous seasons we've been through with our girls.  God is faithful.  So we carry on.

Ella is growing up so fast.  This was her only a few months ago.


 
This is her now!  I'm so in love with her little goldilocks!


My prayer for Ella is that she will come to know Jesus as her Lord as Savior and that His Spirit will teach her to live a life completely controlled by Him.  That her joy and love will be a tremendous blessing to all that she comes in contact with.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Havilah~ Fall 2012


This is my Havilah.  My Havi.  My Havi-loo.  My Havi babe.

She's four and a half.

Havilah is so dear.  It is truly difficult to correctly describe her and feel like I did an accurate job.  Havilah is sweet and tumultuous.  She is loving and emotional.  She is beautiful rays of sunshine and terrible crashes of thunder.  Havilah is a delight to be around.  Her words are filled with great tenderness.  Her compassion is touching.  Her affection is endearing.  Her smiles are heart warming.  But her anger is fierce.  And her gloomy rain clouds are almost tangible.  Havilah has been blessed with great depth of emotion which helps her fly with joy at one moment yet sinks her to despair the next.  As she grows older the gloom and anger is fading away more and more.  

Havilah is the shyest of all of our girls.  She doesn't like being the center of attention.  But her eyes are always sparkling with a hint of mischief.  Her little dimples are so convincing that you can't help but smile too.  When she is comfortable she chatters away with the best of them!  She is just beginning school.  It's slow going, but she enjoys it so much.  She still talks in her funny little way.  Not quite a lisp, yet so unique and endearing I really hate for it to go!  She is the best worker in the house.  When she is set on a task she completes it with her whole heart.  She fills the role of the middle sister fabulously, jumping in with the older girls with ease and yet stepping in as the older sister to the younger ones beautifully.



My prayer for Havilah is first and foremost that the Lord will draw her to Himself.  That she will come to know Him and that her passion would be for what the Lord is passionate about.  That whatever anger and aggression is left in her would be filled with a love for others and a desire for the truth.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bethany~ Fall 2012

This is my Bethany.  My Bee.  My Bethy Bee.  My Beth.

She is almost six.

Bethany is so different from any person I've ever met, ever!  She is truly a character.  She's a total goofball and loves breaking out into various kooky accents.  She makes friends wherever she goes with old and young alike.  She doesn't have a shy bone in her body and loves being thrown into whatever situation comes her way, especially center stage. She has an incredible mind.  She reads like nothing else and grasps new school concepts faster than I can keep up with! 

Bethany's struggle right now is being kind to her sisters.  As one of the oldest it's easy for her to feel like she can control things.  She is working on having a kind and thoughtful heart.


Bethany's personality and charisma has the possibility of being used so greatly as she grows older.  I pray that she will continue to develop godly character so that her life will always be for God's glory!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lydia~ Fall 2012



This is my Lydia.  My Lou.  My Liddie Lou.  Her sisters have taken to calling her "Lydsy".

She is seven and a half. 

Her strengths~  She is doing amazing in school.  Learning seems to come easily to her and she is especially interested in learning about historical happenings and people.  She is a great helper to me.  Whether it's putting Esther down for a nap, helping her little sisters get dressed, cooking breakfast,  washing dishes, or even washing her sister's hair, she helps me in so many ways that I don't know what I would do without her.  She has a sincere heart for the Lord.  Whenever she is confronted with areas in her life that need growth, she is quick to respond with an eager heart.  She takes correction like a champ!  She is also Miss "I have an idea!".  She is always scheming and planning something!

Lydia's main struggle at this time is staying focused on what she is doing and remembering to do whatever she does "as working for the Lord.".


More and more I catch a glimpse of Lydia and I'm instantly transported about ten years in the future.  She is turning into such a beautiful young woman already and I'm so excited to watch the Lord continue to shape her for His glory!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Catching Up!

Whew!  Did I get lost or what?  The winner of the last book was, Laura!!!  This is obviously super exciting to me knowing that it's going to be read to my beautiful nieces!

I've finally got all the envelopes for sending out the books and hopefully you winners will be receiving yours soon!

Yesterday, in between rain showers, I snapped a few pictures of my sweet hearts.  As I was posting them to facebook I figured it must be time for another family update!  I can't BELIEVE how much they have all grown since I took their pictures in the spring.

I promise to be around here soon catching up on what's happening with our family!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Book #8


This is our final book.  This was also the first book we ever checked out of the library.  We walked in, got our library cards and walked out with one, solitary book.  It was Aesop's Fables~ Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney.


We all fell madly in love.  The girls begged for story after story.  The pictures were so vivid and beautiful and the fables were so clear in getting their point across that my girls could tell me the moral of the story almost every time without being told.



Havilah's particular favorite was "The Stag and His Reflection".  This could be  due to the fact that I was in a rather silly mood while reading it.  For days someone would randomly burst out in their silliest voice, " But my LEGS!!!  How THIN and UGLY they look!  I'm embarrassed to be SEEN!".



This book is missing it's cover, but other than that it is in perfect condition.  There are 61 fables in this book!  Your children (or grandchildren, nieces, nephews......) are sure to love this one for many, many years!

Leave a comment and I will draw a winner soon!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Trying to breathe (and a winner!!!)


Gasp.... I'm here..... Barely...... I think...... Maybe.......

I feel like I've been gasping for air for weeks now.  I'm a HOME BODY and this past month has been one thing after another, and another, and another, and another (I'm beginning to hyperventilate again....).

The last two days have been spent at home.  I took one step outside my door just to get some meat from our shop freezer and that's it!  It has been heavenly.  Plus it's been raining.  Which makes me about the happiest woman alive.


Sorry for my tardiness in wrapping up this give away.  I've got one more book coming up soon and yes, I do believe I saved the best for last!

I'm excited to be around more and get in some real blogging.  I've missed it.  I've missed all of you.

Now to the news.... Winner #7 is...... Amy Lynn!!!  Please e-mail me at graceisblessedbygod@gmail.com with your address and I'll be mailing these books out soon!  (By the way,  I miss you Amy Lynn!!!)

Cant wait to see more of you all in the weeks to come!!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Book #7


The next book I'm giving away was another one I grew up with.  "James Herriot's Treasury For Children" recounts some of the sweetest stories from this country veterinarian.  The stories are fun and interesting for children and some still make me tear up to this day, in a good way!

 
This copy looks like it lived at our house.  Many of our books carry the same chew marks on the corner.
 
 

Other than the corner, the book is in great shape.  Every page is filled with gorgeous pictures that help the stories come alive.  Whoever gets this one is getting a good one!

 
To enter, just leave a comment!!!

Winner #6

The winner of "Baby Island" is........  Kimberlee S. !!!

Please e-mail me at graceisblessedbygod@gmail.com with address!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Book #6

The next book I'm giving away is "Baby Island".  This book was my Mom's favorite when she was a little girl.  It proceeded to be a favorite of mine and is now a favorite of my own girls.

It's a short fiction novel about two young girls who are shipwrecked with four babies.  I mean, come on.  What young girl doesn't dream of being shipwrecked with four babies???  It is a sweet adventure story filled with surviving on clams and bananas and has been great as a read aloud.

 
I'm not sure that I could recommend this as a "boy's story" but young girls are sure to love it!
 
Leave a comment quickly!  I'll be drawing a winner first thing in the morning!

Winner #5

The winner of "The Story of Ferdinand" is....... Alysun!!!

I hope you and your kiddos enjoy this one as much as we do!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Winner #4



The winner of "Little House in the Big Woods" is........ "Mama" Sarah!

Please e-mail me at graceisblessedbygod@gmail.com with your address and I'll send it to you soon!
You can still enter for Book #5 and more books will be coming soon!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Book #5



I know I haven't drawn a winner for Book #4 yet (still time to enter that one!) but I thought I would get this one out for some entries too!

The Story of Ferdinand was one of the first books we got from the library and it was an instant favorite! 


The illustrations are very simple and black and white, but they are packed with expression and the girls were so amused to watch what happened to the sweet little bull.  If you ask Ella she will tell you, all Ferdinand wants to do is sit under the tree and smell the flowers.

When I ordered this book to give away I had to order an extra copy for our family as we all loved it!



Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win!

Book #4


I love the "Little House Books".  But of them all, my stand out favorite is without a doubt, "Little House in the Big Woods".  The story is so simple and sweet and that even my littlest girls enjoyed reading it aloud.

 
This book is in almost perfect condition.
 
 
Leave a comment if you want it!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Winner #3 and a word from our sponsers...


The winner of "Are You My Mother" is Jill!!!  No need to send me your address, Jill!  I'll just bring it to you at church!





video

Friday, October 12, 2012

Book #3


This next book holds a special place in my heart.  Back when I had only one darling little girl, my precious Lydia loved this book more than any other.  I would read it to her over and over and over every single day.

 
It's a sweet story and even after reading it several hundred times I still enjoy it!
This copy is in nearly perfect condition!
 
 
Leave a comment and it may be yours!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Winner #2



Winner of "First Thousand Words" is........ RachelD!!!

I hope you enjoy this book with your kiddos Rachel!  Please e-mail me your address at graceisblessedbygod@gmail.com and I will send it out to you!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Book #2


Today's book is Usborne's First Thousand Words in English.  This is not exactly a read aloud book, but it sure has kept my girls interested for hours! 

 
With 1,000 pictures they have to identify and find it is fun for my big girls (7 and 5) all the way down to Ella at 2. 

 
This copy is slightly scuffed, but the pages are perfect.
 

The best part about this book is that you can also get it in Spanish, French, Japanese and MANY other languages so once your children master all these words in English just get them started on something else!

Once again, just leave a comment and you'll be entered into the drawing!  I'll draw a winner....... sometime.......

Winner #1 is......

video


Got that?  Congratulations Danielle!  Please contact me at graceisblessedbygod@gmail.com so I can get your book out to you!

Watch out for the next book coming your way!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Ready, Set...... Giveaway!!!!



A few months back our family discovered a wonderful thing.  It's called...... The Library!!!

I feel almost ashamed to admit that my children had never set foot in a library before that glorious day.  You should have seen my two voracious readers as we walked through the doors and their eyes beheld the abundance of books that our small Falls City library had to offer. 

Lydia says, " I never imagined that such a small library could hold so many books.  Now it makes me wonder what a huge library like Dallas (Ha! We're talking Dallas, OR here, not Texas!) could possibly hold.  Probably millions of books!".

This has been the spark that has started Lydia and Bethany down the path of loving to read rather than just "reading well".


Bethany has turned into an A+ book reader.  She is amazing at getting into the story and adding all sorts of excitement and intrigue.  She was into a cliff-hanging tale about Curious George yesterday while I was on the computer and I found my self having to turn around and hear the rest of the story.  I couldn't bear the suspense!

Lydia is fascinated with what she calls "learning" books.  She's come home with books about birds, textures, frogs and noses.  I don't think there is anything as exciting as watching your child love to learn! 

Havilah is dying to learn to read now!

Because we have been having so much fun at the library and because I discovered thriftbooks.com, I thought it would be fun to do a giveaway of some of our favorite read aloud books. 

Over the next couple of weeks I'll be throwing out a book here and a book there.  All you have to do is leave a comment and I will draw a winner after a couple of days.  These books are all used, but are still in great condition!

Let's start out with one that is not only a fun story but works in some great math too!


My parents have this book and I remember reading it to my sisters growing up.  My girls call it the "Grandma book".  It's a short fun story about dividing up the batch of cookies amongst the ever increasing crowd of friends.


The book is slightly bent but still in great shape!

Leave a comment an I'll choose a winner on Monday!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Baby #4


She's here!  Our fourth precious cousin was born on September 20.  We adore our sweet Ava Alivia!






Andrew, Hannah and Baby Ava stayed at our house this past weekend and it was SUCH fun getting in snuggles, kisses and a photo shoot with the newest member of the family!

It's hard to believe that all the cousins have been born!  What a tremendous few months it has been as we have welcomed these four new precious lives into our extended family.  Tirzah, Jonathan, Micah and Ava, already I can't imagine life without you!  Auntie Grace loves you all sooooooo much!!!