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!