Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas celebrations

What a dear thing to celebrate the birth of the Savior with our family this past week! It felt like a very unusual Christmas with the greater amount of driving this year, but we were so glad to see our families!
We went to Union Station a couple weeks ago for some family fun and to what turned out to be a rather disappointing model train display. We took the Metro, and let me tell you, you have never seen two kids more excited about riding mass transit! They were far more impressed by riding a "choo choo" than the display at Union Station. The Capital is just two blocks from there so we made the cold walk for a short visit.
We enjoyed our own little family Christmas before heading south with a big breakfast then presents. Isaac came running back upstairs that morning saying, "Mommy, there's presents under the tree!!!" We were grateful to be able to give our kids a couple small gifts, but even more grateful that we can tell them of the greatest gift of all and why we celebrate Christmas.

We first made the long leg of the journey to Tennessee to be with my family for a couple short days. Isaac and Samy didn't sleep well the whole trip which made for some irritable children (and now we know they were getting sick too). Samy loved playing with her cousins! Maybe it's because they don't hit her all the time like her usual playmate :o) Isaac just wasn't quite himself and kept disappearing and wanting to play alone (or with Grammy). But he was so patient as we drew names for opening presents and was next to last of the 9 grand kids.

On to Georgia! Isaac had hours of fun with his favorite thing at Grandan & Bubbe's, Pac Man (one of those plug-in joysticks with several old school video games). In times past he's only wanted to watch others get "ate up" by the ghosts or crash the car in Pole Position, but this time he actually played and did pretty well for a 3 year old. We took on a 3-D puzzle and the four-wheeler.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas!

As I'm sure the next few days will be even more crazy than the last week has been, I want to wish you all a very blessed Christmas!!! We are so grateful to God for the amazing miracle of Christmas. We do not celebrate just a babe in a manger, but the Great I Am becoming flesh and blood so that He might bear the righteous wrath of God for our sins! Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Christ by highest heaven adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin's womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Peaceful situation

I have been reading an excellent biography on John Newton (author of Amazing Grace) by Jonathan Aitken, which I would highly recommend! I just had to share this wonderful quote from Mr. Newton with you.
It comes shortly after his deliverance from a nearly sinking ship. God had spared his life again and again in the craziest of circumstances, most of which were brought on by his own sinful lifestyle. And the Lord kindly delivered him again as his ship was nearly lost at sea in a horrible storm. After they arrived to the “safety” of land, Newton went hunting with the mayor. He broke all the rules of safety by leaving his loaded gun with barrels tilted toward his face. The gun accidently went off, coming so close to his head that it burned the corner of his hat! This was Newton’s reflection on this close call:
“Thus when we think of ourselves in the greatest safety we are no less exposed to danger than when all seems conspiring to destroy us. The divine providence that is sufficient to deliver us in our utmost extremity is equally necessary in the most peaceful situation.”

May we all take comfort in the One who holds all of our days!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

If you shop online you should try this!

I signed up with ebates a few months ago and have made almost $30 just doing the online shopping I would have done anyway (and that was only on 2 purchases)! I have yet to look for a store they don't have and you get cash back for your purchases. If you sign up through me we both get a $5 bonus just for you signing up (though you have to make your first purchase to actually get it). Just follow this link: click here

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ultimate Man part 2

As a really funny follow-up to my post on Ultimate Man, you just have to watch this very short video!!! This is the man Keith works for :o)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tag, you're it!!!

So Crystal Law tagged me, which I didn't even know was something you could do on a blog, so I'm joining in the fun :o)

Here are the rules for those of you whom I'm about to tag: go to your Pictures file go to the 5th folder open up the 5th picture and post it then tag 5 people when you are done.

Meghann Roberts, Jen Altrogge, Kim Pfaller, Tiffany Hansen and Melissa Goins --TAG, YOU'RE IT!! And like Crystal, it's just fun so no pressure :o)

Here is my picture. It is from Isaac's swim lessons with Miss Coco this past summer. Guess we won't be using those skills anytime soon :o)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A wintery weekend

I'm missing Florida quite a bit by now...the wind chill Sunday was in the teens! There was snow on Saturday! And it's only mid-December. But there was much fun and joy to be had indoors and even a little in the snow.

Saturday I got to enjoy the company of many dear ladies at the PC Wives Christmas Tea! What a delight to be included in this event! We played a game that tested how well we all knew the PC couples' wedding stories. And though our rowdy team lost our legitimate win because of our lack of subtraction skills, we were vindicated in the end as every lady at our table won a special prize. It was so much fun and such an encouragement to talk to the ladies at my table.
Thank you to all the wonderful women who helped pull this event off!!

Saturday afternoon the snow began to fall and stick! The kids went on the back porch to make a few small snowballs. We were supposed to do family pictures on Sunday outside but since the wind was so fierce we had to reschedule, though snow would have been beautiful in the pictures!

After baths Sunday night Samy was begging to sit on the potty, and though nothing happened, she's too darn cute not to include those pictures :o)

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Ultimate Man

Jeff Purswell gave an astounding message yesterday at CLC on the incarnation. It was such a timely reminder at the beginning of the Christmas season to guard against the allurement of the world to a watered-down Christ. Jesus is so much more than a humble baby lying in a feeding trough--He is the living, reigning, enduring Word of God who became flesh then suffered and died for the sins of the world. But Jesus is even more than that! He is the RISEN Son of God, who has conquered death and is seated in heaven at the right hand of God the Father interceding for those who love Him!
As the December days roll by may we all be reminded that: "The incarnation is the ultimate display of God for the ultimate need of sinners. The Son of God revealed his glory and grace not only by becoming a man but also by dying on the cross for mankind."
And if you're wondering about "the ultimate man," you'll just have to listen to the message--you would never expect the explanation!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

So very thankful!

We got to go to my parents' house in Tennessee for Thanksgiving last week. It was a long trip, but well worth it for the wonderful fun and fellowship we had there!!
Lots of eating on Thursday, the girls went shopping on Friday and Friday night we all went downtown to a special Christmas tree lighting with lots of fun things for the kids. There was even a big model train set with several of the Thomas engines. Isaac was beside himself and we had to drag him away.

It was such a blessing to get to spend lots of time with my sister and her family who we haven't seen since last Christmas. Those little girls grow so fast!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sheep for wood?

A few weeks ago we had two other couples over to play the Settlers of Catan--one of our favorite games! One of the other couples knew the game, but the others were new to it. We had a great time even if Tiffany won :o)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Philippians 2:14

We've been giving Isaac short verses to memorize and started a new one tonight before bedtime--Philippians 2:14 "Do everything without grumbling or questioning." I wish I had a memory like a three year old! You tell the boy once and he's got it! So we told him the verse and he starts to repeat it while shaking his hands in the air. We said it again and he again shook his hands in the air while he said it. We listened a little closer as he said again, "Flippy hands 2:14..." it was too cute :o)

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's Snowing!!!

I could hardly believe it when I looked out my kitchen window this morning and saw snow falling! I yelled with giddy excitement to the kids, "It's snowing!" Isaac came running to the back door and moved the curtains to see--"It's snowing!" he yelled with much the same enthusiasm as I did :o) Samy wasn't so sure what was going on but joined in looking out the window. It wasn't but seconds before the inevitable was asked, "Can we go outside and play in it?" How could I resist :o)

I keep hearing we're in for a hard winter and to already see snow (and highs only in the 40s) in November, I can believe it. So how is this now thin-blooded Florida girl adjusting to this very different climate? Well, as Siobhan (a now New York resident) advised me--you've got to make friends with it. So, yesterday I bundled the kids and myself up and headed out to play. It really isn't so bad as long as the wind doesn't blow and you're wearing the right clothes. I guess I can see how people live in this weather :o) You'd think I've never lived in a cold climate before I am so pathetically cold! It didn't take long to get used to 60 degree winters so hopefully it won't take long to adjust to the 20 degree ones :o)

Here's a couple pictures of the kids enjoying the snow.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What a morning

Friday began with a bang here at the Welton house.

While I did a quick check of email Friday morning, Samy climbed in my lap then grabbed for the placemat that was under the computer and my coffee...and as you've probably guessed, my coffee tipped perfectly onto the keyboard of the laptop :o) Thank the Lord I was using a mug with a lid on it so I only lost "a", "q" and Caps Lock. "Q" and caps lock aren't such hard things to live without, but when your name is Amanda, "a" is kind of necessary :o) This must be why Keith and I have held onto the keyboard from our old desk top computer all these years!

We headed upstairs so the kids could get dressed. I always send Isaac to go potty before he puts his clothes on and he loves to use our bathroom. He seemed to be taking longer than normal so I went to check on him, only to find him poised in front of the trashcan right next to the toilet. You can guess what he was doing :o) oh, the joy of boys!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Most of all, thanks for...

Before we eat dinner, Keith always asks Isaac, "Who's going to pray?" Last night the answer was, "Me!" Keith has to kind of help him along, but he's starting to pray by himself more. Last night it went something like this:
"God, thank you for this food. Thanks for mommy cooking. Thanks for daddy's job. Thanks for Samy. Thanks for everything you do for us. But most of all thanks for Jesus...and candy!"

It was hilarious!! You gotta love children's prayers!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Friday was a beautiful day! I really wanted to go to the zoo but didn't think I could find anyone else to go on such short notice. Long story short, there were three other ladies already going and I was able to join them--God is too kind!!
We joined the Slacks, Shiels and Hansens for a wonderful day in God's glorious creation enjoying His many different creatures!

The National Zoo is SOOO pretty! Not as big as I had expected, but is so pleasant to walk around in. Lots of open spaces and huge trees.
Isaac asked all day to see the elephants and giraffes. Unfortunately there are no giraffes and when we arrived at the elephants it was closed. But after going to see the giant pandas, on our way back to the car, I swung by the elephant house and we got to see the elephant and hippo. Isaac was thrilled :o)

You know you're in a small town when...

Starbucks closes at 8 pm!!!

Melissa and I went out for coffee last Sunday night and arrived at Starbucks only to find it closed. We couldn't believe it :o) So we had to go to Safeway and get our Starbucks there and then go sit at the PC (though we were going there anyway to decorate Keith's office for his birthday).
I'm still baffled at not being in the "big city" anymore :o)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A princess and McQueen

Covenant Life had a Harvest Party on Friday night, so we dressed up (well, Keith couldn't find a good costume) and headed over. I was thankful to find a little pink dress for Samy for $5 at TJ Maxx, making her costume a cinch, but Isaac was tough. He was a pirate last year and a baseball player the year before (both so easy to put together) and I was out of ideas based on what we had around the house. To make a long story short, I finally decided on Lightning McQueen from Cars--Isaac is always running around making the music from the movie and saying he's Lightning McQueen (I wish I could put a recording of how he says it!). So I spent all day Friday making Lightning McQueen out of a cardboard box. Amazingly I had everything on hand to finish the costume, right down to red ribbon to hold it on him. The engineer in me really came out as I tried to figure out how to do this, and I had so much fun! It's a good thing too because Isaac wore it for less than 5 minutes :o) But I do think he'll play in it around the house.
I dressed up in Meghann's 70s dress (on loan from when we did our skit for my parents' 60th birthdays), but no pictures of me because I had the camera. Gary Ricucci said he was having flashbacks to Woodstock :o)

We had such a great time and the kids enjoyed the candy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Oh, give me a home

It has taken me a month to realize it, but we're not in the big city. When we were moving up here it seemed to us that a DC suburb would be "big city" like. But after a month of being here, I feel more like we live in the country. I love the landscape and the fact that there are NO billboards anywhere, including the interstate. And I love all the big parks and local farms, trees and wildlife (lots of dead ones too) everywhere. But I sure do miss my super Targets and, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I miss super Wal-Mart too :o) I heard its a 30 minute drive to the closest one. I enjoy a good deal, and the Money Saving Mom blog fills me in on all I'm now missing at Target and Wal-Mart. A small price to pay for being where God wants us :o)

I was just entering my grocery receipts and checking my monthly budget to see how I'm doing in this supposedly more expensive area. I'm more below our Orlando budget than I ever was when we lived there! Praise God! I think the well stocked pantry helped a lot, but I was fully expecting to at least come in around my normal $20 over. I am so grateful to God for giving us a home here despite a lack of superstores with great deals, and how well He provides everything we need when we need it!

Monday, October 27, 2008

But even if He does not

Keith and I have been reading Daniel the last couple nights. I was freshly encouraged by the example of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They refused to bow to the golden image King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and in his rage the king threatened to throw them into the fiery furnace if they would not bow. They responded with great courage and faith, saying:
"O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." (Daniel 3:16-18)

And while God did save these faithful saints from the blazes of the furnace that even killed the soldiers that threw the men in, they could not have expected that they would walk out of the flames without even smelling like smoke. It's not everyday God intervenes in such a miraculous way. These men were ready to die rather than sin against the God of heaven! Might we all be inspired by the example of those who face much graver circumstances than we do, and choose death to self rather than sinning against God.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The PC in DC

Saturday we had the opportunity to go down to DC with all the PC families and staff and our very own tour guide--a very, very generous man from Covenant Life who seems to know everything about history :o) He did an incredible job leading us through the monuments and memorials, giving us lots of interesting facts about them and the history behind them. It was also a great time to get to know everybody. We had a wonderful time!!

Keith and I thought it would be a bit much to ask Isaac and Samy to sit the stroller for so long, so we left them with a lady I met at Wal-Mart, seriously :o) Her son had on a Covenant Life shirt, so I introduced myself and we exchanged numbers. She called me in the midst of my sitter search, and when I asked her for suggestions, she graciously volunteered. The kids had such a good time with her kids that they didn't want to leave :o)
And I included pictures of the train in "Olde Town Gaithersburg" that we found on Sunday.

Pics of our house

Yes, yes, it's been a long time coming but I finally took some pictures of our new home. We had our first dinner guest last week so I was motivated to clean :o) Melissa, who is Jeff's administrative assistant, came over for dinner and a round of Bohnanza (a card game), and an attempt to watch The Office (our antenna didn't cooperate despite our best efforts). We had a wonderful time with her, as did the kids. Isaac asked if she would be here in the morning, it was sweet :o) though he couldn't remember her name!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hello PC Wives!

Since Jeannie was so kind to send out everyone's blogs and I thought you gals might take a look at mine, I wanted to take the opportunity to tell you how excited I am to get to know you ladies! And I am even more excited to see what our Lord has in store for you this year and in the years to come! May our Great Savior fill you to overflowing again and again throughout this special season in the PC!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pumpkin patch kids

Saturday after lunch we headed to Butler's Orchard--a farm just down the road that has different crops throughout the year, but our excursion this time was for a pumpkin. The kids had lots of fun walking through the pumpkin patch--Isaac liked finding pumpkins, Samy liked pulling the leaves off the plants. We got some fun pictures!

Today I had the special treat of going to a baby shower for my dear friend from college, Laura. She was one of my bridesmaids and I was one of hers and she and her husband Joel have been dear friends to us for years! God has been kind to occasionally cross our paths through the years, and I am so excited now to live less than an hour away from them! So I included a picture of Laura, Baby T, and me. She's so cute pregnant!

The PC

For those who don't know much about Sovereign Grace Ministries or what in the world the "Pastors College" is that Keith is now serving at, here is a link to some info on it:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things

We are certainly enjoying our new home--quite a nice change from our last one! And surprisingly one of our very favorite parts is having carpet in the family room again. Keith and the kids had so missed being able to wrestle around on the floor (our last home had tile), so now there is frequently a big tickle fight on the floor after dinner.

Our kitchen, dining room, living room, hallway and family room form a loop and our kids have made it their track. If they're not being tickled than they are running! It is so funny to watch them entertain themselves by just running around and around the loop, laughing the whole time. I'm glad they have so much energy :o)

I haven't had my camera out much since we moved--just been busy unpacking and trying to get back into a routine and meet some new people. But I will take pictures of the house very soon! Here is one of the pond that is down the hill in front of our house, which is really pretty with big weeping willows by it. Isaac and Samy like throwing rocks in it, and Isaac likes exploring the "100 acre woods" next to it (my mom gave it that name and it stuck).

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Edisto Island 2008

Ok, so I didn't get the pictures up this weekend, but it's only Wednesday :o)
Here are some pictures from our week long "pit stop" in South Carolina for the Pfaller family beach trip.
We celebrated Mom and Dad's 60th birthdays by doing a skit entitled "When you were my age." Each of us came out in appropriate attire from the year Mom and Dad were our age and presented a few facts of the year as well as personal family humor only we would understand :o) Since the Lindsey family couldn't join us this year they sent a video that was quite hilarious as we watched their second oldest daughter, Hannah portray a 12 year old Michelle perfectly!
But even funnier than their video was seeing my brother Mark in his wife's shorts and my shirt! Oh, I almost wet my pants when I saw him, and the scary thing is my Dad wore very similar clothes at that age! We ended our skit with the three littlest (Mika, Isaac and Samy) coming out with huge leaves for attire and Samy in her leopard print swimsuit and holding a sign that said, "When you were my age God created the earth!"
Sorry some of the pictures are blurry, the flash was off.

It was a wonderfully refreshing time after all the craziness of packing. Isaac and Mika were the best of buddies all week and Samy was frequently in Papaw's lap (which was a nice break from hanging on my leg!). We all had a wonderful time!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Weltons are back online!

You may have been wondering if the Weltons had wandered right of the face of the earth on their way to Maryland it's been so long since I blogged, but we in fact were just without Internet :o) But I'm finally up and running again today and thought I'd give you a quick catch up on the last two weeks and hopefully pictures will follow sometime this weekend.

So we packed up in Sanford two weeks ago today with the help of our wonderful friends and home group and were on the road after a quick lunch. Saying goodbye didn't feel like goodbye since we were driving to the beach for a week before getting up to Maryland, it just felt like vacation with a U-Haul :o)

We had a great time with the Pfaller clan at the beach in South Carolina, though the cooler wet weather only allowed for about two days of playing on the beach. We had a blast playing games and of course all us girls went shopping.

Bright and early (actually it was still dark) Friday morning--5:40 AM to be precise--the Weltons and my parents headed for Maryland. According to mapquest, it was a 9 hour 35 minute trek, but mapquest obviously doesn't have small children and a U-Haul :o) we arrived at 5:15 PM with two very wound up kids and some stiff legs. [I just saw a chipmunk in our backyard! How cool is that!!] After a quick walk through with the realtor and a fabulous dinner brought over by Aaron and Crystal, our moving crew arrived and had us unloaded in less than an hour with all of the beds put together! There must have been 20 people here. We were welcomed with bags of groceries to stock our shelves from some friends from Knoxville who are at the PC and a bouquet of flowers from Matt and Siobhan Slack. Jeff (Keith's boss) and Julie Purswell came by with a big basket of goodies and more beautiful flowers to welcome us. Julie brought by some Krispy Kreme doughnuts Sunday evening, just after we finished our second delivered meal. Another family we don't know brought dinner on Tuesday, and another family brought by an apple pie Wednesday! I can't tell you how very welcomed we feel!! We are just overwhelmed at God's kindness to us in all that He has provided in getting us here and now that we are here! And I'm not finished telling you everything :o)
We went to Covenant Life Church Sunday morning for their first service at 9 (which is great b/c we're home in time for naps) and the kids greatly enjoyed class while we greatly enjoyed worshipping without them vying for our attention :o) Jeff Purswell taught and we both were very encouraged and convicted by the message. And they just finished painting the children's minstry hallways with beautiful murals of bible stories. It is really cool!!
And there have been so many little things that I just thank God for b/c He didn't have to give them to us (not that He had to give us any of this!), but He is so kind even in the smallest details! For instance, the kids bathroom is totally wallpapered with jungle animals which is fun and all but I thought sure I would have to buy yet another shower curtain to match something in there, but when I went to put the purple one I have up so my parents could use the shower, I noticed that most of the leaves in the wallpaper are the exact same shade of purple as my curtain! I know it might sound silly, but it was such a reminder to me of how God is caring for me even in the smallest details of my life.

Sorry for being so long, just one more thing for today...I got sick with a flu thing Wednesday afternoon (just a little 24 hour thing). But as I laid in bed with a fever, God brought to mind a word Darin Slack had given us about 5 years ago that has described our journey over the last 6 years to a tee. The Lord reminded me how very precisely He had worked out what He had spoken to us through Darin 5 years ago. It wasn't amazing that Darin had relayed this vision so well (though thank you Darin for being faithful to share it with us!)--no, what amazed me was how God knew the end from the beginning. How He had ordained our steps these last 5 years (well, really our whole lives) when it seemed like our prayers were hitting the ceiling. How tenderly He was caring for us when circumstantially it didn't seem like it. Us desiring to move to Atlanta and putting our house up for sale, us selling our house in this very rough market, then finding out about this job just weeks afterwards was no coincidence. Keith getting a seminary degree then getting a job he really didn't like was no stroke of bad luck. It was all the working of our Sovereign God!! We didn't understand it while we "wandered" about, but God was at work and still is, and I can't wait to see what He does next :o)
Love to all and we miss everyone!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Our free Chick-fil-A

So, I've been a little busy packing around here, but I finally downloaded my pictures to my computer so I'll do some catch up.
On Labor Day, Chick-fil-A was giving free chicken strips to everyone who wore a collegiate shirt so we all donned our game gear and got an almost free dinner! Keith and the kids were all in Tennessee shirts, but I still wore my Clemson one :o) The kids had a blast on the playground but we had to twist their arms to get them to eat (I can't believe Samy won't even eat fast food!). Here are some pictures...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Trees and hills

Keith and I left early Thursday morning for our 14 hour trek to Gaithersburg in his '91 pick-up truck that has no cruise control. Crystal said, "It's like a 14 hour date night!" It was quite reminiscent of our courting days, not having the children and being in the truck, but not what I would prefer for our dates to look like :o)
The big news of the trip is we found our new home in Maryland! God very kindly and graciously provided an amazing house for us and way more than we ever thought we would get in our price range! The realtor that was helping us up there saw this house (which was out of our price range) and thought it was so perfect for us he called the other realtor and asked the owners to lower the rent $150 a month and amazingly they agreed! They had had some terrible renters and just wanted some people who would care for their house and really enjoy it and after hearing about us they agreed to lower it! It had only been on the market 5 days, so it was really unheard of to lower it so much so quickly except for God giving us favor with them. We saw about 10 other places on Friday and none even came close to this one and most of them had 2-3 other people interested in the place.

So, it has 3 bedrooms, 2 full and 2 half bathrooms, plus a garage, a finished basement, and a sun room! The best part is that its only 5 minutes to where Keith is working (which is also where our church is) and there are like 15 families from the church in the neighborhood and a few of the pastors within a couple minutes walk! There is a huge common area and a couple of playgrounds in the neighborhood, and the grocery store is just around the corner. So, we shouldn't have to be driving too much which is a really good thing because I know I'm going to get lost! As our realtor put it, the roads are like spaghetti just plopped down--all curvy and intertwining and no rhyme or reason to them. Even this traffic engineer can't figure out what they were thinking when they made this city :o)

Gaithersburg is beautiful!! I felt like I was in a neighborhood the whole time we drove around because there are just trees and hills and beautiful parks and lakes everywhere. And it was already so much cooler than Orlando, though that's a reminder of how much colder our winters will be :o)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Did you know?

Keith and I (and the kids were "helping") went through the garage this morning ditching junk we had collected in there and cleaning all the mold off the really important things. I think when tropical storm Fay came through and we had all that rain for so many days the mold just went crazy in there (it's not totally enclosed). So there was furry mold all over any fabric that was exposed, including my single Graco stroller! Did you know you can take the entire cover off and wash it in the washing machine?? I had no idea, but I was determined to try because that seemed the only way to salvage it. I'm not sure I'll be able to get it back on, but it is clean now :o)

We're set to make our trip to Gaithersburg this coming Thursday through Saturday. Keith's dad courageously volunteered to come watch the kids! I think he might be crazy, but we are so grateful!! And I'm sure they will all have a great time! Though I am definitely leaving Meghann's number with him :o)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Goodbye Florida!

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12

It's been a long time coming but I am excited to announce that Keith got a new job!!!! And it's not just any job, it is the exact answer to prayer we never thought could happen! God is so very kind and so very sovereign :o) Keith will be working at the Sovereign Grace Ministries Pastors College in Gaithersburg, Maryland! He'll be teaching New Testament Greek, helping the students with research, administrative stuff for the college, and assisting Jeff Purswell, the dean, with anything else he might need. Jeff was really Keith's inspiration for going to seminary to begin with, so Keith is so excited to get to go work right along side him to help equip men to serve the church!!

We'll be moving to Gaithersburg in just a couple weeks and leaving behind so many friends who have really become our family. I'm not going to start reminiscing now, I'm not ready to cry yet :o) We're going to look for a place to live in the next week, and then possibly moving the next weekend, so this might be our last Sunday at Metro :o( I won't be wearing any make-up Sunday in preparation for all the tears! For now we are just rejoicing in God's great kindness in providing this job, which will be so much more than a job!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mommies day out

For the last few years many of us have gotten free tickets to Universal Studios in the mail. I was pregnant or nursing the last two times we got them, but this time I was bound and determined to go ride those roller coasters! I coaxed (OK, it didn't take more than just asking) Meghann into going with me since Keith isn't the biggest fan of theme parks. Our husbands are just the greatest guys in the world! They courageously served us by watching the kids ALL DAY while Meghann and I enjoyed some time together in a unique part of God's creation :o)

We had planned to go yesterday prior to tropical storm Fay's arrival and were wondering if we were going to get rained out, but decided we would brave the weather whatever it may be. Well, God was so very kind to us! It was sunny until about 5 when it poured! Thankfully we were waiting in a line under shelter and by the time we finished the ride (which was indoors) it was just drizzling. We actually had just dried off from being drenched by riding three water rides in a row earlier in the day.

We walked right on to all the roller coasters, and even rode one of them three times in a row. We probably would have gone again except we were so dizzy :o) Having babies does something to your equilibrium!

We had an absolutely wonderfully time talking while we walked and waited in lines and ate lunch. As Meghann put it, I think we caught up on our last two years worth of toddler interrupted conversations :o) I am so grateful for such a good friend who will initiate true biblical fellowship with me even on a roller coaster (seriously)! I am so grateful for a friend that I can trust to encourage me with truth, not allow me to continue in the deception of my sin, and ask me good questions! I am so grateful for such a dear friend to share a day of fun with! I love you, Meghann!! Thank you for being a true friend and sister in the Lord!

Diamonds are a girl's best friend

A little postscript to my last post...
While we were playing at the mall playground, Samy was climbing on me instead of the playground and saw behind me the jewelry store display window with a necklace, bracelet and earrings in it. She immediately started grunting and pointing (since she won't talk) and doing the sign for "more please" and acting like she was putting on a necklace. It was hilarious! I said, "Samy, do you want to go see the necklace?" She emphatically shook her head yes and climbed down and handed me her shoes. She certainly knows what she likes!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fay, Fay, go away!

Well, we haven't seen the sun since Monday, and most of that time it has been raining. Needless to say, it is very wet around here! Lots of floods in the surrounding area but thankfully it hasn't come into our house much more than normal. Yes, we have a normal leak--water comes under the wall in a utility room off our kitchen every time it rains hard. This time there is a good two inches of water in there. Good thing there's a 6 inch step down into that room!

Isaac has asked several times over the last couple days "Where's the sun?" We've ventured out to the mall to play at the indoor playground twice in between rains just to keep the kids from exploding. We've colored, jumped on the trampoline, danced, made Mr. Potatohead and Mr. Playdoh-head. We've watched numerous videos, made "playgrounds" out of Legos, played Little People and read lots of books. Isaac is begging right now to go outside, and we thought we were going to at least get to take a walk but it's raining again. So I sure hope God ceases the flood waters soon! I can't imagine what Noah and his family must have felt like :o)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Catching up

I've gotten a little behind on my pictures, but here they are!
We finally broke out the paints Isaac got for Christmas, which they both love. Isaac has a video that teaches him letter sounds and I got pictures of him imitating the "A" and "C"--he's so silly! Grandma came for a visit, and the kids had a blast trying to catch bugs and lizards with her. And Samy decided her doll, LuLu, needed a diaper change--it was the cutest thing!! Enjoy :o)