Thursday, December 10, 2009

And we're back!

My new (old) computer is up and running! Another story of God's gracious provision--a dear man Keith works with, who just loves computers, offered to help us shop for him. Well, long story short, he gave us his brother's old computer (which is only about a year old) so we just had to get a monitor! God is so kind :)

Here are pictures from the last month :) yes, it's been a whole month. Keith's birthday, our afternoon at the Agricultural History Farm Park, a visit from Jerry Bridges to PC gym day, our early Thanksgiving with my parents and brother (including our trip to Annapolis, see previous post), Thanksgiving part 2 with the Purswells, the first snow of the season, and a fabulous surprise date to see Handel's Messiah at the National Cathedral and dinner on the top floor of The W Hotel!

That's the long and short of it :) Oh, one more wonderful surprise of the month was being asked to share at my dear friend Laura's MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. She asked me to share the gospel through sharing my testimony of God's grace in mothering. It's been a long time since I spoke in front of a group like that, but the Lord definitely used the preparation and the morning of to draw me nearer to Him! I was so blessed to share the good news of God's saving grace through Jesus Christ and how Christ's perfect righteousness affects my everyday!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Looking for Prince Charming

Well, my computer totally died two weeks ago, which explains the lack of blog posts. I didn't realize how much I relied on that silly machine! I've survived so far only because Keith brings his home from work so I can at least check email :) Hopefully we'll have our new one in the next week or two, but until then, no pictures for the blog.
A quick Samy story until I have my own computer back. My mom, dad and younger brother were up last weekend for an early Thanksgiving trip. While they were up we went to Annapolis. We came around the corner and saw the huge "State House" towering over us. It's a very large building built in the 1700s that actually served as the US capital for 9 months and is still in use as the Maryland capital building. So, we see this huge building with it's large steeple sort of thing on top and Samy gasps, "Cindyrella's castle! I want to go in my castle! Find prince." (She often tells us, "I AM Cindyrella.") So we walked to the front of the building and up the huge stairs to the entrance. Samy is all the while saying, "Go in my castle. Find prince." Oh it was so funny and adorable! Inside there is a very Cinderella-like marble staircase that goes up stairs, but it's roped off. Samy wants desperately to go up and find her prince. There's another staircase around the corner that goes down and isn't roped off so my mom took her down. Wasn't much to see down there so my mom is trying to get her to come back up, but Samy is insisting they "find prince." Suddenly my mom and Samy hear a man's voice coming from up the stairs and Samy gasps again, "Prince!!!" and takes off for the stairs :) It was hilarious! She didn't find her prince, but was content enough to twirl around in "the ball" (a very large, empty, ornate room where they must set up tables for meetings). If she didn't usually refer to Daddy as her prince, I would be a little more concerned for her obsession with "Prince" :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Harvest Party

Covenant Life had their annual Harvest Party on Halloween. Isaac decided he wanted to be Mr. Incredible this year (which I must say is considerably easier to make than Lightning McQueen!) and Samy, of course, wanted to be Cinderella (which just means dress up like a princess). Keith and I debated dressing up as the Incredibles, but Samy wanted me to be Cinderella too and we knew we couldn't get her to be anything but a princess, so we just didn't dress up (I mean how was I going to dress up like Cinderella??). The Purswell family was actually dressed as the "Ultimates" (if you remember the humorous story from one of Jeff's messages here), they were too cute!

Isaac was very interested in getting candy, but he did enjoy the games. Samy on the other hand would hardly leave my side and usually refused to play the games. I think all the costumes were a little frightening to her, even if they weren't actually scary :)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Autumn Bike Ride

Keith and I wanted to try our bike ride again before the winter got here and this time we took the kids along. Last Saturday was warm enough and we actually made it out early enough to miss the rain. We've only tried to use our bike trailer once since moving up here where there are hills so the kids were actually excited about riding in it again, they didn't complain once (even though Samy looks miserable in the picture)! My poor husband got quite the workout pulling them up the hills! We made it back to the car just as it started sprinkling.
The leaves are getting close to peak so it was that much prettier on the trail. As we rode along I couldn't help but praise God for His glory and majesty revealed in nature! Can you imagine how beautiful the new heavens and earth will be when you see how amazing this earth is?!
Enjoy the pictures!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ahhh, fall.

Fall is certainly in the air up here! Many trees have just a few beautiful red leaves remaining, others haven't changed at all, but most are covered in shades of yellow and red. It is so amazing to see God's perfect design in the seasons changing, everything dying to be made new again with the spring. Another beautiful picture of how we must die to be brought to life again--as I read this morning: 1 Corinthians 15:36 "What you sow does not come to life unless it dies."

Last week Samy got her first black eye. I was just glad it wasn't her brother who gave it to her :) She ran into one of our bar stools in the kitchen, which she does often, but this time got her eye. She's looked like she's wearing eye shadow all week!

I also had to put in a picture of her with all her bracelets and groovy headband making me think of the 80s (especially with her "blue eyeshadow" right now). Sister, that one is for you :)

Saturday afternoon we headed across Maryland to visit my college roommate and very dear friend and her hubby, Laura and Joel. Always so good to see them!

Sunday we went to the pumpkin patch and ended up picking apples as well since we were there. It was so much fun, but picking apples went way too fast. The kids weren't ready to stop but it was getting expense :) Then the kids each picked a little sugar pumpkin so we could eat it.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

You have to listen to this!

Give your view of God a reality check with this amazing message from Wayne Grudem at our church this morning. What a gift from God this man is!

The Greatness of God

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Harpers Ferry

Saturday we ventured to Harpers Ferry National Park in West Virginia. It's a really neat park with much of the original old town still standing and lots of exhibits showing what life was like around the late 1700s to mid 1800s. It was home to lots of industry because of the power available through the two major rivers there: the Potomac and Shenandoah. Lots of history and really cool old buildings set along two beautiful rivers and mountains surrounding. Really cool :) We had a great time despite mine and Isaac's not feeling so super and the dreary day. Well worth the trip if you're in the area!
Next time I'll have to dress the kids in more old fashioned clothes for some great pictures!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Missing the pool

Can you tell they miss the pool already?? They were running around pretending to swim in the house :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Seven amazing years!

Labor Day marked our seventh anniversary! In some ways it's hard to believe it's been that long, and in others it seems like a lifetime ago! Things sure have changed since we said "I do" and all of those changes have been drenched in God's amazing grace to us!! We are so aware of how differently our lives would look if God had not intervened and made our blind eyes see. I don't think Keith would have made it seven years with me apart from the grace of God--I'm fairly certain I wouldn't have made it either. Keith is an amazing man and I see more each year. Particularly evident this past year was his humility and growth in leadership in our home. I am always struck when I see him avoid drawing attention to himself (because my tendency is exactly opposite) and respond to life's difficulties with an obvious awareness of God's sovereignty and love. He knows his giftings and he knows his limitations and there is no pretense of otherwise. I can honestly say I love him more now than I did seven years ago and by God's grace that will only continue to increase over the rest of our lifetime together!

So Keith kind of surprised me for our anniversary...surprised in that he made all the plans and arrangements before he told me, but figured since it meant a night away for the kids I would need some preparation time. We left our kiddos with our dear friends, the Reinkes, that Friday night. This was their first "sleep over" any where other than with grandparents so I wasn't sure how it would go, but they love the Reinkes so much they were both excited to go--even Samy! We went to dinner and walked around a lake without worry of keeping our sitters out late and enjoyed a late night movie with the sound up loud :) Saturday morning we went to The Original Pancake House and had one heck of a breakfast! I don't think you should actually call my apple pancakes breakfast, more like an apple pie! Then we had planned a long bike ride on a beautiful trail that goes from Gaithersburg into to DC, about 13 miles, though we didn't think we'd make it the whole way :) so a couple miles down the trail Keith's tire pops and we had a real nice walk back to the car :)

There's also a couple pictures of a new puzzle Isaac got and Samy with her new headbands (courtesy of Bubbe's Kohl's cash!).

Friday, September 4, 2009


So here comes a little catch up after a terribly slack job at blogging last month :)
My dear friend from last year's PC class came with her husband to the Worship God conference so the kids and I got to spend a day with her and Charis! It was so good to see them again!!!!

One Saturday we packed up and headed to Mount Vernon, George Washington's estate. It was so neat! It's more than just a house, it's a whole plantation. Washington wanted to be self-sustaining so he raised his own food, and even had the servants' clothes made there. It was very educational and the kids actually enjoyed it :)

Samy had her first haircut! Isaac was getting his cut and she really wanted hers cut too, so I evened up the back. Then they both got ice cream because they did so well.

After much anticipation, Keith's dad and step-mom arrived safely one Monday afternoon! We had a wonderful week with them and made lots of memories. The kids had a blast playing "wolf" with Grandan in the basement everyday, as he'd jump out and scare them. We all went to DC on Wednesday and saw tons of sights (even ran into one PC family!) in the hot sun, the kids were such troopers! We made a trip to Bruester's for some ice cream, played a few games. We never made it to the pool, much to Isaac's disappointment--he really wanted to show them how he can go off the diving board. It was such a wonderful time and we're so grateful they would make the long drive to see us!

There's also a few pictures from the Pastors College ladies' lunch and orientation day.
Here are some pictures...

Monday, August 24, 2009

And we're off!

The new Pastor's College year has officially kicked off with Ladies' lunch and Orientation almost two weeks ago (I have been so slack with blogging!). We're enjoying getting to know all the new families and being re-envisioned for this year.
Isaac is, of course, eating up meeting all the new friends in the neighborhood (there are 5 townhouses in our neighborhood where PC families live every year). One funny story...when the first family arrived way back in June, they moved into our old sitter's house. Well, I knocked on the door to introduce ourselves and as soon as it opened Isaac ran in and took his shoes off and headed straight for the basement to play :) It's always been Rachel's house to him!
Keith is back in the swing of things and preparing for his first Greek class of the year this Friday. You guys better watch out, he's brutal :)
We have had no shortage of things to do this summer (mostly the pool) and now that the Pastor's College year has begun, our calendar looks almost ridiculous to me :) But God is so very faithful to order and provide in the midst of what He calls you to!! We are so glad to have found a sitter who has courageously agreed to serve us regularly! Yippee!!!!!!
Many more posts to follow soon I hope :) I have tons of pictures to share and lots to catch up on.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Making a splash

Since about a month ago, Isaac has been determined to go off the diving board. We told him he had to be able to swim all by himself to do it. So every time we go to the pool he wants to go out in the deep (4 ft) and practice. About two weeks ago he still couldn't really take a breath and keep going, but yesterday he jumped off the diving board! Our little fish is quite the swimmer! Keith was waiting in the water for him the first few times, but Isaac really didn't need any help, he swam right to the ladder! He was SO excited! And he went like 10 times in a row, Keith had to make him rest :) I was so bummed I hadn't brought the video camera, so I'll try to remember next time we go and share with you all.
We went to Mount Vernon on Saturday, which was incredible! Unfortunately my batteries were dead in the camera so i only got a few pictures. I'll post more about that sometime soon. Today we're preparing for Grandan and Bubbe's long awaited visit!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Isaac's Fourth Birthday

Hard to believe, but our little guy turned 4 last week! We had a pretty low-key day. We had expected Keith's dad and step-mom, but an illness kept them from getting up last week. So, I took the kids to the pool since Isaac loves it so much--we were there from about 10 till 2! I had some tired kiddos :) We had Isaac's favorite for dinner: home-made mac 'n cheese with tomatoes. Then a Lightning McQueen cake, of course! He said I did a good job on it but I'm not sure he'll be seeing anymore such fancy cakes, after two hours of decorating, it was looked at for 2 minutes and eaten :) But I'm glad he enjoyed it!

He was absolutely thrilled to open his presents to find Diesel 10 and Cranky, who he's been talking about for months! And Keith had the idea to make him a mountain out a shoe box and paper mache, which turned out pretty cool, and also some extra cargo for his new crane to pick up. He's been loving it!

Isaac's silliness keeps us laughing. His love for people is just precious--he's always so excited to meet new friends! His growing faith is so very precious to our hearts! When he is hurting, he always asks to be prayed for. When he heard his grandan wasn't feeling well, he wanted to pray for him. He won't let us put him to bed without reciting his memory verses. I love seeing the Lord work in his heart in so many ways even at this young age! There are lots of moments mommy is tempted to anger with him, but there are many more moments when he makes me laugh, and when I can say to him, "That is evidence of God's grace!" He is such a treasure to our family :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Places to go, people to see

We had a whirlwind of a trip last week, all well worth it! We set off for Knoxville Friday afternoon to see my family--my parents and all my siblings and their fams. And then Saturday our very dear friends from Orlando (now living in Georgia) came up with their kids (such a special treat)! So for 24 hours there were 11 adults and 12 children running around my parents house. It was a blast :) We had a cookout Saturday night and Isaac decided to pick blackberries on his own and slipped down the hill into the bush, which sent us in to pick out the stickers and get him a bath, so we missed out on the campfire we had planned.
Monday we went to the mountains and played in a little school house, then let the kids play in the river, had a picnic and took a short hike up to a look out tower. I was too concerned with keeping Isaac's feet on the ground to enjoy the view at the top :) And we ran into our dear friends, the Coopers, while we were there! They were our care group leaders before we moved to FL, Craig was the first person Keith met when he went to UT, and Craig also told us about this job. Where would we be with the Coopers :)
Keith and I left the kids with my parents on Tuesday and took a two night "personal retreat" at a bed and breakfast nearby called Whitestone. They have hundreds of acres of property right on a lake. We got to enjoy lots of uninterrupted conversation as we strolled the beautiful grounds, went canoeing and paddle boating, had a picnic, got some planning done, lots of reading in the hammock, and some wonderful time praying together!
We picked the kids up Thursday and headed for Lake Lure, NC for our own little family vacation. The kids had a blast playing in the pool that allows floats (ours doesn't) and in the lake. We checked-out Saturday morning and headed for Chimney Rock park before making the long drive back home.
We certainly made lots of memories!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer time!

Don't you just love summer? Swimming pools, grilling, Popsicles, lightning bugs. We haven't seen lightning bugs in 7 years (not sure why there aren't any in Orlando). And knowing that it's pushing 100 degrees down there now, I'm rather glad to be so far north. I guess the spring and summer do make the cold long winter worth it :)

So the Weltons have been busy, busy since all the PC students left. The kids and I have spent lots of time at the pool, which has afforded the opportunity to meet LOTS of other families from our church and the community and get to know a couple ladies better (though expectations for pool conversations are extremely low!). Our care group has also been having weekly dinners at a local park (or at a home when it rains), so that has been a blast. Keith and I have been planning our family vacation and it is quickly approaching. We're also looking for a good weekend to take the kids camping, which should be a real adventure for all of us :)

The kids are still growing like weeds. Samy's vocabulary seems to expand daily. My favorites are all her "H" words like "hi," "hand," "hold." She begins every "h" word with "a"--so she says, "a hand", "a hi", "a hold". It's so cute! Her current favorite thing to play is dress up, but not just any dress up, she's always getting ready for the ball!! She must have a dress, slippers (pretty shoes), satin gloves, and her crown to be ready for the ball. One day I'll post a picture :) and everything is in some way always related to Cinderella--"Rella" as she calls her. And if you put her on the potty she almost always goes! Now mommy just needs to be more disciplined to put her on :)

Isaac seems more grown up everyday. He is quite the little fish and picking up swimming very quickly since he has other kids to watch. He's started making everything into a gun and shooting things. We are regularly (pretend) frog hunting by our pond. We borrowed "The Fox and the Hound" from the library and I think that is what is spurring the hunting on :) He can memorize Bible verses and songs in no time! He always asks at bedtime if he can do his verses. And he's frequently singing around the house--though the words are usually made up to what he hears not the actual words :) He can write his name all by himself and no longer needs me to make his choo-choo tracks connect. He's growing up so fast!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Isaac quote of the week

We've been encouraging Samy to only suck her thumb when she's in her bed, and when Keith was reminding her the other day Isaac quickly chimed in with much enthusiasm, "And I can only pick my nose in my room!" Keith says he thinks he remembers telling him that once. Amazing the things that stick :)

Condiment queen?

For years my older brother, Mark, has been the condiment king of our family--dipping already soaked burgers into ketchup (though Keith and I are fans of that too!), seen with globs of mayo on his cheek. But tonight I had to wonder if our little Samy wasn't going to give him a run for the money for his title.
We had a very fun pre-Father's Day dinner at Five Guy Burgers tonight. There were tables outside and a band playing (in like a market square setting). The kids LOVED the peanuts! So, after Samy had finished all her french fries--all at least triple dipped in ketchup--she went for the unshelled peanuts and started dipping them in the ketchup! She was dipping and then sucking the ketchup off to do it again, until I saw her and made her stop putting the dirt covered peanuts in her mouth :)
She certainly loves her ketchup! I only wish I had my camera to get her red little face on film.
Watch out Uncle Barky!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sad & Happy Goodbye

The day finally arrived--the Pastors College graduation was this past Sunday. While we are so sad to see our new, dear friends go, graduation was a wonderful reminder of why we're sending them out--that the gospel might go forth! The reason the Pastors College exists is summed up well by 1 Timothy 4:16 "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."

Here are some pictures from the graduation celebration!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What will happen

We have a number of friends going through very serious and difficult trials right now. Trials I would like to pretend could never happen to me, but I'm sure they thought that too. Watching the effects of sin and the curse (in the form of sickness and disease) in those so close to me has brought a sobering desperation to my soul. The reality that my every breath is indeed dependent on the Lord and that apart from His grace I too would fall into a deep pit of sin is being driven home in my heart. I am grateful to God that He is meeting me in my desperate state and drawing me closer to Himself and giving me grace to trust Him for tomorrow and grace to be more like Him today! Where would I be apart from His amazing grace? Lord, may I never find out! What will happen tomorrow? Only God knows and it's much better that way.

I was affected by this quote from Elisabeth Elliot and thought I'd share that it might help you as it has helped me to cast my cares upon Him because He cares for us!
“Is it our business to pry into what may happen tomorrow? It is a difficult and painful exercise which saps the strength and uses up the time given us today. Once we give ourselves up to God, shall we attempt to get hold of what can never belong to us – tomorrow? Our lives are His, our times in His hand, He is Lord over what will happen, never mind what may happen. … If my life is once surrendered, all is well. Let me not grab it back, as though it were in peril in His hand but would be safer in mine!”
--Elisabeth Elliot “Keep a Quiet Heart”

Zoo adventure

Last week Jen and I loaded up the kids and headed to the zoo in DC. It was a perfect day to be outside all day and especially fun with our dear friends "Charis and Trogge" as Isaac always refers to them. We enjoyed the aquarium, farm animals, giant pandas, elephants and even got to hear the male lion roar! The highlights of the day were finding a monkey perched in a tree so close we could have pet him (though we didn't try!), watching the orangutans walk across the ropes high over the zoo, finding out the goats have their own playground (Isaac really likes goats), eating lunch by the seals' tank, and hearing that lion roar. Boy was that lion loud! I splurged and got the kids snow cones just to make sure they were good and hyper before we got in the car :)

I'm always thankful for any time I get with Jen but I could have done without such a long ride home as we sat in traffic for almost two hours--at least I had good company, though talking over our exhausted and napless children kind of hindered the fellowship :)
I'm so grateful the Lord allowed us to be their friends for the short months they're here! And I'm so glad they'll only be a few hours away.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

PC Open House

The Purswells very kindly opened their home for a near the end of the year party for the PC class and staff. We had authentic Mexican food and also some Tex-Mex in honor of our Mexican and Texan students. The food was excellent including home-made flan and pecan pie for dessert! What Mexican/Texan party would be complete without a pinata? It was hilarious watching these guys take on a paper mache boot! They managed to break the rope three times, but I think it was the fourth or fifth guy before the pinata finally broke. Julie and I were laughing that anyone who has ever watched America's Funniest Home Videos wouldn't be holding the rope, but Jeff managed to escape the bat :)
We ended the evening watching the guys presentations from their Eschatology class, which may sound boring but they were even funnier than grown men hitting a pinata!! I must say Darrel Schiel is one heck of a Matt Foley impersonator :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The nameless park

We happened upon this lovely park one Saturday when we were out driving around and tried to find it again but the only name I remembered seeing wasn't turning up any results on the GPS or google. But we set off determined a couple weekends ago and we found it again! But we still can't remember the name of that park :) Here's a few pictures of the kids throwing rocks in the lake and a couple other random pics.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A visit from Grandma

Keith's mom was able to come up to visit for a few days last week and the kids just had a blast! Grandma is willing to do some of those things Mommy won't do--like pick up frogs and buy them whatever they want at the toy store :o) The first day she was here, she and I took the kids up to the field nearby and Isaac tells me, "I thanked God for Grandma." So precious!
Kieran was so kind as to keep the kids all day Thursday so Keith and I could have an all day date in DC. We toured the capital, had a quiet lunch (with no need to say "stop doing that" or "no yelling at the table"), went through the National Art Gallery, took a quick walk through the National Botanical Garden (which is smack in the middle of downtown!), and had a very brief visit to the American History Museum. Oh, and loads of walking to find the Metro to get home--we're definitely still tourists in DC :o) It was fun to be a tourist with my dearest love!

Jonah was a prophet

If you've ever seen Veggie Tales' "Jonah" then you're certainly singing the song from the movie now :o)
Keith preached his first sermon a couple weeks ago! It was on Jonah 1 and God's Saving Purposes. I wasn't able to go with him that Sunday as he went with Bob Kauflin to Sovereign Grace Church of Frederick and the kids and I ended up being sick anyway. But I did get to go hear him give it in "sermon lab" the Friday before and then of course I listened to it online. It was so hard not to think about Veggie Tales while listening to him talk about Jonah--just one of those small trials of motherhood :o) But despite visions of Archibald Asparagus and the "pirates who don't do anything" running through my head I was so encouraged to be reminded that this story and the story of our lives isn't about us but about GOD and HIS purposes!
You can download his message here.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

To all you moms out there, I pray you would feel God's good pleasure today! As Josh Harris reminded us this morning at church, motherhood is a great calling and of great worth in God's sight! How precious it is that we moms have the honor and privilege to not only bring our children into this world, but also to daily love and care for them and most amazingly to teach them about our Savior's life, death and resurrection that allows us to cry out to God for help in difficulties, praise Him in victories, and trust Him even in the most desperate situations.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Here mousey, mousey

Some little critter has been leaving behind evidence of his presence in our house the last few weeks. So we finally bought a mouse trap complete with fake yellow cheese. The mouse didn't go for it, so last night Keith put some peanut butter on the "cheese" and this morning we found our little house guest :) We'll be putting another trap out tonight just in case he has friends. Thankfully it's a cute little mouse and not a big ugly rat.

Last Thursday my sweet hubby and my good friend Jen's husband, Stephen, planned a surprise double date! Jen and I were ecstatic to find out we were going out together. We went to an Irish pub in Bethesda. About half way through dinner Keith announces to us that a mouse had just ran across the floor! Sure enough, we watched the little mouse run under the table next to us and then back across to another row of tables! We flagged down a server to tell him, but he was disturbingly nonchalant about it. A manager came over to apologize a few minutes later saying they've been driven out by the construction next door and sometimes run under the door, but assured us there were none in the kitchen. Yeah. We expected at least a free dessert or something :) Needless to say, I didn't put my feet down until we left!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Samy's birthday and Grammy & Papaw's visit

Hard to believe, but our little girl is 2! We celebrated last Friday with my parents. Every time someone mentioned birthday she would say, "George!" in reference to her cake with Curious George on it (or my best attempt). She had her candles blown out before we even finished singing. She carefully opened her presents in her usual gentile way. My parents got her a Cinderella doll and an adorable rain coat and boots, which she wouldn't take off. We got her a bigger ride-on truck for outside and she has been wearing it out!

We had a PC picnic Saturday afternoon that was just a blast! Baby goats and ducks for the kids to pet, a playground, lots of food and even bluegrass music!

The kids of course had a wonderful time with Grammy and Papaw and were sad to see them go.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April's full!

It has been one wonderfully full month so far, with no signs of letting up :o)
The month started with the Sovereign Grace Leadership Conference, where we got to hear some incredibly encouraging messages and see some old friends including my sister and brother-in-law. It was a jam-packed couple days, but thankfully I got to squeeze in some sister time and Matthew and Michelle both got to have dinner at our house one evening. Times like those spur me on to pray one day my siblings and I will all be in the same city again, or at least within reasonable driving distance :) I am so very grateful for my dear sister and the very sweet time we got to spend together! It's been way too long since that has happened! Love you sis :)

Spring has finally sprung up here and there are beautiful blooms everywhere! Tulips, daffodils, cherry blossoms, tulip poplars, and an assortment of other flowers I don't know the names of line the streets. I'm amazed at God's creativity. It's no surprise that everything is in bloom because all it has done the last few weeks is rain (and we did have snow flurries one day). Whoever wrote the saying, "April showers bring May flowers" must have lived up here :) so we've been stuck inside alot again, but taking every opportunity to ride bikes and play in the sand box as we can.
Easter Sunday was spent with all our dear PC friends. A wonderful lunch and then egg hunts for the kids and some crazy games for all of us. They made the men do a dizzy bat race! Nothing like watching a bunch of grown men fall on the ground after making themselves dizzy! Then a three-legged race as couples. Keith and I almost caught the leaders and I have a massive bruise on my leg to prove it :) I included the picture of us as we neared the finish line even though someone stepped in front of the camera. The looks on our faces are just too funny :)

My parents are coming up tomorrow to celebrate Samy's birthday with us Friday, and hopefully my dad will be able to help Keith (or maybe I should say Keith will help him) fix his truck. That may take some serious prayer :)
Here are some pictures from the last few weeks.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Lord's great work

Just before last Easter we bought the kids "An Easter Carol"--my very favorite of the Veggie Tales videos. It follows the same sort of plot as "A Christmas Carol" with a zucchini named Ebenezer who thinks Easter is about plastic eggs and bunnies and baskets. The reason I love this video is the precious song that "Hope" (voice of Rebecca St. James) sings. It speaks the powerful message of the hope that we have through Jesus Christ!

The kids have been watching "An Easter Carol" again recently (though they have been playing with eggs all year!) and this year Isaac is asking questions. I love watching God work in his little heart! So,we've been reading about the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ in a couple of his little Bible story books. Tonight as I was putting him to bed (I don't know why these conversations always happen at bedtime) and reading from his "Big Picture Story Bible" about God's forever King, Jesus, dying on the cross, being buried, rising again and then ascending to heaven (I must have read for a good 30 minutes--he was just so excited he had to know what happened next so we kept going and going), we had another sweet discussion. It went something like this:

Isaac: Where's he going?
Me: To heaven to be with God and be King forever.
Isaac: I want to go!
Me: You can be with Jesus forever in heaven if you trust the He paid for all your disobediences to God's Word with His death and let Him be your King.
Isaac: Can I go now?

Why doesn't Keith get these questions :o)

Could the Lord present an easier opportunity to share the gospel with my little boy?? What a privilege to share such precious truth with my child!! And how humbling to see how little effect my explanation had on him as he quickly jumped from wanting to be with Jesus in heaven to showing me how he can make the letter "T" with his fingers :) It is truly the Lord who works in our hearts to believe and love the truth of the gospel!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Three-Year Old's Prayers

We always pray with the kids before bed. Tonight I prayed with them both together (Keith is at care group) and then when I was tucking Isaac in he asked me to pray for him again. He said, "I like it when you pray." I told him he didn't need mommy or daddy to pray and that he could pray all by himself. He seemed a little surprised :) He asked me, "Where's God? Is He at church? Is He a bee? Is He hiding?" He makes me laugh! So after trying to explain something rather unexplainable, I kissed him goodnight and left. A few minutes later I listened at his door as he prayed. Melt a mother's heart!! He thanked God for everything: mommy and daddy and Samy, for putting us all together, beds, walls, bikes, trains, Lightning McQueen, Mr. Incredible, Veggie Tales, food, Grandma, Rachel (one of his sitters), elephant tents...seriously everything he could think of. I could hardly keep my laughter in! Then he very sweetly asked God to help him obey and to help mommy be patient. After he started recounting the Thomas the train video he watched today I quit listening :)
I could have cried. What a very precious moment I'm so grateful I got to listen in on!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Great Falls & a New Bike

A few weeks ago we spent our beautiful Saturday (this was actually the same week or our huge snow) at Great Falls State Park. We had a pleasant little hike to the falls and a picnic on the rocks beside the Potomac River. Isaac kept asking where the playground was but didn't want to leave after he started climbing on the rocks :o)

The next Saturday we headed to Toys R Us and got Isaac his first bicycle. Hard to believe my little boy is on a bike already! We tried to talk him into the Spiderman bike that was on sale, but once he saw Lightning McQueen there was no going back. And other than steering, he's doing a great job and loves it!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Some Isaac quotes of the week

Isaac has been in rare form again and I just had to share :o)

While we were throwing snowballs across the frozen pond and watching them slide across to the other side, Isaac asked if he could go slide on the ice too. I told him the ice wasn't very thick and he might fall through into the cold water. And he said, "Then I might die and Jesus would have to make me again." I'm glad something from our bible reading has stuck.

We went to Target yesterday and I let the kids each pick something from the dollar section. Samy of course picked a necklace and Isaac got a plastic goat. Last night while I was making dinner Isaac was sitting on the couch watching me and I asked him what he was doing and he replied, "Just sitting here with my goat." I never thought that was a sentence I would hear in our house :o)

Then this morning we were playing upstairs and he had been looking for his goat but didn't find it. A few minutes later he was in his room and I found his goat in Samy's room and called to him that I found it. He came running in and said, "I was just praying that I would find it!" So precious! Though it's slightly odd that he's attached to a plastic goat :o)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mr. Incredible

No, I'm not talking about Keith (though the title certainly fits him!). My sweet little boy always wants to dress up when Samy puts on her princess dresses, and yesterday I asked him what kind of dress-up clothes he might want. I asked, "Would you like to dress up like Mr. Incredible?" Of course he was excited about that so I set to finding something black to make a mask out of. One of Keith's old dress socks worked well, and then we needed red shirt and pants. Isaac has a red shirt but no pants, so we raided Samy's drawer :o) They only came to about mid-calf and he frequently had a plumber's crack but he wouldn't take it off. I don't know why we buy toys :o)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I'm dreaming of a white March

Keith and I have been rejoicing that spring was finally getting near as February ended. We got soft those years in Orlando and could hardly stand 4 months of freezing :o) And then March came and it snowed like it hasn't snowed in years. I heard one weather man compare it to the blizzard of 1993 (which too happened in March). I remember that family had just moved into our new house and didn't even have door knobs on the doors yet. We stuffed towels in the holes. It happened to be the weekend we got to meet my now sister-in-law, who at that time, wasn't real down with not having a hair dryer, let alone not getting to shower. And of course we lost power for a couple days so we all got to see the real Kim :o) fun to laugh about now, probably not much fun for her at the time. We put our ice cream out in the snow to keep in from melting and our dog ate it and then got sick all over the new house. The fireplace wasn't totally finished (or inspected) but we made a fire and cooked hot dogs on it. What an adventure!
Thankfully this snow wasn't quite so adventurous for us. We measured almost 7 inches on our back porch. Keith made the kids a snow tunnel in the backyard and Isaac and I made Frosty the sequel down by the pond.
Its so beautiful to see all the white everywhere! The first morning you could barely make out where the road was, the brightly colored toys in the backyard were just white. It reminded me of Isaiah 1:18 that says "though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool." But the Lord doesn't just cover us in a blanket of white that will melt away in the sun, He has washed us clean in the blood of His Son so that there is no chance of a little bit of red peeking out from under the white. We ARE totally white in God's sight; we wear the righteousness of Christ!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Scott & Bekah's Wedding

I had the pleasure of flying to Orlando this past weekend to be matron of honor in my dear friend Bekah's wedding. It was all a little strange: being without husband or kids for two and a half days, staying up until two in the morning talking with a girlfriend, being back at Metro (our old church), seeing Bekah & Scott finally get married. It's been a very long road for them and I was so thrilled to finally see them married :o)
We had a shower/bachelorette party on Thursday night that was lots of fun girl time drinking sparkling juice from pretty glasses in our glam dresses :o)
Friday was spent decorating the church building and at the rehearsal dinner site. Then the rehearsal that evening followed by a fun outdoors dinner with campfires.
Saturday was the big day and went by way too fast! Scott and Bekah had many unique things in their wedding that was totally their personalities, but the most original was that instead of getting in a car or horse and carriage or even something crazy like a hot air balloon, they just walked away :o) Their car was around the corner, but it was kind of funny to watch them just walk away!
My dear friend Dena took me back to the airport as soon as the happy couple walked off. I was so glad to get to spend a few minutes with her anyway :o)
It was a whirlwind of a weekend, but such a blessing to be a part of!! We love you guys!

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Funny Valentine

What a joy it is to be a part of the PC! We get to take part in things like the Sweetheart Banquet last night but miss some of the humiliation the students face at such events :o) The PC admin team did an astounding job to give us a night full of creative romance and humor and of course surprises. It was such a blessing to us as I know it was to all the other couples who were there! My favorite part of the evening was dancing with my funny valentine, the man I love more than anyone in this world, as we exchanged our "I can't believe we're in Maryland" expressions and reminisced about our wedding day and how we never imagined we would end up here. God is so kind!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Sending our love to you all!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's been a while

We've been busy enjoying some warm weather up here in MD...well, warm compared to what it has been. Prior to the last couple months of 30s, 20s, and even some single digits I would have thought 50 degrees was cold, but it feels like spring now! Yesterday it was almost 70 and the kids and I spent the whole day outside and even had a picnic at the park. Last weekend we took them to this HUGE playground in Germantown that looks like a castle and a ship, and also has lots of animal statues, little cars to drive, adorable little houses, crazy swings, and a music section with different xylophone type things. Then we went for ice cream again :o) Not quite as cold as last time.

The kids have a new game where they poke the mud with sticks then wipe it on trees in our front yard-like area (its not technically our yard, but just in front of our house). They'll do it for hours and just laugh and laugh with each other, which makes me laugh. That has become one of the most precious things to me recently--seeing my children laugh together. I thank God as I watch their little friendship growing! Isaac was hitting Samy the other day and I asked him if he wanted to play by himself in his room and he burst into tears and said, "I want to play with Samy!"

The kids also love making "tunnels" out of blankets and pillows in the living room--something I can remember doing when I was little. While Isaac and Daddy build castles just so they can knock them down, Samy has started washing the dishes with me almost every night after dinner. Not much help, but its hard to say no to that sweet little "Please."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ice cream anyone?

In Orlando ice cream isn't a strange thing to enjoy in the middle of winter. Even most cold days are in the 60s there, but here in Maryland ice cream just doesn't seem right when it's near freezing outside.

Friday it was in the mid-50s here and I guess the taste of warmth just went right to our heads. After dinner Keith said, "Let's go get ice cream!" We started off for a Ben & Jerry's but then checked the GPS Keith got for Christmas and found a Bruester's closer. I reminded Keith that Bruester's don't usually have any indoor areas, but he said, "It's Maryland, they've got to have one." Well, it was about 7:30 by the time we got there and the temperature had to have dropped to at least 30 and there was nothing but the usual walk-up window. We ordered and sat on the very cold metal benches until I could no longer feel my fingers and then we moved to our warm car to eat our ice cream in January in Maryland :o)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fun, fun, fun

I had the great joy of accompanying all the Pastors College wives in a special surprise for them this past Saturday. They were told to meet at the Sovereign Grace offices at 8 AM sharp and we then we whisked them away to fun-filled day of surprises. It was such a blessing to get this time with these precious women! Many encouraging conversations with no little ones to tear us away. I was so grateful to get to enjoy this time with them!

Well, my fun weekend didn't end there...I got to take my dear little Isaac out on our first date! We went to Krisy Kreme where he quickly picked out the doughnut with chocolate icing and sprinkles. And he ate every sprinkle he could find! We stopped at the train in Olde Towne and played on it for a few minutes too. It was so much fun to be with my little guy all by ourselves :o)

And then it snowed!! It began Monday morning and by lunch there was enough on the ground to go out and play. The best part was that Keith was off work so we all got to play together! The kids and I went sledding this morning, but the sun is quickly melting much of the snow away now.

Ninjas and princesses

Isaac and Samy have been busy playing with all their new toys and dress-up clothes! Here's Samy in a couple of her many pretty little dresses:

And here's Isaac in his "ninja" outfit (for lack of anything better to tell him it was):

Samy in particular loves wearing all our winter hats, scarves and gloves while pushing a stroller. Kind of reminds me of a bag lady :o)

Here's one of Isaac's favorite new things to do, choo-choo races on the new train table: