And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Noah.....

Our oldest son Noah was born 9 years ago today....and to this day he is still making us smile. God has blessed our family beyond measure with his life, and I dedicate this post to my growing boy. were so excited when you woke up this morning wanted your brother Nate to pick out your birthday gifts have a buzz cut that you are letting grow in for the winter recently started your own blog lost your hamster today
(we can't find him anywhere!) had a family from church over today to celebrate your birthday with us have been taking guitar lessons for about a year love to play the blues with Daddy
(and I love listening to you) still call your little brother Luke "Captain Cute" like anything camo love to watch movies
(especially anything with superheros) are a member of the "Dangerous Boys Club"....and love it! love it when I make homemade granola and pumpkin muffins still get migraines, but they aren't as bad as they used to be and Nate are really close, and spend alot of time building legos together
(you've always had a special bond with him) love going to work with Daddy love stopping for donuts on your way to work with Daddy never let your brothers or sister win when you guys race each other in the yard like to write stories
(and I love reading them) wanted an oreo cookie cake for your birthday
(I tried) still give me a hug and kiss every single morning when you wake up tell me that you love being homeschooled enjoy playing soccer with your buddies were so proud of your little sister when you watched her at her dance class are officially too big to sit on my lap
(partly due to the fact that I do not have much of a lap right now) rode a motorcycle for the first time this past summer and loved it! are really into wrestling with your Dad and brothers

.....your most recent book you read was Mr. Poppers Penguins love icecream like to send emails to your Dad and Grandma have an amazing memory
 (and always rub it in that you are better at memorizing Bible verses than me) are so excited to meet your baby brother Adam in a few weeks always ask Luke if you can eat him
(and he always says "No") try to stay up late every night still like to climb trees

I still vividly remember the day you were born...when they laid you on my chest and I cried. There is no other feeling comparable to the moment you first realize that you are someone's mother....that this tiny little life was graciously given to you by the God of the Universe.  Those first few days I remember holding you, just looking at you in awe, never wanting to put you down. And now I am amazed that it has been nine years since God made me your mama and you my son. You truly do bring so much joy and laughter to our family. You still pull out your infamous one-liners....always making me smile.  Your younger brothers and sister look up to and you do a great job being their big brother. Daddy and I pray for you everyday that you will grow up to be a godly man, putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. As the years move along, God is reminding me that time truly is precious, and that we should use the time that we are given wisely. I am so thankful to have you for a're growing up so fast, and I treasure these moments with you.

Happy Birthday Noah

I Love You,

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Nate

7 years ago, we sung Happy Birthday to a beautiful baby boy while in the delivery room shortly after he was born.  I knew at that moment that God had blessed us with a very special baby boy.....and as the years have come and gone, God continues to reveal how truly unique our Nate is, and what a blessing he is to our family.  I dedicate this post to our son Nathan John who I love more than words could say....... eat peanut butter capt'n crunch every morning for breakfast are usually the first one of the kids up enjoy having a routine hate wearing socks take piano lessons and play very well get easily excited about things have a soft heart and get emotional when you see someone else upset enjoy your time with your big brother Noah, you think that he is very strong are the most literal thinker I know you mature, so does your sense of humor and I love it! pray everyday love your little sister and have a sweet relationship with her
(despite the moments when she gets on your nerves) would rather build with your legos than do anything else read to me every morning, and oh how I love to listen just started going to the "Dangerous Boys Club"...and you love it! think Luke is hilarious and are always laughing at what he says and does love to ride Noah's bike are very affectionate and very loving usually only drink water enjoy getting together with other families love, love, love to wrestle with your Daddy and brothers eat a peanut butter and jam sandwich are not aware that you have autism love having Noah for a big brother you get older you are becoming more rough and tumble
(and I'm still getting used to that)'ve never had a hamburger or hot dog in your life
(but have recently started eating chicken) are content and happy most days are a great big brother to Lauren and Luke

.....your favorite flavor of ice cream is chocolate are very talented with legos and have a mild obsession with them love to play with the hose and pretend that it's raining on you have a nervous habit of biting/picking your lips are the only one of our lovies who has freckles like to check the weather, and get a little nervous during thunderstorms just had your first speech evaluation since we've moved to Indiana
(you may start to have speech therapy once a week) have one of the sweetest smiles that lights up your whole face love going to back to PA to visit family just put your blue blankie in Adam's crib, and said you wanted your baby brother to have it
(one of the sweetest things ever)

.....your favorite color is green

.....your favorite shirt is your tie-dye tell me you love me everyday and let me hold you close are a whiz on the computer, and love to play lego games or look at legos online love babies and like to hold them and get in their face
(well actually you told me that you love "cute" babies.....I sure hope Adam is cute!)

.....your favorite band is the Good Shepherd Band

You are my sweet boy and I am so very thankful to be your mama. As I look back to all of the heartache and challenges God has got us through.....and I am seeing and experiencing the beautiful person He is molding you to be.  You have taught me about life and passion more than anyone I know.  You hide nothing and you know who you have always marched to the beat of your own drum, and I deeply respect that.  As each year passes I am in awe at the work God is doing in you....and I will continue to pray that you would grow in your faith and knowledge of Jesus....and that someday you will love Him more than you love legos....which is alot.

Happy Birthday Nate
I Love You,

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Backyard Camping.....

I am presently going through our summer photos and am trying to post some of our highlights. 

Many nights of backyard camping took place at our home over the past few months. (And just in case you were wondering, I always slept in the comfort of my bed in the AC with Luke, while Jared was with the other 3 lovies outside in the humidity....and no...I feel absolutely no shame in that).  It was one hot summer!

The kids love, love, love to sleep out in the tent.

The only good thing about the drought we had this summer was that Jared didn't have to mow for over a month. After some much needed rain, our grass finally looks green and lush again.

Luke is always up for helping set up camp. Anything his Daddy and big brothers do, he likes to do. He never seemed to mind though, sleeping in the house with his mama.  After the other kids were settled in the tent, Luke and I would lay on my bed with a stack of books and we would read until we couldn't keep our eyes open. These were some really special times with my little man. Jared was making his own memories with the other 3 while they were out in the tent being silly and looking up at the stars.

Cooking dinner over a fire was a favorite thing to do this summer. Hot dogs and kielbasa.....and of course smores for dessert.  It was Nate's job to collect the wood from the wood pile, Noah would gather sticks for kindlin as well as build and light the fire. As the two older boys mature, it really is a blessing to see them grow in independence and take care of things all by themselves.  As you can see in the photo Noah is being very mature at the moment.  I guess I would start to worry if he started acting normal around the camera.

Nate loves graham crackers and he loves chocolate, but is not so fond of marshmallows, (which he pronounces "smarshnellows"). He likes to put a piece of chocolate between two graham crackers minus the marshmallow....that's a Nate s'more.

And this sweetie is mama's little helper.  She truly is my miniature side-kick always wanting to be involved in whatever it is I am doing at the moment. I really love my time with her, and pray that her eagerness to serve others isn't just a faze she's going through, but that God will continue to grow her in this area. Oh and she eats her s'mores her own way as well. She likes the marshmallows right out of the bag, eats the chocolate separately and could do without the graham cracker.....wait, I guess then that's not actually a s'more now is it?

This is Luke's new smile....kind of cute....kind of creepy at the same time. He likes his s'mores any which way, and has been known to swipe entire bars of chocolate all to himself off of the table. He is short, comes under our radar in stealth mode and before we know it all that's left is an empty wrapper.

Daddy likes to cook over the fire, usually with a nice cold beverage in his hand. (Always an easy dinner night for me!)  He gets to relax more as the boys get older and enjoy tending the fire.  I know these are times Jared treasures with his family.

Of course Noah is at the age where bunny ears are an essential in a posed photograph.

And here is the proof that Adam and I were there. This photo was taken over a month ago...and I can no longer see my toes.  He is growing rapidly!

An added bonus to our evening was to see a hot air balloon floating around our neighborhood. The kids thought that was pretty cool.  And yes Noah and Nate did hop on their bikes and try to chase it....I would expect nothing less from those two.

I thank God for days like these. Hopefully these are special times that our kids will always remember. Nothing particularly eventful....just us being together as a family.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lovely Lauren.....

I love my little girl. 

Lauren had her first ballet class a couple of weeks ago. Jared and I about melted when I dressed her in her new pink leotard. Her brothers thought she looked pretty was cute to see their faces when Lauren asked them, "How do I look?"  Noah told her to spin around like a ballerina....she of course willingly obliged. 

We are blessed to have a godly woman from our church family who recently started offering ballet lessons. Not only is Lauren able to be with her little girlfriends from church, but she is being taught by our friend who loves the Lord and has two young daughters of her own. 

We are so thankful that Lauren will be mentored by a Christian woman who embraces biblical womanhood.....not only teaching our little girl the art of ballet, but also modeling modesty, as well as having a gentle and quiet spirit.

Our little ballerina is surrounded by a brood of brothers...add in her father to the mix and she has ultimate protection.  It is really sweet to have a little one who is Pretty in Pink.

Sweet Faces In The Morning.....

Nate and Luke are usually the first two kiddos up in the morning, so they often eat breakfast together.  (I usually have to wake up Noah and Lauren!)

They looked exceptionally cute on this particular morning, so I had to snap a few shots of my little men. We are all very curious as to who Adam is going to look like because as you can see all of my children look alike....{grin}

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sheer Talent.......

Just the little things in life to be proud of......

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Life is full......

I don't even know where to begin as it has been so long since I sat down to blog. I think about it often, but my time seems to be filled up with "life".  

Summer has slipped away but many precious memories were made. Some were captured with my camera....others burnt into my heart forever. 

My head is spinning as I unload my photos onto the computer.....where do I start?  I wish I could say that life is slowing down and I have more time on my hands....I am smiling as I write that.   Although we are back into somewhat of a routine which is nice.

I have so much to be thankful for and so much to share....I look forward to journaling our summer and sharing photos on my blog as well as our preparations for baby Adam who will be joining our family...only 6 wks. to go!

Life is full.....and I wouldn't have it any other way.

The photo below is of Nate on Lake Michigan....a trip we took last month. I can't explain in words the pure delight this boy had on the beach.  It was a memorable trip for our coming soon...I promise.

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