Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Little R & R & R

Rest. Relaxation. Romance.

That's what my husband had planned for our anniversary.  He surprised me with the news that he had reserved us a room at a bed & breakfast and he was taking me away for the night.  After 13 years of marriage, he still surprises me.  I had no idea he had such plans in the works.

Ready to go on our date for our 13th anniversary.

After our nice quiet dinner.
I love this man!
He's not perfect (gasp!)
and neither am I.
But with the perfect love of God in our hearts
our marriage not only survives, but it thrives.
I am always awed that this man chose me,
that he loves me.
I know that it is of God, that God causes all things to grow.

The beautiful Bed and Breakfast my sweetheart secretly reserved a room for us at.
A room with a jacuzzi and a sleep number bed!
Beautiful woodwork and moulding.
Stained glass windows.
5 course gourmet breakfast.
The nicest hosts you could ask for.
A perfect evening away.

We had only once previously stayed at a B&B, about 5 years ago.  It was large and had a dining area where they served breakfast at individual tables.  So, today we weren't sure what to expect sitting down at a table to eat breakfast with a bunch of strangers.  What we discovered was that the people we were to eat breakfast with this morning weren't strangers at all.  They were family....brothers and sisters in Christ.  The owners of the B&B are as well.  We sat around that table for over 2 hours, talking with such ease with each other, and sharing alot of laughs, and choking back tears.  With us were 2 other couples and another woman.  The 2 couples used to sing in the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.  One of the men used to be a soloist in the choir.  He agreed to sing a song at the request of the hosts, and so while we were sitting around the table, he sang a beautiful song for us, and it was so fitting following the conversation we had just had.  These people had just shared some truly amazing testimonies about their lives.  His voice so beautifully communicated the words:

Only Jesus, Only He

Brings redemption, full and free

There's a yearning, in all our lives

That only Jesus satisfies
Calvary's love will sail forever

Bright and shining, strong and free

Like an ark of peace and safety

On the sea of human need

Through the hours of all the ages

Those tired of sailing on their own

Finally rest inside the shadow

Cast by Calvary's love across their souls

Calvary's love, Calvary's love

Priceless gift Christ makes us worthy of

The deepest sin can't rise above

Calvary's love

Calvary's love can heal the spirit

Life has crushed and cast aside

And redeem til Heaven's promise

Fills with joy once empty eyes

So desire to tell His story

Of a love that loved enough to die

Burns away all other passions

And fed by Calvary's love becomes a fire

Calvary's love has never faltered

All its wonders still remain

Souls still take eternal passage

Sins atoned and heaven gained

Sins forgiven and heaven gained

And before we left the table, Dave offered to sing one more.  He has one of those voices that though beautiful to listen to, it also makes you hear the words of the song like you're hearing it for the first time, instead of just bringing attention to himself.  What a gift God has given him.  The second song was as beautiful as the first:

Sweet are the branches growing the fruit that comes from the vine
But these are just branches blown by the wind holding on to life
I want to be like them holding on to the One whose life is mine
And I know as I follow him His life will sure show in me

He said you will
Show yourselves to be the ones who follow Me
By the evidence you leave along the way
They'll know that you are mine like the branches on the vine
If you show yourselves to be following me

Faith joins our heats to Him, it's not a result of anything we do
But if we are part of Him, there will be reasons to believe it's true
The fruit cannot help but grow if the branch is joined into the tree
And love cannot help but show in the one who goes where Jesus leads

Planted in the fertile soil of quiet times
Watered by the rains of trouble, growing toward the sun that shines
They'll know that you are Mine like the branches on the vine
If you show yourselves to be following Me

And as we all got up from the table, they stopped a moment to pray with us. 

Ben and I were deeply blessed by the time we had around the table with these brothers and sisters in Christ, that we likely will never see again until we all are at the Father's feet.  What a way to start our day!   God orchestrated our paths so that they would all cross this morning at that breakfast table.  In a unique, unexpected, but God-planned moment.  We had just planned a romantic, relaxing, and restful overnight getaway.  God gave us an extra blessing.

If you ever have occasion to be in the Adirondacks of NY, check out the Cornerstone Victorian B & B.  You won't be disappointed!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Baby, Look at You Now!

My babies are 4!

Boy have they changed!

Their very first picture....less than 6 weeks of life...the day we found out we were having twins!

Precious little newborns

The most change happens that first year...they go from horizontal to vertical!

Ready for the Teachable Two's

Such personality at 3

independent, funny, and curious at 4

Each age, each stage is precious.  Each face, each personality is loveable.
Each day, each moment is unforgettable.

I love you Carter!
I love you Derek!

More pictures of their 4th birthday are on my other blog and on my Facebook page.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Check out my post on One Mom's Minutes to see what God has been reminding me of.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Graduate

Well, it's official! I am now the mom of a first grader! Evan graduated from Kindergarten on Sunday.

Dad and Mom with our Graduate....we're so proud! (and one of us always blinks in pictures!)

Now, if you know me very well, you know I am sentimental, and I just felt awful that my son would miss out on the fun and sense of accomplishment with graduating. I still remember my Kindergarten graduation. But, seeing that Evan is homeschooled, those kind of things are not organized and put on for my child. I didn't want to miss out on the special moment, so we asked our Pastor if he would be willing to let us do a short graduation program at the end of church one Sunday.

Evan with Pastor Jim

I bought him his first suit, and oh, did Evan look so grown up and handsome!

We found him a cap and gown on eBay, turns out the seller is a homeschooling mom as well, and just used them for her daughter's Kindergarten graduation. The timing and price were perfect for both of us and as she said, the transaction was a "God thing." I'm glad I found the cap and gown because they made it seem so official. Evan's done a great job this year, and I wanted his day to be special. I couldn't find a tassel for my price range, so I found some tasselling at the fabric store and made my own.

We made up a little printed program, printed it on card stock, rolled them up like diplomas and tied them with black ribbon. I found online "Pomp and Circumstance", downloaded it, burned it to a cd, and had it played for him to march in.

Evan getting ready to march

He was nervous and shy being up in front of people for the first time by himself, but he did a great job. Ben introduced him, Pastor prayed, Evan led the pledge to the American flag and the Bible,

he recited 3 verses, he recited 5 catechisms, and he sang "How Can I Fear?" with his Dad and Carter. Owen and Derek were supposed to sing too, as Evan requested they all sing with him since it was a song they all learned in Bible class together. But, Owen fell asleep in the nursery, and well, you don't wake a 2 year old to take him up in front of church and make him sing. That's a no brainer. And Derek got cold feet at the last minute. But the 3 guys did a great job.

I had the privilege of presenting Evan with his Kindergarten Diploma, and pronouncing him officially a graduate.

I got a little choked up as I gave him his diploma. Moments like these remind you how fast time is going and how precious every moment is.

Ben ended the ceremony with prayer. It was short and sweet, but special, and I think it is something Evan will remember for a long time. And, since our small church borrows a funeral home to meet in, I think his graduation holds the distinction of being the first ever graduation held in that building (or maybe any funeral home for that matter!)

We also had our church's monthly fellowship that afternoon, so I made a "graduation cap" cake for Evan and took it to share with our church family.

The highlight for Evan was that Gramma B came to be a part of it all, as well as his aunt and cousins.

Poor Grampa and Uncle Mike couldn't make the trip because as Carter said, "they have to stay at the farm and keep sure that the cows don't get into trouble." :-)

I am so proud of my boy for his accomplishments and so thankful to God for giving him the ability and desire to learn. And though it is something I said I would never do, I am thankful that God gave me the privilege to teach him at home. Teaching him to read and add are some of the most fulfilling things I've done in my life! I'm looking forward to first grade and all the new things he'll learn. But right now, I'm enjoying the moment...it's SUMMER BREAK!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward." Ps. 127:3-4
"He grants the barren woman a home, like a joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord." Ps. 113:9

My study Bible states in the notes, "No image better conveys human emotional suffering in biblical times than that of the barren woman. In that time and culture, a barren woman was without significance and without joy. Note that God stoops down to bring her the joy for which she craves--happy children. Salvation is like that. Not only does God fill us with significance, but also with joy."

I agree, even though there may not be the same social stigma now as there was in biblical times, that not being able to have children is intense human emotional suffering. I've been there, I've walked that road. I've spent Mother's Days in grief and left church in tears. I know that joy for which that barren woman craved. I craved it myself. And then God gave me that for which I craved. I prayed for one, and then just one more. God doubled what I requested of him, he filled my cup to overflowing, and he filled my heart with the unique joy of motherhood.

This was the joy that greeted me this morning. Four handmade Mother's Day cards from my babies. There's nothing sweeter than a card made just for you. I love 'em!

Me and my 4 guys. Aren't I blessed? I don't merit God giving me the privilege of being their mom. They are truly gifts!

And just like the gift of my children, my salvation in Christ is a gift, unmerited, undeserved, and unearned. And, like the gift of my children, it brings joy. I'm thankful that God didn't leave me without children. Even more I'm thankful that God didn't leave me without His love, His sacrifice, His forgiveness and His JOY.
Happy Mother's Day!
A special wish for my Mom, and thankfulness for her love and guidance and care, and for introducing me to Jesus.
And for my Mom-in-law, with gratitude for shaping the heart of my man, and for her love for me as a daughter and friend.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day Surprises Left and Right

Check out my inspiration on my other post and let me know what you think of my idea. Comments wanted!

And aren't my guys just wonderful?

Well, I ended up getting another unplanned Mother's Day gift, which will arrive a day late. The board on our refrigerator fried yesterday. You don't usually use the word fried with a refrigeration appliance, huh? Well, it doesn't work well when you mix those two. Our frig is DOA. Of course, I had just gone grocery shopping the day before so it was stocked. But, I am so thankful that my parents live right next door. We were able to save everything, except leftovers. I won't cry over that. :-) We stuck everything we could into our freezer downstairs, took frig items over to my mom's frig, and have produce and condiments in coolers. So, completely unplanned, we went shopping last night for a new refrigerator. It's a little stressful having to act on such a large expense so quickly. But we think we found a great deal. Our situation is a little complicated because of the size of the boxed in space we have for our frig. We never realized it doesn't accomodate normal size refrigerators, since this frig was here when we purchased the house. So, we had fewer options, and those options tend to be more expensive because they are not the "average" size. So, it cost a little more to get what we needed for our family of 6, but we made a decision and the nice salesman helped us get delivery a little faster, and it will be delivered on Monday.

So, we are spending 3 days without a refrigerator. You really don't realize how important one is until yours is dead. In fact, I found myself repeatedly trying to open it, so Ben decided to make it easier on me and just get it out of the house. Which is a blessing because the thing stings like, well, have you ever smelled something electrical after it fried? It was stinking up my kitchen, so now it is gracing my deck.

Oh, and I'm very thankful that God allowed it to happen when we were home, and could act quickly. It would have been bad if we had been gone on vacation or something!

So, my poor husband spent alot more on me on this Mother's Day weekend than he would have ever dreamed of. But, one nice thing was, we spent the whole evening together, and we got to have a quiet dinner out together too. See, I'm really breaking the bank this weekend, aren't I?

Ben said he's going to have fun trying to cook on Mother's Day for me. :-) Oh, well, this is life, right? Things break down, money gets spent, time gets eaten up, hassles ensue. But Mother's Day is the perfect time to remember that what is most important in my life is still intact, costs no money (well, technically), makes the best use of time, and brings lots of joy and enjoyment.....my family!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mint and Chocolate, Oh, My!

Check out my post on my other blog for a yummy recipe. If you like mint and chocolate, you'll be happy!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Boy Makes Me Laugh

As I came to say goodnight to Evan tonight, he was "hiding" under the sheet, so I started tickling him. He got laughing pretty good, and as I stopped he said, "I haven't had this much fun in years!"

He's 6. What a sad childhood he must be having! :-)

My funny boy, pounding chicken for supper. A house full of guys is pretty handy to have.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Curious Minds Want to Know

For some reason, Carter was very interested at supper time about how he got fed when he was in my belly. It wasn't making sense to him because, as he said, "there wasn't a kitchen in there!"
During the conversation, we were talking about how they were born. All 4 of the boys were born by c-section, so it makes it a little easier to explain the how. :-) Carter wanted to know if there was blood when they cut me open and he said, "But didn't it hurt, Mommy?" So, we tried to explain about how they numbed my whole body. Derek got a very disturbed look on his face when we mentioned the needle and said he didn't want the doctors to give me a shot. I assured him I won't have to have that again, and he felt better. Evan wanted to know how they "put my belly back on". After I told him that they sewed me back up he said very seriously, "I would NOT want to be a girl!" After I laughed, I told him that it's ok, that they were worth it all and I would do it all over again. "You were happy to have your first baby?" he asked. Very. And the next and the next and the next.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tool Man

Today, Owen figured out how to use the play drill to turn a plastic bolt in a nut. He would tighten the nut onto the bolt, then change the directional switch on the drill and loosen it. He did it over and over again. I think we have a budding Tool Man on our hands. :-) Funny thing is the driver on the drill was a flat head and the bolt was a phillips head, but he made it work anyway. Smart little guy. I especially loved how he was concentrating...with his mouth open.

He has been playing alot the last few days with his "Pat" the hammer from his Handy Manny Talking Toolbox. In an effort to save our walls and furniture from destruction, Ben found him a little block left over from a 2x4, and he has been banging away on it. Good thinking, because he has hammer marks all over that block of wood! Occasionally I have to beg him to stop for a while because my head can't take it. Then he finds the play drill that talks and says "I think you've got a screw loose." Or he takes the tape measure and measures his Ming-Ming (a stuffed animal/pillow from Wonder Pets that is almost as big as he is, that he carries around the house with him), and proudly announces his measurement, "3 inches Ming-Ming". Ok, he doesn't know how to read a tape measure correctly. But he sure is cute trying.
Every day I see him developing more and more...his vocabulary, his actions, his play. Every day he is less and less a baby and more and more a big boy, more and more like his brothers. Every day he makes me smile with his funny expressions and comments. Every day I wish I could stop time. But every day I rejoice with him in his new found independence, skills, and expressions of his personality. And every day I love kissing this face!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The New Apprentice

Can we fix it? Yes, WE can!
My husband has spent some quality time lately behind the fridge. It decided to stop working correctly, and he has been working to keep it limping along until we could isolate which part was bad, order it, wait for it to arrive, and install it. The other night, he was busy working back in there again, but discovered he had a willing helper.

Ben's new apprentice.
O-Man was very interested in all the goings on (especially the use of the cool head lamp flashlights my parents gave Ben for Christmas.) Ben told O-Man all the names of all the parts, and he was learning them. If it were I, the names would have been hose, thingy, thing-a-ma-jig, another part, etc. Ben however, schooled him in on all the proper names (I was so impressed...my man sure knows alot....like somehow how to troubleshoot and repair a refrigerator.) It was so adorable to see O-Man hanging out with his Daddy, acting like he was really helping him out. I think he was actually more distracting than helpful, but Ben was eating up the fact that his son was so interested in what he was doing. And of course, like any good Dad, he shared his special tool, the head lamps. Good thing it was a 2 pack!

Move over Maytag Man, here comes something cuter!

I just had to smile watching them

and then watching the other boys in the living room. I found Evan reading one of his library books to Carter. It was so sweet, I had to snap a picture.

Then they saw O-Man and Derek with the headlamps and had to try it out themselves.

Turns out, they are also very useful for reading books in poorly lit living rooms.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fostering A Love of Reading

My first born had his first field trip, and his first visit to the library today. We live in a small town, and the library is actually located in an old house, which is kind of neat. I had to help him focus....even though it's a small library, he was overwhelmed by all the choices and didn't know where to start. But he finally made his choices, and he wasted no time after we got home and had lunch, reading all 4 of them right away. He can't wait to go back and get more books. As his mom and his teacher, I'm thrilled to see his love of reading. And he's feeling so accomplished to be able to pick up books and read them.

Library card he can use at any local library

His literary choices.
I loved that he thought to use one of his choices to get a Pooh book to read to his brothers.

I read alot when I was a kid, and I always had a hard time putting a book down. Maybe he's inheriting my love of a good book.
And thus ends Spring Break...back to school work Monday morning.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Happy Easter!

"Up from the grave he arose, with a mighty triumph o'er His foes. He arose a victor from the dark domain and He lives forever with His saints to reign. Hallelujah! Christ arose!"

My precious family

after a great day celebrating Christ's resurrection with our special church family

(we were minus a few smiles....apparently, the sunshine was just too bright on this beautiful day!)

Evan (6 years)

Carter (3 1/2)

Brothers, Brothers, there were never such devoted brothers

(not really, we forced them to take this picture....all they wanted to do was lean on each other and knock each other over.)

Derek (3 1/2)

Owen (2 1/2) with his Aunt KK. He loves her.

We had a nice ham dinner with Nana and Papa, and my sister Kristin. Then my sister, Dad and I took a walk to walk it all off while Evan lead on his bike. Such a beautiful Easter Day, almost feels like summer!

Thank you Lord for giving your life for me, forgiving me of my sin, and in your resurrection, giving me a purpose to live, and providing the certain hope of eternity with You. "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Life is worth living just because He lives."