Monday, December 31, 2007

Looking back

As another year comes to a close, I enjoy looking back on the past year. This year it was very easy to do, and I actually had to in a very real way. Maybe I need to back up a little bit...

Do any of you struggle with wondering what to give your parents for Christmas from year to year? As we were wracking our brains for ideas for something to give them, the subject came up that the gifts that are the most treasured can't be bought with mere money.

As we continued to bring up and veto various suggestions, the idea was mentioned to give them this whole past year of happenings and memories: scrapbooked. For those of you who have done anything of the sort, you know it is a time-consuming project. Oh -- and did I mention that this idea hadn't been thought of until 5 days before Christmas?!

A scrapbooking marathon ensued. With my sisters taking turns helping me and covering for my home chores, I scrapbooked almost non-stop for 4 days. Whew! In between developing all the pictures, finding just the right colors and accents, writing the perfect sentiments, and putting together close to 70 different pages, I was reminded over and over again of the faithfulness of the Lord over the past year.


Pictures bring back so many memories. There were definitely joys and struggles. Times to enjoy each other, as well as grow closer together as we'd persevere through an exhausting schedule. Hugs, tears, work, sweat, laughter, beauty, peace, forgiveness, patience, flexibility, love; how is a year summed up?

The most miraculous happening was the bus accident back in February. Whenever Daddy shares the story during one of our family services, it sometimes seems like it was just last week, and yet so much, so much has happened since then.


Prison crusades, children's ministry, more miles on the bus, crazy laundry mats, seminars, a little home time, big brother leaving, and now working on the bus again; it has been a full year.

I just have to laugh, because anytime anything out of the ordinary happens (which in a family of 15 is probably once every other day or so) someone will invariably say "Oh -- think of all the memories we're making!" The one problem is: after so many memorable moments you began forgetting them! But hopefully not now for the year 2007! It is officially compiled to be remembered -- not solely for our benefit or enjoyment, but to record the faithfulness of the God we serve!

"One generation shall praise Your works to another,
and shall declare Your mighty acts."
Psalms 145:4

And yes, Daddy and Mommy were thrilled with their present.
[smile]

(And in case any of you are interested in knowing: the scrapbook is one of the reasons for my lack of posting recently! If you don't think that is a sufficient excuse, just try scrapbooking 300+ pictures in 4 days -- and you'll understand!)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Random photo


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Waiting...

My soul waits for the Lord;
He is my help and my shield.
Psalms 33:20

God often requires that you wait on Him. This is not because God cannot keep up with you or that He does not know what to do next. God is interested in a love relationship with you. Your waiting on Him develops your absolute dependence on Him. Your waiting on Him assures that you will act on His timing and not your own.

You may think of waiting on Him as a passive, inactive time. Waiting on the Lord is anything but inactive. While you wait on Him, you will be praying with a passion to know Him, His purposes, and His ways. You will be watching circumstances and asking God to interpret them by revealing to you His perspective.

While you wait, continue doing the last thing God told you to do. In waiting, you are shifting the responsibility of the outcome to God -- where it belongs. Waiting on Him is always worth the wait. His timing and His ways are always right. You must depend on Him to guide you in His way and in His timing to accomplish His purpose.

-Henry T. Blackaby

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas is coming!





How many observe Christ's birthday!
How few, His precepts!



-Benjamin Franklin

Friday, December 14, 2007

For an Auntie

:: smiles from your niece and nephews ::


(and what adorable smiles, too!)



But lest you think they all smiled perfectly in every single picture...Janae pulled a surprise on this one!


As requested

Grandma's Donuts

1 1/2 cups scalded milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup mashed potatoes
1 tablespoon yeast
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 - 5 1/2 cups flour

After scalding the milk, add in sugar, butter, mashed potatoes, salt and nutmeg; blend well. When cooled to lukewarm, add the yeast (which has first been dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water). Add in the flour, knead for 7-9 minutes. Let raise until doubled in size, then punch down and let rise again.

After rolling the dough out to 1/4-1/2 inch thick, cut donuts out. Let raise. Putting the upper, dry side in first, fry in oil heated to 400 degrees, flipping them as they turn golden brown. Drain, drop into a frosting glaze, and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

1 Peter 5:5

"God resisteth [ranges oneself against or opposes] the proud,
and giveth grace [bestows a divine influence upon the heart that reflects itself in one's life] to the humble."


At every stage of our Christian development and in every sphere of our Christian discipleship, pride is our greatest enemy and humility our greatest friend.

-John Stott

Monday, December 10, 2007

Life's path

It is God to whom and with whom we travel, and while He IS the end of the journey, He is also at every stopping place.

-Elisabeth Elliott

He will show me the path of life;
In His presence is fullness of joy;
At His right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalms 16:11

You know

...you have a large family when during family devotions your six year old brother prays:

"Dear Lord,
bless Rachel
Ruth
Josiah
Bethany...um...er...
Elizabeth
[pause]
Andrew
and...well...

all the rest of my other siblings!"

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Christmas baking

The winter season definitely has its own joys!

As the snow began falling again this afternoon, we decided it was time to make donuts, which is a once a year family tradition of ours. What makes it special is that the recipe is one that has been in the family for years and years, going back to my great-grandma. And believe me, this recipe has nothin' on Krispy Kremes!

What made it even more special is that my grandma is here for the weekend, and was able to make them with us and show us how it really goes! Love you, Grandma!

A cup of hot chocolate, a hot donut freshly glazed, family and friends to share them with...
yes, winter definitely has joys all its own!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

My lil' snow angel

Job 15:5

"Happy is the man whom God correcteth."

Happy, because the correction is designed to bring him into paths of blessedness and peace.
Happy, because there is no unnecessary severity in it.
Happy, because the chastisement is not so much against us, as against our most cruel enemies -- our sins.
Happy, because we have abundant words of consolation.
Happy, because whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.
Happy, because our light affliction is but for a moment.

-George Bowen

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Modern tools

I have a spelling checker;
It came with my PC.
It plane lee marks for my revue
Miss steaks aye can know sea.

Eye ran this poem threw it,
Your sure reel glad two no.
It's vary polished in its weigh,
My checker tolled me sew.

A checker is a bless sing,
It freeze yew lodes of thyme.
It helps me right awl stiles two reed,
And aides me when aye rime.

To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should be proud.
And wee mussed dew the best wee can,
Sew flaws are knot aloud.

And now bee cause my spelling
Is checked with such grate flare,
There are know faults with in my cite,
Of nun eye am a wear.

Each frays come posed up on my screen,
Eye trust to bee a joule.
The checker poured ore every word
To cheque some spelling rule.

That's why aye brake in two averse
By righting wants to pleas.
Sow now ewe sea why aye dew prays
Such soft wear for pea seas.
::author unkown::

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Simply follow

Rest in this -- it is His business to lead, compel, send, call, or whatever you want to call it. It is your business to obey, follow, move, respond, or what have you.

-J. Elliot

"Walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him,
being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God."
Colossians 1:10

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

John 14:23

"If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word."


Could God find heart and time to pen and send this love-letter to thee, and thou find none to read and peruse it! The sick man no time to look on his physician's prescription! The condemned malefactor to look on his prince's letter of grace, wherein a pardoned is signed!

-William Gurnall


"Whoever keeps His Word,
truly the love of God is perfected in him.

By this we know that we are in Him."

1 John 2:5

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Lil' sis





In case you are wondering: yes -- we've been told that we look and act very, very much alike!! [grin]

Identical twins, born only 13 years apart -- I love you, Alaythia!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Not just for today --

but always.


T h a n k s g i v i n g
is a season of the heart.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Do you see what I see?

The first snow of the season!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Psalms 143:10



"Your hand shall lead me,
and Your right hand shall hold me."


FAITH
It never knows where it is being led,
but it loves and knows the One who is leading.

Oswald Chambers





:the view from an airplane window:

Monday, November 19, 2007

If

...anyone loves Me.
he WILL keep My Word;
and My Father will love him,
and We will come to him
and make Our home with him.

John 14:23

When you do what He tells you to do, no matter how insensible it may seem, God accomplishes what He purposed through you...
Obedience is costly, yet it is always worth the cost. In fact, whenever you are tempted to consider the cost too high, you need to consider what it will cost you not to do the will of God. That cost is even greater.

-H. T. Blackaby

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Guess where I am?!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Psalms 39:5-7



"My age is as nothing before You;
Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor....Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in You."



The fact of a Christian being here, and not in heaven, is a proof that some work awaits him.
-W. Arnot

Today's Love; Tomorrow's Life









Saturday, November 10, 2007

(((hugs))) from home

What a blessing it is to have Josiah here with us for the weekend -- truly, God has poured out "blessings of goodness!" (Psalms 21:3)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

What are you carrying?

Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.

-Corrie ten Boom


"Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not of more value than they?"
Matthew 6:25-26

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

All in a day's travel:

Stepping inside the Martin guitar factory in Nazareth, Pennsylvania -- where they handcraft over 80,000 guitars annually.

Pictures are allowed on tours (or else the post would end here!) but no flashes were permitted -- which added just a few challenges.



They definitely have some complicated, high-tech equipment, but I was surprised to find that they also used household items: clothes pins and masking tape!









3-6 months later, the guitar is completed:
ready for the showroom or to sell!



After the tour of the factory, they had a small museum where one could read the history of the Martin family and the evolution of the modern day guitar.

I had to smile at this story -- never give up!

Family owned and operated for 6 generations, the most recent grandchild was still named with the initials 'C. F.' to carry on the Martin family tradition!

As our family owns 3 Martin guitars, it was incredibly fascinating to see the craftsmanship involved in each instrument -- and I wholeheartedly recommend the tour if any of you are ever in the area!! If nothing else, it sure gives one a bigger appreciation for the price tags that hang on those things. [grin]