Saturday, September 13, 2014

Place of Service

I’ve had this written in the flyleaf of my Bible since high school graduation.  I never would have guessed that 13 years later, God would have led me to serve alongside my husband in the largest city of our country, and one of the most influential cities in the world.  But here I am, and New York City has become home.  God has been so good along each step of the way.

Direct Me in Thy Service 5x7 jpg

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thankful Thursday

I took these pictures of the kids on a deputation stop in Maine a few weeks ago.  I just came across them today, but they seemed so appropriate, considering the 13th anniversary of 9/11.

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This was a war memorial and the sign says “The Price of Freedom Is Not Free”.  So true.  I am so thankful for the countless lives that have been given to allow me to grow up in a free country.  I am blessed by the freedom of America on a daily basis.  I am free to attend the church of my choice.  I am free to live where I believe the Lord has led me.  I am free to have as many children as I do.  I am free to homeschool my daughter.

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It just happened that Elaine was wearing red, white, and blue in this picture, but it fits so well!

As part of our homeschool routine, we say the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag and to the Bible before we pray for school each morning.  I know Elaine doesn’t understand all of the words, but it was a good exercise for me to teach her the meaning of the words we say:

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation under God,
indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.

We are studying the fire station as part of our current Kindergarten unit.  Today we talked about fire and what it needs to burn.  I sat down with the kids and we looked through my book of the World Trade Center.  We talked about the heroic firefighters on this day, fourteen years ago.  We talked about how selfless they were and how they put other people first.  And even though it was just my kids, I got choked up (I never speak in public without getting choked up, but this was at home!).  I felt proud to be an American, and a New Yorker, even if I am a transplant.  And I felt sad to think of where America is today compared to what she was many years ago.

9-11 11th Anniversary
I took these pictures on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11th attacks

9-11 11th Anniversary

I think that living in New York City has made me a little more aware of my patriotism.  A little more proud to be an American.  A little more fierce to stand against our enemies (in the spiritual realm too).  It’s kind of in the back of our minds that there could be another attack on America, and that New York is a likely target.  But I don’t live in fear or dread.  We know that the Lord has called us to minister here in New York City.

One of the campaigns of the MTA and the Department of Homeland Security is “If you see something, say something.”  Ben uses it as a sermon illustration to show our need to share the Gospel.  “If you experience something, say something.”  As Americans we live in great freedom, blessing, and prosperity daily.  As Christians let’s share our Let’s share our spiritual freedom with the world through our testimony – both verbally and how we live our lives.

This is just a bunch of random thoughts…

Twins :: 16 Months

I wrote my last twinsie update at 12 months.  So much has changed since then!  Mostly it is that the twins became mobile, and I have been busy chasing them and hardly found a moment to sit down and journal here on this blog.

I very much enjoyed the first year of twins.  I was told a lot of “horror” stories about having two babies at the same time.  There were definitely hairy moments, but overall it’s been fun!  But these last few weeks…they have given me a run for my money.  I am tired and exhausted.  My brain is mush.  I feel like this is the most difficult stage so far (but it’s also a very funny, enjoyable stage – on some days).

Miniature Horse at KD Stables near Lee, ME

Nehemiah is my total-boy baby.  He loves to jump on his siblings and just sit on them, waiting for them to wrestle.  He loves cars.  He loves dogs.  He loves electronics.  As in, my most difficult task every day is keeping Nehemiah away from the computer and my iPhone

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He also loves the bathroom.  His older siblings use the potty by themselves and leave the door open.  Mommy is easily distracted and she leaves the door open.  And, well, Nehemiah goes in.  And he has fun.  A couple of weeks ago I found him sucking on Ben’s toothbrush.  Which was wet.  And the toilet lid was open.  ‘Nuff said.  (And yes, Ben got a new toothbrush!)

Staying with the Pease family in Stratton ME
They both sleep with their booty in the air a lot!

Liberty seems to be my smarty-pants.  She understands so much that is going on around her, and she copies it all.  She loves to help put toys away (WHY doesn’t that last very long?!?!).  She loves to play baby dolls or tea party with Elaine.  She gets a delight out of putting her laundry in the basket when told, or getting to throw away her diaper in the trash can.  She picks things up.  She retrieves things.  She closes doors.

She eats with a fork and spoon.  Oh, how much easier that has made my floor-sweeping task!  Nehemiah does well at this too, but often resorts back to using his hands.  Liberty won’t start without her utensils.

Twins Eating with Utensils

Twins Eating with Utensils

Liberty is fearless.  She climbs the slide and does it by herself.  She sometimes forgets to sit before sliding.  She jumps from the coffee table to the couch.  She does whatever she sees the big kids doing.

Both of the twins are cutting molars.  Both are exhibiting their will and displeasure with Mommy’s will.  Both are climbers.  We recently started homeschooling and on the first day I was constantly removing Nehemiah from standing on top of the piano keys.  We don’t set the table until we’re ready to sit down, because there is often a twin climbing onto the table.

So life is busy.  Sometimes I think I’m spinning in circles retrieving one twin or the other (or an older sibling) from a no-no or a get-hurt situation.  Supper preparation before Ben arrives home is nearly impossible.  The other day I was cutting chicken.  I literally was interrupted every 30 seconds (or more often).  When I turned around one time, Nehemiah had found the knife.  He did recently hit a growth spurt and is quite tall!

Both kiddos say uh-oh (but Liberty especially likes it).  Libs also shakes her head – but it means both no, and yes – depending. Sometimes I think Nehemiah is saying “thanks” and last night it sounded like he said “jump.”  They both say “woof-woof”.

It’s really funny to watch twins interact.  Sometimes they are best friends.  Libs and Nehemiah sit next to each other at the table.  They trade food.  They hold hands to pray.  They sit and read together or play nicely together.  But sometimes they are arch enemies and jealous siblings.  If Nehemiah gets a second serving of food, Liberty cries for hers.  If he has a sippy cup, she begs for hers.  If Liberty has a stuffed dog, Nehemiah takes it away (and usually laughs about it!).

I think one of their favorite activities right now is brushing their teeth.  It’s hilarious to see all four kids in the bathroom together.  You just want to see it and not hear what’s going on!  Liberty and Nehemiah fight their way to the bathroom to get to their toothbrushes when I mention it!

Twins, 16 months old

Twins, 16 months old

Twins, 16 months old
giving kisses

Twins, 16 months old

Twins, 16 months old

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

A Little German Dress  The little German dress
This little German dress was one I wore as a girl.  Elaine also wore it – she is on the right.  Liberty had just been woken up from sleeping in the car, so she wasn’t happy about having her picture taken!

Brushing Teeth together
The family that brushes together stays together.  The twins love brushing their teeth!

Brushing Teeth together

Stop at Grandma Fezzie's House
Water fun at Grandma’s house!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First Day of Kindergarten

Today we started homeschooling!  Although I was homeschooled, and Ben was homeschooled, and we always planned to homeschool, this was not something I was looking forward to today!  Actually…I was scared, and unorganized, and confused, but we made it!

I had stashed a back pack away a while ago, so I pulled it out and filled it with Elaine’s school supplies.  It was waiting when she woke up.  She had been asking to paint her nails, so we did that before breakfast too.  

Elaine's First Day of Kindergarten    Elaine's First Day of Kindergarten

Elaine's First Day of Kindergarten
Love that looK!

Elaine's First Day of Kindergarten

Daddy came home with bagels for breakfast.  Brooklyn bagels.  ‘Nuff said – that made the day start off well!  Daddy also brought Elaine a rose, and Mommy got a bouquet of flowers (maybe because I was crying in overwhelmed-ness last night!).  That totally made Elaine’s day!

Elaine's First Day of Kindergarten

Elaine's First Day of Kindergarten

We waited for the twins to go down for morning nap before starting school.  We survived Nolan’s interruptions, questions, and drawing on Elaine’s work pages.  He is obviously not ready for Kindergarten!

Elaine's First Day of Kindergarten  Elaine's First Day of Kindergarten
Nolan wanted in on the action, but he was in the middle of playing fire fighter!

Elaine's First Day of Kindergarten  Elaine's First Day of Kindergarten

I guess we did okay since Elaine was able to relate everything to Ben at supper!  Not too shabby since this conversation occurred yesterday.

Mommy: writes “First Day of Kindergarten” on white board
Daddy: “Do you know what kindergardten is Elaine?”
Elaine: “A bunch of really hard stuff!”

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

:: Campfire S’mores and Sparklers

 2014-8-22 Campfire, S'mores, and Sparklers (1)    2014-8-22 Campfire, S'mores, and Sparklers (4)

:: Tire Swing…they spent hours on it

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He’s making a deputation call list!

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Where we were at this last week

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Maineiac Hike

My kids have thoroughly enjoyed this week in Maine.  They have gotten to explore and enjoy the Great Outdoors in ways they didn't know existed.  Living in NYC, rocks and sticks and leaves are the only novelties to collect on a walk.  Here they have hiked, canoed, chased butterflies, romped in the grass, picked up toads, collected wildflowers, foraged for wild berries, and enjoyed picnic lunches.
 
Yesterday we went for a hike in the Bigelow Preserve here in Stratton, ME.  We were hoping that the road would take us to the lake, but it didn't go all the way through.  We parked on a logging road to hike to the lake, but after a while the foliage became too dense for the kids (and for Mommy who was carrying a baby!).  We had a picnic in the woods.  The kids loved sitting on a dead tree to eat. 
 
Elaine found some tiny toads and chased them.  Liberty got in on the action.  There were tons of wild raspberry bushes so we stole a snack from the bears (and then got out before they found out it was us!).  It was totally worth all the bug bites and raspberry bush scratches!
 
Beautiful Maine mountains - not the Rockies but still lovely!
 
My mountain kiddos
 
A little closer up...
 
I zoomed in to take this picture.  Nolan was ahead of us, and suddenly I looked up and he was missing.  I called out to him, and his head popped up among the wildflowers!
 
Beautiful butterflies.  So hard for the kids not to touch! 
 
Liberty's toad.  She squeezed...a little too hard.
 
Not sure if this one survived, and she sure didn't like letting it go!
 
My kids are collecting grandparents all around the country.  This is the twins and Elaine with Mr. Pease.  His grandkids are all on the mission field - Newfoundland, Canada, and Siberia, Russia.

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