Monday, October 20, 2014

Missionary Moments

We have just returned from one of our “bigger” or “extended” deputation trips thus far.  We were in three different conferences back to back, taking us from October 8th to October 19th.  I think the Lord is giving me “little” trips like this to practice packing, presenting, and parenting on the road so I know better how to do it when we leave in January for 4-5 months.  {Not yet looking forward to that time, but it’s growing on me}.

There were some funny moments, hard-to-deal-with moments, and exhausting moments (like putting 4,000 miles on our van since October 1st, including round trip from MA to WI in three days).  But all of these make up some very Missionary Moments.  I thought you might want to laugh and experience them along with me.

Missionary moments jpg

In Palmer, MA I gave my testimony for the first time without crying!  That’s a definite improvement! 

I learned that our new van is easier to move around in, but it also takes the bumps a bit harder.  I hit a Brooklyn pothole on the way out of town, and everything in the back in jumped up about 4 inches…including the clothes bar.  No – it did not land back in the same place.  It fell, along with all of the neatly hung dress clothes!

We stayed with a family in MA that had seven grown children.  We had told the kids that they had seven children.  We were sitting at breakfast with Mr. & Mrs. Begley, and one of their sons walked into the room.  Nolan immediately asked “Why does she have two husbands?”  Thankfully, the Begley's were not offended!

At the same conference, I opened Elaine’s Bible as Ben began to preach, and handed it to her.  She pushed it away, whispering, “That’s okay Mommy.  I don’t need it.  Daddy’s done this one before.”  Yes, he certainly has!

IMG_2459Learning to nap in the car

In WI we were supposed to stay with a family that came down with shingles and chicken pox.  Gratefully, we were moved to the home of a faculty member of Maranatha Baptist University (the host for the annual meeting of BWM, our mission board).  But…the new host home was very breakable.  Know what I mean?  Add four kids ages four and under – NOT a good story!  I came in from unloading the van one night to find Nolan standing on the glass coffee table.  Thankfully, our hostess was not home! 

Because of the breakable nature of things in the host home, we opted to spend a lot of time on campus of the college.  This meant naps…in the student center.  Imagine being a college student and coming up to play carpet ball with a friend, only to discover two toddlers napping in the carpet ball thingey, and two pack n plays close at hand with sleeping babies.  Yup, I’d turn around and head back to the dorm too!

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First Happy Meals

Last weekend we were in CT.  We were staying in the basement.  Ben was showering on Sunday morning when the tub drain or something went wrong.  The end of the story is that the bathroom was flooded, it seeped under the wall, and I went to church on Sunday without a shower.  Aren’t you glad you weren’t sitting next to me?  Thankful for a curling iron!

Some of the not-quite-so-funny missionary moments include the renewal of regular  chiropractor visits.  Four beds in 10 days has done a number on my back!  I couldn’t even bend over to pick up the babies on Sunday morning.  I woke up this morning in my own bed, completely confused.  I had to ask Ben where I was!  I’m also getting accustomed to being in the nursery – a lot.  Many smaller churches we’re visiting haven’t had kids for a while, so they don’t have a regular nursery staff.

IMG_2512Making new friends…

We are also learning to depend on the Lord in new ways.  For strength to drive and to stay awake.  For gas in the van.  For provision of our needs when we’re not at home.  Like being given postage stamps, laundry soap, and quarters for the laundry mat.  The Lord has been good to us, and I’m sure there are many harder deputation days ahead.

As we came into the City last night, Nolan woke up and immediately was excited.  “Look Mommy!  That’s OUR city!  New York!”  So exciting to see my kids call this place home, and I can’t wait to make things a little more permanent in the Bronx.

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OUR City

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Answers to Prayer

My heart is so full as I write this.  Today has been a full day, and I’ve shed quite a few tears.  Some sad ones, many happy ones.
Brother Clark M. at our church has been ill for several weeks.  He had a stroke and has difficulty recovering.  The kids have helped me to pray for him many times a day.  We pray for Brother Clark to be healed, and we pray for Mrs. Linda (his wife).  Today, God answered our prayer.  In the wee hours of the morning, the Lord saw fit to call Brother Clark home to heaven.  We received the news as we were preparing breakfast this morning.
Linda gave such a sweet testimony of the Lord’s work, His grace, and His salvation in the church this morning.  We know of at least one person who trusted the Lord because of the witness of Linda during Clark’s illness.  I am so happy for Clark – he is healed – just not here on earth.  He is in such a better place, in the presence of our Lord.  My heart is heavy for Linda.
We have a good friend named Carol.  We have prayed for Carol’s salvation for several years.  She comes to church often.  My kids love her, and I know she loves them too.  Today, after the services, Carol made the decision to be born again.  I cried again – such happy tears.  I was so thrilled that I got to see her today, on the day when she received new life.  My kids have also prayed often for Miss Carol.  It was with great excitement that I told the kids of her decision.
We have this jar with popsicle sticks in it.  Each one has a prayer request on it.  We let the kids pick one to pray for before bedtime.  It is not often that we get to remove a stick, because the prayer requests are mostly long-term concerns.  Today we got to remove two sticks from our jar: one stick for Brother Clark, and one stick for Miss Carol.
I can’t help but think that Brother Clark is having a grand time rejoicing in heaven today because a "new name was written down in glory".  He was a prayer warrior, and I know he prayed for Carol’s salvation for quite some time.  Today he gets to rejoice over this answer to prayer from the glories of heaven.

Friday, October 3, 2014

iFriday

Throughout the week I often capture pictures on my phone instead of pulling out the camera.  The pictures aren’t always the best quality, but it’s real life in action.  Here are the “best” shots from last week…

Elaine Cleaning the Fridge   img_2398
Elaine cleaned out the fridge for me :: Uncle Evan gave a tractor ride to the “bigs”

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I’m an auntie!  Baby Amelia is a sweetie…

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The kids climbed a tree – for the first time – by themselves!  They were playing Hide N Seek with Ben

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This picture doesn’t do justice to the amazing fall colors we experienced in Vermont this week.  It was THE week to be there, and the drive on Sunday morning was breathtaking!  We were on state road 58, which isn’t even paved all the way through, but the view was worth it!

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Sidewalk chalk at Grandma’s house.  I’ve noticed these two hanging together a lot lately – Libs and Noley.

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Nehemiah is a true boy – content with a bike or ball.

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Nolan’s heart.  He’s never stuck with it to color anything in completely before!

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Elaine’s heart.  And some things she’s been learning in school -
2 3 i t T 3, and the last squiggle was her “s”.  We struggle with those!

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This is hard to see, but Libs slept on a giant teddy every night at Grandma’s.

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Addressing a letter to a missionary friend whom she’s never met – but will get to meet in a couple of weeks!

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Riding the new bull at the pet store.  Simple pleasures, people!

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This one is MY FAVORITE!  I let the twins out of the stroller when we got to our street.  And they joined hands with the bigs and walked home.  Most pleasant walk in a long time!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Bigger Van

As we prepare for full time deputation, we have been hashing out ideas for how to travel when the van is “home”.  With all of the baby gear needed for twins, and the addition of homeschooling, the minivan just didn’t seem big enough.  And though it seats 7, it’s more like 5 1/2 when you add in four car seats.

We decided to start looking for a full size van.  Dad found one right away on a government surplus auction site.  Everything seemed good – only 26k miles, maintained every 3500 miles, in Florida near my brother so he could go an inspect it.  The price started right in our budget range, but we didn’t know if it would sit there long.

We watched the van for 10 days.  Finally, on the night before the auction ended, there was a bid.  We waited until a couple hours before the end of the auction to enter our bid.  We had determined our highest possible price, and prayed that if God wanted us to get the van, that He would provide it.

On the afternoon of the bidding, we received a check from my grandparents with an advance toward the purchase of the van.  Then we got a call and told to raise our max bid by $500 if needed, and it would be provided.  We entered a bid, and were immediately outbid by the first bidder.  I had four different alarms set on my phone so that I wouldn’t forget to bid again before the end of the auction!  (It’s amazing how many brain cells are lost on four small children…)

10 minutes before the end of the auction, I entered a new high bid, still not at our “highest possible”.  Now the high bidders, I waited to see if we would need to raise the bid or pass on the van.  The auction ended, and we were the winners!  And for over $1000 less than our highest possible bid based on our budget.

New Van

On the way home from Vermont Monday, I dropped Ben off in Albany to fly to Florida and pick up the van.  We stayed a couple of days with Grandma & Grampa Hamilton while Ben was driving home.  The kids were very excited to get home and see our new van!

New Van

I drove it today for the first time.  I admit – it feels very large!  I only had to park once, but I was able to find a big enough spot.  I have not really driven a vehicle this big before, and certainly not in the City, but I know I will get adjusted.  I can easily fit three kids in one row of seats, which is nice.  We have two empty spaces instead of one.  (And no – there is not another baby on the way).  And we have LOTS of room in the back end!

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Cousins!

Baby Amelia – our first cousin (on either side) – was born on July 31st.  I was praying for an August baby, but she came in four minutes too early!  We finally got to meet her on Friday.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Pumpkin Patch

We were recently able to purchase a full size van to make deputation travel a bit more comfortable.  I'll write more on that later.  Ben is in Florida picking up the van, so we came to visit Grandma & Grampa Hamilton.  We've just had fun enjoying the house, the yard, the dog, the cat, and the country.
 
Grandma took us to Whitney Farms - something that is right up my kids' alley!  They have a small petting "zoo" with goats, sheep, and a miniature horse.  Liberty is so fearless when it comes to animals!  She loved feeding the horse!  Nehemiah is normally content to reside in the background and watch, but this time he decided to join in on the action.
 
When we were done with the animals we enjoyed some swing sets and then picked a couple of pumpkins from the patch.  It was a great fall evening!
 
Elaine was reading to Fezzik...
 
...so Nolan wanted to read to Fezzik!
 
Elaine gave Bart a run for his money!
 
Nehemiah was driving the Jeep until his big sister snuck up on him!
 
Every girl needs a horse...
 
Pumpkin Patch Cuties - Noley, Libs, Nehemiah, and Elaine
 
Feeding the horse grass.
 
Nehemiah got so bold!
 
Liberty did everything that her big sister did...
 
Fun with Grandma Fezzie!
 
Everyone came home with a pumpkin, for the same price as one NYC pumpkin...
 
Grampa had to be in Boston for work today, but when he got back the kids made up for lost time!  They are watching cartoons on Grampa's phone.
 
 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New ABC Bible Verses for K5–Pre-Cursive Font

Last year I made some ABC Bible Verses to teach Elaine.  It’s hard to find free ones in the KJV!  But, we never made it through all 26 letters last year.

Now we are doing K5 homeschool.  We are learning approximately 2 letters each week.  I am trying to use the verses again as Elaine learns the phonics sound and how to write each letter.

But I ran into a problem…my font was a nice kid-ish crayon font.  We are using Bob Jones University curriculum, and in K5 they teach a pre-cursive font.  The letters did not match from my ABC verse cards to our workbooks!  So I have updated the cards with a matching font, and I changed a couple of verses to match the letter with a more appropriate phonics sound.

Here is an updated version for anyone who may want it…

A jpg     M jpg

T jpg

Download by clicking this link…

KJV ABC Verses for Preschool-K5 (Pre-Cursive Font)

for personal use only, please.

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