Our family

Our family

Friday, January 13, 2017

It's Friday!!!

Along with most people, I have been thinking about my dreams, goals, and expectations for the new year. And...I'm still thinking! I actually have a list of books that I'm compiling that I want to read, I have a Bible verse I want to use for this year, and I have several goals written down. However, I say all that to say that I'm not writing about any of that right now! πŸ˜€

I want to write a few things about what is happening in our lives, and I will come back and revisit that first paragraph another time. We have been adjusting to our back-to-school routine. The boys truly enjoy going to the Christian school, and it's been a good experience for them. I do have a few prayer requests about a few things though. Our youngest and oldest sons seem to both find school particularly challenging. We are in need of wisdom on how to help them succeed and how to encourage them. Please pray that both parents and students will be encouraged!

The boys have started taking tennis lessons along with the rest of the students at the school. They had their first lesson today and they came home full of news on the topic! It's so fun to see them excited about their experiences!

                                     Snow from last week! This week it warmed up to 45 degrees!

It's been a slow year for snow (or at least in the mind of these people from Wisconsin)! We get s little bit and then it warms up and melts. The boys have enjoyed every bit we've gotten thus far, and our yard is a swarm of trails, forts, and snow piles  (they are trying to make it last, but putting it in piles).

We attended a birthday  party at the ice skating rink last Saturday, and the boys certainly enjoyed that. They have made some really good friends through the school, and we are thankful for that.

My mom has been staying busy with folding lots of clothes, reading lots of books to Emma, helping with chauffeuring children to school, and playing uno with the boys. I'm thankful for her willingness to pick up or drop off kids, or to keep Emma at home while I drop off or pick up kids. I helped out with the hot lunch at school last week, and it was nice to have someone to watch Emma while I did that.

Hannah came down last week to help me put a video presentation together for our church. Our pastor asked if I would be willing to present my upcoming missions trip to Haiti. I don't have any of my own pictures from Haiti since I haven't been there yet! Thankfully, Hannah has many pictures tochose from! πŸ˜€ She came to our church on Sunday and did the presentation with me. I almost mad it through the entire presentation without tears, but this missions trip is especially close to my heart. I am so excited to be going on this missions trip with her. God has proven Himself strong and faithful at every step of this journey. The church has taken up an offering for the missions trip to Haiti, and I'm thrilled to report that I have 75% of the cost covered! Roger and I took a step of faith when I committed to going, and I have been completely amazed at how God has provided. We are leaving two weeks from today, and I am looking forward to seeing the Lord at work. It's so easy to become complacent and lukewarm in our walk with the Lord in America. We aren't in need of food, clothing or shelter, but yet I can find much to complained about. I'm praying and anticipating that God is going to do a great work in my own life during this trip. I'd also like to be a special blessing to someone on this trip, so please pray that I will be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Emma's dentist appointment pictures! 

As excited as I am about going to Haiti, I am leaving behind my awesome husband and five great kids. I know that God will take care of them, but wow... I'm going to miss them like crazy! I wish Roger was able to go on this trip with me, but God just did not give us peace about that happening.

Today (Tuesday) I spent the day taking Emma to the pediatric dentist which is about 1.5 hours away. We left our house at 5:30 am, but we made it to the dentist on time! She has been very nervous about this dentist appointment, and she has prayed about it every day for the last month. The dentist gave her a little sedative to relax her, and then they took X-rays and filled a cavity. She did very well, but her mouth was numb on one side after the appointment. By the time I had driven ten miles down the
road, we had to stop. She had kept biting her tongue and cheek, and we had blood everywhere. Emma was very distraught about that, but we fixed it. She hasn't been herself all day, and I miss my active, happy girl. She was upset at bedtime because she couldn't suck her thumb because her tongue is swollen. I am praying that a good nights rest will help us all feel better.

Tonight (Tuesday) Roger and I went to the deacons meeting at church. We are interested in becoming members of the local church here in Maine. One of their requirements for membership is coming to a deacons meeting and sharing your salvation testimony. I actually really enjoyed the opportunity to share my salvation testimony as it is such a reminder of all that Christ has done for me. Emma came with Roger and I as she has been clingy all day. Roger and I are looking forward to joining the church  and becoming involved in people's lives.

Emma, myself and my mom went to visit an older lady on Thursday morning. She's been a pastor's wife for years, but doesn't get out too often these days. She has seemed to really enjoy having our children visit, so I try to make a visit there every other week or so. This sweet older lady took the time to pick out small gifts for each of our children. Her thoughtfulness and generosity were a reminder to me of how much God blesses us. He brought this sweet grandma into our lives in the first week we moved here last June. For whatever reason, He knew that I needed her friendship, and she needed some children to love on.

Okay, it's now Friday morning and I need to wrap this post up! I've been working on it since Tuesday!
A few updates and then I will be done! Emma has had a rough few days which is code for "So has mama!" . She chewed up her tongue and cheek so badly when her mouth was numb that she has had a hard time eating or drinking anything. I think we are through the worst of it now, and hopefully we can all get a good nights sleep tonight!

Roger and I are getting away for a "mini date" next week! Someone at Roger's work heard that we were trying to get away for a few days by ourselves, and that our budget was very small for this adventure. He offered us their family cabin up in the woods of Maine! We are leaving on Monday when  Roger gets home from work. We will return on Wednesday morning. We have not been away by ourselves since last June when I came out to sign papers on the house. I am very excited about hiking in the woods, trying out cross country skiing, uninterrupted conversations, and memories to build a stronger marriage. We don't leave our kids very often, and since my mom is willing to take over for a few days, we want to enjoy this time together. I know of some married couples that don't ever want to leave there kids, and that is fine if that's your conviction. However, I know for Roger and I that our marrriage grows stronger, our parenting corrections are more aligned, and our desire for Christian growth is flamed when we take a day here or there for ourselves. It might sound selfish, but as I've been told before, "Yes, you only have your kids at home for a few short years. But remberer that when these years are past, you will still have the man you married. You better make sure to keep the flame alive!" πŸ˜€

It's time for me to say goodbye for now and get ready for the day! Happy Friday! May we use today for His honor and glory!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas break....Skating, Family, Skiing, and More!!

Family arrived, the presents were opened, Jesus' Birthday was celebrated, and the days of vacation have flown by!

                                                  Skiing and Snowboarding Trip

My parents arrived Tuesday, December 20. Oh, how excited the boys were to see my parents! Emma was excited because the boys were excited, but once my parents arrived, she was a bit standoffish. It didn't take her long to warm up to them, but six months without seeing them caused her memories of them to fade. She has warmed up and is back to her usual cheery self. She's asking Nana to read her books, and for Papa to play with her. The boys have been busy with Papa as they've gone ice skating, ice fishing, on a plane ride, and lots of outdoor play!

Jen arrived from South Dakota last Wednesday, and we've enjoyed her company as well. The house is full of people, and sometimes you have to wait in line to use the bathroom, but it's a joyous time of year. The boys and Emma love Aunt Jen and they've been keeping her busy with playing games with them and asking for her to make popcorn! πŸ˜„

The boys finished up school last week with Christmas parties and crafts, and many other fun activities. Chandler said it was the "best week of school ever!" The boys enjoy school, but everyone is ready for Christmas break...including the teachers! I'm thankful that my parents were able to meet the teachers. and visit the school. It's nice to have a face for the name that you are praying for, and I know my parents pray for the school and the staff.

On Friday my dad took the boys ice fishing and ice skating. They were delighted to spend time with Papa even though they didn't catch any fish! We wrapped presents, finished up some last minute errands, and enjoyed the day with the family.

Saturday...the longest day of the year for my children...also Christmas Eve! πŸ˜€ The weather was a bit too warm for ice skating, and we didn't have enough snow to go sledding. The boys played lots of indoor games and asked numerous times "why is the day going so slow?!". We took them ice skating at the indoor rink along with both my sisters and Hannah's husband, Josh. Even Emma went ice skating, although she was not too crazy about it! The boys have really come along way with their skating skills, and they certainly enjoyed the time on the ice. It helped pass the afternoon a bit more quickly also. We came home, ate a snack, and went to the Christmas Eve service at church. This is one of my favorite services, and one I look forward to every Christmas season. This was our first time attending a Christmas Eve service here in Maine...obviously. πŸ˜€ It was good to sing the songs, and reflect on the meaning of Christmas. I played a piano duet with the pastor's daughter, so that was fun for me also. After the service, we came home to open presents....finally!  Emma and the boys were delighted with so many gifts, and they wanted to play with all their new treasures that very night! After all the excitement, the kids all crashed in their bed dreaming of new toys and on a sugar high from all the Christmas treats!

Christmas morning is the morning to wake up early, of course! So much excitement in the house as the boys built with new toys, played floor hockey in the basement, and enjoyed their treasures. Emma was content with another new dolly and a few horses. We managed to get everyone fed and out the door on time for the Christmas service. After church we headed up to Hannah and Josh's house for the afternoon. The boys brought along their snow gear, but it was very windy outside. They bundled up and went out for a bit, but we spent most of the afternoon playing games and watching Christmas movies...oh, and eating, of course! It was a full day, and it was a joy to have my family here to spend the day with us.

Monday was a decompressing day!All that sugar and rich foods from the previous days, made for a
great day to have salad and chicken! My dad did take the boys ice skating, Roger worked all day, and my sisters and I spent some time together shopping and visiting together. My mom hasn't been feeling well, so she tried to go to the walk in clinic. She wasn't able to see the physician, but she needs to be seen soon. She has a bad cough and cold.

Tuesday...Nana went to the doctor today. She was given the diagnosis of having bronchitis, which explains the long time cough she's had. She was given a prescription and told to rest. She spent much of the day resting. We spent the day around the house playing lots of games, and spent time visiting together.

Wednesday was my dad's last day here. He returned to Wisconsin on Thursday morning. He and mom went for a drive, visited Roger's  job, toured the area. We had several children that weren't feeling that great on Tuesday and Wednesday, so it ended up being a low key day for everyone....with lots of laundry to do!

I drove my dad to the airport early this morning. We left our house a little after four am, and we drove to Portland. It was an early morning, and I was tired...but we made it! I arrived home to find that the boys were scheming with aunt Jen and planning a skiing trip. As their Christmas present this year, Jen gifted the most with an experience. She gave them coupons for a skiing trip. The boys were so excited about going! The weather on Thursday was a variety of snow, sleet, and rain. When we left to go on the ski trip, it was snowing. However, it did rain for part of the afternoon also. The older two boys took a snowboarding lesson, and the younger two had skiing lessons. It's amazing how quickly kids can catch on! Our boys are quite outdoorsy and athletic and with the instructors help, they quickly grasp what they needed to do. Travis was convinced after his skiing lesson that he was ready for the big hill...oh dear! So, up we went on the ski lift. He and Wyatt both took off down the hill, and they made it to the bottom without crashing. I was impressed. πŸ˜€ While the kids were having lessons, Jen, Hannah and I were trying out the slopes. Hannah brought her snowboard, and Jen and I skied. It's been over twelve years since I've been skiing, so I definitely didn't try anything fancy! My goals was to not crash and go rolling down the hill. The boys stuck with the adventure through  the snow, sleet, and rain. Even though everyone was soaked by the end of the afternoon, it was a great time! We came home, dried everything out, ate supper, and watched the old movie, "Snowball Express". That was a very fitting movie to end the day on, and it provided more laughter! The boys are looking forward to the next time they get to go snowboarding and skiing, and I'm thankful that Jen provided them with this experience.

On Friday Roger had a day off of work...yay! We spent some time around the house, and then decided to meet up with Hannah and Josh. Today was Josh's birthday as well. We traveled up to Bangor to meet for lunch at Chick-fil-A. The kids weren't crazy about the drive, but they did fine. Since we were already up that way, we went to Sam's Club and a few other places that we don't have around home. My mom is staying here for a few weeks until after my missions trip to Haiti. However, she still isn't feeling fabulous so she decided to stay at home.

So, we are wrapping up Christmas break with a few slow easy days before we resume school on Tuesday. We had a great week being together and at home. The boys are praying for more snow, but they are delighted with what we have in the yard. They've built a snowboard ramp, several igloos, and a few forts over break. πŸ˜€

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends. We enjoy this time of year as we reflect on the birth of Jesus. He came as a baby, but ultimately He came to redeem the world from sin. Jesus invites you to have a personal relationship with him....now that's the best gift of all!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Living and Learning

Ready or not Christmas is coming! We've been enjoying this stretch of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it does pass by so quickly! We spent time at a holiday parade, visited a living nativity, participated in the school Christmas program, put up our Christmas tree, and we are preparing for time with family over the Christmas holiday.

On December 2,  Friday, we went with some friends from school to a local parade. The parade was relatively short, but the huge red lobster was in the parade and quite a few fire trucks. πŸ˜„ We also
met up with one of the other teachers from the school, and it's nice to go to local events and recognize people we know. After the parade, we walked down the street to "A Walk to Bethlehem". A local church puts this together every year, and it is amazing. I've seen several living nativites, but nothing quite like this one. The people line up outside the church building, and then as people file into the sanctuary a person hands them a piece of paper with one of the tribes of  Israel on it. They take the "tribes" one at a time through the display, but as you're waiting they have people leading the congregation in Christmas carols. Then a person dressed as a Roman centurion will be your guide through the walk. I can't even fathom all the work it takes to pull something like this together! Each person is dressed for the part, and it is literally a "walk to Bethlehem". You first walk to a room where the prophet is foretelling the birth of Jesus. Then the guide takes your group to where the angel speaks to Mary and she visits Elizabeth. As you weave your way through the building, we come across the tax collector in Bethlehem, and in the church kitchen the "inn keeper" tells you that he had to turn away a young couple. Following the path to Bethlehem, you enter the church fellowship hall which is set us as the marketplace in Bethlehem. There are a bunch of different booths set up each displaying something that might be sold or taught in Bethlehem during the time of Jesus's birth. Also in the church fellowship hall, is a menagerie of animals, yes, real ones! A cow, donkey, sheep, and chickens are on display at the Bethlehem market. Following the market, you are guided to the stable. There a couple is playing the part of Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus is there also. The "walk" concludes with the pastor giving a simple plan of salvation and inviting people to join them for church on Sunday. It was an amazing experience and one that will be on our calendar for next Christmas season. You are invited to come visit us during the first weekend in December so you can come along with us next year!

On Saturday, December 3, we invited a family from school to join us for supper. This family has children in three of the boys' classes, and the boys have been asking about them coming for several weeks now. Although we did not really know the parents or their boys that well, it was a blessing to have another family over for supper. Roger and I enjoyed an evening with great fellowship, lots of noisy kids and nerf guns, and it was a good opportunity to meet another family in the school.

Sunday, December 4, we picked out a Christmas tree after church. The boys were so excited, and Emma was excited about whatever they were excited about! Since we are not very familiar with Christmas tree farms, we picked one that was a bit disappointing. We had to pick a tree from the already cut ones because it was over budget to go out to the lot and cut your own. However, the boys didn't  mind too much, as they were just excited to be getting a tree. We are "living and learnin'" and next year we will do better at finding a place to cut our own. The amount of places to get a real pre-cut Christmas tree are amazing as there are just so many! However, since we enjoy the experience of cutting our own tree, we will try a different place next year. The kids had a good time decorating the tree, and I did a good job of letting them. πŸ˜€

Last week was a busy week for me at school, as we were preparing for the Christmas program. I spent several mornings at school with the practices for the  program. I played the piano for several of the songs, so Emma and I did have a few mornings where we stayed at school while the program practice was happening. I didn't mind, but I was very glad to spend most of the day on Saturday at

home. On Thursday, I worked with a few other moms doing a Christmas shop for the students at the school. All the items ranged in prince from .25 to $1.00. It was a ton of fun to set it up, watch the kids shop, and wrap presents for them. Several ladies from the church graciously volunteered to help wrap the gifts. This was a huge blessing and those dear grandmas can certainly wrap pretty and efficiently! I wouldn't mind helping with the Christmas shop next year, however, hindsight tells me that we should not do it the same week as the Christmas program!

I also took the boys to get their first professional haircuts on Thursday. They really enjoyed the experience, and I'm glad we made this treat happen for them. I also reminded them that next month mom would be cutting their hair again. πŸ˜€ They are certainly enjoying putting hair gel in their fresh haircuts!

Friday night was the school Christmas program. The kids did a great job, and I enjoyed playing the piano for the prelude and a few of the songs. I also think the staff and students are happy to have that behind them. It's a lot of work, but the kids did great. My sister was able to come down for the program, but not her husband. That's probably because I forgot about telling them until Wednesday morning...oops!

Saturday was a "catch up" day at our house. The boys spent much of the day outside building, destroying, laughing and fighting. I made Christmas cookies for our children's Sunday night Christmas party at church. I also had a conversation via phone with a dear college friend. Elizabeth and I  have not talked in probably over three years, but we jumped right back into our friendship. We were very close in college, and I'm looking forward to renewing that friendship. On Saturday afternoon we invited ourselves over to Hannah and Josh's house for cookie decorating, supper, and board games. It was a fun evening of famly togetherness. We should do it more often....not the inviting ourselves over to people's houses, but the impromptu get-togethers!

Sunday was a day of worship with other believers. I was asked to play the piano for the church Christmas choir, so I enjoyed playing in church on Sunday. I've actually been thinking that I would like to go back to taking piano lessons again if I could find a teacher who will teach me and fit in our budget plan. Someday...,maybe...we will see.

Monday, December 12, was our first snow day!! We all enjoy snow ❄️ and cold weather, and it was so fun to have a day to stay at home with all the kids! Roger had to work, and he ended up soaked to the skin by the time he arrived home. He could wring water out of his socks as they were that wet! We were just far enough inland that we got mostly snow and not the rain that the coast had. It did change to rain later in the day, but the boys just switched to water boots and kept on going! There were plenty of puddles to mop up by the back door, but they did enjoy this first snow day. The days are flying by, and I wish I could hold back time for just a little bit. The children are so excited about Christmas, and all the fun events happening at school. They are growing up so quickly in the decisions that they are making about picking out presents for others...no more wrapping of used handkerchiefs! We mailed out several packages to friends this week, and the boys are wanting to be more involved every year with wrapping, taping, and mailing. We are praying for more snow, and we are supposed to have cold weather on Friday.  Yay! The boys are anxious to try their hand at ice fishing in Maine, so maybe we will get to do that soon along with some pond hockey.

My parents are coming to Maine next week. I've been busy cleaning and organizing for their arrival, but since their arrival isn't until next week, I will still be busy cleaning and organizing! Somehow there is always something that needs doing! We are excited about my parents coming and the arrival of my sister, Jen. It's been about six months and the boys are full of memories and experiences that they want to share.

Christmas tree excursion 


Cookies and crafts!

As some of your already know, I am planning on taking a missions trip to Haiti in January. I appreciate your prayers. I am including a link with additional information. https://www.gofundme.com/jm-missions-trip-to-haiti

Thursday, December 1, 2016


                                                           Travis at ice skating lessons

This post is a little dated...obviously. But it has some memories in it that we want to remember.

Like most Americans, we are getting ready for Thanksgiving. Roger and I were just discussing how fast the year flew by. A year ago we were getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family in Wisconsin. Now we are getting ready to start a Thanksgiving celebration in a different state entirely. I'm going to miss seeing my parents, my sister, Jen, and many close friends gathered around our table. However, we are looking forward to dinner with my sister, Hannah, as well as Roger's parents.

The past week was a busy one which is of no surprise to anyone! I spent a lot of time at the school helping prepare for the school fundraiser auction on Friday. Since we are new to the school, this was a different experience for us obviously. The boys were very excited about it along with most of the kids in the school. Roger had to work on Friday, but he did make it to the auction part. The boys were "runners" meaning that they worked with the other school kids bringing the items to the auctioneer and then people would bid on them. We had been given 136 items to auction and it was everything from gift certificates to toys to jewelry to antiques and anything in between. I, along with two other moms, worked with the kids getting the items in the right order and having the kids take the items out front. There were some moments of chaos as we worked to get the items in the right order and tying to make sure the kids didn't switch what they were carrying with another student! All in all, I thought it went really well. Of course, I have nothing to compare it to, so I'll let you know next year how it really was...if I help out with it again. The drawback to helping in the back is not getting to really watch the auction or participate much, but that's okay. It helped us stay on budget! πŸ˜€ Roger could've bid on items but he was helping with Emma, and he was exhausted after working all day. He left with the boys and Emma shortly after the auction was over as he had to be at work at 4:30am. The auction dinner started at five pm, with the auction itself starting at 6:30pm. It was about 9:00pm, when we finished selling the last item, so the kids were ready to be done.

There was a slight hiccup in the events of the evening that I heard about the next day. I am really not going to even say what happened, other than I could use some extra prayers. There was a storm in my life, and I'm waiting for God to send the rainbow. I do believe that the challenge is past and behind me, but it was painful to me. I was hurting, but God sent grace and mercy to me. I rejoice in who He is, and that I can think on things that are true, lovely, good report, and pure. We truly do serve an amazing God.

On Sunday we were able to have a family from church over for lunch. It has been such a long time since we have been able to do that, and it was an encouragement to me. Lunch certainly wasn't anything fancy, but the fellowship and friendship was great! We are starting to settle in at church, matching names and faces, and getting involved with church activities. I am playing the piano for a ladies Christmas group which is a blessing to me.

Roger's parents arrived on Wednesday, November 23. It's been a while since we've seen them and we enjoyed spending a few days with them. Roger and his dad left early on Thanksgiving morning to drive to New Hampshire. Our vehicle was ready to be picked up. It's nice to have a vehicle back!  We celebrated Thanksgiving with Roger's parents along with my sister, Hannah. After a large meal, we went to the Breakwater Lighthouse to walk it off! It was a Little chilly out by the water, but it was a good walk. Of course, that also meant that we now had room for pie!

Hannah and I spent some time together on Friday. We are not crazy Black Friday shoppers by any means, but it was a festive day together. It actually was not very crowded any of the places we visited. I'm not sure if  Mainers aren't really in to Black Friday, or if they had already done their shopping with the stores opened at midnight. Maine has a law that prohibits Black Friday shopping on Thursday, so some the stores opened at midnight. At midnight, I was sleeping in my bed! Hannah and I are terrible about taking pictures when we spend time together, but we should try harder since we are making memories.

On Saturday, Roger went to work and his dad was able to go with him. The weather wasn't great, but Roger did get in a few flights. The kids and I took trash to the dump, cleaned up the house, and took Grandma to the Maine Prison showroom store. It's  a store that sells wood working projects that the prisoners have made. It was a fun, low key day.

On Monday Roger had to work, and his parents needed to get to the bus stop in Portland to catch a bus to Boston. I certainly  didn't mind taking them down to Portland, but I decided to take Travis with me. It would've been a tight time line to get back in time to pick him up at 11:30. We made it to the bus stop on time, and I enjoyed my time with our two youngest children.

As we thought on Thanksgiving last week, I came up with some thoughts about our move to Maine. We have much to be thankful for, and I want to remind myself and our children of that often.

T- Transition 
     Transitioning to Maine has helped us draw closer together as a family. It has strengthened our personal convictions as a couple and as parents as we looked at various churches deciding what one God would want us to become a part of.
    God has blessed us with a home at the end of a dead end road. It's 20 minutes from Roger's work, and it's 20 minutes to school and church. It's a good spot for us.
A- Attitude 
    A good attitude has been imperative in our move to Maine. Having five children watching how I respond has deepened my relationships with them as we weed through our emotions, facts, and feelings.
N-New experiences 
    We are truly blessed with having so many new experiences. The boys have been able to fly with Roger, hike to numerous lighthouses, try lobster, swim in the Atlantic Ocean, and so much more.
K- Konnection
      Yes. I am aware that connection starts with a "c". I'm thankful that Maine has provided an opportunity for Roger and I to re-connect in our marriage and our family. With Roger being gone for training most of 2014, living in Arizona for some of 2015, and moving to Maine in 2016, we have needed this time together. We've grown closer to each other and our Heavenly Father during these last few months.
S- Salvation and school 
      Salvation is clearly not just a Maine idea, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention how thankful I am for my salvation. Salvation is a free gift offered by Jesus Christ, and I don't ever want to forget what He did for me at Calvary.
       School....The Christian School ranks high on my list of things I'm thankful for in Maine. It has been a bit of a silver lining, and we ar thankful that the boys have the opportunity to attend there.
G  Great job for Roger
       Roger is enjoying a job that is a special opportunity for him. He has a grea boss and working at Penobscot Island Air is enjoyable for him. Roger has a special aviation talent, and I'm thankful to see him using his talent at a job he enjoys.
I   In laws
     We were not sure if we'd have anyone for Thanksgiving dinner other than ourselves and Hannah. I'm thankful that Roger's parents were able to join us. Rogers dad played many games of ping pong with the kids, and Roger's mom kept my baskets of laundry folded and the socks matched!
V AdVentures
     We have been able to explore so many new things in Maine. There is so much history here, and so much to see and do.  My favorite part is that much of it is free!
I Islands 
    As in every state, Gods handiwork is beautiful! We are blessed to live in the mid coast region. We have enjoyed flights over the islands, and we are soaking in Gods beautiful handiwork!
N Needs
   Garett came up with this one. When I asked him why we are thankful for needs, his theology seeemd a little shaky. Howeve, it was an opportunity to assure him that he is right. We do need to be thankful for needs. Our needs present us with the opportunity to ask our Heavenly Father for whatever we need and to praise Him for whatever He does!
G Glory to God!
  To God be the Glory! We have seen the hand of God on our lives and the lives of our children. We look forward to another year to praise the Lord!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

A Vehicle? Maybe...

So many things have happened in the course of a week both in our lives and in our country. It's been an exciting week to be an American, and I'm was/am rejoicing in the choice of the American people for a new leader. Apparently...in case you didn't know, people are shocked and amazed that Mr. Donald Trump is the president-elect! And now we have riots and protests in the streets against the decision that was made by the voters. Did you know that 90 million eligible American voters did not vote?! I wonder how many of those protesting actually voted?! I firmly believe that the reason that we have such protesting and violence is mostly because we raised a generation that was given anything that they pitched a fit for, and now they are suprised that it's not working! You all know about the parents in the grocery store that tell their children five times that they can't have candy. Then the child lays down on the floor screaming and kicking.  The embarrassed parent leans over and whispers "Get off the floor and you can have candy". It shouldn't be a suprise that the child bounces up and gleefully grabs the candy! Should it be a surprise to us now that these children have grown up that they act the same way? I think not! However, while I think we need to have grace and patience with those that are disappointed for the outcome of the election, they need to grow up.

Anyways, Roger had to work in Wednesday and I had to get up and get everyone going for school. We prayed together as a family, and expressed to our children that no matter what the outcome of the election would be, we would still praise God. God was still going to be in control on Wednesday morning, Roger and I would still work to raise our children for His glory, and life would go on. We have continued to pray for our nation, and I would encourage you to do the same.

                                                            Travis and Emma

I spent some time on Tuesday walking with my friend, Allison. When we came back to church, I played the piano for a while as that always soothes my soul. Then Emma and I picked up Travis, did our lunch duty and headed off to vote. It was a bit like stepping back in time as we filled out the ballots on paper rather than doing them electronically. However, it went smoothly. Maine was also voting on the legalization of marijuana, raising of minimum wage, an extra tax on people that make more than $200k, and on more gun regulations. I voted "no" on all of them. Unfortunately, the only one that didn't pass was more gun regulations and while I am very thankful for that, I'm not too thrilled about the other referendums that passed. Don't worry though, I'm not planning on having a fit over it!πŸ˜„

Wednesday was the day that I was rejoicing in what God had done. I'm not under any illusions about the president elect. He desperately needs our prayers.  However, one of the two major candidates was going to be the next president. Mrs. Clinton would have been a difficult one for me to rejoice over especially as I think about what her moral standards appear to be. Our nation is in need of intense prayer right now, as we are a country divided. As Christian people, we need to pray for our nation and ask God to specifically  work in our country. Also today was an early release day from school for the kids. The teachers are going to a convention, so the kids have a few days off of school. I went and helped with the ice skating lessons again today, as a friend was willing to watch Emma for me. Roger was unable to get off work, but I do enjoy going with the kids.

On Thursday Roger had a day off of work. He spent the day looking for a vehicle...and he found one. We decided to drive down to look at the vehicle. The kids weren't necessarily thrilled about driving to New Hampshire to look at a vehicle, but since there were not any other options, they came. πŸ˜€They are good travelers, and we made good time to the vehicle place. We took the Honda Pilot for a test drive, and the boys pronounced it a good vehicle! I liked it because it seats eight, had about 100k, and was in our budget that we could pay upfront for it. Roger was able to convince the man to go a bit lower, and we left with two vehicles. It made for a bit of a long day, but we are rejoicing in God's provision. The only drawback is that we couldn't get it insured until Monday. Friday  was Veterans Day, and the insurance place was not open on Saturday or Sunday. However, it is now
insured and we just have to go to the town office to pay the excise tax. I had never heard of such a tax before moving to Maine.

Friday was "sister day"! I wish I was better about take pictures when we go do stuff together, but we had a fabulous day. We went down to Freeport to check out the outlet stores, and to do some Christmas  shopping. I really enjoyed my time, and I so appreciated  Roger's day off. Roger is a fabulous dad, and I am blessed to be his wife. He loves me. 😘

Saturday found Roger back at work, and me and the kids hanging out at home. It was a good day for them to just be at home, out in the woods, raking leaves, building forts, and playing with legos. I do love them so much, and I enjoy the days when they are home from school.

Also this past week, Roger hit a deer with his car. The bummer part is that the deer isn't dead, and the car is damaged. When it rains, it pours! Of course, property taxes are due this week also! 😳Rogers boss loaned us a second vehicle so that Roger could get back and forth to work, and I could take the kids to school. We have done some great advertising for his work this week since the vehicles have the logo on the sides. I also drive very carefully! 😊 Roger broke a brake line on the car, lost a headlight and mirror, and dented the side panel. The good news is that the car will be driveable again. It won't be pretty, but it will get us around. His car is currently at the shop, but I am rejoicing that we can get it fixed. Hopefully, our vehicle troubles are behind us, we can get them all registered and Maine insured, and we can go back to putting aside money for the next thing. Oh, God is so good to us! If I have learned one lesson over the course of the past two years, it's about how God will provide
for our needs. I wish I could say that now I pray about stuff and don't worry, but then I'd be lying. I'm working on it!

Update: I haven't even posted this post, and it is already outdated! So....the vehicle we bought is causing us some concern. Roger drove it to work on Monday, and it started to run very loudly. Oh no! We noticed ...I mean, Roger, noticed that a patch job had fallen off the exhaust. We took it to a car inspection place and service person that many people from school go to on Tuesday. The mechanic
inspected the exhaust and also looked it over since we mentioned to them that we had just bought the vehicle. The mechanic discovered some things that need repairing which is a problem since we just
bought the vehicle! Roger immediately called the car dealer that we had bought the car from and expressed his strong disappointment...okay, it was more like anger!  Roger does not have the angry very often, but he felt that the dealer had misrepresented the vehicle. Roger told them that we would be bringing the vehicle back to them the next day. They said they weren't sure how they would solve the issue, but they would look at the vehicle. We both just wanted our money back, but knew that they wouldn't want to do that because of the title and giving back our money. However, something had to happen.

I asked my friend, Allison, if she would take the older three boys after school. Because the kids have ice skating on Wednesday, we felt it best if we didn't leave until after that. Travis and Emma had to come with us, but they did great in spite of a long day in the car. Roger left a bit ahead of us because I didn't want the kids exposed to that adult conversation. We had told our children of the situation, and we had prayed that we would specifically see God work. Chandler asked why would God let us get a vehicle that wants to take all our money. It was a good opportunity to express why we trust God even when things are hard. Perhaps God allowed the muffler piece to fall off so that we would realize that other things are wrong with it. I will say that the boys are learning the power of prayers as we adventure through life.

                                                                 Ice Skating!!
I picked up Travis early from school, made arrangements for the older boys to go with Allison, and started down the road. It was a long day. By the time we arrived at the car shop, Roger was through discussing the problem. He explained what the other mechanics had found and how disappointed he was with the dealership. They didn't see it as their problem at first, but at Rogers insistence they agreed to put the car on the lift. The mechanic admitted that there was a problem, but he wasn't willing to give our money back. He asked for an opportunity to "make it right to us, and he said they would fix it. I'm not sure how much confidence Roger and I have in that, but we are praying that they exceed our expectations. Would you please be in prayer for that also? We drive a lot, and we need a vehicle that can go a long time for many years. God is faithful and I'm thankful that He sees the big picture.

I have had the opportunity to learn a few things this week.
1) It takes two hours and forty-two minutes to get to the car dealer in New Hampshire.
2) New Hampshire does not have income tax, which I already knew, but it's a cool fact.
3) If nothing else, Roger and I have been able to have two separate conversations that have been at least two hours and forty-two minutes long.
4) We found a car mechanic for future reference near us.
5) We have some good friends in Maine
6) The whole situation could always be worse. πŸ˜‰
The beautiful sunset...and our vehicle 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Heart Full...and My Vote on Tuesday!

"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." Patrick Henry

"Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism." George Washington

Oh my! My heart is full this week, and I have much to write about in the story of our lives.

Monday: As you might remember, Monday was October 31. The kids had a full day of school, but we also signed up to participate in our church's "Trunk and Treat Event". I didn't realize until Sunday that most people decorated their trunks for the event. So, I went home and went directly to Pinterest! I gleaned a few ideas, but you would've still needed to use your imagination on Monday night to figure out what I was trying to create! (Roger is the artist, not me!) We've never participated in an activity as this one, but it was fun. The kids had a good time helping pass out treats, playing the ring toss game we brought, and visiting with other kids. I know a lot of Christians greatly frown down upon Halloween events, but I can also see what a community outreach this event was to the town. We did have to look for kids, they came to us! It was a wonderful opportunity to give the community a safe event, and for the church to present our children's ministry and other ministries. The boys have never dressed up for Halloween, but I told them they could be anything they wanted to be as long as it was something we already had a home. Garett was a soccer player (who about froze since he wore shorts). Chandler and Wyatt were ice skaters with roller blades. Travis was a lobster man. He declared that this would be easy because all he would need is rubber boots and a trash bag. (We do see a lot of sternmen around town wearing rubber boots and carrying a trash bag.) Travis built his own lobster trap by tying two milk crates together. Roger was working on Monday so he wasn't able to be there, but it was a good opportunity for the kids to serve others. We did have to have some discussion on the way home about Halloween, but I was thankful for the opportunity to again assure my children that "this is the day that the Lord hath made." Satan may try to take that day, but we are "lights on a hill" and today we had the opportunity to share Jesus. (You may disagree with me, and that's fine.)

                        Emma thought the leaf pile outside was so much fun that she brought it inside!

Tuesday: Well, I was the impromptu music teacher today. The lady who normally teaches music was not feeling well, and I was asked if I would be able to teach. At first I said "no", since music class started in five minutes. However after I walked away, I walked back and said yes. I know how important it is for the teachers to get a little bit of a break to grade papers, or whatever they need to do. It was not a well prepared lesson, and I'm thankful that no one was critiquing it. However, I did teach four different music classes, and the teachers got a break. Emma was with me the whole morning, so she was ready to go home also. We played quite a few games of musical chairs and "name that tune". πŸ˜„ I also had lunch duty that day, so it was a bit of a long day. It was nice to go home  for rest time.

Wednesday: The school started their four week course on ice skating today. Oh, how excited the boys were about going to school today! A older lady in the church offered to watch Emma in the nursery to I could help out with ice skating. The school was asking parents to come along and help tie skates or go on the ice with the kids. Emma was perfectly willing to play in the nursery, and I was happy to help with ice skating....after all, it's fun exercise! πŸ˜„ Roger was able to get away from work for a bit to come out as well. It's a delight to my heart to know that our kids enjoy having Roger and I come along to their special activities. By the time ice skating was over, it was about time to help out with the hot lunch. The school serves hot lunch once every two weeks, and I usually help prepare and serve if needed. I could tell that the kids had enjoyed the morning of ice skating, but everyone was looking a bit tired! Travis was even ready to go home and take a nap!

As I look back on the week, I see how busy it was for us. No wonder we were ready for the week to be over! I'm thankful for the opportunities to serve, but writing about it also makes me aware of how much I need to guard against adding more things to our lives.

Thursday was a fun morning walk with my friend, Allison. We've become good friends, and she doesn't mind walking with me. πŸ˜„ We also usually enjoy coffee together, so I look forward to the days that we manage to get in a walk together.

Friday was chapel day at school. I have been playing the piano some for chapel, and it's definitely something I enjoy. It's a bit of a challenge to watch Emma while trying to play the prelude, but I think  we have worked something out. It reminds me of our days in Alaska when I would try to play the piano, sing the hymn, and give my children "the eye" which  meant "sit down and behave"! Oh, the memories!

On Friday we also went out to the Pastor's house for chili and a bonfire. Roger met us there, as he was working. He worked for eight straight days, so we didn't stay late. We did have such a wonderful time of fellowship, and it was an encouragement to our family.

Saturday....Roger was off work! Hooray!! We spent the day cleaning up the yard, taking trash to the dump, and preparing for the winter. The boys were thrilled when we said we were done for the day!  It was a tiring day, but we did get a lot accomplished. We ended the day with homemade pizza and several rounds of hide and seek. We are about to the stage where we don't have to hide anyone anymore or pretend to not see the child hiding under the couch cushion. We actually have to look these days!

Sunday...it's another day to worship the Lord together! Roger has off again today, so that makes my morning a bit easier. I was able to get in a quick run before church, which was a reminder that it's been a while!

The upcoming election has been heavy on my heart. I feel like the very freedoms that our forefathers fought to protect and preserve are on the line. The future of our children and grandchildren is at stake and many Americans seem to be caught in a quandary about whom to vote for in the election. I'm not going to say anything that you haven't already heard or read, but we need to be on our knees for our country. As I was running this morning, the thoughts of the election were so heavy on my mind that tears started to stream down my cheeks. (Good thing we do not live on a busy road!) How much we need our God to intervene! Neither candidate is a great choice, but I cannot vote for anyone who wants to abort babies at any stage of life, does not care about our military, nor does she care about religious freedoms for Christians. I will be voting for Mr. Trump on Tuesday. I will not bury my head in the sand and think a third party candidate can win. I wish to protect my children,  and I love the U.S.A. I am praying for God to allow Mr. Trump to be the next president of this nation. I am so passionate about this election and what it  could mean for the future of  America that I have committed to fast and pray for two days. I'm not telling you that to get attention, but to encourage you to think about doing the same. Please be in fervent prayer for our nation.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Thankful Heart

We make choices in our lives on a moment to moment basis, and for this moment I am choosing thankfulness! It's easy to wish things were different or easier or whatever, but the truth of the matter is "wishing doesn't make it so". In light of the events of the past week, I choose to be thankful because it is the right choice. And November is coming up, so it's a extra special time to practice being thankful! πŸ˜€

1) I am thankful for a vehicle to drive. I wish I had my own vehicle but since ours broke down last week, I am thankful we have one to drive. Last week, I went to the park with a friend instead of heading home after picking up Travis. The Lord's sovereign hand was in that event as I noticed on the way to the park that the brakes felt "squishy". When I reached the park, I check underneath the truck. A brown liquid was streaming out of the bottom of the truck. I called Roger (who was proud of me for noticing πŸ˜€), and he talked to his boss. Roger's boss graciously allowed Roger to leave work to check on our truck and even sent Roger with the company suburban as a replacement vehicle! Roger was able to limp our truck back to the airport where it is currently sitting. We are now REALLY looking for a vehicle, but we have yet to find one that will meet our needs. It needs to sit eight as an extra seat is really nice, get better gas mileage than the suburban, still have lots of miles that it can go, and be the right price! And yes, God does have one for us! I am confident in that.

2) I am thankful for the dentist. We finally found a dentist that would take our insurance. Emma has needed to see the dentist for a while now, but we struggled to find a dentist to take our insurance. This dentist was able  to get Emma in on Wednesday. Emma was a bit of a basket case, but she did cooperate enough for them to decide to give her a referral to a pediatric dentist. She has one tooth that isn't right, and I have to set up an appointment for her to see the pediatric dentist. The receptionist told me as I was leaving that she had some cancellations for the next day, and she could fit in all the boys. It's about an hour drive to the dentist, but if all the boys could be seen in one afternoon, I was all about that! So back to the dentist we went on Thursday afternoon. Two of the boys have one cavity each, and two of the boys did not have any cavities. However, three out of the four received referrals to see the orthodontist! Yikes! Anyways, I am thankful that there are orthodontists and dentists to see to the needs of our teeth!

3) Roger spent much of the week working...no surprise there. But I'm thankful for the days that he can work, and it's getting darker earlier! Yay! Twice this week we were able to each supper all together as a family, and I am thankful for that.

4) I am thankful for the friendships that I am making. I went walking with a mom from school this week, and I was able to use my new carrier for Emma. A friend, Jenn, from Wisconsin sent me a new carrier for Emma. She noticed how much we go walking, and she decided to send us a new one. It came on a particularly disheartening day, and God greatly encourage me through her kindness. I go walking usually one morning a week with another mom, and I have certainly enjoyed her friendship to me.

5) I am thankful for our church. Now that we have committed to this church, it's exciting to be involved. We are starting to match names and faces, and we have been blessed and encouraged. It's also important that we keep a balance in it all. With having the kids in the school, and being a part of the church, Roger and I are realizing quickly that we cannot do it all. There are too many events that need help, but I am learning to guard our family times with a fervency. I do not want to experience "burn out" again, and I do not want our children to feel that they are only home for short periods of time. That's what it felt like this week with back to back dentist appointments and a special church event on Wednesday and Sunday afternoon. But we are on to a new week and new choices!

6) We are thankful for praying friends. Many have sent texts or asked how Wyatt is doing. Honestly, he seems to be adjusting just fine. I don't think all the mountains are behind us in this experience of moving back to first grade, but I know that many are praying for his transition.