Our family

Our family

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Giving Thanks! And an Auction Update!

Psalm 100:4 “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”

Thanksgiving Day is tomorrow! I hope that you have plans to set aside some time just to reflect on The Lord’s blessings to you. This holiday is one of my favorites, and I’m looking forward to some time just singing His praises. We have a pie and praise service tonight at church, and it is one of my favorite services. I enjoy singing, hearing about other people’s blessings, rejoicing with believers, and having pie and fellowship afterwards. Our thanksgiving dinner will be a little different this year. Last year, Rogers parents were here for a few days over the Thanksgiving Break. This year we had thought about having dinner with Hannah and Josh. However, Josh has to be at work by three, and it seemed like everything might be a bit rushed if we tried to get up to their house, have dinner, and then Josh would have to rush off to work. Instead, we are going to try to get together another day when Josh and Roger have off, and enjoy some time together. I wasn’t sure how our dinner would end up. I mean, I make a lot of food every day, but my energy level has been lacking  lately due to a cold. Soup and sandwiches might have been our dinner! Everyone in Maine seems like they have family out here...lots of family! We didn’t know of anyone who didn’t have a place to go that we could invite to our house, and I’m not one for inviting myself, my spouse, and five kids to someone else’s dinner! But, God has a plan! We have a thanksgiving dinner plan, and I am looking forward to it. I’ll tell you about it later.

Okay, going back to last week for a minute as I want to give you some details! The Auction!! Hooray as it is behind us! God exceeded my expectations, and He gave us over $1000.00 more than what I had been praying for as posted in a previous blog post! It was a long day. Did I mention that it was a long day?! I had a parent/teacher conference at 7:30 am., and we did not get home until about 9:30 pm.,  I’m thankful for God’s grace! I spent the morning running a few errands for the auction, setting up tables, and working with Allison on about 550 projects-all at one time! A few more moms came after lunch to help finish setting up, and we were ready on time. Two of our boys had piano lessons after school, so by the time that was done we only had half an hour until the dinner and auction. We    had such a great turnout! There were a lot of faces that I didn’t recognize, and many friends and family from the community. Roger’s boss and his wife were able to come for a bit, and that delighted the hearts of our children. We had enough food for everyone, but by the end of the night, most of the food was gone. Our auctioneer for this event had a previous engagement for another auction. And in seventeen years that this auction has happened, he has never not made it. Um, until this time! At six o’clock people were ready for the auction to start. We had already announced the winners of the silent auction, and we were told that it would be at least another thirty minutes until our auctioneer could get to our auction. Well, there was nothing to do but start! I’ve never been an auctioneer, but I can now say that I’ve done it! 😀 I wasn’t the greatest auctioneer, but the audience had such great attitudes and sportsmanship. Have you ever been in a position that you have no idea how it happened, but there you are?! Yeah, I just prayed and asked the Lord to help me not say anything too dumb...and I started auctioning off the items. Thankfully, Claire was there to help with the items and to remind me what price I had sold an item at! Garett and Chandler were pretty excited as their succulent planters went for $35.00 each. When I was up there trying to auction stuff off, it felt like we were not going to make very much money at all! However, God brought it all together and ten and twenty dollars will add up! Thankfully, the auctioneer did arrive eventually, and I was more than happy to relinquish my post! God is so good and faithful, and He abundantly blessed this endeavor. I’m more than happy to not think about fundraising for a while, and I’m not planning on getting a job as an auctioneer!
 



Saturday was a low-key day at home. Travis and Emma had been struggling with colds all week, and I knew that I had been fighting one also. Roger was working, and the kids and I enjoyed the day with out any commitments. I did catch up on laundry, and I rearranged the living room. But I also enjoyed watching a Christmas movie with our kids. I knew by Saturday night that we would not be attending church the next day. The boys were all still very congested, Roger would be working, and my energy level was low. A few of the kids would’ve been fine to go to church, but with Roger working, the rest of us stayed home. I can’t remember the last time we’ve all missed church, and I certainly missed being there. However, Garett did a short devotional for us as did Chandler. The boys played their Christmas piano pieces for me, and we had a good morning together. I’m thankful to be planning on being back in church next Sunday, but it was a good day.


We have so much to be thankful for this year. As I look back at where we were a year ago, so much has changed. A year ago we were still struggling to find our footing in the church in School, still praying that God would bring good friends for our children, and missing our old traditions from Wisconsin. This year God has brought about close friendships, a deeper involvement in church and School,  a great job for Roger for a year and one-half, and so much more. What are some things that you are thankful for this year?

We finished up school today with an early release day. Travis’s class had a short thanksgiving program and a thanksgiving dinner. The parents were invited to come, so I went to his class for that program. We also had music program practice this morning, so it was a really quick day. I know all the students are getting a bit tired of the practices, and so am I! We are all ready to move on to something else, but we have two weeks to go! I am looking forward to putting it behind us. Roger has agreed to make some stage decorations for me, and I am so thankful for his support on this endeavor. My parents are coming for the program, so I know that my dad will help me build something if I still need help. 😀 I am blessed to work with some pretty great students, and I am certainly looking forward to seeing this hard work come to fruition...I hope!

On Saturday we are having some friends over to our house for supper. The boys don’t know it yet, but it’s actually a surprise party for Garett and Travis! Their birthdays were in August, but life happened- a party did not happen! I figure if I plan it for this week, they won’t have a clue! We have about thirty people coming over for supper and dessert. The boys are excited about having their friends over, and I’m hoping for a successful surprise party! 😀I love surprises, and I enjoy surprising others. This should be fun-I’ll let you know!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Auction Week and Waiting to See God Work

Roger and I knew going into this week that it would be a long, crazy week. Roger has been finishing up his art drawing for the auction, I’ve been at the school either working with music or auction projects and we are both looking forward to Friday evening! Friday is the day of the school fundraising auction, and we will be able to put this event behind us. I’m happy and thankful for the opportunity to work with the parent group on this endeavor, but I’ll be glad to see it come to completion also!
Roger’s Drawing 


Also, some of you might remember that we bought a Honda Pilot last fall because we were told that our suburban wouldn’t pass inspection due to the rust. Also the suburban had a broken brake line that needed to be fixed. So...long story short, we bought the Honda Pilot. While I don’t know what God’s plan has been in this all, it’s been a constant reminder that God is faithful. Through a series of events we were able to have the suburban fixed and made road worthy. Which meant that we had three vehicles to insure, three to pay Maine registration fees on and three to pay Maine excise taxes on! We were able to buy the Honda debt free, but keeping up with fees, insurance, and excise taxes, has been a bit hard. After much prayer over the summer, we decided to put the Honda Pilot up for sale. The suburban is not worth much, but it keeps going. We asked  God to help us sell it before the excise and insurance came due again which would be on November 15. We had several interested groups in the vehicle, but no one who actually came up with the money. It was getting a bit discouraging for me, but Roger rarely seem to be bothered by waiting. Sometimes his ability to be patient drives me crazy! (But it’s a good thing to have so much patience!) We just kept praying, and we encouraged all the kids to pray with us. Finally, on Saturday of last week, God brought the right person along. We did   take quite a loss on selling the Honda, but the sense of peace from not having that burden of  insurance, excise tax, and registration is a great feeling! So we are back to two vehicles and two      drivers...which means that it’s time for one of those vehicles to break down. Sure enough, Rogers little Honda Civic car needs some engine work done on it! Now why did that vehicle decide to break down now?! I see a lot of driving back and forth to Roger’s work in the near future, but you know what? I’m thankful anyways!

This week has just been a flurry of activity for our family. I told the boys on Monday that it would be a week of easy meals like macaroni and cheese, sandwiches and fruit  and salads for suppers. The boys had no complaints about the menu as usual. Chandler did ask me to make sure that I didn’t forget to go grocery shopping this week. “Because even though it’s a busy week, I still need to eat.” Um, yes, I didn’t forget that!

Roger had to work on Sunday which makes my day a bit longer. However, today Garett and Chandler were invited to go over the the pastor’s house to play with his son. They were very excited, but meanwhile, two little boys were very disappointed! They played together nicely in the afternoon though, and I ended up dropping of Wyatt at the airport before the kids program in the evening. He has had a bit of a cold, and we have a child that comes to the kids program that is very susceptible to catching germs. I just wanted Wyatt to stay with Roger as to not get anyone sick!

Monday morning was our regularly scheduled music classes. We have a little over three week until the program, and I’ve been brainstorming lots of ideas with Roger. I’m so thankful that he can figure out some of my ideas and make them work for back drops and staging! After lunch duty, Emma and I stayed at school to help work on organizing our auction items. A few other moms helped as well, and we did accomplish quite a bit. After school, two of the boys had piano lessons while I had parent teacher conferences. I had conferences with Garett and Chandlers teacher as well as with Travis’s teacher. The boys are doing well. Chandler did not make honor roll which was a disappointment to him, but his grades have gone up from the beginning of the year. I tried to encourage him that this was really good as in the beginning of the year there is so much review. Now the work is getting harder and his grades are still improving. He is making good strides and seems to be catching on to the material. Garett is still struggling in school, so we are trying to make some changes to his curriculum to see if that will help. I know that school doesn’t come easy for some people, but I’d like us to figure out something to help him succeed in his schooling. He has a great teacher, and she is working with him. I refuse to borrow trouble from the future, and we will just focus on today’s  challenges. Travis is also struggling. His teacher said that if she could give him a grade based on effort and work ethic, he would pass with flying colors. However, the application of the material is  getting him bogged down. I love these boys, but we could use an extra dose of wisdom to know how to best help them learn and grasp the materials needed.
 


After parent teacher conferences and piano lessons, we headed to the airport for a birthday party. The company was having a surprise party for Kevin, Rogers boss. While it made for a very...very...long day, I’m thankful that we went to the party. It was about five thirty at the party, and it was a cake and ice cream party. I told the boys not to fill up on cake as they would be sick since we hadn’t eaten supper yet. The kids really enjoy both Kevin and Terri so I’m glad that we went to the party. We went home for supper, reading, a few minutes of down time, and bedtime!

Tuesday was a fresh new start. Roger had the day off of work which was good as he needed to finish  up his art drawing for the auction. Emma stayed home with Roger while I went with Allison to Sam’s Club. The closest Sam’s Club is about an hour away, and we don’t go too often. But with the auction on Friday we had some things we needed to get. It’s so much more fun to do things like that with a friend. We never ran out of things to talk about or our ideas or dreams, and we were able to get about everything we needed for Friday night. After school the kids and I made some Chex mix and muddy  muddies for the bake sale on Friday night. Well, we tried! After everyone was done sampling everything there was quite a dent in our makings!

Wednesday was another day that Roger had off, and now he is entering a stretch of seven straight days of work. I worked with the students on the upcoming Christmas program, while Roger ran a few errands. I ended up working on a few things for the auction as I had a few extra minutes before Roger came back. And we had enough time to squeeze in a quick date before picking up Emma. Hooray! I was also able to get in a short run this afternoon, so I was a happy mama. After school we came home and worked on a few things around the house. Tonight was  also the first night of the Christmas choir practice and Roger and I are both singing in that. I’m hoping that a few people forgot,  or it’s going to be a small group this year! I was exactly excited about going out at night again during such a busy week, but since I get to play the piano for this I wanted to be there! 😀 And as usual, once we went, we received a blessing. I’m excited about the Christmas season, but also greatly looking forward to Thanksgiving Break next week!    

Thursday...is this week over yet?! I had a few things that I needed to pick up for the auction this morning, so after dropping off the boys, Emma and I finished up what we needed to do. We came back to the school to help number and organize the items for the auction. I also helped “pick” lobsters this afternoon in preparation for the Lobster Rolls that we are having at our auction dinner tomorrow night. When I walked into the kitchen to ask how I could help, Claire said, “Yes, you can pick the claws.” I just stared at her and then said, “Well, I’m happy to help. But I probably need some directions!” We both laughed as she realized that I was way outside what I was familiar with doing! So “picking” lobsters means that you break open the claws or tail and pick out the meat for the lobster rolls. We had four women working and about 70lbs. Of lobsters to be picked. We managed to get it all done, kitchen cleaned up, and our kids picked up by three pm. I’m thankful for the other ladies that came alongside and helped us with this project. Meanwhile, Emma and another preschooler had been left unattended while we were working in the kitchen. When I went to check on them, Emma met me in the doorway with out her pants on! She explained that they were “wet” to which I was instantly suspicious. It would appear that while the mamas were busy, the two little girls were busy making “slime”. They had dumped out about six bottles of glue and were mixing it together in a tote! It was a mess! However, at least it was easy to be cleaned up while it was still wet,  they hadn’t touched any of the auction items (so they had obeyed) and they entertained themselves. God gives us grace for what we need!
Garett helping in the kitchen instead of eating the food! 😀


After picking up the boys this afternoon, we headed home. Praise Jesus! Garett helped me make a pan of salted caramel brownies and peanut butter bars. I am so thankful for his helpful and willing spirit.   Chandler entertained Emma, so that was really helpful. I am very thankful for how the boys have come together to help me and try to play nicely together this week. It’s been a long week for all of us, and I am looking forward to seeing God show Himself strong tomorrow night. When Roger called to  say he was on his way home, he asked how it was going. I said good, but the kitchen was a bit of a mess with all the baking going on. Being the sweet, thoughtful mane that he is, he suggested that he pick up pizza on the way home. Yes, please! There is a local gas station that sells pizzas 2/10.00, and it makes for an  easy supper every once in a while!

Tomorrow is auction day! We have about 105 items in our auction. The items range from two round trip plane tickets to Boston, to hotel stays, to books, to games, to baked goods, and everything in between. My prayer is specifically asking God to allow us to make $7,500.00. Yes, that is a lot of money! However this is money that provides for field trips, hot lunches, wood chips for the playground, special School events, teacher gifts, and much more! I am excited to see what God does tomorrow night, and will you pray with us?

James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

A few blessings from this week:
1) Selling the Honda Pilot
2) The four boys had dentist appointments, and only one boy has a small cavity!
3) We had our first snow fall, and it delighted the hearts of my children.
4) In our weakness, God shows Himself strong
5) A friend gave me a coloring and journal Bible today. It’s not a gift I would’ve bought for myself, but one that I will greatly enjoy
6) I committed to return to Haiti in February even though I don’t have all the needed funds so that’s a prayer request and a blessing.
7) God has given me a wonderful husband who puts up with my craziness and still loves me! 😀
8) Thanksgiving Break is next week!
9) Roger was able to finish his drawing for the School auction
10) I am blessed to have some wonderful friends to “do life” with, and I am so blessed!

Our love to you,
Sarah
The “slime” that two little girls made today. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Blessings & Discouragments & Blessings!

Hooray for electricity! We got our power back on Friday night around six pm. We had been told that we wouldn’t get it back until Saturday around 10:00 pm, so it was an early present! 😀

The kids had a half day of school on Thursday and no school on Friday due to teacher workshop days. It was rainy and dreary on Thursday, and I was really wondering what I was going to do with the boys all afternoon. Thankfully, we were rescued from wondering about that as my friend, Annah, reached out to me and asked if we would like to come to a little party in the afternoon. Yes, yes please! We came home, plugged in our generator, ate lunch, took a little rest time, and headed to the party. Roger didn’t go as he has an art project that he is working on for the auction. Wyatt wanted to stay home with Roger, and I was fine with that as he’s been needing a little extra time with Roger. I took the other kids to the party, and they had a great time playing with friends and enjoying a fun afternoon. The kids had fun playing games, eating food, and eating again! I was happy to take them home tired and full.
 

Our generator earned its keep this week.  We used about twenty gallons of fuel this week, but I am so thankful that we had a generator this week. While not exactly the same as having the power, it did work out very well. Some of the food in our fridge and freezer was getting a little distressed by  Friday, but that’s only because we didn’t run the generator 24/7. We were told that our power would be on by  eight pm on Thursday, but that time came and went. We woke up on Friday morning to still no electricity, so we turned back on the generator to fix breakfast and get ready for the day. Roger had today off also, so he stayed with the kids while I went to the Ladies Bible study at church. I took  Garett and Wyatt with me as they had piano lessons following the Bible study. In the afternoon we took a hike together, did a few errands, and then headed home around six pm. By the time we arrived home, the tree was cleared off the power line...and the lights were back on! Hooray! While it really  wasn’t too bad of a week, it’s nice to have our internet back and lights in all the rooms. It was a very pleasant surprise to get the electricity back before Saturday night! The Lord was very merciful in allowing pleasant temperatures all week long, and while it can’t last forever, I’m thankful for the cheaper heating bill.

I have so much to be thankful for and yet I’ve struggled a little bit with discouragement and depression...yes, it happens to all of us! I would say that I’m a fairly upbeat person for the most part, but sometimes the days are long. Ever feel like you pour yourself into people, but yet the result isn’t what you had in mind? Now for sure, God is the One who orders our steps and paths, but sometimes my brain gets in the way! We’ve had many, many people in our home, invested in people’s lives, and while it’s not for reward or recognition, sometimes I’d like to be fed and filled also. Selfish-  I know! Our church in Wisconsin was also hosting their annual ladies retreat this past weekend, and that was harder than I anticipated. For several years, I was involved in oraganzing and helping with the ladies retreat. It was a relaxing few days with great Christian ladies, food and fellowship...I miss that! I have  a few dear friends here in Maine, but I’ve also realized that the ladies retreat was an opportunity to be filled and fed spiritually. I think I’m just experiencing a bit of burn-out. We are in the middle of getting ready for a school fundraising auction, the School Christmas program is right around the corner, and it’s a bit overwhelming. However, yes, God is still good. God is faithful as promised, and I can still rejoice in the fact that He understands my emotions and feelings. He loves me.

I can’t leave this post on a negative note, so I also want to state a few blessings from the week. We’ve been blessed by a few contributions to the boys school  bill, which is a huge praise! I also had a friend  from Wisconsin, Jaclyn, who sent me a package of Usborne books to to sell at the auction. We also were able to spend time as a family as the boys had off school last week. I’m thankful for my friend, Allison...I just wish we could manage to squeeze in time to spend together! I’m thankful for  how the school auction is coming together, and I’m happy for the effort that the students have been putting into the Christmas program. My sister, Jen, sent us a sweet note this week and gave the boys a gift card to McDonald’s! They were thrilled to enjoy a treat after school today. So, yes, we are blessed...so blessed!

Our love,
Sarah

Thursday, November 2, 2017

No Power...Days 1-4

We have lots of excitement in our lives every week,  but this week has been very unusual and different....even for us! Most of Maine was hit with a major storm on Monday, which left nearly 500,000 Mainers without power. Out of curiosity I looked to see what is the population of the state of Maine. Maine is home to approximately 1.33 million people, so 500,000 is a large percentage of the population!

Roger was supposed to work on Monday, but everyone was called off due to the storm. Wind gusts of up to 70 mph is not conducive to good flying weather! Roger and I were up around 5:30 am., and I was getting ready to make coffee when we heard a loud pop and the house went dark. That was the end of the electricity! Last winter we had purchased a generator since we did not want to be without heat should the power go out. We used a few times last winter and I think we put about fourteen hours on the generator. However, this week that generator has paid for itself! (Especially as there are very few generators for sale right now!)

Roger went out to start the generator and that solved part of our problems. The generator can run a lot of the house, and last winter our water also worked even when the electricity was down. However, even though we had lights in much of the house, we did not have running water. This is a slight problem when you aren’t prepared for it, and there are seven people that need water. And of course   suddenly, everyone is parched and needs water! Roger spent much of the day working on the water problems and called several people for advice. We had left several buckets out in the yard to fill up with rain water the night before just in case we needed it. Well that water came in handy for flushing the toilets and boiling it so I could wash dishes. This water problem was a mystery though! (I’ll finish that up in a minute)

Meanwhile School was cancelled for Monday due to the storm, people without electricity, and parents not able to get out of their driveways due to storm damage. That meant the boys had a day off...and we used up one of our “snow days”! I also had plans to have Hannah, Josh, and Josh’s parents over for dinner on Tuesday evening. But I had forgotten that our church was hosting a “Trunk or Treat” event and we were helping. I love how God works out all the details in our lives as we need them. Originally the boys were also going to have their last soccer game of the season, but that was cancelled also. So instead I asked Hannah if they wanted to come on Monday night instead of Tuesday. She invited us to come up to their house since they had power. But the boys just really wanted to stay at home, so I suggested that they come to our house. When they arrived around five, we still did not have water. Roger had purchased an electric meter to try to figure out why the water pump wasn’t getting the pressure it needed. Roger had discovered that the water pressure tank wasn’t getting full power, but why he didn’t know! It worked last winter, why not today?! Josh’s Dad and Josh both also looked at the problem and eventually it was discovered that one of the wires on the generator had come looose and the generator wasn’t operating at full power. This explained why the lights were dim, the microwave only partially worked, and we didnt have any water! Oh praise Jesus! This was a fairly simple fix, and it was discovered because Roger had purchased the electric meter, and Josh and his dad knew how to help. Don’t you just love how God works in our lives!?

We had a very fun evening visiting with Hannah, and Josh, and Joe and Debbie Lynn. I had become good friends with Joe and Debbie Lynn on the trip to Haiti, and it was a good evening of fun and fellowship. I’m thankful that they came to our house, as that helped solve our water problem quicker; and I’m very thankful for a generator that allows most of the house to have lights and keeps the refrigerator working. Roger has been shutting off the generator at night, and it gets very, very quiet and dark. It’s hard to fall asleep with everything so quiet, and so is every house on our road. It has also made for the need to clean the bathroom in the morning as one of our boys has a hard time seeing in the dark-Travis! (I’ve given him a flashlight, which was misplaced, and I’ve  discovered a puddle near the toilet, but not in the toliet the last few mornings!)

Tuesday was Rogers scheduled day off of work, and we woke up to still no electricity. But this morning we did have water! The boys again had a “snow day” as the school was without power. Oh dear, we are using up our snow days on days without snow! But Chandler said his teacher wouldn’t want to teach without power because she can’t see very good in the dark. 🙂 I asked my friend, Allison, if her girls wanted to come over to play for some of the day. We were still planning on having the “Trunk or Treat” even without power as it was an outside event anyways. The boys were thrilled to have playmates for part of the day and then spent time making slime, playing soccer, and being outside. I made popcorn (thankful for that generator) for the Trunk or Treat and filled a carafe with hot water. Allison had thought of the idea to have a table with hot chocolate, tea, and popcorn at the event. Since the church was without power, I had to do get ready for it at home. By the time we arrived at the event at church the power was back on...hooray! We can have School tomorrow! We had about fourteen trunks participate in the event and probably had about eighty  kids come to the  event. Garett stayed by the table with the hot chocolate, tea, and popcorn so that Roger and I could interact with the kids that came by our Trunk. However, every time I looked over at Garett, he appeared to be eating the popcorn! The event started at five pm, and by ten after five, Garett was out of hot water in the carafe! But praise the Lord for power as I could heat up more for the carafe. The table was a big hit with lots of adults stopping by, getting hot drinks, and even taking a few of the tracts we had out. As believers there are many differing opinions on Halloween, and I know much of it is dark and Satanic. However, this is a community event where many kids and parents are coming to us. What a perfect opportunity to interact with them, tell them about our church, and give them Jesus. It’s tiring, a lot of prep work, and it takes time to plan and coordinate events like these. But what an opportunity! We were done at six pm, and we picked up pizza for supper tonight. We still don’t have electricity at home, and we’ve been working at eating what is in the refrigerator and freezer. Although the generator is pulling its weight, we can’t leave it on 24/7 so we are going to have some food in distress if this keeps up. Not to worry though, the boys are helping with that problem! Because we don’t have power at the house, we also don’t have internet. That’s not all bad though as it does free us up from the distractions of the internet. It also makes it harder to research a problem as in Monday’s problem of no water! However, we have nothing to complain about when you realize that in Puerto  Rico they have been without power for 42 days!
   


Wednesday...back to school! Everyone was ready to go back to school today, and the boys actually only have a day and a half of school this week. A teacher workshop was planned on the calendar for Friday  and an early release day on Thursday. It’s been a cray week! Since we didn’t have school on Monday, we also didn’t have music class. This is not good as the program is six weeks away.  It didn’t want to take away time from the teachers, but music class is also important right now. We all worked together to come up with a solution of a combined music class for most of the Classes. I was thankful for the time that we were able to squeeze in as every little bit is helpful.

After Emma was done with school, I helped with lunch duty, and we ran a few errands. I didn’t go back home, because there is a slight concern that they will close our road. Since the tree is in the power line, which is dead, and we are squeezing by under the tree, I don’t want to be stuck at home and not able to get out. So I leave with all our children, and I return with all our children. I didn’t want to get home with Emma, have them close the road, and not be able to get back for the other boys and their soccer game. The boys had an end of the season game today against the parents! Any parents that wanted to play were invited to play against the kids. Of course, yes, I will! Roger was able to get off of work for a bit to play in the game also. It was a fun time, and soccer is something I enjoy (what’s not to like- it’s fun and exercise!) Roger had to head back to work  before the game was  over, but it was nice that he was able to come for a bit. As the game was wrapping up, I noticed that my three younger children were gathered around the truck pulling on the door handles. Oh yes! The keys are locked in the car! Not Awesome! I called Roger who was back at work, and he said he would be there in a bit. One of my friends, Annah, has triple A, so she offered to call for help. That seemed like a good idea, so she did that. They said it might be a forty minute wait...and it was getting dark. I’m thankful for good friends who are willing to stay with us while we waited! Roger arrived first,  and  he had it unlocked in less than five minutes! By the time we had everything worked out it was almost dark, the boys were cold from sweating and then cooling down, and the power was still out at our house. Garett wanted to go with Roger back to work for a while, but he’s the one who starts the generator when Roger isn’t around. I told him he had to come with mom, which he wasn’t thrilled  about but he had a good attitude. But then Roger’s boss told him to just head home instead of coming back to work. Garett got to ride with his daddy so he was a happy boy! Garett does a great job starting the generator and I’m very thankful for his willingness to learn about it. It was another simple meal, and we had to stay up a bit later than usual so that the refrigerator and freezer could catch up a bit. Since no one was home all day the generator was off all day. I’m ready to have power again, but the outage page is reporting that it will by November 2 by 8:00 pm. Still we have so little to whine about as it hasn’t been too cold, so a few extra blankets for everyone at night is helping us to stay warm.

It’s been an adventure of a week, and we are looking forward to power soon. The little boys haven’t had a bath all week...not that they complained, but it’s a necessary thing! God is so good to us though, and He has kept us safe and warm all week. He is faithful and true, and I love that He cares for every little detail in our lives.

 Please don’t mind the grammatical errors today as I have very limited time with internet!

Blessings,
Sarah

Sunday, October 29, 2017

October Conclusions

Our new week got off to a bit of a crazy start. I normally get up about 5:15 am., so that I can read my Bible, gather my thoughts, and drink a cup of coffee before the house wakes up. However, I must have been tired this Monday morning as I opened my eyes to see the clock say 6:30! I flew out of bed then! When I came downstairs, all the boys were already up and Chandler announced to me, “ I was wondering if you were going to get up today!” So, it made for a bit of a rushed morning as I teach music on Monday mornings, Emma has school, the boys have afternoon soccer practice, and everything else that happens in the morning. We still arrived plenty early for school as the boys like to play outside for a few minutes before school starts. I didn’t take time to make a cup of coffee, but after I dropped the boys off, I decided to swing by McDonald’s for a cup of coffee. I was very disappointed in my cup of coffee. I don’t drink my coffee very sweet, and they accidentally put lots of sugar in it! Oh well, I didn’t have time to get it made right, and it was time to get ready for my first music class. It made for a bit of a long morning as I really enjoy a morning cup of coffee, but we made it!
Blueberries and Milk! 


I help with lunch duty on Mondays, and Travis told me at lunch time that his head was hurting. I asked if it was from music class and playing the bells. He said no and that his head had started hurting after he ate cucumbers at lunchtime. I thought that was odd as he eats cucumbers often, but he did seem tired. Oh well. He didn’t ask for any medicine and he didn’t ask for me to take him home. After lunch duty, I went to run a few errands. We stopped by Rogers work for a few minutes, and then we headed to Walmart. I had just walked in the door when my phone rang. The school was calling me to say that Travis had thrown up and he was waitng for me to pick him up. Poor Travis. I picked him up from school about 2:15, but I wasn’t sure what to do about the other boys having soccer practice. Thankfully Allison came to my rescue and agreed to take the boys after soccer  practice. They live near the airport so roger could pick them up after work. I should’ve just taken Wyatt when I picked up Travis, but Wyatt has been working hard on perfect attendance. I went and got Travis some sprite, and then came back to school to get Wyatt. Travis acted like he had never even been sick! He said his stomach felt much better. Well, it was short lived! Once we arrived home Travis took  a three hour nap on the couch. When he woke up, the other boys were eating supper. Travis said he felt much better, ate a big bowl of supper, and seemed to be as happy as a clam. He also ate a big bowl of cereal before bed, so I’m thinking that perhaps he just caught a short -lived bug, or maybe it was those cucumbers!

Tuesday was one of Rogers days off from work. Emma was still sleeping when it was time to take the boys to school, so Roger stayed home with her. I decided to send Travis to school today as he was bouncing off the walls and ready to go...perhaps it was just something he ate? I also don’t like to see this particular son miss school as it is so difficult for him already. And today was “color day” in his class. The students were to wear their favorite color and to bring a snack in that color. Travis picked blueberries as his snack. He does enjoy those! One of the men that Roger flies has a blueberry farm and has graciously given us about twenty pounds of blueberries. The boys have been eating them daily!


When I returned home from dropping off the boys, Emma was awake. She seemed a little flushed and not her normal happy self, so we spent a good part of the day reading books and cuddling on the couch. I know I’m going to miss these days, and I already look back on pictures from when the boys were little and think “ where did time go?!”. Tuesday was just a low key day for everyone. It started  raining on Tuesday afternoon, and the rain continued into Wednesday. Emma was supposed to have a field trip on Wednesday morning, but since the field trip was to an alpaca farm, it was canceled. The rescheduled date is for Friday morning, which means that I won’t be able to go with her. However, there will be more events to do with her class. I spent the morning running errands and picking up groceries for hot lunch. The boys were invited to go over to a classmates house after school. Today was an early release day, so everyone was done with school at 11:30. I took the boys over to their friends house. I did feel a little bit bad about dropping off four boys to play with Josiah as it was a rainy day! Annah didn’t seem too bothered by it, and the boys were delighted to play st someone else house. They had a good time and Emma and I were able to get all the blueberry muffins made for hot lunch. Roger was home a bit earlier due to the rain, and Annah brought the boys home a little after five. The boys enjoyed telling us about the fun time they had at Josiah’s house, and it was fun to listen to their excitement.

Thursday....still raining! Today was the other day that roger had off this week, but I had a short meeting in the morning. I took the boys to school and attended the meeting. The parent group is working on planning a fundraising auction in November, and this is a big project! We have secured several great donations but if anyone reading this has anything amazing they’d like to give, we could still use some items. This is our biggest fundraiser as the parent group and the funds go to support field trips, hot lunch, teacher and staff gifts, and many other projects for student enrichment. Roger’s boss graciously donated two certificates for scenic flights, and we have been asking other area businesses also. It’s a big undertaking and I’ll be thankful when it’s behind us. Know why? Because three weeks after the auction is the Christmas program!!

After the meeting, Roger, Emma and I took a quick trip to Augusta. The school needed some things from Sam’s Club, and I needed some of the paper products for hot lunch on Friday. We found everything we needed at Sam’s club, and also went to a craft store down there. As a room parent for the fourth and fifth grade, I needed to get some things for the project that the class is making for the auction. I love how God just directs our steps! I was able to find some of the items that I needed for 75% off! I’m excited about this project, and I’m looking forward to seeing it come together. I will post a few pictures when we are done with the project. We made it back in time to pick up the boys from school, and it was a productive and busy day!

Friday....I have a love/hate relationship with this day. I love the fact that I get to play the piano for chapel, I enjoyed the Ladies Bible study, I am happy to help plan and execute hot lunch, I’m thrilled that the boys are taking piano lessons; but I don’t like how tired I am by Friday afternoon! Oh well! Emma had her field trip today as the weather was beautiful. I actually squeezed in a really quick run after chapel and before the ladies Bible study. I didn’t see anywhere else in the day where I could fit it in, so I took advantage of twenty minutes and did two miles. I was a little hot for Bible study, but oh well. Hot lunch today was Blueberry muffins, bagels, sausage, fruit, hash brown casserole, and yogurt. I think breakfast is one of the favorite lunches for the kids. I’m thankful for the ladies who come to help serve, clean up, and help everything move along smoothly.

After hot lunch, Emma and I went with another mom and her child to see about asking area donations for our auction fundraiser. We successfully managed to acquire absolutely nothing! That was a bit disappointing, but we will keep trying at other businesses.

Two of the boys had piano lessons after school, and then we went to the dollar store to get the stuff to make slime. Some of the kids classmates have been making slime, and the boys have been asking to try to make it. We weren’t very successful at making it, so I guess we will have to have Emma and Naomi over to show us how to make it. We did succeed at making a huge mess and creating a disaster. It took a bit to clean it up, but then we had popcorn and watched a movie together. Roger was home late,  but by the time he arrived home we had the mess cleaned up!

We had a church dinner today after the morning service, so I made several dishes in preparation for that. Our church recently started a woman’s Bible class, and I’ve really been enjoying the lessons in the class. Roger was back in church with us this morning, so it was nice for us to all be together. Roger has worked every Sunday in October, and this week he started helping out in one of the kids Sunday school classes. There wasn’t any one listed in the bulletin as leading in Childrens church this morning, so when Pastor announced that the kids could be dismissed, I didn’t notice any adult get up to follow them out. I grabbed my Bible and told Roger I was going to check on Childrens church. When I arrived in the Childrens church room, I spotted seven eager faces staring back at me. Well, I certainly wasn’t going to announce that I wasn’t prepared or had no idea what to teach! Instead I said a quick prayer for God’s direction and stepped up to greet them. God brought part of the Sunday School lesson to my mind and we discussed “fear”. Imagine the many people in the Bible that might have been fearful...David, Daniel, Jonah, Joseph, and the kids listed many more! We discussed how fear can be controlling, but God is bigger. We need to trust God in whatever circumstances we are in, and rejoice in the fact that God is for us! God gave me the verse from the Sunday School lesson to give to the children. Psalm 56:9 “When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back; this I know; for God is for me.” How awesome is that! God is for us! So I really have no idea if the children learned anything or not, but I’m thankful that God brought Scripture to mind and clarity of thought. I am so blessed!

We are looking forward to the start of a new week, and I’m excited to see how God can use us this week,  aren’t you?
Love,
Sarah

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Beautiful Weather, Small Struggles, Life!

What a beautiful week of fall weather we enjoyed this week! We spent lots of time outside after school working in the yard, cleaning and playing and getting ready for the colder weather as it will be coming!

Monday was spent teaching music classes, helping to supervise lunch duty, and a few errands in the afternoon. Emma and I went to visit one of the elderly ladies in our church. She doesn’t get out much, and my friend, Allison, had mentioned that this particular lady was lonely. I don’t know her very well, but it was good for Emma and I to visit her. We didn’t stay very long, just about half and hour, but the lady seemed like she certainly enjoyed the visit. Truth be told, I don’t feel like I “have time” to visit with people, but if ministry is about touching people’s lives for eternity than I firmly believe that each believer has a responsibility to “make time” for visiting with others. My dad is one of the best people I know about making time to invest in others so I grew up with a great example of that. It’s also important to me that our children see us make the time to invest in other people’s lives be it by having them over for dinner, visiting them in their home, making a blessings basket, or just simply trying to meet some of the needs of those around us. Hmm...that was a bit of a rabbit trail, but oh well!

The boys also had soccer practice on Monday afternoon, so that made for a bit of a long day.  However, it so nice to be outside just playing with the other children during this week of beautiful weather. Tuesday  morning was spent visiting with another mama and her little ones. Roger was  working so after dropping off the boys at school Emma and I headed to a play date. It was a good   morning spent enjoying Bethany’s company and watching the little ones play. We didn’t stay very  long as I needed to get home. Emma and I puttered around the house the rest of the day working on    laundry and getting out clothes for the colder weather.

The boys were very excited about school on Wednesday, well at least the older two were excited! Their teacher had a field trip planned for Wednesday morning, and the boys were looking forward to it. Roger had the day off today, so he was able to join the boys on their field trip. The class went to a Transportation Museum in our area. The class has been studying about Orville and Wilbur Wright, so one of the volunteers at the museum spent some time discussing them. Then another volunteer showed the class around the museum. I don’t think the volunteers see a whole lot of action/people at the museum, and this particular guide was a bit lengthy with his words. However, the class did a good job of paying attention and trying to participate. This particular guide also seemed to have a very small personal space bubble and he didn’t mind being in other people’s space. It was actual a bit humorous as he would ask the kids a question and be standing about eight inches from their noses. It gave me a laugh and it’s a memory from the field trip. The kids seemed to have a good time, but of course they would, after all it was a morning spent outside the classroom! After returning the boys to School and picking up Emma, we decided to take a walk on one of the local trails. It’s been such unseasonable warm weather that we have been soaking it up as much as possible. We had a good walk together and then returned to the school. We had brought two vehicles into School that morning so that one of us could stay for soccer practice while the other went home. I took Emma and Travis home with me to prepare supper and get ready for the next day, while Roger waited for the boys to finish practice. Travis must’ve had a rough day as he was a basket case on the way home. The day  before he had spent some time after school cleaning out the truck. He had done a great job, and Emma had dropped some trash on the floor by the time Wednesday afternoon came around. I could  not grasp why Travis was having such a meltdown over a few pieces of trash that could be easily fixed, but eventually I realized that this was actually just the straw that broke the camels back. He realized today that he wasn’t getting very good grades in class and that he wasn’t on the same reading pages as the rest of the class. (It’s not something I’ve been hiding from him, I just haven’t felt the    need to remind him that he is struggling in school.) And also he wasn’t chosen to help with anything special for his class chapel on Friday, and he didn’t understand his Bible verse, and the truck was a mess, and he didn’t really like School! Oh dear! That was a long list of struggles for a small boy!  After sorting through many of his struggles and listening, he moved on with his afternoon. He spent much of the afternoon out in the back yard just playing in the sandbox and playing with his farm  stuff. My heart hurts for this little boy, but I know that God understands Travis’s feelings and  emotions far better than I do. I’m just trying to be a mama that encourages him, listens to him, and points him to Jesus.

Thursday was spent working on a variety of projects with Roger. He had the day off so we spent some time clearing out stuff that needs to be taken to the dump. It was a productive day of hard work, but we both felt like we accomplished some much needed chores. We took several trips to the dump, and got rid of a lot more stuff than we would’ve had the kids been around. And so far, none of them have mentioned that anything is missing. In the afternoon, before picking up the boys, Emma and I went to visit Mrs. Welch. She is a local pastors wife, and a friend of ours. I try to visit at least once a month, but sometimes time gets away from me. We enjoyed a good afternoon talking about many topics. After school we took the boys on a hike. One of the big cruise ships was in the bay today, so we hiked out to one of the lighthouse perches to see if we could get a better glimpse. We didn’t get to see the cruise ship...we could not see it at all actually. However we had a good time hiking, finding sea glass, and enjoy8ng a beautiful afternoon. When we returned to the truck, we realized that although Roger had locked the vehicle, one of the doors as left wide open! Thankfully, nothing was missing, but it was certainly  a reminder to be a bit more careful! Thursday was also the day that I prepped for hot lunch and made haddock chowder. Roger was given haddock at work, so I made a chowder with it. It must’ve been good because everyone had two helpings. I didn’t bother to mention that the broth was puréed cauliflower and cottage cheese, and those “potatoes” were actually radishes! No need to mention anything about the nutritional value to them, but I certainly took great delight in their lavish reviews of the chowder!

  

 


Friday is always a long day. No matter how prepared I try to be, or how much I try to plan out the days it’s still just a long day. Hot lunch today was meatballs, garlic bread, noodles and sauce, salad, and cookies. I brought my nesco for the meatballs, and my crockpot for the sauce. Pastor Mark has been lighting the stove for me on Fridays as I’ve become a bit intimidated by it since I almost lit my  hair on fire a few weeks ago. Overall hot lunch has been going very smoothly this year. We are staying in budget, the kids and staff are enjoying it, and it’s becoming part of the Friday routine. After cleaning up from lunch, Emma and I took lunch out to Roger, picked up another gallon of milk (something we do often!) and returned to the school. I spent some time in the afternoon working with the older class on some of the music for the Christmas program. That thing (the Christmas program) lurks in the back of my mind on a daily basis, and I find myself thinking about it often. I’m glad for the opportunity, but I’ll breathe a sigh of relief after December 8th! After school, two of the boys had piano lessons so the rest of us just waited and played outside in the beautiful sunshine. We do need some rain though, so that is a prayer request also. It was a long day, but a good day. We were all thankful for come home, eat supper, and watch a movie together. Well, Roger and Emma fell asleep during the movie, and I ended up working on a grocery list, but it’s nice to be home all together without any plans.

Saturday dawned as another beautiful day here in Maine. Roger and the boys gathered up things in the yard to put away, and then Garett and Roger had the opportunity to go fly together for a bit. Flying is Garett’s all-time favorite thing to do, and I’m thankful that the opportunity presented itself. After their flying adventures, we met up at a fall fastival at one of the local churches. How things have changed in a year! A year ago, we were still adapting and adjusting and trying to make friends, and this year we attended the fall festival at another church with the opportunity to see many of our  friends from School. We didn’t stay real long as Saturday’s tend to fly by. Roger took the kids home, while I went now grocery shopping...by myself! Hooray! I certainly don’t mind taking them with me, but it’s soemthing that I can think better about when I go by myself. This week the kids will be having plenty of yogurt in their lunch boxes as that was on sale!

We spent Saturday evening taking a hike up Beech Hill. The Philbrook’s invited us to climb up the hill with them. So we both packed up sandwiches and kids, and we enjoyed a beautiful hike in this gorgeous fall weather. The evening was a good mix of fun, exercise, fellowship, and enjoying God’s creation. I’m thankful for these opportunities and we need to make these informal outings happen more often...but life is busy!
 


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Pumpkin Races, and More!

This week was a bit slower paced, so that was a much needed reprieve after last week’s craziness! I’m just going to cap on a few highlights and include some pictures from the week. Simple and easy!

On Monday the boys had off of school due to Columbus Day and so did Roger. We spent the morning working in various projects, but then decided to take a trip to one of the local towns and watch the pumpkins races. I will say that these Mainers are very good at capitalizing on the resources near them. In this particular town they gather up these ginormous pumpkins, people carve them out and equip them with either paddles or a small outboard motor. Then they have pumpkins races in the bay and basically you win if you can get back to the start without sinking! The weather was rainy and damp, but there were still a good number of people out for the event. We enjoyed watching some of the races as well as looking st the pumpkins carvings on Maine street. Even though we ended up soaked, we had a good time together.

   



I taught music classes on Wednesday since we had a holiday on Monday. The Christmas program is  progressing nicely but I am a bit worried about it coming together in eight weeks! But we will keep working on it!

Thursday provided the opportunity to take a walk with Allison, which is something we haven’t  managed to find time to do for a few weeks! It was good to catch up and spend a few minutes reflecting in the past week and looking at future events. We had a good discussion on holiness versus grace. These are two topics that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, and I’ve had discussions with several close friends about holiness and grace. Both are a very important part of the believers lives, but I wonder in our Christian society if we haven’t become so focused on grace that we forget about God’s holiness?! I want to give my kids grace (I probably err on the side of too much grace) but I also want to point them to the holiness of God. God is SO holy and if I can teach my children to grasp onto the holiness of God their lives will reflect that, right? Sometimes it seems that as believers we want to focus so much on God’s grace and His love, but we don’t spend the same amount of time proclaiming that we serve a Holy God! Don’t get me wrong...I love grace and love. I also want to make sure that my children are aware of how Holy God is and how much we need to respect that holiness. Both of my friends, Allison and Jenna, had to endure my thoughts on these topics. I so appreciate Godly friends that will engage in these spiritual discussions with me! I need that!
 


Anyways, Friday was filled with chapel, a quick date with Roger, hot lunch, piano lessons, and going home! Hooray for the weekend!

May your weekend be blessed by the fellowship of believers on Sunday, and time spent worshiping our holy, gracious, and loving God!
Love, Sarah