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Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 has come and gone. It was a great time and we were blessed to have almost everyone here for my husband's side of the family. 

In this picture six were missing. By the end of Wednesday night only three were missing! And by Thanksgiving day, we had only two people not here for at least a part of our time together. That's pretty amazing with 52 people!! 
The annual Turkey Trot started slowly, due to heavy rain, but these brave souls decided the weather wouldn't stop them!
Some ran, some walked, and some biked. I'm the official photographer of the event. I took most from the car to stay out of the rain. 😄
I just noticed our son's thumbs down sign! I guess he didn't care for the wet run he was experiencing! 😂
Zachary was designated as the official cinnamon roll maker for Thanksgiving 2015. He did a great job!
The amount of food that it takes to feed the family is tremendous! Huge catering pans are used! Yum!
The yearly "cousins" picture keeps growing and growing. It's great! There are 10 great-grandkids now!
The pumpkin bash was lots of fun. The rain broke for a while so it was less messy than we thought it would be. (Thankfully!) Now there's a huge mess to clean up. My husband mows the pumpkins down!
Games are a big part of our family Thanksgiving. This year we played a new game: "Pie in the Face". It was pretty funny - especially when someone got hit! My husband was a great sport and it hit him big time!

The week ended with an ice storm. Thankfully we kept our electricity, but many didn't. 

It was a great week having the two youngest out of school for the week and the two college kids home for several days. I'm thankful for these special times. I'm very thankful for the memories we have of Thanksgiving 2015. Thank you, God! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Family Fun Day

Sunday we had Thanksgiving lunch after morning class and worship, followed by an afternoon worship.  These days give families a block of time to do things on Sunday afternoon that are different from the regular "evening worship" schedules with the hours broken up into afternoon and evening.  For our family, we've been using those afternoons to rest and get caught up.

This time we decided to go somewhere.  We headed to the Wildlife Refuge and later ate at Meers. (Which, in our opinion, isn't the same as it used to be.  The cobbler and ice cream made up for it in my husband and older son's opinion!).

It was a cool, overcast day with a lot of wind, but it was still pretty being out in nature at the Refuge.

The flash on the camera actually provided a mock "sunlight" that caused the pretty colors of the trees and bushes to stand out. 

We toured the Refuge Visitor's Center, checking out the buffalo and other exhibits.
We went to the Holy City, which our youngest had never been to and the next oldest didn't remember because he was really young when he was there before.
Just being at the place where Christ's death, burial and resurrection is reenacted each year is inspirational.  It was good to look at the places they have and see how the Bible story moves along the City's landscape. I am sure it is wonderfully done each year (It's done every Easter.).
We drove up to the top of Mt. Scott to look around.  It was extremely windy and very cold! Jacob was the only brave one who looked for a little while! The rest of us headed to the care quickly!
It was a fun day, with just the four of us.  That's so different than being "the six of us" or even "the five of us"!  It was special, though, and good for the boys, especially the youngest.  So many of the things we "used to do" happened when he was not yet born or when he was young enough that he doesn't remember. He's done special things - maybe even "bigger" things - but I want him to experience the little things.  Special days where we just spend time together....not much money....just time.  Making memories.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Unfaithful Children

Yesterday on our "Parents After God's Own Heart" Facebook page, we posted the following:

"One of the biggest reasons for unfaithful adult children is that they were raised by unfaithful parents. If parents practiced a religion of convenience and that was the example shown to the children, the grown children will usually do the same. As time goes on, there are more and more "convenient excuses" and "uncommitted followers" as our society becomes busier and busier.
Put God, Jesus, and His church FIRST. Everything in front of any of those is an idol."

A reader sent this follow up and wanted to share it. It's their personal family situation, but they thought it would help others, possibly.

"I would like to submit the following comment to your post about unfaithful children, if you feel it would be useful to others?

I agree this can be true (*Note....What we posted yesterday). But another perspective, if I may. We would be considered "faithful" because we attended all services and programs offered by our congregation, my husband a deacon, lead singing and I taught bible class. We still have one unfaithful and one who has never obeyed the gospel.

Our lack of personal training in the home and letting them see God was first in everything we did was a mistake we made. We just assumed they would grasp the concept of a loving relationship with God and the church by osmosis, I guess. As parents, we can always second guess our parenting skills, but, please, young parents, take the time to pray, teach the word, morals, etc with your children. You can start as soon as they are born! Use life situations to talk about what the Bible says and it's answer to the situation. Help them grow their love and reliance on God for their everyday needs. I know we can do everything right and some will still go astray.......God gave us a free will to worship him or not. But, I believe your odds will be greatly increased if you raise your child to become a lover of God and follower of Christ, not just a church member. It takes both to make a faithful Christian.

I wish the expecting parents would seek out the advice and wisdom of those who have traveled the road before them. It took me quite a while to understand it takes more than being a bench warmer to be in a right relationship with God. Unfortunately, too late to have much influence on my children's spiritual development."

Friday, November 6, 2015

Goals - A Public Service Announcement for Teenaged Girls

Marriage and family/parenting topics are my very favorite things to talk about.  One thing that I keep noticing - especially on social media - is lists of things that girls expect from boys.  They go on and on and on with what they expect.  Are some of those things good?  Of course.  But the problem is that many girls expect a long list of things from boys, yet they believe that they act any way they please and it's just fine.  Having three boys, I'm especially protective of them in regards to girls - well, pushy girls, anyway.  And any girl that thinks that one of my boys will be their "everything" will be sadly mistaken.  None of my three boys are perfect.  In fact, NO boy is perfect.  And no girl is, either.

Yesterday morning I wrote a quick message to my young girl friends.  I know some of them will pay attention to it and think about it and perhaps some of the adult women will, too.  I had several comments and messages about it...even people wanting to print it off for their granddaughters.  I pray it helped even one to think about how they view boys.  It will save them a lot of heartache in life if they realize these things.

Here it is:


Public Service Announcement for my teenage girl friends who I care very much about!!

DON'T expect too much from boys. Some of you want him to be EVERYTHING for you. HE CAN'T BE. No one can be that except God.

Boys were made by God to be much different than you. Their brains are wired very different from yours. Do not expect them to understand your needs and wants and desires in everything. It's not that they aren't intelligent, but that they just were created differently from you. They can not think the way you do. It's impossible. (And based on raising three and being married to one, they each understand women/girls in different capacities, based on their personalities and genetic make-up.) And different doesn't mean wrong or inferior either way.

Don't base your worth on what society tells you is right. It's not about social media popularity. It's not about wearing the right clothes, having a boyfriend, or any of that stuff that won't matter in 10 years...even five years.

Your are worthy because you were made by an awesome God who loves you and cares for you. No human on earth will ever compare to that, so don't look for and expect that to be your source of happiness.

If you want to be treated like a princess, then act like one. Don't expect a perfect prince, though. He doesn't exist. Those are Disney fairytales. 😊 But don't expect your prince to be almost perfect, yet you, the princess,  gets to act as please. That's not fair. If you want to be treated like a princess, then treat him like a prince. It goes both ways.

Don't be in a hurry. Someday you'll find "the one". In that process, don't lower your standards because you're lonely and feel incomplete. Wait. It will be worth it. It may not be a Disney fairytale, but it will be yours.

That's "goals".
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