Saturday, October 30, 2010

Brrrr....

Brrrr...It's cold here!  We woke up to a nice hard frost yesterday morning and temps were hovering at 25 degrees Fahrenheit.  The kids are certain that snow is soon to follow!  I don't think so though--the next 10 days look sunny.  While the temps may fall below freezing overnight, during the days they will reach close to 50.  I'll be dreaming of 70.  :)  We were out a couple nights ago and the sun was setting--it was already quite dark--at 6:40 p.m.  In another week our time will change back an hour, which means it will be getting dark at 5:30 p.m.  I am trying to be thankful, but I have to admit that I find it hard to enjoy these short days.  December 22nd is traditionally the shortest day of the year, and then the days start getting longer again, but I still can't help but wish that it was spring already.  Sigh...it will come!  We had several days of rain here, so I'm glad for the sunny weather coming up.

This week has been a little better with nothing major broken, but I have accomplished very little as I've tried to have my eyes on kids 24/7.  I really need to relax...but it seems impossible to do.  My house is a disaster and I'm mildly jealous of friends who talk about deep cleaning their homes getting ready for fall.  I'm lucky the grill cover is on the grill.  There is so much to do.  I am using my Saturday to tackle some of the major projects.  So far I have taken all of Josh's size 4 clothing out of the closet and replaced it with size 5's (even though he will drown in them).  I am throwing away any pants with holes in the knees.  Ahhhh...that feels good!  Would you believe that when I took out his clothes I only found a couple t-shirts?  Now, where in the world have all his t-shirts gone???  I find it very odd and very concerning.

Eden and Caleb are at a KidSing event today at St. Cloud State University, but sponsored by the St. John's Boys Choir (from St. John's University).  I hope they are having fun and learning a little more about "real" choir.  I feel badly that I haven't yet taught them to read music.  That is moving up on my priority list.

Micah, Zeke, and Josh are at Papa's house hanging out.  I hope they're being good.  :)  Malachi is playing outside while Mitch is messing around in the garage.  Tirzah would love to be with them, but she's shadowing me instead as I continue to work on laundry and procrastinate on paperwork.  :o/

Also moving up on my priority list...I have recently come to realize that Malachi never received a crocheted blanket from me as a baby.  How did I miss that???  So I want to make him a blanket.  I am also dreaming about scrapbooking again, but I'm not sure if I'll manage it.  Malachi and Tirzah don't have baby books yet, and I'd really like to get them done at least up to 1 year for both of them.

Moving down on my priority list is diapers.  I push that one down all the time.  It is soooo hard for me.  It's hard for me to find the time, and it's hard for me to find the motivation.  I love the diapers that I make.  I worked hard for many years to develop the best patterns and systems, to locate the best fabrics and notions, and to share what I have learned with others.  When I look around me at the demands of my family, I just want to quit with the diapers altogether.  It's way too hard, and it seems to be going nowhere that will benefit our family.  When I look in my sewing room, quitting seems impossible.  And a waste.  So I wait patiently and pray.  God will show me when the time is right what I should do.  I am trying to be content with what I have and with the time that I have been given.  I hope that some day I may use it to bring Him glory!  In the meantime, I pray He gives me the strength and the courage to face the things I fear or dread.  And I am thankful for the other hobbies I am still able to pursue at this time.

Please continue to pray for our family.  It seems that the enemy, that once most beautiful angel now the leader of Hell's throng, seems to attack us at every turn.  As if fighting our own flesh weren't hard enough!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

And the winner is....

Oh this is so exciting!  I was so nervous.  :)  I typed each name into an excel spreadsheet, cut out the names, folded them, and put them into a cup.  Micah stirred it around and Eden drew the name.


Drumroll, please...


When Eden announced, "Kristin", my response was "nuh-uh!"  Cool...at least it will be easy to find her.  I promise her name was in there only once and it wasn't rigged.  ;)

Congratulations, Kristin!  Thank you to everyone for entering the give-away.  I think I just might be hooked.  Now I'm going to start keeping my eyes open for more things I can give away.  :)  To anyone else who is in town, just let me know if you'd ever like to borrow our copy.  Especially right now with our t.v. out of commission, we are happy to share!

Book Review: Almost Heaven

I just finished reading Almost Heaven by Chris Fabry.  I jumped at the chance to review this book.  I have already read and enjoyed his novels Dogwood and June Bug.

Chris Fabry is one talented man.  You may have heard his voice hosting a radio show for Moody or for Focus on the Family.  Or maybe in recent years you have heard him on his own show, Chris Fabry Live.  Or perhaps you may connect with his family (he has 9 children) through his blog or through his wife Andrea's blog.  They have their own dramatic story to tell as their family recovers from toxic mold exposure.  Oh, but this review is about his latest book, not about the author himself.  I digress!

Chris has also had a lot of experience writing children's novels, but to embark on a journey to write adult fiction novels was a dream of his.  From that dream came Dogwood.  I'm so glad it did.  Then along came little June Bug and now we have Almost Heaven.  These books are minorly intertwined, however they are not sequels.  You can read them in any order you'd like.

Almost Heaven is set in the small community of Dogwood, West Virginia.  In the "hills" of the Appalachian Mountains.  The story is that of the life of a seemingly unimportant individual, Billy Allman.  The story begins on his 10th birthday and follows him throughout his life.  His crowning achievement is starting his own Bluegrass Gospel Radio station.  Or is that the greatest thing he has done?  It seems like everything else he touches has gone wrong.  Billy is also assigned an angel, who at times in the story interjects with his own observations.  Why is a warrior angel assigned to protect the life of this unimportant individual in the no-name town of Dogwood?

Billy clings to his faith throughout his difficult journey.  He often quotes scripture and explains well how he trusts in God.  The angel also quotes scripture and demonstrates his trust in God.  He challenges us to remember that we cannot see now heavenly things, that it is like a veil that is clouding our view, but that some day the veil will be torn back and then we will fully see.  This book is not just a feel-good story.  There is mystery, suspense, and some heavy difficulties to work through (strong reminder: it is an adult novel.  While not overly descriptive, some scenes in the book are not going to be suitable for teens, and definitely not for children.  There's nothing here worse than I have read in the news, but even the news at times is just too much.).  The angel's part in the story thrusts me back into my favorite Frank Peretti novels.  I know that in today's world many of us "conservatives" struggle with thoughts of the spiritual realm, angels, demons, etc, however it IS real, the Bible DOES talk about it, and Chris handles the subject very tenderly in this novel.  It is an outstanding reminder of the help we have on a different plane, and how important prayer and intercession are.

I can relate so much to this story.  I grew up in "the hills" of the Appalachian Mountains in Southwest Virginia.  I recognize and understand the people that Chris writes about.  The story is believable to the point that I feel like I can get in my car and drive to Dogwood.  Reading about Billy and his mandolin just about had me running to the closet to get out my Dad's mandolin if not to play, only to touch it.  I can't wait for the day I can put this beautiful instrument into the hands of one of my children.  This story is compelling, uplifting, and encouraging.  I only have one complaint--I read it much too quickly.  Don't be tempted to make the same mistake as I did.  Take time to savor the stages of life that Billy goes through.  Meditate on the scriptures quoted, as they are certainly chosen to help you as you walk your journey also. 

By the way, 'Appalachian' is pronounced ap-pul-a-chin.  Make sure you say that right--no more of the "Apple-Ay-Shun" stuff.  


I received this book free from the publisher through the Tyndale House Publishers book review blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tough Week

Well, I am at the end of a tough week and at the beginning of a fresh, new one!  I was not able to blog much during my week, so I thought I would try to play a little catch-up tonight. 

I can't go into detail about everything that made my week so tough, but I will highlight a few of the (bad) things:
  • Malachi brought my Eden's Nintendo DS saying he had "washed it".  Even though I put it in a bag of rice, it is still dead.
  • I cleaned pencil drawings off the walls.
  • Joshua whipped a child's small plastic snowboard around by the string and sheared off one of our landscaping lights in the front yard.  At least they lasted a full year.
  • I cleaned marker off the walls.
  • An unidentified flying object struck my nearly-empty cup of pepsi, knocking it onto the nearby dvd/vcr player and spilling the remaining contents.  The player no longer works.
  • I cleaned marker off the carpeting. 
  • I cleaned marker and pen off the children.
  • We scrubbed crayon off the table (because some children...like Joshua...are obviously not old enough to stay on the paper).
  • Malachi broke open a red ink pen and got it all over himself and the couch (thankfully it's dark navy blue, but it still is there).
  • Someone (not sure who, because who would own up to this?) threw something that cracked our plasma screen t.v.  At first it worked, and the crack was in the lower right-hand corner, so we could live with it.  A couple days later it died completely.  This was a little too much for me to handle.
Ok, those are just a few.  They all happened within the time span of one week.  I could go on, but it's just too painful to remember it all.  Ugh.  The t.v. is probably the worst.  Just knowing that it is/was worth a lot of money...it was not covered under a protection plan, and it is at least cheaper than the deductible on our home owner's insurance...but also that is something that is not necessary to daily living therefore does not require a replacement.  Bummer.  We have a 9" t.v. that the kids sometimes use and we have a portable dvd player to use in the van, otherwise it's just computers for us now.  Hmmm...

Now, I know that you're already thinking about the obvious solution here.  Obviously my kids need better supervision, right?  If I would just step up and do my job of watching the kids, then all these "bad" things wouldn't happen in our home.  It's so simple!  ;)  Whatever...let me know when you have kids of your own someday if you still feel that way.

Ok, on to better things!

Mitch had Thursday and Friday off.  All the schools in Minnesota were closed for MEA break.  This is so that teachers can attend annual training conferences.  Mitch went to one down in the cities on Thursday.  I had a dentist appointment scheduled for him on Friday.  On Friday morning when I got up, he asked me if I would like to go to the Women of Faith conference in the cities.  I had no idea there was even one going on!  I said, "Sure!"  We made arrangements, and I headed out the door after his dentist appointment. 

I tried hard to relax.  I really did.  I was nervous driving in the cities, anxious to get there (I missed the opening sessions), and kinda lonely.  Not to mention a tad worried about how things would go at home (I shouldn't have been).  But it's hard to shut off that part of my brain.  When I got there I went to the ticket counter to purchase a ticket.  Someone from a church in Red Wing blessed me with a free ticket.  How cool was that???  I was there until almost 10 pm, drove all the way home to St. Cloud (yuck, yuck), and drove back on Saturday for more.  I got to see Lisa Welchel, Anita Renfroe, Patsy Clairmont, Mandisa, and Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman, among others.  Those were just some of my favorites.  Oh!  And Nicole Johnson, too.  But it was lonely.  It would have definitely been more fun to share the adventure with a friend.  I really missed my kids too.  I just wanted to snuggle Tirzah and kiss Malachi's fat cheeks and encourage the others.  Still I am glad I had the opportunity to go, and I'm thankful for the sacrifices that Mitch made and the hard work that he did at home while I was gone (like rinsing out poopy diapers, doing extra laundry, rearranging the living room, you know that kind of stuff).

I also came home with a new reading list (hehehe) and have a new book waiting here for me to read for review (can't wait to crack it open).

Last week I took a 14-weeks-pregnant belly shot so you can see the little bump that I'm sporting now.  I went through my closet and took out nearly all of my clothes that no longer fit or that wouldn't fit by this week.  That left very few.  :)  I started hanging up some maternity clothes (which also don't fit yet).  I grabbed a tub to store away my "regular" clothes and I found a few pairs of jeans in there that are "regular" jeans, just a couple sizes larger than I normally wear.  Oh it was such a relief to pull those out and find that they fit comfortably!  That was last week...we'll see how I make it through this week...I'll probably have to finish hanging up those maternity clothes.  I have about 4 different wardrobes now, I think.  There are the just-pregnant-starting-to-show maternity, the very-pregnant maternity, just after I had the baby, and my regular clothes which fit 12 months after I had the baby.  Those in the last category usually fit for about 2-3 months, then I'm already pg again and back into the same clothes that fit just after I had the baby.  What a cycle!  Then there is the change of seasons, too.  But I don't have very many summer maternity clothes right now.  I guess that's a good reason to be pg during the winter!  Thank goodness for Goodwill (used clothing store).  :)

 There's my little 14-week bump.  It was in the morning, so it's not quite as bad as the rest of the day.  LOL.

This next picture is just for fun.  After we finished praying for our meal on Thursday night, everyone looked up, but Malachi didn't.  He was out cold!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

DVD Review (and Giveaway!): What's In the Bible

This just might be one of my favorite review experiences ever.  I was selected by Tyndale House Publishers to not only review the newest release of What's In the Bible? Battle for the Promised Land, but I also received a gift certificate to give away a copy of this DVD on my blog!  Read on for details how you can be entered in a drawing to receive a free copy of this DVD.

What's In the Bible? is a series created by Phil Vischer (widely known as the creator of Veggie Tales), but this is no simple spin-off from Veggie Tales.  In the video that I post below you may begin to get some idea that there is more to this video than you would expect.  Fun, cute, entertaining, but also educational.  That's a pretty big bill to fill, and Phil Vischer does it.

We sat down to watch this as a family.  I wanted to have the response of everyone in my house age 34 down to age 3.  The videos (there are 2 segments on this DVD) are fast-paced and cover a lot of ground in the Old Testament (this video covers Joshua, Judges, and Ruth). This meant that there was never a dull moment.  Some of the information moves so quickly that the younger kids can not possibly pick it all up (especially the 3 yo), but they certainly are absorbing some of it.  And since we own the DVD, that means we can watch it again in the future.  Repetition will encourage memorization, and the songs and characters help tremendously.  The fast pace lends itself well to the intended age group (elementary students), but also held the attention of my tween, teen, and us adults.  The characters in the video tackle questions such as "Did God want people to die?" (referring to God's command to the Israelites to kill all of the people living in the land of Canaan) without shying away.  This carries the material of the DVD beyond well-known Bible stories and into issues requiring deeper thought.  Also keeping the material moving at a fast pace allows kids to get a good overview of the entire Bible.  Frequent reminders are given to how each story in the Bible points to God's plan to redeem His people through His Son, Jesus Christ.  Excellent for the whole family!

I asked Caleb, my 9 year old, to write his own review of this DVD.  Here is his response:
What did you learn from this video?
I learned how the Israelites got into the promised land.  I learned that the Promised Land was named Canaan.  I also learned that there was only one woman judge and Samson was the last judge.  I learned that Ruth is related to King David and King David is one of the great-great-great----grandfathers of Jesus.  So the family line goes all the way down to Jesus.

Is it entertaining?
Yes, very entertaining.  Especially when the pirate starts popping up in the hot air balloon and singing away.  And the theme song is pretty silly (in a good way).

Would you watch the rest of the series?
Yeah.  I would love to watch more.

Who is your favorite character?
 I don't know, probably the pirate.

On that note, here he is:

Visit http://www.youtube.com/user/whatsinthebible to watch more fun videos!

Also be sure to check out the websites for What's In the Bible and/or Tyndale House Publishers for more information.

To be entered to win the DVD gift certificate, simply leave a comment on my blog.  Please make sure I know how to contact you (either through your blogger profile, or check back to see if you won).  I will draw names from a hat (with help) the old-fashioned way, on October 27, 2010.  I will contact the winner for a mailing address.  I will mail you a certificate that you may use to redeem for a free copy of the DVD.

I received a complimentary copy of the DVD from Tyndale House Publishers and a free gift certificate.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The thoughts and opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fun at Paul's House

On Sunday afternoon we went out to Paul's house to jump in the leaves.  We had a lot of fun and I took lots of pictures!  (Kathi had to stay home and do homework--boo!)







 {Eva and Tirzah}

 {Mitch is loving his chainsaw--he won it at an auction for $5 and invested a little money, ~$40, having it cleaned and tuned up.  He sharpened the blades and now it cuts like a hot knife through butter.}
 {I wish you could have seen Tirzah's eyes light up when she saw these little pumpkins on the table.  She was SO excited.}
 {Do they taste good?}

 {Tirzah loves puppy kisses.}





 {Do you see Zeke making the 'shhhh' sign?  Papa told them that they had to be quiet in order for the snowmobiles to start.}

 {Mitch came by with a bag of powdered donuts and asked who would like some.  The kids lost all restraint and got loud right away.  Papa was right--the snowmobiles didn't start.  Sad!}

{This is one of the trees that Papa lost in the big storm in August.  Isn't this a fun group?  Papa and Grandma Marilyn fed all of us!}

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Indian Summer

Here are some great pictures I got last Saturday before our family photo shoot.  :)  And a couple extras.  The weather was SO nice!  While Mitch took the oldest 5 kids to a local homeschool soccer meet/coop/pick-up game (whatever you call it--whoever shows up divides into teams and plays), I hung out with Malachi and Tirzah.  Before you think that this is easy for me, think again--all my helpers are GONE during that time.  So I spent all my time chasing these two down.  :)  After giving them a much-needed bath, I figured I might as well chase them with the camera in my hands.


 Ugh--the box elder bugs!!  The kids love to catch them, pull their legs off, squash them, etc.  Tirzah is no exception.

 Time for a walk!



Our little trees aren't looking so little compared to Chi.  Some day they'll be mighty oaks!

 We had our own soccer match.  :)

 Whoops--miss!

 Yes!  (He called it a score every time he kicked the ball into the fence.)

 A rainbow of colors!

 Ahhh...the cozy coupe...the best selling car ever.
  This one has been with us since our days at Crown College (ahem...11-12 years ago)

 Big brothers are so helpful.

 He looked up and said, "Mom, look at all those little clouds!"  I said, yes, smile and I'll take a picture of you and the clouds together.  :)


The next two are from playing outside today.  It was a little chillier at a high of 64.  A good 10+ degrees cooler* than last Saturday.   

He was helping his dad in the garage.  Mitch was sanding some kuub blocks.

*Note:  There really is no such thing as cold.  It's just the absence of heat.  And there is soon going to be a great absence of heat.  (Sniff, sniff).  Again I am SOOOO thankful for the wonderful weather we've had.  It's been a glorious autumn!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Procrastination

Do you procrastinate?  I do.  Why can I be so productive some days, then barely get myself out of bed on others?

The answer is in motivation.  If I am motivated enough, then I do what I need to do.  When I lose sight of my motivation, then I naturally procrastinate.  So what motivates me?  This is hard!  It changes with each season of life (sometimes even day-to-day).  I remember when I was in college something as simple as a bag of m&m's could motivate me.  I would lay the bag in front of my books, and say "every time I finish a problem, I get 3."  Or something like that.  :)  Silly, but at times it worked!

Wednesday night I had the opportunity to go to the library for a little over an hour while the kids were at church.  I enjoyed it so much that I may just make this a weekly habit.  I had a list of books already looked up that I wanted to check out (thus my motivation for going), but while I was there I figured that I might as well do some other research that I had been thinking about lately.  I wandered to the appropriate section, then just browsed books.  I selected 3, then found a comfy place to read.  I didn't think I would bring these books home...another time, perhaps...I already have enough to read with the list that I had brought.  It was cool how much I could digest in an hour!  (Yay for doing book reviews--my reading skills are definitely improving).

I can't even remember the name of the book, nor the author, but I did pick up one book that I really enjoyed.  I toyed with the idea of bringing it home to copy the particular chapter that I most enjoyed...but figured I can check it out some other time.  Browsing through the rest of the book though, I came across a chapter on procrastination.  Here is how the author describes his method of banishing procrastination from his life (again I apologize for not being able to give credit where credit is due):

The author had written two manuscripts, spending hundreds of hours developing them, then just let them sit.  He didn't even bother to send them to the publisher.  Why was he procrastinating?  These were good books, he determined, and books that he predicted would help many people who read them.  He finally came to admit that part of his issue dealt with money.  He had become accustomed to being poor--and he felt comfortable there--and having a successful career as an author just might mean that he would be launched out of poverty.  [How often do I become comfortable with "status quo" and resist change?]  So he developed a visualization concept.  I can't remember what he called it...something and swish.  Anyway he imagined himself sitting in front of a large t.v.  He was flipping channels because "nothing good" was on.  He visualized the channels flipping past--65, 66, 67, 02, 03...and so on.  Then he picked a channel in his mind...02...and every time that number popped up in this rotation, he would imagine he was watching himself on the screen getting up and doing that project which he had been avoiding (in this case, going to the computer and sending out proper emails).  Then he allowed the picture to be shrunk to a picture-in-picture screen as he continued to flip channels...it was always there, him doing what he was supposed to be doing, but smaller...as channel 02 would come up again, it would "explode" to be full screen, visualizing himself doing what he was supposed to be doing, while the boring channel flipping scene was shrunk to the small picture-in-picture.  Then he added a scene where he was rewarded for doing the job that he was supposed to do (in this case, it was receiving payment for the books, being able to pay bills, AND receiving letters and emails from people whose lives were changed by his books).  So he continued this visualization of flipping the channels and having the screen explode on 02 every time to play the full scene of doing what he was supposed to do, then receiving the reward, for approximately 40 min. or so, until it was SO compelling that he could not resist getting up and doing what he needed to get done.  He claims that he has never procrastinated since then, that this visualization always works for him.

After reading this chapter, I realized that in some ways this is how I work.  Though I haven't ever really put it to words before or done it at that extent.  But I do form visual pictures of what motivates me, and that's what helps me to be so productive on some days.  Lately (especially during the first trimester of this pregnancy) I have been very un-motivated and have procrastinated on pretty much anything "extra".  It has been difficult for me.  Pressing deadlines seem to be the only thing that gets me moving.  But I don't want to live that way!  So I think I might try this visualization technique to tackle a project and see how it goes for me.  As long as I can think up some good rewards to visualize.  ;)  I think maybe that's my stumbling block right now.  I'm a very visual learner anyways (I like to see things as I hear them...not just hearing alone), so I think this will work for me.

Confession time.  The author calls it a form of self hypnosis.  And the book was about self hypnosis.  I am not so sure.  It doesn't seem weird enough for it to be self hypnosis.  Good.  Because I'm really wary of stuff that is "out there".  Why was I even researching self hypnosis in the first place?  That's a long story...but I am researching ways to relieve pain through relaxation (as well as studying how the brain controls the release of endorphins).  I studied The Bradley Method of childbirth when I was pregnant with Malachi, and I want to work on some holes I experienced with his birth.  But I don't want any of the "breathe in the positive energy around you" kind of crap!  So I figured if I could find some scientific books that perhaps I could avoid the new-age garbage.  ;)  I think that armed with some scientific knowledge of why techniques like this work, I can write my own scripts...possibly even just selecting Psalms or other Scripture to focus on.  For example, rather than breathing in the positive energy around me, how about praising God as I inhale, for each breath is His gift!

I know...with me, it's always something interesting!  Sorry this post was so long...LOL...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Book Review: "Big Red" Holy Bible--International Children's Bible

Parents of young elementary students, perk up your ears...suggested Christmas gift coming!

I just received a copy of the updated "Big Red" Holy Bible with 3-D Contemporary Art.  It is written with the International Children's Bible translation.  "The Translation Children Can Read and Understand".

I actually already owned a copy of the older edition of this Bible.  I was excited to get it to see how the images were updated.  A church that we used to attend would give this Bible as a ceremonial gift when children began 1st grade.  I don't love all of the pictures, but overall I think that it is a captivating Bible.  These pictures look like something that jumped out of one of the kids' favorite Wii games.  Which is perfect--because that is what they like!  Images in a children's Bible can do so many wonderful things--evoke emotions, generate curiosity, and whet the imagination.  This is a Bible that your child can carry to church AND follow along chapter and verse.  Nothing is skipped or omitted.  It is not a summary or paraphrase of the Bible, but rather a direct translation.

I don't want to debate the idea of using a translation specially targeted toward children.  I cannot recommend what you and your family should choose.  I grew up in the south where it was almost wrong to use any translation of the Bible other than the King James Version.  ;)  Today my husband and I own several different translations.  We follow our church and prefer to use the English Standard Version.  I like the International Children's Bible and the concept behind a children's translation for several reasons.  One, having a Bible at their reading level encourages children to actually read it.  Two, we have MANY other translations available (including KJV) for our children to read.  Three, they are exposed to many other translations throughout their schoolwork and other reading they are doing.  I am confident that they will, in time, graduate to the "adult" translations.  In order to review the Big Red Holy Bible, I did not read the entire Bible.  :)  But I picked several of my favorite passages and verses and read those.  I thought I would include a couple for comparison:

Philippians 1:6-7
God began doing a good work in you.  And he will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again.  I am sure of that.
Romans 8:13-21
We have sufferings now.  But the sufferings we have now are nothing compared to the great glory that will be given to us.  Everything that God made is waiting with excitement for the time when God will show the world who his children are.  The whole world wants very much for that to happen.  Everything that God made was changed to become useless.  This was not by its own wish.  It happened because God wanted it.  But there was this hope:  that everything God made would be set free from ruin.  There was hope that everything God made would have the freedom and glory that belong to God's children.
I gave this Bible to Zeke on his birthday.  He was thrilled.  He loves it.  Joshua was SO incredibly jealous that I decided to pull our old edition off the shelves and present it to him.   He has carried the Bible around ever since.  Josh can't read much of his Bible yet, but I know with his persistence he will be able to soon.  Zeke can read more, but still stumbles over some of the special sounds.  It won't take him long either.  Both of them are excited about having their own Bibles to carry to church.

Two small rants:  the cover on the new Bible already shows signs of wear on the corners and edges.  In fact, it arrived showing some signs of wear.  Apparently the red color on the corners rubs off easily.  Secondly, I really, really wish that ALL translations of the Bible would use capital letters for pronouns referring to God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit.  For example, in my quote from Philippians above, I wish it said, "And He will continue it..."  Having capital letters on these pronouns not only shows respect, but also makes it easier to understand.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Happy Birthday, Zeke!

Tonight we celebrated Zeke's 7th birthday.  Such a cute, active, fun boy!

 Zeke, at 7 years old you
~are a bundle of raw energy
~sport a toothless grin
~love to play.  hard.
~think wrestling is as normal as breathing
~open your hands, shrug your shoulders, and say "What?" when you know fully well that you are in trouble
~make friends easily
~are best friends with your brother Josh and daycare friend Jack
~were very sad to be moved into the 1st grade Sunday School room...where there are no toys
~need it to be quiet to concentrate on your schoolwork
~can barely sit still to do your schoolwork
~jump up and down for 30 min solid while playing the Wii...I guess it helps
~are the best eater of all my children...you will try anything
~love strawberries, watermelon, cucumbers, lettuce, raw carrots, peas, pears, kiwi (to name a few)
~love to wear socks on your arms--the ones that mommy used in the hospital to cover her iv to keep Tirzah out of it
~love to wear ANY of the hospital socks from the surgical center
~love your curly hair
~will spend hours playing games you have dreamed up with Josh and Jack
~love to color and draw
~love to read
~got to go to lunch today at McDonald's with Josh and Jack (who is also celebrating his birthday today)...lucky guy!

~asked for strawberry cake and apple pie for your birthday.  I only made the cake, but then Eva (Papa & Grandma Marilyn's exchange student from Germany) surprised us with an apple "streuselkuchen"...which was pretty much better than apple pie!
~asked for pizza hotdish for supper, but compromised with lasagna (then said that you like lasagna better...thanks, honey!)

 We are so blessed to have you in our family!

Eden was our "event planner" tonight.  She planned a "pin the tail on the doggy" game.  She invited Emma to come over to our little party.  It was so fun to have her!  Eden kept everyone entertained with turns on the game and then taught Emma some magic tricks.  Mitch, Eva, Zeke and Micah played a fun German game that Kathi brought us called "Mensch √§rgere Dich nicht" (very similar to Sorry).  Zeke won.  :)  It was a great night!