Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What's coming up

Hello everyone! Things have been busy around here ,and I thought I would sit down and reflect on what my days have been absorbed with and let you know the fun things that are to come.I have been trying to get material around to get my aunts quilt going and started. It's getting closer to being put on the quilt rack and getting started. I'm anxious to get it on and going. I do enjoy quilting but have never done it for somebody else. I'm priviledged to think that my aunt would be happy with me doing it. On Thursday we are hosting a grandparent's Cowboy Cookout. Last year we studied bears and then had a Bear Picnic with the grandparents all coming to join in the fun. We ate foods that bears would like and the grandparents all brought a teddy bear that had special meaning to them. Anyways, this year we studied cowboys and are going to have a cookout. The children have been memorizing some poems and have picked out some books for Alegra to read to everyone and as a surprise to the children, their grandma Deborah even sewed them some cowboy/cowgirl outfits. I'm excited to see what they look like. We'll take lots of pictures with the children with their grandparents and the day will be enjoyed very much by us who are glad that our children can still spend special moments with their grandparents.
January 9th I am helping host a chocolate/spa party for the ladies at our church at a friend's house in Elkhart. I have been working on invitations and ideas for the evening, and I think it's going to be a super relaxing and wonderful time to fellowship and enjoy each other's company.

And after that party is over, I have to get on the ball with the next Celebration of Motherhood for my dear friend, Casie Brothers. The invitations are done and handed out which is good. We are having a polka dot tea party for this Celebration, so it should be a lot of fun. I'm so excited for hers! Then the girls are going on a date with their dad to the Century Center in Southbend for a Daddy Daughter Dance. I can't wait for that either! One other family from church is going...possibly two. It should be fun for all of them and I will definitely post pictures of them all fancied up and having fun with their papa. And I will be hanging out with Josiah at the other mom's house with her son. We are hoping to watch a movie and have ice cream sundaes. Yummy! Okay, so maybe I am just looking forward to the ice cream sundaes. Hehe. The three girls above are going to have great fun hanging with their papas and being princesses for a night.

That wraps it up for the formally planned events to come. There are always events happening that aren't planned though. Isn't that what makes life exciting. Wow, not long after all that, my Celebration will be happening. I am getting excited to have this little bundle, especially since this will be our first home birth. It's going to be wonderful! That's all from the Bovees for now....until the next surprise in a day or the next unexpected event.

Monday, December 22, 2008

check it out

Please check out our Christmas Challenge. I'm not sure when it posted but it is complete now and you'll want to check it out and be challenged. I believe it is posted after the post A Day In The Life. Comments are welcome.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A day in the life.....

Well, Jonathon told me that I should have taken pictures, but quite frankly, I was just trying to get through it all to bother with the camera. Here's the story:

To give you some pertinent background information. Diella hates it when the smoke alarms go off. We have told some of you the hilarious story that happened a week ago (actually the night we finished up the puzzle). We had been going over the fire escape plan with our children and figured out that they can pull their ladder up into their bunk bed and put it out the window beside their bunk and climb out the window safely. They have practiced it and have it down well at least while they are awake. Could be a different story if anything happened while in their sleep. Anyways, the other night Jonathon put the screen on the wood stove so we could enjoy the fire at its finest, but he forgot to open the back damper. So, needless to say, the house filled up with smoke. The alarms were all going off and poor Diella was running around the house crying and screaming with her hands over her ears saying, "May I please jump out a window, may I please jump out a window!" We laughed and laughed but felt bad that she was so scared and we couldn't calm her at all. After that she said that if the alarms every go off again, she is going out to the van until all is clear.

Well, today I was making pies to take to some friend's house tonight. The timer went off on the stove and I opened the door to check my deep dish, crumb top, apple pie (mmmmm!) to find that it had spit out juices all over the foil on the bottom of the stove causing a great smoke that poured out when I opened the door. Ahhhhh, here we go again! Alarms went off and Diella in her state of panic ran out the front door in her bare feet. I grabbed her and told her she couldn't go out with nothing on her feet in the snow. She'd freeze them. So, she slipped her dad's tennis shoes on that were right there and clomped out the door to climb in his car. Josiah shortly followed her.

Well, that's not the end of the story by any means. I got the alarms to stop after calling Jonathon to find out how to do it. He laughed at Diella running out and said if I needed anything else to call him. Ha! I needed a lot more help! I called the two children in to find that 3 minutes later the alarms went off again. This time the children were standing at the door with their dad's shoes on, with blankets wrapped around them, waiting just in case they needed to make a beline to his car. Out they went again. This happened 4 more times. My pie wasn't done when the timer went off, so I had to keep the oven on longer. Finally after 15 more minutes of this ridiculous routine of alarms going off, children running out, me standing on chairs to get the alarms to stop to no avail, keeping the windows open (good thing the woodstove is good and hot), and feeling completely hopeless of a peaceful day, the pie was done, oven turned off and I waited for everything to cool down. I called the children in just as the smoke seemed to finally be out of the house and the alarms were done with their chirping.

At that time for some unknown reason, Alegra decided that she was going to check the woodstove to see if the fire was going. The children are not allowed to mess with it unless we give them specific instruction to do so. Well, the back damper wasn't open, and she got a face full of smoke through the front damper. She was holding her eyes, children had started to come in, to only turn back around because, yes, the smoke alarms went off again. Those things sure do work well! I'm starting to feel quite hungry since I haven't even had time to get lunch around and my ears are ringing, and I'm getting cold from having every single window open along with a fan in the window trying to suck smoke out. I just wanted a good deep dish, crumb top, apple pie. I think it will taste especially good after all I had to go through to get it accomplished. I may question myself the next time I want to make one of those.

Now, all seems normal in the house. Time to clean up and then I think I might put my feet up and relax a bit before heading out the door to our friend's house...if something else unexpected doesn't happen. I can only hope! Sorry I don't have any great pictures of this chaotic moment in my day. They would have been priceless I'm sure. :)

A Christmas Challenge

I have been reading blogs and seeing all the commercialism and hearing all about what others are giving to each other, and wanted to do a post on what our family does or does not do at Christmas time and why. Some of you may know and others may not know what our family does, and we just want to challenge you to really ponder some things this Christmas.

First of all, we do not celebrate Christmas. What?!?! you might ask. Everybody celebrates Christmas! As most christians know, the birth of Christ did not take place on December 25th. So, why do we celebrate it on that day instead of during the time that it actually took place. Well, it is clear that the enemy plays a vital role in why it is celebrated on this day. Read the following information regarding Christmas and its origin:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- No one knows what day Jesus Christ was born on. From the biblical description, most historians believe that his birth probably occurred in September, approximately six months after Passover. One thing they agree on is that it is very unlikely that Jesus was born in December, since the bible records shepherds tending their sheep in the fields on that night. This is quite unlikely to have happened during a cold Judean winter. So why do we celebrate Christ’s birthday as Christmas, on December the 25th?

The answer lies in the pagan origins of Christmas. In ancient Babylon, the feast of the Son of Isis (Goddess of Nature) was celebrated on December 25. Raucous partying, gluttonous eating and drinking, and gift-giving were traditions of this feast.

In Rome, the Winter Solstice was celebrated many years before the birth of Christ. The Romans called their winter holiday Saturnalia, honoring Saturn, the God of Agriculture. In January, they observed the Kalends of January, which represented the triumph of life over death. This whole season was called Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun. The festival season was marked by much merrymaking. It is in ancient Rome that the tradition of the Mummers was born. The Mummers were groups of costumed singers and dancers who traveled from house to house entertaining their neighbors. From this, the Christmas tradition of caroling was born.

In northern Europe, many other traditions that we now consider part of Christian Worship
were begun long before the participants had ever heard of Christ. The pagans of northern Europe celebrated their own winter solstice, known as Yule. Yule was symbolic of the pagan Sun God, Mithras, being born, and was observed on the shortest day of the year. As the Sun God grew and matured, the days became longer and warmer. It was customary to light a candle to encourage Mithras, and the sun, to reappear next year.

Huge Yule logs were burned in honor of the sun. The word Yule itself means “wheel,” the wheel being a pagan symbol for the sun. Mistletoe was considered a sacred plant, and the custom of kissing under the mistletoe began as a fertility ritual. Hollyberries were thought to be a food of the gods.

The tree is the one symbol that unites almost all the northern European winter solstices. Live evergreen trees were often brought into homes during the harsh winters as a reminder to inhabitants that soon their crops would grow again. Evergreen boughs were sometimes carried as totems of good luck and were often present at weddings, representing fertility. The Druids used the tree as a religious symbol, holding their sacred ceremonies while surrounding and worshipping huge trees.

In 350, Pope Julius I declared that Christ’s birth would be celebrated on December 25. There is little doubt that he was trying to make it as painless as possible for pagan Romans (who remained a majority at that time) to convert to Christianity. The new religion went down a bit easier, knowing that their feasts would not be taken away from them.

Christmas (Christ-Mass) as we know it today, most historians agree, began in Germany, though Catholics and Lutherans still disagree about which church celebrated it first. The earliest record of an evergreen being decorated in a Christian celebration was in 1521 in the Alsace region of Germany. A prominent Lutheran minister of the day cried blasphemy: “Better that they should look to the true tree of life, Christ.”

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Now, that all being said, it originated with pagan celebrations and was slowly moved into christianity. Why did christians accept this pagan celebration and try to put Jesus in it when really Christ has never been in "Christmas" in the first place?

Take a look at some of the portions of scripture that are in oppostion to the traditions that are all a part of Christmas. Rev. 11:10 talks about, in a negative way, the giving of gifts to one another. This is the only portion of scripture that talks about gift giving in the way most do at Christmas time. It says, "And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth." I know it's always mentioned that we give gifts because the wise men brought gifts to Jesus. Jesus was certainly not a babe when the wise men appeared on the scene.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ First, there were shepherds at the manger (Luke 2:8-10), but not the wise men. We also have no idea as to how many wise men there are. It could be 2 or 20! The Bible says that the wise men brought three gifts, gold frankincense and myrrh. It is more likely that since these were common currency items of value that each wise man, regardless of the actual number, brought a little of all three. We are not saying that there weren't three, just that to say so is going beyond what is written.

Another glaring error in all the nativity scenes is that the wise men were certainly not at the manger of the inn the night Jesus was born. It says that the wise men came to Jesus' house! It seems clear that the wise men came just prior to the time Herod issued his decree to slaughter all the children under two years. The star first appeared to the wise men when Jesus was born, but it led the wise men to Jesus' house. (Matthew 2:11 "And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother")

The Bible doesn't say the star shone over the manger. This was a sign only the wise men could discern. The average person would miss it. The star appeared for the purpose of leading the wise men to Jesus home. The wise men started their journey when the star first appeared (at birth). Being from the "east" most likely Persian or Mesopotamia (Modern Iraq) , they completed a journey of at least 500 miles. We can get a general idea as to how old Jesus was when the wise men visited by approximating the time it would take to make such a trip at that time in history. To travel 500 miles, would take 25 days is about the earliest they could have arrived under perfect conditions.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Clearly, the gifts weren't brought because of his birth day, but to honor HIM. So, why do we give gifts to one another when they did it to honor HIM? Shouldn't we give our gifts to HIM in honor and adoration?

Another very, very traditional practice is the Christmas tree. We adorn it, set it in a place that is well noticed, and put our gifts to one another around its base. The scriptures give us another look at a similar picture to the Christmas tree. Jeremiah 10:1-5 says, "Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. Thus says the Lord: "Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the Gentiles are dismayed at them. For the customs of the peoples are futile; For one cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers so that it will not topple. They are upright, like a palm tree, and they cannot speak; they must be carried, because they cannot go by themselves. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, nor can they do any good". This completely looks like the scenario of cutting down a christmas tree bringing it in to the house, stabilizing it and decorating it with silver and gold. Really think about that and the pagan celebrations of worshipping around trees and what we do at christmas time. Are we bringing God glory by doing this?

We say that Jesus is the reason for the season, but the manger scene isn't even a true biblical perspective on what really happened. Why do we lead others astray in how the story took place? Do we do it because that is just what we have always done, and it is a nice little sweet story? There are plenty of things we do that are simply traditional and started by pagans, but because our culture accepts it as a "christian" thing, we go ahead and do it. What does the Bible say about traditions though....if it's in opposition to God's Word that it is never good. It's not how we look at things that matters. It's how God, the Creator of the universe, looks at things. Colossians 2:8 says, "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ". That seems pretty clear that He knew we would be pulled away from HIM by traditions that weren't according to HIS Word.

What is according to HIS Word when it comes to Jesus' birth? Well, there are some things that we can go by as to when He was born.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Bible does not specifically say the date of Jesus’ birth. We know it was not during the winter months because the sheep were in the pasture (Luke 2:8). A study of the time of the conception of John the Baptist reveals he was conceived about Sivan 30, the eleventh week.

When Zechariah was ministering in the temple, he received an announcement from God of a coming son. The eighth course of Abia, when Zekharya was ministering, was the week of Sivan 12 to 18 (Killian n.d.). Adding forty weeks for a normal pregnancy reveals that John the Baptist was born on or about Passover (Nisan 14). We know six months after John’s conception, Mary conceived Jesus (Luke 1:26-33). Therefore, Jesus would have been conceived six months later in the month of Kislev.

Counting through the nine months of Mary’s pregnancy, one arrives at the approximate time of the birth of Jesus at the Festival of Tabernacles (the early fall of the year).
During the Feast of Tabernacles, God required all male Jews to come to Jerusalem. The many pilgrims coming to Jerusalem for the festivals would spill over to the surrounding towns (Bethlehem is about five miles from Jerusalem). Joseph and Mary were unable to find a room at the inn because of the influx of so many pilgrims.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ These things add up and make sense. The enemy sure has been crafty in how he so swiftly carried christians away from the true time of Jesus' birth and persuaded them into celebrating pagan holidays and putting "Christ's" name on it to make it sound okay to us. It's not okay to God. He sees the deception and the wickedness of the enemy. So many people say they love celebrating Jesus' birth. Well why don't they do it when Jesus himself wanted us to celebrate it. The feasts of the Bible were His appointed times to celebrate His wonderful love for us. They convey all that traditional/pagan holidays (such as Valentine's day, Halloween, Christmas and even Easter) are thought to portray only they set our eyes truly on all that He is. Wouldn't He want that from us more than intermingling pagan ideas with what He accomplished for us? Matt. 23:1-3 says: “Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.” So, Jesus was telling us to observe the things they said to observe, which would be Sabbath and the Feasts of the Bible that He already layed out for us. Also, the scribes and Pharisees had all the lingo down of how to sound perfect in the eyes of God, but they weren't practicing it truely with their hearts. How many of us have the lingo down and sound godly, but when it comes down to it, we aren't truely living every step completely for HIM because we have so much of the world and culture grounded into our lives that we believe that that is the right thing.

I just want to challenge you to truly take a look at it for how God might see it all. Does He glory in the fact that we are doing things that pagans began? Does He glory in the fact that we say it's all about HIM but truly we can't wait to open presents? Does He glory in the fact that people want His name "Christ" put back into Christmas when He was never there in the first place?

I can imagine some of you may think we have fallen off our rocker, but actually, we don't want to be like the scribes and pharisees who talk it but don't really live it in their hearts with the reflection in their lives of 100% serving and living for HIM, shunning all things that are in opposition to what He has said. So, there you have it. I challenge you to do the research on the origins of Easter also. There is a reason for that Easter bunny. He did lay out a celebration at Passover for us as being one of His Biblical Feasts. We just choose to celebrate the Holy days that He established for us. Not adding to His Word or taking away from it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It is finished!

Well, we aren't very far into the winter and we have our puzzle completed. I think the mom and dad did most of it, but the children sure were excited when we finished it. Here is the cute puzzle with Josiah surrounding it. He did help with probably 5 of the final pieces and had to have a high five for each one he put in.

So, now what do we do this winter. Well, my aunt brought me a quilt that she would like me to quilt for her. It was one that my great aunt Geneva German hand pieced together. It looks a little tricky, and I'm not sure how to finish it off, so it could be challenging, but will be such a great keepsake for my aunt when done. I hope my aunt is as excited when it is done as my children were when our puzzle was finished. :) So, watch in the future for a finished quilt. It may be awhile, but I told her I would get it done before the baby comes, so I better get on the ball. Anybody out there like to hand quilt?
I also like to sew a baby blanket for each child. I then like to hand quilt it. I suppose I will wait to do this baby's after it is born since we won't know what it is. I do have some material that my mom saved from my Grandma German's nightgowns. That will make it a little more special since my other children have embroidery work on theirs that Grandma did when she was still living. So, it looks like my hands are in for a real work out in the next 10 months. Anybody know a good massage therapist? Hehehe!

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Family Fun Night

We had a wonderful evening the other night going out to eat and then to a bowling party. We ate at TGI Fridays, used a coupon for a free appetizer, used a $25.00 gift card and ate for free including tip. The children shared two children's meals and Jonathon and I shared a sirloin which was quite tasty. Since we rarely go out to eat, it was a real treat for us all, especially being free. Here are a few pics. from our wonderful dinner. And a lady even stopped by our table before she left and commented on how our children must love their daddy. I would much rather people noticed such a thing as that than noticing him ignoring them or something of that sort. I am so blessed to have him as a wonderful papa to my children.
Onto bowling.......they had so much fun with this being their very first time bowling. They of course had bumpers, but they also used a handy little ramp that they would set their ball on, then give it a little push and it would go down the lane for them. Very nice. They had fun with all their friends and here are some great pics. of them and all of us big people too having a wonderful time fellowshipping.

Here are some of the ladies preparing for the big party.

And the children gearing up to bowl. All the colors were so much fun and notice Diella, our spacey girl who would rather watch the bowlers beside her than pay attention to what she is supposed to be doing.

Phil Brothers and Leah Brown. She's a super bowler. I guess you're not bad either, Phil.

Here is the birthday boy, Zeky Brothers and his victory dance. He had several of those crazy dances. Thanks for all the fun memories, Zeky!

This was Alegra's turn and they are watching to see how she did. All except Diella who is watching another lane of course.

Here is the big group of us... minus some bowlers at their posts.

This is a great picture of a lady who bowled better with baby in tow than without. Way to go, Lisa!

Elli Brothers and Leah Brown - Two cuties for sure!

Shalom Boomershine and Tina Sawyer- Two more cuties for sure!

Girls just having fun! Diella (probably watching the other lane), Josiah (oops, he's not a girl), Alegra, Lilly Brown, and Elli Brothers.

So, we had a great and cheap night out with our children and created some wonderful memories with them and with our friends. But I did learn something......a birthday party with a bunch of toddler thru 2nd graders is quite hectic....but a lot of fun! And we even could count it as school. You gotta get PE in there somewhere. :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Little Wild Life

On Thursday afternoon the guys (Jonathon, Josiah, and Dan, Christi's Dad) went to sit in a blind to watch for deer. The buck deer boy has been wanting to do this all year and it is finally deer season, so the boys had some good quality time in the woods. Here are a few pictures from their exciting time.

Grandpa looking through his binoculars while Josiah is holding up his wooden gun that Grandpa Dan made, ready to shoot a deer.

And the boy, one hour into the experience sound asleep on the ground. Way too exciting for him I think. At least they didn't have to worry about him making noises.

On Sunday while we were cleaning the house, we had some visitors in the field beside our house. We had them last winter but haven't seen them all summer long. They are back and we love watching them. There were 23-25 of them....turkeys that is. We sure love where we live just because of the wild life. Love the nature all around.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Diella is "5"!

Well, we are a day late, but yes, Diella turned "5" yesterday. Can't believe it! She had a great day and was treated very special. The adults were a little glad when her day was over so we didn't have to hear ".......because it's my birthday". She got to make doll clothes for her and Alegra's dolls with Grandma Deborah, go to the library to pick out a movie, we ate her special flower cake that she and I made, she picked pizza for our lunch meal (homemade with pineapple and turkey-interesting selection for a 5 year old), and she wanted hot chocolate after supper with Grandma Deborah's special white chocolate, raspberry flavoring. What a day! Tomorrow we go to Grandma Linda's for ice cream cake.

It is obvious that she is a year older than last year. She has almost all of her letters memorized and has learned the sounds along with learning the name of the letter. I love killing two birds with one stone. :) I finally feel like she will be ready to start kindergarten next year. And she loves doing her workbooks when Alegra does her school work. She is our silly girl. She loves to laugh, sing, and have fun. If you hear her laugh whole heartedly, you will no doubt crack up yourself just from hearing her laugh. She is a joy for sure! And she loves helping me in the kitchen. As soon as she sees me fixing up something, she is soon coming, pushing a chcair to be right by my side. I love it most days.

Diella's favorites:
Song- Open the Eyes of My Heart
Food- Macaroni & Cheese and Broccoli Soup
Color- Pink
Book- Little House on the Prairie
Movie- Treasure Island (from the 1950's or 60's)
Toy- Doll
Dessert-Strawberry Cake
Animal- Puppies
Game- Uno
Thing to do outside- Play on playgrounds
Ice Cream Flavor- Bubblegum
Bible Story- Moses and the Ten Commandments
Clothes to Wear- Skirts and Pajamas
We look forward to watching her grow another year and pray that we are given wisdom in how to train her and help her develop into a beautiful (on the inside) young lady who desires to serve and follow the Lord.

And here is our 5 year old! We are so blessed by her being a part of our family. Love you Diella Rose!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Memories - Jonny

At the gentle promptings of my wife, I have decided to take the time to satiate every ones curiosity concerning my most treasured childhood memories. I must confess, this is a bit of a daunting task for me, as I have so many fond recollections of days gone by.

Growing up on a large farm in northern Indiana, I had the opportunity to take part in numerous "boyhood adventures"; however, my most vivid memories are of those times spent working with my dad. There was never a shortage of learning experiences and my dad was a masterful teacher - and he did it without making it seem like a lesson. Having my own son now, I am realizing even more just how patient of a man he was. Josiah (my boy) is the embodiment of me when I was younger, at least according to my mom (and it seems she would know as well as anyone) - anyway, Josiah is forever asking questions and wanting to "help" with whatever project I am currently working on - and he is only 3. Since I can distinctly remember being in a tractor with my dad at around this age, I can only imagine what kind of questions I bombarded him with! On a farm that housed over 400 hogs, 100 cattle and 27,000 chickens, not to mention several hundred acres of farmland, there were ALOT of questions to be asked! So, to make a long story short, one of my favorite memories is growing up on a farm. To be a little more specific: helping deliver baby pigs and calves was pretty um, neat (once we came home from church to find that one of the sows had died during delivery of her piglets and since we didn't have any idea how long she had been dead we dragged her out of the farrowing pen and performed an "emergency C-section". We delivered a whole litter of still-born piglets. It's little wonder that dissecting animals in anatomy class wasn't all that exciting for me). Helping work on tractors was fascinating (Some kids got to see cars tore apart in their garages - whoop-de-doo - I got to see whole tractors split in two pieces in order to work on the transmission or the clutch. Have you ever seen the size of a friction plate on a 250 HP tractor? Now that's cool!). Treasure hunting in the woods was always a good time (I once stumbled upon the skeletal remains of a cow; so I painstakingly gathered as many of them as I could find - and believe me, I hunted - hauled them up the barn and began piecing them back together. I nearly had a complete skeleton including the teeth! Again, why am I surprised I slept through anatomy class? Sorry Mr. Meyers and Prof. Nash).

I sincerely hope that my little anecdotes were worth the wait that you all had to endure. I apologize for not getting to it sooner; however, since writing isn't one of my stronger points, it never seems to make it to the top of my 'to do' list.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Little Prodding

The children are playing cards, I am getting e-mails caught up and then will be baking some cookies after I fix the fire in the wood stove. Yum! If some of you are anxiously awaiting Jonathon's "Good Ole Days" post, I'm working on it. He doesn't seem to have time right now, but maybe after we go to his mom's house this week, and I find some prime pictures for his post, he will have memories sparked and be more motivated to write something...not to mention the time to sit down and relax a bit.

Diella's birthday is this week, so we will have to do a post on her special day. Can't believe how quickly they all grow. And before we know it, number four will be here. Amazing how time flies!

Well, hope you are all staying warm. It's pretty nasty today. Hoping tomorrow is nicer as we need to do some grocery shopping and head to the library. We set a card table up in the children's room this year with a big puzzle on it for all of us to work on this winter. Alegra started it today, and I haven't gone in to see how it's coming. Josiah and Diella worked a little on it, so I'm hoping I don't find puzzle pieces all over. That's my only concern! Oh well, it's good for them to focus on here and there.

Gotta keep my evening moving. Soon will be supper time, so I best continue on.

Psalm 115:1,12-15,18
Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory.
The Lord has been mindful of us;
He will bless us;
He will bless the house of Israel;
He will bless the house of Aaron;
He will bless those who fear the Lord,
Both small and great.
May the Lord give you increase more and more,
You and your children.
May you be blessed by the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
But we will bless the name of the Lord
From this time forth and forevermore.
Praise the Lord!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

comment issues resolved

To all of our friends who may have been trying to comment on our blogs to no avail, I believe I have the issue resolved - so comment away!!!

Blessings to you!
This is a picture of the first snow of this winter and the joy our children find in the cold white fluff.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Visit To My Past-Christi

When I was a young girl, we lived just a mile from the state line of Indiana in Bronson, Michigan. The location was perfect for children, being out in the country, down the road from a lake that we often rode our bikes to to swim after mowing the large (or maybe it just looked large as a child) yard, and a short walk across the fields to pot holes, which were a small wet woods area. We would build forts in the woods all day and revisit it day after day to make fort improvements and check up on it. Summer days were wasted away not with video games and watching TV, but with outside play, hard work on our small hobby farm, and good ole country living. We were close to our neighbors and everybody looked out for each other.

One particular lady that lived down the dirt road from us, was a widow lady in her 70's whose children all lived far away. We attended the same little country church as she did and eventually my parents developed a relationship with her that leaked into their children's lives. She was a bike ride away and enjoyed company often, especially mine and my brother's company. She would watch us while my mom and dad worked in the fields, she taught us piano, she baked cinnamon rolls with us, gave us warm milk to drink, let me have a drawer in her desk to keep my papers, stickers, and crayons to play mailman, she read scriptures to us, played boggle with us, let us play with the cats and dog, and was a great example of godly living.
I can remember her writing so much (obviously e-mail wasn't around), and sending lots of letters out. She kept in close contact with many missionary families and had a board of all the families she lifted up in prayer. Those families sure were blessed to have a prayer warrior interceding for them. She also journaled most every day. This is something that I would like to improve on. What thoughts and feelings she must have journaled during her life. What the Lord is doing, who needed prayer (I'm sure my family was on the list often), and what was going on in her life. Could my children benefit from learning when I am dead and gone, the things that the Lord are teaching and showing us in our lives? I think so. And what about the trials and struggles we face that God helps us through. How do we respond to those situations and what or better yet, who do we call on during those times? To hear older, wiser people share of life in their younger years is something that we can all learn from. Why do some think that the older generation are just a waste of space when they hold so much that we can learn from?

Another thing that we have been pondering lately is whether we are helping the orphans and widows as much as we should. My dad cut wood for Grandma Bowerman (even in her 70's she still kept a wood stove going), repaired things on her house, kept her yard clean, my mom took her to visit others in the nursing home, took her to get groceries, and took her to the laundromat to do her laundry. Life was more simpler then. She canned all her apples as applesauce, listened to Bible teachings on the scratchy radio, played her piano to pass the time, and read her Bible and prayed a lot.

Are we prepared for such simpler times? What if things go back to the way they used to be? Not able to go to town as often, having to take care of the food we grow ourselves, not having all the luxuries that electricity brings, etc.

So, I have been encouraged to journal my life happenings more on paper, take care of the elderly widows more, prepare myself for simpler times, and continue teaching my children to do with less busy entertainment and enjoy the wonders that God gave us to enjoy. And for your enjoyment, some pictures of me in those good ole days.
The top left is me with my brother and my best dog, Ginger. Bottom left is Grandma Bowerman (I was so glad to find this picture of her) with my dad and her grandson from Alaska. The picture on the right is what I spent half a summer working on.....preparing my turtle that my dad caught at the pond down the road for the Vermont Settlement Days in Orland. And I must say, my turtle was the fastest and we won! Those were the good ole days indeed! Anybody else have memories from their good ole days as a child and the simpler life? Please share!

**** Gonna see if I can get the hubby to post about his good ole days along with some pics. Stay tuned, you'll enjoy it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Laundry Helpers

Last night I had lots of laundry to get done, but the children had their own agenda of what the evening was to hold. But after I told them that we needed to get laundry done before anything else happened, they looked like they were thinking. Next thing I know, I find them in the bathroom.

The laundry basket is almost full of clean clothes, ready to hang on the rack. It appears that they are all trying to figure out how to get the clothes at the very bottom of the washing machine. They even took the little bench in to stand on. They were thinking that's for sure.

This is a classic picture. They decided to help little brother, so he could reach the bottom. Thankfully they didn't drop him in, but it didn't work so well either. Onto the next thought. Only a big sister can decide this.

"Outta the way, I'll do it". Alegra just decided that she would get the job done, and she did. What good helpers. They drug the laundry basket out of the bathroom and even started hanging the laundry on the rack. All that work just to have calendar time. Fine by me. Maybe I can get them to do work like that every day before calendar time. Nothing will probably give me as much of a chuckle as this did though. I love my children, especially when they work together. Time to start another busy day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The First Snow

Yesterday was a busy day for us. It felt good getting so much done! We are always thankful for God's Sabbath day to give us rest, but it does feel good to get back at it again.....until Friday rolls around, then we are glad to rest again. :)

Alegra went out with Jonathon to get wood from a neighbor's house. In the sleet and snow, they were busy working. Just as they got back, I had chicken noodle soup and croissants ready for us all. But first I sent Diella out to let the hard workers know it was ready. I watched her out the kitchen window go tell them, then take her precious time coming back up to the house. With every slow step, she had her mouth wide open, looking up to the sky and catching all the flakes she could. Wish I could have taken a picture, but I enjoyed standing there watching her too much to think about a picture.

So, the winter is approaching us and though we aren't looking forward to the cold or snowy conditions, we are looking forward to cozy evenings by the woodstove, hot chocolate, a slower paced schedule to just sit and have quality time teaching our children. God is good to us and we are thankful for all that He blesses us with.

Our three sleeping children. They fell asleep right here in this spot. Wish they always looked like they loved each other this much. Was a cute pic. though.

Psalm 51:15 "O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth your praise, for you do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God is a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart-These O God, You will not despise."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Clearer Picture

We have not had internet service for almost a week. I have been anxiously waiting to get back on and now......I feel like I don't care a thing about it. I have had more time to spend in God's Word, I've gotten some fall cleaning done (so glad the windows are done) and have had some great snuggle time with my children. Those things cannot be replaced by any computer. But I was so very glad to see a beautiful picture of the new addition in our church family to the Ferris Family. Congratulations to them! Thankful all went well!

In my readings, I am being blessed immensely! Scriptures that I could never figure out, now I am reading and they make perfect sense. Don't get me wrong, there is still plenty that I don't understand because His ways are far higher than what we could ever imagine, but I feel I am getting closer and that brings joy to my heart. As we read in the New Testament, we recall where it is also said in the Old Testament, why? To bring more understanding of what it all means and to prove that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. That has been happening for Jonathon a lot lately with the Psalms. I was reading in Romans and what I was reading was what He had just discussed being in Jeremiah, and originated in the Psalms. God wants us to understand His ways so much that He has placed His ways all over to get us to see it. Some things we never saw until now. I am thankful that I am seeing it now. Makes things so much clearer! Praise Him!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Poor and Rich

Yesterday I was reading in Psalm a little. A particular part really stuck out to me. I would like to share it with you along with a couple of quotes that I came upon this morning.

Psalm 10:3 "For the wicked boasts of his heart's desire; He blesses the greedy and renounces the Lord. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts."

-It is not the man who has too little who is poor; but the one who craves more.
-The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines.

Sometimes I think about how in the world we are going to have another baby in this so small house. I could want more and more and more, but would I be happy? Alegra was doing her reading lesson the other day, and it was a story about some amish children who wanted a pony. They promised their dad that they would be happy then. But then the truth came out that they would also want a cart and a harness. They wouldn't have been completely happy with just a pony. I have been struggling with a lack of over abundance in money, so we can add onto our house and have more space. I see some families in the world with great incomes and wonder why they have money and we don't. But the verse in Psalm is clear that the enemy can also bless financially. So often we think that it is the Lord who blesses in the financial end, but here we see that the wicked also can be blessed in this. I would rather take a walk down my quiet country road, and know that I am living a life pleasing to my heavenly Father, than have all my heart's desire in the material world filled.

Just something for us all to think about today as times get rougher for some and there are more struggling with a lack of money. Be strong and encouraged that He will take care of you!

Psalm 5:11&12
"But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.
For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dance to Him

The children and I love to dance in worship to God. The other night I was busy cleaning up from putting away all the camping stuff and was doing some dishes while listening to music. The song, God With Us came on, and we just had to dance. It is such an uplifting song that reminds us that He really is with us, taking care of us, providing our every needs, and teaching us His ways. Joy fills my heart when I watch my little girls dance. Alegra is more coordinated with it than Diella, but none the less, it is beautiful to see them worshiping in such a way. Next time you feel like dancing when listening to a song that fills your heart with joy, dance! The scriptures talk about it, so why don't we do it these days. It's because it's not the norm and people will look at us. At our church, we have learned to put those feelings aside and just dance if the Spirit is leading us to do so. It's usually done in a circle in the back and the little girls usually join us which is such a blessing to see. So, my encouragement for the day is......dance unto Him. It would bring Him joy and glory!

Camping in celebration!

Well, last week we had a wonderful time camping for Feast of Tabernacles. We believe that God is more pleased with us celebrating the feasts of the Bible than the traditional holidays that are steeped in paganism. If you have free reading time, check out http://www.essortment.com/all/christmaspagan_rece.htm and http://biblicalholidays.com/tabernacles.htm . We learned so much during this week. The first day Jonathon hurt his back quite bad playing dodge ball.....he just can't accept the fact that he is getting old. :) It caused him to realize that he puts too much confidence in his flesh, which was a great reminder to rely on the Lord than on our selves. By the end of the week he was better and is doing fine now.

After much studying during the week, we are realizing that we need to study this feast more. Though we had a blessed and wonderful time fellowshipping with our church family, we are still searching out what this Feast has to teach us about the Father. Oh, we learned so much and it was wonderful. Here are some pics. from our fun time.

The children loved riding their bikes around our campsite. And Diella actually rides now without training wheels. That's two with no training wheels...one to go, and he is too crazy on his bike to go without. They enjoyed the hammock that our friends who camped with us brought along. And the playground always is a hit no matter how small it might be. They had fun on the slide and merry-go-round.

Everybody did good tenting, and thanks to a small heater we stayed warm at night. All in all, we had a great time and were blessed by what we learned during this feast. God has so much for us to learn and grow in. His ways are higher, his thoughts are higher, and we just want to get to those heights of understanding Him.

Like Dads..... ....Like Sons!

Silly Boys! and good times by all!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Celebration of Motherhood

In my very first post I mentioned about organizing Celebrations of Motherhood for pregnant ladies at our church. Last weekend we had another one, and the mother-to-be suggested that I do a blog specifically for ideas and comments from other ladies. I don't know that I have enough information to do a whole blog just on that, but I would like to use this one to share my ideas and hopefully, gain some from our readers. I have broadened my list of ideas just from doing them, but still need more ideas as the list of preggos keeps growing.

What is a Celebration of Motherhood? It's a time where ladies join together to encourage, support and minister to the lady who will be entering motherhood again or perhaps the first time. We have had such a blessed time gathering to do this. They just keep getting better in their own ways, but it not only blesses the mother-to-be, but also, all of us who share with her. Here are some of our ideas. I do try to plan it according to the mothers likes and enjoyments, so since we are all different, each Celebration is different in its content.
Typically, we do the Celebration before the baby arrives, but in the case of the mother below, we had it after the baby was born due to complications towards the end. We always try to have a flower arrangement (I prefer fresh from my own garden) and candles depending on the time of year as seen in the pictures below.
We start out with an introduction of what the purpose of a Celebration is (ministering, sharing and uplifting one another, especially the mother-to-be. Also, I like to read scripture to start us out such as Romans 12:3-? and Galatians 6:10). For two of them I had a lady light candles while another lady shared some scripture. Matt. 5:14 -16 is a good one for this.

We allow daughters to be there as long as they are not a distraction. This is a great time for the young girls to learn what women should be doing according to the scriptures.

These pictures are all of ladies sharing. We generally share advice, a story related to motherhood or something that has always been special to you as a mom. Then we also share scripture with the mother. One that will encourage her and edify her.

I forgot to mention that before we start anything, we eat. I usually ask ladies, that I know who will be there, to bring something snacky. Then we have recently started having cake. This last one I did was a keeper and enjoyed by all. Think creatively and make something that the mother-to-be will really enjoy. We also had one that was cupcakes in the shape of a butterfly with a baby made out of frosting or something, nestled in the middle. Very cute, wish I could find the picture of that one.

The next part is my favorite as I feel so humbled to be able to do it. We wash the mothers feet. This, for some reason, does not take place in churches anymore, and I think that it is too bad. This truly is a humbling act, and I'm sure makes the mother feel like she really has sisters that would do anything for her. We have read our scriptures to her at this time while the ladies take turns washing her feet, or we have also sang during this time. I really like the singing as long as I have enough songs planned. Also, I always have a bowl of flower petals right there close to drop into the water. It's especially cute when the little girls drop petals in. And, I give a good foot massage when everyone is done. But we also have had another lady bring her own hand made ointment and also rub into the mother's feet. What a great way to share what God has given us in talents and gifts to bless another sister. Here are some pics. from that.

I also really like having the husband write something about his wife that I have one of the ladies read. This is always touching to the mom-to-be. I have also had the children, if she already has some, write something for their mom. The picture below is one of my favorites as I asked the oldest daughter of the mom to read what her three brothers, one sister, and herself wrote for their mom. She was so moved that somebody else had to read while she sat there and cried. How blessed the mom is to have a daughter that would be so sensitive that the blessing her mom is to her would cause her to be emotional.
What a special time all of this is for our sister. I also try to plan something that would be more down the lines of something that would truly bless them. If I don't know the sister very well, this is when I really rely on the Lord speaking to me on what I should do. If it's a first time mom, we do give gifts. The following are some ideas that we have done with pictures.

We have done fun and cute skits. This one was quite funny . The arms are from another lady who obviously can't see what she is doing. They bathed a baby, got the baby dressed, put the baby in the sling, and is getting her makeup on for the day in this picture.

At this Celebration, this mom was expecting her 6th child. What a blessing! We all brought in store bought and home canned goods, pasta, toilet paper, etc. Some of the items had little poems that went with them that were bits of advice that had the name of the item in it such as, "Use your "noodle" when your children get bored. Quiet time must not be ignored".

This one we had an added bonus. The daughter brought some of the mom's old fancy dresses and the younger girls did a fashion show. Was a cute idea and made for some good pics.

We have also done gifts for first time mom and put a slide show together with pictures of the husband and wife up to that point with a song that the Lord gave one of the ladies about the blessing of a baby.
At the end of each Celebration we gather around the mother, lay hands on her and pray over her. This is indeed a special time for us. What a blessing knowing that your sisters are lifting you up to the Father that all will go smoothly with your pregnancy and labor.

And to wrap this post up, I would like to leave you with some pictures of the wonderful ladies that I have been honored to organize Celebrations for. I may not have known some of them very well before hand, but after serving in the way that we do during these gatherings, we feel as though we are family now. I love you all!

Now we must not forget the ladies to come. I have two more ladies both due in March I think. So, having said that, please share with me some of your ideas. Anything else that would be uplifting to sisters in the Lord and for a pregnant lady just ready to hold that precious little one. Hope you will all send me some ideas to work with! I also just have to include my first belly picture taken at the last Celebration we had. I'm honored to be in the pregnant stages with these two wonderful ladies. It's such a blessing going through it together with those you love the most!

Barefoot and Pregnant!