Thursday, June 25, 2009

Happy Father's Day a little late!

We had a very enjoyable day on Father's Day. We got quite a few things done around the house in the morning including loading up the cradle that Benaiah had been sleeping in. He is now in the crib and sleeping so good! And while I am on the subject of him, he had a check up yesterday and weighs a whopping 12 lbs. and 8 oz. The doctor was amazed at how great he is doing!

Anyways....after dropping off the cradle at my parent's house for safe keeping, we headed to the Elkhart County Jail to pick up my parents who had been there doing jail service. So, at 2:30 we picked them up and headed for Portage, IN to take my dad on a surprise trip to the Bass Pro Shop to honor him on this special day. We made it a surprise because he has given plenty of surprises in the past, and we thought it was time for him to just sit back, relax, and be surprised. But of course, my dad (who gets it from his mother) cannot really enjoy the time if he doesn't know where he is going, so it made it all the more fun . I think he was thrilled to be there though. They were doing a special Family Summer Camp weekend, so we got to enjoy all the festivities that went along with that. The children did a workshop on animal identification, and painted ceramic tracks, got their pictures taken, and did shooting in the gallery. So much fun for everybody!!!

After our time at Bass Pro Shop, we headed to Texas Corral for supper and enjoyed some delicious food! The children liked the rolls and the whole peanut experience was fun too. By the end of the day, we were all tuckered out and ready for bed when we got home. My dad got some shopping done for this summers fishing time, and we all loved seeing all the animals set up and the excitement of a new place from the children....well, me too. That place is pretty cool! Here are some pictures of our fun family day!

This was the grand display complete with two waterfalls, a river with trout in it, and lots of cool animals. Josiah loved this!

The shooting gallery that was FREE on this day. What great FREE fun! Can't you tell the grandpa was thoroughly enjoying his time with his grandchildren?!

This is one of my favorite part...the many times he signed up for the a giveaway. But this giveaway in particular he filled out, I don't know, how many sheets. And yes, each of the pictures is a different time he stopped to fill one out. :)

And again.....

And again!

This is the workshop the children went to where they learned how to identify animals and then they answered some questions to get a little pin .

This was, by far, my favorite see, my dad recently got a new phone through work. It's amazing (just ask him). It has a compass, a flashlight, takes way too many pictures, and even takes video. Well, he has come to really like this phone and take advantage of all its features such as the video. While the children were doing their workshop, he was walking around videoing the surroundings and just having fun with his phone. It's just funny for my dad who isn't all that techy and totally into this new phone. Jonathon and I just stood back and watched him do all this videoing and laughed and laughed. Too funny! Jonathon said I should have videoed him videoing. Sorry, it would have been an entertaining little clip, I'm sure. :)

So, that was it! Our lovely day with my Dad!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

First Fishing Trip of the Summer

Fishing, Family, and Fun!

My dad invited us to go fishing with them and we took them up on it. Our family loves to fish! And this time around, Jonathon and I didn't even get a chance to. It was all the children who got to enjoy the fun and the big catches. Here is Alegra with her big catch. I think her's was the biggest.
She is reeling it in. Grandma was close by to help out if need be, but Alegra was able to get it in all by herself. The children all three caught each of these fish completely on their own. They can cast out, but this day they had some help just to prevent hooks in unsuspected victims. Actually, the only time somebody almost got hooked was me and Benaiah when grandpa was trying to get Alegra's hook unstuck from the lily pads.

Here is Diella's big fish. She didn't think she could get it in, but she did it! She often had to be reminded to watch her bobber, but once somebody said, "Diella, you've got one!", she would hook it and bring it in. Way to go Diella!

And last, but certainly not least, is Josiah's big blue gill. That little Cars fishing pole has been good to him and this catch is the perfect example of that. He does such a great job casting, hooking, and then reeling it in with his little pole. He loves being so big, especially around grandpa and papa.

So, it was a fun fishing evening topped off with Dairy Queen for supper, then back to Grandpa and Grandma's to clean all those whopper fish and have ice cream. The children enjoyed riding bikes and playing kick ball, the men cleaned fish, Grandma played kick ball, and I held a baby and enjoyed the time with family. What a blessing!

He's 4 weeks and oh so cute!

Our little (I mean big) Benaiah is 4 weeks old!
He is, for the most part a happy little guy. Getting into a routine has been so helpful with 3 other children to tend to. He is starting to sleep better at night which is music to my ears when I roll over and see that it has been 6 hours instead of 3 since I was up last. I need my sleep to function as a loving him sleeping longer at night is really a good thing. :)

This is his serious face. Probably one of his sisters walked in the room, and he is just waiting to see if they will mess with him. They do love him, but I think he gets overwhelmed by their wonderful love. So, when he is with mom, he is very happy to be in a still, calm, safe haven in her arms.

He is starting to smile more, as evident above. He has also talked one time and that was to Josiah. It was very sweet, but I must admit that it causes me a little worry that it was to Josiah and not his dear mother. I'm afraid these two are going to be way too much alike. Who am I trying to kid, he is a boy and boys will be boys. Maybe this time around, our boy won't be quite so rough. That's our prayer!

Isn't he handsome? Alegra was happy to see us home after we went with Grandpa Daniel to a father/daughter banquet at Grandpa Daniel's church. Benaiah was so good, sleeping the whole time. I tried to line his feedings up, so that he would sleep on the way there and then hopefully, during the majority of it, and he slept through the whole thing leaving me to enjoy a nice evening with my dad. And my dad even shared during the banquet about the last months happenings and shared what gift daughters/children are. It was a teary time for sure!
We are growing quite fond of this boy. He brings us great smiles and joy! And he even has cute little snores. Enjoying every minute of his life with us! We thank God for entrusting us with him. Pray with us that we do a pleasing job in training him for the Kingdom.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Benaiah's Dedication

Well, we didn't get very good pictures, so I don't have any to post, but the event itself was such a blessing...who needs pictures really.

We did a double dedication with another couple from church who we are close to and who have a baby just 10 weeks older than Benaiah. We each shared why we wanted to dedicate our babies to the Lord and what it all means to us. For me, the whole thing was much different than for the others because of what I went through before Benaiah was born. Jonathon shared about who Benaiah was in the Bible and what his name means. He was a mighty man who stood by David and helped build his kingdom for good. His name means "whom Jehovah has built". We had the name picked out after we had Josiah. It was one we liked and after becoming pregnant with Benaiah, we decided that if this was a boy, that would be his name. Clear through the pregnancy we had a hunch this was a boy, but couldn't figure out what the meaning of his name had to do with our family. Well, the last 4 weeks it all became clearer. God certainly used those last 4 weeks to bring growth and build Jonathon and I's faith and trust. He was also working in the lives of other families too in building their relationships with one another and learning how to serve when there is a need. Our church family experienced this and was such a huge blessing to us during this time.

Psalm 127

Unless the Lord builds, they labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows;
for so He gives His beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
Oh, what a great passage. We want the builder to be Yahweh in our family. And how interesting that along with making sure that the Lord is the builder, this passage talks about children being a reward. There is blessing in having these little ones whom God has entrusted to us.
I wanted to read Psalm 118, but I had a crying baby through the whole thing, so I paraphrased it and said what it meant to me. Here is what it is says:
Psalm 118
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Let Israel now say "His mercy endures forever."
Let the house of Aaron now say,
"His mercy endures forever."
I called on the Lord in distress;
The Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.
The Lord is on my side;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The Lord is for me among those who help me;
Therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me.
It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.
It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.
The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents of the righteous;
The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.
The right hand of the Lord is exalted;
The right hand of the Lord does valiantly.
I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.
The Lord has chastened me severely, but He has not given me over to death.
Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I will go through them, and I will praise the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord, through which the righteous shall enter.
I will praise you, for you have answered me,
and have become my salvation.
The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the Lord's doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Save now, I pray, O Lord;
O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.
You are my God, and I will praise You;
You are my God, I will exalt You.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
This chapter perfectly sums up how I felt the last 4 weeks of pregnancy. God truly was my salvation from death. Not just in a spiritual sense, but literally. His mercy was shown every day while I sat in the hospital room wondering what was going on and what was God trying to teach me through everything. His mercy really does endure forever. And with each passing day, I rejoiced in having another day to breathe, and praised Him for His marvelous works in my life.
The dedication, to me was more than just offering up to train this child according to God's Word. It was dedicating myself to continue in His ways. That is where the blessing comes from. We can dedicate our children, but if we are not committing to dedicating ourselves to walk in all that God commands us to, then we will fall short of the training that our children need to grow up with hearts that want to serve and please the Father. That's what the dedication meant to me.
And we have truly seen blessing! Blessing in our home with our children making good choices. Blessing with Jonathon continueing to make good sales to provide just we need to live. Blessing in our garden with healthy plants and animal tracks (but the animals aren't eating everything like in years past). And blessing in hearing the voice of the Lord and seeing His Scriptures come alive to us. What a marvelous work the Lord is doing in our lives! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!!!