Summer is over but the sunshine is not…

It’s been awhile since I posted. Hmm..

So, July was hot but not nearly as hot as it was in TN. My sister Abby came for a week the beginning of July and that was a complete Blast!!! We went to the beach and the river of course. We laughed and we cried. We cooked and we cleaned. Altogether we just had a great time being with her and Nate and the kids!

Then, I got sick. The kind that last til you’re about 12-14 weeks along and you have a little baby pooch making your shirts stick out. So the rest of July we didn’t do much more than fill the little pool in the back yard and lay around the house.

Oh, I completely forgot!! I was blessed with the chance to fly back to TN to be there for my oldest brother’s 40 birthday party. Another brother of mine was also there and I hadn’t seen either brother in years. That was a very nice time excluding feeling sick some in the evenings.

I also got to help a midwife friend with a birth. I had not done a birth for almost a year and as a midwife it was great to be able just to go to one. (I know, that’s weird to miss going to births). Just helping and not having the responsibility of it was also very different but relaxing.

So August is here and with it came ‘back to school’. We started back on the 15th and also had 2 birthdays in the family the same week. Was a little bit crazy. School has been fun so far. We have new and different curriculum and some new and different challenges thrown in the mix. Tristan started Kindergarten so keeping River occupied has been, err, fun? The first week was the hardest and we are still finding our way so things are getting better. Tristan plays with him some of the time (his schooling takes an hour at the most). Still, River would rather that mom could pay 100% attention to him all morning. Let’s just hope he doesn’t gain too much weight for his age because food is about the only thing that will keep him occupied when Tristan can’t play. 🙂

I am 14 weeks pregnant. It’s going to be a boy or a girl. 🙂 Not sure if we want to know yet which is fine since we can’t tell what it is yet anyway. We found some great midwives and feel like God is making a way for us to have them help with the birth. We just did a consult with them. I’m about to set  up my first prenatal. It was fun to meet with them and they went out of their way to see how they could help us. God is good.

Larry and Charlotte and kids are here to spend a week with us. This has been great so far and we are on our first day. The boys so enjoy having other children here, they don’t care how old they are. Tristan loves Evan and Ronan and Kathrine play great. Maybe by the end of their time here River will have learned how to share… with Sean! We stayed up late last night just talking our heads off. Seemed like we were trying to catch up as fast as we could in just a few hours. Today we laid low, went to a ladies breakfast, let the kids play with my cake decorating tips and use up the leftover frosting for art. Then the guys washed the vans with the kids and all involved got wet. Now it’s nap time so we ‘catch up’ on sleep before our weekly get-together tonight.

That’s all for now. Will post some pics later…

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Letters to home- Encouraged!

This blog really is my everyday life. My life is a mixture of things, with God as the thread that holds me each day. I am going to periodically post letters to home (My spiritual  family back in Tennessee) so they can see what’s going on. I will also be posting our everyday life and pictures of the boys (for their friends and Grandparents).

We are doing really well here in California. What is God doing? I ask that question anew each day. It’s easier than trying to see some huge, grand thing. God sees the big picture, I’m just trying to do my small part of the big picture each day. This week, God is finding us a house! We are not quite sure which one, but expect to be moving within this week. We have a fleece out for God right now. Can’t wait to see what He has for us!

A couple of days ago, I was very discouraged. Completely done with crazy ‘house search’. Anyway, my sister, Alaina text me to tell me she was trying to get into God’s word and one way she was going to do that was to find a verse for the day. Did I want her to send me that verse each day? Yes!

I have been doing fine, living each day, looking and waiting. Have been getting a little tired of living out of duffle bags, schooling out of one small bin (while running out of lined paper, envelopes, pencil sharpeners..), and having most of our stuff unaccessible. Well, this day I was over it! Once more I tripped over shoes and toys to get to my room (the shoe basket is on the floor outside my room on one side and the toy basket is on the other) and couldn’t find my brush.

Then, I get this verse from Alaina (or I could say-God)- “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Phillip 4:6-7

Wow! It lifted me right out of my fog of doubt and unbelief. I still don’t understand everything but I never met anyone who could; and His peace guarded my heart and mind that day. Seriously, my thoughts were in a complete resting place the rest of the day! We have a good God! He gives us just what we need, when we need it. Not a minute too early and never too late.

Yesterday morning, right before 6am my phone beeped. Hmm.. a new text right before my alarm went off. It was Lain’s verse for the day. “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, they are plans for good, not disaster, to give you a future and a hope”. Jeremiah 29:11 What a reassuring way to wake up! God is not planning on disaster for me today! He actually has a future and a hope for us!!! So, yesterday I walked on the clouds all day, knowing God had plans for me. I actually stumbled across a neat house find on Craigs list that looks like it might be it! We’ll see! We are looking and God has a plan. Benayah also text me and said “there is a nugget of gold in all of this”.

God has defiantly been before us every day. Last Saturday we got together with Shammah, Hannah and their Chris & Emily. We sang some songs, I didn’t cry till we sang “It is You”. Our songs hit home a little too hard when I miss you guys. Shammah read a text from Jeremiah that was very encouraging. He encouraged us to look for the other Jeremiahs out here and not give up easily. Tina shared a few tidbits by phone  from the gathering last week and that was very encouraging.

Thank you for everything you guys do there by pressing on to find God each day. That in turn, helps us here. Keep praying and we will tell you about any gold nuggets we find!

Postpartum Care!!!

Awesome help!

God takes good care of me! A couple months back I invited my younger sister Ashley to come stay with us for 2 weeks after I had the baby. Fortunately for us, she said yes and my parents said yes too! So for this past week she has been here and it has made this postpartum life adjustment a lot easier, for me and the rest of the household. She’s done my laundry, cleaned my room & bathroom, helped with kitchen clean-ups, bathed kids, entertained the boys, brought me snacks, held the baby… and the list goes on! It has been wonderful to take care of the new baby, catch up on rest and know that she is taking good care of the boys. It hasn’t been easy this week either. All three boys ended up home from school for 2 days sick with bad coughs and if you know boys, coughs may keep them out of school but does nothing to their energy level! So, I’m surprised Ashley’s stuck it out this long without going crazy. 🙂  It doesn’t just end with her. I have  wonderful house mates- Jerusha, Alaina (my other younger sister), and Shalom that keep the cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping rolling along. They keep the house quiet when I nap, make sure I have things I need from town or special foods to snack on, keep the house clean and tell me not to worry about anything! They do all this on top of … (Jerusha- pregnant, has 3 kids herself and teaches school), (Alaina- working 3 days a week, baking for the coffee shop, grocery shopping and taking voice lessons) and (Shalom- full time teacher).  Anyway, God is good to me and I feel very taken care of. It is wonderful to live this life with my friends!

A new year

Ronan heading for the waves!

A little cold!

Fun, but cold!

These are pictures from our Florida trip on Thanksgiving. The water was warm, the air was cold! The boys thoroughly enjoyed the beach and the waves. We were the only ones in the water! My Aunt and cousins all had jackets on laying out in the sun. We were not about to let that salt water opportunity get away from us.

Now, a new year is here and so is the cold weather. We’ve  had snow for 3 days now; just off and on and only about an inch on the ground. The kids have been out sledding on any bit of snow or ice they can find.  All week our household has battled the flu. It literally hit everyone in the house except 2 of us! God was merciful to me (the pregnant lady) and spared me from this flu! I’m glad it’s over before the baby comes! It was a hard week, Shalom worked hard keeping the house clean, cooking for the few of us that were well, grocery shopping and running laundry. I felt very taken care of. Living together defiantly gives you the opportunity to serve each other and also learn how to let people take care of you (that can be hard sometimes when you are naturally independent).

Guess who?

Luna enjoying the cold- she didn't enjoy her gloves!

Tristan sledding

Watch out!

Well, it’s a new year and we are looking forward to new things! We feel like God has a lot for us this year… We get to start out the year with a new baby and we can feel God’s closeness to us as we journey into this year urging each other to pursue God and learn how to be better disciples! Enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed the snow!

Hind’s feet

This is Cedar- Jerusha's youngest

I share a home with the five in our family, a young mom (Jerusha) and her three kids, another couple (Dave & Shalom), and my younger (20yr old) sister. Every evening in our household Dave, or my husband David bring something special to what we call “Devotion time”. The men get home from work and we gather in the living room for about 20 minutes before we all go to the dinner table. Sometimes David just plays the guitar and we sing and the kids dance. Sometimes we go for a walk around the ‘Village Loop’ together. Some nights it’s a story, some nights we just pray. Well, the past few weeks David has been reading to us out of the book ‘Hind’s feet on high places’ by Hannah Hanard. It is a neat allegory of our journey in following Christ and the lessons we learn thru life. The kids really like it. The other night when we read it this jumped out at me…

“I think, my Lord, you purposely allow us to be brought into contact with the bad and evil things that you want changed. Perhaps that is the very reason why we are here in this world, where sin and sorrow and evil abound, so that we may let you teach us so to react to them, that out of them we can create lovely qualities to live forever. That is the only really satisfactory way of dealing with evil, not simply binding it so that it cannot work harm, but whenever possible overcoming it with good.”

The kids in our house- summer 2008

This mostly speaks for itself. It’s not your standard American way of thinking- Why should bad and evil things happen to us or around us? Get away from bad and evil. Why does sin happen? Or why must we walk hand in hand with sorrow at some points in our life?  I want to learn this lesson- how to overcome them with good, how to react to them in such a way as to create lovely qualities. I have seen this happen in people I know. It is amazing to see the whole picture as God reveals His plan (and we only see dimly!) At the start, when there are troubles all around us we can see so little of what is really happening! Probably how the grass blades look to the ants, or how grownups look to toddlers. 🙂