Surprise!

Ivy’s birthday was coming up and we planned to take a family trip to play in a river. However, the latest COVID crackdown closed the areas we had planned to enjoy. This left us without a plan just a few days before her birthday. Perfect for a surprise! Since she didn’t expect a replacement plan that fast, we were able to catch her totally off guard!

We sent her over to visit the cousins next door and then siblings, grandma and Aunt pitched in to put up decorations and get everything ready. At the appointed time we were ready and hiding:

 

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I had planned an art themed party. My mom had made white cupcakes which were like a blank canvas, ready to decorate with a “paint palette” of icing and sprinkles.

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Ivy, the brand new 11 year old.

Ryder enjoys the occasion.

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After cake and presents the little ones went down for naps or off to play while the older girls watched an instructional video to produce a painting. They enjoyed the fellowship so much it was hard to get them back to each stage of the video. :-)

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The finished project!

What fun to celebrate a daughter on her special day!

Introducing Ace Joseph Cahill

Ace Joseph Cahill

The first initials of our children form an acronym. We started with the intent to spell “Life is good” but changed that when our first “O” became an “R” with our 8th child Ryder. With a “GR” to go on, we finished out the acronym out with Ace’s name to make “Life is Grace.”

Ace: Ace means Unity. In card games, the ace is sometimes the highest and other times the lowest. Jesus came from Heaven to earth to bring unity between God (the highest) and man (the lowest). We pray that Ace’s life will be used of God to bring unity between God and mankind.

Joseph: He is named in honor of his Uncle Joseph. We are grateful for the investment Joseph and Stacie have made in our lives and hope he grows up to be a man of God like both his uncle and Joseph in the Bible.

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:11-14

 

Born: April 26th at 4:45 PM

Weight: 6 lb 9 oz

Length: 18 1/4 in

Delivered by Brian’s dad, “Papa Doc”

 

Hymn: Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear,
And Grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares
I have already come.
‘Tis Grace hath brought me safe thus far
And Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His Word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

Getting ready!

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Finished school.

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Weeded garden.

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Painted high traffic areas.

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Installed Lance’s bees in our new hives.

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Family outing at a park.

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Feeding turtles at same park.

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Washed the cars and cleaned the house.

Countdown is complete. We’re ready for a new baby!!

 

Easter Path

It’s been a few years since we did the Easter Path and it’s one of my favorite ways to re-live the story. My original thought was to share it with the neighbor kids but quarantine had us keeping it to ourselves. We ran through it twice – once with me when we set it up, and later on Easter Sunday with Dad – so pictures are from both.

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Palm Sunday – “See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

Waving branches, laying out cloth and shouting “hosanna”! Then we traced our hands with chalk and wrote something in praise to God.

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Foot washing – “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.”

Here we took turns washing each other’s feet.

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The Lord’s Supper – “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’”

Here we shared grape juice and oyster crackers, talking a little about the symbolism. Now lest you think all is perfect, our kids were mostly concerned on whether they could have more crackers. Guess we’ll have to go over 1 Cor. 11 next time. :-)

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Praying in the Garden – “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”

Here we picked up a rock and thought about something that caused us to worry or fear. Then we prayed, giving that worry to God and dropped our rock into the water.

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Suffering on the cross – “God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.”

We held ice while watching the scene of the crucifixion. The ice begins to hurt some in your hand and you think about what Jesus did for you (unless you end up eating the ice!)

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Our debts paid – “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Here we wrote one of our sins on a piece of paper then nailed it to the cross, showing how Jesus had taken it on himself. Plenty of sinfulness showed up while trying to share the hammer. And the same child hit their finger both times through.

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Burial – “Then he took down (Jesus body), wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.”

We sprayed perfume on coffee filters (burial cloth).

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Darkness – “The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.”

Here we crowded into the tomb. You were to think of a fear and then know that there is nothing that Jesus can’t handle – not even death could keep him down!

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Empty tomb – “The women, deep in wonder and full of joy, lost no time in leaving the tomb.”

We burst out of the tomb and ran to the next station!

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Celebrate He is Risen! “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.”

We took the “burial cloth” (coffee filters) with us and with a pipe cleaner, made it into a flower and attached it to a cross. Rejoicing that the ugliness of death can be transformed into the glorious wonder of new life.

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The Great Commission -”All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. “

We looked in a mirror to see that we are the ones called to be ambassadors for Christ to the world.

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Then we put star stickers on a map to show where we know people – neat since we’ve been having international students over, so we could put stickers somewhere besides Texas!

Hope you enjoyed our Easter Path!

 

A forest party

We have two birthdays in March and while the Spy Party came just in time to miss everything closing down, Eden wasn’t quite so fortunate. The original plan was to go to the zoo – but the zoo closed. So thinking along that same line we did a forest animal tea party.

Now, we do have the advantage of living on the same property as our cousins – so between them and our own ‘party sized’ family, we had plenty of people to celebrate.

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We made a woodland home area to play and have our lunch.

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Forest themed food was hedgehog cheese ball, pig in the blankets, owl veggie tray, teddy grahams (bears) and ants on a log (not pictured).

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Eden chose a “dirt” cake with gummy worms!

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We painted little birdhouses then did a nature scavenger hunt, collecting items that we used to decorate the houses.

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They turned out pretty cute! This is Eden, Iris and Skye’s houses.

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Lance, Ivy and Flora’s.

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Ivy made a hedgehog pinata all by herself!

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It was a big hit :-)

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The 3 amigos take a whack at it!

After all that fun I was tired! So the kids ate french fries and chicken nuggets for supper while Brian and I had a quiet meal on our own. A lovely day to celebrate a lovely daughter. Happy 8 years to my Eden!

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