The First Thanksgiving

A handy guide: By Lance, Ivy. Flora and Edenpics 220

Production – Amy and Aunt Katie

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Pilgrims – Lance

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Praying hands – Ivy

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Plymouth – Ivy

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Problems – Flora

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Provision – Lance

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Plenty – Eden and Flora

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Providence – Ivy

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Pink – Flora

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Pretty Pink Princess

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Would you look at these two lovely ladies? They have many things in common: They both love pink, like to play princess and turned 3 in November! Combine these and you get a party that is all girl!

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Lady Ivy all dressed up!

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Princess Flora, wearing no less than 3 skirts – I think it must lend to the princess status to have all your favorites on at once. That or you couldn’t make up your mind which to wear…

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Baby beauty Eden – such a delight of lace, curls and chubby smiles.

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And just in case a dragon decided to crash the party, we hired the brave knight, Sir Lance, to protect the damsels.

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The fair maidens in attendance.

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We played pin the crown on the princess…

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Had a courtly dance – where Lance showed his knightly manners and acquiesced to dance with the birthday sister but turned his helmet to cover his face after the first few steps (secretly I think he was only here for the cake).

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We also played “princess, princess, dragon” but when Jenny got to Lance, she couldn’t bring herself to call him a princess so after hesitating dubbed him “dragon” and then led the merry chase around the circle.

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Doing their best princess pose with the cake. Jenny wanted a cake with a crown on it and Flora wanted cupcakes so we were able to strike a happy deal with both. pics 117 

What fun, beautiful girls! I’m so glad they bring reminders of femininity and girlish delight to our lives. We pray that they will be true princesses by becoming children of the King. And rather than sporting a self-centered ‘diva’ attitude, that they would put on the character of royalty through service, grace and inner beauty.

Happy birthday precious girls!!

I Do

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This summer I was encouraged to read Daughters of Sarah. One of the “wifely instruction” passages holds up Abraham’s wife, Sarah, as an example of obedience saying that she called her husband “Lord.” I had always just thought of this as the quaint wording of the King James Bible, but Ephesians 5:22 gives a similar admonition to submit to the husband “as unto the Lord.” It struck me that Sarah may have called her husband “Lord” because as she said ‘yes’ to Abraham, she was saying ‘yes’ to the Lord’s direction for her life.

Being the action/idea oriented type of person that I am, I thought I would give it a try. My current situation was trying to decide which activities the kids and I would enjoy this fall. There were too many opportunities and I couldn’t decide which to drop so I thought I would be a good wife, submit my list to Brian and let him take off one or two for me. Well, through circumstance and a few weeks of deliberation, all of the activities were crossed off except for one which required much effort and planning on my part. This was hard for me – I didn’t expect Brian to take that much control of my life. I remember once complaining at God that “Brian just didn’t understand, he didn’t know what I needed.” Then in the middle of my pity party, God interrupted and reminded me that He knew what I needed, He understood the stresses of my life and He might be behind the directives from my husband. Ah, yes – and so Amy obeyed, calling him Lord.

This started me thinking on the concept of saying “I Do.” So many couples repeat this on their wedding day, but slip into the habit of actually saying “I don’t do.” That’s where I was. While my mind said ‘I do’ in theory, my actions said “I don’t do” direction from my husband. I had struggled to say ‘I do’ to apartment living with four small children. I frequently said ‘I don’t’ to cheerfulness and gratefulness. Usually this wasn’t open refusal, just the simple act of not asking for Brian’s priority, pushing for something I wanted to do, or resenting the discomfort of a situation.

Often saying ‘I do’ is hard – even the marriage vows reflect that, having 50/50 good and bad things you promise to endure together. I had the privilege of watching both sets of grandparents say ‘I do’ to helping a spouse through several years of terminal illness. Both went beyond mere faithfulness as they cared for and loved someone who couldn’t always give back. And I know other couples that have endured both the better and worse side of attitudes, actions and circumstances. I have also been grieved by friends that, eventually said “I don’t” to their spouse and left. It would seem that they became ‘weary in well doing.’ After all, how much are we expected to endure? Aren’t we admonished to ‘faint not?’

This is where I considered how the ‘I do’ concept ties in with Christian living. Marriage is a picture of the relationship of the church to Christ. I want to say ‘I do’ to all the benefits of being united with such a one as Christ, but struggle with ‘I don’t do’ when faced with difficulty. What if the early church said “I don’t do lions.” What if Paul said “I don’t do travel?” What if Peter said “I don’t do writing?” What if Christ himself said “I don’t do crucifixion?” Maybe the difficult things, when surrendered in obedience to God, can produce better results than the good things. Missionaries who endured severe persecution testify how they came to know and understand Christ better. Maybe the endurance through difficulty long beyond what we would care to endure makes for a relationship way beyond what others could ever hope to know.

Today marks 7 years of being married to my first and only love. Due to the particular time of our life (building a house, parenting, my belly swollen 7 months pregnant) I don’t think we’ll be celebrating with a cruise or a weekend getaway. Instead we may spend the evening as companions on all fours, scraping the plywood in excited preparation for putting a new floor in the kitchen. As many army buddies would testify, the rigors of boot camp and the battle field may do more to create a bond than a quiet evening at Olive Garden. So if Brian asks if I find it in me to join him on the floor, I will answer “I Do.”

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House projects

Here’s a little of what we have been up to lately:

Brian tried his hand at building a few shelves. After much planning on paper he cut the pieces, I sanded and painted, then we put it all together. I gained a whole new respect for planning ahead when every piece fit just right!

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His side

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Her side (note, this is before I moved most of the clothes in)

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Ivy helps me organize the hangers.

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Another weekend Brian wires an energy efficient contraption onto our dryer…

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…while Lance helps me prep for another project.

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And here is the finished project – salvaged fence boards turned into a decorative wall in our guest bath. I love how it turned out!

And then the big project – school room shelves. Brian spent a Saturday cutting all the pieces. I spent the week sanding and painting everything. Friday morning a friend watched our kids while we got started.

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Smoothing the edges near the end. Thanks to Amy’s Dad for setting us up with the router and saving us lots of time!

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By the end of Saturday we had finished most of the building – now Amy just has to caulk and paint. I think we’ll be able to store a few books.

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And some of these pictures are thanks to Brian who fixed my camera this weekend!!

Progress is always exciting! More to come.

Fall cuties!

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We had a little time yesterday after an activity in town so we decided on a picnic at the pumpkin patch to find some fun.pics 243

And boy did we find some fun! A few farm animals made up a ‘viewing zoo’ – including an escaped rabbit that roused much discussion. The little goats were entertaining until one tried to eat Eden’s cookie (seen in foreground) which made her cry.pics 231

There were several posing boards – can you guess which character is Eden?pics 252

The biggest hit was a hay maze – not too complicated and loads of fun to run around inside – especially if ‘mommy monster’ was chasing you!

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Fantastic sale on decorative items :-)

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Lance found a snail shell and carried it around until it surprised and unnerved him by coming out! After getting over his first shock (and watching Ivy hold it safely) he once again took ownership and it is now in an empty peanut butter jar in our house.

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My Lance man – always ready for running, fighting imaginary monsters and telling mom “I love you.”

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Ivy girl – full of fun, curiosity and grand ideas. Beautiful smile and full of life, capable, helpful and good with the little ones.

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Princess Flora – cutie pie and exhorter. Experimenting with the big kid world but still a wee one wanting to be tickled as I say good night and playing by herself almost as much as playing with the others.

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Baby Eden – but growing older every day! Cute, sweet, full of laughs and smiles. Showing great awareness of how things should be and lending her two small hands to help the family.

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A fun time was had by all and the whole car was sacked out by the time we got home. I think we’ll be going again!

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