A Year for Him

Happy New Year!!

My prayer is that Christ would be glorified in my life more this year than any other year.

A Question for You

We are taking this week to evaluate and plan out the new year. The kids and I sat down for two hours this afternoon and divided life into different categories. Then, we started to plan. It was neat to listen and see the insight they had for the new year.

The categories were: Spiritual, Family, Academic, Musically, Personal Development, Ministry.

I had extra on my list - and one of them was blogging. I must admit that my blog has fallen very short of my original desired plan for it. I must be honest and say that this past year has been one of the most difficult years I have ever had. Almost everything about my life has changed in the past year- it has been a time of readjusting and reevaluating. I have found myself either, not in the mood to blog - or afraid too-(afraid because as much as I believe in keeping blogs 'real'-I also believe in keeping blogs edifying!)

With that said - I will tell you I have several thought about the new year and my blog. I have some giveaway ideas floating around in my head. I have some book reviews I would like to do and some topics I would like to cover. My ultimate desire is that my blog will be spiritually uplifting to all who read it; and will bring honor to God.

Now comes the question: do any of you - (regular readers, friends or lurkers ;p ) have any thoughts on things for my blog. I would LOVE to hear from you. I plan on doing a post towards the end of this week letting you know of my new plans. So make sure you drop by Friday or Saturday.

Please post a comment - I would like to hear your ideas.




Two... already?

Where has the time gone?

Needless to say, she is our little princess. How we love her.

Adoption Day Remembered

Last year when many people were preparing to stand in lines waiting to exchange Christmas gifts...

We were preparing to receive one of the most special gifts of all...

A little girl - with our last name.

On December 26,2008 our little one's name became official:

Susanna Faith Spurgeon

It is hard to believe that it has been a year since that wonderful day.

Merry Christmas!

Our holiday plans included going to the Christmas Eve vespers service- ice and snow have made that impossible - so we will be home and together, as a family, celebrate the Saviour's birth. What a beautiful gift He gave us! The gift of Himself!

My prayer for you is that you have a personal relationship with the Person who loves you the most - Jesus Christ. May God bless you through the remainder of the year; and may your New Year be filled with Christ.

From our home to yours: "MERRY CHRISTMAS!"
(The following pictures are from the school Christmas program last week.)

Schedules to Keep

Our children have been dreaming of Christmas break for a couple weeks now...

Well...it's finally here!
There are cookies to be baked...
Neighbor's to which we will carol...
Packages to be wrapped...
There will be no wasted time this break! We are only hours into it - and already our schedule is booked.
What are your plans this Christmas break?


She's my ragamuffin - but even with her hair a mess - I just can't get enough of that smile!!

Recess Fun

I don't remember recesses being this much fun....

but then again, it has been a while since I was out to recess...
Enjoying the season-trust you are too! Thanks for stopping by; I am so glad you did!

Bedtime Snack

Our little one is ready for Christmas and ready for bed...

just a quick bedtime snack before she lays down for the night.


No matter how much time passes- one can never forget a weekend that changed life forever.
This weekend I remember that weekend- 12 years ago. She left us much sooner than we had planned - - 12 days before Christmas.

Christmas carols have never sounded the same since that Saturday morning. I still find them to bring joy to my heart. Yet, way back in my mind many carols bring back memories from that weekend.
One never forgets.

Sometimes - I wish I could forget. I wish I could forget every year when the Christmas cantata or Christmas program falls on the same weekend it fell on that weekend. Twelve years ago - the program was rescheduled; but every year since then the program has gone on as scheduled. Yes, every year since then - every Christmas program practice the night before the weekend - I wish, oh how I wish I could forget.

Sometimes - when I hear of a child who dies around the holidays I wish I could forget. Forget how much it hurt, how much it changed the flavor of the season within my heart- forever.
When I talk with a grieving parent, or when I pray in earnest for a family whose eight year old son's battle with cancer finally ended -- weeks before Christmas ... I wish I could forget.

Then,there are times that I hope I never forget.

Never forget how real God became to me in an instant. How near He was! How much His grace was present! When I think about how much the Comforter worked within my heart and gave me peace in the midst of the troubled time of the hour - I pray to God I will NEVER forget.

This trial showed me Him -more clearly than any other time in my life. When we draw nigh to God - God always draws near to us. How closely I drew that weekend; and how I knew His arms were holding me, his cheeks wet with tears - just like mine!

I never want to forget how real the presence of God was to me that weekend. Never!

When I look at other people's suffering and can not understand why - I hope I never forget. Never forget how much it hurt when people tried to reason and make sense of something to which God only knew the answer.

When I hear people try to reason through other people's suffering - I am reminded of that weekend and I vow never to forget.

To always remember -comfort does not come when we find the reason to the suffering - comfort comes when we point the suffering ones to the Comforter.
When I sit side by side with someone else who has lost a child - when my tears mix with theirs - every single time - it has never failed - I have begged God to never let me forget. Never forget the hurt - never forget the fear - the questions.

Never forget!
I always always thank God for the opportunity to walk the path with someone else. For in talking and walking and crying and praying with another person who is there - I remember - that is what it is all about! Allowing myself to be an instrument of His comfort- the comfort I became acquainted with twelve years ago - - this weekend.

So this weekend, I will participate in the Christmas program. I will cry as I sing the songs of Christmas. This weekend I will remember- and be thankful.

Emanuel came to bring us Hope and Peace - for every situation we have in life; and as we minister to those around us - those walking the same path - we find purpose.

Open Up

One week after Zak's tonsils came out - Anna thinks this is the only use for a flashlight.
She also feels extremely left out if she does not get to participate in the "game".

Snowed In

All in all we got about 17 inches of snow. We were snowed in the entire day yesterday. What do the kids do when they have a whole day off of school and can not go anywhere? First, they help Dad shovel out while Mom fixes breakfast. Then after breakfast dishes are done they stayed busy...
(Taking Anna out to play in the snow. She got to go out without her face getting washed from hot chocolate... such fun!)
(Building snow forts in the front yard)
(Helping big sister cook the meat for pizza)
(Doing Anna's hair; and getting her to model the finished product)

(Getting 'horsey' rides)

(More rides... from an older horse)

(Playing cars and learning lessons on sharing with your sister)

(Taking pictures of Mom while she is taking pictures of you)

Then that night everyone over the age of 10 found we all had the same agenda...
(Tuck the little ones into bed,
turn on the lights to the Christmas tree,
make some hot tea...)

(Find a corner and a book.
Settle in for a cozy night;and let the blizzard blow as long and as hard as it wants to!)

They say a family that reads together... reads together. That is how you found us last night. It seemed the perfect way to end the blizzard day.
Trust you are able to stay warm and make memories with family. Thanks for stopping by; I am so glad you did.

Ready for Snow

We are supposed to get hit with a major snow storm coming our way. I think we are just about ready...

...the snow shovels are out on the porch and ready to work

...there is milk in the fridge and pancakes are scheduled to be made if school is canceled for tomorrow

...the beds have extra blankets on them

...a hot pot of chili will be ready for dinner tonight

Now we watch- if the snow comes as scheduled we will probably have to get the kids from school early so we can make it home.

I LOVE snow storm- just find them a hair more difficult to work with when the kids are attending school at school. (However, the kids are very excited because when we homeschooled we still did school with snow storm. Sounds like come Wednesday they will have the first official SNOW DAY of their entire lives!! )

On Cue

I don't even need to say the word 'smile'.
She sees my camera - and knows what to do. (She even can do it with a cookie in her hand and crumbs in her mouth. Talent!! ;)

An Evening of Music

Our children's academy recently hosted a concert. We had an enjoyable time listening to the music from "Around the World."

I wanted to post a few pictures from the lovely night; and also wanted to prove to my readers that I do take pictures of all my children ;) (Seems lately the only kids pictures I have are of the ones under 10!)

Rachel's pre-concert pic.
Her violin was in hand and being plucked - even as I shot the frame.

Abbey- our cellist...

James and his horn.
I LOVE brass ensembles!!

It is good to have these concert / recitals - - Helps me to remember that enduring the daily practice sound does pay off!! ;)
Thanks for stopping by- I am so glad you did.

A Day in Pictures

Check in:6:30 am-(rise and shine time:4:15am)
Zak watching to make sure the nurse knew how to do a blood pressure correctly)

All decked out in his hospital gear.

Tyler accompanied Zak throughout the day- he got a name tag too!

Ready for surgery - cap and all. Zak has quite and adverse reaction to the sedative they normally give kids before surgery. We tried him going into the OR fully awake. He did great!

We had a lot of trouble waking up out of the antithetic. They had to sedate him quite a bit to get him to calm down and not hurt himself...

After they admitted him to the hospital and got his vitals done -he finally dozed off... for most of the afternoon.

Zak is modeling the throat ice pack-an ice pack that wraps around your neck

Finding time for a little play. He would play for a few minutes and then lay back down.

Eating....need I say more?...

On his way to the bathroom to get dressed in his 'real' pajamas and head home.

Zak insisted on making his bed before we left. Here is his finished product. He also handed all of the nurses"Christian tickets" (tracts) . He told them it was his gift t0 them for taking such good care of him.

Today has been a bit more of a challenge. Healing always seems to be painful. We are reading an old 'Homer Price' book and eating lots of cold stuff.
Thanks for stopping by.