Rejoice With Us!!

Rejoice with us! We sent our damaged hard drive to "Werecoverdata" and they repaired it! I am posting a few of the pictures from the recovery which tell the story of why we paid dearly to have these pictures recovered. God is good. He was good when we thought all these pictures were lost and He is good today.

A Winter Day

Isn't snow beautiful? Winter is definitely my favorite season but that's because it is December. (I usually say that my favorite season is whatever season we are in!) We have been taking the week off from homeschool studies so we have had more time for playing.
Marlin had the honors of pulling a tobaggon with the tractor over the snowy roads and lanes, up and down road ditches, and wherever else he felt like going. The goal was to see how many riders he could displace! His partner in crime was Hudson. He loved riding on the buddy seat in the tractor when he wasn't on the tobaggon.

Here are the tobaggon riders (except for Rebecca-she only came out for the family picture!!).
Denver's new dalmation dog, Ryker, got his exercise by running behind or beside the tobaggon. Unfortunately, he did not cooperate for the picture!


Happy Belated Birthday, Elizabeth!!

This sweet little lady turned the "long-awaited and much-anticipated" 4 yesturday!! She has been such a blessing to our family in the last four years. Her happy grin and plentiful hugs make her a precious treasure to our family!

Liz loves playing house, tea party, and church with her "family" of dolls, drawing, "composing" original songs,
making cookies, putting on "concerts" with Hudson & Taylor, and going on "dates" with Daddy, and "girl parties" with her older sisters. She is also an "otter" in personality, meaning that she is another one of our social bugs! (yes, we have quite a few of those...) A conversation with a "stranger" typically means that the "stranger" leaves knowing all about Elizabeth's doll family, her daily schedule, her favorite activities, colors, animals, etc, her upcoming birthday (which by the way has been "upcoming" for nearly a year now!) her siblings, her friends, and of course, how old she is! :)
"Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right." Proverbs 20:11
Happy Birthday, Liz!! We love you!!

(written by Chelsy)


Denver's Belated 8th Birthday post

Due to the busy events of the last several days, it is only now that I am finally sitting down to write a birthday post for this week's birthday boy!!
Denver is a great joy to our whole family. His "smiley" and "bubbly" personality identify him as one of three "otters" in our family, and if you have heard that he has yet to meet a stranger, you heard correctly. :) He learned to read this past year, and one of the first books he wanted to read was the Bible. He has a love for God's Word and is continuously sharing with the family new things that he has learned in his devotions. He is very excited to be eight years old, and can't wait for the upcoming arrival of his birthday present: a dalmatian dog.
Happy happy birthday Denver!!! I am so thankful that God put you in our family!!
We love you!! (And your dimple!! :))

"That thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged."
Deut. 6:2
(written by Chelsy)


A Birthday Party

December 5, 2007 was a time of celebration for our family. We were celebrating because for the first time ever, Grandma and Denver were together for their shared birthday. I can still remember how thrilled I was when Denver arrived almost a week before his due date, but exactly on his grandma's birthday. My mother has had this dream of being in IA for this special day and this year her dream came true! We also invited Denver's Grandma Bontrager for the party. The menu (chosen by my mother) was smoked ham, mashed potatoes, sourkraut, tossed salad, oatmeal cake, and homemade ice-cream.
Denver had the honor of blowing out the candles.

After a time of sharing encouraging words with the birthday guests, it was time to open the gifts!
One of Denver's gifts was a 1,000 piece puzzle from his siblings.


It was with great joy that Marlin and I along with 3 of the younger children greeted my parents at the airport this morning. Now we are hoping that their luggage will follow them quickly!

I know that a highlight for my mother has been holding Rebecca, while my father has been playing some challenging checker games with the children.
Grandpa (my father) and Taylor are playing checkers.
Rebecca took a nap in Grandma's arms.

Grandpa's hugs are the best!


Trusting God

This afternoon finds us in the middle of an early winter ice storm. It is the perfect day to bake cookies, play a game, drink hot chocolate, or blog; however, our joy is dampened knowing that my parents are stranded in Chicago. They left the airport in NY this morning, arrived in Chicago around noon, and then were told that their flight to Moline was cancelled because of the ice. They are resting at a motel room while we hope for the ice to melt quickly so they can catch a flight in the morning.
Are you wondering what all this has to do with trusting God? Trusting God in life's daily happenings is a lesson that God has been trying to teach me for years. When I heard the predictions for a storm, my prayer was that I would trust God for my parents arrival. The prayer was so much easier before I heard that their flight was cancelled! I feel like I am blindfolded while God is leading my hand. There are times when I would choose a different path than what I am walking on. Sometimes I stumble, but always I keep following.
"But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee." Psalm 5:11
"As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him." Psalm 18:30