God's Beautiful Creation

Winter days offer so much of God's beauty.

Isn't God's creation amazing?  There is no artist that could create a scene this simple and beautiful.

We were blessed with a visitor on our farm-a bald eagle who stopped by in the field just yards from our house!

Chelsy got closer and closer trying to get that wonderful shot and all the time wishing for a 100-400 mm lens!  Then the eagle put his wings to majestic flight.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork."           Psalms 19:1


The Double Birthday Party

                        The other night we had Denver & Elizabeth's birthday parties. Since their birthdays are both in December, and their best friends (Cambridge and Bria) are siblings, they decided to do a big party together!! Denver is now 9, and Liz will be 5 on the 18th. These are a few pictures from their party....

Special Girl Times

                                      After church last Sunday, Allison and I decided to treat these dear little girls to some of the joys of "girlhood". Out came the sparkly pink nail polish, curling irons, and all else desired to make beautiful hairdo's and nails. :) Then came the agonizing conversations typical among eight-year olds, such as "I just CAN'T decide between the pink and the red nail polish!!"  
When we finally were done, they all lined up and helped us do the dinner dishes. I couldn't resist snapping a few pictures. :) It was too cute to pass up! After that, they decided that we should play "princess" and Allison and I were elected as the "Princess Sarah" and "Queen Susan". (smile) They waited on us hand and foot, bringing us food and drinks, giving back-rubs and foot-rubs, and brushing our hair. 
Anna, Raine, Elizabeth, and Marie       
In the end, I'm not sure who had the most fun: the girls, or us. :) God made girls to love being girls, and what fun it was to encourage them to enjoy being ladies!

Children's Choir Concert

This past Saturday Jubilance Children's Choir, the local children's choir that Carson, Joshua, and Denver sing in, gave its Christmas concert. The boys loved choir and we all enjoyed the wonderful concert they gave! Allison and I were also involved as Allison directed the five violinists and I was the choir's pianist. Since I was at the piano, Mitchell took over my job of photographer. :) Here are a few of the photos he got! 
    The boys also had opportunities to accompany the choir on their instruments. Carson played bass guitar, Denver played violin, & Joshua played wooden percussion.
     Here is the whole choir (with the exception of a few that didn't fit inside the lens scope!) with their amazing director, Mrs. Rhonda Miller.
"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations."
Psalm 100


Just for Fun

Here is a picture to cheer you up.  Rebecca (with a little help from Allison) got dressed up in a wild scarf and her sunglasses.  I don't know who had the most fun-Rebecca or those of us who were watching her run around soaking up all the attention she was getting!

Daddy loves his sweet princess.


Fall Days II

As promised, here is a further update on what has been happening at our house this fall. Chelsy, Mitchell, Allison, and Carson were sent of to IL for 3 days to help our friends, the Vincent family, get settled in their new home.  What a joy it was for our children to have the opportunity to unpack, organize, clean, do laundry, bake & cook, and make repairs at the Vincent's new farmstead.  It was a fun time for all of them.  As  you can imagine, life around here was a bit more subdued without all that teenage energy!  It gave our younger children a chance to "step up to the plate" as Marlin likes to say.   Elizabeth became my right hand in the kitchen while the boys did more chores than usual outdoors.
On Saturday evening when our 4 oldest returned home we had a happy reunion.   Chelsy only took a few pictures while they were gone, one of which was this beautiful shot of a bridge as they were crossing the Mississippi River.  
Recently we celebrated Carson's 13 birthday by inviting some friends for dinner and the evening.  It is amazing to me that we now have 4 teenagers!


Fall Days

What a joy it has been to spend these fall days at home!  No one has been bored and we have been enjoying a variety of activities.  Life with 12 is always interesting with something new just around the corner.
These days Rebecca is toddling around the house just looking for an exciting discovery!  What fun she had the day I put her in the kitchen sink.  

In the midst of end-of-the-season gardening, harvest, and many other projects there has still been time for some school lessons.  Allison is faithfully working on her Language Arts.
Is there any better education than reading?  The cooler days of fall means more time spent indoors and more time for reading.
Harvest season is a time for meals on the go and Elizabeth loves to help get the lunches packed!  She is learning how to make coffee, make sandwiches, and cut veggies for lunches.

Is there any better fall snack than a crisp apple?  Rebecca found this apple was just her size!!
We will most certainly miss the bountiful garden harvests.  Denver's most loved garden projects was growing carrots.  California carrots cannot even come close to the sweetness of these carrots that we ate straight from the garden (sometimes we rinsed them!).
Watch for "Fall Days II" to follow.....


Black & White

I was having some fun with black & white editing the other day and later when I was looking for some good pictures to blog I realized that we had never posted any of our family pictures from the ocean! These were taken WAY back in April, so this is a bit overdue, but better late than never!
Anybody have a favorite?!

(Photography credits to Sand Shotz Studio)


Fall Days.....

.......and what we've been doing that has keep us absent for SO long from blogger-land! *smile* we'll be back Monday with belated birthday posts & updates. Have a blessed Sunday!



The happy little worker girl!
Taylor put the tomatoes through the food processer
Mom assembled all the ingredients, filled jars, and processed the MANY quarts of salsa.
Allison was assisted by Hudson & Liz in peeling all the cooked tomatoes. And I (Chelsy) was responsible for cutting all the peppers, garlic, cilantro, and onions. I tend to get very emotional when cutting onions.....so most of the time I was literally crying and not fit to be photographed. :)
The Lord blessed us abundantly this year with many boxes of tomatoes from the local produce auction and from our garden! Three days of working together resulted in over 100 quarts of salsa! Yum! And the teamwork gets more fun each year as we all get older and can get more done faster.....some of our best sibling times happen in the summer kitchen!
"To the end that my glory may sing praise to Thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto Thee for ever."
Psalm 30:12