Life at Home

Yes, we are so glad to be home for a few short days!  I say short, because short it is!  This is my last night sleeping in my "home bed" before leaving again to travel for ten days.  Actually, this is only the sixth night so far this year that I am sleeping in my top bunk in the room I share with my sisters.  But after all the time in other states and away from home, I know that the Lord is faithful and that He gives grace and strength for whatever He calls us to.  
Arrival- Tuesday morning, about 2 'o clock
Departure-  Friday noon?

  One of Rebecca's first comments upon arriving home was, "I've been wanting to see my other dolly".  She has enjoyed playing with her toys again.  The little children have also enjoyed hours of time outside.  Maybe they are expending some of the energy that has been bottled up inside them during many days on the bus?(smile)

 We enjoyed some family time in the living room the other evening.

Chels thought this was an appropriate phrase for our family.  Working and living together is a joy.  I am thankful for this season of life.  I was recently reading in Ecclesiastes about how "to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven."  For us, this is the season when we are all still living at home.  We are making so many memories together these days, and I want to treasure this season while it lasts, and embrace the next season when it comes.

 Lists.  My mother uses them quite frequently as she organizes and manages!  So, even (or especially) for this short time at home, she made it a priority to write our lists detailing what needed to be accomplished.

 Our fridge..........full of beautiful pictures on the outside, but very bare on the inside!   Upon arriving home and looking into the fridge and cupboards, I began to make a grocery list.  

 We have been using the dishwasher a lot these days, especially now that our kitchen faucet gave up the ghost!  That's right- it broke after having some "issues" for quite awhile.  

LOTS of mail...........

and  L O T S  of laundry!  Thanks to Chelsy, our faithful "laundry queen", the washer has been running pretty much nonstop and the bags of dirty laundry are gone!

"The Lord is good.........for His mercy endureth forever!"

Upcoming posts: 
-an "Average" day
-You know you've been traveling for two months when........


Weekend Memories

Grandpa & Grandma Stoltzfus drove down from PA and surprised us!
Here is Grandpa with two of his 8 ladies. (the other six being my aunts)
Visiting with cousins and grandpas  in our "living room"
Chores on the farm with cousin Ernie
Denver & Taylor enjoying the baby lambs
Liz & Ernie
We were so thrilled to spend Monday evening and part of Tuesday with our "second family", the Grabers. Other friends joined us on Monday night for a full house of food, friends, & fellowship.
smiles from the cleanup crew.....
more smiles...
...and more smiles!
physical exercise
the two Rebeccas
Apples to Apples....it is best at midnight ;)
stories with Deanna!

~posted by chels


The Potter and the Clay

 Jeremiah 18:2   Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. 
Jeremiah 18:3   Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. 
  Jeremiah 18:4   And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potterto make it
  Jeremiah 18:6   O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel. 

Isaiah 64:8   But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the c l a y, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. 


Recap: Last Week

On Monday, we arrived at the home of some of our favorite people.  Namely,that of my mother's "little" sister, her husband, and seven sweet children.  We had a wonderful day together on Monday.  Chelsy already posted pictures of it.  The soreness experienced by many of us in the following days attested to the extremity of our physical exertion during the game of "dare base".  It was hilarious to see our mothers playing together.  They look alike, talk alike, run alike, even yell alike!  Tuesday morning {before I was awake} Dad, Chelsy, and Mitchell drove to Atlanta, where they boarded a plane.  Chelsy already shared on her blog (that was the post "Update from Chicago") about the delays they experienced due to weather in Chicago.  Dad, Chels, and Mitchell did finally arrive home and dug into all that needed their attention on the "homefront".  In the meantime, the rest of us were having a wonderful time in Georgia- how could we not?  There were fifteen of us under the age of seventeen!  

This little guy........wow.....he is soo absolutely adorable and charming!  His blue eyes, bashful looks, and sweet smiles melt my heart.  And he looks incredibly much like my big brother did at that age.  I figure we all should look a lot alike.  I mean, our mothers were asked is they were twins when they were younger, and last week, someone asked if Dad and Uncle Joe are brothers!  Thus, some of us kids look very much like each other. 

These two were nearly inseparable.  It was so sweet how Hudson never even noticed that there was no "boy his age".  I loved watching him and Courtney play together.

And my dearest Aunt Dorcas.  This lovely lady is a loving wife, devoted mother, and incredible hostess.  {as I can well testify}  Thank you, thank you, dearest Aunt for everything you did for us- the delicious meals, the use of your beautiful home, all the laughter and joy- it was one of the best weeks of my life!  Thank you for your Godly example.  "Her {nieces and nephews} arise up and call her blessed." (Prov. 31:28)

Corina spontaneously decided to make pina colodas one afternoon.  Whoa.......talk about y u m m y!


And a tea party for the little ladies {and gentleman}.  

It was a week of much fun, bonding, and memory making.  As our bus pulled out of the driveway, I watched dear little Courtney so bravely fight back tears.  Finally, she turned and walked into the house crying.  I was crying, too.  

Thank you Jesus, for the gift of family.  I always want to treasure this gift and realize that it is just that-a gift.  I am so blessed with dozens of cousins, and this week was a blessing, a joy, and a time of strengthening precious relationships.  

"Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name.  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits."
Psalm 103:1-2

*all photography credits on this post go to the most amazing Corina-check out her blog here!