There Shall Be Showers of Blessing....

This week has been filled with blessings abundant!!  It started last Monday, when we had someone from church stop by to tell us of a great opportunity!!  Bro. George had a co-worker that was giving away a bunch of stuff.  Amongst the "stuff" was a very nice lawn mower (we have needed one for a while and were planning on buying one this season!), a weed eater, lumber for the frame of a new deck, a porch swing, and.....and.......and.....A TREADMILL!!!!!!  Oh, I have been praying for a treadmill and had asked some ladies to pray with me!! So I was very excited to have this very nice treadmill given to us!! Yay!!!  I had been so very faithful at walking and jogging on our road, but since last June, when I injured my ankle, I have not been so faithful.  My ankle still hurts and has started hurting worse with this pregnancy.  The thought of going out on uneven ground has me a bit nervous, along with the wild animals that seem to have gotten bold over the years!  So this gives me no excuse....not even the weather can stop me now!!!  It was like having Christmas in April!! :-)

Friday was a fabulous family day!!!  We thoroughly enjoyed the sun and spent most of the day out in it.  My husband got out his golf clubs and started teaching our children how to swing and hit the ball.  Later, they convinced daddy to play tag.  I enjoyed watching from the sidelines!!!  :-)  Zeke loved being in the great outdoors and Winston was over joyed to have his people all day long!  At the end of the day, I told Craig, "We did it! We spent an entire day at home!!!"  It sure is cheaper to stay home, too!

Saturday was another gloriously beautiful day!!  I took all of my girls out shopping.  For those who know me, you know that I really HATE shopping!!!  But I enjoyed my time with the girls.  We got Easter dresses and new shoes, and stuff for their baskets. (They had to stay in the car while I did that part)  The boys stayed home and did a good job keeping up on laundry and doing some outside work.
Zeke loves being outside and kept pointing out the window in hopes that someone would take him out there!!  They did and had a fun time.

Yesterday, was a great day in the Lord's house!  We had a wonderful Resurrection day, starting out with a great salvation message in the morning service.  There were many visitors and I pray the Lord used the message to work on hearts and open the eyes of those in need of salvation.  We had planned on guests for lunch but had a cancellation.  Our menu was lamb and ham....a tradition we started a couple of years ago.  Along with the meat, we had homemade cheesy scalloped potatoes.  We ended up crashing someone else's party and brought over our food to add to their feast...which was also lamb and ham!!  For dessert, we had an amazing lemon cheesecake made by a friend.  It was beautiful as well as delicious!  After the evening service, our daughter, Julia, got baptized as well as another man.  What a great ending to a great day.  This day also marked 9 years since the church affirmed my husband as the pastor here at Westside Baptist Church.  We say affirmed because God called us here and they affirmed it.  It is hard to believe that it has been that many years!!!  In some ways it has been a long time while in other ways it has been a vapor.  Julia is now the age our oldest, Naomi, was when we moved here!!!  And since moving here, we have added Julia, Lydia, Abigail, Ezekiel, and baby #11!!!  All in all, the week was full of blessings, including finding out that I am going to be an auntie again!!!  I'll let you all know who is giving me another niece or nephew when it is made public, but until then......well, suspense never killed anyone!  ;-)   I hope you all had a blessed week too!!!!

And the rains came tumbling down....

What is the first thing you think of that you would want to do in the cold rainy weather?  How about camping?  We currently have about eight of our boys from the scout troop camping up in our woods.  Yep! They are soaked, cold, and just plain miserable!!  Two of the young men went on their 20 mile hike!  Yikes!!!!!  They have one more night in this before they get a hot shower and dry clothes!!  With the two gone, the boys have lost some leadership.  They have talked of packing up and going home, we will see if they do or if they decide to tough it out one more night.  Right now they are in my basement heating up food, as they were unable to get a campfire going with all the rain.  Then they must decide their fate.....stay or go home.  If they choose to go home, they must tear down their tents and get their things gathered, make a call home and let their parents know to pick them up after the scout meeting tonight.  Regardless, they need to build a bonfire for tonight's meeting.  Some are sceptical thinking they need to wait on the two that left to come back first.  It was said they wouldn't be able to get the fire going without them.  Others have faith that they can do it!!!!  I think they can.

Meanwhile, I am here, in a nice warm house.  I got to sleep in my comfy bed and I am NOT wet!!!!  The only thing that would make it better, would be a fire in the wood stove.  But we can't right now.  Last night we opted to stay up and watch a video. (ok, my husband wanted to go to bed but I convinced him to let us stay up)  Well, it turns out it was a good thing we were up!!  Craig was dozing off when I looked out the window and saw sparks coming from the chimney!!!  This woke Craig up immediately!  He did some quick evaluation of the situation and decided because of the rain we did not need to call the fire department.  He put water on the flames and we watched it for awhile.  I decided everyone should probably sleep downstairs for the night just in case.  The boys' room would be the first to go if we did have a major fire!!  Thankfully, the flames died and so did the chimney fire!!  I am thankful for a husband who knew just what to do....I am thankful he was here with me in the house instead of being up with the boys!! :-)

The rain continues to come down with gusto!  While it is beautiful, I sure wouldn't want to be a boy scout in it!!!!  Hmmm.....I'm glad I'm a girl!!!!!

I didn't get what I wanted....

It was spring but it was summer I wanted; the warm days and the great outdoors.

It was summer but it was fall I wanted; the colorful leaves and the cool dry air.

It was fall but it was winter I wanted; the beautiful snow and the joy of the holiday season.

It was winter but it was spring I wanted; the warmth and the blossoming of nature.

I was a child but it was adulthood I wanted; the freedom and the respect.

I was twenty but it was thirty I wanted; to be mature and sophisticated.

I was middle-aged but it was twenty I wanted; the youth and the free spirit.

I was retired but it was thirty I wanted; the presence of mind without limitations.

My life was over but I never got what I wanted.....

~ 14 year old author (unknown)

Quite a perspective on life!!  Will we ever be content?  Enjoy the moment!  Stop and smell the roses while it is spring, enjoy the sun while it is summer, make memories when it is fall, snuggle close while it is winter........take advantage of the age you are while you are here.  We are to enjoy life to the fullest, giving praise and glory to our Maker!!  The whole duty of man is to fear God and keep His commandments.

Eleven years ago....

Eleven years ago today, I went into the doctor's office feeling a bit discouraged.  You see, I was 21 days past my due date with my 5th child.  Everyone I knew who was expecting in the same time frame as I had already given birth and had their little ones cradled in their arms.  And I was still waiting.  Even my sister who was due in April had had her baby boy the last week of March!!  We kind of swapped months.

At 9 am, I went in for my appointment.  My doctor asked if I was feeling the contractions I was having.  I wasn't.  Craig asked if we could induce labor.  (We lived 70 miles away and were staying at this point with my parents until baby was born).  The phone call was made to the small hospital and we were told to come on over, there was an open room.  Instead of starting out with pitocin, they decided to use another means to induce.  My doctor, on the phone with the nurse, told her he didn't know why we were even trying induction as it had not worked on me before!  We chuckled but trusted the Lord would allow this baby to be born.  I started feeling the contractions after awhile.  The hospital gave us a "leave" time of an hour to go get dinner.  This meant that I was still a patient and still was occupying the LDR room, but we could leave the building for an hour.  I can't even imagine a hospital doing that now!! When you are induced in any manner, you are strapped to monitors and NOT allowed to eat anything at all until baby is born!!!

We went to a place called, T Paul's cafe, a small restaurant that a friend we went to school with owned.  We ordered sandwiches and the labor kicked in.  My friend kept saying that she couldn't believe that I was in labor at her restaurant!!  She was very excited!!!  (BTW, if you are ever in Astoria, OR, I highly recommend this quaint cafe!!!)

Well, soon the hour was up and we were once again at the hospital, in very active labor.  Nathanael Craig Houston was born late that evening.  Weighing in at 8 lbs even!!  (My smallest boy)  It was love at first sight!! He had a head FULL of black hair, more than any of my other children (until Abby that is!)  I can remember this all as if it had just happened.  But that was 11 years ago.....

Today, my son celebrates his 11th birthday on the 11th day of April, 2011!!! What a special day today is!!  He had his party on Saturday, with air soft wars and a taco bar.  Today's menu ordered by this amazing young man:  homemade biscuits and gravy with scrambled eggs for breakfast, turkey sandwiches for lunch, and home fried chicken with asparagus and potatoes for dinner.  He has great taste!!! ;-)

Another exciting aspect for a Houston boy who turns 11, is the official joining of the boyscouts!!!  Yes, I now have three boyscouts in the home!!!

Nathanael is an amazing boy!  He has brought much joy to our home.  He is loving and compassionate, and loves the Lord with all of his heart.  He enjoys life and almost always has a smile on his face!!  I love you, son!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hello, little one!

Well, hello, little one!  As I lay here, a million thoughts running through my head, I am reminded of your very presence as your soft little kicks are felt.  I am reminded of how you are being fearfully and wonderfully made.  I am blessed by the feeling of your precious little feet as they grow daily, and are more readily felt.  I know that very soon I will be able to feel your every move as you continue in your development.  I am also reminded to pray for you.  For your physical needs as well as your spiritual needs. I am as in love with you as if I had known you for a lifetime, and yet, I have never met you face to face.  I look forward to that meeting, when I can hold your warm little body in my arms, feel your soft skin beneath my lips, and drink in the wonderful aroma of pure baby-ness!!  I look forward to the adventure of raising you for the glory and honor of our wonderful Heavenly Father!  May you, precious child, grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I pray that you will one day receive the amazing gift of salvation and serve the Lord with your whole being! I love you.............



What is it about the sun that calls our name?  I love rainy days with a nice fire in the wood stove, as long as I can sit by that cozy fire and not go out in the rain!  But the sun puts something into me, an inspiration to go out and to get things done.  It is an energy giver.  It is also a nostalgia bringer, if that makes any sense.  And it makes me want to go make memories with my little ones.  The days are getting longer and this makes me hopeful for some warmer weather.  I am hoping for a summer of popcicles and bare feet, sun dresses and sandals.  Trips to the beach and adventures in the park.  I am ready for summer.  Though we must get through spring first, I am still anxious!!

Ok, so this week has been extra busy with lots of visitors to our house and places to go.  I won't lie, this makes me one tired out mama!  I am thankful for a loving husband who is attentive to my physical need for rest.  Yesterday, I went to my monthly doctor's appointment.  It all went well, and I even lost a couple of pounds!!!  The doc was pleased with everything.  He did give me reason to hope....though I was measuring big, he checked the stats on last week's ultra sound and saw that baby is actually measuring small, just under the 50th percentile.  He told me that at this stage in the game, we won't be growing a big baby.  Yay!!  I am going to look forward to seeing if this will be true.  Meanwhile, baby is very active and the braxton hicks are becoming more frequent.  My tummy is growing and my little ones love it!! I have a constant barrage of hands wanting to rub the belly!!  I am thankful for the excitement that new babies bring to our home.

I am currently reading, "Large Family Logistics, The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family", by Kim Brenneman.  It is very good and helpful, as well as convicting in areas that I know I need to improve on!!  There are a lot of helpful ideas to try.  I am always wanting to glean from others who have been down the same road and have managed to do it without ending up in a straight jacket!!! ;-)  I love my large family, but it does bring a lot of hard work and juggling of priorities and personalities.  It is a great way to keep any mom humble and to keep us completely dependent upon our Heavenly Father!!!  I am thankful for the strength God gives me day to day.

In my personal Bible reading, I am currently in 1 Corinthians.  I have been reading through the New testament, though not in order.  I love the encouragement the NT brings as well as the exhortation to do right.  God's word is life giving.  So I will leave you with these questions, how are your personal times with the Lord doing?  Are you allowing God to guide you in every area in your life?  How is your thought life?  How is your social it full of gossip, slander, or vanities, or is it edifying?  Are you truly living a Christlike life?  Is the Lord glorified by your activities and attitudes?

Until next time.......May the Lord get all the glory!