Sunday, November 20, 2011

As Thanksgiving approaches...

Last year, Thanksgiving just wasn't quite the same.  There was an empty chair where Robert sat at the table, and it was saddening.  This year, even more saddening, Robert and Emily's chairs will both be empty for Thanksgiving dinner.  It would be so easy to sit and dwell on the fact that my two oldest children, whom I've known the longest of all of them, won't be joining us during this special time.  It would be easy to say that we're just not having Thanksgiving dinner, since we aren't all here anyway, and my best kitchen helper (Emily) won't be here to help, and besides that, I'm eight months pregnant!

That might be the easy thing, but not something I would ever consider.  While part of my family is missing, most of my family is here, and we have much to be thankful for, this week, and every week of the year!  I'm thankful that my oldest two children ARE in the freezing cold of Chicago, every single weekend, sharing the gospel of Christ, compelling the unchurched to come with them to church, and serving in the ministries of Hyles-Anderson College and First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana.  I am thankful that we HAVE food to eat, a beautiful kitchen in which to prepare it, a large, gorgeous dining room table from which to eat it.  I'm thankful that although I have two children who can't join us, I have eight children still under my roof, with which to share meals.  I'm thankful that in just one month or so, I will have the indescribable pleasure of meeting my eleventh child, my eight son, and teaching and training him for the Lord, for as long as He allows.

There are so many, many blessings that I am thankful for that there is just not time or space for me to put them all into a post.  I am glad that there is a holiday called Thanksgiving day, but my prayer is that I will always live in thanksgiving, as I have been blessed beyond measure.

 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  I Thess. 5:18

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Where has the year gone?

Wow!  What a year it has been:

I spent most of the first part of the year preparing myself and my daughter for her Freshman year at Hyles-Anderson College.  In May, my firstborn graduated from the same, Magna Cum Laude, and appeared in Who's Who Among American Colleges and Universities.  I'm one proud mommy.

The birthdays began in March, and have continued each month - so we've enjoyed a lot of cake!

It's often been an April Fool's Day joke around here, that mom is expecting...well, as other times, my two oldest, who are on Facebook, thought that would be funny.  I was thinking at the time how funny it would be if the joke was on them.  As it turned out, on April 4, our next son was conceived :)  He is expected to arrive right around Christmas.

I had a wonderful time shopping with my oldest daughter, getting everything she would need to live "on her own" at school.  She had lived at home or church for all those years, and had very few "dress" clothes, so she got almost an entirely new wardrobe!  What fun times we had :)  And then the sad day arrived, in August, when it was time to make the drive to Indiana again, and to leave another piece of my heart there.  It was a difficult time, made easier only by the knowledge that she is right where God wants her to be.

Even more exciting, is that a young man who spotted her at church this summer, a Sophomore at Hyles-Anderson, has taken an interest in her.  She had her very first date in October!  What a special, special evening :)  The college takes great measures to protect the young people, and they offer many activities at the college so that they are able to "date" with many boundaries.  They offer a few off-campus activities each year, again with many boundaries, and it was one of those to which the young man asked her to attend with him.  They make a cute couple, and I've had the opportunity to spend some time with him.  He is an incredibly unique young man - like no other I've known.  It's funny to say that, as so many times over recent years, the same has been said to me of my lovely daughter. God has surely blessed us with amazing children.

Again, even MORE exciting news!  Emily has been telling stories since she could talk.  I would write them down for her when she was little, and sometimes we would video them.  Once she could write, she began writing stories.  Several years ago, she began writing a series of children's books, based on a cute puppy.  Just before she left for school this year, her first book was PUBLISHED!  We've since had a second book and a coloring book published, as well.  She not only wrote these books, but illustrated them, as well!  You can see them at Spot the Puppy, if you'd like.  We've had many bloggers to read and review the books, and feedback has been wonderful.  Again, a proud mommy moment :)

My oldest son is in a relationship with a young lady who is a Junior at Hyles-Anderson, and he is excited at the prospect of one day marrying and having a home of his own.  His talent was quickly recognized by the staff of the college, and he was hired, as a Sophomore, to work in their media department, with the online college.  He continues to work there, and does a fabulous job!

The children still at home continue to do their schoolwork, spend time playing together, and grow quickly.  They are all a tremendous help with the "baby" who is 1 1/2, and into EVERYTHING.  We are all excited and anticipating Christmas break from school - so my oldest daughter is home, AND the newest brother!

I haven't done much writing since I was young, though I wrote a lot then.  It's time I find a little time to keep the blog up, if for no other reason than to remind myself of just how blessed I am.