Saturday, February 08, 2014

Most Excellent Day

By this time next week our little girl will be a MRS. Very exciting times. This is our second wedding in six months. No wonder its been hard to put down CA roots; we've been traveling a lot.

The wedding is exciting - but it's not our only excitement in February:

  • 8 Feb Nolan turns 15
  • 9 Feb Josiah turns 25
  • 10 Feb - Grandma T turns significantly  more
  • 11 Feb Alexander turns 12
  • 14 Feb Will (my brother) turns 48
  • 14 Feb John and Mary K's 32nd Anniversary
  • 14 Feb THE WEDDING - BreAnne marries Izaak and becomes a Mrs. 
  • 20 Feb Jamin turns 23

Today is our last day before heading to the wedding....we'll go as far as we are allowed without leave tomorrow and then on into OR on Monday.

Today is also Nolan's Birthday - or as Zander says, "Our Birthday Celebration."

We decorated bright and early

Years ago I invested in some birthday decorations which could be used repeatedly. There was a lot of talk around then in the home school community about creating traditions. We created some. I got a Birthday sign, seat back covers and a rug from Oriental Trading.  We pull it all out multiple times a year.

This PIG has always been a part of Arielle's (16.5) memory. It's the Party Animal hat! While in Japan we purchased Mini-Pig - knowing the Party Animal will eventually fall apart (held together with pins at this point). Mini Pig is special as his wings flap AND he's from the Y100 store. ::snort:: Both pigs were pressed into service for this day.

This errant balloon will evidently hang around a couple of more weeks....

The Birthday Boys are UP

Arielle and Nolan had Japanese mid-terms today. Their reading is really improving....and wow....they are learning a lot. Michael and I need to get back to this. Arielle made 97% and Nolan 86%.  They are both getting fairly comfortable with Hiragana. Nolan has recently moved into Katakana and Arielle has progressed to Kanji. 

Michael and I had a few expectations for the day: 
  • GET THE 2013 End of the Year letter's mailed
  • Get staff Valentine gifts assembled
  • Buy trailer tire chains
  • Take Yuuki to the Kennel 
  • Pack
  • CELEBRATE two birthdays

Everyone pitched in - this brought back memories of missionary newsletters - back in the day when they had to be printed, assembled and mailed - you know without electronics.  These two decided they could make money doing this - and were quite surprised when I told them many used to make money putting out monthly newsletters for missionaries and organizations. 

Arielle and I had so much fun with the wedding candies that we made more....and then she assembled all the pieces into these cute little gifts for staff.

 As we worked I commented, "How many families do you know that work on their Christmas letter at the same time as they work on Valentine's Staff gifts?"

Stacia replied, "Other than my family, I don't know of any!" ::snort::

Packing, packing, packing....we aren't hauling food this time.

Hair cuts and shoes and these two are ready to USHER. 

Getting the backyard onsen ready for our absence

I've not felt well today. Michael and the kids went out to dinner. Finally, time for gifts! LOL 

Nolan's main gift was a new Bible and cover. 

 Zander's main gift was two Wii games. 

Michael brought me flowers.....

Pretty flowers

Flapping Mini-Pig

Candles are arranged so they make a "N" or a "Z"

Nasty Tradition 

Three kids are playing Wii. Michael is vegging. Arielle is crafting. I'm blogging....we love our family room. 

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Nolan's Fifteen!

Nolan is 15 today. 

Nolan Christopher - Noble Christ Follower.....a prophetic name. 
Before beard trim 
Nolan has a gentle and valiant spirit. It has been fun to watch God develop the various aspects of his personality. He is a GREAT with preschool boys. He is great with Zander and Stacia. He's also a wonderful conversationalist and companion for Mom.  He is guarded about his words, but not because he has few words but because he is always thinking about things and always wants to be careful about what he actually says.

Nolan loves Jesus. 

He has lived much of his life smack dab in the middle of a crowd of Gherkins. He is learning to be a leader as he now finds himself alpha gherkin male...and number two in the crowd. It seems everyday he is becoming more the upfront person. 

And, yes, he STILL has marvelous puppy dog eyes and the longest eye lashes in the family. ::grin:: 

After beard trim

Note - while we celebrate Alex's (Zander's) birthday today as well, his DAY is 11 Feb and so we'll write a special post for him on that day. 

©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Withered "Hands"

He entered again into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was withered....He said to the man with the  withered hand, "Get up and come forward!"......He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored. Mark 3:1-6

As the possessor of a black thumb, I know a thing or two about withered plants. 
Via google images

They usually start fairly healthy and green.

Due to neglect or heat or lack of water...they dry out!

With the proper care they can often be restored.

In this account we see a man with a withered hand INSIDE the synagogue. From the use of the word restore - which means to "put back to a former state" - we guess his hand was once useful.

He has only to obey the commands of Jesus and that which was dry and withered is restored to health and usefulness.

I've often sat in church with withered areas in my life.  These areas were once thriving and are currently dry. By faith, I believe these areas are not DEAD - just dry - and with the proper touch from the Master Gardener, in His time, these withered areas will be restored. I'm aware some things are for a season and are meant to wither permanently. I trust His pruning.

Withered hands, withered plants  - what about withered finances, relationships, marriages, health, ministry, relationship with Jesus?

We have only to bring these areas to Jesus...listening and obeying his commands...He is in the business of restoration.

Today, I'm thankful for restoration. I journaled three areas which I know have either recently been withered or are currently dry. I realize each area -  a relationship, a ministry, and health - were withered due to my lack of boundaries.  I've committed to listen more carefully to the Divine whisper in the future. I've also committed to be more aware of those around me with withered areas in their lives. The very least I can do is pray for restoration.

Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...