Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Our 5 Year Old Gabriel

Today our precious Gabriel is 5 years old! It is amazing that it has already been that long since we welcomed into our arms. We had just moved into our Louisville house a couple months earlier and still settling into our new routine in our home when he arrived a week and a couple days early. He came in a whirlwind and he has not stopped.

Gabriel is such a spunky go-getter that is always on the move in some form or fashion. He has a strong personality and his reasoning for why something is is because that is what he has decided. His name means "mighty man of God" and he is certainly mighty in his opinion. How we pray for him to become mighty in God, but for now we watch his mighty personality grow and blossom.

Gabriel loves to learn. He is starting a Kindergarten program with our home school and he loves his math! He really enjoys working through books and learning what he can. He talks and shares what he is learning as much as he can. Gabriel is extremely observant and notices all around him. He is a mover that likes to be rocking or writing or chewing at all times. He is excited about learning to read, but his strong personality balks when he doesn't understand. He wants to know and understand right now!

Gabriel loves his family. Whenever someone is missing he asks where his friends are. He loves to play with his siblings and learn with them and from them. While he enjoys moments alone here and there, he really loves to be around people and interact with them. Church is one of his favorite places to go as well as the park; anything where he is with people.

Gabriel is such a big helper. He enjoys learning to cook with Daddy. He helped make his birthday cake. Cleaning with a rag or mop is also fun for him, but he does not like picking up toys.

Gabriel also loves to be outside enjoying creation. He prefers to be barefoot and loves textures on his feet. Climbing and jumping are also big for this active boy.

We are so thankful for Gabriel and the fun dynamic he brings to our family. He keeps life interesting in a good way.

Father, thank You for giving us Gabriel to raise for You. He is such a gift to our family! Please save Gabriel by Your grace and make him Mighty in Your Spirit. May he boldly proclaim Your Gospel to those he sees!

Thank you to Nichole Begerow for the 5 year photos

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Manor Party of 10!

Yes, you read that right. Our family is now a family of 10!!!!!

No one could be more surprised than us, but we are so happy about this special blessing that God has given to us. What's more is this special blessing will be joining us in about a month!!!!!

With all that has happened this year I was extremely stressed out and had no normal pregnancy symptoms and did not even realized until a couple weeks ago that I actually was pregnant! I am now one of those people who can say "I didn't know" and everyone can look at me like I'm crazy. But seriously everything I felt seemed stress related.

What a blessing to make it to 34 weeks without knowing and being able to just do what I need to do!

The kids are so excited about another baby, especially since they have been asking when we would be having another one since we brought Malachi home. James is regularly giving the baby hugs and kisses as well as talking to the baby. Lillian and Reuben also enjoy talking to and feeling the baby. Sometimes Nehemiah will say "Hi Baby" even though he is clearly confused about what is happening.

God is so gracious and good to us! We are so thankful for this added blessing. Though it makes little sense to much of our culture, we are so happy to be on this journey as a large family.

Things are crazy and unpredictable right now, but we know God is working in all of this. Please pray for everything to continue to go smoothly. Pray for health for both baby and me. Pray for my body to go into labor on its own and not need any assistance. Please pray for continued provision! We have gotten what we need thus far, but Jim is still in need of a job. Please pray for God to open doors for this!

We are so grateful to have you on this journey with us. Life with others is so much richer. Thank you for being a part of our life!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Our 6 Year Old Reuben

Today marks 6 years since we welcomed Reuben into our arms. How time has flown and how much he has grown. He was our first baby born in Louisville after following God's call to go to seminary. It was a blessed surprise as we found out a few months after moving that we would be welcoming our 3rd child, and life has not been the same since.

Reuben has such a sweet personality and is very mild mannered. Extremely sensitive, it takes little to hurt his feelings, but he is also very tough when wrestling with Daddy and his brothers. He aims to please in most of what he does; a true perfectionist at heart. He is such a balance to his very active, rough and tumble younger brothers.

Reuben's favorite thing to do is school work. He loves to learn and figure out problems. When he's not doing school work he loves to build/create with blocks, Legos or magnets, play Lego Star Wars with Daddy or watch a good movie. He also loves playing with his siblings and is a very caring brother. Though he loves his siblings, Reuben also likes to be alone. He can sit and build for hours alone when the mood strikes him. It is such a blessing to have a child who loves being with people and being alone. He also enjoys one on one time with people, especially Daddy!

Reuben is pretty go with the flow. For the most part he is taking this unknown season in stride and helps to keep smiles all around. We are so blessed with Reuben in our family and so thankful God has given him to us.

Father, thank You for giving us precious Reuben. He is such a blessing! I pray You will make him a man after Your own heart, saving him by Your great grace in the Name of Your Son, Jesus. I pray You show him the depths of sin and how much he needs You to be truly good. Make him humble and a man who follows You to the ends of the earth. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Malachi is 1!

How can it be that 1 year ago Malachi joined our family outside of the womb?

So much has happened in our lives and he has grown so much. Malachi is such a ball of energy and full of fun. He started out life keeping us guessing and he still keeps us guessing. He has such an adventurous spirit and wants to explore in everything he is not supposed to get. With great speed he zooms to open doors to see if he can get out of them.

Malachi is a happy, smiley kid who loves to play and wrestle. He makes us smile and laugh, with his bold, belly laugh. He follows the older siblings around wanting to do everything they do. His older siblings love to take care of him, especially James and Lillian.

Malachi is great at crawling and learning to stand on his own, but still unsure on his feet. Yesterday he discovered clapping and it was such a pleasure to watch him enjoy this new found skill. He loves to eat and feed himself, but he is not so sure about the cup. He still prefers a bottle. Thankfully he eats most things, but seems like he is going to be a carb lover! Like the rest of our kids, Malachi enjoys music and I think will enjoy clapping and dancing with music soon.

I am so thankful for the blessing of our 7th child. Malachi adds so much to our family.

Father, thank You for Malachi. Please soften his heart toward You, even now at his young age and save him by your great grace. Make him a messenger of the Gospel of grace and teach him about your great love. Make him wholly Yours!

I'm 1!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Humble Roots

Humble Roots by Hannah Anderson is a must read by anyone who is a Christian! It was super convicting, challenging and comforting. It is a beautiful look at who we are, who God is and uses nature to help us to understand deep truths. Hannah has a very personal touch that is extremely relatable, and brings it home with the truth of God's Word.

In a culture of independence, Hannah reminds us of our dependence on God. The intro has this quote that I think sums up heart of what she is teaching well:

"We must never forget that looking like God does not mean we are God. We are made in His image, but we are made nonetheless."

Hannah's writing style is very easy to read and easy to follow. This is a book that men and women of all ages can read, relate to and learn from. I cannot recommend this book enough. I read this in January and I already need to read it again!

5  Stars for this wonderful, Spirit filled book.

Friday, July 21, 2017


I read Frankenstein as part of my Back to the Classics this year, in the category of Gothic or horror classic.

This is a book I have wanted to read for quite a while, and it was a really good read. I was pleasantly surprised by this read as I had heard things here and there about this book and wasn't really sure I would like it. It was a very good book and extremely interesting.

I loved the depth of the book and the narrative of the story. It was clear and easy to follow. What I enjoyed the most was the clear spiritual journey that was being worked through as Shelley wrote this fiction work. You could see her wrestling with who she is, who God is, how everything in life is connected. I greatly enjoyed seeing this struggle and allowing this to let me work through things. From the beginning to end it is a clear story.

I really appreciate the ownership of the story being told in first person and the full circle of the story. It begins with a narrative of finding Frankenstein and comes back around to him in the end. It also overlaps the stories and has stories within stories. You can feel the depth of emotion as the stories connect and how all of the characters are deeply connected.

I also enjoyed the writing style. It was easy to read, which is always nice. I really appreciated how she explained the development of the monster in a really basic way. The story-telling was such that even a young person could understand but sophisticated enough to hold the attention of an adult.

I would give this book 4 stars.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Drive

Sunday afternoon, our family loaded up after 7 years in Louisville to drive back to GA. For this move I needed to drive to GA in the car alone. This was my choice, but I'm more comfortable with the car than the van on long drives.

Having my entire family driving in our large 12-passenger van in front of or behind me got to me a little bit. When you're alone it's easy to let your mind get crazy, and Satan likes to take the opportunity to make you think the worst.

A very good friend of mine was killed in a car crash on a family trip in a similar style van. Satan was playing with my mind thinking that could be my family while I was safely in my car. I prayed for protection, fought these terrible thought, but it was a struggle.

And then, just after we got on the interstate for the last leg of our trip, I saw the top of a rainbow peeking over the mountain. God began speaking to my heart, reminding me of His promises to be with us no matter what! We go around the mountain and the rainbow is stretched across the sky. I broke. God met me in that moment. The promises filled my mind and I knew that we would make it, but even if we didn't I would be OK.

That's when the rain drops fell out of a brilliant, sun-filled sky. A friend once told me  that rain is God showering His blessings on us, and that is what God brought to my mind. He was there, blessing me with life, with safety in that moment, with family, with Himself.

This is the God I serve. The God who is all powerful, the Creator of the universe and is still right there with me in a moment of fear and speaking to my frail and fragile heart. God is good. He is merciful when He doesn't have to be. He met me where I was ans spoke peace to me.

Where is God meeting you today?