Tuesday, July 31, 2007

10 Months...

   We've reached the double digits as of yesterday. My baby is growing up so fast! He is walking and talking, sometimes both at the same time ;). He loves to practice his walking skills between Lee and I and every time he reaches one of us he flings his little arms out and falls at us and then nuzzles in our lap saying, "I luh ya". Oh. my. goodness. Toooooo cute for words. I never thought a boy would end up being my most snuggley yet. I am so spoiled to have been given such a special treasure. Our Father certainly knows how to give good gifts, doesn't He?!

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. ~James 1:17

Monday, July 30, 2007

Prayer Request

Update: Well, last we've heard the cops have no real idea what is going on but everyone seems to agree that it is some odd fluke of some sort or other. I was feeling pretty nervous about it all yesterday but I'm much calmer now and can feel God's peace over us. He can always protect us no matter what, right? It does appear that our neighbors closing went with hardly a hitch because the new folks have already been by their new home. We are going to miss our old neighbors terribly, they were such sweet people, the girls are already looking forward to their first visit back. I do hope we can be a blessing to our new neighbors in some way! Thank you for your prayers!!!
Here's a funny... last night after putting the children to bed I flopped down beside Lee on the couch and told him that I couldn't figure out why but I felt really stressed. He looked at me and said, "Oh, I don't know...could it be the bullet in the back of the neighbor's house?!". Oh ya, that ;).

Wow, here's an odd one for you.
Our next door neighbors (the same neighbor who taught Bri to knit, tag-teamed it with Cheryl to watch the girls during Andrew's birth and helped me learn to read a sewing pattern proficiently) have felt led to sell their home and move up to Michigan to be near their family. Their home sold remarkably quickly and was all set to close tomorrow morning. They came home from being gone for the weekend and when Lee went over to tell them good-bye this morning and take over a card we had all prepared for them they found a bullet in their wall! We live in a nice, relatively new subdivision folks. The cops say it was shot from a gun but from all appearances it doesn't seem to have been shot into their home but rather manually pushed (!?), or possibly shot from a slingshot, from the outside. Needless to say there is a very good chance that this could affect their closing tomorrow morning and on top of that I would really like to know what is going on because the bullet was "pushed", or whatever, into their home just across from our daughters bedroom. We never saw anything suspicious but we were gone all day Saturday until pretty late at night, the cops are there now. I would just really appreciate your prayers! That, if it is God's will, this will not affect their closing, that would be really hard for them, they have already moved out and they are supposed to be up in Michigan closing on their new house Wednesday afternoon! That the police would be granted wisdom and insight to figure out what in the world has gone on here. And lastly that God would put a hedge of protection around our home and family to protect not only our physical selves but also our peace in Him.
Thank you friends!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Our Independence Day Celebrations ~Part 3

The evening of July 5th we held our own little family celebration and did all of those traditional little things that make these sort of celebrations special. We set off a very few small fireworks and the girls got to do a few more sparklers but the crowning moment of the night was making and eating our own homemade ice cream. The girls talk about it for days before hand!

And it is always fun when you have a baby to share it with ;)...
Here are way too many pictures of Andrew eating his first ice cream cone...

More ice cream? Please mom? Can I have yours?

It was a precious night :).
As with everything we have a reason for celebrating the Fourth Of July with our children. We do have a lot of fun and make precious memories but the whole time we are using this as a way to have an on-going, days-long conversation about the providence of God in their lives. Lee explained to the girls how blessed they are to live in America. How blessed they are to live somewhere where they can worship God openly, own a Bible and have plenty to eat, among other things. God determined exactly when and where we would live and we feel it is very important for our children to understand the times in our world today as well as to see how God has protected His people throughout HIStory, from Genesis 1:1 to the birth of our nation to the present day. So, while we do have a lot of fun, it's not all about fun. It's about being grateful to a mighty God who has set us here in this time and in this place for a reason. How we pray that America would abandon her liberal walk down the broad path and turn back to the straight and narrow along which blossom the blessings of God, and may God continue to bless our nation.

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. ~Acts 17:24-28

Our Independence Day Celebrations ~Part 2

The Fourth of July was spent pretty quietly by all of us except Lee, he was biting the bit for sunset ;). We read a couple of chapters out of The Light and the Glory For Children by Peter Marshall and David Manuel and a few letters written by Abigail Adams before and during the War of Independence. Early that evening we left to meet Lee's employee's and their families for a nice dinner, redeeming the time spent in the car by reading aloud the Declaration of Independence. Lee and his store won $2,000 last Christmas for a store party and they had not had the opportunity to actually do much with it yet so they kind of decided at the last minute to go out for a nice meal on the fourth and then go back to someone's home to shoot off some fireworks. The meal was nice and afterwards we met at Erika's home. Her parents had graciously offered their land as our gathering place. We set out lawn chairs and laid down blankets for the littles and sat back to enjoy the show.
Some pictures...
Cheryl, on the left, is the very same Cheryl made famous for watching our children on again and off again during my on again and off again labor with Andrew.

Lee actually played match-maker with the following couple, Erika and Matt, and it appears to be working out :). Erika is a homeschool graduate and she has seven brothers and sisters, isn't that neat :). It was kind of odd to see several little Erika's running around, I had never met any of them before.

Ethel and her hubby David are next, Andrew actually went to her for a few moments without getting upset! Ethel is so sweet and she has really helped Lee out a lot, even offering to come back from her vacation many states away when she had to leave before Andrew was born, who, if you will remember, was taking his time ;). 

Lee, ready for action ;)...

Some littles enjoying the action...these weren't quite as loud so Andrew warmed up to them much more quickly though he still felt awfully stiff in our laps ;)...

Some of us got a little wound up...

One of Erika's sisters gave thegirls some glow in the dark bracelets which they thought were pretty neat. We all had fun and there is still so much money left over that we are planning a trip to the Biltmore Estate in the fall, fun :)!!!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Our Independence Day Celebrations ~Part 1

   In our area nobody seems to believe in celebrating the Fourth of July with the big fireworks displays on the Fourth of July, even the Air Force Base does them the weekend before, so we went to see the fireworks at the lake last Saturday.  That really worked out well for us though because we got to go see the pretty big fireworks and then on Independence Day we were free to celebrate how we please. We live about 10 minutes away from one of the biggest displays in South Carolina. We sit on the shore of the lake to watch them which is beautiful but it makes me really paranoid about children running around, especially when it's muddy. The idea this year was to take a picnic lunch with us but about an hour before we were to leave it started storming so we scratched that idea, maybe next year ;). The girls were just happy that the storm ended in enough time for us to get to go at all. This year we were harassed by a large spider who thought our chairs looked comfy but Lee was able to finally shoo him away far enough that he didn't come back. The people who organize the celebration really do a fairly  good job of getting everyone out traffic wise and we take our patriotic music with us so that keeps everyone occupied just long enough to get home. These were Andrew's first "real" fireworks. The older three girls all slept through their first fireworks so Andrew was the youngest baby we have had to actually "experience" them. This was his first impression...

And his second...

He calmed down enough to at least look at the last five'ish minutes worth but I wouldn't say they were his favorite activity at this point ;).

After we got home Andrew had another first that he was much more excited about...

Hmmm, what is this?

My first chocolate chip cookie!

I think he liked it ;).

I hope you all had a blessed Fourth :)!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Like a Kid in a Candy Shop...

A Happy Birthday To Our Heaven-Rescued Land! :)

"HE makes nations great..."

Job 12:23

Oh! thus be it ever, when free men shall stand

Between their loved homes and the wars desolation!

Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land

Praise the Power that hath made and prescribed us a nation.

Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,

And this be our motto: "In God is our Trust."

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

by Francis Scott Key

"The Star-Spangled Banner"

4th stanza (And my favorite :))

Monday, July 2, 2007

Andrew's 1st Official...

Muffin Morning Monday, one of those "rites of passage" in the Shaffer household...

I think he liked it :)...

   Andrew is nine months old! He has eight teeth and his new favorite past time is pulling up on everything and cruising the furniture.

   If you're interested in making the yummy muffins that Andrew is enjoying my oldest daughter posted the recipe on her website here :). They are very good!