Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy Bithday, Caleb

I talked with Carrie, Joe's wife, the other day and she was lamenting birthdays close to Christmas. Joe's is the 27th, Lucy is on the 28th and Caleb is on the 29th. From growing up with Joe, I have tried to make our kids birthdays specials, especially for Cal and Lucy. It's hard though. This year we had some friends over to celebrate both kids.

I am consistently thankful for Caleb. He has a heart that is big and bold. It shows in the love that he has for others and the love that he has for God. Caleb, may God continue to shape your heart to be more and more like his this year. We love you.

Thanks again, Abigail, for the pictures.

Life, lately . . .

Our friend Abigail tools these pictures the other night. I think they give a great glimpse into our life lately.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Little Lucy Ruth

Today we celebrate 3 years of Lucy's life.  I love her so much.  One of my regular highlights is when I get her out of bed and she buries her head into my shoulder with a hug. She is a sweet girl and lots of fun.  This year has seen her learn so much about obedience, kindness and gentleness.  She loves to play with her sister, especially dolls and dress up.  Christmas brought two princess outfits and she was thrilled.  She loves riding the rhino or the quad with Matt or Molly.  Three will be a large mile marker for her as it will mean the surrender of her binkies and a move into the big bed with Molly.  She is excited about the second and as you can see from the picture below, not real excited about the first.

We love you Lucy Ruth and are so thankful for who God is making you to be.  May he continue to bless you this coming year.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas

A few days late, but we hope that you and your families have enjoyed the celebration of Jesus' birth.  The boys worked up a little Christmas medley.  Might this be our Christmas card to all of you.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The boys sing at church

The boys' choir (led by Shube) sang at church this morning. The video is terrible but at least you can hear how they sound. It was great.



Wednesday, December 19, 2012


When you're homeschooled, this is the kind of stuff that makes for great laughs.

Shube's old glasses, circa 1995.


Yesterday we got my mom's Christmas letter in the mail.  It went over her year, the climax of which was selling her house in Alpena, Michigan and moving to Florida full time.  In our joy for Mom and working to support her, we had all set aside just what this meant for our family, until last night.  As I read the letter to the kids after dinner, the emotions began to come.  We talked about what we will miss about our trips to Alpena.  I thought I would write this blog post to expand on that a bit.

My family moved to Alpena in 1985, when I was 9-years-old.  It is where I grew up.  It is where my faith was formed.  It is where I left when I went to college.  It is to where I went back when I found out that my dad had been killed in a car accident. It is where I took Amanda to meet my family and to learn more about me.  It is where I asked her to marry me and where we eventually wed.  It is where I brought each of my kids to play every summer and every winter.  We walked on the beach.  We had hundreds of fires.  We lit off fireworks with Uncle Al.  We rode the go-carts and ate ice cream.  We saw how deep we could go into the big lake.  The kids made sand castles and eventually were able to go out to the big rocks.  The boys spent a few days by themselves there with Gigi and eventually more.  They looked for tadpoles in the creek.

This is my list.  My extended family's list would be different.  As we transition away from that place into new family traditions yet unwritten, we do so with some fear and uncertainty.  As Mom wrote in her letter, we trust God.  I don't want to over dramatize this, but I think it is important for us to grieve a little.  We are shutting the door on what was a large part of our life.  We are thankful to God and to Mom and Dad for the gift of Alpena.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Toothless Wonder

I told Matthew the other day that when I was little I remember learning at Mackinaw Island that one of the requirements of the soldiers in the early colonial times was that they had to have two teeth, one on the top and one on the bottom.  They needed these to open the powder for their muskets.  As you can see from the pictures below, Matthew is getting down to the bare minimum for those requirements.  He lost TWO last night, one when his brother hit him in the face and the other when I pulled it out.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care . . .

Not only is this father's quiver full, but his mantel is pretty full as well.  I'm thankful for the many gifts that God has given me, even before there is anything in these stockings.

Tired Nathan

Nathan hasn't been feeling quite up to snuff lately.  He has finally gotten the cold that was going through our house.  We had some people over this weekend and he wasn't really that into it.  He decided to just sleep through most of it.  He sure is sweet!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I love these guys.

I am thanking God for these six blessings that he has given me.

Monday, December 10, 2012

B-Ball Ben

Ben has started playing basketball this year with the local rec league.  It has been really fun to watch.  They lost their first game. (video below)  This past Saturday though, they won 21 to 12.  Ben was thrilled.

Weekend Fun

We recently had a big tree cut down on our property.  I did some research online to see if burning it was a possibility.  We gave it a try this weekend.  I had the leaf blower out because we were clearing off the pond. I wondered what would happen if I blew the leaf blower onto the fire.  See the videos below for the results. In the first one, the blower was running low on gas.  We refueled though and thus the second video.  Pretty cool!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sharp Dressed Men

These boys are becoming young men before our eyes.  It is a wonderful process and one that I am thankful that God has allowed me to be a part of.