Our Family Mission Statement

We are a real family seeking to serve a real and living God. Our desire and mission is to magnify and glorify God in our everyday life at home, church and abroad. Our goal is to help families understand what their purpose and design is in regards to the family; recognize the enemy for who he is and what he is doing; and to point families, both saved and unsaved, to Christ as to become living pictures of Christ and His bride and of God and His children. As families are strengthened the church will be strengthened, therefore, being a brighter light to a dark and hurting world.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hope for the Journey

Well, we are back from home now and in the process of shifting our family schedule to the summer routine. The Lord has given us the opportunity to invest in the lives of three young people from our church on a daily basis now that school is out, so our little house is being stretched with lots of people and activity! For the count, at this point, throughout the day, we have 17 individuals in a 1300 sq. ft. house :) But the Lord has gifted Mama with an amazing ability of organization and delegation for a large crowd and both giftings are being put to good use right now! As for the rest of us, I am reminded of three lists in the Bible:

1) The Fruits of the Spirit being Love, Joy, Peace, Long-suffering, Gentleness, Faith, Meekness, and Temperance. (Galatians 6:22-23) If we're walking in the Spirit and the Spirit dwells within us, we don't have to produce these attributes. They Just Grow! But, oh, how often I, in my own selfish pride, decide to walk in my own way and forget that I am supposed to die to my carnal nature, therefore quenching the Spirit and hindering God's work in my life to mold me and shape me into the image of His precious Son, Jesus Christ! That's where I need Him to live through me, letting His light shine in my life, so I can overflow to those around me!      

2) The Wisdom from Above which is first Pure, then Peaceable, Easy to be Intreated, Full of Mercy and Good Fruits, Without Partiality and Without Hypocrisy. (James 3:17) This list is not any easier to fulfill then the one above because we can't be muster up this kind of wisdom on our own; we can only ask that God pour His life and light into our hearts so He can live this through us. But it does take effort on our part to be a clean vessel that God can pour His wisdom into and through, to others.     

3)  then The "Additives" found in 1 Peter 1:5-8 says this: "And besides this, giving all diligence add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." (emphases added) So here it is required that we do something in order to become fruitful in the knowledge of Christ. But every one of these attributes seem impossible to achieve! How then can I fulfill this command if I don't have the capability to carry out these characteristics? Aha! "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work within you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6) I can be sure that, since I am saved, God will continue working on be to make me what I ought to be, and that is in the likeness of His Son Who has all these characteristics and attributes that have been listed above down to perfection! All I need to do is let Him work in my life and He will do the rest. What a comfort to know that I don't have to fret about not being perfect. I just need to be a humble child, asking with an open heart that Christ may be glorified in my life!

     ~ Anna*

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day at the Lake

A picnic at the lake was planned for Monday, Memorial Day, and we all worked hard to get everything ready for the anticipated day ahead. Grandma and Elisabeth gathered the lunch supplies and Grandpa, Papa and the boys prepared the blow-up boat while the rest of us got everyone else ready to go.  

Then we all headed out for a day at the lake! 

We had our picnic first, and then Grandpa started the boat rides :)

First to go: Joshua (middle), Caleb (left) and Joseph (right)

Next in line: Christina (left), Charity (right) and Joanna (middle)

Elisabeth with Sarah (right) and Carolyn (left)

While on the lake, our little, adventurous Sarah had to have her hand in the water 
pretty much the whole time! There she is waving :)

Josiah and Laura enjoying a ride together

The younger boys loved the shore!

In fact, all the little ones did! But at least one older one was there…just in case… :) And, thankfully, we didn't have any accidents.

Papa snapped this adorable picture of Sarah romping in the grass near the lake. Just add a few photo tuch-ups and it's a classic!  

Another priceless candid shot… I like my Bro!

Then it was Mama and Papa's turn for a ride

Humm… seems like something's in the air…

Meanwhile, "back at the ranch", I mean, On the shore... 

Carolyn with one of her common scowls

Me and my wonderful big brother :)

A quick shot of Charity enjoying her seat while she waits for another turn

Yep! I thought so!!! :)

I think they like each other! 

And we children are so thankful to have parents that do!

Alright, Daniel's turn!!!

We'll see how this goes… So far so good!

Op, didn't last long, though. The boat ride, no problem, but the Hat… well, as Papa said, "We'll remember the hat a lot shorter then we'll remember a sunburn."  

Our delightful Grandma passing out a treat of cookies!!! Yumm!

Elisabeth and I 
We've hade some good times together, and this was no different.

Aha! A time for three, plus grandpa, of course :)

We enjoyed talking and having a good, short, sweet, sister/granddaughter time together with our boat captain :) 

What a fun day to tie up our weekend with our WONDERFUL grandparents! Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa for putting up with us the past three days! We all had a blast! And we're looking forward to more opportunities to come in the near future :) 
We love you!

~ Anna* for all

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Fantastically Fun Family Outing

 The long-awaited family bike-ride had finally arrived and we anxiously hurried to downtown Siloam Springs, Ark. a few minutes distant from Grandpa and Grandma's house. Excitedly, we rented one 8-seater bike as well as two 5-seater bikes and struck out for a very eventful afternoon. 

Bike selections… Neat-o, we get to be "old-fashion" today!

Team #1: Papa, Mama, Christina, Charity, Caleb, Joseph and Daniel

Team #2: Anna, Elisabeth, Joanna and Sarah

Team #3: Josiah, Laura, Joshua and Carolyn

First stop was a quaint, little quilt shop which was of peculiar interest to certain of us. :)

Next, we had a great time making good use of a nearby hill. The way up was rather steep, forcing most of us to resign into pushing our bikes the rest of the way up. Sure did drain ones energy!     

The "power team," the title we all soon referred to them as, made it up the entire hill without dismounting! 

Looks as though she's pleased with their success… possibly a little tired? :)

Then we got the thrilling experience of riding down the hill. It proved to be completely worth the hard push up!

Aww! How sweet!
"Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm so glad I'm in the buggy with you!" 

Picking up lunch at the nice little pizza place in town. 

Riding down the bike path towards our picnic destination.

Crossing a lovely bridge overlooking a singing creek.

Must have found something of peculiar interest.

"What a big family!!!"
"1,2,3,4…15,16…! Are they ALL your's?!"
"They're so well behaved!"
"She must have a lot of patience!"

Christina, trying out her driving skills.

Wonderful picnic spot! Couldn't get any better than out in nature, by a rippling brook, well shaded and, of course the best pizza in town!

And ya might as well make some "cool" memories while you're at it! 

Yep, We girls couldn't stay out of it either! "Ooo, that feels sooo good!!! :)"

Eight are better than one, for if one slips the others will be there to catch her (or him).
It was very slippery and a few had their share of slips, slides and water-seats. :)

Laura and Carolyn
"Sweet buddies."

Load 'em up and head 'em out!

Making memories that will be treasured for a lifetime :)

Joshua, take'n the wheel.

Elisabeth is actually driving on the road! Mark of progress! 
Now we have yet but to do the same in a "real" vehicle… the van. ;)

Thank you Dogwood Junction! We had a BLAST!!!! 
Hope to see y'all again before too long.

~ Elisabeth :)