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.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Reason to Celebrate

Posted by Anna

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
~ Isaiah 9:6 ~

Christmas Morning

Gathered to read the Christmas Story

After breakfast, we all gathered around in the living to read the "Christmas Story". But Papa took it farther than just reading the story... He brought into light some historical records of the surrounding political situations that were taking place; what the whole country of Rome and Israel, as well as a few other nearby countries were going through; and then what the people themselves were facing at that time, which brought us right into the account of Joseph and Mary at the time adjacent to Jesus' birth. It made the account reading come to life in a different way, a way that is not quite so foreign to our day in time, a way that brought Him closer to us as people and this world in which we live.  

The Gift Exchange
With the size of our family, we have come to the conclusion that drawing names would be the best way to go. Talk about "Christmas in July", this past year we all drew names in July so we could be studying our special person and be prepared for the "day of revelation". One fun family tradition that we all have just happened to do every time we have drawn names is to keep who we drew a secret. Therefore, one of the joys of the early month of December is trying to catch who has who just for the fun of it :) We have two age groups that draw amongst each other (for the "fair execution" of the distribution). Then, of course, Aunt Rhoda's love gifts and cards from Grandparents are ALWAYS a highlight! :)  


Enjoying our gifts of Love

Christmas Dinner

The Reason for this Celebration 
JESUS CHRIST ~ The Messiah Has Come!
In one of our family talks a few weeks ago, we were discussing a sermon that we had just heard about the birth of Christ, and Papa brought this point out that really struck home: We don't have to go through Mary to get to God, But God went through Mary to get to us. We people are so prone to trying to stick to the Law if we are going to have anything to do with religion, but God did not make mankind to remain at checking off the Law, He created us to have a living, vibrant relationship with Him! When man chose to sin, God chose to make a way for Restoration between God and man so that we could have that sweet fellowship and communion that was once known between God, the Creator, and Adam, His creation, in the garden of Eden. 

His 33 years of living in this sin-sick world began as a baby in the womb of a very young peasant girl before she was joined in marriage to a man named Joseph. The day that we celebrate Christmas is know as the celebration of when God Almighty, the King of kings, was born into a young family who was struggling to make ends meet in a day when government oppression was very prevalent. Making his appearance known first in the small animal barn called a stable, He chose to come as a lowly, poor baby so that He could reach into the hearts of people like us. He didn't come to heal the healthy, He didn't come to supply the wants of the rich, He came to seek and to save the lost, poor and needy. 

One of my siblings once asked Papa, "Did Jesus love the Pharisees?" and Papa's very wise answer was this: "Jesus loved the World, that's why He came. But the Pharisees didn't consider themselves part of the World..." One Preacher put the difference between Religion and Christianity so well, I thought I might insert it here:
~ Religion is man reaching up to God vs. Christianity is God reaching down to man ~
~ Religion is man-centered vs. Christianity is God-centered ~
~ Religion is outward conformity vs. Christianity is inward transformation ~
~ Religion is man's speculation vs. Christianity is God's revelation ~
~ Religion is hard work vs. Christianity is a relationship ~ 
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." ~ John 3:16-17 

What a reason for celebration! He has come that we might have peace and joy everlasting! His birth is not the reason He came. He came to die on the cross to save us from our sins so we could be clothed in His righteousness and live in fellowship with Him; but He chose to get there through birth, and that is what we are celebrating during this season:

"And there shall come forth a rod out of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked."
~ Isaiah 11:1-4 ~

Thursday, December 4, 2014

In Everything Give Thanks...

By Anna
The day started with a bang as Charity celebrated her 13th birthday on Thanksgiving day this year! We are so thankful for her and the bright addition she is to our family! She is quite rapidly emerging into womanhood and is developing beautifully in the kitchen! She is a great hostess and  has the knack for finding good deals in shopping which is a big blessing for this family! Gardening has become a favorite and she dreams of someday living on a farm :) 

We Love You, Charity!

A Trip to Texas

On Thanksgiving day we were able to travel down to Texas to visit Mama's sister and her family. Her parents and her brother with his family all congregated there as well.

The crew peering out of their respective riding vessels :) Why two?? Well, "In this house lives our big family...there's always room for one more!" But now that seatbelt laws have been in place for 25+ years, a vehicle has it's limits. Therefore we take two since we all can't fit in one 15 passenger van any more!  

After a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving dinner,  Elisabeth shared a few pictures and memories of her recent trip. 
She also gave a very entertaining demonstration on "sales-folk" :)
Using a couple very good helpers to reenact the occurrence. :) Grandmama is in the back/middle, trying to 'get to where she is going', and quite crowded out by some rather obtrusive 'salesmen'.  

There was good conversation and interaction among the group late into the evening.
Cousins Joanna and Paige                   Elisabeth and Grandmama

Daniel LOVED the little dog! I think he had some influence from his new found friend and thought he was just like it. At least, he assumed he was welcome in the doggy cage. :)

The next day several of us took a jot to downtown McKinney and toured the lit streets as well as a few quaint shops... 

               Carolyn and Sarah welcome autumn           The often behind-the-scenes photographer, Anna   

At first, Amanda protested a modern-day carriage ride, but after being snugly tucked in with warm blankets, she smiled, cooed, then drifted off to dream of touring a quaint town. 

                        Elisabeth, admiring a few antiques     Laura and Daniel (he conked out)

(L) Ever dream of a whole shop full of candy growing up? Here it is!!  :) 
(R) Christina, the secondary photographer, and Laura with Daniel peering over her shoulder   

Tanya & her sister, Esther ~ that special bond lasts through the years!

Feasting, talking, playing, laughing, or just sitting around... life is good when your with the ones you love

On Saturday we all hung around a little bit and had a relaxing walk to the neighborhood park... and us ladies had a good time spectating an intense game of hockey between some very competitive young (and not-so young :) fellows! I think the one referred to in parenthesis would suggest using the hockey stick instead of your foot to stop the puck...it don't feel too good the other way! 

The younger ones had a blast playing with cousins in the sand at the play grounds, swinging and enjoying the commodities it had to offer :) 

                                           Daniel                                                     Joseph

Grandpapa and Grandmama had an early birthday present for Carolyn; they presented her with Great Grandmother's doll blanket she used to wrap her baby doll in the latter years of her life. It was a sweet time of celebrating Carolyn's life and remembering Grandmother who went home to be with the Lord a year ago this Thanksgiving season.

After we left their house, we stopped by Braums for a light treat-snack. The Lord also orchestrated it that we met some new friends there who were familiar with several contacts that we have which was neat! It is truly a small world, and God sure does know how to bring people together through the "smallest details" of circumstances! It was very encouraging to be able to visit with another family of like mindedness :) 

One thing Papa is very good at is giving the little ones an action break during travel. Stretching exercises and running races are staples, and after that the kids are ready to settle down for a "good night sleep" :)

Uncle Jeff and Aunt Esther's back yard provided a perfect picture backdrop, and we all had fun arranging and rearranging for different shots :)
Age Order

Height Order

All of us Children :)

                   Our Dear, most Wonderful Parents!!!                 This was a cute candid shot of Daniel 

And here is our newest, most-up-to-date family picture, you have probably noticed the difference as this is now the blog header :)

May this season of Thanksgiving never lose place in our hearts as we owe our very lives to God for everything the He as seen fit to bless us with! 
"(As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God." 
~ 2 Corinthians 9:9-11 ~