Thursday, April 24, 2014

New Season in Our Family!

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him
Colossians 3:17
Ted and the "quads" left very early this morning for the Christian Heritage Homeschool Conference in Redmond.  This is the first year in our 15+ years of attending these annual conferences that we have not been there together as a whole family.  We started attending the conferences back in Arizona when Lydia was about 2 or 3 years old.  We even went to Georgia's annual convention when we lived there for 6 months.  The conferences are always such an awesome time of encouragement, inspiration, learning, and fellowshipping with lots of like-minded families.  They are expecting attendance to be around 3,500+ again this year!  We praise the Lord for His hand of blessing upon this conference and the Godly leaders He has in place, keeping the homeschool community strong and growing!

Also for the first time, the quads are volunteering in various ways at this conference.  We are very excited for some of our family members to be able to serve and give back for all the years we have been so blessed by the conferences. 

Ted ended up having to work today and tomorrow, with having just taken off two weeks for our Arizona trip.  So, he'll be working away at the hotel they are staying at while the quads will be serving at the conference and shuttling themselves back and forth from the hotel to the big church where the conference is.

With Ted working on Friday and the quads busy with their volunteering, we decided it might be too challenging for me to take the younger set of four kids by myself to the conference.  Then, we learned early this week, that Timmy's baseball team will be involved in a tournament this weekend.  Since he missed lots of practices and a few games while we were away, we also decided it would best for him to be there for and with his teammates. 

Then there's the animal care-taking!  We could have asked our loved ones to help again in this area, but since they may still be recovering from helping with this huge task ;-) while we were away in AZ, we felt it was best not to ask again so soon!

Oh, and Brielle's occupational therapist came over first thing this morning.  This was actually quite a surprise, as I didn't have it written down on my calendar.  So thankfully, I was home for this!  I was grateful for her 10 minute reminder call!  It gave me just enough time to change out of my pajamas, and scramble around to restore some order in the kitchen and living room after our crazy busy day yesterday! 

Yesterday, most of us went to town for a bunch of errands and to get me to a colonoscopy consult with the surgeon who, with God's providential plan paving the way and with His mighty hand upon him, saved my life 7 1/2 years ago!  It was awesome to see him after 7 years, and THANK him all over again!!  Then, we ran lots of errands trying to find some dress shoes and other needed clothing items for the quads to wear at the conference.  The guys are asked to wear sport coats and ties with their dress shirts and pants, so we needed a few things.  It is sure not easy outfitting a 6'5" son . . . . especially when you're shopping at thrift stores!!!  Then, when we returned back home in the evening, we had lots of ironing, packing, and teaching me how to do animal chores! : -) Whew, what a day!

This morning, all I needed to do was to take care of the dogs, as the girls took care of the goats before they left.  I did check in on them too, though!  Everyone is behaving fairly well, except in one of the dog areas, when I went to check on them after the therapist left, they had already managed to turn over their big water bucket that was bungee corded to the fence panel.  So, glad I checked on them again, and got that remedied!

This is such an interesting and different season of life for us!!  Baby, toddler, busy 7 year-old, 9 year-old baseball player, four 17 1/2 year-olds serving for the first time at the homeschool conference, an upcoming colonoscopy for me, and so much more in between!  Such a full, abundant life, and loving every minute of it . . .well, except for the colonoscopy part! ;- (   Thank you, Lord, for all of these blessings! 

"In him we live and move and have our being."
Acts 17:28a

I also love having a sweet married daughter that came over for a surprise visit today
with her new lamb, Sweet Pea!!!
She was born on Easter Sunday! :-)

 Benjamin was so excited!
He wanted to keep her here!

 If the animals could talk, they might have said to me today . . .
 "Hello, who are you?"
 "Is this my best side?"
 "Yup, even a goat can sit like this!"
 "The hay is definitely greener on the other side of the fence."
"And much easier to eat when you're IN the feeder."
 "Who me?"
 "Siesta time!
Dazzle sure makes a good pillow"

 "Aren't we cute?"
 "I'm not looking at you, because you're not feeding me grain."
 "Thank you Lord for some sunshine!"
 "Do I look like a water buffalo?"
 "I'm feeling forlorn because there's a bully in the barn."
 "Got food?"
 "I think I'm gonna like you."
"Just keep us fed, and no one gets hurt we're happy!!!!"

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Filled with Joy and Wonder . . .

and thankfulness on Resurrection Day 2014!
"As he (Jesus) spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet.  Still they stood there in disbelief, filled with joy and wonder.  Then he asked them, 'Do you have anything here to eat?'  They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he ate it as they watched.  Then he said, 'When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.'  Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.  And he said, 'Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day.  It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem:  'There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.' "
Luke 24:40-47
We rejoiced and celebrated this awesome day with enjoying our special church service.
Pastor Dean asked Richie and Lydia to read Isaiah 53. 

 Pastor Dean then gave a very good message titled "The Glory of the Gospel"
with continuing in the book of Galatians. (2:1-10)
And he introduced us to this awesome song . . .  
After church we had a feast with our dearly loved family!!
 Ha . . . we did have some nutritious food before the desserts!
Just didn't take a picture of the buffet!
 Sisters with their lovely cousin, Cassidy!
 We were so happy to see Rich, Janet, Richie and Lydia again after two weeks!
 WE ARE SO BLESSED to have the Tevises in our lives!!!!!
 We always have so much fun with all of them!
 We love you Rich, Janet, Richie and Lydia . . . sooooooo much!
 Love the spring flowers from around the house!

Lovely Spring Afternoon on the Tevis Farm!

The day was beautiful for being outside
and for our now annual tradition of finding eggs!!! 
 We love how Richie enjoys moving his tractors out as part of the farm fun! 

 Caroline was told that she was sitting on an egg! (so-to-speak ;-)
Janet treated us to her homemade apple fritters!  YUM!
Cassidy is showing Valerie a panoramic video she had just taken of the gathering on the farm
and the amazing view!

Love this farmer-son-in-love!
And love seeing how happy he is on his tractors! :-)
"The twins!" ;-)
Richie is taking the boys for a ride!
Kyle joins them to keep a close watch on Ben as they head down the road.
Visiting the bunnies . . . .

and the new chicks . . . 
and of course, the sheep!
Always enjoy seeing how much the sheep love Lydia, and Lydia loves her sheep!
Then, we went for a little walk down the road.

What do we have here?
The crowd gathers . . . 
to see what is the matter.
Daddy gets a couple sticks . . . 
as Richie aids in the delicate procedure.
 And finally, the lone honey bee is safely extracted from Caroline's bun!  : -) 
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