Monday, December 31, 2007

It Starts Tomorrow....

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Yes, yes I know, the New Year starts tomorrow. But what I'm talking about is so much more monumental, it's worth noting.

Tomorrow, myself, along with a whole bunch of other women are committing to praying and speaking nothing but encouragement to our husbands. I've been trying my hand at it already and good grief, it's hard! But I've already noticed a difference. There are thoughts that will come in my head to say and then I'll think "do I really need to say that? What will that accomplish, really?"

I am going to try to post on here my progress as much as possible. Ideally everyday, but I don't blog near that much anyway, and sometimes hubby needs it. So, whenever I get to it, that's when you get the update.

If you want to follow along praying for your hubby, scroll down, the introductory post with all the links and so forth is further on down.

I encourage you to do so. It might change your marriage.

Oh, and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Random Thoughts About Adoption

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I wasn't going to blog today. Today being Sunday and I try not to do anything more than what is required of me, or more than I want to do. Like I'll sew on Sunday, because I LOVE it. Anyway, we have a 50th Wedding Anniversary renewal of vows down at the church in 30 mins. I'm going to be late, Nadia's napping and if I got her up in the middle of that I would first kick myself and second not really be able to see the ceremony anyway. She is a routine girl and needs her sleep. So we'll go to the reception. 50 years, can you imagine? What a blessing.
Anyway, for some reason adoption has been on my mind and I have been bombarded with it for the past week or so. I've seen commercials and heard Christian songs, even one of the blogs I frequent has an article on it. Andrew and I have both said we'd adopt and we want to. I guess I thought I wanted at least one more biological child before we did that. I love being pregnant, I love carrying a child, but I also want to open my home and my love to children who don't have that. We are trying for another child and really have only been trying for like 2 months or so. Haven't really kept track. Just kinda easin into things. I am truly content right now with Nadia. I'd be content if I got pregnant. I just am ok right now with where we are at and with what could happen. But I do want more children. And I do want to carry at least one more, but I do want to adopt. And so I don't know if God is preparing my heart for this or if it is a step we are to take right away. I don't know. Adoption is so expensive though! We are on a pastors salary. I don't know how we would be able to afford it. Seems so wrong though, when there are children who spend so much time in foster care and we could take care of them! I know, though, just because of Nadia's age, I wouldn't want to adopt any child older than what she is. I don't know why, but just seems prudent.
I am going to continue to pray about this. I've brought it up to Andrew and am not going to say anything until the Lord prompts him. Then I'll know it's time. Until then we will just be at ease with the whole TTC. I don't want to get in a tizzy about it. I did last time. If God wants us to bear another child, we will. No fussing or pushing on our part will change His time. Oh I'll still pray for it. But I will enjoy where I am at right now. And, when we get pregnant, I will enjoy that too. Did I mention I love being pregnant?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My Christmas Greeting

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Dearest Family and Friends,

Emmanuel! What a proclamation! God with us. He truly is. He is with us on the mountain top, the valley below and even in the desert wide. In those places He manifests Himself so that His purposes may come about; that we may come to know Him better and grow in closer intimacy with Him. Please let me share how He has been “Emmanuel” in many ways with us this past year.

The Christmas season 2006 was hard for us. Right around Thanksgiving we discovered black mold in Nadia's room that necessitated our finding a temporary living space. Some very good friends offered to put us up for the time it took to remediate the problem; which ended up being 6 weeks. (Thank you friends!) We got back in our house right before Christmas with a fully decorated tree and gifts waiting from an unknown source. (Thank you friends.) Our insurance came through for us and we weren't out a dime. Thank you Lord Jesus.

That December Andrew also received approval for pastoral ministry within the Eastern Region Conference. This was an encouraging bright spot for us. Thank you Jesus.

In January Andrew and I celebrated our 4th anniversary and we also got a call about a small country church in the Northern District of ERC. It was a part time position but they wanted a full time pastor. Andrew felt God leading him to full time work so we continued to pray and wait.

A few days before Valentines Day Nadia's room was finally finished. The remediation process had left her room carpetless and with a huge gaping hole in the ceiling and wall. Andrew worked evenings and weekends on it while Nadia slept in her crib in our room. He did a fine job on it and we were happy for it to be Nadia's room again.

Then in April the family went back to PA for the annual Eastern Regional Conference. It is this conferences custom to license all ministry candidates at their annual conference. We went to that conference feeling very low. God met us in so many ways and encouraged us through many people. We left encouraged and with a possible ministry interview.

After ERC we started to have more contact with the little church up in northern PA. Since we were interviewing at the end of may with another church in PA we decided to candidate with the northern church as well. The northern church, went very well. We left energized, encouraged and very eager to pursue the next step. The other church was not in God's plan. We continued the process with the northern church, having a second candidating Sunday in June.

But just before we found out of their decision, a very good friend of mine, Sara, got married. She wed July 4 to a wonderful, Godly man, Joshua. It was a family affair. Andrew was the photographer, Nadia was the flower girl (Sara is her Godmother.) and I was the Matron of honor. I also made Sara's wedding gown. That was an awesome accomplishment. I am forever grateful to Sara for her encouragement and faith in me. She looked beautiful the day she walked down the aisle, but not because of the dress. It was a beauty that radiated from within. Thank you Sara and Josh for allowing us to be a witness of your marriage covenant.

After that we heard back from the northern church. They had unanimously accepted Andrew as their pastor. We were overjoyed. We accepted the position and started the moving process. The date of August 6 was set to move and we had lots of things to do in the time frame of about 5 weeks.

I was still working part time for the office and after they found my replacement I started to train him. We also had a laundry list of home projects we needed to get done to sell our home and we had to put our home on the market. Never mind we also needed to pack. It was a busy but a long awaited time. Nadia handled it very well and surprisingly we got it all done. August 6 found us with an empty house, a very full moving truck and a 'For Sale' sign in the front yard (by the way, as of this writing, that sign is still in that front yard, please pray for this.) and two heavily weighted down cars. Andrew's father, Bob, graciously helped us with home projects and the actual moving to PA.

We were greeted in our new home by a band of workers from the church, a full dinner and a birthday party for Nadia. (Her birthday was in two days.) Along with many other blessings received from the church, we were warmly welcomed and began to settle in to the parsonage. Andrew's Mother, Norma and his elder brother, Brian were also there to help us settle in. Andrew started officially pastoring two weeks later.

October was a busy month for us as well. Midway, Andrew was officially installed as the new pastor at the church. It was a good day. A day we had waited two years for. We definitely feel that God has prepared us for this particular body of loving, imperfect believers, and prepared them for us, an imperfect family who loves them.

We also welcomed someone new into our family, by way of marriage that is. My elder brother, John, got married on October 20 to a lovely lady I am pleased to call sister, Heather. It was a wonderfully simple wedding. We were blessed to have been there. I am excited at this new union.

Nadia throughout all of this has been doing well. She is growing and so smart. She is quite a talker and given the chance would talk the legs off a brass kettle. She loves music, loves to sing and dance and enjoys reading. She is a beautiful, healthy girl and for that we are grateful. She has been a continued blessing and a source of joy, even if she is growing all too fast.

And that has been our year. It's been a full one, but a good one. Thank you all for your prayers, we appreciate them and we felt them! Continue to pray for us as we figure out this 'pastor' thing. We continue to pray for you all as you are brought to mind.

Christmas blessings and may you know anew the true meaning of this season.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Your Mission....

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Ladies, I've got a challenge for you. If you are married, happily or not, going to be, or just got married, this challenge is for you. This subject is near and dear to my heart. I don't want to taint your decision too much, but I encourage you to click on the following links and decide for yourself.

30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives

Not sure what the difference is between these two pages, but I have printed them both off to do this challenge. I will be doing this starting Jan 1, 2008. I will be putting weekly updates during this challenge. Please let me know if you are considering doing this.

I believe this could profoundly change our marriages, our families and, inevitably, our country. Join with me, won't you?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Zee Cookies....

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I was hoping I had at least one cookie left to take a picture of. These things are sooooo addicting! And since I got the go-ahead from Erin, I will share with you. I so highly recommend these cookies. They simply are the best. I kid you not. I have a new favorite!

Chocolate Truffle Cookies
1.25 c. Butter or margarine, softened
2.25 c. powdered sugar
.3 c. baking cocoa
.25 c sour cream
1 Tbls vanilla
2.25 c. flour
2 c. chocolate chips
.25 c chocolate sprinkles

Delicious Directions: Cream butter, sugar and cocoa until light and fluffy. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Add flour, mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Refrigerate 1 hour. Roll into 1 inch balls, dip one side in sprinkles. Place, sprinkled side up, 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake @ 325 degree oven for 10 mins. Cool 5 mins before removing. (Make sure to put the cookie dough back in the frig between ball formations.)
And because there is no eggs in it, you can eat the dough. Therefore, I have no idea how many cookies this recipe makes. But they are so good, baked or unbaked, or half baked, or frozen or or or....

Let me know if you make these, they are sooooo good!

Thank you Erin! You can find her blog here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Story In Pictures

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What have I been up to? Well instead of just telling you I am going to bombard you with pictures because we took so many the past weekend and some are sooooo cute!

You haven't seen Nadia for a while and this was just adorable! She is sooooo cute! Yeah, I know, I'm biased. But I can be!

One cannot have too much cuteness in a day. So here is more.

Hubby took this one. The arm is a friend of ours. Just reminds me of what we are to be doing everyday. Reaching out to God. But He also reaches out to us.

This is my latest sewing project completed. This is Nadia's Christmas present. It is a denim pocket quilt. I got the idea from here. I made it out of an old green skirt of mine and two pairs of old jeans from Andrew. It is so nice. I was very pleased at how well it turned out. It is large so it will grow with her and she can keep little buddies or whatever in the pockets. She loves blankets.

Here Nadia is helping with cleanup from cookie making (don't worry, it doesn't have any eggs.) This recipe came from my Secret Sister on crosswalk. We love these cookies and so does everyone else who eats them. Erin, can I share the recipe?

This is my VBFF (very best female friend!) of all time, Sara. She and her hubby Josh finally got to visit this past weekend. I missed her so. Here we are making supper and hammin' it for the camera.

We are having a bloodmobile at the church tomorrow and I volunteered to make cornbread. This is one of three cakes of the stuff. So good. I am also taking some of the leftover cookies from the party on sunday (went well) and helping the canteen. I might also give a pint. I need a new t-shirt. :)

And finally, our humble tree. It was a pre-lit from Walmart for very very little money. But I love it and it is beautiful. Surprisingly Nadia is leaving it pretty well alone. But, we still have the durable ornaments on the bottom. :)