Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

We had a great Memorial day! We love it when Daddy gets a day off work during the week so we can do something as a family. Our family really enjoys biking together so we went for a 6 mile bike ride around the New River in Radford. It was hilly enough to be a great workout! Part of the trail runs through Bissett Park so we had a picnic there.

I like to pack picnic food that we usually never buy like
pringles and fun size candy bars! 
Daddy enjoys pulling the girls trailer. We will get Grace on a bike soon
but most of our bike rides are too long for a girl her size.  James
started doing long bike rides at age 6 so next year Grace will ride
a bike and Mercy and Elisha will ride in the trailer.
James is soon to lose his front teeth! 
Everyone tired from a long bike ride!
The kids enjoyed playing in the river to cool off after our bike ride.
Daddy enjoyed relaxing on the river bank.
Mercy is even starting to like the water!
adorable Rich sisters
I love these girls! 
All 4 kids in the river! 

Monday, May 28, 2012

9th Anniversary Trip!

Daniel and I had such an awesome time on our 9th anniversary weekend in the Smokies! If you are married with young kids... I so recommend that you spend some time together without them. When you don't have anyone old enough to babysit and have to take them absolutely everywhere with you, it can be a very fun but draining season of life, especially if you homeschool and are with them 24/7. It can also drain your marriage if you aren't careful! One thing the Roose family encouraged us to do is not to be afraid to ask people for help during this season of life. Investing in your marriage and being happy (not constantly drained) is so important for your marriage and your children! 

We spent one day at Dollywood and enjoyed watching
 part of a show. 

My sweetie in line waiting to ride splash mountain. We both got
pretty wet! 

Splash mountain ride

Bald Eagle on display at Dollywood

Add caption

We loved Dollywood! A nice change from scorching hot
Six Flags over GA though definitely not as big.

We love how Dollywood is set in the Smoky Mountains.

The water wheel at Dollywood
I love my husband! I am so glad he takes the iniative for us to do things
like this together! 
The Bedroom
Daniel in our little 1 BR suite. He did such a great job
finding us an inexpensive place to stay and setting it all up!

Our apartment building we stayed in. Bent Creek Golf
Getting ready to get on the bus to go White Water Rafting, not sure why
I was staring up at Daniel but he is cute, haha!

Enjoying the Scenic Overlooks
Some of the beautiful Smokies!

Daniel enjoying his burger at a grill in downtown Gatlinburg!

He made the funniest faces while cleaning our windshield on the way
home that I had to grab the camera and snap his picture:-)

Grace's Graduation

Grace graduated from Cedarwood Pre-school on our 9th anniverary! She went there all of her first year of pre-school and started back there again this past winter. She absolutely loved every minute of it. Her teachers Ms. Lisa and Ms. Jo did such a wonderful job with her and she learned so much! Mercy will attend Cedarwood this Fall and Grace will come home to be home schooled for Kindergarten.
The graduate with her parents and 4 siblings.
Grace with her Teacher Ms. Lisa
Grace with her teacher's aid, Ms. Jo
Some of the graduates, couldn't quite get them all in
the picture
Got her diploma, yeah! 
Cutest graduate ever! 
We are so pleased with you Grace and all the work you did in pre-school these past 2 years!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Has it really been 9 years?

May 24, 2003
To my best friend of 14 years and husband of 9 years,
                    Where do I start? We are 28 now and have been together for exactly half of our lives. We have been through many trials and triumphs. That is what marriage is about, loving each other through thick and thin! We have grown so much together these last 9 years, both in our love for each other and as adults. We have been through financial difficulties, a job loss, starting a business from scratch, saying goodbye to 4 of our grandparents that attended our wedding, 5 difficult pregnancies, 2 miscarriages and most recently the loss of our twin. You have stood by me even when I was too weak to get out of the bed, taking care of me and encouraging me to stay focused on our goal of having the big family that we always dreamed of. We have also had many triumphs, the joy of buying our first house and finally living together after 5 years of living in separate states, your graduation from VT with a Masters degree that you never thought you would get before we married, the births of each of our 4 children, being part of a church that we love, the salvations and baptisms of our sons, the excitement of Elisha coming, getting your job with NXL and completing the harrowing P.E. exam, going on anniversary trips and the sheer joy of raising our family together. God has always come through for us and blessed us even when we couldn't see a way for things to work out. A most recent example was Rachel coming to live with us to help us through the most difficult part of Elisha's pregnancy. God promises in His word that all things work together for the good of those who love Him and boy have we learned that lesson this year! I want you to know that I am so glad you are the one God chose to be my husband before I was even born. I'm so glad you were my first love and my first kiss:-). Your love for me has always been so strong. I love how you are not a procrastinator but have always been a man of action, always trying to make things happen, always willing to do whatever it takes to get what you want and where you want. You are a wonderful leader and always doing what you know to be Gods will for your family even if it goes against the grain. I love how you are so interested in training our 5 children and the lengths you go to respect them and build healthy relationships with them. It is a joy to follow you and be your wife! I love you with all of my heart and I look forward to spending the rest of our lives together!                    
                                                    Your admiring wife, Lindsay

Margaret's Graduation

 Margaret graduated high school this past Saturday and Nana got to officially say good-bye to her homeschooling years! Yay for her! Daniel had the honor of doing the welcome and prayer at the ceremony. He graduated on that same stage 11 years ago. I remember that day very vividly! We are 10 years older than Margaret and have been married for exactly half of her life. She is the last of our siblings to graduate. Congratulations Margaret! We are so proud of you!
Margaret in her cap and gown. 
Pops, Margaret and Nana

Margaret with her siblings
Left to right: Carly (and Kendon) Margaret,
Daniel, Me (and Elisha). Yes, there is a reason
for the big bellies in this pic! :-)

Since we are expecting our 5th child, so many people keep asking Daniel and I if we come from big homeschooling families! The answer to that is no, not at all! We both came from homeschooling families, but were both 1 of 3 kids. Our parents are about the same ages.  

Weekend in Williamsburg

We went to Williamsburg Mothers Day weekend to take Rachel back home and spend some time with the Roose family. We were sad to leave Rachel there after having her live with us for 7 weeks but we did have a great time. The Roose family has 11 children and we love watching and learning from them! I was not feeling great but thankfully I felt well enough to enjoy the weekend. 

On Saturday we hung out on the York River. It was a beautiful day!
Yes, that is Mercy in the huge pink sunglasses:-)

Penny, (Rachel's mom) myself and some of our kids

Our kids enjoyed playing with the Roose kids so much! 

While we were there, we decided to take Grace by the little 2
bedroom apartment that I gave birth to her in.
 I wanted her to see it and get her picture
there. Can you believe that was 5 years ago? 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Great Child Training Article!

Daniel and I are huge fans of the Duggar family. We do not plan to have 19 children but we watch almost all of their shows and discuss them afterwards. We get so much inspiration in dealing with our own children. The love and lack of negativity in their home encourages us so much as we strive to create that atmosphere in our own home. This is one of my favorite articles by Michelle Duggar.
Joan, a viewer, asks: I'm 77 years old and love your show. I wish I would have seen it when my children were young. I would have done things a lot different. You are doing such a beautiful job of raising your children. Do or have you ever had to spank your children?
Michelle: We have people ask us that all the time. We’ve really chosen to focus on praising our kids for good character, for Godly character. And as we do that, we find that we have a lot less trouble with correction when we are constantly looking for ways to praise them.
When we see them do a kind deed we praise them publicly. We always say, “You deserve praise.” You praise someone publicly, but if you’re going to have to correct someone, you correct them privately. You take them aside and talk to them privately so that you don’t humiliate them in front of people.
And by doing that I think it really sets a tone in your home of peace and harmony and a joyful place to live – it really is a happy place to be. The kids don’t dread coming home because they know this is the place they’re going to get strengthened and encouraged, and they’re going to have the energy to go out and do great things from here. To be able to stand alone when tough things come their way and know in their heart, “You know, that’s not right. I don’t want to partake in that because I can see the destruction that’ll come.” So when the home is the center of their worth as far as them being strengthened and edified and encouraged, they know they can go out and do anything set in front of them and do great things for God. That’s our goal.
So in training the little guys, day in and day out, if I see the little ones not being kind to each other, I will take them aside and I will deal with them and talk to them and have them work this out amongst themselves and learn to communicate and be kind to each other. And then when I see them being sweet and doing what’s right, I make a big deal! “Oh, Jennifer, you were such a sweet big sister! You got Jordyn a cup. You are so sweet! What a kind thing to do!!”
We’ve learned all the character qualities — we’re working on that for these little guys now. But the bigger ones, when they were little, we [talked about the] the definition of kindness: Seeing needs in the lives of others as opportunities to demonstrate love for Christ. “So when you got your sissy that cup of water, you were showing her love and kindness by doing that. You didn’t have to that; it wasn’t your job. But you saw that she was thirsty and you did that just because of your love for your sissy and because you love Jesus and Jesus tells you to be kind to others.” I always point them back to the reason why they want to do what’s right. And when you praise that character of kindness, they want to be more kind. Every time they get an opportunity, they’re going to look for a way to be kind.
And it doesn’t just have be our kids. Our spouses, the people we work with every day, people at school, all of us need to be encouraged. That’s why God gives us that scripture that says, “Encourage one another and build each other up, for this is right.” So often the natural inclination of us would be to look at all the negative, “They didn’t empty that trash. They know that’s their job. I can’t believe they didn’t do that …” We usually will spot the negative things – those tend to be the first things we see.
I think biting your tongue as a parent and saying, wait a minute, hold on. Let me look for something good. Surely there’s one thing good that they did! (Laughs) I’m going to find that one thing and then I’m going to find the character quality and praise them for it. Even the tiniest little effort they made, you’re building character. When you focus on the Godly character, it makes a much happier place to live. Learning to bite your tongue when you want to be negative and praising each other – it’s contagious. Then our children learn to praise by example. And so there’s a lot less correction going on.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Awana Award Ceremony 2012

We enjoyed watching Isaac, James and Grace complete another great year in the Awana Program this evening. Isaac finished up his 5th year of Awana and last year of Sparks. He will be in Truth & Training next year. James finished up his 4th year of Awana and will do his 3rd year in Sparks next year. Grace completed her 2nd year of Awana and last year as a Cubbie. She will move up to Sparks next year. Little Mercy will start her first year of Awana as a Cubbie next year. Our kids love Awana and have memorized so much scripture and the books of the bible through the program. We are so thankful to Trinity Baptist Church and the staff there for pouring into them all these years! I have always been grateful to have been in Awana growing up at Floyd Springs Baptist and Daniel and I are so thrilled for our kids to now be part of Awana as well!

James is never too thrilled about singing (wonder where he got
that from:-) 

Isaac receiving his 3rd year Sparks award.

showing off their awards! 

We love these kids and are so pleased with them! 

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Isaac William turns 8 years old!

He wanted an ice cream cake so Rachel and I made Nana's
Calypso Pie. It was yummy! 

8 candles! 


Yay! New rollerblades, just what he wanted! 

So thrilled that he showered me with kisses! I love this boy!

Trying them out!
He loves his new HOKI sweatshirt from Nana and Pops. He also
loves this picture and said it was his favorite:-)
     Highlights of his day were eating Calypso Pie, James showing his brotherly love by giving him his 2 most favorite green hot wheel cars, opening up rollerblades and trying them out, finding a card from Pawpaw and Charlotte for him in the mailbox, the excitement of taking his booster out of his seat in the suburban to be used no more now that he is eight. Going to the mexican restaurant and being sang happy birthday in Spanish by 3 waiters who popped paper bags to make a loud noise that scared him, eating a fried tortilla with chocolate and ending the day with a sleepover with James and Grace on the new guest bed he has been begging to sleep on in the basement!

   Happy 8th Birthday! You are our first born and the child who made us parents. You are 8 years old today and these 8 years have been so much fun! Your favorite things to do are swimming, rollerblading, playing with James and Grace and going to church. You have really been getting into the worship lately and listening to the sermons. We are so pleased at your early desire to have a relationship with God. You are doing great in school and love to read. Sometimes you read half the night with your reading light and we can't get you out of bed in the mornings:-). Your favorite color is blue and has been for many years. You have such a joyful, bright countenance about you and sometimes I love to just stare into your bright blue eyes. You can't stand being alone and are such a people person. You make friends easily and have many of them but James is definitely your best friend. God definitely knew what he was doing giving you a brother just 15 months younger! The 2 of you are inseparable and can hardly stand to be away from each other. You no longer have a nap time so sometimes in the afternoon you come lay on my bed and talk to me about everything you can think of. Do you have any idea how much I love these times with you? Sometimes I don't get my own quiet time that day but it is so worth it! You are such a great big brother and set a wonderful example for your younger siblings. You are so excited about having a new little brother and today you talked to my belly in hopes that Elisha would hear you. You are a wonderful son. I love you with all my heart and I can't wait to see what God has planned for your life! Love, Mommy

    Isaac, You are our big son and getting bigger all the time!  Every time I look at you I just can't believe I have a son that big and that old!  I feel way too young to be a father of an 8 yr. old young man!  And a young man you are!  I am literally watching you turn from a baby into a boy and now into a man.  I am so pleased with you!  I greatly enjoy doing things with you such as building legos, jumping on the trampoline, swinging you on the tire swing, and watching you rollerblade!  I just wish I could spend even more time with you!  I love you with all my heart, Daddy

The night you were born 8 years ago.
We can't even describe the joy we felt! We just stared
at you for hours marveling at God's goodness to us
and pondering the fact that you were really ours!