12.29.2007

A Winter Day

Isn't snow beautiful? Winter is definitely my favorite season but that's because it is December. (I usually say that my favorite season is whatever season we are in!) We have been taking the week off from homeschool studies so we have had more time for playing.
Marlin had the honors of pulling a tobaggon with the tractor over the snowy roads and lanes, up and down road ditches, and wherever else he felt like going. The goal was to see how many riders he could displace! His partner in crime was Hudson. He loved riding on the buddy seat in the tractor when he wasn't on the tobaggon.


Here are the tobaggon riders (except for Rebecca-she only came out for the family picture!!).
Denver's new dalmation dog, Ryker, got his exercise by running behind or beside the tobaggon. Unfortunately, he did not cooperate for the picture!



12.06.2007

A Birthday Party

December 5, 2007 was a time of celebration for our family. We were celebrating because for the first time ever, Grandma and Denver were together for their shared birthday. I can still remember how thrilled I was when Denver arrived almost a week before his due date, but exactly on his grandma's birthday. My mother has had this dream of being in IA for this special day and this year her dream came true! We also invited Denver's Grandma Bontrager for the party. The menu (chosen by my mother) was smoked ham, mashed potatoes, sourkraut, tossed salad, oatmeal cake, and homemade ice-cream.
Denver had the honor of blowing out the candles.

After a time of sharing encouraging words with the birthday guests, it was time to open the gifts!
One of Denver's gifts was a 1,000 piece puzzle from his siblings.






12.02.2007

Grandparents Visit!

It was with great joy that Marlin and I along with 3 of the younger children greeted my parents at the airport this morning. Now we are hoping that their luggage will follow them quickly!

I know that a highlight for my mother has been holding Rebecca, while my father has been playing some challenging checker games with the children.
Grandpa (my father) and Taylor are playing checkers.
Rebecca took a nap in Grandma's arms.

Grandpa's hugs are the best!




11.23.2007

Thanksgiving


True thanksgiving is being thankful for all the circumstances in life that God brings our way, whether they be good or bad. That doesn't mean that we rejoice in the evil around us, but rather, that we find joy in the lessons that God teaches us from our trials.

This past week our family has had opportunity to find joy when the hard drive on our computer broke. The biggest loss was 2 1/2 months worth of pictures, including all of Rebecca's baby photos and the results from Chelsy's first 4 professional photography ventures.

So with God's grace we are learning that thanksgiving is being thankful for what we have, not for what we have lost.


  1. We are thankful that we have our dear baby Rebecca, even though we lost her baby pictures.

  2. We are so grateful for many wonderful friends although we no longer have your e-mail addresses! (If you would send us an e-mail, that would help us to rebuild our address book.)

  3. We are thankful (most of the time!!) for our computer and its abilities in helping us to organize, communicate with friends, research through the internet, and store photographs.

  4. We rejoice for the opportunity to learn the devasting affects of procrastination and being too busy (we know we should have downloaded the photos a long time ago).

  5. We give thanks for the talents God has given Chelsy in the area of photography although we mourn the loss of over 1,000 photographs.

  6. And most of all, we are thankful for God's faithfulness and for the lessons He is teaching us through this trial. We are learning not to get too attached to the things of this world.

May all of you find joy today in what God has given to you. When you start to count your blessings, you will find that you are indeed blessed.



11.21.2007

~Home Alone~

Liz loves putting puzzles together! Here she is with her latest favorite! :)

Yesterday afternoon we older 6 enjoyed a game of hockey in the shop. (while the little ones napped) Teams were Mitchell, Allison, Denver, and Taylor against Carson, Joshua, and myself. Unfortunately, the, ahem, "bad" team (them) won, and the "good" team (us) lost. :)

Lots of action and much concentration!


Here, Carson is diligently working and Mitchell is, well......diligently being funny??!! :)


Liz & Hudson enjoyed stories read by Joshua

-----------------------------


Yes, you heard correctly-we are home alone! No need to get worried, its going great and we're having a fabulous time. Some of the highlights were hockey, indoor s'mores, personal mini pizzas, movie night, hide n seek IN THE DARK, many story times, sewing projects (the boys would want me to clarify that sewing was a highlight for the girls!) and a rousing & quite noisy 45 minutes of Dutch Blitz (we didn't get any pics. of that because it is my ultimate favorite game and there was no way I was going to skip a round to get my camera!) All in all we had a simply wonderful time......but we are now on the countdown for the scheduled 6:30pm arrival of our favorite people.........Dad, Mom, & Rebecca!! :)
(~Chelsy reporting for the "Nine Alone"~)

10.27.2007

A Merry Heart

"A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance..."
Proverbs 15:13
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine..."
Proverbs 17:22
Marlin, Denver, and Taylor share a happy moment at the park.



Anybody want to "share" a doughnut?

This is REALLY funny!



Playing outdoors is so fun!

M-m-m-m, I love potato chips!

Aren't we having a good time??


Elizabeth is loving life!







10.26.2007

Weekend in Illinois

This past weekend we headed to Lake Fork, IL to spend time with our friends, the Vincents, and to sing at an event on their farm.
Just before lunch we stopped to stretch our legs at a park. Hudson thoroughly enjoyed the pushes from Elizabeth on the swing.

Our friend, Nicole Chmelar, went along to take care of Rebecca while we sang. She was also a help in so many other ways and in addition gave us the gift of laughter!


Does this look like a hardworking young man?



The Vincent's planned an event for families in their front yard. There were hayrides, a potluck, a word from both Chris Hogan and Marlin, and a time of singing by our family. Our stage was their front porch. It was a blessed sight to see so many families with their babies and little children enjoying the outdoors and Christian fellowship together.

After attending Noble Family Fellowship with the Vincent family on Sunday morning, we drove on the Arthur, IL to share in the evening service at North Vine Mennonite Church.
Denver listened attentively as Marlin told him about Christians being persecuted all over the world. This conversation takes place in the song, "I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb".
"We are God's little people, we got a light and we're gonna let it shine."









10.06.2007

Harvest

"They joy before thee according to the joy in harvest"Driving the combine is what Marlin loves to do more than anything else on the farm.
There is usually a "waiting list" for little ones who want to ride with daddy in the combine. Yesterday it was Taylor's turn.


Harvest is another reminder that everything we have is from God's hands.


9.22.2007

Safe in Daddy's Arms

Marlin loves to hold our newborn babies on his chest while they are sleeping. One evening Rebecca was a bit fussy, so Marlin took her to bed and this is what happened!



9.21.2007

Rebecca and Siblings

"The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracous unto thee: The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." Numbers 6:24-26


















9.16.2007

Baby Update, Etc.

We have been enjoying our new blessing, Rebecca. It is hard to believe she is nearly one week old! Time seems to go to so much faster after the baby is born, while the hours before seem rather long! So far she has spent much of her time sleeping or eating and of course, being loved and held in our arms. Grandma Bontrager and Elizabeth both love babies!
My sister, Sarah, and 2 of her children, Lawrence and Sarah Elizabeth, came from NY to spend the weekend with us. What a joy it was to have them here. Sarah Elizabeth is only 2 days younger than our Elizabeth. The 2 of them spent most of their time playing dolls and dishes together. I think Elizabeth will be rather lonely tomorrow without her little playmate.
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." Proverbs 17:22


We are enjoying the last beauties that our gardens have to offer.