Hello Ya'llses!!! (That's plural for "ya'all:)) We were at a conference for a week and we just got back on Saturday. The conference was at Falls Baptist Church in Menominee Falls, Wisconsin. I wasn't really expecting it to be much colder than it is here in Ohio because the temperature has mostly in the negatives or at least below freezing all winter. But as it turned out, it was FREEZING up there. The actual temperature was sort of cold, but the wind made the difference.
We older kids had to stay in the college dorms (they have a college too). To get to the girl's dorms, you have to go across the parking lot, up the boardwalk, up three flights of stairs and then you're there. It was so cold that the ends of my hair froze ;)
Ok, enough about the weather, as you saw from the last post, my mom is pregnant again. Do you like the header?? Yes, that's us and Yes it was freezing outside:) Charity(on the end) is a little blurry because she was talking the whole time! I think she was telling someone that she was freezing and needed a coat. But no children were harmed in the making of that picture.
Except for some frostbite.
When we left for the conference, it was raining here. When we came back, the snow was gone. When we left for church on Sunday, the snow was still gone. When we came back from church on Sunday, there was at least three inches on the ground.
That's the view from the back steps. Isn't it pretty!!!!
I took that picture outside in the snow without a coat on. You're welcome:)
And lastly since this is random, here's Charity.
Recently we put a new banner up on the Blog. Have you noticed it? I wanted to announce our new addition at 12 weeks, but because I obviously am showing and people were guessing we put the banner up early.
My prayer is that each one will learn the reality of salvation, God will change their lives, and because of Christ in their life, many others will SEE Christ and learn of the Saviour.
Because of Michael’s medicine: God could call this little one home, God could allow us to have a special needs child, or God could give us a miracle.
The truth: my attitude is really what matters in the whole scheme of things. I need to keep my focus on Jesus and not my imperfect life.
Serenity Grace turned nine on Saturday February 15th!!
*Disclaimer: I realize most of these pictures are blurry. I've found out it's really hard to get a nice pic of people who are moving really fast. So...most of the pictures are blurryish. I have a setting on my camera for moving things, but it wasn't set on it. Lesson learned:)
Those up there ^^^^ are known to us as 'dough things'. I have no idea what they are supposed to be called. They're made of bread dough, filled with taco meat and cheese, and baked in the oven at 350*F. Very delicious!!
shhh...Don't tell Sis, but I've broken into the blog! :) I just thought that I'd say HI! :)
Our family celebrated Mom's birthday on Thursday by going to Chipotle! Then we came home for some homemade chocolate cake.
Birthday's are a very special occasion at our house!! Most of the kids make cards and buy gift at the dollar store for the birthday person. You never know what you might get, but its usually something you've "always wanted" :)
We don't usually celebrate Valentine's day, but this year the little kids had enough of us telling about exchanging cards and making mailboxes and getting candy when we four older kids were in a Christian school. So this year we saved all of our oatmeal boxes and shoe boxes and made mailboxes.
I'll try to get as many pictures up, but our internet is not being nice today so I might not be able to get all of them.
So Happy Valentine's Day a day late!!!!!
Btw, it's Serenity's birthday today so don't be surprised if you see another post tomorrow or something. I know, shocker, I wrote two posts in the same week!!
These days have been very, very busy!! Last week we three older girls went to a birthday party two hours away so we had to make arrangements. We left the day after the Great Snowstorm.
I was just about to add a picture, but I forgot I left my camera at church. So, pictures later:)
Anyway, we invited the church family to watch the Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham debate at church on Tuesday. There was supposed to be some snow, but the weather guys kept changing how much we were going to get and we rarely get tons of snow anyway.
It started snowing even before the debate started and didn't let up for a very long time.
We had some guys plowing the driveway (our church is on a big hill) and then someone directing traffic to make sure no one slipped. The snow was coming down so fast, they basically plowed, let a car go down, and plowed again.
Here's a picture I found on my iPod.
I can't remember which big snow that was....it was either the first one before the debate or the second one. My brain is fried:)
Anyway here's another one. Actually, the roads are plowed in this one so it might have been the first snow thing. Oh well, it is pretty anyway!!
Like I said, we went to a birthday party two hours away. Our mom took us and then she went to our grandparent's house (her parents) to visit.
We had an awesome time! We went sledding down an amazingly steep and bumpy hill. We went shopping, except without the money:) And we played in the snow and did lots of other fun stuff!!
We have three important holidays this week!!
Mom's birthday on Thursday, Valentines Day on Friday, and Serenity's birthday on Saturday. Busy week:)
I will get my camera tomorrow and have pictures sometime....maybe not Thursday, but maybe Friday or Saturday or Sunday or something like that.
But we had to leave:( and now we're home again.
But mom isn't here so it's a little harder to do everything...like school. I don't think I've done an entire day of school since last Tuesday. But that's ok cause I have a Biology test I haven't exactly studied for yet:)
I will take it eventually though. Maybe Friday.
Happy almost Valentine's Day!!!
"The Lord is my shepherd, I’ll walk with Him Alway”.” Mom and I sang the familiar song. She had moved a little so that I could hold her foot. I wanted to know she was still there by me. I knew she was hurt badly. I had seen her face soon after she managed to find the ignition and turn the van off. She was covered in blood and her arm was lying at the wrong angle. My hand was trapped under the van, and I was lying in a fetal position on my knees. I was very scared. A man crawled in through one of the broken windows and crouched next to me.
“Hi, my name is Tom. Everything’s going to be ok. The ambulance is on its way.” Then he started asking questions, but my mind kept wandering. I saw my glasses on the floor next to me.
“Oh, look there are my glasses. I should probably get those before they get broken.” I thought, though for some reason I never picked them up. I could see the ground outside it was covered in glass. “Cool, I never knew that the window glass is green!” these were all the weird thoughts going through my head. I was very scared! The next things I know I heard the sirens and saw that Tom was gone. Mom was worried about the other kids.
“Are my children OK? How many do you see? “She asked. The man counted and told my mom, but I didn’t hear the answer. They moved my mom away. She was lying on the ground half way in the van and half out of the van, which was blocking one of the ways to get to my hand. I heard my dad! He poked his head in the broken window.
“Are you ok Peanut? They’re going to get you out.” he said. I had been trying to move my hand and it was suddenly turning!
“It’s moving!” I yelled. Then my hand was free and I crawled out towards my dad. He carried me over to a paramedic who poured something on my hand. I didn’t even feel any pain until then. The hand looked horrible. There were hundreds of pieces of glass sticking out of it and I was missing my pinky finger. They rushed me to the stretcher and put me into the ambulance. I wanted to sleep, but this lady kept telling me to open my eyes. I told her I just couldn’t right now. I knew Joshua was in the ambulance with me so I kept trying to talk to him, but he was actually sitting in the front passenger seat. They put an IV in me and gave me Morphine for the pain and gave me oxygen. I also had neck brace on. Then I was at the hospital being wheeled into trauma room 2. It was bright and sunny in that room. It seemed like too big of a room for just one person. I was asked a bunch of medical and personal questions, including where I lived. I told them the church address for some reason and I couldn’t remember what shots I had already.
Every once in a while Josh would pop his head into my room, but he would go away before I could ask him anything. Later I learned that Melody and my mom were close by in the next rooms. I kept feeling a weird cold sensation on my ears so I asked the nurse next to me.
“I think there’s something in my ears”. I said. He checked for me then got a tissue and wiped my face for me.
“Your ears are fine. It’s just tears.” He answered. I guess I was crying and didn’t even know it. I was there for some time before they told me that I was going to be taken in a helicopter to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, so that I could have surgery on my hand. They wheeled my bed over to mama, who was also in a neck brace, so that I could tell her goodbye.
“Can you come with me please”, I was crying. I didn’t want to go by myself. I was practically begging her. “I don’t want to go”.
“No, you need to stop crying right now! I can’t come with you because there isn’t room. Daddy is with the other kids. Papa will be at the hospital when you get there. I promise.” Then she told me that she loved me. The paramedics wheeled me to the helicopter. It was a very loud trip! When I tried to speak a couple times the nurse on board had to give me his microphone so he could me. As soon as I arrived into the hospital I saw papa. He had come! Papa came and sat next to me while we waited for the Doctor.
“Papa, do you think that God has something special in my life?” I asked.
“I think that he has something special for everyone.” He answered. The doctor came up and talked to him for a few minutes. “Autumn, they are going to try to get some of the big pieces of glass out of your hand ok?”
“Will it hurt?” I asked.
“Yes, it will probably hurt a lot, but I’m going to be right here beside you.” After that they prepared me for surgery. By then my dad was on his way to the hospital and my mom was in Grant Hospital close by. Maggie, a family friend, came to sit with me too, so the surgeon used her phone to get dad’s permission for the surgery. Then they wheeled me away.
Although this was a very scary thing that happened in our family, there were so many things that we can be thankful for. I know that God was and is in control of our lives every day. Romans 8: says, “For we know that all things work together to good to them that are the called according to his purpose.”
by Autumn De Leon
Sorry about the delay.....I really did mean to put more pictures up but, well, it didn't happen. Sooo, here I am nineteen days after Christmas posting Christmas pictures:) I also happened to get done with school before 6:00 so I actually have time to do it before choir practice :)
I got a camera for Christmas!! And I really needed one. Someone who reads our blog gave my mother some money to get me this camera!! It takes awesome pictures and here's an example....
We went to winter Camp in Wisconsin!!! That was also very fun, but it was freezing in Wisconsin!! Without windchill I think it was around 15 to 20ish below. I don't want to know what it was with windchill.
So here are some pics of our annual cookie making/decorating tradition.
And here are some scant pictures of Christmas morning....,
See I told you, scant.
As I said, we went to winter camp. Well, technically it's called Teen Winter Retreat. It was at Camp Joy in Wisconsin. We went up with Grace Baptist Church in Kettering, Ohio because they had extra seats. There was a girl's van and a boy's van, but there were two boys in the girl's van because there were too many boys for the van.
Even though it was freezing, we still had tons of fun!! The camp had a toboggan run, tubing hill, ice skating, zip line, and a fully equipped gym in which to play laser tag, paintball, volley ball, basketball. Because it was a retreat, there really wasn't all that much competition between teams but the Eskimos won :(
The best part was the preaching. The retreat was only Thursday night through Saturday afternoon, but there were five services. Our speaker was Rand Hummel and he had awesome messages. They included: The Dark Side of the Internet, True Love, The Art of Medieval Warfare, and a couple more. He spends most of his time with teens and you could tell by what he spoke on.
The trip home was awesome. We listened to music (very, very loud music), we sang through the alphabet, or at least most of it. We tried to figure out a joke and that was the reason for the music. (The youth pastor and his wife couldn't figure it out, so they turned it on until we told them:))
Josh was in the boy's van and he said they sang in six-part harmony. I'm not sure how they did that though. In the girls van we only had three parts: soprano, alto, and high soprano.
I didn't take a bunch of pictures because #1 it was really cold, and #2 I don't know. But the ones I did take I will post (hopefully) in the next week or so.....but don't get your hopes up:)
Merry Christmas!! We had an awesome Christmas! Papa and Grandma came over from Indiana on Tuesday.
We have a tradition of opening presents from the kids to the kids and from the kids to parents/grandparents. Then we each open up one presents from Papa and Grandma which is always a new pair of pajamas:) Since we have such a large family, each child picks a name out of a hat and buys a present for them. If they want to buy other people presents they can too though:)
Christmas morning was a little late because the FedEx guy didn't come around. Because they hadn't delivered all of the packages, FedEx opened up on Christmas for people to come pick up their stuff.
Charity didn't get an iPod for Christmas. Well at least not this Christmas. She got that one last year but its not really hers, she just thinks it is, sort of....
I don't have any pictures of the actual opening of presents because they're on everyone else's cameras. But maybe tomorrow. For now you can just imagine it in your mind:) Also the internet is being veeerrryy slow today so I don't think it would work anyway.
Everyone got basically everything they wanted. Mom tricked them pretty well though because she kept saying she didn't have any money. Which was true. But she exercised her ingenious powers of coupon-ing and half priced things and Ebay.
That's all for now.....Merry Christmas!!
I love Christmas!
It is a special time that we remember the birth of Jesus. We celebrate His birth with music, lights, presents, food, fun, and fellowship! I was thinking this morning of all the special days that God had in place for Israel in the Old Testament.
God placed special emphasis on the celebration days that He established for His nation. Actually, God was pretty specific on when and how Israel was supposed to celebrate.
So as I got to thinking about those celebration days....I was thankful that we have established a day that we can remember the time God sent his Son down to the earth to give mankind a special gift...the gift of His only beloved Son.
Our family begins celebrating Christmas with the start of the annual Christmas Parade the day after Thanksgiving.
At 6:00pm on a Monday evening the entire town gathers around the large pine tree next to the local library. In the surrounding darkness,with each person holding a lit candle , we sing "Silent night" together as one large choir .
It is our tradition that our family join this group as we start the celebration of the birth of Christ.
When the tree is lit, each bank, shop, and business in town, opens their doors and gives away cookies and hot chocolate as people wait for the parade to start.
As I look back over the 12 years of this annual family tradition. I have seen my family grow from 4 children when we first came to now, nine.
I remember the time when my older ones were 6, 5, 3, 2 and I was heavily pregnant with my 5th. Walking in the crowd and getting cookies was a two adult job...each one having a hand so as not to loose those bouncing laughing little ones! :)
This year, 12 years later, as we walked down the sidewalk, the teenagers were laughing with their friends, the younger ones were giggling, chatting, and bouncing down the street, and Michael and I were holding hands pushing Charity in the stroller.
I am so grateful that the many gifts that God has given me...
The next tradition involved cutting down the Christmas tree!
The very first time we cut down a tree as a family, Joshua was three and Autumn was 2. We decided that we were going to start this great family tradition! :) We must have been given the most DULL saw on the lot because it took my husband literally 20 min to saw that Christmas tree down.
He sawed and sawed and grumped... his face was red; it was some very tense moments. When the tree FINALLY fell, Autumn looked at her daddy with those big brown eyes, took her tiny hand and gently patted her daddy on the back as he was sprawled out on the ground and declared,
"Good job Daddy!!" Then it was all worth it! :)
We look back and laugh at it now, but back 15 years ago, my husband was not laughing.
This year the tree was cut by my 11 year old son, 5 seconds flat! :)
Have a Merry Christmas! I need to go feed the troops!