Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Year Hope and Prayer for you...

With the New Year is the excitement of the possibility of... well, anything happening!  This year, you went to your first Youth Group Winter Retreat at Black Rock.  And, from the sounds of it, you had quite the amazing time.  I am so thankful to God for bringing us to Trinity.  You've made some great friends along the way and have been learning about God from some great teachers!  



What I hope and pray for this year is that you fully put your trust in Jesus and become baptized!  Last year, you told us that you prayed the "sinner's prayer" and that you were saved!  BUT you have told us that you have some doubts in your heart, and I have no doubt that is Satan trying to trip you up so you don't fully serve the Lord.  Satan knows how incredibly special God has made you, and he's trying everything he can to stop you from doing all that God has in store for you.  

My biggest fear in life is not a painful death or something scary like a giant spider coming after me.  No, no.  My biggest fear would be that you don't fully commit your heart and life to Jesus.  But I know that God's word is true, that He is a loving and merciful God, and that He always keeps his promises.  I know that you will struggle in life from time to time, as everyone else does in their life, but I know that the Holy Spirit has been working in you.  I know that one day you will become a fully committed follower of Jesus.  Maybe you are now... but only God and you truly know your heart!  I pray for your salvation, and I know that the God who created the universe hears my prayers for your soul.  I love you so much.  

Fall and Ending of 2016

I was such a dud in 2016 with writing about things.  At least I posted something at all, I guess!  Here is the final catch-up to 2016.  2017 is going to be better... I hope!  

Let's start with how beautiful you are and how much you're growing.  On my 35th birthday, you became a woman.  You're growing too quickly!

You finally have braces... $4,200.00 later!  Boy, kids are expensive ...but totally worth it!  



In this picture we're playing in the leaves outside with Duggy, and we stopped to take a photo of you.  You're incredibly beautiful inside and out.  


You bring so much joy and laughter (not always, though, moody!) into our home.  You are incredibly smart -- even though you don't think you are.  You definitely are.  You catch on to things quickly.  You have a beautiful gift of singing, and you have become an amazing artist!  Seriously, look how great these pictures are that you've drawn in the past year!



I just can't get over how talented you are.  God really has given you some amazing gifts, and I feel like this is the year that you are really finding out what they are.  You are kind and compassionate to others, too!  You love to dance, and you love to act.  In fact, just recently you agreed to be a part of the drama for VBS this summer!



Ahhhh, Halloween -- your favorite holiday!  You dressed as Peridot from Steven Universe.  While you weren't very happy with how your "hair" fit, it was homemade, and I think it looked great!  You looked like a perfect Peridot, even though everyone thought you were a cheese head!  hahaha!  Anyway, you said this Halloween was a lot of fun.  We had family over for a party, went trick-or-treating, went to a haunted house (35 times!), and then you, Ary, Colin, and (forget his name) "ran the streets of Boyertown" with Colin's dad "watching" you from his truck.  I know that I probably wouldn't approve of what was going on if I was there, but that's all part of trusting you and the young lady you're becoming to do the right thing... because *sniff, sniff* I can't always be there now that you're growing up.


Speaking of growing up, you turned 12 years old this year.  12!  The last year before you're a teenager!  Where did my little girl go???

There she is!


And of course youth group has been great for you this year.  Yes, you've had some interesting issues with some of the girls, but you've always (at least from what I know) done the right thing in the situations.  I'm so proud of you.  God really has some amazing things planned for you.  He better because that's how I've been praying!!






Thanksgiving was a normal Thanksgiving this year.  Unfortunately, I didn't take any photos.  

Christmas was full of fun things!  Here are a few pictures to help tell the story:








And finally, my favorite Christmas picture of them all!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Catching Up: 2016 Highlights

The New Year of 2016, Spring, and Summer


New Year's Eve Party

We invited some family and friends for a party... complete with confetti balloons!  ... and a not-so-happy daddy during clean-up lol!




First snow in our new house!


Said goodbye to Maggie.  1/18/16


Adopted Duggy 1/20/16!



Snowstorm:  2 Feet of Snow!  1/23/16


In addition to teaching at GAK, we began teaching Sunday school at church, and you were in our Sunday School class!  We also were the leaders at your second VBS at Trinity.  Oh, and I helped design the stage for Cave Quest VBS :)



SPRING 2016

Lots of violin, piano, chorus, and show choir concerts.  You've landed all the solos that you've tried out for.  You are really excelling in music, art, and reading.





SUMMER 2016

We bought a new car:  Honda CR-V



Just had a lot of general summer fun!




You moved from our Sunday School Class to Youth Group and have made amazing friends and had a lot of great times so far.  




Some Junior High Youth Group Fun:


We got a piano... for free!  Blessing from God!


These are just some of the things we've done.  I didn't touch on our second summer in the house and many other things.  Life has just become so crazy and busy... but very beautiful.  God has blessed us so much!

Our First Christmas in the New House! 12/2015

Our first Christmas in our new house 2015:

 Deck the Halls Day!

 "Patiently" waiting to begin...

One of your gifts to bring out the scientist in you...

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Pregnancy Journal Entries

God has blessed us this year immeasurably.  At times, I feel overwhelmed because of His goodness to us.  Besides the amazing blessing both you and daddy have been in my life, God has blessed us with a beautiful home, amazing neighbors, and a great church.  I feel so undeserving of the beautiful life God that has been merciful enough to give us. 


When I was a teenager all the way up until I was about 23, I kept a prayer journal.  After becoming married and then a mother and all of the time and responsibilities that come along with that, I stopped using my prayer journal.  I really wish I would have kept up with it.  Well, today, I decided to start one again and keep track of things that I am reading in the Bible, things that I am thankful for, prayer requests, etc.  In search of the journal, I came across a few entries I made in a journal that I was writing to you while I was pregnant with you.  Because I was so sick, the entries were very few and far between.  I wanted to have a digital record of the letters, so I'm sharing them with you on here.


4/5/04:


"I had a dream about a little baby kicking inside me.  I woke up and started remembering how I've been exhausted for the past several weeks and how my body feels like it's changing.  I'm much more emotional recently and I've been having unusual strong pains in my belly.  John worked late today and called me from work. - I asked him to pick up a pregnancy test - I think I'm pregnant.  John was leery about it - but I thought it was for the best.


The test is positive.  How I feel - Wow!  I cannot believe I could have another living soul inside me!  I hope this test is not faulty.  Nervous - will I be a good mother?  A good, Godly example - even more important - will my child ever become saved? 


We prayed tonight for your salvation if you're in there."




4/6/04:  120 pounds


"I scheduled an appointment with the doctor to get a blood test.  I hate needles - I always pass out!  We won't hear the news about whether I'm pregnant or not until tomorrow. :(  My stomach has been hurting on and off today - I'm about 3 days later, and I feel a little nauseated.  My heart has been beating to hard from anxiety - I want to be pregnant so bad - I want a child to pour my heart into and love. 


The doctor called me at home tonight - WE'RE PREGNANT!


Praise the Lord!  I know it's early, but it's the Lord's will for us to have this baby!  The due date:  12-6-04!  I'm 5 weeks pregnant and couldn't be happier!  I must have called everyone I've ever known to tell them the news. 


John and I are a little scared - we're so young in our marriage - we've only been married for 1 1/2 months!  We're still getting used to each other!  Hmmm... I wonder things like, will my child think I'm so old because I was born in the 1900s?  Yikes!  John thinks he's funny - he just said, "so adoption's out of the questions, right?"  Ha-ha - he cracks me up. (grrr.)


On a more serious note:


Whoever you are inside me, if you're ever going to read this journal - It's the most amazing feeling to actually feel you growing inside me - I've never met you, and I love you more than anyone.  (other than the Lord and John.)  I promise you that I will try to be the mother you deserve and need - I can't wait to meet you and hold you in my arms.  I'm well aware of the pain I will be facing in about 8 or 9 months when I give birth to you - I would gladly go through birth pains for you - I honestly would give up my life for you if it was the only way to bring you into this world.  I love you."




4/7/04:


"I can feel you growing - my stomach has a constant light pain in it - it's a great feeling." 



4/8/04: 

"Thankfully I only work until 3:00 today because Good Friday is tomorrow.  All my muscles are extremely tender.  It's so strange how my body is preparing itself for you - what a miracle!!"




4/18/04:  121.5 lbs.


"I called off work today - I couldn't stand up without fainting.  I had to crawl to the bathroom so I could get sick.  I would be nice to actually throw-up.  Dry heaves don't make me feel better.  I laid on the couch all day falling in and out of sleep."




4/19/04:


"Too bad we're not wealthy.  I can't imagine going to work much longer.  I woke up with an awful headache.  My stomach felt nauseated so I tried to eat some toast and water.  My body didn't like that this morning, so it came right up.  After getting sick, I feel a little better.  At least I can walk around without fainting.  I'm going to attempt to go to work today.  I hate getting sick at work - I pray it won't happen today."




That was my last entry.  It wasn't until about September or so that I stopped feeling sick all the time like that, which is probably why I stopped writing in the journal altogether.  I worked up until the last two weeks of being pregnant with you and took maternity leave.  After I had you, there was no way I was going back to work.  And that was the beginning of you.  I love you.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Change / The Big Move

It really has been a while, nearly nine months, since I last made an entry.  There's a pretty good reason for that.  A lot of things have changed.  We bought a new house and you moved to a new school.  It's difficult to list all of the things that have transpired since February, but I'm going to try to highlight a few important things.

2015 was split into two major themes:  Firsts and lasts.  

On May 28, 2015, we bought a new home in Boyertown.  We visited several homes, but none of them wowed us like the Boyertown house.  You and I absolutely fell in love with it when we first walked through it.  It even brought us to tears.  Daddy knew how badly we wanted this house, so he put in an offer to our realtor (little did we know would he turn out to be our new neighbor!).  


You told me that if we bought this house, you would be completely fine with leaving your school district.  I believed you.  You believed you.  You were wrong.  More on that later.

On June 11, 2015, we sold our house in Schwenksville.   Daddy and I were SO excited to move on, but it was very difficult for you.  When we said goodbye to the house, you literally took pictures of every corner of the inside and outside of the house.  You took so many photos that you drained your battery and had to use my phone to finish taking the rest.



Saying goodbye to your friends and school wasn't very difficult at first.  That's mainly because after we moved, you still had to go to school for two weeks before summer break started.  We drove 20 minutes to Schwenksville for two weeks back and forth.  We had some lovely conversations in those car rides.  Saying goodbye to your closest friend, Zaidy, wasn't very difficult at first, either, because she came with us even on the very first day that we moved in.  On the last day of school, you and Zaidy cried for a long time after you got off of the bus.  We had a sleepover planned at our house that night, and I didn't think you guys would be able to pull yourselves together to have the sleepover.  But you both got it together and had a great night.

Your first summer in the new house.  We tried our best to get Zaidy over here every other week or so.  Madison came over a few times, too.  Once school started, those visits started to become less and less.  Summer in our new house was a learning experience.  A lot of firsts.  We met our neighbors, the Creeds, who have turned out to be a huge blessing.  You even started taking piano lessons from Ms. Erica.  You played a few times with Allie, Jonathan, and Grace.  It was hard for you to find common ground to play with them because they are a little younger than you.  They had swings and a bouncy house, and they loved to scooter.  That helped a lot to break the ice.  


We built a fire pit and had some fires in the backyard.  We went to a food truck festival.  I sent you to some summer camps.  We tilled and maintained a garden.  We went to the playground almost daily.  We rode bikes every day and you scootered a lot.  We made Jumbo Jenga.  G-Dad made you a swing.  We went to the beach.  We got a hammock.  We spent a lot of times unpacking boxes and setting up our new house.  You started gymnastics.  







You are so pretty.  

We had a really fun housewarming party in July.  All of your friends (even Lila!) and family came to visit the new house and we partied until the wee hours of the morning.  Zaidy spent the night that night.

We sent you to vacation bible school at Trinity down the road from our new house.  It was very hard to send you there because you absolutely did not want to go.  You were scared.  Of course you were.  Like you told daddy and I so many times - this move is easy for you because you don't have to move to a new school and leave all of your friends.  I strongly encouraged you to go to VBS anyway, and I'm glad that I did.  You met your friend, Sydney, there.  Little did you know that God brought Sydney into your life to be your closest friend in 5th grade and that she'd be in your class!  You also met Grace.  She doesn't go to your school, but she will go to your middle school one day.  Her mom was my closest friend in 10th grade.  

Our neighbors across the street had a yard sale over the summer.  You met a boy named Colin.  He was sweet and told us that he was going into 5th grade, too.  He said, "Maybe we'll be in the same class!"  Again, this was God's hand at work in your life.

Even with all of that fun (and more that I can't think about right now), you had some pretty bad days.  I felt like the world's worst mother at times for moving you out of that house.  It was a dumpy house, but it was the only house you ever knew.  And you begged us at times to move back there.  

School.  Summer seemed to go by very quickly.  You had good days and bad days.  Sometimes you would cry and tell me how scared and sad you were to start school.  On the first day of school, I went into your bedroom.  You moaned when you realized what today was.  You cried all morning.  My heart felt like it was going to burst into a million pieces.  I wished so much that I could hold your hand and be with you the entire day.  We walked the long walk down the hill and we said goodbye.  I wrote tons of little notes to you and hid them in your bookbag, lunch, etc. to encourage you to smile, be brave, and pray because God is with you.  You were so brave, Madelyn.  I was so proud of you.  You came home and absolutely hated it.  It wasn't the same.  "My life was perfect!  Why did you have to ruin that?"  


The second day of school was hard, too.  But the third day, there was hope.  You had started to make friends and realized that it wasn't all that bad.  We learned that Colin was in your class and so was Sydney!  Over the next few weeks, you, Colin, and Sydney would become close friends.  They both love Minecraft, too!  There were always ups and downs in your new school, but you adjusted very quickly.  You even got plugged into music very quickly.  You got into chorus and violin right away.  You even tried out for Show Choir and made it!  You also auditioned in a trio with Colin and Sydney and you made it for the Christmas Concert!  Your first violin concert is coming up this week.  I wish you would practice more (and with a better attitude!), but I guess I don't know many kids that actually enjoy practicing.  Either way, you are super talented and you are developing a beautiful singing voice.  


School has been going very well.  It's been three months now.  You got your first report card and you are actually advanced in reading and writing.  Not surprising - you love to read.  You're currently in the Harry Potter series, and you're loving it.  

We visited Trinity down the street from our house and decided to continue going there.  I started sending you to the Wednesday night program, GAK (God's Amazing Kids), and you cried the first time because you were scared.  I decided to start volunteering there, which helped you to continue going.  We also started inviting Sydney to come with us.  Grace and the Creeds go there, too.  You've already started making a good amount of church friends.  Next year, you start youth group.  

We did spend a LOT of time processing/canning foods at Uncle Rob's house this year.  It seemed like we were over there every weekend for months.  You had your 11th birthday party.  It was a family party and you got a lot of great gifts.  We spent our first Halloween at our new house.  Halloween was a lot of fun!  We walked around our development with the Creeds and some other neighbors.  You got a LOT of candy between the Halloween Parade and Halloween night.  Now we have our first Christmas to look forward to!  



I wish I had been writing down all of the events in this memoir since February.  There have been some very sweet moments that I'm sure I'm forgetting to write about.  

2015 can be summed up with the word change.  I pray that you learn this lesson from our move.  Life changes.  Sometimes that change is hard.  No matter what changes come to your life, God is always  there.  He is always the same.  He will never change.  

When things seem hard, I hope you don't look at what was lost, but look at what is left.  God has blessed us overwhelmingly.