Thursday, December 18, 2014

With Faith

Here's another glimpse of the multi-faceted jewel that our Thanksgiving week was. Here 14-year-old Faith helps her nephew, William, slip off to sleep once he was all-decked-out in his pajamas one evening. William's many aunts and uncles were each exceedingly glad when it was finally their turn to hold the seven-week-old little guy.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Thankful for Thanksgiving

Mrs. R:

As we begin to wrap up preparations for the celebration of Christ's birth on Christmas, Mr. R. and I continue to thank God for our family's WONDERFUL Thanksgiving. For a full week, we had all of our children and grandchildren in our home (with the exception of Sarah who is serving in an orphanage in Zambia). We experienced the most glorious fellowship. I took this photo on one of the evenings as some of that rich love and laughter was taking place in the kitchen.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Mrs. R:

The test of salvation isn't whether I can live well...but rather, can I die. Can I give up my desires to my King...can I serve happily wherever He places me? My well being isn't the question. The question is: Am I willing to do Kingdom work even where I'd rather not? Am I willing to trust God for His enabling grace to serve in the hardest place in which He could put me? Am I willing to trust God that He is good? Am I willing to trust God that He is GOOD and does good? Am I willing to trust God when He says in the Bible that He loves me? Because, if I trust Him on these points, then I can joyfully concede that the hardest situation in which the Lord could place me is for my good. Ultimately, I will be blessed and He will be glorified.
Am I willing to trust God when He says repeatedly in His word that He will carry the load?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Many Reasons to Give Thanks

Mrs. R:

Our Thanksgiving began with a time of family Bible reading this morning. We then sang a couple of hymns. With twenty of us in the house this Thanksgiving we nearly qualify as a choir.

As soon as worship time was over, an intense strategy game started at the kitchen table.

By eleven, the meal preps for the holiday feast were fully underway. Many hands helped peel the potatoes...

...but the special touch that turns them into world's best mashed potatoes is Kirsten's. When we adopted her from Russia four years ago this month, she brought with her this special skill that has blessed our family many times.

However, when Kirsten's cousin, Amanda, wandered into the kitchen, Kirsten paused in her stirring and asked if I would take a picture of the two of them.

Meanwhile, Grandpa's preparation of the stuffing was happily interrupted by a visit from Brielle and Eliana. 

As much as Brielle normally likes being kissed by her grandpa, this time the two-year-old was far more interested in what Grandpa was doing than in his show of affection. 

The dilemma was easily solved when we found a way to position Brielle as Grandpa's helper. She became the keeper of the key ingredient for our family's stuffing recipe: SAGE.

Soon it was time to open the bottle...

...and shake!!! We learned years ago that great stuffing takes a great deal of sage. This year we started passing down that learning to the next generation.

Brielle watched eagerly as Grandpa stirred in the sage she had added.

Then she added another round of the all-important seasoning as Amanda prepared chicken broth to add to the mixture to moisten it.

Next, Brielle was eager to help Grandpa stir the massive mound.

She watched intently as he got out the foil pan in which the stuffing would be baked.

Finally, she helped Grandpa transfer the stuffing into the baking pan.

They scraped and scraped to get every last bit.

Finally, the holiday masterpiece was ready for the oven.

Since she was already in position, Brielle then wanted to help Amanda by drying the dishes.

Our big girl was such a big help!

Just as I was ready to put my camera away, I saw Kirsten slide over to give her daddy a hug as he turned his attention from the stuffing to the preparations necessary before getting the turkeys out of the oven. I didn't capture the special moment in focus, but I couldn't resist posting the photo anyway.

Our family has countless reasons to give thanks to God! The Lord has been so good to us. He abounds in lovingkindness!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Happy Trio

 Mrs. R:

I walked into our living room today to find Alison and Eric thoroughly enjoying themselves. I grabbed my camera and slid behind them to get a peak at what was delighting them.

This little face was staring lovingly at his mommy from his daddy's knees.

William has stolen both their hearts in a mere seven weeks of life!
And it's not hard to see why!

During this week of Thanksgiving,
I give thanks to God for our third grandchild, William.
Children are, indeed, a blessing from the Lord! 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Meeting Little Man

Last night Grandpa finally got to meet the newest member of the family, 6-week-old William,
son of Alison and Eric, when the trio flew in from New England.