Friday, February 27, 2015

help me...

O Lord,

I marvel that thou shouldst become incarnate, 
     be crucified, dead, and buried.
The sepulchre calls forth my adoring wonder,
     for it is empty and thou art risen;
     the four-fold gospel attests to it,
     the living witnesses prove it,
     my heart's experience knows it.
Give me to die with thee that I may rise to new life,
     for I wish to be dead and buried
          to sin, to selfishness, to the world...
O, Lord, there is much ill about me -- crucify it,
     much flesh within me -- mortify it.
Purge from me selfishness...
Let me reckon my old life dead
          because of crucifixion,
     and never feed it as a living thing...
Help me to be resolute and Christ-contained.
Never let me wander from the path of obedience
     to thy will.
Strengthen me for the battles ahead.
Give me courage for all the trials,
     and grace for all the joys.
Help me to be a happy, holy person,
     free from every wrong desire,
     from everything contrary to thy mind.
Grant me more and more of the resurrection life;
     may it rule over me,
     may I walk in its power,
     and be strengthened through its influence.
               Valley of Vision, "Crucifixion and Resurrection", pg 172

Sunday, February 22, 2015

investing in their hearts

I recently posted about the Valentine's lunch Mr. R and I had with our youngest daughters. After we ate, the girls' daddy went back to work. However, since the older kids were still off skiing, I had several hours to invest in strengthening my relationship with Hope (12) and Eliana (10). I knew the best way to do that was to create an afternoon of shared fun.

First, we made a stop at Hobby Lobby looking for props for a photo shoot. We spent about an hour slowly combing the aisles. This was great "girl time", and my daughters chattered away sharing their thoughts about what they saw at the giant craft store. I enjoyed getting to know the girls' maturing tastes on a whole new level.

Next we drove to the nearby college where their oldest siblings took music lessons for years. I learned during a maternity shoot I with did with Alison last summer that the two-story windows in the lobby of the music building make it a great photo studio. On this Friday afternoon the area was full of light and devoid of people. Perfect!

I started with some "serious" photos of each girl starting with Hope.

I couldn't help but take a picture of her cowgirl boots ~ new that morning. Hope was so happy to have them. She'd been dreaming of owning just such footwear for a long time. She must have told me "Thank you!" at least a dozen times that day for the boots.

I'd asked the girls to bring their favorite stuffed animal as a photo prop, and Hope chose "Brownie" an extra-large dog we gave her on her fourth birthday when she was still extra-small.

Eliana brought the big frog that sits atop her bed each day and sleeps with her at night. Her affectionate name for her favorite animal is Froggie.

Next I took a few pictures of Eliana by herself.

Those of you who know Eliana well will recognize the look on her face here as being very "her."

This little girl who was six when we adopted her is now nearly as tall as I am. We suspect she will be the tallest of the females in the family when she's full grown.

After we'd taken this handful of "serious" photos, we started trying some silly stuff. The result was just what I was hoping for ~ a great deal of laughter.

The girls modeled the latest in designer eye wear.

Then I pulled out another find from our shopping trip. For $3 we'd been able to purchase an entire roll of Valentine's-pink toile. Hope puzzled a bit over what to do with the first...

..but it didn't take long before the girls' imaginations took hold. They started wrapping each other...round and round and...

As they swaddled each other, the giggles continued.

Once they were gift-wrapped in the ribbon, they wanted to go outdoors to the long stretch of lawn just outside the college building...

...and the girls took off at a run.

Then they turned around and raced back toward me.

Eliana trailed the ribbon behind her,

then bunched it up for a new hat.

Hope got creative quickly and told Eliana that she wanted to make a bridal veil for her.

Hope's "bride" wore her adornment beautifully.

As the afternoon sun started to dip behind the horizon, I wanted to make sure that I got a serious photo of these two girls together. They are such close friends!

I'd recently read about sisters kissing one another in a photography book, so I asked Hope to give Eliana a smooch.

Eliana's facial expressions were...


Unexpectedly, Eliana turned on Hope with an equally exaggerated smooch.

Hope immediately wiped off the kiss while Eliana was seized with a fit of laughter.

We finished our Valentine's Day sister shoot by taking a peek at a fun piece of artwork we'd found on sale at Hobby Lobby. We're in the process of updating the girls' bedroom which they share with Faith. This large painting had the happy feeling of the bedspreads we'd already purchased. Taking this photo also allowed me to showcase Hope's beloved cowgirl boots again.

Although I will treasure these photos as the girls grow, the pictures weren't the point. My desire was to create an afternoon of fun that would bond the three of us for the years to come. Although our girls are just tweens right now, before we know it they will enter that season of teenage self-discovery... a time when a strong, loving parent-child relationship can make all the difference. God kindly provided just exactly what I had hoped for in that afternoon. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

got enough courage to watch this on valentine's day?

ReMoved from HESCHLE on Vimeo.

Daddy's Little Valentines

Mrs. R:

Our family has stumbled upon a new tradition over the past two years. On the Friday of Valentine's Day weekend, our kiddos who are high school age and up go on a one-day ski trip with our church. That leaves us with just our two youngest at home. We've tried to make the day special for Hope Alina and Eliana by doing something way out of the norm. Yesterday we took just the two of them out to lunch at the fanciest restaurant in town. We even got dressed up for the special event! Love these two Valentine's whom the Lord added to our family through older-child adoption! (Eliana --on the left-- was 6 when we adopted her and is now 10. Hope was 3 when upon her adoption and is now 12.)

After Dad rose from the chair, a bit of sister silliness ensued. We thank God for the friendship these siblings share!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

swept away by love

Mrs. R:

When Alison, Eric and William visited at Thanksgiving, we were able to take advantage of a warm day to get in a photo shoot. The goal was to take advantage of the late afternoon light to get a Christmas card picture for the young family's use. Here's the outcome:

At one point, William's daddy decided it was time for 7-week-old Willy to have his first ride on momma's shoulders.

Silliness ensued.

After the horseplay, we continued in our efforts to capture just the right Christmas card image. The photo above is the one Eric and Alison ultimately chose.

And here are few outtakes. Little Willy's expressions as his momma and daddy kissed on him were priceless. Who knew one so young could say so much!

Eventually a watching auntie took her nephew inside the house, and I had the chance to take a few pictures of the love birds who marked their first anniversary in early October. After a quiet celebration on the day of their anniversary, Alison went into labor that night. We thank God for their marriage and their precious son. (For an update on William, see Willy's First Solids at Alison's blog)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

what if her mother had been aborted?

Placing a child for adoption creates a multi-generational legacy.

The precious girl in the picture above is Brielle, the daughter of Anna, our oldest child. We give thanks to God that Anna's birthmother preserved Anna's life and allowed us to raise her. We can't even begin to comprehend a world without Brielle... or Anna!