We’ve been spending a lot of time outside enjoying the beautiful fall weather and numerous beautiful hiking spots and parks with walking trails – so many around here and it’s been one of our favorite things about this city so far. These are such precious days with our children…walking in the woods with them, exploring and learning more about who God is making them to be. Pastor-husband and I got to sneak away yesterday afternoon for a little date. We hiked and then went to a little Ethiopian restaurant where we had a gift-card to. It was lovely – especially the un-interrupted talking time the older girls and I enjoyed a hike together a few days ago up stone mountain as well. They did amazing on the big climb. We found a little “cave” and had lunch together under there. And we also had some sweet friends stop for a quick visit this past week and we went to the hiking spot we found and enjoyed a beautiful afternoon in the woods together.
We are thankful to have found a pediatrician here. All 4 littles were past due for their check ups so, Figgins style, we booked all 4 of their appointments at one time. There were hearing tests, eye exams, belly pokes, weight and height checks and finger pricks. Oh, and I was responsible for making sure 3 certain girls could pee in a cup. That’s a lot of fun. Not. Every-one checked out healthy with only a few minor things and we are so thankful for Gods sustaining grace in their health which we do not take for granted. Ash had to go back for a blood-draw for an allergy test due to some bad eczema flare-ups when we moved here. She is allergic to dust mites. Kind of laughable since they are everywhere. We are thankful it wasn’t worse or a large number of things which could have made life way more complicated. The kids are now 2,5,7 and 9 until a couple of months when we will celebrate 3 more of their birthdays. We had some friends come and visit and Mimi and papa came for another visit and we celebrated their 40th anniversary with a double- date to a local Italian pizza place. It was amazing. We just recently visited our farm friends again and had a lovely time. Life is full. We are blessed.
Just like that and my baby girl is 5. Newborn to 5 seems like so much change. We are so thankful for these years that God has given to our sweet Elliana Joy. What joy she brings us. And to think that God graced us with her during these past years filled with hardship and change – was just such an act of kindness. This year she requested a “Paddington Bear” party as we’ve been reading these books as of late. We took some cake and balloons to a local lark and invited a few new friends and neighbors. She had a blast. It’s amazing how happy children are with the simple things.
Just for fun, here are some old ones of Ellie, thankful for sweet memories…EllenI think it was you who wisely said that you’re convinced part of the pain in childbearing addressed in the Bible includes watching our children grow up and get ready to leave the nest. I couldn’t agree more.
The kids and I just finished a biography on Nate Saint. They begged me to finish the book tonight before bed, so I literally read for an hour and we finished the book trying to choke back the tears. These missionary’s lives were beautiful. And the wives of these 5 men….how often do we give thought to the fact that there were 9 little children (1 baby in the womb) who were left on the mission field without daddies….their widow moms trying to cling to a faith that their husbands had layed their lives down for. These women’s lives kept going, they had to get up and feed crying babies in the middle of the night while weeping at the reality of the lives that lay before them without their men by their sides. This video interview of the surviving women is simply beautiful. These women….and their faith. It really puts life into perspective. And on a completely different note, I listened to these wise words today by John Piper about dieting, Botox, plastic surgery and body image – a fresh reminder that our outward appearance is so unimportant compared to God getting the glory when people look at us. Oh, what a culture we have to battle against!
We enjoyed a visit from Mimi and papa this past weekend, we are putting our guest bedroom (aka Malachi’s room) to good use…equipped with a bed that turns into a king. We are getting another visit from some dear friends this weekend coming up too. Sometimes living away makes the time you spend together with family and friends much more meaningful. It also determines real and lasting relationships – though we know it’s not possible for everyone to make the trek. Nonetheless, we are grateful..
We headed up to north Georgia to Ellijay’s Red Apple Barn and ventured out to the orchards on a picturesque tractor ride with our baskets. I grew up apple picking so this was special to be able to see the kids experience it for the first time. Sadly, Kevin was working and unable to join us. There’s always next year…here are a few other snippets from life these days as well.
We just returned from our yearly beach trip with my family (minus my oldest brother and his family – we were sad they couldn’t make it this year). We are so thankful for this little get-away to Isle of the Palms and for time to be with family. It’s never perfect, always tiring but a blessing, nonetheless. My parents are so generous to do this for us and we have made many a special memory together for which we are grateful. We were also especially thankful to get-away this year despite Kevin’s new job. His supervisor was gracious to allow him to join us and it was good for him also because the weeks leading up to the beach were very full with campus life. I didn’t take as many pictures this year, but did manage to get several good ones.
A few days ago the girls and I got all fancied up, pulled out the wedding china, made whipped cream and biscuits, put on some classical music and sat down to afternoon tea. We are studying Canada right now and learned that in British Columbia they still carry on the high tea tradition. We even watched a video to remind us of proper etiquette. It was just lovely, really, and such a sweet time to slow down the flying minutes for a bit and enjoy my girls.