We’re Here!

We loaded up trucks on March 30…

drove to our new home in southcentral Kansas on the 31st…

and unloaded trucks on April 1st.

We were blessed by a fabulous amount of help from loving friends and family on both ends of our journey, and are so very thankful.

Jonathan spent this week back in Missouri, finishing up work for Lowe’s and working on our old house. Tina and Sue had come and cleaned the house, shaving many hours off of his work time there (thank you again, dear ones!). Alan came out and helped one evening, and Dad and Mom Smith made a big contribution to finishing up things at the old place – thank you! Jonathan got home in the wee hours of the morning this morning, and we are all thrilled to have him back.

The Blessings and I spent the week organizing and unpacking boxes and getting a little bit settled – they are wonderful helpers. We had visits from friends several times, and got to meet some of our neighbors (who brought us food!). And we took some lovely walks.

It has been a joy to see the Blessings’ growing appreciation for the beauty of this area which is so dear to their parents’ hearts. For instance, one evening Katie and I walked out in the field to see the sunset. She took a deep breath and sighed out, “I just love the open land.” Me too, sweet one. Me too.

While we all are missing our Missouri friends, it is also a joy to begin to reconnect with friends from the area. Many folks we haven’t yet gotten to see, but it’s a blessing to move and to already have a network of familiar faces, and friends eager to help and fellowship. Becki and I got all teary yesterday hearing our children laugh and play… so many years of missing each other and longing for our children to grow up together.

There will be more pictures in the coming weeks, I’m sure, but here’s a glimpse of our new place from when you turn into the driveway.

Mid-winter Gratitude

We made a “dash” trip back home to Hutchinson this last weekend, leaving Friday evening and arriving back at our Missouri home this morning at 7am. The whirlwind trip was prompted by the illness of one of Jonathan’s aunts, who has been tentatively diagnosed with a rare and serious type of lung cancer. Aunt Elaine’s diagnosis was a striking reminder of how important family is, and we felt it was important to gather with the extended family to support her and each other. Our weekend also included time with some dear friends and a look at a neat farm house. It was definitely worth the drive, and though we would have loved to stay longer, we’re glad we went.

And the gifts…
#203-225
Winter babies born to friends
Traveling mercies
Hard circumstances that draw family together
Gray and white hairs
Precious time with precious friends
With Becki, my dear friend and "sister"
Seeing our friends’ dream-come-true farm
Reminders that the Great Planner has everything under control
A trip home
Long views
Straight Roads
Sky view from horizon to horizon
Orion – cystal clear in the sky, from the middle of town. Love small town Kansas
Prayer Warrior Parents
Little boy bearing gifts
Anniversary Bibles (finally spent our ann. gift, Papa and Mama – love them, thank you!)
Package delivery pre-storm
Time with G’ma Smith for Elanor
Parenting growing pains
A warm house while the sleet comes down for hours
Icy Yew
Firewood… just in case
Safety for Dad S. and Lynn traveling to Hutch overnight
A tree felled in November that will not be falling in this ice
Big baby push ups

holy experience

December This-and-That (A Poly-Pictured Post)

A conglomerate post in which I shall gather “strings” from December not covered in other (existing or future) posts:

Dad Smith’s Birthday
The day after we arrived home from Florida was Dad Smith’s birthday. We didn’t make it out of bed for church, but Dad and Mom Smith were gracious enough to join us here for supper, catching up, and ice cream/cake so that we didn’t have to haul ourselves out and about. Except Jonathan, who did a post-trip grocery run, including buying a birthday cake – what a man!
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Butchering Christmas Tom
Dad and Mom Smith also came over a few days later to help butcher Christmas Tom so he would be ready for the big day. For the sake of my more sensitive friends, I’m not including any shots that are too exciting. 🙂

Cuddling Kitties
Last winter, this was our dog Juilin’s chair. This winter, he is relegated to the little rocker while the cats hog the comfy chair. But aren’t they cute?

The Monday following Christmas, we enjoyed the snow with some friends who came over to sled and play. I didn’t get as many pictures as I would have liked, but here’s a taste of the fun:

At two days shy of his 8 month birthday, Andrew tried his first not-Mama’s-milk food. His response was pretty varied, but I think he’s decided that sweet potatoes are okay.

A Visit from the Cousins!

We met up with my sister-in-love and The Cousins at Katie’s wedding on June 26. Ethan and Isaiah rode home with us that night while our girls stayed the night in KC with Beka, Chloe and Abigail, who drove over the next day. Five boys, ages 9-14, plus a eager-to-imitate three year old made for quite an entertaining drive across Missouri! Andrew was with us too, of course, but he didn’t get in on the action this trip.

Though our time with Beka and the Cousins was too short, it was oh so sweet. We made it to meeting on Sunday, the boys had a blast Sunday afternoon doing guy stuff, and Beka and the girls joined us Sunday evening. They stayed until Tuesday afternoon, and we crammed in lots of memories!

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:




















A Precious Wedding

On Saturday, June 26, a very special friend of mine* got married. We drove from one side of Missouri to the other and back again in one day to be there, and it was so worth it to see Katie and Craig get married!

I finished nursing Andrew shortly before the processional began, and didn’t want to go in in the midst of it, so I waited in the back, watching through the big windows and taking pictures of the wedding party.

The beautiful bride with my adorable nieces, Abigail and Chloe, who were her flower girls. My sis-in-love Beka was her matron of honor, but I somehow missed getting a picture of her.

Katie’s dad, Dan, died five years ago after a battle with cancer. Before her brother Mike walked her down the aisle, the song “Daddy’s Hands” was played as a tribute to Dan.(that’s our nephew Isaiah on the other side of Katie, and Beka’s dad in the background)

Ethan (Eric & Beka’s oldest) played Cannon in D for the processional, and did a terrific job. Instead of the two times through he planned, he played it over and over, about six times, as there were some hold ups in the back. He handled it like a professional, and I was so proud of him!

One of the things Katie and I share is a love for the color purple, and purple abounded at her wedding. It was gorgeous, and I wish I had taken more and better pictures.

The guys entertained themselves during the reception. I’m guessing Katie didn’t guess that her pretty sparklies would be used for battle strategy, but boys will be boys!
Davey and Josiah
Ethan and Barak
Jonathan figuring out a math formula

^When I was in eighth grade, I found myself rather lonely and without any close friends at our small Christian school. I starting praying for the Father to bring me a friend. It seemed rather daring to pray such a thing. But in the middle of the school year, along came Karla (Katie for her initials K.T). Nervous about switching schools, especially in the middle of the year, she was praying that God would have a friend ready for her. And He graciously brought us together!

We shared many years of laughter and tears (mostly laughter), and I often think of Katie when I think of answered prayer. Over the years and miles, we haven’t done a good job of staying in touch, but she will always be precious to me.

The Meeting of the May Day Babies

Some of you may remember me mentioning in my labor progress reports that friends of ours also had a baby on May 1st. Darling Elisabeth was born at home just after midnight and was taken to the hospital right away because she was born with spina bifida. She has the most serious type of spina bifida, but the weeks since her birth have been full of miracles, and she is doing remarkably well.

We were thrilled to get to meet Elisabeth this past Sunday at the FoMM picnic. Here are some cute pictures of our treasures together:
About the same weight, but the long and the short of it!

They’re both gazing at Jen in this one – so cute!
Jen, Elisabeth, Andrew, and I
Beautiful Blessings!

BBC Weekend Family Camp

Last weekend, most of the folks from our chapel headed to Dayspring Bible Camp for a weekend family camp. Things didn’t officially kick off until Saturday morning, but we and Jonathan’s parents went down Friday night because that’s easier (and more fun!) for us than getting up way early Saturday morning and driving a couple hours. We made a little campfire and cooked hot dogs/braats over the fire, ate apples and chips, sang, etc, while we waited for Dad and Mom Smith to arrive. After they got there, we wound up at our cabin playing canasta till about 1 in the morning. Fun times!

Saturday and Sunday were full of fellowship, fun, canoing, fishing, learning, etc.



Our speaker for the weekend was Dr. Don Patten from Emmaus Bible College (where I attended a couple years of college). He taught on church history, specifically early church history. I found it fascinating and am inspired both to learn more and to provide opportunities for my children to learn. Upcoming post on this topic!

It was a great weekend and we all had lots of fun, even with little adventures like Stephen putting his hand on top of G’pa and G’ma’s heater and Jonathan overturning into the creek. We are thankful for our chapel family and love this weekend to spend lots of time together!

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