Grandson Photo Fun Plus July Blogging Break

*Don’t miss a special giveaway going on over on my Mother of the Bride Blog. You don’t have to be a mother of the bride to win!

When the month of July rolls around each year, that means it’s time for some Summer Photo Fun here on the blog. And what better kind of photo fun to feature this year than Grandson Photo Fun, right? How can I not share this kind of sweetness with you!

For those of you who don’t already know, God has blessed us with TWO sets of twin grandsons! Isaiah and James are pictured above on the left (James on left, Isaiah on right) and belong to our daughter Kristin and her husband Shawn. Samuel and Silas are on the right (Silas on left, Samuel on right) and belong to our daughter Kelli and her husband Jake. Isaiah and James are now 2 ½ years old and Samuel and Silas will be 11 months old in a few days. We love these little guys beyond words. And yes, they keep us hopping!

Life is so busy for me right now—and July is always extra busy when my husband is on vacation for a few weeks—so I’m going to take a blogging  break and leave these photos of our sweet boys up here on the blog for the next few weeks. Hope you enjoy seeing these little sweethearts—and I will be back with regular weekly blog posts in a few weeks. Have a great July!

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14 NIV

Sweet Samuel

Busy Silas

*I have some family events and travel scheduled for July. Will you be doing anything special this month?

The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early August. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive $15 cash (summer mad money!) and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

A Prayer for Your Summer Plus My May Blogging Break

As I mentioned in my Spirit and Soul Refreshment for Busy Lives post a couple of weeks ago, May can be one of the busiest months of the year. And this year is no exception for me. Probably not for you either, huh?

To do my part in allowing a little breathing room, I’m taking a blogging break the last half of this month. So no worries if it appears I’ve abandoned my blog over the next couple of weeks. I’ll be back with regular weekly posts sometime when June is bustin’ out all over. Let’s say June 6th. June should be in full bustin’ mode by then, right?

Before I break away, though, I’d love to pray for us all as we prepare to head into summer and all that it holds. May this prayer be a blessing to you as we gear up for the upcoming summer season. Feel free to keep it handy to give needed encouragement and refreshment as the days and weeks unfolds.

Pray with me, won’t you?

Lord, you are the Maker of every season and we thank you for the gift of summer. It’s a time to break from many of our normal routines and enjoy more time outdoors in your glorious creation, more time with our families and friends, and more opportunities for travel adventures. Thanks so much for such a wonderful gift.

Guide us, Lord, as we make plans. Help us not to pack so much into the fleeting weeks of summer that we end up feeling stressed rather than refreshed. And please grant your blessing, Lord, that all logistics for special activities and travels will flow smoothly so we can have truly refreshing times instead of those marked by frustration or disappointment. We don’t take mercies like this for granted so we ask humbly and thank you in advance.

Please protect us, Lord, as we do things like hike and swim and play sports. Watch over us, please, in our travels so that we will arrive safely at every destination. Protect us as well from our enemy Satan as he continues to try to undermine our relationship with you and with others. He doesn’t take a season off. Please surround us with your protection.

And finally, Lord, please bless us with lots of sweet times with you and with loved ones this summer. Grant us memories that will make us smile for years to come and also grant us periods of rest that will refresh and re-energize us to get back to normal routines in the fall. And may we shine the light of your love everywhere we go and in all that we do. May you be glorified in our summer, O Lord! In your precious name we pray, Amen.

“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us” Psalm 67:1 NIV

*Do you have any special plans or activities that you’re looking forward to this summer? I’d love to hear about it!

The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out early this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*My photo (taken in the Cleveland Botanical Garden)

Blogging Break Plus Our New Grandbabies!

SamSi1 (Si on left, Sam on right)Just in time for Summer Photo Fun—our new set of twin grandbabies are here! That’s right, this is our second set of twin grandbabies in just over 19 months! First Kristin and Shawn made us grandparents to twins, and now it is Kelli and Jake’s turn. Amazing, fun, and miraculous all rolled into one!

So now allow me to introduce our newest little loves—Samuel and Silas! Samuel is on the right above and Silas is on the left. They weighed in at 5 lb 7 oz and 4 lb 3 oz respectively. They arrived almost a month early, but everyone is doing well and we are oh so grateful to God for this new beyond-belief blessing in our lives. Thank you to each one of you who have prayed for them and for Kelli and Jake. Please continue to keep them in your prayers. Samuel and Silas are still in the NICU as of today, learning to eat better on their own and gaining the strength to do so. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this, but we are so in love with our new little guys!

Also, since my summer has already been very busy and since the next several weeks (months and years! Ha!) promise to be extremely busy as well, I’m taking a little blogging break. When I come back after Labor Day, Summer Photo Fun will be over for another year, and I’ll start back with more of the inspirational posts you usually see here. Enjoy the waning days of summer, friends. As for me, I’ll be in Grandma heaven!

The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” Psalm 126:3

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*What joy has God blessed you with lately?

*The newest issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Photos by family members

Summer Photo Fun: Sweet Grandsons Isaiah and James

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*Our new set of twin grandsons arrived last week! I will try to have a post featuring them later this week. They have been in NICU so it can be challenging to get good photos. They are doing well, though, and we are overjoyed!

You knew I couldn’t let Summer Photo Fun get by without featuring some photos of our sweet grandsons Isaiah and James, right? After all, they are one of the best parts of our lives, and I would be remiss if I didn’t share them with you!

So today’s the day—here’s a little photo fun featuring our first two dearly loved grandsons. They are growing up so fast. What one does, the other has to as well—whether cute or naughty :) And yes, that in itself makes them especially adorable :) Oh how we love them!

IMG_6635They loved seeing the chickens at Aunt Kelli and Uncle Jake’s country home in July.

IMG_6596They love playing with the kitchen set that used to be their mama’s. Their aprons were made for them by our long-time friend Pam. They love wearing them :)

IMG_6647Of course they’re learning a love for music and piano from their musical mama. Notice in the background, shelves have been cleared and other areas barricaded for their visit :)

IMG_6342Reading with Grandpa. These boys love books!

IMG_6833Our sweet boys. Brothers and friends for life!

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”  Proverbs 17:17 NIV

*Do you have brothers and sisters? Do you enjoy a special bond?

*The newest issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out earlier this month. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*All photos are mine except for the next to last one. That one is Kristin’s.

Summer Photo Fun: Butterfly Beauty

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As we continue Summer Photo Fun, I’ve got some butterfly beauty headed your way today. Butterflies flitting through the air and lighting on one flower and then another seem almost magical, don’t they? They definitely deserve to be featured in one of my Summer Photo Fun posts.

So friends, enjoy the exquisite and delicate beauty of one of God’s amazing creations today. Enjoy some butterfly beauty!

How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” Psalm 104:24

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Engleman Aster and butterfly

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*Which is your favorite photo? Have you ever visited a butterfly garden?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, came out last week. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*My photos