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 May. 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.)

Blown Away by the Blessing of God

IMG_7811Most of you have heard our big news by now, but for those of you who haven’t, we’re going to be grandparents again—to another set of twins!! You heard me right. Twins again! After waiting and praying with Kristin and Shawn for years, God blessed them beyond our wildest hopes and gave them twin baby boys, and now we’ve got another miracle unfolding with our other daughter Kelli and her husband Jake!

Kelli bravely and beautifully shared their miracle in progress on Facebook earlier this month and has given me permission to share it here as well. May their story bless and encourage you!

“This is going to be a long post, but I feel I need to share every word of it. Some of you may know, Jake and I have been trying to get pregnant for a long time now. I get teary-eyed thinking about how tough the last three years have been. Every month we hoped and prayed, and every month we were disappointed. We tried to remain faithful, telling ourselves God had a plan, but you can’t help but wonder why God would put you through such a terrible experience. The worst part was answering the same question over and over, “When are you guys going to have some kids, what are you waiting for?”

About a year ago we decided to get help and started seeing a fertility specialist in Kansas City. After some tests and minor procedures, I got pregnant in October. I had a positive pregnancy test on a Monday and miscarried by Friday. It was the toughest week of the entire journey.

After the miscarriage, we decided to take a break from the doctors and the procedures and enjoy the holidays. The plan was to wait until the beginning of the year to decide whether we should keep trying, or start the adoption process. If we kept trying, it would require some more serious medical procedures.

In early December, our pastor gave a sermon on the birth of John the Baptist. His mother, Elizabeth, was barren, but maintained her faith and was eventually blessed. I fought tears the entire morning. At the end of the service, Bro. Aaron asked to pray with us. We had never told him of our struggle, he just told us he felt lead to pray with us, but didn’t know what to pray for. At this point, I lost it. I briefly told him about our troubles and we said a short prayer.

Two weeks later I knew I was pregnant before I even took a test, even though we hadn’t been to the specialist in months. The initial blood work confirmed it! The numbers were much higher than they were in October. After four weeks of anxiety, we finally had our first office appointment. Right away we were able to see a little squirming baby and hear its precious heartbeat. Then we saw the second heartbeat. That’s right, two heartbeats, two babies!!!

Our journey over the last three years is proof God answers prayers, but he does it according to His plan, not ours. Sometimes you even get twice what you prayed for! We continue to be cautiously optimistic, but wanted to share with everyone the miracle God has done in our lives, and celebrate these two lives. We appreciate the continued prayers.”

And now back to me—and what can I say except that we are all blown away by the blessing of God! Completely, undeniably blown away by his mercy, by his above and beyond blessing in our family’s lives. Long-term heartache for both of our daughters and their husbands—and us as well—turned to joy unspeakable. Our hearts overflow is almost an understatement!

As you join in our joy and praise to God, will you join us in prayer as well? Will you pray that all will go well with Kelli’s pregnancy and that the babies will grow and develop as they should? They are due on September 7th, but most twins come a few weeks early. I will be one busy grandma with one set of twins about an hour away and another set nearly six hours away! Busy, but extremely happy—and tired since I will also be trying to market my first book! Someone pass the vitamins, huh? LOL

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them.’ The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” Psalm 126:2-3

*When have you been blown away by the blessing of God?

*My photo

Summer Photo Fun 2015 Kick-Off: Our Grandbabies!

11401028_10153332219873232_7315631794514911161_nIt’s time for Summer Photo Fun here on the blog once again, and I’m doing what any self-respecting new grandma would do—feature her grandbabies, right?!

After all, Isaiah and James are the big news of the year for us so it seems only fitting to kick off this year’s Summer Photo Fun with a sample of their off-the-charts cuteness. Hey, I’m their grandma—I can’t help it if I think they’re the cutest babies around!

For those of you who may not know, each year during July and early August, I feature some fun photo posts rather than my usual inspirational/devotional style posts. Since photos can really brighten our days at times and since I’ll also be including a verse from the Bible, my hope is that you’ll still leave here feeling refreshed or nourished in some way.

So dear friends, may my sweet grandsons brighten your day today—they certainly brighten mine!

“…we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8b

IMG_5277Here and above, Isaiah is on the left and James on the right. How I love them!

IMG_1878 - CopyIsaiah makes lots of great facial expressions and is very excitable. He loves to be tickled and loves to laugh. Such a sweetheart.

imagejpeg_0James is our laid back little guy. He locks eyes with you and can charm the socks off of you. Such a cutie-pie.

10830566_10153241357913232_3400181745976821087_oOkay, be honest. Have you ever seen anything cuter than this?! :)

IMG_5261Oh my goodness, how I love spending time with these two precious little blessings!

11351276_10153332220013232_2895065622805406774_nBrothers forever. I think they’re going to be the best of friends. Our family is so blessed!

*Which shot is your favorite? To me, they’re all favorites! :)

*Photos by me and my daughters Kristin and Kelli

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out the first of August. Sign up is free and to the right!