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.)

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.

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

Blogging Break Calls for Grandson Photo Fun!

IMG_4808Hey everyone, I’m taking an extended Spring Break blogging break but will be back two weeks from today on March 28th. Sometimes I’m so busy over spring break that it’s much like that age old dilemma of needing a vacation to recover from vacation. So doggone it, I’m going to do it. I’m going to extend my blogging break to two weeks so I can give myself a little more leeway. Makes sense to me!

And what better to leave up my blog in the meantime than a few photos of my adorable grandsons, huh? I don’t post many pics of them here on my blog but now seems like the perfect time to do it. Spring break is for fun—and what could be more fun than twin grandsons?!

The photo above was taken on Isaiah and James’ first birthday in January. Isaiah is on the right and James is on the left. Hope you enjoy seeing our precious boys once again! See you in a couple of weeks!

IMG_4774These boys are on the move all the time now so it’s a challenge to get good photos of them anymore! :)

12509096_10153792390803232_4285918969609564987_nOur sweet Isaiah. Love him so much!

1929039_10153792391033232_4715517595459124427_nOur precious James. Love him equally as much!

IMG_5139Did I mention how busy they are? :)

IMG_4780And yes, they are even cute from behind! We are so blessed!

“From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise . . .” Psalm 8:2a

*What little ones do you love like crazy? Tell me about them!

*Photos by Kristin and me