Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A New York City Spectacular

My family was in town for Thanksgiving last week.  There were ten of us total.  My Grams and my sister-in-law Becky had not been to NYC before, so we gave them a whirlwind tour on Friday.  Among other activities, we took the Staten Island Ferry from Manhattan to Staten Island, and back again.  It was sunset, and the view was spectacular!

Staten Island Ferry, NYC skyline, and Statue of Liberty with the Godbys
We watched the City go from this…

NYC at Thanksgiving from Kenny & Becky

NYC sunset panoramic
{the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline}

Staten Island Ferry, NYC skyline, and Statue of Liberty with the Godbys
…to this beautiful orange glow reflecting off the glass buildings….

Staten Island Ferry, NYC skyline, and Statue of Liberty with the Godbys
…to amazing shades of purple!

Staten Island Ferry, NYC skyline, and Statue of Liberty with the Godbys
Lady Liberty gave us a show all her own.

Staten Island Ferry, NYC skyline, and Statue of Liberty with the Godbys

Staten Island Ferry, NYC skyline, and Statue of Liberty with the Godbys

Staten Island Ferry, NYC skyline, and Statue of Liberty with the Godbys

Staten Island Ferry, NYC skyline, and Statue of Liberty with the Godbys
{“Pa” and “Ma” as Elaine calls them}

Staten Island Ferry, NYC skyline, and Statue of Liberty with the Godbys
{P.D.A. – public display of affection}

Staten Island Ferry, NYC skyline, and Statue of Liberty with the Godbys
{Ben, Elaine, Me, & Nolan in front of the Verrazano Bridge}

Staten Island Ferry, NYC skyline, and Statue of Liberty with the Godbys
{Kenny & his bride Becky with Lady Liberty in the distance}

Staten Island Ferry, NYC skyline, and Statue of Liberty with the Godbys
{Wesley & his niece}

As we watched the sun set and the sky turn deep shades of colors, I was reminded of this verse written by King David:  “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” (Psalm 19:1)

David had the privilege of watching the sun set over the Promised Land.  I guess we got to see one of the next best things when we watched the sun slip away over a free America and her symbol of liberty.  It’s a close rival to a sunset over the Colorado Rocky Mountains!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving JPG

We sang this song at our Thanksgiving Praise service last night.  It’s been a while since I have sung it and I really enjoyed the words.  I wanted to share them with you on this Thanksgiving Day.

Thanks to God for My Redeemer
words by August Ludwig Storm (Swedish)
translated by Carl E. Backstrom

Thanks to God for my Redeemer,
Thanks for all Thou dost provide!
Thanks for times now but a mem’ry,
Thanks for Jesus by my side!
Thanks for pleasant, cheerful springtime,
Thanks for summer, winter, fall!
Thanks for tears by now forgotten,
Thanks for peace within my soul!

Thanks for prayers that Thou hast answered,
Thanks for what Thou dost deny!
Thanks for storms that I have weathered,
Thanks for all Thou dost supply!
Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure,
Thanks for comfort in despair!
Thanks for grace that none can measure,
Thanks for love beyond compare!

Thanks for roses by the wayside,
Thanks for thorns their stems contain!
Thanks for homes and thanks for fireside,
Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain!
Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow,
Thanks for heav’nly peace with Thee!
Thanks for hope in the tomorrow,
Thanks thro’ all eternity!

I really like the second stanza.  It just seems to sum things up for me right now.  As with many people, the economic difficulties facing our country are also facing our family.  Things have been difficult.  But God is faithful, and He has faithfully provided all of our needs and more.  Here is just a little taste of what God has done for us…Recently we didn’t have the money to make our rent payment.  Ben had lost several days of work because there isn’t much work at the shop right now.  We saw God provide our rent money in one weekend.

God has also been there for me emotionally.  I feel like I have had a hard adjustment to being a mommy of two kids.  There have been up days, and many down days.  It’s one of those storms that I have weathered.  I’m so thankful that when I wanted to give up, God never gave up on me.  He never left me or forsook me.  He was by my side, bringing me through.  Sometimes I had to choose to speak the truth to my heart, even when I didn’t think I wanted to hear it.  Psalm 46:7 has been precious to me: “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”

This year I feel so overwhelmed when I consider everything for which I have to be thankful.  Elaine is learning some short memory verses.  One of them seems very fitting to close this post:

Truly God is good.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

We Love Books!

Elaine reading books to Nolan
Elaine is afraid of the vacuum.  So anytime I get it out, she runs for the couch.  It is her safe zone.  The other day when I was vacuuming I gave her the task of entertaining Nolan.  This is how they were when I finished my work – each smiling, each with a book in hand!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Brooklyn Children’s Museum

Last week we went to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum with some friends.  Elaine, Havilah, and Adelei had a fabulous time!  There is a Tot area for kids under 5.  They have a water area, craft time, music makers, a sandbox, dress-ups, and other fun things to play with.  We spend the time before lunch exploring this area.

Brooklyn Children's Museum
Elaine playing with the water toys.  The apron didn’t do her much good – her sleeves & sweater were drenched!

Brooklyn Children's Museum
Adelei had a good time too!

Brooklyn Children's Museum
Havilah was the only one tall enough to stand up in the middle of the water!

Brooklyn Children's Museum
{the girlies…Elaine, Havilah, & Adelei}

After lunch we headed into the main part of the museum.  They have a nature center where the kids can learn to plan a garden, walk through and explore wildlife & birds, and learn about sea life.

Brooklyn Children's Museum
Havilah planting a garden.  She spent a lot of time in this area!

Brooklyn Children's Museum
Elaine found some lettuce!

Brooklyn Children's Museum
Elaine likes to copy Havilah…which has worked in my favor when it comes to potty training!

Brooklyn Children's Museum
{My kiddos}
In the sea area there was a play mat by an aquarium.  There were sea animal puppets and seaweed hanging from the ceiling.  Nolan enjoyed getting out of the stroller to roll around.  Elaine took the opportunity to nab his pacifier!

Brooklyn Children's Museum
{Nolan & Ian}
The day wasn’t as much fun for the boys, but I think they still enjoyed it!  And yes, I did dress Nolan in camo because his stroller is pink (another hand-me-down from his sister)!

The next section of the museum includes multi-cultural hands-on fun.  There is a pizza parlor where the kids can take orders and then create and bake pizzas (all of the crusts were bean bags, and the toppings were felt).  There was a grocery store where they could load up their shopping baskets with food and put it down the conveyor belt.  There was a Mexican bakery and a Chinese card shop.  But the biggest hit was the MTA city bus.  The driver’s seat was in high demand!

Brooklyn Children's Museum
Elaine “shopping”.  She loved the store.  Trouble is she insisted on filling her basket, and then she kept saying, “hebby, hebby” (heavy) because she couldn’t carry it.

Brooklyn Children's Museum
Elaine driving the city bus.  Good thing she can’t get a driver’s license yet!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Software…

I received new digital scrapbooking software for my birthday.  I got to play around a little with it tonight…

I Love You B&W

I love you

I can’t wait to do the baby books! 
{thanks Mom & Dad}

Monday, November 14, 2011

it’s the little things…

…that make me smile.  Here are a few from my birthday through today.

Elaine's purple velvet dress from Grandma Paul
{Elaine in her new dress and boots}

{spices organized}
I used some money that Ben’s Grandma sent for my birthday to get new magnetic spice canisters that will hang on my wall rather than sit on my counter!  And I had no clue that I used this many spices until I started cleaning and organizing!

{the return of the Gingerbread Latte}
Seriously…does it get any better?

{Longaberger baskets and hooks for my d├ęcor}
from Ben’s parents for my birthday.  I love baskets!

Nolan standing by tub
{Nolan’s fluffy bum and chubby legs}
And yes, he is standing my himself watching Elaine in the tub.  And yes, he almost fell and bonked his head on the toilet.

{digital scrapbooking software}
from my parents for my birthday.  I can’t wait to start!

Nolan’s First Cereal

We gave Nolan his first taste of “real food” last night.  Elaine enjoyed helping, but I don’t think Nolan enjoyed being gagged by the spoon that she shoved in his mouth!

Nolan's First Cereal
{chewing on the spoon before we started}

Nolan's First Cereal
{first taste}

Nolan's First Cereal
{Elaine helping.  See her open mouth?}

Nolan's First Cereal
{not too thrilled}

Nolan’s Balancing Act

One of Ben’s favorite tricks with Elaine was balancing her on his hand.  He has been practicing with Nolan now, and they are finally good enough to go public!

Here is Elaine doing the same trick:

Elaine’s “Horse” Ride



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Two Little Indians

This year Ben and I headed up the annual Harvest Party at church.  The theme we chose was “The First Thanksgiving.”  The kids usually come in costume for the theme, so I made Elaine and Nolan little Indian shirts.

Harvest Party 2011
My Happy Little Indian Girl!

Harvest Party 2011
I made the costume several weeks ago.  I could barely get Nolan’s shirt on him this morning!  Here they are in the teepee.

Harvest Party 2011
Two Little Indians

Harvest Party 2011
Elaine and her partner in crime, Selah.  They were both Indian girls!

Harvest Party 2011  Harvest Party 2011
There weren’t only Indians running around…there were a few pilgrims too!  Sadly, there was only one Pilgrim boy.  But he was my favorite!

Harvest Party 2011
Indians and Pilgrims waiting for the program to begin (Josie, Faith, Isabella, Shastya, and Jalen)

Harvest Party 2011  Harvest Party 2011
Mama and her Indian Boy.

Harvest Party 2011
Nolan was definitely the ladies man this afternoon!  He was passed from one teen girl to the next, and none too happy to be put in his car seat to go home!

Harvest Party 2011
Mary and I did the decorations this year.  We had an Indian colony, a thankfulness tree, and some pilgrims.  I made the teepee in the former pictures also.

Harvest Party 2011
I was browsing the internet and came across a recipe for teepee cupcakes.  I had three or four ladies volunteer to make them.  Not only are they adorable, but they are delicious too!

Harvest Party 2011
See?  I told you.  Isabella and Josie think they are delicious too!

Harvest Party 2011
Our Thankfulness Tree grew leaves when the kids wrote down things they are thankful for and glued them on the branches.

Harvest Party 2011
Adam, Timothy, Caitlin, and Jeramiah filling out their leaves for the tree.

Harvest Party 2011
A little fire outside of the teepee.

Harvest Party 2011
Miss Janine’s craft table – picture frames!

Well it was fun, but I’m glad it’s done!  I’ll take a quick breath before I have to start planning Thanksgiving dinner…

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankful Friday

For the last couple of nights Elaine has been almost hysterical when we left the room and closed her door for the night.  One night we ended up leaving the door open and the hall light on so that she would calm down.  Last night as I was turning off the light I realized that it was really dark in her room.  I looked down at the outlet where the two nightlights live, and they were not on.  “That’s funny.  They are new, they should still be working.  That must be why Elaine is so upset,” I thought.  A closer investigation revealed this:

Once I saw it, I remembered when Elaine had been trying to pull the night light out of the wall a couple of days ago.  I gave her a sharp “No!  Don’t touch!”  I think that she must have dropped the penny behind the light and she was trying to get it out.  Not realizing what was going on, I firmly pushed the night light back into the wall.

I’m thankful that Elaine did not shock herself on the light, and that our house did not burn down!  Needless to say, the outlet is shot, but amazingly the nightlights still work!