What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


1Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.

2I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord.

3Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity.

11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.

12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.

13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.

15 You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone;

16 for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs.

17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.

18 But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.

19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

20 Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you.

22 All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar's household.

23The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

~ Philippians 4

I unearthed my bible recently- and enjoyed reading scripture today. My soul was parched from the recent drought, and I was left, chaffed and cracked-pining for rest, comfort, and encouragement. I read all of Phillipians but the last chapter really struck me and drowned me with sweet, wet contemplations. All of the scripture I've read has got me to thinkin' and I've been hiding verses and concepts away all day long, to bring out and contemplate at any moment that pops up. It's always incredible how the Lord leads me to a scripture most suited for my needs when I am so low I don't know where to look, or even where to start.

Chicken scratched and uneloquent, here are my thoughts:

What is joy? Do I find pleasure in buying clothes or craft supplies? What about in the compliments of others? Having the latest electronics to show off? A snazzy car? The most-filled library? The best curriculums? Does true joy come from having a gorgeous garden or stocked shelves of homegrown food? Does it come from well-behaved children...or just HAVING children? Does it come in the form of a beautiful home? A clean home? Or maybe just in the HAVING a home?...

Can JOY be found even though it seems as if nothing is going right in life? Nothing is turning out as had been expected, or dreamed? Is God worthy of praise even when things are not as I would have liked them to be? Do MY desires TRUMP God's plan? Are MY plans better than God's? Do I feel like I could do a better job ordering my life on my own, without HIS help? Is He less merciful, less full of grace, less omniscient, less loving if He has planned my life in ways I do not yet understand, if hardships and trials I must face?

JOY is not circumstantial. If joy IS circumstantial, if joy IS dependent upon the 'high times' in your life, and not the low-then it is not true JOY. JOY can be found without any of these things. Paul wrote Philippians while imprisoned and there he was JOYFUL.

There is no fault in finding joy in HAVING things, making things, DOING things. The fault comes when it becomes something that you need. If you buy a piece of furniture to feel good only to be met a few weeks (months, etc) down the road itching to meet the self-same need because a "pick me up" is needed, then it becomes the feeding of an addiction. The need to have joy is great, but true JOY must be obtained in a more difficult way, and so we replace TRUE joy with temporary joy (or happiness) in order to fill the void. If only for a moment.

Superficial, "Replacement" joy comes from:

"What I want"
"What I need"
"What I deserve"
"What will make ME happy"

All superficial joy is...just that, superficial. Selfish, prideful, individualistic. It is all about ME.

True JOY comes in the form of:

~ Suffering

All of these things, take notice, require self sacrifice. All of these things take the emphasis off of ourselves.

Suffering: who wants to suffer? Who would choose that for themselves? We have to put away and sacrifice our own level of comfort.

Serving: Shouldn't WE be the ones served? Pride is our natural tendency. To become humble is a difficult path to walk on. Esteeming others better than yourself goes against our very nature. Doing things for others often equals being taken advantage of in our minds.

Believing: Why CAN'T we depend on ourselves? We want to be in control? This too, goes against our very nature.

Giving: I know the old adage "Tis better to give than receive." We remind ourselves of this, because it is a constant struggle to remember. It is harder to give than to take.

How can we tell the different between true JOY versus superficial joy?

Superficial joy is circumstantial. True joy is constant.

Superficial joy is about the seen, what we can show off. True joy comes from things unseen and untangible.

Superficial joy draws everything to ME, with no expense too great. True joy means putting ourselves and desires LAST.


"Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."

Psalm 51:12

Monday, July 28, 2008

Since I am on a temporary blog-photo hiatus (and it hurts. Man, it hurts!) until our computer can be set up and internet restored in our new home, I have realized how much inspiration from my blog comes from the photos that I take of everyday happenings and the loves of my life. Without them, blogging seems to be a bit more difficult an experience and yet, I want to be sure to record all these non-photogenic goings-on for the sake of posterity. I thought a great inspiration to keep me blogging is to participate in Peggy's Simple Woman's Daybook. Here goes:


Outside My Window~
A huckleberry bush that is nearly picked through between my cupfuls for baking, the birds and little chubby fingers longing for afternoon (and morning, and evening) snackies. A big blue sky and a happy breeze.

I am thinking...
About how I can get water to our new homestead so that we can stay there, or be there during the day as we wait for water to be hooked up. I could haul a gallon or two and put it in the electric cooler (borrowed from my parents) for drinking, a few buckets for washing up, and set up a few rain barrels for the plants. Could it work!?!

I am thankful for...
An easier week for Mattie at work. Last week was just insane.

From the kitchen...
Freshly baked blueberry zucchini bread and muffins-and yes, it is delicious. I've already tried it-to be sure. ;-)

I am wearing...
A blue t-shirt that is tight around the middle. I am not a t-shirt kind of gal but my regular shirt days are long since past and I have had to resort to t-shirts. My growing Bunkin tells me my t-shirt days are soon to be over too.

I am creating...
All that I have been creating these days are thoughts. That doesn't require unpacking any craft room boxes.

I am going...actually, returning from:
A morning strolling through the most gorgeous perennial garden which, incidentally, also sells perennials. I returned home with a perennial for each of us: to mark the beginning of our lives in this new, Lord-willing permanent home. Also a trip to the Mennonite Market.

Later this afternoon, after the children finish their rest, we will be heading to The Villa to plant our newly bought perennials, check the mail, and do some work out of doors.

I am reading...
the CVS flyer. Should I start my CVS excursions again or wait until I am more settled? This decision is a toughy...

I am hoping...
For news that the plumbing is done in the house so that we can start staying there. All I want is a working toilet!!! Is this too much to ask?!?

I am hearing...
My children singing and talking to themselves when they OUGHT to be napping. The humm of the lawnmower outside.

Around the house...
The laundry is hung, the garbages cleaned, the rooms tidied and beds made, a new bouquet of flowers on my nightstand. A house filled with comfort. Living with the in-laws isn't all bad. Someday (hopefully) soon I will be longing for the comfort of a room NOT filled with construction dust or the sounds of buzz saws. I ought to enjoy it while I have it, right?!

One of my favorite things...
the beautiful colors outside, available for the smelling, picking, and displaying within.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Sometime this week, a date with my Mattie. Boy~ do we ever need some time alone, to talk. Setting up a new midwife. Figuring out the whole telephone company deal, creating a new bank account, you know~ all the in's and outs of moving somewhere new.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

*sigh* You MOCK MY PAIN!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008


One from each:

Corynn, hearing that Matt will be working in an office as well as making farm calls in his new job says:

"So. If Papa works in an office, does that make him an officer?!"


If ever I wanted access to a video camera, today was the day.

I made the children their lunch: peanut butter and jelly and placed a mug of water beside the plate. The kids sat, prayed and began eating. I was chatting with my MIL when out of the corner of my eye, I saw Andrew doing something funny. I quieted to listen.

Holding up his one hand, filled with bread, he said solemnly " Da is bed."
Raising his water mug, he said "Da dink"

He put the mug down, took the bread and broke it saying "Bed bwoke."

Then, he bowed his head, mumbled some prayerful words and said "AMEN!"

Then took a huge bite with a fabulous grin.

Corynn and I both knew exactly what he had just done and we both started giggling.

He performed the Lord's supper masterfully!

I don't understand it when people say little children don't get anything from being in the church service. Nope. How they come up with THAT notion is beyond me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hollyhocks and hydrangea

Water trails fall from the sky, sometimes mimicking the trees and at other times, with the tugs of the wind, the horizon. I thank God for the rain that He has sent for the last three days straight...for the gray skies that loom ahead, for the fog and mists and humidity because each droplet is like a gift. Each drip is the gift of a minute~ a minute being devoted to the INSIDE of our Villa. Many minutes have been put inside the house today, coolness pushes aside the curtains as it makes it's way indoors, and plants-newly transplanted are getting much needed nourishment from God's hands, not mine saving me from the daily routine that has become ritual: I gather all the empty milk jugs I can find, fill them, load them in the car, transport the water to our new home and empty them (too quickly) into the parched mouths of the soil, inevitably draining the water supply before satiating any of the plants.

Confession time. My last post had me sitting and pondering for quite a long time. The words came easy enough, it was the self-required task of looking on the bright side of things. Choosing to see the good in the situation. As I tried to think of positive things, good things, wonderful things to reflect on my mind naturally disregarded them for the bad things that seemed to outweigh them. So, my list two days ago was forced and difficult to come by. I am glad that I made myself do it, though, because in time these things came easier to mind and eventually cracked away the wall that I had put around myself in order to protect myself from anything else that might hurt me. That list was the impetus I needed to change my focus. After all, we are the ones who hold the power of perspective.

We can choose the way we see things and we can fix our views to create more good and more beauty. IF we are willing to DO something about our thoughts, rather than wallow in our self-appointed pity and powerlessness. Admittedly, at times it is easier and safer to wallow but the reward is lacking and the despair will just continue to grow. The effort put forth, the work, and the change of perspective can change your life. You are able to move forward, smile easily, find hope and approach things in a more positive way. I was feeling the victim in my own life circumstances, forgetting of course that WE have the power to choose how we want to live. WE choose how to react when things happen to us. WE decide whether to allow it to break us or build us up.

After my last post, I was able to see clearly how much power I have in my own self to determine my disposition. God decides my circumstances and I decide how I react to them. DO I cling to HIM or become broken and tattered? Do I look at the dirt and dust around and covering me or do I look UP at the rain that is washing it all away?

My eyes have been opened to the beauty of my circumstances, and here is what I CHOOSE to see:

The monarch butterfly dancing and drinking on sweet pink cups of nectar.

The round green orbs, hanging on the gnarled branches of the apple trees, suckling and finding nourishment from the Mama tree. Preparing for fall and their place in the turning of the seasons.

The huckleberries, juiced to perfection, heavy on their branches. Competing with the birds to gather them for consumption and preservation.

The sweet, refreshing rain that sings it's quieting song on the windowpanes and rooftops.

The beautiful landscaping around my mother-in-laws yard. She is an artist and her palette, her masterpiece is evident as soon as the gravel crackles under tire when you've arrived.

Spending yesterday morning sorting, cleaning and organizing our suitcases and essentials-clearing floorspace and making things orderly and beautiful.

Driving Matt to work and stumbling upon a house that sold wildflower bouquets for $2.50 from their garden. I bought one for myself and one for my mother-in-law; there is nothing better to cheer me than flowers. I cleared a spot next to my bed and in view from the window and door, moved a lace doily over and laid the solitary necklace I have unpacked at it's feet. The bouquet is in a drinking glass-but one wouldn't notice with the hydrangea, pink echinachea, and colorful snapdragons that sprout gaily from it.

Watching two children sleep, legs and arms intertwined with one another, on one bed.

Feeling the breeze of a window fan on my face each evening and hearing Matt's exhausted "I love you" muttered just seconds before he is fast asleep.

The smell of sweet basil, bought from a greenhouse and replanted for my own use. The dreams of delicious pesto made from its leaves.

I feel as though life is much easier now. I feel as though I have more control of myself and my actions, and that I CAN handle what will come. It may not be perfect, but it will be beautiful because I choose to see it for its beauty.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Not even a week later...

Time has passed, hours have turned to days and days to what is nearing a week, and yet...not too much has changed and even less has been settled. It has been a ridiculously hard and busy week for Matt and I, busy and stressful to both mind and body. My swollen abdomen is only coddled in the evenings when I fall exhausted in the bed.

This week we have:

* Used up the last of the packing tape and all of the cardboard boxes available within a 100 mile radius

* Loaded two trailer loads and pickup truck beds

* Dug up perennials

* Went to our new home, The Villa, and realized that our belongings couldn't be brought in.

* Unloaded two trailer loads and pickup truck beds in a barn

* Cleaned up about 2 years worth of feed, garbage, and dust from an old workshop so that our furniture could be brought and PLACED somewhere.

* Sweated the equivalent of the Red Sea

* Replanted perennials in one random spot, until our property can be bushhogged.

* Made two 8 hour round trips with one still yet to come.

* Emptied our bank account assuming it would be worth it.

* Got our first MAIL in our new home.

* Cashed in our change jar for a grand total of $137.87!!! That is about 40 pounds less we had to move! ;-)

* Watched as only HALF of our stuff fit in the truck that we were assured could haul it all.

* Watched the kids have so much fun living at Grandma and Grandpa's house that they may never want to move with US!

* Decided that as soon as a toilet is in place and water is available, we will be moving to our new home. Regardless of a completed kitchen or Amish guys hanging from the raftors.

It has been a tremendously busy time for Matt and I, and due to various issues, all the brunt work has been placed on Matt and I. That means, the list above was done by me and my swollen belly and Matt with his swollen biceps. I know in my head that pregnant people ought not to lift so much or work so hard, but when there is no other option (and no-there wasn't) one must rise to the occasion. Matt has been a gem and has worked so hard-and has praised me for all my work, and apologized for the need of it, and been frustrated to see me at it. I just sort of joke, we are pioneers in the 21st century. Modern day Charles and Mary Ingalls. People got through it all, in worse conditions, and we will too. Not only that, but we will step out from the work as it is finished with our heads held high and our smiles proud. Proud that we accomplished so much. Proud that we worked well, worked faithfully, and did it all TOGETHER.

It has been a difficult adjustment living in the home of another. Family routines are not just altered, but abandoned altogether. Discipline has been adjusted, bedtimes lengthened, and roles of the family sacrificed. It is hard to be the leader of your family in your father's house-and this is what Matt is trying valiantly to contend with. My own roles have changed drastically too-too much.

Much in this situation has not gone RIGHT. We could have gone off the deep end many a time: in regret, disregard, unfaithfulness, unbelief and absolute MISERY. While all this MAY be true: I CHOOSE not to look at it that way. I CHOOSE to see this situation for the good it has brought and is bringing. So, I choose to not only realize, but remember and VALUE the great good that is being revealed.

~ That though we emptied ourselves of every spare penny we had, I am thankful that we DID have the necessary funds available. Our last move was made on a credit card.

~ I am thankful that Matt was able to sell mower and truck, giving us a little extra while also ridding us of the responsibility (and cost) of moving these things.

~ That I was able to be present for my new nieces' baptism, something I was unable to do at my last nieces'.

~ That Matt and I are unified in the way we feel and that we are going through it all together. It would be infinitely harder knowing that my feelings were not met with understanding.

~ That Grandma and Grandpa were able to keep the children with them on our last eight-hour trip, freeing them from being cooped up in the car unnecessarily.

~ The recognition that hasn't always been there, but is now starting to bud in Andrew's face as He enjoys our relatives.

~ That our new home happens to be snug in the midst of family and friends. While I do not really relish living in someone else's abode, I am grateful we have an option other than living among paint fumes and pulling up a bush! ;-)

~That today is the first day of Matt's new and long-coveted job.

~ That we are slowly getting closer to dreams fulfilled.

~ That through it all, we have God's promises to lift us up and make us strong. He is here for us and He is in control. And He will not give us more than we can handle.

I have been able to get access to a computer only the (now) two times I have posted since this all began and so, return comments are out of the picture. So are visiting other blogs, commenting on them, and even posting pictures to my posts . For this reason, I want to thank each of you who offered encouragement in my last post. I can not overstay my welcome on this borrowed computer to thank you all individually, but I DO want you to know that I have cherished each comment and pondered them in my heart long and hard, returning to them in my darkest hours. I really, REALLY appreciate having not only an outlet to just let it all go but one that supports and encourages me along the way. You all are just so great. I don't know what I'd do without you, and that is no joke.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Best Laid Plans

My heart yearns for opportunity to express my reflections in written form, yet time and opportunity have not allowed for it.

This move is more consuming than I had at first thought and what we thought was a nice straight and narrow view has become cumbersome and curvy-not allowing to see too far into the future. Like a haze, a fog. We can barely see the tips of our toes as we embark on this journey.

Our new home, The Villa, is looking lovely on the outside: but the inside is no further progressed than when photos were snapped a month ago. Still no shower, no TOILET, and no kitchen. Still dust, floating in the sunlight of the rooms and glittering the floor. Still the loud clammer of hammer and nail, meeting together and buzz saw ripping. Our move date has been postponed until Friday morning-but even that is too soon; even a week later than we had originally expected-the house is not ready to welcome us. Or our belongings.

Internal struggles have torn my heart and mind in two and we are in the "Strategy TWO" mode:

Find an alternate place to store our belongings, since we can't put them in the house.

Have access to powder room sundries.

Find a way for Matt to be set up for success at his new work on Monday, while working hard this weekend and in the coming weeks. Can he be fully rested sleeping on the floor amongst dust and showering elsewhere?!

And worst of all: the one thing I made perfectly clear as a contingency before any new job or move was approved, might have to be forced into reality. Moving in with the in-laws. Moving in with ANYONE. It wasn't to be so, I can't bear the thought of it. And yet/

My ways are not His. My plans are fallible and short-sighted.

So- my breath draws tight in my chest, tears trickle up and out, and desperation looms and I am left to wait and see, hope and pray.

I said it before, and mean it more than ever before. Lord, give me strength to endure anything that might come about. Might I not only endure, but do so with grace and ease-and might I be strengthened in the process.


Monday, July 14, 2008


As promised: a few of my favorite spots at the zoo. Gorillas are always lots of fun.

We interrupted this big dude's lunchtime it seems.

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Look at that perfect heart-shaped nose! His wife must see her own little valentine every time she looks upon his face.

"Did someone just say I had a Valentine nose?!?"

"Who was it?!? Who said that?!? I'll find you. I'll hunt you down-and show you just what this valentine nose can do."

"Was it YOU???"

um...maybe He isn't romantic after all.

I'd better be going. Nice seein' ya!
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Tall Blondes

Of course, the giraffes were a favorite spot for me.

Seeing as how they are my favorite animal-and have been since I was about knee-high.

I have always had sort of a kinship to the giraffe species...maybe because of my knobby knees and ridiculously long legs. Most likely because of my towering above everyone else. I know-it ain't no fun going through adolescence head and shoulders above the boys who are already struggling with their own insecurities. Try finding a date to prom! These girls have their burdens written all over their face. Just look at their eyes. I feel your pain, girlie. I feel your pain.

But just look at it this way- you've got some GORGEOUS lashes! You've definitely got THAT going for you. If used properly, you could get anything you want out of life. Or, so I've been told.

Of course, I wouldn't know.

But between you and me~ woman to woman~ you really ought to consider chewing with your mouth closed. There is nothing that can have the boys scrambling faster than the sight of a woman chewing and sharing the view. Nope. That DEFINITELY won't help in your efforts to find a man.

Just trying to help out...
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The creatures swimming and floating about in and around the palaces of rock beneath the waters break

are like the wildflowers blowing in the prairies on dry land.

They offer color and beauty and grace.

Under the sea, the creatures are the flowers.

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Vacation 2008

You'll never guess what has happened. Amidst the boxes, packing, last day of work, and days of insanity: we took our very first family vacation! Sure, we have gone back to my parents' or Matt's parents' house-but never have we gone to a random place for ourselves.

And NEVER have we gone to some random place and actually stayed in a HOTEL room. Yes. You heard me right. A HOTEL!

But not just any hotel. A hotel with a POOL.

It was only for one night. Two glorious days. Lots of people take vacations for a week at a time, and plan several throughout the year.

But that isn't us. Vacations cost MONEY and vacations require TIME-so, while you might scoff at one measley night~ I gotta say it was mighty fine.

Although-on a side note. Hotels aren't nearly as much fun when you have kids. It is kinda hard to do ANYTHING if you have little ones that need to sleep. That means, no TV (even though cable is a fancy priviledge for us), no talking (unless it is out in the hall), no swimming and leaving the littles in the room by themselves-or making use of the amazing pool table downstairs, or doing anything else that one might imagine could be done in a hotel room without kids.

We went to Pittsburg. For us countryfolk, that was major big city. Like, scary to drive on the streets, city. Like, slums on one end and mansions across town city. Like people-EVERYWHERE. It was almost too much for us to take in!

We went to Pittsburg because it is the closest place to a Zoo and Aquarium. I have wanted to take the kids to those for a LONG time. And, shhhh-don't tell anyone- I have wanted to go to them for a long time myself. Maybe even MORE than the kids.

When it comes to creatures, I revert back to a child-like state. I am a kid. I know it. Matt knows it and still He loves me.

Thank goodness.

Here are a few pictures from our heavenly two days, one night away. Two days and one night that I got to see BEAUTY instead of boxes, I got to feel the sun on my skin instead of being the hermit I have been for two weeks, that I got to think about what I wanted to order for DINNER instead of what room to pack up next...

Bliss. Sheer Bliss.

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From the Aquarium

~~ Be still my heart! ~~

Look at that expression on my Mattie! Man, is he good at the 'sexy stare', or what?!? It isn't as though He does it on purpose either. Sexiness just oozes from him without trying. I love it when he flashes me this look. I love it even more when I get it on film, so I can get my fill of it whenever I want. *swoon*

I, on the other hand, fail miserably at the sexy look. My mom always used to say "You can get away with lots if you master the eye fluttering." Well. I ain't mastered ANYTHING. My sexy stare looks more like I am about to ravagely rip my prey to shreds. My eye flutter is always met with "Is there something in your eye?!"

Not quite sure how such a non-sexy wannabe ended up with such a hottie.


Oh! I just glanced up again...

I better get this post published and stop staring (and salivating) or I'll never get ANYTHING done today!
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So that is that. The next time I blog, whenever THAT may be, I will post a few of my most favorite creatures. It's a pretty amazing world and our God is a VERY creative one.
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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My new niece

Many people know that my sister delivered her baby last Sunday, but do you know I got to SEE her this past weekend?!?


Gotta say~ she is a gem and even more dear in person. I know, hard to imagine. Though I couldn't see her the day (or day after) she was born, I am SO thankful I was able to see her at six days old!

My babies always usually have slits for eyes-so I find these chinese eyes charming. And look at that sweet little chin!

Best of all though, I love those wrinkly little hands!
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Two doting aunts

Aunt Jessamyn joined me in the yard at my parents' house and let me *try* to take some pictures using sun glare. I realized once home that I got no photos of Christiana and my sister (and her Mama) Elizabeth. Seems Elizabeth must have been busy with her other kiddos. That tends to happen when there are several little ones around.

I love it when people are so comfortable and natural when a camera is pointed in their face. It really makes things so fun-and pictures rarely turn out bad with these sorts as the subject. I have never been skilled in that area, which is probably why I like to be BEHIND the camera instead of in front.

I also love it when people let me snap away without me feeling like paparazzi.

I also love her new hair style.

This last one is my favorite of all. I LOVE Jessamyn's expression as Christiana sucks on her arm. It's awesome.

Thanks for letting me be a picture geek, Jessamyn, and encouraging me on the way...
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Pandas give good kisses

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