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

Monday, December 27, 2021

Merry Christmas!


2021.   This was the year that

~ A little pumpkinhead named Moses crawled into bed every morning at 5:15am sharp, put his chubby little arm around my neck and woke me up with a snuggle. That is, unless 4:30am suited him better.

~ Ineke became obsessed with and terrified of germs for two months or so, eventually rubbing her arms and hands raw from washing them every few minutes.  “But Mama, I just touched my face (pants/ mouth/ dog/fillintheblank) so I HAVE to wash my hands!”   We had intensive dirt therapy to fix that problem. 

~ Adele’ is no longer ‘a dress a day’ kind of girl, but has added pants into her fashion arsenal.  It has aged her considerably. Or maybe it is because she is now officially a TEENAGER.

~ The piano has been tuned, plunked and played nearly every day by Judah, Adele’ and even Ineke.  We used some “Uncle Joe” money to pay for Judah and Adele’ to take piano lessons this fall, which they are enjoying.  Judah learns on the sly some of our church songs from friends at church because learning to read music is less fun to him than actually making it.

~ Corynn graduated from (homeschool) high school, got her driver’s license and, with the help of her first ‘real’ job, experienced the great sorrow of taxes being taken out of a paycheck. She works at a little country store down the road where her ‘people person’ personality thrives.  She knows everyone by name, doodles on the pizza boxes and always comes home with entertaining anecdotes.

~ Corynn had her first road trip, ocean experience and church retreat to Outer Banks, NC.  She went with friends from church and had SO much fun and met so many wonderful people that even the memory of it gets her glowing. As does the plan of going again this February!

~ Adele’ picked up some of Corynn’s slack in the Helping Mama Dept., often taking care of the children when Corynn was practicing driving with me or being my righthand girl when Corynn was at work or off galivanting with friends.   

~ Andrew broke his record of getting a deer on the 2nd day of hunting by getting an 11 point buck (14 points, if you count the nibs) on the first  day of hunting season.  He had been salivating over that deer on his game-cam for over a year and was practically dancing in his boots when he came in from the hunt.

~ Both boys became hot commodities for neighbors, friends and family who needed some extra hands for lawn care/tree pruning/firewood splitting/ stacking/fieldwork/ and/or building and construction.  Added to that, Andrew worked for a mowing business several times a week throughout the summer and fall.  Matt now has to schedule ahead to make sure the boys have time to help their ‘old man’ out occasionally too.  The boys, of course, love it.

~ The girls and I kept records of how many books we read so far this year. Final Score (not including the Bible):

Corynn: 89   Adele’: 75   Mama:  27   Clearly, I lost big time but that isn’t counting the hundreds of storybooks I read throughout the year.  Shouldn’t they count for something?

~ Our beautiful garden turned into a swamp garden just a few weeks after planting and grew more frogs than zucchini.  I did almost zero canning this year, just at the very point when groceries nearly doubled in price and halved in quantity. 

~ We had another broken bone.  Are any of us surprised at this point?  Moses broke his foot when he rode our huge and beautiful wooden stump letter “N” like a bucking bronco right off the porch, the naughty steed landing right on his foot.  Of course, it happened mere moments after I said “Get off of there Moses or you will fall down the steps and get hurt!”  Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner. (Proverbs13:6)  He was overthroweth, alright.  Right off the porch.

~ I was intending to buy candy recently and Moses saw the candy aisle and shouted “YEAH BABY!”  It is his new phrase. (That was Andrew’s doing, by the way.)

~ Matt began a new timber frame project.  (Are any of us surprised here either?)  This one is to house our wood supply.  (I thought that was what the last one was for. )  What can I say- he relieves stress with a chisel and hammer.  I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship…(Exodus 31:3)

~ Fickle Covid, who steals the taste and sense of smell of some, or makes others sick for a day or two, visited my parents’ household and left devastation in its’ wake. Mom was hospitalized, put on a vent and in a coma for about six weeks then woke up just in time for us all to rejoice about it around the Thanksgiving table.   She has made great strides since then and each milestone is an accomplishment and a celebration.  She isn’t home yet…she’ll have to do a stint in rehab but she’ll get there.  God has been merciful to us in this. 

~ I learned that God meets people in the singing of psalms in the ICU and in the tortured cries of a dark, throbbing night.  I learned anew that my children are the most amazing people; dependable, trustworthy, responsible and kind.  I learned the great comfort a faithful husband can bring to a broken wife.   I learned what friendship really looks like…it walks alongside people in pain and says “I am here.”  I learned what kindness really means. When I have been at what seemed to be my breaking point these last few months, as I made day trips away from my own needy family to my parents’ home and to the hospital in Rochester (three hours away) each week, I had loved ones ease the burden by caring for children in my stead, loaning me cars so I wouldn’t have to drive the 12 passenger van; I had cards come in the mail, emails and check-ins, meals delivered, prayers uplifted on my families behalf; I had people willing to let me cry and meeting me in my pain, fear and frustration even though it is not pleasant or comfortable or fun.  I saw firsthand people coming together to bring meals to my Dad and siblings, to come each week and help clean and serve and love them in tangible ways.  It is overwhelming to see God’s goodness radiate right out of people.  What must heaven be like?!  There are no words to express the deep gratitude I feel to everyone who met me in the darkness and helped me to see light by being reflections of it themselves.

God spoke His word into this dark world so that we might have light.  God gave Himself to this world, to be the Light of the world.  A baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes, illumined by light who is Light.  God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God.  And so we celebrate!  This Christmas!  This year.  Our whole lives long.

May we all rejoice in the Light, walk in the Light and be a reflection of the Light to a dark world and to one another in the midst of their own dark nights.

A very  Merry Christmas to you all and with much love from 

The Newmans 

Saturday, December 18, 2021

This Moment

 Ineke comes in from taking cookies to a neighbor, very somber and serious.

"Mama!  This is SUPER DUPER sad..." 

(she says this twice to really prepare me for the worst.)

"What is, Ineke?"

She breathes in deep through her nose and says...

"Grandma and Grandpa AND the Martins have fake Christmas trees in their house!  FAKE!"

And then walks away muttering "FAKE Christmas trees!"

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Parks and Pools By Ineke

Hi, this is Ineke. One day we went to a play ground with our cousins this summer and after playing in the park we went to a pool!!!!!!!!! We had so much fun!!! We went on a carousel too! AND they spent the night!! There was also a kitty pool for me and Alice! It was a very nice pool!☺We had a VERY  wonderful day! We played at two parks!! I hope you all have enjoyed this blog post!😃    

(as dictated by Adele)





And now Ineke will type:

hello my name is Ineke rose newman!!!!!

how are you?

i am good!