Friday, December 12, 2008

Mamma's Early Birthday Presents

"The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands."

Proverbs 4:1

While Grandpa and Grandma were at our house relaxing after my (Kimber) luncheon, they brought Mommy's presents along also. Her birthday is 12/16/69 and she will be turning 38.

So, she opened her presents with some help from her children! :)

Lydia was so cute trying to tear the paper! :)

Lydia with a ribbon!

A top and skirt! (She also received a scented reed diffuser and bar of soap)

(I'm sure I'll be wearing the skirt soon - Hannah and I fit in most of her clothes! :)

Thanks Grandpa and Grandma!

Willingly Jesus',

Monday, December 8, 2008

Kimber's 13th Birthday Luncheon

"That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth;That our daughters may be as pillars, Sculptured in palace style;"
Psalm 144:12
This post is on my 13th Birthday Luncheon that took place December 6, 2008 - a day after my real birthday (12/5/95). Before I start off, I want to say that nothing in this post is meant for my self-edification or my family's. With that said, here I go! (Oh, and by the way, "I" is "Kimber" :)
I needed to pick out a theme for my luncheon. So Alexis and I were dropped off at the Dollar Tree in Mechanicsville, while Mommy and Caleb went shopping. One of the first things we saw as we walked in were...snowflakes! There were snowflake plates, snowflake cups, snowflake napkins, snowflake everything! And I liked the snowflake theme, so (when Mamma and Caleb returned) we bought a little bit of everything...and I think we managed to get out of there for under $40! (Mommy got really excited with the snowflake we did buy some things for family). Our cousins, Erika and Allie, came over Friday and we went to Wal-Mart to pick up some things and then we went to our church's cookie fellowship. Once we were home our cousins got settled and we went downstairs to decorate. Everyone was in bed (from Caleb down to Lydia) so it was pretty quiet. Daddy helped a lot with the decorating so everything was quite beautiful and sparkly.

This is an example of one of the place settings.
We would alternate - snowflake plate, purple cup and plate and then, beside that setting, would be a purple plate with a snowflake cup and white napkin - I liked the alternating colors!

Setting things up (see the alternation?)

My cousin, Allie (on the left) and Hannah.

Mommy and Hannah bought a little bit of candy. We only ate half of that, if not less.

I made gift bags for all of my attendees. Inside the bag I put this allegory (plus some candy and cookies):
The Snowflake
Pure white ice crystals fell gently to the earth casting a snowy blanket upon the soft ground. It was a cold and frosty winter morn’ and children were outside dancing in the falling flakes. As the snowflakes drifted slowly to the earth two of the flakes became one when they came closer and closer together. Together they, each beautiful and unique in their own way, joined together and made one bigger snowflake; one so beautiful that few of its kind had touched the earth before. Both of the frozen crystals had been waiting for the time when the temperature would be just right and they could float down and bring joy to those who waited so expectantly for a delicate snowflake or two to fall. There were lots of different clouds and diverse temperatures and climates but these two snowflakes came from the same cloud; one that was simple yet stunning at the same time. They were created around the same time, one being especially made to be weaker and the other to be stronger. The weaker crystal was being tenderly and carefully knit to become a lovely snowflake and the stronger to be a leader, to be one of the first to grace the earth with its presence. The time came when it had been long enough and the snowflakes, while doing what they were created to do, saw that they were meant for each other, and remembering back to when they were first created realized that from the very start of their beginning they were fashioned with the same base and type and that they were as close to perfect for each other as they could get. They came together and formed a snowflake that was stronger than when they were floating down comparatively alone. As they flowed down together, instead of slowly joining all the other snowflakes that made quite an inviting blanket over the frozen ground, they landed on one of the children’s eyelashes. With a squeal of joy the toddler reached up and gently pulled the 2 joined crystals off and with a whine of disappointment looked at his fingers and only saw a tiny water droplet. Warming the snow laden terrain, the sun shone through the trees and as the child turned to go inside the tiny water droplets evaporated and joined the other melted snowflakes in the sky, leaving behind a little preschooler who remembered the joy that the little snowflakes had brought him and wondered (with his childish thinking) how something so small and simple could mean so much.
To me this story is an example of how courtship works. I, as a woman, am the weaker vessel (1 Peter 3:7) and (if Jesus gives me one) my husband will be the stronger. Just as it is almost impossible to find a two snowflakes that are exactly the same, it is just as hard (maybe even impossible) to ‘find’ a husband who is exactly the same as me. I will want a husband who believes like I do and if I go out and try to ‘find’ him myself I would lose all of my purity before I meet him…and then there will be nothing left for him. Since I know that God is in control of everything, even the tiniest thing, could I not trust Him to bring me a husband? (As some people have challenged us, I will say that “No, God probably isn’t just going to drop him on the front doorstep with me automatically knowing that he’s the one…”) I thankfully have a very discerning daddy who would help me as best as he could, with his full range of wisdom! You may ask, “But if you’re always ‘stuck’ at home, how will anybody know what you believe, how you act, etc.” Well, if I’m ministering with my family and serving the Lord, he will know what I believe and he would see how I interact with my family and make his own judgment call. Then, if he’s interested in a closer relationship he would approach my daddy and ask his permission to ‘court’ me. In a family setting (not alone…too dangerous) we would, from a distance, get to know each other and our beliefs, differences etc. Then I have to decide if I could learn to love and honor this man and he would have to decide if this is the wife he desires and who will meet his needs. If he thinks I’m the one (through prayer, talking to his Lord – he has to be a Christian – etc.) than he would ask daddy for my hand, and if daddy blesses the engagement, then he proposes, and if I say yes, we get married. As the snowflake melts in the story above, so one day we will die and go to heaven with our Savior leaving behind our children (Jesus willing) to carry on the work He has for them. May the Lord help me to be patient and wait for His timing on my future while I’m busy about His will for me right now.

We bought some ribbon at the Dollar Tree also. We unrolled the whole thing and taped it to the table and then added a snowflake to each end.

Finally Saturday morning arrived and I came downstairs as soon as I could summon up enough courage - :) - and Grandma saw the way that I had the dress and all of a sudden she was like fixing it and adjusting it until it was perfect in every way! It looked a lot better than when I had tried to fix it just right myself.
The reason I had all the problems with the dress was that the dress was what Mamma wore in my Aunt's wedding (Aunt Megan) and it didn't fit my dress code (open shoulders, too low, etc.). But it did have a sheer trail and I wrapped that over my shoulders and pinned it in place with one of Mommy's earrings (it looked like a pretty pin! :). Thankfully, it wasn't too sheer so it was perfect!
---Alexis was my photographer and Hannah was my hair stylist, in case you wanted to know---

As soon as all the guests arrived we played a game.
The object of the game was this: You have a paper bag over the hand you write with and then using the hand you do not write with, you have to go around and sign your first name in cursive on everyone else's bag. Whoever has the most signatures at the end of, let's say 5 minutes, wins! Caleb won the contest and for a prize, received a peppermint patty (I wasn't too prepared on what to give the winners :).

Daddy, Aunt T.C and Kelly (a friend) signing each other's bags.

Most everyone at the table.

Daddy talked about what it means in our family to turn 13, how it is viewed as the passage into adulthood where I can join them in adult conversations and begin to receive additional responsibilities and freedoms. Then, Mommy invited my guests to look at a scrapbook I made. The scrapbook was on different subjects, such as homemaking, cooking, Daddy, cleaning, helping siblings, modesty, etc. with most of the ideas taken from the book "Raising Maidens of Virtue" by Stacy McDonald ( Mamma and I had gone through the book together most every Monday night while eating ice-cream. I shared my ideas with Mommy and she shared her ideas and we became closer together as mother and daughter.

After that, I blessed the food my family had worked so hard to prepare and... you can see, I didn't make it through the prayer without crying! I'm so blessed to live in this family, with these parents and as I thanked them (and Jesus) for the food...I started crying because I felt so blessed! :)

The Casseroles.
On the menu was:
Sausage Casserole
Potato Casserole
Pigs in a Blanket
Veggies and Dip
Pumpkin Bread
Junior Mints
Party Mints
Sherbert/Gingerale Punch!

Everyone taking some food.

After lunch sometime I opened my gifts. I received many wonderful things - especially pens and journals which I use up quickly!

A journal.

Kelly (a friend) made a thick, warm scarf for me. I know that must've taken awhile to make!

I had made up a poem for Mamma ahead of time (without her knowing) and I presented it to her.

This is the poem:

My Mother

Always cheerful, smiling and happy
She spreads love and joy everywhere
Praising the young, cheering the downcast
The love of Jesus shining from her eyes

Possessing the precious spirit
Of being gentle and quiet
She serves her husband, family and Savior
From sunup to sundown without stopping

She suffered so I could have life
And continues to give up every comfort
To give me an understanding
Of the blessing of everlasting life

Lovely, caring and kind
More precious than the rarest jewel
Is the mother Jesus gave me
And I could never, ever wish for another

Reading the framed poem.

Of course, Mamma cried...and, well, I did too! :)
Mommy does so many things in secret, faithfully serving her husband, Savior and family and I wanted to, just once, thank her for all she does, known and unknown.

Smiling at each other :)
For those of you who know me, you probably think I'm a very quiet person (which is probably true!). One of the things, I don't like doing, is doing something in front of someone (as my family can testify!), whether that be singing, playing an instrument, etc. (trying to get better at that!)
Well, when Hannah turned 13 she wrote a poem to Daddy signifying that she wanted Daddy to help her stay pure until she met her one and only husband, through Courtship - not dating.
So, I decided that I would do the same, except something different than that. I would memorize a paragraph of things I loved about Daddy, (thanking him for 'sheltering' me and then finally saying that my heart is his to keep pure until the Lord brings my future husband to me {and we'll both be looking!}, if that's His will,) and then to recite it to daddy. This is what I memorized, but I did adapt it to what I wanted to say as I went along:
First, I want to thank Jesus for the best daddy in the world! I’m very thankful that Jesus chose you to be the daddy that I will come to for advice and guidance and for love! I could make a really big list of what I love about you but I don’t have time so I’ll list a few. The first is that you have dreams and visions! “Man without vision will perish” is one of your many favorite sayings! The second is that you have a sense of humor and smile! You’ve taught me to be joyful in all circumstances just by your example! The next one is that you sincerely care about me and my ideas and/or interests. You make me feel loved just by your caring questions and earnest looks. It makes me feel like I can trust you and you won’t misuse my trust. The fourth reason is that you’re a strong leader and a devoted Christian. I see you try so hard to have your “walk match your talk.” My fifth reason is that you’re physically, spiritually and morally strong and not embarrassed of who you are. You’re not ashamed to have 8 children (so far), homeschool, live in the country, have a wife that willingly stays at home, chickens, children that are homeschooled, make whole wheat bread….and the list could go on. The last thing I want to say is thank you for sheltering me. That “sheltering” hasn’t been a stifling, controlling “sheltering” but a loving, free and airy sheltering. By “sheltering” me you have kept me from impure relationships, ungodly influences and much more! Instead you’ve taught me to keep my heart pure for my one and only future husband, led me to a deeper relationship with Jesus and given me a heart for the home as my future occupation. Daddy, tonight I’m going to make a commitment to you, my family and future spouse, if Jesus wills, in front of these friends and family. Daddy, my heart is yours to keep safe until the day comes when you place my hand in another man’s hand to be his faithful and loving wife lest God and His Word be blasphemed (Titus 2:5). I know you will not take advantage of my “heart” but will exercise your greatest care to tend and nourish it until it is yours no longer – for that’s the kind of man you are. I love you, daddy!
{Daddy's comments: "This was a very emotional moment for me. Michelle and I had never raised children before and our religious upbringing was warm, if not a little lacking in this area. The changes we have made in our life and incorporated into raising all the children the Lord has blessed us with (so far) had unknown outcomes (homeschooling, not dating, modesty, sheltering). Kimber's poem to mom and recitation to me was a culmination of the hopes, dreams and faith we had placed upon God and His Word, and His Word does not return void! To have her embrace the Biblical ideals and love for Jesus that we have attempted to model is very humbling. All praise and honor and glory goes to our Lord Jesus and His Holy Spirit - apart from which, our efforts would never have been as fruitful. We love you Kimber - and are so proud of the young lady you are becoming.
P.S. It's good to have you with us now on Sunday's and Wednesday nights!}
Smiling at Daddy

Well, I didn't make it through this recitation without crying either! I did recite all of it though! :)

Telling Daddy, in front of friends and family, that I love him and that I want his help to keep my heart pure.

The hug after the recitation!

After I stopped crying and started smiling again we had ice-cream cake - the way I like, vanilla, Oreos, vanilla, Cool Whip! :)
I am extremely blessed with the family Jesus has given me, and I love all of them dearly!
Willingly Jesus',

The Pictures I Promised

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it."
1 Corinthians 9:24
Well, I finished uploading all of the pictures I told you about! And now, you get to see them for yourselves!

Thursday night last week we made 2 batches of cookies - Spritz Cookies (courtesy of G.G.) and Chewy Ginger Cookies (courtesy of Jaime Robinson - hi!). Spritz Cookies is a family favorite and we normally only make them during the Christmas season. We (Mommy, Hannah, Alexis and I - Kimber) were going to our Church's cookie fellowship and we were supposed to bring a side dish and 3 dozen cookies. That's why we made cookies. Anyways, Mommy, Alexis and I made the batter up and then after dinner we rolled and cookie-pressed them. These are the pictures of the production of mass cookies! :)


Putting sprinkles on the uncooked cookies

Seth is applying icing to the cooled cookies and Josiah (With Lexi's help) is sprinkling on some red sugar crystals.

Some of the cookies (those are all spritz cookies)

Another view of some of the cookies.


These are some pictures of Lydia I took a few days ago.

Lydia choking baby Jesus (that object in her hand) while sitting in front of our nativity scene.

Lexi and Lydia

Lexi and Lydia again

Eating a cookie cutter

(Ever seen such big, blue eyes?!)

Lydia enjoying her metallic chew-toy


Some of you may know that we received a new to us piano last week. It is a Young Chang and is very beautiful! Daddy and Mommy bought it from Rick Jones Pianos ( and we are highly satisfied.

The Piano is here!

(Daddy stayed until lunch time that day because he knew the piano was coming that day and wanted to be here when he saw our surprise. They never told us anything)

Moving the piano in

Mommy and Hannah on the new, cushioned piano seat.

Hannah trying it out!

Most of the family posing for a picture around the shiny piano before continuing with school.

Daddy also bought us a piano light and Caleb, Hannah, Alexis and Lydia installed it for us while we made cookies.


These are pictures of Lydia and her brothers.

Caleb and Lydia

What is that thing?

Seth and Lydia in front of our "nativity scene."


And these are the pictures of when we cleaned our carpets the day after Thanksgiving.

[Daddy] "I'm confused"

Lydia underneath the table

Caleb playing his guitar in the midst of the the mess

The living room without furniture

The kitchen with the living room furniture (and we did make brownies and bread in this mess!)
Here are the Thanksgiving Pics:

My cousins (left to right) Kaitlyn and Sarah. Sarah just missed the ball by deflecting it off her head.

Josiah tackling Eden- a little brother/sister love

My cousin Collin almost caught the ball!

Kaitlyn catching the ball

My grandparents dog, Shiloh catching a ball. See how tense she is?

Seth getting ready to hit a homer.
(That's Daddy's arm in the foreground)

Collin, my cousin, just hit the ball. See how his hair swishes to the right?

Caleb just hit this ball.
(It's really neat seeing all the different faces of people as they hit balls :)

Caleb hit another ball-nice follow through and arm extention

My cousin Collin readying himself to swing at the ball.
(The ball is at the very top of the picture)
I won't lecture you to much on how fun photography is...the key word was "too much." Here I go! I love photography! Isn't it so wonderful to be able to capture the above pictures? It's so much fun, figuring out a camera, how to operate it, trying new angles for pictures, experimenting on your siblings...and the list could go on. I know I love photography and I get excited when I start talking about how much fun it is to be a photographer-in-training. I only wonder if my eyes light up when I talk about Jesus and His Word, as it does when I show daddy my pictures, or see how great a picture turned out, etc. I hope I never put photography over my First Love - Jesus. I hope my priorities are in this order: Jesus and then everything else. I often fall short though but my goal in life is to...
"Follow Jesus wherever he leads and to get back up and keep going when I fall."
Well, the next post is, hopefully, going to be on my 13th birthday luncheon!
A Christian in training,
Kimber :)