Did you all realize that we're in December already? I skipped the whole month of November on here. Oops.
So, here's a quick rundown of what happened last month....
Uncle Mark was deployed to Afghanistan. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.
My mom flew in from Iowa to see the children and to meet Renata. Mom was in charge of Maggie, Annie and Renata. She also did laundry while she was here. That was wonderful...
Adrian went elk hunting. This was the first time he's ever gone hunting since we've lived in Colorado. I was hoping that he'd bring home an elk. I was also praying that he didn't bring home an elk.
Yes. I'm contradictory that way.
Apparently this wasn't his year to shoot one, as the place where they were camping received about 2 feet of snow in two days time. They had to come back early, and I didn't have to go into panic mode about having 500lbs of game meat in the freezer.
It's been 13 years now since Hannah died. In some respects, that seems like a lifetime ago, yet I can still remember that day vividly. I suppose those memories never do really fade away, and I don't think I would ever want them to.
Remember that project that we started before Renata was born? Well, it was finally finished in November.
Don't our custom bunk beds look awesome? I LOVE THEM! It's the best thing that we could have done for the boy's room. Not only did it open the room up and give them tons more space, but it's way easier for them to keep clean too.
We fixed the floors upstairs too. When we moved into the house the carpets were already disgusting. Then, to make matters worse, the stomach flu bug hit our house a few times. That made the carpets even more disgusting. Disgutinger.... you know what I mean. They had to go.... And we love our new hardwood floors.
Peter celebrated his fifth birthday. Adrian staged the army guys on top of his gifts...
And the girls taped them to streamers from the ceiling. It was quite the sight.
Can you find the five year old in this picture? If you guessed Captain America, you're right!
Happy Birthday Peter !!!!!!!!
It's been a year now since Dad died and since I've started this blog. It's amazing how quickly a year can go by and how much can happen in that amount of time.
I miss my dad. I even miss how he used to cheat at cards....
But, I'm thankful for all of the great memories I have of our time together here on earth.
It was the start of Advent. Which means the beginning of Wednesday night services. And wonderful hymns like " Lo! He Comes With Clouds Descending" and "On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry" and "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel".... I love this time of the church year.
Halloween is one of my least favorite days of the whole year. I'm just being honest.
I dislike the whole premise of Halloween and it's Satanic background. It's a day that causes Christians grief, because we know the history of this dumb day. Unfortunately, our children are swayed because they like to dress up in costumes and collect candy. I don't blame them. I used to like the whole candy collection thing myself when I was little.
At our house, we always try to refer to Halloween as Reformation Day, because that is something that we, as Lutheran's, can be really happy about. It's really something that the whole church of Christ can be happy about. The nailing of the 95 theses started to bring Christ back to the people.
The children have tried saying, "Happy Reformation Day!" when they collect their candy, but it doesn't solicit the same effect as "Trick or Treat!". And, I've stopped fretting over the whole thing. But, I still don't like Halloween.
Regardless, we spent the day yesterday getting ready for the festivities. The children carved their pumpkins with some help from daddy. I just do not have the patience and ability to focus on the carving of the pumpkins these days... perhaps some day that ability will come back to me.
They looked rather awesome, don't you think? I loved the big teeth that they carved.
We invited some of our members to come out candy gathering in our neighborhood with us. We had a huge mob!
They look fairly impressive themselves, don't they? We had Annie Oakley, Davy Crockett, a Spanish Matador, the Pink Panther and Inspector Crusoe, Peter Pan, a Princess, a Puppy and a Pumpkin. Then, all the children's little friends and our friends, Rich and Debbie, who were dressed as Big Bird and his shadow. Debbie MADE their costumes!!! I was so impressed, I couldn't help talking about it all night long! Big Bird was 9 feet tall (he was on stilts!). It was just the coolest costumes I'd ever seen!
The children came home with bags and bags full of candy last night. Most of them went to bed with tummy aches. Nobody has asked for Halloween candy today.... I guess it's my responsibility to take care of the stuff.
Zee you water.... my mouf iz full of taffy.....ummm... znickers.....
I loved the Charlie Brown movies when I was little. I still like them. Nostalgia takes over and I have the children watch "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" every year before we carve up our own great pumpkins.
Really, how can you not just love the whole Lucy and Linus dialogue? You want to watch the whole movie now, don't you?
Well, we went on our own search this year for the perfect pumpkins (since Titus lovingly killed most all our pumpkin vines...) at Rock Creek Farm. Grandma Sherrill was still here, and it was a beautiful fall day.
Isn't this view just breathtaking? Acres and acres of pumpkins to look through, with glistening, snow-capped mountains for a backdrop on a crisp, sunny Colorado morning.
Peter, Maggie, Susie, Ben and Annie showing Renata the pumpkins they've chosen. It's never too early to start looking for the great pumpkin...
Peter ran all over the field, looking for just the right pumpkin. He ended up deciding to get a little pie pumpkin because the others were too heavy to carry out of the field and it took too long to try and roll one out...
It was so fun to have Grandma Sherrill here with us and be able to take her with us to the pumpkin fields.
There were bouncy castles for the kids to jump in and hay bale mazes for the kids to jump over...
Isn't Joanna getting tall? She has been such a great help to me lately. She took Maggie and Annie over to see the animals.
Here is our "fall display" in our kitchen window. Notice the snow in the backyard. Yes, we've already had 6 inches of snow. Right now it's all melted away, but I hear that we may have another winter blast headed our way this week.
This is Joanna's swan gourd. It was one of the few things that survived in our backyard this year. We thought it was pretty neat looking!
And, thanks to an old Martha Stewart Living magazine, we have little mice that now adorn our stairs and baseboards. Joanna and Susie spent a whole day cutting these little rodents out. They drive our cat crazy!
The gifts Christ freely gives He gives to you and me To be His Church, His Bride, His chosen, saved and free! Saints blest with these rich gifts are children who proclaim That they were won by Christ and cling to His strong name.
The gifts flow from the font where He calls us to His own; New life He gives that makes us His and His alone. Here He forgives our sins with water and His Word; The triune God Himself gives power to call Him Lord.
The gifts of grace and peace from absolution flow; The pastor's words are Christ's for us to trust and know, Forgiveness that we need is granted to us there; The Lord of mercy sends us forth in His blest care.
The gifts are there each day the Holy Word is read; God's children listen, hear, receive, and they are fed. Christ fills them with Himself, blest words that give them life, Restoring and refreshing them for this world's strife. The gifts are in the feast, gifts far more than we see; Beneath the bread and wine Is food from Calvary. The body and the blood remove our every sin; We leave His presence in His peace, renewed again.
----------- Lutheran Service Book, Hymn #602, "The Gifts Christ Freely Gives"
Have you ever sang this hymn before? If you have, you know that it is a wonderful hymn written by one of the most talented musicians in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, Kantor Richard Resch from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
We had the fine pleasure of hosting Kantor Resch this past weekend.
Our church, Trinity Lutheran in Denver, Colorado, offered an organist workshop this past Saturday for all the area church organists. We had a fantastic turnout and I would venture to say that everyone enjoyed Kantor Resch's presentation.
The children enjoyed having breakfast with the Kantor before he headed off to the workshop that morning.
That night, a few of our church members came over to visit and share in a few drinks.
We had the fire going outside, everyone was sitting at Adrian's picnic table having a good ole' time. Even Renata was out there, all wrapped in a blanket, listening to the theological discussions taking place...
Kantor Resch played the organ on Sunday morning, which was fantastic! And, Kantor Lock played trumpet in a brass ensemble along with the MacGilvray boys and another gentleman who is a friend of our choir director. They were also outstanding. It was a wonderful service.
The children delight in having visitors, and Kantor Resch was no exception.
We were glad to have Kantor Resch stay at our house for the weekend. The children were pumped. They love the Kantor and they love to sing. They know the Kantor loves to sing. They know that having the Kantor at our house means they get to sing a bunch and as loud as they want!
This was perhaps the best part of the whole visit. Kantor Resch playing our piano while we sang our hearts out to some great hymns. I think if Kantor Resch would've been up for it, we might have done this for hours on end. It was just wonderful!
Our last day with Kantor Resch found us driving up into the mountains for some Beau Jo's pizza in Idaho Springs.
We had a great time visiting with the Kantor. If Benjamin could have, I think he might have tried to sneak into the Kantor's luggage to go home with him. We have a lot of pictures with little Ben on the Kantor's lap. I think the Kantor was pretty sweet on Ben too, how could he not be?
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:1-16 ESV)
Before our baby was born, Adrian and I decided to do things a bit differently than the rest of the world is used to. We agreed that her name would not be announced until her baptism. Adrian even wrote a newsletter article about this, which you can find here.
While I was pregnant with this baby, Adrian and I had a very difficult time deciding on names, especially girl names. We dug through baby name books, did a little online name searching, asked friends and family for advice.... and still, we were without a name. Sure, there were plenty of names that we could've chosen, but none of them really stuck out to us. In the past, we'd always just come up with a name for this baby, agreed upon it, and that was that.
So, as I was rounding out the 36th week of pregnancy, it just so happened that we had a chance to visit with Dr. Kleinig and his wife, Claire, for a few days. We, of course, consulted with him about a name for this baby. And he gave us one! It was just so strange how it all happened to come about. It was like God was working through the Kleinig's to give us this name for the baby... And, so, the name Renata was chosen. We picked Claire for the middle name because it seemed appropriate and I was pretty adamant about it!
Renata. It's of Latin origin and means "Reborn".
Now, it was interesting to see everyone's reaction to the fact that we weren't going to share her name until her baptism. And, it truly led to some rather interesting dialogue about infant baptism with the nurses and my doctor. I doubt they have that conversation with too many families... It also caused a bit of a "build up" in anticipation for her baptism. The children could hardly wait for her to receive her new name. Our friends and family were equally excited.
Grandma wrapped the girls hair in curlers Saturday night, just so that they would have a special "do" for the big day!
So, this past Sunday, little Renata Claire was truly reborn through the waters of Holy Baptism. And, when her name was announced for the first time, it was in the midst of our parishoners, in the house of God. That moment was something I don't think I'll ever forget.
Our friend, Angelique, was kind enough to take pictures for us after Sunday School. We looked a bit dishelved by then, but that's nothing new! She took a ton of photos, I only posted the first three here because they were the best.
Here's one of us all with Grandma Sherrill. So happy she could be here for the baptism.
Here we all are with Renata's sponsors, Kevin and Vicki. Her other sponsors, John and Claire, couldn't be with us in person.
We rejoice that little Renata Claire is a child of God!!!