Hello friends!  It’s Sunday afternoon, I should be napping, right?  Rich and David are out in the livingroom sleeping on the couches.  Grace, Jacob, Ethan, and Caleb are all upstairs in their beds.  Somehow, I feel cozy and contented enough just sitting at my desk, in a quiet house, knowing my loved ones are all around me– no nap today.  I like to look out the windows as I sit here.  We had snow fall yesterday, just a few inches, but with today’s sunshine, it is heavy now, and very wet.  The roof is dripping water. There isn’t much wind, the trees are still, just the tops are gently swaying back and forth.

On Friday, I had a quick trip to the doctor.  My sister and her family live in the same town, so I had Weston’s baby pictures developed and the kids and I took them over to her after my appointment.  To our surprise (not a big surprise, though, because I knew they would show up sooner or later) my mom and dad were at her house (they live about 4 hours from us, in another state).  It was so fun to drop by and see them there.  We sat around the table and I took a couple pictures of Weston and his family.  I got to hold him for a little while, he is so small and dear.  I called him a little bean.  I love that little baby so much, and look forward to watching him grow.  I just know he is going to have a lot of fun with my four boys.  I wish you could have seen Caleb’s bright eyes as he stood and looked at his new cousin for the first time.

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On the way home, I was talking to Caleb about “Aunt Amanda’s new baby, named Weston” when David sighed deeply and said, “I know, I thought they were going to name him DavidBut they didn’t.”  I guess we all know who David’s favorite person is?   He is so so precious.

On Saturday, Mom and Dad came to our house.  As soon as they arrived, we immedietly opened Christmas gifts.  We just couldn’t wait another moment!  They gave me a beautiful scarlet fiesta casserole (9 by 13) — I was completely shocked, I hadn’t even held one in my hands before.  My mom bought me a scarlet one so I could use it for my Valentine’s parties, isn’t that thoughtful?  They also gave me a book and some happy pig knick-knacks.  They had a gift for me from Aunt Mary, some of her homemade soaps, and a gift from my brother and his wife–a place setting of “evergreen” fiestaware!

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I thought my mom was going to cry when she opened her gift: a signed Tasha Tudor print (of the Secret Garden) and 2 packs of seeds from Tasha’s garden!  She was so happy and that was a thrill for me.  We gave my dad the PBS documentary of The Civil War, he loves that series and was very happy to have his own copy of it.

Here is a photo of my dad and the boys playing with Jacob’s new army men.  They were on 2 teams, shooting rubberbands at the opposite team’s men, to knock them down.  All of them laughed a lot.

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My favorite part of their visit was being able to play the piano for my parents for the first time in YEARS.   Rich gave me a new piano for Christmas and this was the first time my parents heard it.  My dad sat on the couch with a hymn book, and I had my own, and he called out hymn numbers for me to play.  His favorites are the ones written by Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley.  His all-time favorite is the William Cowper hymn, “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”.  I probably played about 10-15 hymns for him.  We also played “Heart and Soul” together, “just like the olden days”. 

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For dinner I made a new recipe.  It turned out quite tasty, and the kids liked it, so here is the recipe:

Pork Chops in Bean Sauce (made in the crock pot)

6 pork chops
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp pepper
28 oz can baked beans
1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce
13 1/2 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
1/3 cup chili sauce

1. Brown pork chops on each side.  Place in slow cooker.
2.  Saute onion in skillet in meat juices, spread over pork.
3. Sprinkle w/salt, garlic, and pepper
4. Combine beans and hot sauce, pour over chops.
5. Combine pineapple and chili sauce, spread over beans.
6. Cover.  Cook low 7-8 hours, high 3-4 hours.

For a side dish, my mom and I chunked up some veggies–red pototoes, a red onion, carrots, and a squash, tossed them in olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted them in a 400 degree oven on cookie sheets.  They were so good!  We also had a nice tossed salad.

After dinner we ate chocolates.  I bought a box of Russell Stover and a box of Whitman’s.  We did a taste testing of them and we all (except Ethan and David) thought that Russell Stover was the best. 

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Mom and Dad had to leave at 7pm and as usual, we were all sad to see them go.  It was a wonderful time together.  I love my parents SO much and it feels so good to have them visit, enjoying my family and my home. 

This morning we went to church, Rich and me, with our five children. . .finally all together again after several Sundays of sickness in the family.  I love sitting by my husband and holding his hand during the sermons.  Every once in a while I’ll look at the children next to me and we’ll smile at each other.  Today Jacob was by my side, then E, and then Grace.  The service was wonderful, the hymns we sang were so edifying and Pastor’s sermon was all about how God chooses and uses ordinary people–he preached from Luke’s account of Jesus calling H
is 12 disciples. 

I hope all of you are having a wonderful weekend!   I’m attaching the link to the book I am reading, it is so good!

“Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.  Amen”  Ephesians 6:23, 24

 

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  1. I’m I Daves fave.? Love the pictures of Mom & Dad, and baby Weston. I miss you all so much and I wish that I was there playing with the army men too. Remember the army man game Dad taught us boys when we were kids… a dining room table, those green plastic 100 for $.99 army men, Dad at one end and Me on the other and a nice shooter marble that we would roll back and forth…last man standing won…I don’t know if I ever beat him. Im the only one awake here too!  Love you.

  2. I love love love the pictures of you with the parents! The black and white always look so nice. Thank you for the pics and flowers the other day…seems like a blur now ( you know what I mean) I feel awful for Dave he is so sweet. Please pray for Naomi she has the stomach bug and a feaver poor baby. I am so thankful that mom and dad came I feel much more at peace seeing them. Love ya sis

  3. I am so blessed by reading your posts! The warmth and love you share as a family just shines through. I can see where you and your children are reaping the blessings of a Godly heritage. Exodus 20:6 (God)shows his love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

  4. Baby Weston is just “the sweetest thing I ever saw”…as my grandmother, Mimi, used to say.:o)What a special family you have!Your mum and dad must be so delighted to spend time with you all.Good for you….more fiesta ware!Yay!No church service for us today….blizzard conditions again.Sittin’ by the fire and drinkin’ coffee,Dawn xo

  5. Well, we are stuck in Michigan in a whiteout snowstorm after traveling here for a wedding ~ stuck in a motel ~ but warm and thankful not to be out on the interstate ~ pray we can get started for home tomorrow ~

  6. Oh I am so happy your parents came! I had no idea they were here. I guess it was a surprise to everyone. I’m sure you enjoyed every minute of your visit. I’m glad everyone is finally well in your family.

  7. You put so much into your posts Shanda.  Thank you for sharing.  I cannot possibly put into words here how you make me feel, but it is a blessing to me that God has put me in touch with you.   I don’t often read other people’s comments, but today I did.  It is so touching that you are all so close and they comment on your site.  I think I’m going to play that army game with my boys…it sounds like fun.

  8. That little Weston is a cutie! Imagine David disappointed because they didn’t name him David!   I loved reading about your days. I was thinking about all the trouble and heartache I see— all the reaping of sin I have to deal with as a pastor– all the turmoil and problems I must immerse myself in as I, with God’s help, try to make a difference and turn people in the right direction. Anyway, I am sure one reason I love reading your posts is because you and your sweet family are doing it right! I love the love and commitment you have for your family. I love the balance, joy, peace, and care portrayed in your writings. It is often a breath of fresh air for me just to come here and read of a family who is doing it RIGHT! Thank you. May it ever be so. Blessings!

  9. I’m glad you had a good weekend – Almost called you to see if you wanted to meet us at Howe’s Caverns.  But I figured it might be too short of notice. 
    I am just going to have to send my packages off in the mail…I told you I would probably be giving you your Christmas gifts for your b-day!  I really wish I could see you open it though…
    Love Ya!

  10. I always love reading your posts! Little Weston is just so cute! I am glad you liked your fiestaware, we weren’t sure what you had and what you didn’t have, but we thought that would be nice for christmastime. Love you all, Melissa

  11. I wish they lived closer for your sake!  I know just how your Mother felt opening the gifts!  These pictures are so good did you use the flash in the first one?  The lighting seems so even that I am thinking you did.
    Playing all those hymns sounds like something out of the Waltons..or sometime more wholesome than the age we live in now, more warm and family oriented.

  12. Baby Weston is just beautiful, your parents are so groovy looking! and the kids obviously enjoy them. What a heritage they have. But most importantly HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW! Your card is on the way. I am sorry it will be late. Just know that there are many many here who are so glad that those two groovy people had wonderful YOU. Hugs, and many blessings, M in SC

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