Thursday, February 27, 2014

Pictures from the Last Few Months

We took pictures with the van because we are going to sell it.  Ahh, gone are the days of happy vacations in the dear van when there were eight of us.

Papa helped us make two raised garden beds.

This raccoon lay around in our yard all day until we sprayed it with a hose.

This is a science experiment.  You put some burning paper in a flask and put a hard boiled egg on top.  The change in air temperature causes the air pressure to be less inside the flask than outside the flask, so the egg is sucked.  It's supposed to be sucked entirely inside, but because our egg was too big it just squished it and made a dent.

We got rid of our little blue Toyota Corolla, which was my second favorite car (after the van).  But it's good to now be down to only four vehicles.  It was Katie's first car and we bought it from her after she got married.  She taught Ray how to drive stick shift on it.

Mama is good at dividing things up.  She can even make six cookies out of five.

This is an eggplant.

John has been making some very nice porch posts and arches for us.

The peach tree is blooming so we have been taking pictures with it. 

This is Laura's new skirt which she crocheted.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

Cute Boys Part 1

James and Ezra a few hours after Ezra's birth

Ezra 18 days old

Ezra two months old

He's wearing an outfit his father and uncle wore.

Ezra is now almost three months old.  Here are some recent cousin pictures.  Samuel loves holding babies!

Click on the picture to see Ezra's sweet smile!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Heart-Wrenching, Thought-Provoking Quote

In 1704 John Williams, a pastor in Massachusetts colony, was captured by Indians along with his family and neighbors.  While some of the captives were killed or kept by the Indians, many were taken to French settlements where Catholic priests used every means to convert them.  In his book, The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion, Mr. Williams describes his sorrow and anguish upon receiving news that one of his sons had turned to Catholicism, as well as the secret hope that upheld him in the midst of his afflictions.

"Here I thought of my afflictions and trials; my wife and two children killed, and many of my neighbours; and myself, so many of my children and friends in a popish captivity, separated from our children, not capable to come to them to instruct them in the way they ought to go; and cunning, crafty enemies, using all their subtilty to insinuate into young ones, such principles as would be pernicious.  I thought with myself how happy many others were, in that they had their children with them, under all advantages to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; whilst we were separated one from another, and our children in great peril of embracing damnable doctrines.  Oh! that all parents, who read this history, would bless God for the advantages they have of educating their children, and faithfully improve it!  I mourned when I thought with myself that I had one child with the Macquas, a second turned to popery, and a little child, of six years of age, in danger from a child to be instructed in popery; and knew full well that all endeavours would be used to prevent my seeing or speaking with them.  But in the midst of all these, God gave me a secret hope, that he would magnify his power and free grace, and disappoint all their crafty designs.  When I looked on the right hand and on the left, all refuge failed me, and none shewed any care for my soul.  But God brought that word to uphold me; Who is able to do exceeding abundantly above what we can ask or think.  As also that, Is anything too hard for God?"

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February Newsletter

From Laura, 15 … One Sunday in January, after our worship service and fellowship meal, our church had the opportunity to hear an amazing pianist perform.  He was a Russian graduate from the Moscow Conservatory of Music visiting his relatives in town.  I felt so privileged to be able to listen to this superb musician in our very own church for no money at all!  He played for over an hour, with everything he played being memorized.  His playing was flawless and beautiful.  It’s not very often that something keeps my eyes glued to one spot for that long!  It was a wonder-filled experience.  Afterward I hurried up to him with my autograph book.  I wanted to remember the special occasion forever!

From Becca, 17 … This month I wrote a research paper about the history of an area called Klein a bit north of where we live.  It was settled in the 1850’s by German farmers.  I really enjoyed learning about the people who used to live here—they were hardworking farmers and strong Christians.  We also visited an old cemetery just down the road from our church and saw many gravestones of people I had read about. 

From Seth, 20 … Last time I wrote about getting a job with a land development engineer.  One interesting part of the job has been the different meetings my boss has taken me to.  They are usually with clients or county officials, or sometimes other private engineers.  Being in the meetings has made me keenly aware of the importance of clear, to-the-point communication.  When ideas are not clearly articulated, carefully heard, and logically considered, meetings drag on, people get grumpy, and little is accomplished.

From Anna, 23 … I managed to get in on one of Southeast Texas' rare snowstorms last week.  I was staying with some friends in Bryan (an hour and a half out of Houston) and we woke up one morning to find snow on the ground!  It was less than half an inch, but it was still enough to look pretty, and enough for snowballs!  It was fun to watch the children experiencing the novelty of it all.  When they first went out, they went running from one place to another making discoveries, since the snow had made every familiar, everyday object into something new and exciting.  Then there were snowball fights, snow angels, and miniature snowmen!

From John, Megan,James, and Ezra … (by Megan) These past two months have been full in many ways!  John's business is growing and he is currently working on a kitchen remodel; one of my sisters got married; we are adjusting to life with two children; we passed all the holidays celebrated with family and friends; and we have thrown dancing in there somehow.  During these crazy busy times, we have seen God's grace in each day as he has brought us through easy and hard days.  James loves his little brother, and Ezra loves his big brother!  James is learning to love Ezra gently.  We can't imagine life without our boys!

From Ray, Katie, Peter, Samuel,  Andrew, and baby … (by Katie) We found out that our baby due in May is a girl!  It's really a novelty after three boys.  At first, we couldn't really believe it, but we're getting used to the idea, and getting quite excited.  We love having boys, but it will be nice to have a girl too.  I'm enjoying seeing the adorable baby girl clothes starting to come my way, and I'm looking forward to the various aspects of having another girl in the family.  We hope we can avoid having her be either spoiled or a tomboy!

From Judith … It boggles my mind that our “baby” is now 15 years old!  I’m pleased to find that age 56 doesn’t feel nearly as old as I thought it would 15 years ago.  I tended to wonder how it would be for Laura to have such “old” parents as a young adult, but I don’t think I’m as close to the “pasture” as anticipated.

Boy, I sure did miss Gerald while he was away for two weeks earlier this month for Weatherford (see below).  My heart goes out to wives whose husbands are frequently away for long stretches.  It wasn’t because it was hard to manage at home.  It’s just that we’re a team, united as one, and I felt like I was limping.  I was grateful for Skype so we could have video calls, but next time he’s away, I’d like to have more private calls without other family members gathered around. J

From Gerald … My big adventure recently was a trip to Germany.  My job took me to Hanover for two weeks.  This was my first time to go to Europe.  I missed my family, but I also enjoyed my time in Germany.  Everyone was very hospitable; I felt very welcome.  Anna found an English-speaking Reformed Baptist church that I attended both Sundays I was there.  That was a real treat to be able to fellowship with like-minded believers so far from home. 

Here are a few interesting cultural things I noticed.  Every morning, each of my colleagues would step into my office and greet me with a handshake.  They ate pizza with a knife and fork.  Glass drinking glasses, cups, and plates, as well as metal tableware were commonly used in situations (at the office and in restaurants) where we would use disposable items in the USA.  All of the cars were small.  The traffic lights turn yellow both before red and before green. 

I was able to do some sightseeing on the weekend.  It was nice to be able to get away and see some things.  

With love from the Pedersen clan