Have A Merry Christmas!

We wanted to share one of those stories behind the songs for Christmas and this is the one we came up with. We hope you like it.

~ Silent Night~

It was Christmas eve in the Austrian Alps.  At the newly constructed Church of St. Nicholas in Orberndorf, a Tyrol village near Salzburg, Father Joseph Mohr was preparing for the evening service.  The church organ was broken ruining the events carefully planned music.  The Lord causes all things to work together for good for those who love him which Father Joseph was about to find out.  It came to his mind to write a song that could be sung organless.  Hatsily he wrote the words, "Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright..."

He took his song to the organist, Franz Gruber, he explained the situation and asked Franz to compose a simple tune.  On December 24, 1818, Silent night was sung for the first at the Church of St. Nicholas in Orberndorf. Shortly afterward, Karl Mauracher came to repair the organ, he heard about the near disaster on Christmas Eve. After acquiring for the text and tune, he spread it throughout the Alpine region of Austria, referring to it as Tiroler Volkslied.  The song became known to the Starsser family makers of fine chamoisskin gloves.  To drum up business at fairs and festivals, the four Strasser children would sing in front of their parents booth.  Like the Von Trapp children a century later they became popular folk singers throughout the Alps.  When the children- Caroline, Joseph, Andreas, and Amelia- began singing Tiroler Volkslied.   The crowd
was delighted it was a perfect songfor the snow covered area.  The king and queen even came to know about Silent Night and asked the children to sing it for them.
Silent Night was first published for congregational singing in 1838 in a German hymn book.  It was used in America by German- speaking congregations, then appeared in its current English form in a Sunday school book in 1863.

Were it not for that organ , there would have never been a "Silent Night."

Here is a picture of Stephen, we don't think he understands the term "Silent Night" yet .

~Wishing you a Merry Christmas from our home to yours~

Welcoming Baby Stephen

On Friday I headed out to the hospital to deliver the baby by c-section. Our dear friend Miss Cindy came over  to watch the kids which was a HUGE blessing. They went to Stevie B's and then went and saw Tangled at the movies(which everyone loved).She also bought the cake in the picture above isn't it adorable? The kids got to see Stephen Saturday morning because I had the baby in the evening on Friday. Here are the pictures of proud big brothers and sisters welcoming their baby brother Stephen.

Behold children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior, so are the children are the one's youth. 
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them
~ Psalm 127:3-5

Please Welcome....

Stephen James Parris

He was born at five o'clock and was
9lbs.  3ounces and 21 inches long.

Mom and baby are doing well.

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in your mother's womb I knew you....

Thanksgiving Part 1

I wanted to get this out in the first part of the week but it seemed as though taking care of some not so great feeling children became more of the priority. Since Thanksgiving fell on the 25th this month I thought it would be great to list 25 things to be thankful for. I also already had plans to do something for the month of December leading up to Christmas day but who knows if that will happen so why not go ahead and do my Thanksgiving post. I love to look back at old posts and see what was going on at the time so by next year I'll enjoy reading back over this list and adding to it for Thanksgiving 2011. I should go ahead and say that these will be in NO SPECIFIC ORDER, just what pops in my mind while I type. I considered writing out my list first but never found the time to do that either.
1.Our Heavenly Father- this is such an obvious one and should always be at the top but before I elaborate on my own I have a song on my play list by Phillips Craig and Dean. They sing it much better than I can say it! It is such a beautiful song! I am listening to it as I type.

2My Husband- I know we all think our husbands are just the greatest but I really really think mine is. He has been really busy these past few weeks and we haven't been able to have our normal time together so this has been very hard on me. That's just how much I enjoy his company!

3.My Sweet Children- Morgan-Katie-Josiah-Jacob-Sarah-Samuel and of course Baby Stephen who will be here in just a few more weeks. God has given me these wonderful healthy children. When I think that Morgan will be 30 when Stephen is her age it overwhelms me. I want to keep my older ones young but I know that is impossible so I enjoy seeing them grow in the Lord. I look forward to their future.

4.Our Home- I love our home! It is not new and it needs quite a bit done ( or at least that's what I hear Sammy say) and to think we will soon be a family of 9 it may seem small to others but for us it is just what we need. When we had our 3rd child we lived in a 3 bedroom house that was about half this size. I remember a friend asked me where in the world would I put another baby. I almost had to laugh at the thought that our homes need to be huge. I have seen homes and been in some that held 8-12 children that were smaller than our little house and they did just fine. I pray that I will always be content with my home. Being content is a wonderful place to be at. Most days I feel pretty content but its easy to let "things" get in the way of our happiness. I know some who are never content and I feel really sorry for them.

5.Our church and Pastor- We have been a part of 3 churches since we were married ( this is besides the church we actually were married at). All 3 have been great places to be at different times in our life. Waterville has just been an awesome place to be. We have some of the sweetest people in the world that we worship with. They have become more like a family to us. We have a pastor who leads us and wants the best for the congregation. He truly loves his "flock". And like the old saying goes -you don't know someone till you work with them everyday- Sammy has said time and time again that Allan is the real deal!

6.Some very precious women in my life- I really believe that God puts people in your life at the perfect time. There are some very wonderful ladies that God has put in my life through our church. This is an extra blessing to me as I have an "absentee" Mother and Sister. These ladies are Older, Middle Aged, and Younger but they are all very special and very important to me. Not only to me but also to my children. I know I can count on them and also I believe they love me just for who I am, and that can be really hard!

7.Other Homeschool Moms- It is so great to have some other Moms that I can talk to and share ideas with that are also doing the same thing our family has been doing for all these years. Homeschooling your kids is sometimes hard for others to understand so it is great to have these other Moms to share ideas with. I think we help each other in that way.

8. Our new dining room table- This was built by a true craftsman.  I think it is just gorgeous.  It also has a bench that Cliff built that will hold a whole bunch of kids.  We do many things at this table not only eating all our meals but schoolwork, family devotions, and just sometimes sitting and drawing or reading a book.  There always seems to be someone at the table. Sammy keeps it shined up and we all take extra care with it.  Who knows how many it will one day hold.   I hope that Cliff and Kay will delight in knowing that we not only nourish our bodies at this table but we also educate and disciple our family here too.

9.First Baptist Church Library- Mrs. Lynda and her helpers- I have no idea what we did before we had this library to visit.  It is just the best place to go and get books and DVD's and just pure encouragement from the ladies that work there.   I have at least one child and normally more than one that want to go at least once or twice a week.  I love that it is now so close to us.  It has been such a blessing to our family over the past few years.  I can't really remember how long it has been since we have been visiting but I think at least 3-4 years because Jacob was really small when we first started .  It  is a perfect fit for our family. 

10.Sammy's job in the ministry-Sometimes you know when things go a certain way it is all Gods timing. For about the first 8 or so years of our marriage my husband worked all kinds of hours and then he worked 3rd shift for a time and that was VERY hard for me.  I basically didn't sleep any because I am such a scardy cat.  I've come along quite a bit since then.  After many years of praying  God gave him a great first shift Monday-Friday job and he was also bi-vocational at Charleston First Baptist.  We thought things were going great and then the doors just started opening up at Waterville.  It seemed like we had been thrown a curve ball and "our plans" were going to change.  God had even better plans for us and we are so glad that he is able to be in full time ministry.  My husband loves other people.  He loves them even when people just really get on my nerves.  I am so proud for him and our family that God is able to use us at our church .  It is a perfect fit for Sammy and I also love to see peoples faces that knew us about 20 years ago and then they find out that he is really an ordained minister.  Not that he was a bad guy at all but you just don't see at 16 or 17 what God has in store for you.  A true blessing.

Sammy, Katie and Morgan sang together this past Sunday.  They sang For the Beauty Of the Earth.

11Baby Shower for a 7th blessing-  I was completely shocked when I read that there would be a baby shower for us this past week.  Is that not the sweetest thing in the world.  How many get blessed with a shower for #7. We have received so many great things for our little guy.                                                             

This is the first part of my thankfulness post. Hopefully I will get around to finishing it. I believe it is quite possibly the longest thing I have ever done. Maybe I can plan on doing it every year to see what God has done for us each year

Happy Thanksgiving!

An Afternoon With Friends

A week ago we had the Brown and Murray Families over for a get together. We did a Bible study in the spring with them but took a break over the summer.  In the  pictures below we don't have the Murray kids in it because they left before we took them.  We had a great time and hope to have them over again.  =)

Isn't their baby precious?

An October Birthday

         Jacob turned six on October 5th.
He picked out hot dogs,and wanted a Toy Story theme.
He was going to go to Chuckie Cheese but decided instead to "play in the backyard with his family".

Jacob wants to be a preacher in Alaska when he grows up but he keeps saying he wants to live close to home too.  Jacob loves homeschool. He is beginning to learn how to read. Jacob is very good at memorizing Bible verses, he carries his Bible around with him wherever he goes.  Happy birthday Jacob.  We love you! 

My Beach Babes

I Will Always Cherish The Memories We Made This Week In Hilton Head Island.
Jumping Waves, Building Sand Castles, Collecting Shells, Crawling On The Beach (Samuel), Walking And Talking (Sarah), Looking Out For Pirates (Josiah, Jacob), Watching My Young Ladies Act Like Ladies In Public (Morgan, Katie), And Finally; Momma Making Some New Friends With
"The Birds".
God Has Truly Blessed Me!

Josiah (Haisoj) - 9
 Jacob (Bocaj) - 5
 Sarah (Sa-Rah!) - 2
 Katie (Kay-Kay) - 12
 Morgan (Maw-Maw) - 14
 Samuel (Big O Sam, A Great Big Sam) -1


Birthday Celebration

On September 3, we celebrated Mom's and Mrs.Pinkard's birthday, since they are both on August the 28th (We had to celebrate it a week late because of the revival at our church).  .For the past three years we've been celebrating their birthdays together with Mom, and Mrs. Pinkard, (Of Course), also Cliff and Kay Houk, and Reba Davis.
This year after we ate at the Gondolier restaurant, we visited a private historical Civil War home.

The Wilson House
Owned By: Bob and Nancy Erwin.

Bullet holes that were shot into the home
while General Sherman was staying there during the Civil War.

One of the rooms with the original bed.

This is an authentic pre-Civil War gun.

A group picture of the whole bunch.

Lead Me

Listen Up Dads!

By the way,
This group will be at Lee University on Sunday Night, Sept 19.
Free Concert/Worship Service.
Honoring God In Education
Overcoming Obstacles One Day At A Time
Making Memories In A Christ-Centered Environment
Educating My Children Academically And Spiritually To Impact The World
Spreading The Good News With And Through My "Blessed Arrows"
Cherishing My Family
Having Fun
Operating Under The Influence Of The Holy Spirit
Obeying My God-Given Calling
Loving Life To The Fullest Degree

Wordless Wednesday

Katie Turned 12!!!

Katie turned 12 years old on July 5th.  She tried very hard to be our firecracker baby but was a few hours late.  Actually she was 1 full week late.  She had dark curly hair when she was born, the total opposite of her big sister.  Katie loves to celebrate and enjoys having a summer birthday so near the 4th of July.  This year she chose the evening meal, opened her presents, ate cake and ice cream and then we headed out to her new adventure- Cake Decorating at Hobby Lobby, this was part of her gift that she asked for.  So far she has had two lessons and she's doing a great job.  The cakes are very tasty so it is going to be easy to pack on the pounds for our family.  Katie is a pleasure to be around.  Giggly most all the time and quick to offer help, especially when helping with the little ones.  We are so proud of her, she is becoming a wonderful young lady.  This year she has moved from the children's choir to the Sunday morning adult choir.  She enjoys her time with Daddy on the way home from choir practice on Wednesday nights.  They do lots of singing and acting silly on the way home.  Or so I've heard.  We love you very much Katie (KK)!

Happy Birthday Samuel

Our sweet little Sam turned one a few weeks ago.  We love this little guy so much!  He came along so quickly behind his sister that some thought he might not get all the love and attention he needs.  Well, with his adorable smile it is really hard not to love on him all the time.  The last picture is my favorite.  It is how he looks when he is taking off after Sarah to try to catch up with her and grab the bottom of her dress.  Our biggest one year old by far- he is almost 30 pounds.  Happy Birthday to our little boy!