Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Matthew!!!

Fifteen years ago today the Lord blessed us with our first son. Matthew Edward Fletcher entered the world on New Year's Eve. I can't believe that little baby is now a huge teenage boy! At almost 6'3" I can't call him my "little boy" anymore! I thought in honor of his birthday I would write some things about him.

- He is loyal.
- He has a calm personality.
- He is smart.
- He doesn't mind getting roaches and other nasty things for me!
- He tolerates his sisters well ( most of the time.)
- He entertains his little brothers.
- He never complains about having to share a room with his 4 year old brother.
- He is very gentle with the baby.
- He is my handyman when Marc isn't here.
- He loves baseball and building stuff.
- He likes airplanes.
- He has never caused us one bit of trouble! You can't say that about a lot of teenagers these days!
We love you Matthew and hope that this is a great year for you!

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas 2010

Well, this has certainly been a strange Christmas for us! A few days before Christmas I started not feeling well. I ended up being sick with the flu for an entire week! It completely changed our Christmas plans of being with family. We tried to make the best of it. Looking back over the past week I realize that we slowed down way more than we normally would have. We spent more time with each other, talked more, played more games and watched more movies. My kids love when I sit and watch a movie with them. They thought it was really great that I watched THREE movies with them this week! Maybe that is just what the Lord wanted for our family this Christmas season, to slow down and focus on what is really important. We also finished up Jotham's Journey for our Bible time during Advent. We all enjoyed doing something new this year. Marc got a new book for Christmas from Vision Forum to start our New Year Bibe time. We are studying Proverbs now.

The night before we open presents the children always swap gifts with each other. It works better that way because they can really focus on what they are giving and it doesn't get overshadowed by what we give them. It is always so sweet to see how proud they are of what they are giving.

Malachi with his new pj pants that McKenzie made for him and his scarf that Madeline made.

McKenzie bought an aquarium for the girls. She sent them on a scavenger hunt to find the different things that went in it. They were so excited!

Myles liked the paper the best!

They always get new electric toothbrushes in their stockings! :>)

Myles was hilarious on his new bike. He kept trying to stand up on the seat. Maybe he is going to be a stunt man one day!

The only thing Malachi asked for was a new gun. Once he saw it he was finished!

Hope you all had a good Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

You never know what a day may bring...

A couple of weeks ago Marc and I went out of town for a few days. Marc had a work related trip and wanted me (and the baby!) to go with him. I am a homebody and I don't like leaving my children, but I knew it would be good for us to get away. The place we stayed was beautiful.

This was a real gingerbread house! Below is a list of some of the ingredients!
Everything was decorated for Christmas.
I took this picture for Matthew. He loves Christmas lights and I knew he would think this was really cool!
Myles has a new obsession with toilet paper. It is hilarious to see him frantically grab it and run! At home he is usually gated in his playroom. I think he enjoyed having the run of the place!

This was a huge spiral staircase.
The trip was very relaxing. There was a paved walking trail throughout the whole community that was also used for golf carts. I took Myles in his stroller and walked a lot of it. The houses were unbelievable. I didn't know until later that some of the homes were owned by professional baseball players. They were beautiful, but really... who needs a home that big!? Unless of course you are filling it full of children! :>)
The day we left we had to go pick up a new dairy goat that McKenzie recently bought. We laughed at ourselves leaving the Ritz and later pulling a trailer with a goat in it! Honestly, I think I prefer the simpler life! I was so glad to get home and see my other children. McKenzie had done a wonderful job taking care of them and keeping the house going.
I went to bed that night and the next morning Marc woke me up to, "Wake up, the well house is on fire." Once I got my eyes open and realized what was going on, I was just relieved that it was just the well house! I have been through so much in the past year or so that as long as my children are ok, I can handle it! I ran into the kitchen and saw the blazes in the building. Matthew had been out doing chores and was starting to water the animals when he saw smoke coming out of the building. He ran to tell Marc and of course they immediately called 911. It was a pretty helpless feeling to stand there watching it burn while we waited on the firetruck. For a moment we tried to use the hose only to remember that the WELL was on fire, we didn't have water! By the time the firemen got there and put the fire out it was pretty much burned to the ground. The cause of the fire was wiring with the well.

We had a lot of stuff stored in that building and among the stuff was paint and paint thinner. You could hear the cans exploding. I thought about Matthew being right at the backside of the building when it was burning on the inside. I was so grateful that nothing exploded while he was standing there. When the fire was still just burning on the inside Marc thought it was the refrigerator that was on fire. He reached in to unplug it. I later was saying how dumb that was, that he could have been burned. McKenzie made me feel terrible when she said, "I think it is sad. That was daddy's stuff! He was just trying to save it." All of his tools inluding his power tools were stored in there. But it was all just stuff. The only thing we were all wondering and not wanting to say was "Where was Mariah's cat." She kept asking where "Oreo Kitty" was because she knew she had been sleeping in the well house at night. Matthew looked for her and couldn't find her. Mariah was about to cry when McKenzie came walking in the house with her!

She was one happy girl!
We had to go to a hotel for a couple of nights while they installed a new well. Hotels on vacation are fun. Hotels ten minutes away from your own bed are NOT fun! The first morning we got up Malachi said, "I want to go to the beach!" To him hotels mean you are at the beach!

Playing cards late one night in the hotel lobby. Yes, the whole ordeal really messed up Myles' schedule!

She managed to find a computer to use.
Matthew "entertaining" Malachi.
Lots of "together" time! :>) Even with two hotel rooms and two bathrooms, it was still VERY crowded!

It was so wonderful when we got to go back home. On top of the fire and no water, the heat in our downstairs went out a couple of weeks ago. The kids all sleep upstairs so it wasn't too bad. We have had colder than usual weather lately. A couple of days after we got back in the house we woke up to no water again. The well (that is normally housed in a building) was frozen! Later that day it thawed out AND the heat guy came and put the new part on our furnace. It is amazing how grateful you are for things that you normally take for granted when you have had to do without them for awhile!

All of this has been a huge pain, but once again it just makes you realize how much you have to be thankful for. I can see how the Lord's hand was on the whole fire ordeal from the beginning. It didn't happen while we were out of town. It started in the morning after some of us were awake. If it had been in the middle of the night the fire would have spread onto the leaves and could have easily burned our house. I am SO thankful that no one was hurt in it. I am thankful that it was the well house and not our home. I am thankful for several sweet neighbors that shared showers and laundry rooms! And I am even thankful that Oreo Kitty was spared! God cares about the little things too!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Saturday night ramblings...

It is late Saturday night and I am waiting on McKenzie to get home from a babysitting job. She has had a very long day. She took the SAT this morning. It was an eye-opening experience for her! She called me after she was finished and her daddy was taking her to lunch. She was shocked at the behavior and the language that was used by the other students there taking the test. I am so thankful that we have had the privilege to homeschool our children. Having one that is at the end of the journey has made me realize even more how important it is to shelter (yes, I said shelter!), protect and mold them in the formative years. Of course, now that she is grown she is beginning to venture out into the world. I love the analogy that I read years ago where someone compared homeschooling your child to raising a plant. They said you don't set out a seedling into the weather before it is strong enough to endure the storm. I firmly believe if you protect your children and train them up in the ways of the Lord that they are far more ready to weather the storms of life when they encounter them. It was kind of sad watching her leave this morning wondering where the time went, but mostly just so proud of the Godly young lady she has become.
Every year I dread trying to get a decent picture to send out at Christmas. We haven't attempted a professional picture in years. Last year I even gave up the idea of a family picture. So, once again this year I told the children one morning to try to wear something red or green because I wanted to take a few pictures. I got lots of pictures...lots of pictures of a one year old looking everywhere but the camera and a very silly four year old!
I am NOT a hair person. McKenzie is the hair person around here. I wasn't too crazy about the boys hair dos, but I guess I can't complain since she put the whole thing together for me!
Trying to get the pose together.
Kind of cute, except for Myles being fascinated with his shoes! (Maybe because he rarely wears any!)
Myles was better but McKenzie looks a little too animated! :>)
Now the fun really began!
Malachi was using his arms as swords!

He really enjoys life! :>)

I don't know if you can tell in this picture but Malachi was crossing his eyes. He kept saying, "I see two mommies"
We were getting ready to change poses to see if Malachi would settle down and they picked up the cats. Malachi ended up getting scratched in the face and that was the end of the Christmas 2010 portrait shoot!

One evening after Thanksgiving Marc had us all say one thing we were thankful for about each person in our family. When it came time for Mariah to say hers she said, "I am thankful that Matthew is so good at putting up Christmas lights and if he wasn't my brother I wouldn't mind marrying him." The way she said it was so sweet and innocent. Matthew didn't think it was so cute but I thought it was precious! When she came to Malachi she said, "I am thankful for Malachi because sometimes he is nice." Such honesty...
McKenzie is home. Goodnight!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Woes of a one year old...

Minding my own business.

Someone throws leaves.

Sisters always make it better.

Yes, he is the guilty one!