Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Visit with friends...

Some dear home school friends, the Van Riper family, came over for dinner and fellowship last week. We had a very enjoyable evening with hamburgers and grilled chicken for dinner, fun at the park for the kids and wonderful fellowship as brothers and sisters in Christ.

They have a lilac bush in their yard and knew that we greatly admired the blooms of this bush, so they brought us a beautiful bouquet, which while it lasted, filled our dining room and kitchen with it's most delicious perfume!

The Van Ripers have 7 children, with #8 on the way!

Jamie is the youngest and becoming quite the little talker at 20 months old.

Emily is quite the pianist, and if she didn't have anything else to do, she would be composing some new piece of music for our enjoyment!

Mrs. Van Riper is one of the very ambitious ladies that took over the homeschool group that mom was leading and has done a great job in helping others out in their home schooling endeavors.

Daniel, the second youngest, is a very friendly little fellow and near the end of their visit was delighted to be able to try on our huge sombrero! Doesn't he sport it well!
We are so thankful to the Lord for being able to know the Van Riper family and spend time with them before we move.
May the Lord richly bless them as they continue to serve Him and be a blessing to others!

Dina and Ginger

Last week yet another 'chapter' was closed in our lives, a memory was etched in time and something 'new' was brought into our lives...

Dear Dina, our sweet old van. The automobile who has carried us far and wide, been faithful in so many travels where in she must have had angels packed around her carrying us on our way. God has been so faithful and merciful to us! Only one accident as I recall ever took place in dear Dina and that was only a minor fender bumper, otherwise God has kept us safe in her and protected us over the many miles we have traversed.

Now to those of you who have never heard the reason behind the naming of this vehicle, a while back when our van started to have some congestion problems she started to make this strange groaning sound whenever you accelerated which sounded like a dinosaur (ok, so we don't really know what those animals sounded like but you get the idea), and when it couldn't be fixed, we then started to call her Dina, and thus she has been affectionately called since.
Don't ask why we decide on that gender, but maybe it was because the majority of our family are females.

Like I said though, last week another 'chapter' was closed in our family and that enclosed Dina. The dear old van was becoming rather fragile for our many travels up north and back and we didn't know when she might just fall apart on us, and because of the move coming quickly (or not so quickly) upon us, we decided it was time to say goodbye and find a newer replacement for our faithful steed.

Faithful old Dina. Twice down and back to Florida, once to Shipshewana and out to Pennsylvania, a couple times to Canada and several times to Toledo, Ohio, (and probably many other trips that have slipped my mind right now) and last but not least, all the innumerable times up and back from church and other events up north in the thumb area!

Baby and the faithful old friend, ready to go for a ride at any given moment.

We'll miss you old girl. =)

So the old was taken and the new brought home and surprisingly a name was almost immediately found and labeled onto our new traveler!

Welcome Ginger! Wild Ginger to be exact.

Back in the woods behind us are many plants that we have observed and transferred over to our backyard for our enjoyment. One of them that was found in the last couple weeks was a strange little plant with some very interesting looking florets of the exact shade in color of our new van! It was a Wild Ginger plant!

[the color might be a little off, but from the human eye, it is exactly the same shade.]

..And yet again we are praising God from whom all blessings flow!