Monday, March 11, 2013

A New Creation

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that WHOSOEVER believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life."  John 3:16

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come."  2 Cor 5:17

Michael and Timothy were both baptized yesterday.  I cannot tell you how proud I am for them.  They are new creations, with an eternal destiny. 

Michael professing his faith...
The old is washed away, and the new has come.
Timothy professing his faith...

He was so happy.  He had a huge smile on his face.
It was fitting that the sermon was about children being spiritual role models.  As soon as Michael and Timothy were finished with their baptisms, Isaac nudged William and said "now it's your turn!" 

I'm so proud of Michael and Timothy for stepping out in faith, and not being afraid to believe in something they cannot see.  I pray for God's guidance in their lives, that He will lead them and they will follow without question.  Sometimes being a christian is not easy, especially in school when it's easy to get caught up in the ways of the world.  Please pray with me that they will walk the straight and narrow, even when the it might be easier or more tempting to choose another route.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sweet boy

Last night at bedtime, I thought I'd explain to Isaac what happened at church earlier that morning, since he had been in children's church.  I told him that Michael and Timothy had asked Jesus to come live in their heart, and that He had said "YES!"  I asked Isaac if he knew what that meant, and he told me that it means they get to go to heaven with us.  He said that he had already asked Jesus into his heart and that he knew he was going to heaven and he was very glad that Michael and Timothy would be going too.  He said that he knew there were gold streets in heaven! 

I told him that now we needed to pray for William, that he would ask Jesus to live in his heart, too.  He promptly replied, "I need to talk to him tomorrow and tell him that the streets are gold in heaven and that he needs to come with us."  Warms my heart to know that Isaac has a loving heart and one that wants his brothers to be with him in eternity. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

BIG, BIG, BIG day!

Today, February 24, 2013, was a BIG day for two in our family.  Michael and Timothy both gave their hearts to the Lord this morning during the church service!!!!  What an amazing feeling watching your kids get saved and make that decision publicly known.  I cried like a baby, and I'm pretty sure Ben cried a little too.  :)

They have been asking lots of questions lately about salvation, baptism, and what it means to be saved.  We have tried to give them straight forward answers without being overly "preachy."  We had no idea that they would be making the decision at all, much less today.  I was completely floored.  I'm just so glad that God used us and our awesome church to make a difference of the eternal kind in their lives. 

They will be baptized in two weeks, on March 10, so all of the grandparents can be there.  I will definitely take and post pictures of their big day.

There's two new names written down in Glory!!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New year, new beginnings

There's lots happening on the Hartin home-front.  We breezed thru Halloween (Isaac was a fireman, Piper was Red Riding Hood & Tinkerbell, and the boys were just scary boys).  It seemed like two days later we were celebrating Thanksgiving with our families.  December was much the same.  Our schedules have been filled with basketball practices and games, volleyball, and family gatherings. 

Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year.  I love putting up my decorations right after Thanksgiving so I can look at them the whole month of December.  In fact, I still have them up!  Celebrating the birth of my savior is a fun time for me.  Christ is the reason for the joy in my heart.  I know my final destination, and it's all because of a baby born 2012 years ago, named Jesus. 

Because we have such big families, our Christmas is spread out over about a two week period.  It's a lot of fun.  The kids were all blessed with lots of stuff, but I think the best part of Christmas is getting to spend it with family. 

We had my sister-in-law take our family portraits a while back.  I love how they turned out. 

I'm learning a lot of lessons in parenting.  It's not easy.  We've had to deal with issues I never thought we'd have to deal with.  We also had to make some tough choices.  Anthony decided, before he ever moved in with us, that he wanted to move back to Weatherford to be near his old friends from there.  We tried to make a good home for him here, with opportunities he wouldn't have anywhere else.  Unfortunately, his heart wasn't here, so we told him his only other option was to go live with his dad.  He moved out right before Christmas break.  God tells us in Romans 5:3-5 that we should allow our children to make mistakes, so they have a chance to learn and grow from them.  "...tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope..."  Ben and I believe that. 

I've started a year long devotional about parenting, and I'm reading a book called Praying Circles Around Your Children.  I'm so glad God is working in my heart and drawing me closer to him thru these trials that he's putting our family through. 

So, here we are to the beginning of a new year.  I have high hopes for this year.  William will soon enter the double digits, and Michael will be a teenager.  We have the rest of basketball season, then baseball season, then summer.  Summer is always full of fun, and this year with 3 extra boys, it will be even more so.  Then Timothy will move on up to Junior High, while Isaac will start Elementary School.  It will just be Piper and I at home then.   Lots to look forward to.  I'm also praying for some spiritual breakthroughs in our kids.  They've asked lots of questions about salvation and baptism lately, so I'm praying this year, we'll be able to welcome a few more children into his fold. 

Until next time...

Friday, October 19, 2012

We've doubled in size!

Oh my gosh!  So much has happened since I last posted in APRIL!  I wanted to update the blog, but where do I start?  I guess I'll start in May...

Isaac graduated from his preschool in May.  He looked so cute in his cap and gown.  I bet he'll look just like this in 12 more years when he graduates High School!  :)

We also began thinking very hard about adopting our nephews, Anthony, Michael, Timothy and William.  It was in May that we began our part of the process.

In June we were pretty much just enjoying the summer.  I had decided that I would do some fun science projects with Isaac over the summer break.  We started with the bean sprout project.  I put four dry beans in a plastic bag with a wet paper towel.  It only took a few days for the sprouts to grow and get pretty tall inside the bag.  Isaac liked getting to wake up each morning and see what new had happened since the day before.

We did several other science projects over the summer, including one where you take Dawn soap on a Q-tip and dip it in a plate filled with colored milk.  The color "runs away" from the Dawn.  It was pretty fun to watch.  And one where you microwave a bar of Ivory soap.  It expands to make a huge cloud formation (due to all of the air that's whipped in it).  

Piper was steady "cruising" this whole time and I really thought she'd take the leap to walking any day.  It finally happened in August, just in time for her birthday.

August was a big month for this Hartin family.  We finally got full custody of our nephews in late August, after many emotional ups and downs.  They came to live with us on August 24, just a few days before school started for the year.  We frantically got them bunk beds and dressers, and enrolled in school.  It was a big change for all of us.  

The first week of September will be a big one for us from now on.  We have three birthdays in four days!  Isaac's on 9/3, Timothy's on 9/4 and Piper's on 9/7.  We took the kids to the lake for a campout over the Labor Day weekend and celebrated Isaac's and Timothy's birthday with some friends and family.  

I had to have a super girly birthday party for Piper since it was her first birthday.  Mom graciously allowed me to use her home, and I think the party was a success.  Piper loved her cake!

Piper is walking like a champ and talking up a storm now.  Her list of words includes: Hi, bye bye, Momma, Daddy, shoes, socks, PJ, baby, princess, horsy, apple, applesauce, bite, ooooo, whoa, and yummy.  And boy, is she a Daddy's girl!

Since September, our lives have been all about school meetings, Michael's football games, MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers) meetings, homeschool for Isaac, and playing outside.  We are nothing less than busy, busy, busy.  People have asked if our house is noisy now that we have a house full of boys.  Yes, it is.  But it's a good noise.  There is LIFE in our house.  No one is bored.  No one has nothing to do.  There is always something going on.  Always someone to do it with.  And there is GOD in our house.  He has blessed us with the boys and with our own kids.  Yes, I may grey a little sooner than I would have with just two kids (ha!) but I'm hoping they will keep me young at heart.  :)

My mom took me and all the kids to Yesterland Farm in Canton last weekend.  Here's the first picture taken of all six of my kids...

Now isn't that the best looking bunch of kiddos you've ever seen!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Long overdue

I know, I know. It has been WAY too long since my last post. Piper was 6 weeks old, and Isaac was one month into his school year. Now, Piper is 7 months old, and Isaac is almost done with Pre-K. Lots has gone on since October.

For Halloween, Isaac dressed as Batman and Piper wore the Pea-in-a-Pod costume that Isaac wore his first Halloween.

We celebrated Thanksgiving at our house again, and it was great. I love having the whole family over.

Christmas was fun since we had the new addition. They both were blessed with way too many toys, and I'm blessed with the task of culling the old toys. :)

February and March were tough months for us. At least one member of our household was sick almost every single day of both months. We just kept passing the crud around. Thankfully, we all are well again, just in time for the AMAZING weather.

So, here we are, first week of April. Isaac just had his Pre-K Easter egg hunt as school yesterday. Today is Good Friday, and Sunday is Easter. I am so incredibly thankful every single day for the salvation that Christs' death afforded me. I am unworthy, but grateful for His grace.

Here's a few of the most recent photos of Isaac and Piper this spring...

Deep in thought.

Such a silly boy! I LOVE HIM!

Happy Easter!

They love each other so much! It's really fun to watch them interact with each other.

I love her big blue eyes! My sweet, pretty girl!!!

I could say that I'll try to be better and get posts up more often, but I don't want to make any promises. I'm a busy mom of two wiggly kids. What can I say? :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

6 Weeks & Preschool updates

Piper is 6 weeks old now. She's filling out nicely. As of a few days ago, she weighed 10 lbs 10 oz, and is now 22" long. That's up 4 lbs and 2" in 6 weeks. She's starting to smile more often. I haven't caught one on camera yet, but I hope to soon. She's also finding her voice. Up until this week, she's done nothing but grunt and groan (mostly in response to those mean ol' gas pains). Now she's starting to "ah!" and "oh". And, she was born with two little bottom tooth buds, and I think those are going to start being an issue soon, as she's just today started drooling.

Isaac is learning lots of great things at school. He's got an incredible memory - much better than mine ever will be! This month he has learned the days of the week, the months of the year, 3 of the 10 commandments (in kids terms), and three nursery rhymes (Jack & Jill, Humpty Dumpty, and Little Miss Muffet). He's learned lots of new songs, too. Every once in a while, I'll hear him humming or singing them around the house. (I'm so glad he has a love for music like I do). :)

Isaac gets to go on a field trip with his school next week to a pumpkin patch out near Greenville (Kadee Farms), and then there's Halloween after that. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures (and I'll do my best to get them posted soon after).