Thursday, December 25, 2008

From our family to yours -- MERRY CHRISTMAS!

A few pictures from our year
Easter photokids on the beach on Lake MI

homeschool family Camp

a Christmas wreath of smiling faces!
We are praying you are enjoying time with family, celebrating the BEST gift ever --
Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and
Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Who doesn't want a white Christmas? God blessed us with clear roads for our travels. We arrived just after a winter storm layed a blanket of over 1 foot of snow and before another foot is dumped, we're under a winter storm warning today!!! Even some blizzard warnings near here! We made it in the clear 24 hours window between the two storms to drive up - THANK THE LORD!
at Grandpa and Grandpas house look at that snow pile!!!! The kids have enjoyed lots of snow play -- with wind chills below 0 they don't last out for too long but we are definitely getting our fill of snow!
Yes that is MOM on the sled!!! She enjoyed a few toboggan rides down the hill with us too!

Uncle James was having just as much fun "playing" on the 4 wheeler -- or working as he called it! moving lots of snow to make a huge snow pile. All the kids enjoyed rides

How do you dig out of that much snow? No wonder he had snow down his pants!!!!

our little snow angel :)
We'll enjoy some snow for all our southern friends!
Love the frozen flock

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Need a last minute gift for the hard to buy for person?

(picture of our advent candles just for you Becky!)

Well, as I sit here -- procrastinating packing - (those who know me well will just smile at that!) and thinking of all the gifts we need to get yet... I have rationalized that it will take less van space if we just do all our shopping in Mi :) I thought how most of the family and friends we exchange gifts with really don't need anything.

So why not give something to someone who really needs something in honor of those loved ones? and you can do that right up to Christmas!!! I am sure there are tons of good causes and with the dreary financial state as of late, for many organizations donations are way down. Just to put a plug in for a few good organizations :) there are many larger ones -- Focus on the family, Family Life, Samaritans Purse, Habitat for Humanity etc plus many local organizations like food pantries, Pregnancy Resource centers, and more these are smaller less well know ones --

Bible translation with God's Word for the Nations

Winning at home - helping marriage WIN

CBH Ministries (Children's Bible Hour) - evangelizing to children all over through various media

Camp David a Christian camp for children of prisoners

Send a Christmas check to a missionary is another idea! Bless a family who is out of work with some gift cards to the local grocery store. Sponsor a child maybe through compassion or maybe for an adoption!
Ok there is my little gift suggestions :)
***family and friends when you open you gift you can still act surprised!!!

We are so thankful for all we have and as I look around at all our "stuff," I think cleaning, packing, all of it would be so much easier if we had less.

If you want the perfect gift this Christmas you only need to look up:
James1:16"Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. 17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created."

Jesus is the BEST gift and its not just the little baby but the gift of Easter and his sacrifice for each of us that makes that little baby so incredibly special!!!
Praying you draw close to him this Christmas!
Amy Q

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Prepare your heart...

Don't know about you but we are getting VERY excited for Christmas! Seeing family and friends, great food and lots of treats, time off work, time to be together and celebrate the reason for the season. Many years, I am sad to admit, I got lost in it all -- the preparations, the decorations, making enough cookies for all the cookie exchanges, making sure I have gifts for EVERYONE and my personal weakness -- cute coordinated kids :)

Well, this year for various reasons I seem to have much better perspective. My house is hardly decorated, we didn't make ANY cookies -- someone blessed us with already made cookie dough we just had to bake them and added a few red and green M&Ms to look festive! As for gifts, the gift of being together this year means the world to me and its OK to not have something wrapped -- sorry Sunday school teachers!

As for the coordinating thing... well I am still working on that! We were trying to get a Christmas picture and all I said was "how about red and green" -- the kids came up with the every other thing!!! I guess after enough years of "practice" its ingrained!!! Last year I may have said "the greens aren't the same hue... I am just thankful they are happy healthy and smiling and together!!!
Well this isn't the final so I guess you can have a preview :)
This is the extent of my wrapping so far this year -- no I am NOT giving her away :) The girls are in our church play Sunday -- you'll have to come see if you want to know more!

We enjoyed a live nativity this year -- it was cold but so neat to see live animals and actors and try to picture the reality of our Lord coming here, to earth as a helpless little child. God's greatest gift not wrapped in expensive paper or even topped with a fancy bow --just some swaddling cloth and laying in a manger.

As you prepare for Christmas remember that all the stuff isn't important --
make your heart ready for the best gift ever!
Praying God is REAL to you this season!
Amy Q

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Humblely Grateful...

do you remember that song?
God has given us so much to be thankful for this year!
We had hoped to get a nice thanksgiving post out but ended up doing a surpirse trip home for the holiday!!! Now that we are all laying around "recovering" thought I would share!
So much fun to see family and shock them by just showing up :) Everyone did great even with the long car ride! So many helpers made it almost easy to travel with a baby again :)

So fun to see many of the cousins, tried to pose all of the K cousins -- well it will only get more exciting with 2 more on the way! The kids enjoyed helping Gr K get Christmas decorations out (since that may not get done here-- good thing they got to help her!)

And so great to see the Q fam too. We enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with Steve's sisters and much of their families -- as they get older its harder and harder to all get together!
Missed Gr and Gr Q but due to sickness, they decided it was best not to join everyone for the meal. We were able to visit with them everyday while we were up which was a huge blessing for us.

Pile o' boys waiting for yummy Thanksgiving dinner!

And DAD got to carve the turkey!!! He was less than thrilled, but we kept encouraging him and big sisters helped too. Next year I am pretty sure he will make sure Gr Q is there :) or he will come up with some excuess not to be the carver. It tasted delicious (and no one really noticed how it was cut :))

A time to gather together with family and friends
to celebrate the many blessings God has poured on us.
To say Thanks to God for each other and
for all the "stuff" we take so for granted most days!
To be grateful that God has chosen US to live today --
may we be willing to be his servants TODAY!

Its MY TURN...

for the bathroom...we had a first in our house last night, all 7 of us had the FLU! YUCK!
NO fun -- but on the bright side at least its just one "sick" day! and thankfully we have 4 bathrooms! I don't remember the last time we have watched so many movies :) The kids are enjoying that part!

We all slept in the family room -- a big sleepover -- just wasn't quiet as fun!

the friend!

Gabe recovered quickly and was our "snack man".
Thankfully dad had run to the store to get us supplies!!!
You know they are feeling better when they want turns on the computer!

Praying you are all staying healthy!
Love the recovering Quak fam