Category Archives: Family News

The Fruitful Season: Part 2

As many of you know, our church is in a nursing home. That means our family has the complete responsibility of setting up for and having the church service every week. Without the help of our children, it would be a difficult task for just Steve and me.

When we arrive on Sunday morning, the children go to the rooms asking residents if they want to come to church, and then push the wheelchairs into the dining room where we have our service. One of the boys goes to the storage closet to get out our personal sound equipment that we use because so many of our congregation are hard of hearing. Then he sets up the sound equipment. The other boys move tables and rearrange chairs.

Setting up for church
Jesse and Joseph setting up for church.

We have a tub containing our large-print, spiral bound, lightweight hymn books. One of the girls takes and distributes the hymn books to those who can still read. Christopher and Sarah take turns playing the piano. Every one fellowships with our elderly congregation before and after church.

Mary talking before church.
Mary talking before church.
A new lady who came this Sunday.
A new lady who came this Sunday.

Nathan and Melanie have undertaken the difficult task of maintaining the church services when we are on the road. My parents help them, and so do two of Melanie’s sisters. Nathan is the song leader and preacher when we are away. Of course, Abigail is always a favorite with our congregation, whether we are there or on the road.

We are completing our seventh year of a nursing home church. Steve has always had the responsibility of pastoring the church including Sunday preaching, conducting funerals when requested, and counseling. For several years, Christopher has preached once a month. Plus he has taken the responsibility for many of the hospitalization visits and ministry – which there is quite a bit of in our church. Christopher also goes weekly to pray with one of the men. Both Christopher and Steve are regularly asked by the staff to make other pastoral visits to a resident who isn’t a regular church attendee.

Christopher leads prayer time.
Christopher leads prayer time.

More recently Joseph (20) and John (18) are beginning to preach one Sunday every other month. They are learning to seek the Lord for where He would have them preach, study for the message, prepare it, and then present it.

John preaching last Sunday.
John preaching last Sunday.

It is a fruitful season for Steve and me as we see the reality of our ministry multiplied, expanded, and enriched by our children’s involvement. We want to encourage those of you with young children to be faithful to bringing your children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord – truly looking to Scripture rather than following what most others are doing. It may seem wearisome and lonely at times, but the fruitful season will come.

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 1:4

Steve
Steve leads singing and encourages the hearts of all those who attend.
Holding hands...
Holding hands...
John helping find the right page.
John helping find the right page.
Joseph setting up the sound system.
Joseph setting up the sound system.
The children sing a special music each Sunday.
The children sing a special music each Sunday.
Singing!
Singing!
Sarah playing the piano.
Sarah playing the piano.

Sewing Answers

In response to the questions we were asked after we posted The Fruitful Season: Part 1, here are some answers.

We get most of our tops from LLBean. The one I had on in this photo was from Christopher & Banks, but we haven’t seen that style the last couple of years.

Anna and I
Anna and I

The pattern for these jumpers is Simplicity 5917. Anna says it is very simple to make and fairly quick. She has made her jumper, Sarah’s, and is almost done with mine that are to be conference jumpers from matching fabric. Mary (12) has now finished hers too. We added length to the jumper pattern because we wear our jumpers about ankle length.

Anna hemming up a jumper today.
Anna hemming up a jumper today.
Mary cutting out a jumper this afternoon.
Mary cutting out a jumper this afternoon.

When I was nursing babies, I didn’t make nursing dresses. I had a couple of skirts and tops, but I mostly wore jumpers. I had a jumper pattern that had a bodice that buttoned so that worked for nursing. I also had a jumper pattern with a drop waist and arm hole openings down to the waist. I could nurse in that jumper as well.

Here is a Mom’s Corner where I share how I have worked with my girls in teaching them to sew.

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

The Fruitful Season: Part 1

For many years, I sewed for a half hour a day. With that amount of sewing time in my schedule, I could keep up with making matching dresses or jumpers for myself and my girls every few months. When Sarah was about twelve years old, I began to teach her to sew. Eventually she became a proficient enough seamstress to take over the family sewing. For many years she has made our matching outfits.

Now we have entered another phase of our family’s life. When Anna was about twelve, I put into both of our schedules time for me to teach her to sew. Now at sixteen, she is undertaking her first set of matching jumpers, ones we will use for singing outfits. She has already made a jumper for herself from the pattern she will use, but it was a bit too small for me. I tried on another jumper we had made that was the next bigger size of that pattern, and it was too big.

We decided we needed to make a test jumper to get the size correct before she tackled my jumper from the matching fabric. Anna discerned how to alter the pattern not only to make it fit, but also to make it look better. The test jumper came out great, and she is ready to begin sewing the four matching jumpers.

As you invest in teaching your children in various areas, it can sometimes be discouraging and wearying. However, with perseverance, the fruitful season arrives. I haven’t had sewing time on my schedule for ten years now, but we continue to have many hand-made outfits to wear. The fruitful season has arrived and is being handed down from daughter to daughter.

Anna and I Sunday in the jumpers she made.
Anna and I

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

“She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple” (Proverbs 31:22).

Mother’s Day

Mom
Mom
Dad and Mom
Dad and Mom

Children ARE a precious gift from our Lord. How grateful I am that the Lord blessed our family with eight.

Nathan (Melanie and Abigail) -- the firstborn
Nathan, Melanie, and Abigail
Christopher --
Christopher
Sarah
Sarah
Joseph
Joseph
John
John
Anna
Jesse
Jesse
Mary
Mary

Sarah for the family

“… but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).

Projects

Saturdays are filled with various and sundry projects. A sampling of those projects would be taking bus parts to the dump (from the tear out of the bathroom), washing/cleaning out a car, sewing, and restacking a wood pile (the ground is sloped, and it has fallen over twice, so this time, we used stakes!).

Yesterday, Dad painted the first batch of windows.
The result: beautiful, white windows 🙂 .
THe rest of the family did miscellaneous projects yesterday, and Mary cut out a new jumper.
The rest of the family did miscellaneous projects yesterday, and Mary cut out a new jumper.
Anna also worked on a jumper.
Anna also worked on a jumper.

Christopher shared a very good message today (at church) from Colossians 3 verse 2. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2). He challenged us in what we are thinking about during the week. At the end, he used an tangible illustration. I noticed how our dear friends were very interested and loved this example. Christopher showed us what it was like to have someone (Jesse 🙂 ) trying to walk toward a “goal” (a piece of paper on the floor), but Jesse was looking at a different object. It was hard to stay focused and get to the goal when Jesse was looking away from the goal. Then, he had Jesse look right toward his goal, and he reached it easily. May each of us set our affections on Jesus this week!

Sarah for the family

The First Birthday in the New House

My first door "job" at the new house!
The first door writing at the new house.
We celebrated Josephs 20th birthday, and this was a special one, since it was the first one in our new house.
We celebrated Joseph's 20th birthday, and this was a special one, since it was the first one in our new house.
Joseph is a real blessing to our family. He was Dad and Moms first baby after the Lord changed their hearts on the blessing of children. How grateful we are for him!
Joseph is a real blessing to our family. He was Dad and Mom's first baby after the Lord changed their hearts on the blessing of children. How grateful we are for him!
Speaking of babies, Abigail is always enjoyed :-). Here she is with Grandma.
Speaking of babies, Abigail is always enjoyed 🙂 . Here she is with Grandma.
There are so many interesting things to look at!
"There are so many interesting things to look at!"
Joseph and Nathan spent many hours yesterday working on a ChorePacks.com server upgrade. It went smoothly, and everything is running efficiently and very fast!
Joseph and Nathan spent many hours yesterday working on a ChorePacks.com server upgrade. It went smoothly, and everything is running efficiently and very fast! Here's Joseph at our server hosting place (thanks, Nathan, for the picture via the cell phone).

May each one of us count the blessings Lord has given us. How the years go by quickly 🙂 .

Sarah for the family

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalms 1:1-2).