Large Family Friendly Dining Table

When we purchased our dining room table, there were some features we wanted because of our large family and the expectation that we would be seating even more in the future:

  1. Wide enough to seat two people at each end.
  2. Pedestal style so people could sit near each of the four corners. Previously our table’s legs were on the corners, making sitting close to them uncomfortable.
  3. Rectangular so we could put high chairs on each corner. (Right now we need five high chairs!)
  4. Expand with leaves to the largest size our dining room would accommodate.

We purchased the table from an Amish furniture store a couple of hours from our home. At this store, they had several table styles on the showroom floor. They were willing to customize the table width if we were willing to wait for it to be built.

The expanded table is 12 feet by 54 inches and comfortably seats 14 with the maximum seating being 18. It is 8 feet long without leaves and comfortably seats 8 with 12 being the maximum. We have four 12 inch leaves.

To handle the table’s weight with the length of the added leaves on a pedestal base, there are drop down legs on each end that we draw up when the leaves are not in use. Because of those drop down legs and the number of leaves, the leaves don’t store in the table itself so they need to be fetched from a closet each time we open up the table.

The meek shall eat and be satisfied:
they shall praise the LORD that seek him:
your heart shall live for ever.”

Psalms 22:26

A Delightful Time

If you have read our blog long, you might remember that three years ago, Steve and I began gifting our granddaughters, Abigail (12), Bethany (10), and Christina (8), with Hobby Lobby gift cards for Christmas. As part of the gift, we provide the trip to Hobby Lobby (about 35 minutes away) and a light meal after shopping. That gift proved so successful for two years that we continued it for Christmas 2020, and it now feels like a tradition.

This year, we scheduled our trip for the Monday after Christmas, but Grandpa had a cold so that date didn’t work out. Then we postponed it until February because the girls’ family was on an elimination diet for the month of January to experiment with some health issues. 

Monday, February 1st at 2:30, we picked up the girls for our shopping trip. This year the girls were all interested in card making supplies with Christina also wanting some modeling clay. In addition to cards, envelopes, and stickers, each girl bought a package of multicolored pens.

We tried something different this yeareating at our house rather than out. Lots of eat-in fast food places aren’t open for dining in so we did take out and ate at home. That allowed Steve and me to eat with the girls. Last year, we sat with them while they ate, took them home, and then Steve and I ate back at our house because of Steve’s restricted heart-healthy diet. 

With our new plan, we had enough time in the late afternoon and evening, after the shopping trip, to not only eat together but also to play games and have Bible time. The girls are doing the chronological read-through of the Bible that our church has a schedule and reading plan for and has encouraged people to do this year. We are also doing that during our family Bible time so it worked out well. 

Show and tell at dinner

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having
this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And,
Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” 
(2 Timothy 2:19).

Those Little Glimpses of Warmer Days Ahead

For part of the week, we had sunshine and warmer temperatures. Spring promises to come, but today, we have snow and cold. The changing of seasons is another reminder of our amazing God!

Debi with Ellie on Tuesday. I love photos with little kids and Ellie.

“He appointed the moon for seasons:
the sun knoweth his going down” (Psalm 104:19).

“…Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever:
for wisdom and might are his:
And he changeth the times and the seasons:
he removeth kings, and setteth up kings:
he giveth wisdom unto the wise,
and knowledge to them that know understanding” (Daniel 2:20-21).

Surprises, When Was the Last Time You Pulled One Off?

Surprises. Aren’t they great? At least good surprises are great. I will add the disclaimer that not everyone likes surprises. But most folks do love to feel loved. Could it be what makes a good surprise great is the love and care shown into pulling off a surprise?

One such surprise happened for us right before Christmas. We sat in our living room, having just begun family Bible time. I heard a strange noise, almost as if someone had entered the house. Since we have many relatives living around, you might think that’s normal, but one thing we’ve done through the years is we’ll call out, “Hello, it’s Sarah,” (or insert the name) if we’re dropping in. With this instance, no noise followed that initial door creak. I half wanted to get up and check it out, but that seemed silly because of course, no one was visiting us at this moment.

So back to Bible we went, and suddenly, I gasped as I saw Jesse standing nearby with Anna close behind. They had come to spend two nights with us before Christmas Eve. There was laughter, happiness, and exclaiming over what a wonderful surprise it was! Come to find out, Dad and Mom planned the surprise, knowing we girls would be excited with the extra time with Jesse and Anna.

What surprise could you plan for someone in your life to show them extra love this month?


These four did our traditional 12 Days of Christmas WOD, such a small group, but they had a blast!
Christmas baking + cooking together

“My little children, let us not love in word, neither
in tongue; but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

Kids Make an Anniversary Date for their Parents

Years ago in Spring with the Moodys, Book 4 in the Moody Family Series, the Moody children plan and execute an anniversary dinner for their parents. We regularly hear from parents who share sweet stories of their children learning from the Moody children and doing an anniversary dinner for them.

Nathan and Melanie’s children have adopted that same model for their parent’s anniversary a couple of times in the past few years when it worked. Tuesday evening, the children prepared a special dinner and served it to their parents.

Nathan and Melanie
The serving crew

As a grandparent, it blesses my heart to see my grandchildren love their parents so much that they want to make their anniversary special and do something that involves planning, time, and effort and is just for their parents to enjoy together.

If you’d like to read an excerpt from Spring with the Moodys about the anniversary dinner, Sarah pulled it together below. (If you’re on a smartphone reading this or Feedly, you’ll need to go to this link to read the excerpt.)

“And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called
unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me,
These are the true sayings of God” (Revelation 19:9).

Happy 19th Anniversary, Nathan and Melanie!

Wow, what an exciting day! Nathan and Melanie are celebrating their 19th anniversary. This incredible couple loves the Lord, each other, their family, and those God has placed in their lives. They’ve been through so much together: 4+ years of infertility, losing their first daughter at 3 days old, the roller coaster of high-risk pregnancies and births, and miscarriages. Their steadfast trust and faith in God have been a testimony.

We love you all and look forward to seeing God continue to use your family!

Happy Anniversary!

“And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold
I and the children which God hath given me” (Hebrews 2:13).

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