Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Painting day

I'm finally getting the pictures from the day we painted the house posted. We settled on the house on a Thursday, and all day Friday we painted to be done before the big move-in on Saturday. Literally for a total of about 12 hours. We never would have been able to do it without help, especially because Martin had to be at work and I am pregnant. Our parents helped out so much!

Mom D. putting on some of our blue/grey primer:
Mom H. working on some primer too:


Dad and I worked in the baby's room:

bit of an action shot (I think I said, hey Dad!):

I'm painting behind the fridge:


Dad working in the kitchen:


I'm doing the first coat of red...which looked like strawberry jelly at first:
but turned out looking very nice:
Dad rolled the whole downstairs in a second coat of tan:

Mom finishing up the red:

I will have a complete "after" picture up sometime soon. Right now the couch is way comfier than getting up and taking one :-)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

surprise for Martin!

So I entered this contest from Disney World in Martin's name...not thinking that we could possibly win...but guess what!?! We Won! The contest was to chose a person that would have all sorts of different things in the park named after them, to make the park an even more magical memory. Check out the video, you can see the work that's been going on at the Magic Kingdom in preparation for Martin. I cant wait to go!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Becca!!!!

My baby sister turns 20 today! (I just got off the phone with her...a conversation in which we discussed politics, finance, and how her semester at college was. we're so adult-like!)

This is one of my favorite pictures of the three of us growing up. I'm not sure which Christmas this picture is from, but my guess is '92 or '93...things sure have changed since then!

Happy Birthday Becca and I cant wait to see you soon!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

35 weeks

My belly is still growing! (imagine that...) Next week when I go to the doctor they will give us an estimate on how much our baby girl weighs, so we will keep everyone posted!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas tree!

So after the big move into our house last month and various Thanksgiving celebrates, we are back with some updates, including lots of pictures of the past few weeks.

Starting with the most recent: our Christmas tree! We ended up going to the same tree farm that we got our tree from last year, and were really happy with what we found. Our friends from church, Billy and Lindsay, went with us so that Billy could help Martin with the tree, seeing as I was a bit unable to haul this year! It was a really cold day, but we found a nice one and cut it down easily (as pictured below).


When we got home I cut the binding off the tree so we could start putting on the lights and decorations. We have a great spot for our tree in the "morning room" of our house. It has windows on the one wall and our sliding glass door on the other, so the lights on the tree are really visible from the outside!

Martin finding the perfect spot to hang an ornament:



Our first Christmas in our new house! God has really blessed us this year, and the house is just one way that we can see how He's worked in our lives. Its going to be really fun this year to have people over and enjoy all the extra space that we have!


there will be more house pictures soon, but for now just this one red wall!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

31 weeks

I have gotten in trouble from the aunts-to-be about not putting up recent pictures of their niece. Here are a few for you guys:








And then some goofy ones:

I forgot to set the timer on the camera, so Martin wasnt ready for it


Martin thought a picture of me rubbing my belly was funny...apparently I did as well.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Faithful

"Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master."

I'm sure these were the words Mr. Nic heard Friday night as he went home, his fight fought, his race finished, his faith strong.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Mr. Nic, one of the greatest

I love sports. I love to watch sports, but most of all love to play sports. I would not be the athlete I am (or was before I got pregnant) if not for Dwayne Nicodemus (Mr. Nic). Mr. Nic is the founder of Christian Athletic Association (CAA) where I first learned to play softball, soccer, and basketball - see www.caayouthsports.org . A few years ago he was diagnosed with melanoma, which is the most serious kind of skin cancer. He battled the cancer and through radiation treatment it went into remission. He seemed to be back to normal and I forgot all about it - until 2 weeks ago when the doctors found that it had spread to his lungs, stomach, and brain. Since then, Mr. Nic has been in and out of the hospital, fighting for his life.

Mr. Nic was taken to the hospital again yesterday morning and is in critical condition. I know that God can do miracles and that He could heal Mr. Nic completely so that he'd never have this to deal with ever again. But I also know that God works in ways that I cannot always understand. If He decides to take Mr. Nic home, then this would be on of those times that I dont understand.

Mr. Nic has touched so many lives, including mine and the rest of my family. I dont remember any "official" meeting when I was introduced to him for the first time. When I started playing softball at CAA as an eight-year-old, I first heard about him. He started CAA, he was in charge, he was the head umpire - he was the best umpire.

I began to play soccer and basketball at CAA too. He was my first basketball coach (I was terrible, but willing to learn. And I played at least half of every game, according to CAA rules - and so I had the opportunity to improve). I learned that Mr. Nic had dug out the whole infield on Field 1 himself and I always saw him working on one of the fields to keep them beautiful.

I remember one day before baseball and softball season started, my mom, my sisters, and I helped Mr. Nic organize all the different bags of equipment that each team would receive. It took the five of us all day - a job that Mr. Nic usually did on his own.

Mr. Nic was the best umpire to have because he would give coaching advice during games - fairly and to both teams. He wanted to see us all do well and grow as athletes, which motivated even the way he umpired.

He coached me again in basketball a few years later, when I had begun to know what I was doing a little better. We had a great team that year - surely a testament to his coaching prowess. However, he missed the championship game that year - his wife was having a baby. Mr. Nic gave me some of the kindest words of praise that I have ever received that year too. After a loss, he was upset that the team had not hustled and played up to its potential. He told the team that he wished he could have five of me on the court because I was giving everything (and this was a co-ed team made up mostly of boys). That meant so much to me, to this day I can still hear and see the scene.

Every awards ceremony at CAA Mr. Nic personally talked about the highest honor that you could receive at CAA - the Christian Character Award. More than any championship trophy, this certificate was the reason for CAA's existence. Awarded by coaches to someone on their team who exhibited Christ-like qualities on and off the field of play. Mr. Nic read the names of the award winners himself every year that I can remember. This was more important to him than any athletic ability - Christ-likeness.

As I moved on to play high school softball and basketball, I was still able to stay in touch with Mr. Nic. He asked me to help coach at baseball camp in the summer. I learned so much from the drills that he ran and the way that he sought to interact with and encourage each individual participant. What stuck out to me the most, however, was how he took the time to teach about God as he taught about baseball. Every water break was an opportunity for him to teach some way that baseball related to our spiritual lives. And he made a point to emphasize that our spiritual lives were of far greater importance than any athletic accomplishment.

I also go to help him with field maintenance through the years. We'd cut the grass on the many different fields together - sometimes with only a regular walk behind mower if the tractor was broken. He would faithfully attend to the fields daily, to make sure that every kid who played at CAA had a great experience. The fields I grew up playing on at CAA were far better taken care of than those I played on in high school and college because of the love and devotion of Mr. Nic.

And Mr. Nic and his wife share something with me and Martin - our wedding anniversary, June 23rd. The last time I really got to see Mr. Nic was at my wedding, since we moved away from the Baltimore area. But we have still kept in touch and he even wrote a letter of recommendation for me for a job last year.

Mr. Nic is truly one of the greatest. A giving man and wonderful Godly example of a Christian husband, father, and coach. And now the many people whose lives he touched have the opportunity to care for him. We're praying and we're asking God for a miracle. We want more time with Mr. Nic. But we've also been given this opportunity because of his illness to tell him how uch he's meant to us and to spur him on in him time of need. His trust in God is unwavering, even now. A few days ago he was able to write this:

"Thank you for your prayers and expressions of love and concern. It is so overwhelming that it lifts my mind, my body, and my soul. I am a rich man. I am thankful, very thankful. Nic"

And so we continue to pray.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Settlement on the house

Over the weekend we received our settlement date: November 20th! This is two days before the Saturday we were hoping to move in. We are so thankful that everything has worked out so well in terms of timing. This is just another way that God is showing us that He has everything under control even when we can't see it that way. I dont even feel stressed about packing because we've been working on it a little at a time so far (we'll see if the stress levels start to rise as we get closer to the move-in date!)

We saw the house Saturday and the kitchen is in, cabinets and countertops. Its starting to really feel like a house now! All of the cabinets are in the bathrooms as well, and the light fixtures are throughout the house. There are really only a few things left to be done, so that is great.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

we have drywall!

Here are some pictures from our newly drywalled house! We are very excited to see how things are progressing. Now it is actually starting to look like a house! Hopefully these pictures will make the layout of things a little more clear to those of you who have not gotten the chance to see things in person yet!

this is up in the loft:

from the kitchen looking into the living room:

from the living room looking at the kitchen and front door:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

House update

They are moving right along on our house. Here are some pictures from the past few weeks. This week they are putting the stucco on the outside of the house and working to get the inside insulated and ready for drywall! We are probably only a month away from move in!





Camping!

Last weekend we went down to Cape Henlopen in Lewes, DE for an overnight camping trip. We've wanted to go all summer but were trying to wait for cooler weather -- and we got an amazing weekend!

We started out a little rough. The one thing we forgot to bring was extra matches, and the only ones we had with us were the flimsy paper ones. Since it was windy when we were trying to light our stove we ran out of matches and decided to go to Moe's for lunch instead! It worked out well; Moe's hit the spot and we found a store to buy some more matches. Not too funny at the time, but we can look back and laugh now.

We took a long walk to the beach and then on the beach. The day was beautiful, with just a bit of fall in the air. We cooked pizza pockets in the coals of the fire that night and made s'mores, which all turned out amazing. Got up for sunrise the next morning (which was late, around 7) and made a nice breakfast of pancakes and eggs. It was a very relaxing time, and we enjoyed hanging out just the two of us!






Dinner!




looking a little sleepy still...

brilliant
yep thats my husband!



Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Alice Louise Hartman


One week ago today, my grandmother, Alice Louise Hartman, went to be with Jesus, her Savior. We miss her and have many wonderful memories, but we know she is now perfected, no longer suffering, and full of eternal praise for her Lord.


Alice Louise Hartman

March 1, 1931 - September 17, 2008


I spoke at her funeral on Sunday:


My sisters and I got to know our grandparents really well. Every summer we would spend a week by ourselves with each set of our grandparents, and sometimes it was probably harder to tell who had more fun, us or the grandparents! But during those weeks, we each got to do some really special things with our grandparents and make lots of memories.

During each of our weeks, Grandma made an appointment to take us to the beauty shop with her. We would get the special treatment from her hairstylist. Grandma and Pap had a swing set in their back yard, and Grandma was always willing to push us on the swings, taking pictures all the way, especially as we would pose with our new hairdo.

Grandma made it a priority to go and visit relatives, and when we were up for our week, we came along too. We didn’t always know the person we went to see, but they knew we were the granddaughters from the many pictures Grandma had taken of us.

Grandma always wrote special notes in our birthday cards or special notes just because. She loved to write letters of encouragement to people and not just to those of us in her family. She stayed in touch with missionaries from Grace Brethren and let them know that she was praying for them.

Another highlight of our week was a special trip that our grandparents would plan. A lot of times we would go to Lancaster for a few days, usually to watch a show at Sight and Sound. Then we would go to either Dutch Wonderland or Hershey Park for a day. Grandma didn’t like to ride a lot of the rides, but she would carry the map of the park and watch us riding the rollercoasters, marking down how many times we went on each of the rides. And of course, there were more pictures in front of signs and on the various rides.

A relaxing day at the house with Grandma always involved a game (or two or twelve) of Parcheesi. These were friendly games, but still very competitive. We would keep a running tally from year to year of number of wins we each had accumulated. These scores were a lot closer than when we played Chinese checkers. Grandma was the queen of Chinese checkers. I am not sure if I ever beat her. My sisters and I would even make her go first and copy her moves and she would still win every time! Looking back, it was during these games that the three of us first saw Grandma’s ornery personality come out. She would laugh and joke with us, making faces when she lost and making sure to count out her moves as she won.

As the Parkinson’s became more pronounced throughout the years and Grandma began to loose some of her mobility, her personality was still there. And when it was harder for her to go out and do things, we had a precedent of playing all these games already set, which made our time together still special.

Early every morning, Grandma and Pap read the Bible and prayed together. When we were at their house, they would wait for us to get up so they could pray with us. Every day they would pray for each of us by name. They prayed for their church and our church, the many missionaries that they knew, as well as other friends and family. This is one thing that left the strongest impression on me about my grandmother. Many people tell you that they’re praying for you, but when Grandma told me that she was (which she did whenever we talked) I knew exactly what she meant.

Grandmothers are proud of their grandchildren. That’s pretty much a given. This was no exception for our Grandma. But what distinguishes her in my mind is that the things that made her the most proud and excited was hearing about what we learned in Sunday school and at church, hearing what Bible verse we had just memorized, or what we were praying for right then. More than any award or accolade we could receive, she valued the spiritual accomplishments over the material. This was not just something she said, this was the way she lived. She trusted in Christ alone for her salvation, and out of love for Him sought to give herself to things that would matter for all eternity. She poured her life into people, especially her family, building relationships that will continue even as we pass from this life into the next.


Monday, September 8, 2008

22 weeks


As promised for Becca, a new shot of my growing belly...along with a baby outfit we were just given!

House progress

Our house is well on its way! Here are some pictures that we've taken over then last few weeks of the ongoing construction:


They did that much the first day...very nice start!


From the front...we are lot #184


This is going to be our powder room!


The second floor is looking good and the A-frames for the roof are going up.


From the front again...we are the third house from the right, this side of where the blue juts out.


Our loft window stands out, the only loft in our building.


More to come!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

21 weeks

I looked down today and couldn't see my feet over my belly....and its only going to get bigger!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lum's pond

A few weeks ago Martin and I went to Lum's pond to grill chicken for dinner. We managed to get everything cooked, but were hearing thunder in the distance. We took dinner up to the car just as the rain started pouring down, so we ate in the car. By the time we were done the rain had stopped and everything was beautiful. These pictures were all taken after the rain.