A small flame

A small flame

NC Update - Spring 2011

It's been a while since we sent an update, I know. We've been keepin' busy and, thanks to the convenience of telephones and the Internet, we feel like we've been able to keep in regular contact with a number of you. Still, I thought it was probably time for a 'Whatcha-been-doin' letter ;o)

We are in our 5th month of home-ownership, which is hard to believe. Time has flown by! We are loving having our own place. God is so generous to give us the gift of such a great place to live and raise our boys!

Spring is spring-ing here and we are enjoying watching our property come alive. Since we first saw it in October and moved in December, we have never seen how everything looks when it's green and leafy.

We have not been disappointed!

I have always loved dogwood and I was thrilled to discover that two of our trees are dogwoods. We are once again awed by the beauty that God displays in a Southern spring!

The boxes are mostly unpacked, though there are a few hold-outs ;o) and we've been busy getting to know our new house and neighborhood. We are lovin' putting our little touches on the house and yard and talking about plans for bigger changes over time. I am constantly amazed at God's goodness in giving us this place. What an incredibly gracious gift!

Phil is busy with work and school, of course - he is a month away from completing his fourth semester at Southeastern. He is also enjoying having a house to tinker with and is getting quite handy with his tools. We added a shed in the back which he is turning into a useful work space. Some of his recent projects have included a new clothes line for me, a sandbox for Thomas and a stationary 'robot', built on a post, for the boys.

This weekend he's adding a deck onto the back of the house. Our back yard is surrounded by a woods of really tall trees and I can't wait to sit on the deck with a cup of coffee and enjoy the view! Our neighbor, Sam, has offered to help him with the building project, and Phil is looking forward to the learning experience and the opportunity to get to know Sam better.

Speaking of neighbors, we are enjoying getting better acquainted with a few of them. We have been delighted to discover that there are several families with boys who are around our boys ages. For the most part these boys are well-behaved and well-parented, and we enjoy watching our boys form relationships with their new friends. None of the families are 'churched', which has prompted some good conversations with our boys, as well as great opportunities to grow some redemptive relationships with the neighbors. Please pray that we would incarnate Christ to our neighbors!

Matthew is a bit over half-way through his first season of soccer. He started the season not knowing anything about soccer, and it has been fun to watch him learn and improve each week.

After school & chores, he and Daniel spend many hours playing in a dry creek-bed / gully near the house. It is the perfect place for boys to get dirty, with lots of dirt, sticks and rocks. I do more laundry than I ever have, but it's worth it for the boys to have such a great place to explore!

Daniel recently got his first pair of glasses, which has been an interesting experience for us all. Miraculously, the glasses are not broken or lost..... not right now, anyway ;o)

He has a little buddy who lives just up the road and they spend many happy hours playing with figures for Ninjago or Hero Factory. I cannot keep up with all the names of the characters and terms for the fad-of-the-week.... in spite of Daniel's & Griffin's frequent attempts to teach me in very intense, serious voices. ;o)

Thomas thinks he is way older than his three-and-a-half years and tries hard to keep up with all the adventures of his older brothers. {Incidentally, he can rattle off all those Lego terms I can't seem to remember ;o) }

He is quite sad to not be allowed to play in the creek bed or ride his bike up the road like the biggies. Recently Phil built a sandbox for him, and he is enjoying that. We are so blessed to have a nice-sized back yard for him to play in, and he is learning to obey to the boundaries we have set for him.

When I'm not teaching school, washing muddy clothes or keeping Thomas from wandering too far, I'm having a blast personalizing this house. I have made curtains, painted, and put up some 'pretties'. It is so much fun to have a place of our own to decorate!

one of my recent projects

..... And that's a few of our goings-on. Hope you are all well and finding the God-gifts in each and every experience He brings. We always enjoy hearing from you, so please write or call!

All's Grace,
Rachel, for the Bramblets

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