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…some of the funniest things will come!  We have a house full of littles, so we are always laughing at the things that roll off their tongues.  Here are some of the recent ones!

“Mommy, are you babysitting?” -Wade (5 years old)


As many of you know, Wade has almost the whole collection of Thomas trains and some of the tracks, courtesy of Grandma, and loves them to death.  He and the twins can rattle off the name of any train in a split second.  Once Wade was expecting to receive yet another train in the mail from Grandma, and went around the house singing Polly Wolly Doodle All The Day, but with a little twist on the words: “I come from Louisiana for to see the trains from Grandma, singing Polly Wolly Doodle all the way!”


One April evening Susannah came up to me with a water gun and we had the following discussion:

Susannah: “Hannah, I’m going to KILL YOU!  BOOM!  YOU’RE DEAD!” (she literally shouted this in as firm of a voice as she could muster)

Me: “But I don’t really like being dead…”

Susannah: “Well, you HAVE to.”

Me: “Why?”

Susannah: “‘Cause you’re old.”

Me: “Oh yeah?  What tells you when a person old?”

Susannah: “My gun.”

Me: “Oh dear…”

haha – what has this place come to?


So we got into a mealtime discussion a couple of days later when just Dad and I were home with all the littles, and somehow we started on this thing about when I will get married.  Haha…those discussions are some of the funniest EVER!  Kate (7 years old) told us that “one thing sad about when Hannah moves out is that I won’t be able to get on her shoulders anymore.”  I assured her that she could still do that when she came over to visit!

Then Wade spoke up with his two cents:  “When she moves out and doesn’t have any kids, just a husband, she would have to clean her floor up herself…like sweeping or clean up the clothes on the floor…Hannah, you’re not big enough to get married.”  Somehow children always get to thinking that the only purpose they have in life is to do all their mother’s work…sooooo not true, though I do remember having that mindset myself!  🙂

Laughing on the inside, I asked him, “How big do you have to be to get married?”  He must have changed his mind mid-thought, because he told me, “Well, I know some people who are mommies and daddies when they’re 17!”  (I actually can’t think of any…but oh well.  At least I have his permission if I needed it. 😉 )


I overheard a conversation between Wade and one of the twins just the other day.  Wade was answering his sister’s question of what game he and Susannah were playing, saying “We’re taking turns accidentally falling off.”


What funny things have you heard children say recently?  I’m looking forward to hearing them! 🙂

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Howdy, friends!!!  Much has happened in the past 31 days, from final exams, to plane rides, to birthday celebrations.  Boy, does time fly when you’re havin’ fun – that must be what we have been doing. 🙂 As a tribute to the exciting and memory-filled month of May and an excuse to tell our adventures, I decided to write an overview of the month’s events and fill it with some fun photos!

May 3rd: I take my long-anticipated Psychology AP (Advanced Placement – it allows you to receive college credit for the subject) test at Defiance High School, the first of three college preparatory course tests I took this month.  I’d studied for all three of these the whole semester, and was very eager to get the tests over with.  Psychology was fun, though!

May 5th: Charles finishes his final exam for the semester.  He’s only got one more year of college, and he has secured a nice internship for the summer as well.

May 7-10: Charles, Grace, Beth and I drive to Cincinatti for the weekend with some good friends, the Kisers, and have WAAAYYY too much fun while we’re at it!  Thursday night we attended God’s Bible School’s college spring concert (and ate ice cream afterwards!).

We went canoeing Saturday afternoon with a few of the Kisers’ friends and had a blast as well as some…let’s just say “adventures.”  😉

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(Left to right: (Ethan), Grace, Hannah, Beth, Charles, Josiah, Jeffrey, Jonny, Uriah, Josue)

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(L-R: Josue, Ethan, Jonny, Uriah)

Apparently staying on the ground isn’t thrilling enough for some people! 🙂  Neither is just sitting on the tree branch…ya gotta hang from it to experience life to the FULLEST.  Oh yeah, and don’t forget to climb down in a way that breaks part of the branch off and gives a good scare to everyone around…especially the one still hanging upside down.  All this is absolutely necessary for having fun on a Saturday afternoon – remember that, okay?  Okay.

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The Kisers’ self-built three-seater kayak was much faster than the canoes, thus the far distance between us and the rest of the group, who you can see in the background. 🙂

Ultimate frisbee, tag, staying up late watching The Hobbit part 1, board games, and just hanging out were also part of the weekend that somehow ended way sooner than we wanted it to.  It was a perfect relaxing study break before the next step in my testing marathon….

May 13th: I take my English Language & Composition AP test in the morning, and my Statistics test in the afternoon. It was SUCH a relief to get those behind me!  I went home and took a nice long bike ride to relax.  🙂  Sadly, I don’t get the results until July, though I’m pretty sure I passed them all.

May 15-22: Joy and I fly to Florida to spend a week with Grandpa and Grandma and to fly home with them, since they stay in FL for the cold months and come back up here during the summer.  We swam in the pool every. single. day. – even the day that we flew home!  Who says pool time is off-limits just because you have to leave for the airport at 11:30 AM?  Not us, that’s for sure! 😉

Grandma and my aunt who also lives down in Florida for the winter, Aunt Barb, took us shopping at Kohl’s one afternoon just to spoil us a little…which we didn’t mind a bit.  Grandma, Joy, and I went to three different thrift stores during our stay…my favorite was the one at which I scored FOUR skirts in a row that fit perfectly!  Of course, the best part was that the total cost was less than what we sometimes pay for just one brand new skirt!  🙂

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We went blueberry picking at a local patch one morning.  Seriously, people, you haven’t tasted blueberries until you’ve tried ones as fresh and big and juicy as these were….we picked a grand total of twelve pounds!  And yes, we ate all twelve pounds in 3-4 days.  I’m pretty sure I ate around five pounds of blueberries just by myself…

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They also kept goats, and let Joy in to play with and feed them since she’s had so much experience with goats.  I’m pretty sure this made her day. 🙂

Some of you have already heard about our grand fruit consumption, but for those of you who still need updated, the four of us (Grandpa, Grandma, Joy, and I) with a very small amount of help from friends, inhaled twelve pounds of (fresh, juicy, and delicious!) blueberries, two full-size watermelons, six bunches of bananas, four pounds of cherries, and several apples and oranges as well.  Grandparents are REALLY good at spoiling girls like us!  Feel free to laugh at us crazies (as I’m sure you will!), but just remember that we DID go swimming every day to try to make up for it. 😉

May 16th: My favorite older brother turns 21!!!!!!!  Joy and I were in Florida, so we couldn’t celebrate it with him, but Beth sent us plenty of pictures and an evening summary.  He’s so much fun….we always love weekends because Charles comes home! 🙂

May 23-24: We receive a short weekend visit from a fun family, the Pauluses!  We’ve known the oldest son, Jeffrey (from GBS, see canoe trip pictures above), for almost a year, and we had a blast getting to know the rest of the fam!  So we played plenty of volleyball, laughed till our sides hurt, and watched the boys play “dodge the cow”….or rather “See-who-can-jump-on-the-cow-and-stay-there-the-longest.”  I’d add pictures of our adventures, but they are currently inaccessible.  Maybe I’ll sneak ’em in later sometime when I get a chance. 🙂

May 28th: Joy turns 13!  We’ve got four teenagers again – at least for 6 more months.  🙂

IMG_5142 IMG_5144Joy is a HUGE gift-giver: she’ll leave you notes and candy on your pillow after a long trip, clean the bathroom for you and leave fun food items on the counter for you to find instead of the dirty bathroom when you wearily trek into the bathroom late at night to begin the cleaning process, and go to every extreme to make you feel extra special on your birthday.  Just today I found a yogurt from her in my going-to-work lunch bag! Love you, Joy!!  IMG_5147IMG_5151

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This gift from Grandpa and Grandma was perrrfect for her – except I don’t think she needs a reminder.  I honestly don’t know how Mom and Dad got her name just right like they did, but she is definitely a joy to be with and to have around!

May 28th: I apply to and get hired at Glenn Park, an Assisted Living facility about ten minutes away from home, as a nurse’s aid!  I’m excited, but also realizing that this summer is going to be busier than I thought, with two part-time jobs and a few high school things to finish before I start college classes in late August.  Ah well – hard things are good for me!

I know it’s been forever since I’ve written anything, but I guess that I’ve been so busy living life that it’s hard to find time to blog about it very much!  Remember as you head into this next week that God wants us to LIVE fully alive, treasure those around you, and make use of the little time that you have in your current stage of life.  Before you know it, time will be gone…will you be able to say, “I lived FULLY ALIVE, enjoyed every minute, and did all that I could to glorify my Savior”?  It’s not always easy, and I’m not always successful, but the Lord is teaching me to lean on Him and let His light shine through my many imperfections.

“Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”

“I seek not a long life, but a full one, like you Lord Jesus.”

“When it comes time to die, make sure that all you have to do is die.”

-Jim Elliot

 

Green Glade

Remember the little book, Teddy’s Button, from the Lamplighter’s Rare Collector’s series?  The young boy, Teddy, is a naughty child who accepts Jesus into his heart and struggles to fight for his heavenly Captain.  He soon realizes his worst enemy is himself, and names that “old self” Bully.  Teddy tries hard, but finds that he sometimes loses the fight with Bully, and learns to lean on his Captain for assistance.

Well, today I feel like Teddy.  My “Bully” has been appearing much more and fighting much harder than I want him to.  And over the past few days, God has been dealing with me in many areas that I haven’t been wholly devoting to Him.  Conviction is setting in, and it isn’t a pleasant feeling.

But because of that conviction, I’m back to where I always should be – at the feet of Jesus begging Him to empty me of myself and fill me up with His Spirit.   I’m back in the little valley of self-realization, where I begin to realize the foolishness of my “wisdom” (1 Cor. 1:25), the selfish motives of my “service,” and the limit to my knowledge compared with the Almighty God.

I’ve messed up.  Instead of aiming to point others to Christ through every conversation, I constantly wondered about their opinions of ME.  I’ve kept silent while passing strangers when a cheerful “Good morning!” could have made their day that much better.  I have not taken “every thought captive” (2 Cor. 10:5), but instead let words flow out of my mouth without thinking of the effect they might have on their hearer.  I’ve wasted minutes throughout the day that could have been used to guide my heart back to its Maker, and I’ve allowed material things just a little bit more priority in my life than they deserved.  But every little thing does matter, and little things build up.

I’ve willingly exchanged SO MUCH – the Lord’s strength and power over sin – for SO LITTLE – the temporary gratification of my flesh.

Yesterday, I listened to a message that related us as Christians to a broken piece of mirror.  A mirror is not a source of light, but if clean, can reflect the light of the sun into dark places.  As children of God, we are just the same.  We are not the light, but if we are free from sin’s stain, we can reflect the Son’s light into darkness.  But as my pastor pointed out a couple of weeks ago, we cannot radiate Christ unless we have spent time in His presence.

I’ve heard so many messages about building our days around our time with the Lord and NOT the other way around, yet I’ve been tumbling into bed exhausted after another busy day, spending only as much time in the Word as I had to in order to support my claim that I do read my Bible every day.

But the Lord is emptying me once again of myself and all my follies, so that He may fill me up with His Holy Spirit.  Pain may be involved in the process, but the result will be more glorious than I can imagine!!!

O Jesus, come!  Reveal to me who You are; show me what it means to radiate with Your love, joy and peace!  Meet me in my weakness and be my strength.  Guide me as I walk the road of life, and help me to always do everything to Your glory.  I truly want nothing except what brings glory, honor, and souls to You.  Keep me on Your path, Lord – I am sooo imperfect and I need You to help me through.  Draw me ever closer to You! 

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Hey!!!  I have some very important news, because today marks an important day in history for a certain man.  He was born on this day (just a few decades years ago…) in Germany on the military base, grew up in Ohio, and went to college for a music performance degree.  There he met and married a country farm girl, and after some traveling, moving, and doubling his family size, settled down in the country.  He and this country girl, though life was not always easy, began working hard and raising a family which eventually grew to include eleven children.  His third child is the one who writes to you today, telling you the important news that this is his BIRTHDAY!

Hopefully by now you realize who this person is…if you haven’t, go read the title of this post!  😉

Maybe not everyone is as excited as children for their birthdays once they reach a certain age, but I wanted to take this opportunity to say a few things and brag a little on my dad.

  • Dad has always been the hero in all of our lives as we’ve been growing up and learning more and more about real life!
  • He’s prayed with each of us every night except when he or we were gone, and has always been available to talk and listen to what we’ve been going through.  This isn’t necessarily easy with his now eleven children – it’s an example of true self-sacrifice and love, as he takes a hour or two each night to put littles to bed and to talk and pray with the rest of us before we hit the hay.
  • Dad is always ready and willing to give us advice when we need it, whether it’s how to respond in a difficult situation, how to stop a bad habit, or how to pull all the hair out of the bathtub drain.  🙂
  • I can count on one hand the times I remember seeing Dad upset.  He’s that steady calming person that everyone wants and needs all at the same time…
  • But he knows his priorities and how to keep them straight.  He puts God first, and then his family, and he refuses to compromise no matter what!
  • He is very patient.  When I was little and he used to tuck me into bed, I always came up with random questions to ask him.  Questions such as “Why do Dalmations have spots?” and “How are cribs made?” would be answered with the best explanation possible for a little girl.  Looking back, I think I just wanted Daddy to stay there longer and talk to me…
  • He has an awesome sense of dry humor!  He often says things that make us all start laughing, and the best part is that Mom usually cannot tell whether he’s joking or not…but we kids can! 🙂
  • Dad is really good at teaching, and doesn’t give up or lash out when his “student” doesn’t “get it” right away.
  • He’s honest.  At work, at church, at home, in stores…wherever he is, he will always tell the truth.
  • Daddy knows how to be grateful for the thought and effort people put in to things, even if the gift or service isn’t exactly what he would have preferred.
  • He’s good at leading his family, and he is sensitive at the same time.  Not one of those people who just orders others around and expects them to do whatever he says – he instead seeks to make a decision for the benefit of everyone involved. 🙂
  • I could go on and on, but I’d have to say that one of the things I most appreciate about you, Dad, is that you are a REALLY good listener.  You can tell when something bothers me, you listen when I explain, and you seem to know just what to say.  🙂  I love you, Daddy, and I’m sooooooo glad that I have the privilege of being your daughter.  <3 🙂

So happy birthday Dad!!!!!  I love you lots!

1 Peter 1;3

Happy Resurrection Day to you all!  I hope you all had a wonderful day today as you celebrated the rising of our Savior!  We certainly enjoyed our family day today.  We went to a sunrise service at 7:00 this morning with some of our church family, and enjoyed a delicious breakfast afterwards with some awesome discussions and fellowship!  Though we unfortunately didn’t actually see the sun rise, we did enjoy the beautiful sky and the not-too-cold weather during our service.

During our regular service later this morning, the children performed a play of the Easter story.  They did a great job!  It was so fun to see the little ones like Susannah up there as well, walking around in the crowd scenes like they were supposed to!  We did get a video (albeit an iPhone video), so if y’all want to see, it, let me know, and I’ll post it.  🙂

Now, McIntosh tradition is to hunt for Easter baskets sometime on Easter Sunday, so Mom and Dad’s room was off-limits last night.  (I may or may not have trespassed to get Ella’s pajamas…) 🙂  Back in the old days, when I was little, we would always do the basket hunt as soon as we woke up or right after church, but somehow everything gets pushed later and later as kids get older!  Charles hid the baskets this year, and though several people found their baskets during the day, the search officially began immediately following supper.

But before I get into pictures of that, I want to encourage you to watch this short video about the cross from a medical perspective.  It’s very powerful, and I am awed at the depth of Jesus’ love, willing enough to go through all that just for wretches like me!

Here are my favorite shots.  Even Ella got a basket!  She was thrilled to see that she got animal crackers…

IMG_4978Mom usually uses food items that she got on sale to fill our baskets, whether it be crackers, m&m’s, Easter bunnies from last year’s discounts, or diet pop and fruit cups from the discount grocery store!  It’s tons of fun.  🙂IMG_4989IMG_4999So Charles always has an extremely hard time finding his own basket, since Dad takes pleasure in hiding his basket really good every year.  🙂  Charles loves the challenge, though, and he was determined to find it.  He brought up this bag (below) and was beginning to proclaim his victory when he realized that the bag was actually full of some of our lost tools!  😀  Oops… but maybe he should spend more time searching the house.  Who knows what we might find!  😉  (He did end up finding his basket in Grace’s van, for those of you concerned about his psychological and emotional well-being!)

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I was a little bit lazy this year at basket-hunting, but I did end up finding it (after a certain sister gave me several unauthorized clues)!  🙂

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What did you do to celebrate Easter?  Did you gain any new perspectives this year?  I certainly did!  It was definitely a blessing to hear and read things about Jesus’ resurrection that I’d never thought about before!

P.S. Verse-image credit (1 Peter 1:3) does not belong to me.

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Abortion.

I’ll admit, it’s not a very popular topic, in churches, on blogs, in conversations, or on social media.  But it’s a topic we need to think about.  We cannot simply stand aside twiddling our thumbs while a baby is being killed every 94 seconds – and that’s Planned Parenthood’s abortions alone!  This is not a pretty picture or an enjoyable thought, but if God hates the shedding of innocent blood (Proverbs 6:16-17), so should we!  So many people are told to “put themselves in the woman’s shoes,” but the situation reverses simply by putting ourselves in the baby’s shoes and realizing the reality of this murder.

Take just a few moments and read the following diary out loud to yourself.  Read slowly, get the whole picture.  Let it reach your heart.  I heard this read a week or two ago, and it made me think.

Diary of an Unborn Child

OCTOBER 5– Today my life began. My parents do not know it yet, I am as small as a seed of an apple, but it is I already. And I am to be a girl. I shall have blond hair and blue eyes. Just about everything is settled though, even the fact that I shall love flowers.

OCTOBER 19– Some say that I am not a real person yet, that only my mother exists. But I am a real person, just as a small crumb of bread is yet truly bread. My mother is. And I am.

OCTOBER 23– My mouth is just beginning to open now. Just think, in a year or so I shall be laughing and later talking. I know what my first word will be: MAMA.

OCTOBER 25– My heart began to beat today all by itself. From now on it shall gently beat for the rest of my life without ever stopping to rest! And after many years it will tire. It will stop, and then I shall die.

NOVEMBER 2– I am growing a bit every day. My arms and legs are beginning to take shape. But I have to wait a long time yet before those little legs will raise me to my mother’s arms, before these little arms will be able to gather flowers and embrace my father.

NOVEMBER 12– Tiny fingers are beginning to form on my hands. Funny how small They are! I’ll be able to stroke my mother’s hair with them.

NOVEMBER 20– It wasn’t until today that the doctor told mom that I am living here under her heart. Oh, how happy she must be! Are you happy, mom?

NOVEMBER 25– My mom and dad are probably thinking about a name for me. But they don’t even know that I am a little girl. I want to be called Kathy. I am getting so big already.

DECEMBER 10– My hair is growing. It is smooth and bright and shiny. I wonder what kind of hair mom has.

DECEMBER 13– I am just about able to see. It is dark around me. When mom brings me into the world it will be full of sunshine and flowers. But what I want more than anything is to see my mom. How do you look, mom?

DECEMBER 24– I wonder if mom hears the whispering of my heart? Some children come into the world a little sick. But my heart is strong and healthy. It beats so evenly: tup-tup, tup-tup. You’ll have a healthy little daughter, mom!

DECEMBER 28– Today my mother killed me.

 

*An article that I read recently by Dr. Patrick Johnston titled “Are There Rare Cases When an Abortion is Justified?” answered a few of my questions, and so I thought it might help somebody else as well.  Be cautious – he does go into some slightly graphic descriptions (not pictures) occasionally.  But this was definitely worth the read!!!

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