Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Our two beautiful, tiny little girls were born 8 years ago today!!  They came 2 months early – weighing only 3lbs 10oz and 3lbs 13 oz. 

Although tiny, they were strong.  Thank you, Lord!!

Happy Birthday to our Isabella Faith and Sophia Grace- born at 1:01 & 1:02 pm respectively!

DCP_1069  here we are – just a few weeks beforehand..unaware of how soon we would see them.  No, I am not making this picture any bigger than it already is.


Sophia’s first picture!


Here’s Isabella!

Although all those tubes look frightening, the girls were actually doing great – they just had to have CPAP for a bit initially.




The day before they came home at 3 weeks old – 4lbs 1oz each!


DCP_1199  one of my favorites pictures of them when they were newborns…


IMG_1318  and here are they are now!  Playing with Sophia’s homemade laptops with attached headphones. 

Happy Birthday, Girls!!  We love you!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Of the Father’s Love Begotten..

We’ve been busy here with birthdays and Christmas excitement, Advent gifts and sewing projects, Christmas Teas and weddings.  Yes!  All that in just the last month!

But one of my favorite things we’ve done lately is to sing Christmas carols to a sweet friend.  She lives alone now since her husband died a few years ago – although one of her daughters is close by – as are many of us in her church family.  After a recent surgery for cataracts and a rotator cuff issue, she accidentally stepped on her cat, fell – and broke her hip!  She is home now and recovering, but she has had weeks of pain and perseverance. 

So a group of us – 18 kids and 8 adults trooped on over to her house after church and sang Christmas carols to her in her living room, while she alternated between huge smiles of joy and tears of happiness.  A simple thing for us – singing songs we love about the Savior we love.  But for her – His love in action.  God reminding her through us, that He has not forgotten her, nor forsaken her.  He loves her – and so do we!

After we left her home, and piled noisily into the van, I thanked the kids.  I asked them if they could see how much their gift meant to Mrs. G.  Of course they could tell – she had been absolutely delighted!  And I reminded them how important it is not to forget people when they are sick, or hurt, or old…  That although what seems a simple thing – singing Christmas carols- seems small to us, it is evidence of love – the Father’s love! – to someone else.  Often, we need to be reminded of our Father’s love for us, and then show our gratitude by sharing His love with others – maybe just when they need to be reminded, too!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Bevy of Beauties

After church today, several girls came to spend the afternoon with us.  It was very impromptu and very fun!  Our 3 littlest girls went to visit cousins and friends, and we had cousins and friends here with us. 

Let’s see – we had girls ages 17, 15, 14, 14, 13, 13, 12, 11, 11, 11 – plus Luke and Noah.  They played a favorite game called, “Family”, watched a couple of home-made video productions (mysteries), drew pictures, made their own video production, played the piano, and one of them even helped me make homemade applesauce.  I popped them some popcorn and laid out the brownies left over from the fellowship meal today at church. 

What a delightful day it was – I love each of those girls and am so thankful for their friendships with our girls.  Lovely young ladies, every one.

We’ve always hoped our kids would invite friends here often as they enter their teen years.  We want them to come and enjoy each other’s company, have plenty to eat, and feel welcome to relax and have fun.  Lord willing, we will enjoy many more days like today with our kids and their friends!

(grateful thanks to the parents for “lending” them to us!)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Paper flowers


No pictures of our little people this time – but a crafting idea for the crafty people. 


Alix had an idea that inspired me to make flowers out of craft/wrapping paper.  The gift was for the bride-to-be, Crystal.  The paper wrapped around the gift is the same paper we used to make the flowers.

I saved several cans, cleaned them out, and Glenn kindly punched 2 holes on opposite sides around the rims.  We threaded some jute string through them and then hung them from some trees at Crystal’s outdoor bridal shower. 

They were so simple, but I loved how pretty and delicate they look.



We’ve made tissue paper flowers before, but this was a first.  It gave us all kinds of ideas about what could possibly be used to make flowers!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Luke is working on his new Catechism question.  It is so good – that all week I have planned to put it here.  Finally!  I did it.

Westminster Larger Catechism, Question #71:

How is justification an act of God’s free grace?


Although Christ, by His obedience and death, did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice in the behalf of them that are justified; yet inasmuch as God accepteth the satisfaction from a surety, His own only Son, imputing His righteousness to them, and requiring nothing of them for their justification but faith, which also is His gift, their justification is to them of free grace.


Even now, as I read it again, I am amazed, and so very thankful to God for His goodness.. and His beautiful grace.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Cake

Every month, I have lunch with my 3 wonderful sisters-in-law (Vickie, Julia and Marianne), Aunt Pauline, and Marilyn (Glenn’s step-mom).  We were at Aunt Pauline’s this time, and she served a wonderful meal – but of course my favorite was dessert!  It was sooooo good – and so perfect for this time of year, that I had to have the recipe.  I haven’t made it yet – but I can definitely vouch for its goodness. 

You really should try it!  You won’t be disappointed!

1 32 oz can pumpkin

1 1/2 c sugar

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 large can (about 15 oz Eagle Brand) of evaporated milk

4 beaten eggs


2 sticks butter

and a yellow or white cake mix


Mix together the top 6 ingredients and pour into a 9x13 pan.  Sprinkle with the box of cake mix.  Melt the 2 sticks of butter and drizzle over it all.  You can top with pecans if you want.  Bake at 325 for 1 1/2 hours.


I only wish I had a picture…Smile

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lake Michigan

IMG_1225  A few pictures from our recent trip to Lake Michigan with the Worleys and Gilberts… so much fun…

Great weather, great food, great times with our family! 


There was a little digging in the sand….


There was a little swimming in the lake….

IMG_1114                      IMG_1155



And then finally, a little rest….


IMG_1202IMG_1223    IMG_1201    




Goodbye Beachaus!!  Thank you, Gilberts, for sharing your wonderful home with us!


Babies (?)

IMG_1110  This was too cute not to post.   After watching “Babies” with the Cox girls, Alix wrapped Olivia the way we watched the Japanese nurse wrap a Japanese baby!  She’s just a wee bit bigger than that baby.  Winking smile

Thursday, August 11, 2011



We’ve recently been studying the Renaissance artists.  Kate dressed Olivia and Isabella up in their Thanksgiving dresses and posed them – so she could paint a picture, inspired by this beautiful painting by Johannes Vermeer.


I especially love his “girl with a pearl earring”.  


Copying the masters is a well-known approach to learning how to draw.  As long as you don’t compare yourself too critically to the master, who was after all.. a master, but realize that you are learning bit by bit.  

Through the years, I’ve read and heard wonderful advice by some very godly ladies, who have encouraged me not to compare myself too often with others, but to be inspired by their good examples.  I’m reminded of this sometimes when I talk with a friend, or listen in conversations among women.  We talk about our convictions, our reasons behind choices we make for ourselves or our families.  Sometimes, I have made similar choices to my friends’, sometimes I have done things differently. 

Being gracious to one another is important at times like these.  Occasionally, we might be tempted  to feel a little defensive about our own position, to want to pipe up about our choices and insist that we think *this* is a good way to do something.

But I wonder if oftentimes, it’s better just to encourage each other.  Instead of assuming someone is trying to trump us or change us, assume they are telling us why they do such and such because they value our support –  they want it.  Assume their intent isn’t to compare themselves with us – but to share themselves with us.  

Assume God is giving us a perfect opportunity to do something good for the friend – encourage them!    

Friday, August 5, 2011

the niceties of necessities…




Sometimes it’s not enough to just put it away.. fun must be had with it….the need for creativity can’t be ignored….

later it will serve it’s ultimate purpose… but for now….

stack it..

pile it..

surround yourself with it…

stand tall next to it…



IMG_0833ok, girls, time to take the telescoping dust pole out of the middle and get those rolls a’rollin’……

Thursday, July 28, 2011

when I was 2…

Olivia likes to refer to things in the distant past as happening, “when I was 2.”  She used to do lots of things she can clearly remember now… “when I was 2.”

A few weeks ago, we were at Clint and Marianne’s for the first extended Orr Family reunion we’ve had since I’ve been an Orr.  I think someone said it was the first in 30 years.  Anyway, one of the fun things we did was take a walk in the family cemetery.  Several of us scattered around the cemetery, reading dates and names of Orrs who had lived and died; some of them I knew, most I didn’t.   Olivia skipped around the headstones, the hot sun on her blonde head, stopping every now and again to stare at the stones with their etching, and ask me a question.  As we stood in front of one that reported the death date as 1843, or something close to that, she said, “That was the one I knew when I was 2.”  She said it very firmly – as though she knew without a doubt it was the truth.  It made me laugh.

I’ve been reading Charlotte’s Web to her and the twins.  We’re at the part where the old sheep just told Wilbur that the farmer is fattening him up for Christmas Dinner – and Wilbur is horrified, of course, and runs around squealing and crying.  So yesterday, Sophia asked me why people want to eat pigs for Christmas.  Why not some other kind of animal?  Why not the goose?  I told the girls that some people do in fact eat goose for Christmas Dinner (remembering a funny story about a friend’s stolen Christmas goose).  Olivia piped up and said, “I did.  I had goose when I was 2.”

She definitely did a lot of things when she was 2.

Most of them she still remembers.



Her 2nd birthday.  Very.. girl in the world but not of the world…

other things she did when she was 2..













Wednesday, July 20, 2011


  It seems like we are regularly given opportunities to teach the kids about gratitude.  This past week and a half it has been about the air conditioning, or lack of it, in this very hot and humid weather.  After the first day, when we reminded them that God has provided a clean, safe, beautiful home for us even if the AC is acting up, no one murmured a word of complaint.  We told them that some people will never experience the luxury of AC – and endure much hotter temps than this.  We only have to endure it for a very short time.  During family prayers, we’ve heard a lot of words of thanks for giving them this “trial” of no AC. 

We’ve talked about trials often – especially this last year as the kids are getting older and it becomes more real for them.  Our Spurgeon devotions have been very helpful in this way.  Here is an excerpt from today’s:

Changing circumstances often causes the anxious believer to ask, “Why is this happening to me?”….Is this part of God’s plan for me?  Can this be the way in which God would bring me to heaven?  Yes, it is even so.  These trials are for the testing and strengthening of your faith- they are waves that wash you further upon the rock- they are winds that steer your ship more quickly toward the desired haven.  Do not think, believer, that your sorrows are out of God’s plan;  they are necessary parts of it.  Learn, then, to “count it all joy…when you meet trials of various kinds.”  James 1:2”


We had been talking about place settings for our etiquette time today.  The kids each took turns setting a proper place setting with fork, knife, spoon, napkin, and plate.  So after reading the devotion above, the Lord inspired me:  I picked up the plate, handed it to Noah, and told the children that this is what God does for each of us.  He gives us a plate – filled with all manner of things – things desirable to us, and things that seem not so desirable.  And no matter what is on it, we should accept the plate eagerly, with a thankful heart, knowing He gives it to us for our good and His glory. 

When you are given a plate with something unexpected, maybe even something you really didn’t think you needed (or wanted), ask God to help you to “Consider it all joy…”  and take the plate with a heart of gratitude. It is being given to you by One Who loves you and takes care of you.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fun on the Fourth

IMG_0300  Our parade wagon – bedecked with bunting..

IMG_0308Some of the girls and their friends waiting to follow behind the wagon on their decorated bikes – A couple of dads walked/jogged behind them.


IMG_0303  Waiting to get the show, er I mean, parade on the road..


After the parade, we went to Mom and Dad’s for the day.  Their neighbors kindly invited us down to swim since they were out of town.  We had FUN!!

IMG_0328  Olivia  IMG_0317  Sophia               



                        IMG_0452  Isabella IMG_0351Luke


IMG_0396Noah  IMG_0438Kate IMG_0424Alix