Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The B-I-B-L-E

At the beginning of 2010 the kids wrote down some goals. All three of my older kids set a goal to read the entire Bible this year. Several months ago Sarah finished reading the WHOLE Bible through by herself. Then this past month Andrew also finished reading from Genesis to Revelation. Daniel is on track to finish by the end of the year...if not sooner. I am SO proud of them.
Now, before you get the idea that my kids are super spiritual, let me say that they are regular kids with a sin nature. However, what better time to make Bible reading a DAILY habbit then as a child. Yes, even children can read the Bible. No, they do not understand everything they read, but as they read it they learn more, understand more, and ask questions about what they have read. Children's minds are like sponges....they soak up what you "feed" it (as in what they hear, read, see, etc.). I would much rather my children be filling their minds with God's Word (which, by the way, will keep them from sin) than anything the world has to offer.

A special visitor!

In August we enjoyed a visit from Grandma Winkler. She was here for about 9 days. How true is the saying "Time flys when you are having fun". Each day was filled making special memories.

Grandma arrived at the airport in Tallinn at 11p.m. After our 2 hour ride to Toila, we finally arrived home about 1:30am. Needless to say, the next day was a "stay at home and visit" day.

Old Town Tallinn

Oru Park in Toila

Eating at the Golden Arches

Estonian Castle on the left....Russian Castle on the right

visiting the castle in Rakvere, Estonia

Ron with his mom, Kathy. Sure hope his dad comes next time too.

saying good-bye to grandma at the Tallinn airport
What a special treat to have family visit. When we said our good-byes, Grandma promised to come again. She also said it might be sooner than we think. She is welcome ANY TIME....and so is grandpa. I am praying that MY parents will get to make a trip over here next year sometime. That would just thrill my heart!
Thank you for coming, Ma. We enjoyed having you! Come back soon!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Caleb!

My BABY turned 4 *snif, snif*. He was so excited to celebrate his birthday. While I am SO thankful that he is a growing, healthy, active little boy, I am also sad that the time is passing so quickly. It seems like it wasn't more than a few days ago when I heard those three wonderful words once again...."it's a boy!" The miracle of a little baby will never cease to amaze me. Well, that happened on September 8, 2006 (two weeks early *big smile*).
This year for his birthday, Daddy took him to town to run some errands so the kids and I could get the house ready. It was a great day of celebration for Caleb and he is now a proud 4 year old.

the "doggy" cake

getting home from town loaded with treats from Marita and Olga (two of Ron's English students)

opening cards from supporting churches

present time!!!

Caleb found all ten dog bones I hid in the house.

more party games

blowing out the candle

Caleb really wants to eat his cake.

The Birthday Boy!!!

What a joy it has been to cuddle, kiss, nurture, raise, and love Caleb for the past four years. Sometimes I wonder how I can love Caleb SO much when my heart was already full and bursting at the seams before God gave him to me. Well, God made a mother's love to mulitipy, not be divided. Since the day Caleb was born, my love for him has grown stronger each day. How is that possible???? Only God knows the wonder of a mother's love for her children. How blessed I am to have not one, but four children that love me. I am blessed beyond words.
Happy Birthday, Caleb!! I love you ♥

Now I'm off to hug my little guy ♥

Happy Birthday, Sarah!

Our Princess, Sarah, celebrated her 8th birthday on August 27. The past eight years have gone by quickly. I love thinking back to the day each one of my children was born.....Sarah was born in San Antonio, Texas while we were on deputation. She was a dainty, little thing at 6 pounds 5 ounces. Since she was my first girl and she followed two brothers, she was always decked out in pink :). You know what her favorite color is even today???? You are right...PINK (and purple too). I have had so much fun with a little girl in the house. Sarah is a "girlie" girl. What a great helper Sarah is to me around the house - laundry, dishes, cleaning, cooking, taking care of her daddy, and "mothering" her little brother. She sure is going to make someone a terrific wife someday....BUT not until she is 30 or so *smile*.
Anyway, back to the birthday celebration. Sarah had two very special "extra" treats on her birthday this year. The first one was having Jazmynn get to come and celebrate with her. The Lewis Family are missionaries in Tartu (2 hours away). We had never met them face to face, but had been in contact through emails for many months. I found out that their daughter was 7 years old and so I invited her to join us for Sarah's birthday. What a joy it was to meet Jazmynn and her mom, Betsie. It was such a special treat for Sarah to have another girl to share her special day with.

I found a kit to make a small purse. The girls did a great job and enjoyed it.

Sarah picked PIZZA for her birthday dinner.

the birthday girl

Sarah's next suprise was several birthday cards that her pen pals had sent. Her new little friends from across the ocean sent very sweet cards (a couple even sent little gifts inside) that made her day extra special.

*cards from pen pals and supporting churches*

Sarah is enjoying her "singing" cat birthday card.

So, my little girl is growing up and it's going by quickly. Since time does not stop, I want to make sure I enjoy every minute of every day with the precious treasure that God has given me. It is music to my ears when I hear her whisper "mommy, I love you the most". My heart is warmed as she slips her arms around my neck and sweetly kisses my cheek. I wouldn't trade those moments for anything in the world. Happy birthday, Princess! I love you ♥

"To The Regions Beyond"

Read a brief ministry update here.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

School Year 2010-11

Our school is one of the "International Homeschool Branches" of the Sequoia Baptist Academy in Visalia, California. We are beginning our 7th year of homeschooling and are off to a great start. Even though we are doing school at home, I try my best to make it feel like they are at school. The fourth bedroom in our house is the school. It is set up with their desks and decorated with an Americana theme along with charts and a world map.
This year I've added a few extra assignments that they will be required to do. I also picked out a character trait (along with the definition and a Bible verse) for each of the kids and hung it above their desk with a challenge to them to apply the trait to their daily life. Plus I have challenged myself in several areas that I want to improve in as their teacher to make this year better than other years. We are all excited about the school year of 2010-11. The kids haven't even complained that they have the same teacher again this year, in fact, I think they rather like her. *wink and smile*

First day of school - August 23, 2010

Sarah is in 3rd grade.
Favorite subjects ~ English and Animal Science
Character trait ~ Meek

Andrew is in 5th grade
Favorite Subjects ~ Social Studies and Science
Character Trait ~ Perseverant

Daniel is in 6th grade.
Favorite subject ~ Science
Character trait ~ Diligent

Favorite subject ~ break time (not for him - he's on break all day, but for the older kids whom is waiting to play with)
Character trait ~ being quiet in school

Now, does this look like a kid that is going to sit and be quiet while the big kids are doing school?

Monday, August 30th, we had a "Back to School" party! The Smith family (missionaries in Tallinn) also homeschool their boys and so we got together at our place to celebrate the start of another school year. The day was so much fun for the kids and even the parents.

After playing outside for awhile, the kids came in for a sack lunch - peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips, apples, and a juice box. Then we played some games with a school theme.

What is a party without cake?
The rest of the afternoon the kids enjoyed playing the Wii and computer games. The adults were having fun too ~I taught Ron and Mike and Penny Smith how to play Mille Bornes. We played men against the ladies and all I'll say about that is....LADIES RULE!!!

Why do kids always want to act silly for a picture? I don't know, but I decided to put in on here so you would know first hand what we are up against *smile*. Seriously, we do appreciate those of you who pray daily for us.

Happy Birthday, Daniel

I remember so well 11 years ago in the early hours of the morning {4:13 to be exact} of August 13, when my first baby was born. A boy - 8 pounds and 23 inches long! His name - Daniel Bryan Winkler. Such a miracle!!! The love I had for him made my heart feel like it was going to burst.
I am enjoying the journey of watching Daniel grow - baby, toddler, little boy, and now his pre-teen years. Daniel fills our lives and home with excitement, laughter, and joy.

Daniel and his lego cake.

Daniel enjoyed spending the day with some friends, our family, and Grandma Winkler. He received some really cool presents....

an army pocket knife (that has 13 accessories)

a model to build and then hang in his room

He received several other gifts that he had on his birthay wish list and even some that were not on it.

I thought I would share some of my favorite recent pictures of Daniel since this post is dedicated to him.

How cool to get to shoot a friend's BB gun.

enjoying a camp out

when you hike to your camp spot you carry everything you need on your back

roasting marshmallows at the kitchen table

I love my Daniel more than words can say. I am so thankful God has entrusted him to Ron and I to raise. My love for him grows more and more each day. When I think back to the love I felt for him when I first saw him after he was born, I wonder how that can be possible...but it is!


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