Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Christmas Preparations

Hello! Christmas is a big deal at our house (well, so says the self proclaimed "Elf" of the family). We drew names back in July and there have already been hushed conversations, scurrying hither and thither for supplies and plans brewing for the Lancaster Christmas 2011. For those of you not in the loop- we draw names so (darn) early because we all make (at least) one gift for that person who's name you drew. We can purchase other gifts for each-other (though we like to keep it small), but that one gift must be handmade. I think every year we draw earlier and earlier due to the handmade gifts needing a bit more time to think through, construct and wrap. (I LOVE warping gifts...) Here's the who-has-who for this year:

Emma has Arielle's name
Arielle has Mom's name
Mom has Emma's name
Dad has Liam's name
Liam has Flynn's name
Flynn has Dad's name

We used to not know the who-as-who until the unveiling Christmas morning... but someone was way too too curious to not just leave well enough alone and would lay in bed at night thinking through... "Okay... so if I have _____ then Dad can't have ____ ...." and by Christmas would have that part figured out. I'll extend a little grace and say that that person was young and curious .... We just don't do it that way anymore- so that person can lay in bed at night and think of other things. :)

Arielle (on behalf of the Lancaster Clan) 

P.S. 73 days, 12 hours, and 5 minutes until Christmas

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Beach Vacation Photos

Our family just returned from a wonderful family vacation last week to Edisto Island in SC (South of Charleston). What a delight it was to be able to spend uninterrupted time together as a family... riding bikes the whole time, spending time on the beach, watching the turtles in the pond below our condo, riding bikes to the Piggly Wiggly (Grocery Store) for groceries.... and just reading and resting... and talking. Here's a few photos of our time together!

Emma, Dad, Mom, and Flynn on the deck looking down at the pond and turtles below

Liam making dinner- mack 'n cheese with tomatoes on top!

Riding bikes to the Piggly Wiggly- Dad, Emma and Mom 

Our precious Emma!

Mom .... with the ice-cream. 

Emma and Mom riding on the rumble strip- we loved to sing and harmonize to our favorite hymns on the rumble strip- it makes you sound like a opera singer with vibrato!

The back deck was a great place to catch up on some reading!

Flynn and Arielle making dinner.

Here's Emma right as she thought she was going to get pounded with a wave..... um... Not. :)

More soon- once I get them off of Mom's camera!

on behalf of the Lancaster Family


Friday, March 11, 2011

Answer To Prayer

I thought as I am 'The Dad' 'round these parts it would behoove me to add a post to our family blog.For this first post I'd like to tell you about a wonderful answer to prayer we received from the Lord for Liam and Flynn. 

As some of you know, the lads have been seeking direction for the career they feel called to in the military. I had been praying for a year or more to make a contact with a man of faith who had also served in the same specialized capacity that they aspire to. Typical with God, his answer was far more than we could have expected. 

We had the great honor last month to meet in the home of a man who had served 23 years in the Navy,retiring as a commander. His basement had photgraphs and memorabilia from a long and vigorously served career which was certainly impressive in its own right. The best part was how honestly he described the many rewards of this work and the considerable cost to him and his family. He was very straightforward about the challenges and struggles he wrestled with to his faith in Christ and didn't hesitate to answer some very personal questions about these things. I was quite overwhelmed by his dedication to service for his country as well as the equally dedicated men he served with. It has given Liam, Flynn and I a much greater respect for those who protect our country.

After our visit the lads didn't say a word the whole way home, lost in thought over what they had heard. Interestingly it has served to encourage rather than the opposite and they have increased their efforts to prepare because of what they learned about in this meeting.

Please pray for Gods continued leading in this area of their lives. There are some substantial decisions ahead of them and they need His hand guiding them. 


Friday, February 11, 2011

Our Baby Turned 14 this week!

Second birthday of the year goes to our Emma Joy! Hmmm... it's a sad thing and a happy thing when everyone realizes the baby is growing up! Fourteen years old. How did that happen? She's growing into a lovely talented young lady and is getting into more of the domestic realm - by choice instead of force. Cooking, helping Arielle will various sewing projects, cleaning .... but she still enjoys writing lengthy adjective frosted letters/essays/books and has her nose in the thesaurus often- finding a "better" word for everything.

Wednesday we celebrated that evening with a friend of hers from church and swim team. Very sweet young lady. Dad said that they reminded him of Chipmunks on caffeine. I think the family size bag of twizzlers and the cheesecake had something to do with it. Liam gave her Converse shoes... but they were the spin off brand- so Mom calls them Convicts instead. :) Ever the practical one- Arielle gave her money for camp (Emma's working hard and saving up to be able to go to summer camp this year at Worldview Academy) and Flynn, Mom and Dad bought her an iTunes gift card- Emma can finally buy the soundtrack to her favorite movie- Swan Princess. She's been humming the "Far Longer Than Forever" song and trying to learn it on the piano for ages!

A "sleep" over followed- and.... You guessed it- they didn't sleep much. But the buzz of sugar enabled them to get up early to find a light dusting of SNOW on the ground... not enough to stay longer than the morning- but it was a welcome surprise!

Happy Birthday Emma! We love you and are so excited to see where God takes you in your 14th year!

 The Lancaster Family

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Can't believe it's February!

Hello Friends and Family!
   The Lord continues to work in our lives as the year hurtles on at a furious rate! Not that we are all that busy - just doing the things that we feel are important for our family during this season- but the time seems to just be gone so fast! Here we are reporting from a February that, at least here in North Carolina, seems to be unable to make up it's mind about which weather it likes best! Sunday was right around 70 degrees, sunny and wonderful- and the next few days were wet and coldish- but the fog was magical and lovely- just in a different way than Sunday. It's all in the way that you look at it- isn't it?
   We have all enjoyed the snow- and the prospect of it (the hope of it happens much more often than the actual event!) since Christmas. The mountains surrounding us have gotten more than we have - which was a bummer for the kids, but left Mom and Dad more than a little glad to have been bypassed yet again. During a trip and the beginning of January to visit friends for dinner in the mountains- we were delighted to  see the snow up there covering everything so delicately! (Yes, the friend's house is pink- like a Charleston pink. The girls loved it!) :)
    We are also adjusting to only having three teenagers now. Arielle turned 20 at the end of January! We enjoyed having a quiet evening at home as a family- with brownies made by Emma and ice cream made by Breyers. Inside the bag that Arielle is about the open at Left is an awesome book that she's been drooling over for several months on sewing fun, creative children's clothing. She was thrilled! Also was a lovely spreader that her talented woodcarving daddy made for her to put in her hope-chest as well as some tea-party china for the same purpose.
      As some of you know, January, February and March are our main Birthday months- with Arielle, Emma, Bev and Pat all two weeks apart. So... now we have an almost 14 year old Emma.... how could that possibly be?
      More Birthday posts to follow!

The Lancaster Family