She's 91 and still loves to help with canning. I won't turn down her help. Grandma's hands have made a lot of applesauce and other canned goods over the years. Today her, my mom and I made 40 quarts. I'm hoping to hit my goal of 60 by the end of tomorrow. That seems to be the right number for our family for a year's supply. So with 3 weeks until my due date, we are stocked up on food for the winter. And now, I will go prop up my swollen feet...
We took our last big outing as a family of four to the Strasburg Railroad. Malakai was so giddy he could barely stay in his train seat. Isaac pointed and waved at every cow and person we passed. Last time I was on this ride I was about 14 weeks pregnant with Isaac. 36+ weeks pregnant feels a whole lot different on a rocky train car. Seeing the pure delight in my little boys' eyes was worth the short discomfort of the adventure. And of course, some ice cream afterwards was helpful.
We took the boys to see one-week old baby chicks at my Aunt Ruthie and Uncle Lamar's farm and it was a big hit. 38,000 birds were peeping around us and the boys were amazed. Gideon even snuck in a little peek. Then Malakai wanted to climb a grain bin to the top. A huge act of bravery on his part! And the night ended with some fishing in the pond. Malakai's first time catching some. He was in his glory, along with Gideon who was swimming around the dock and Isaac who got to touch a fish and happily jabber. I love the simple joys of life and last night was definitely one of them. My heart was happy to see my family enjoying a night together doing things that will be etched in their memories as "remember when" moments.
I pulled into the parking lot where we were going to do our photo session and it started raining. But I felt like it was going to be a passing shower. As I sat in my car waiting for my clients to arrive, I looked about 25 yards ahead of me and saw 8 deer grazing in the field. Some were doe and some were buck. They didn't run away, just continued munching on the wet grass and apples. My spirit quieted. Tonight marked a big evening for me. It would be my last session of the season until after Baby Martin is born. I knew the LORD was going to help me to finish this race well. Shortly after, my dear clients showed up and within 15 minutes, the rain had stopped and the sun came out. Why would I be surprised? I met the Geiger's a few years ago when they asked me to photograph some maternity pictures for them. They now have two little boys who couldn't be any cuter. David & Marleen are one of those couples that have a special calling on their lives. Faith, hope, and love flow out of them. But the greatest of these is love. Ephraim and Josiah know that their Mommy & Daddy love them unconditionally. And David & Marleen were kind enough to share their third anniversary with me, their photographer. At the end of the session, they prayed over me and Baby Martin and our growing family. This verse came to mind: "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25. They indeed helped me to finish the race (for this season) well. Next month, Eric and I will be welcoming a third child into our family. We are so excited to meet this little babe, who has been growing and kicking inside of me. I'm looking forward to putting my camera down for a few months so my arms can be full of kiddos. No, I'm not quitting photography by any means, but laying it down for a time to be able to devote myself wholeheartedly to the blessing of a new baby.