Saturday, April 26, 2008

April Flowers

When I opened my eyes this morning and peeked out around the window blinds, what should I behold, but almost an inch of snow on the ground! I had to double check to make sure it was really April 26th.

It ended up snowing on and off for most of the day. In spite of the snow and wind, we did get out for a walk as a family. When we got into the woods, we found we weren't the only ones braving the late April blizzard. Spring flowers were poking through the wet leaves reminding us that warmer weather is just around the corner.

Here are a few of today's pictures...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

David Flies to Chesapeake, VA

David received only a 265 on his PFT so that was a little disappointing. His buddy Tony did a little better. They both graduated from School of Infantry training. We are so thankful these guys can be in the marines together. Both flew out of San Diego last night around 10:00pm. They are on different flights, but will re-connect in the airport in VA somewhere this morning. Then, they report for duty to find out what is next and what their schedule will be. Thanks for praying for these guys.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Lance Corporal!

David has just received another meritorious promotion. He is now a Lance Corporal. We really thank the Lord for his goodness, and graciousness that he has shown to David.

David is graduating from School of Infantry tomorrow. He has done well, and has really enjoyed himself. He was assigned a M249 SAW for much of his time at SOI, and has had the "privilege" of carrying that around most of the time. He was scheduled to run his PFT today. His goal would be a perfect score, but his arm is still swollen from giving blood, so he is not sure how it will go. We expect to hear from him on Tuesday to hear exactly what his next orders are, and how he did on his PFT. Your continued prayer are appreciated!

Update: After talking with a person who has much experience drawing blood, it sounds like they hit a nerve in David's arm. If that is the case, his arm will be very sore for at least a week, so continued prayers are appreciated!

Prayer Request!

We have friends who just had their first children, twins, at 22 weeks along. They are at the Children's Hospital in Minneapolis right now. They were born emergency c-section in Eau Claire, and airlifted to the cities. The chance of survival is about 10% for children of that age, and there is a high possibility of disabilities. These first few weeks are very important! You can be in prayer for them. Their names are Austin and Ellyssa, and the parents names are Jesse and Ashlee Coates.

With God all things are possible!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sugaring off

We've been a part of the first harvest of the year: harvesting maple syrup. What fun to get outside and learn how to make this sweet treat.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Thank You Letter

This is the letter sent to David on 2/3/08. Names have been left out for their protection as we did not know how to get permission from the writer to post the letter.

Dear Sir:

Perhaps you do not remember me, but it matters not. My name is_____ and my brother introduced us on family day in the museum at the recruit depot in San Diego. I am writing this letter because I must describe to you my deep and profound gratitude for who you are. Had I but known who you were when we were introduced I would have taken the opportunity to express myself face to face, but as it is this shall have to suffice. You must think this the oddest letter ever written by now, but I pray you bear with me for a few moments and I shall make all quite clear.

My brother, I believe was in your platoon during boot camp and like most of ya'll, was infinitely changed for his time there. My entire family, even back a number of generations, is very devoted to Christ and thus my brother and I were taught from a very young age to love and serve Him. While I sought and found the Lord early in life, I am grieved to report that 'twas not so for my brother. Throughout our teenage years he continuously turned his back on the Lord and us. I say this not to speak ill of my brother, indeed, I love him tremendously; but to show you how you have been the answer to my prayers in a very significant way.

The marines was sort of our last hope for him, we knew not what else to do. I cannot even begin to depict for you the numerous nights I spent in tearful prayer for my beloved baby brother. When he left for boot camp my most fervent prayer was that in his platoon would be at least one man who would know the Lord and be not ashamed to live the gospel out for all to see, even in such situation as boot camp offers to forsake the teachings of Christ. I prayed that such a man would be an example to my brother and that he would yearn to be such a man himself.

Here, I come to the part where you fit in. As we were eating lunch that day and my brother began to tell us of the guys in his platoon, he spoke with great respect in his tone of one who wanted to be a missionary. He talked of how you deserved his respect not only for your high physical training scores but also in lieu of the fact that you were the one in all his platoon who was not a hypocrite. You earned his esteem for living a blameless life in front of him. Thank you. It took tremendous effort on my part to keep my eyes dry during his speech for indeed, I knew that you were a direct answer to my prayers on his behalf.

I know what it is to be in an environment that does not foster the kind of attitude and lifestyle Christ calls us to, thus I wish to thank you from the depths of my heart for remaining faithful and being not ashamed. It is not often in such times that we know the impact we are having on the lives and hearts of those around us and it can be easy to become discouraged and like Elijah, think we are the only ones. I do not know if you struggle in such a manner, but I wish to dispel such a notion on my brother's life therefore my own also! For this I thank you and praise God that others may see Him in you. I am afraid my vocabulary falls piteously short, but I pray the Lord reveals to you the depth of my gratitude and that he blesses your life infinitely as you continue to walk in His ways and let your light so shine before men. Until He does so I shall let Paul's words speak for me.

Philemon 1:4-7
"I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith (thank you for having been so), so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you,brother,have refreshed the hearts of the saints."

Most gratefully and sincerely,