Recent Happenings…

We’ve been on two trips recently, one you can read about on my sister’s blog here, and the other you can see pictures of below. We are also enjoying the July summer days. I don’t really have time to write much, but I’ll try to keep my blog updated with pictures as I’m able 🙂 My family comes first, so sometimes I’m just enjoying them and I don’t have time to post…

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Going on a date riding in a 1920’s Model T touring car… boy was it fun!

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We had to hand crank it to get it started!! (just kidding 😉 )

The old and the new...

The old and the new…

Enjoying the ride!

Enjoying the ride!

Family Vacation with Samson's family in Temagami, Canada!

Family Vacation with Samson’s family in Temagami, Canada!

~Kenzie's first boat ride~

~Kenzie’s first boat ride~

Paddle boat Father/Daughter Date... Fiona loved having her own seat and being with Daddy!

Paddle boat Father/Daughter Date… Fiona loved having her own seat and being with Daddy!

Story time with Uncle Samson (Caleb pictured)

Story time with Uncle Samson (Caleb pictured)

Great Grandma D. holding our cute nephew, Tristan.

Great Grandma D. holding our cute nephew, Tristan.

Tristan's beautiful mommy, Amanda~

Tristan’s beautiful mommy, ~Amanda~

Waiting on the dock, Caleb, Josh and Judah...

Waiting on the dock, Caleb, Josh and Judah…

~Fun with the cousins in the water~

~Fun with the cousins in the water~

It is so peaceful and serene up there.

It is so peaceful and serene up there.

Enjoying a close-up of God's natural beauty

Enjoying a close-up of God’s creation

See the bee?!

See the bee?!

Story-time with Grandma in the trailer was a highlight for the grandkids!

Story-time with Grandma was a highlight for the grandkids!

Cute Kenzie!

Cute Kenzie!

Great Grandma and Grandpa- together for over 60 years!

Great Grandma and Grandpa- married for over 60 years!

See our fun spouts?! :-)

See our fun spouts?! 🙂

Celebrating Samson's birthday- he turned 30 this year! Wow!!

Celebrating Samson’s birthday- he turned 30 this year! Wow!!

Fiona likes to go out in the rain now... this morning she needed an umbrella~

Fiona likes to go out in the rain now… this morning she needed an umbrella~

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"Hello, I'm walking now!"

“Hello, I’m walking now!”

Kenzie walks now! She loves walking all over the house and likes to carry things in her hands as she walks.

She loves walking all over the house!

~Cute pigtails~

~Cute pigtails~

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~”reading”~

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My brother, Stephen, arrived home recently after living in Saudi Arabia for a year!

Needless to say, we were excited to see him!

Needless to say, we were excited to see him!

My brother, Stephen, arrived home recently after living in Saudi Arabia for a year!

Nothing like a hug from Dad!!

Kenzie loves eating, and her blueberries were so good she decided to smear them on her face the other day!

Kenzie loves eating, and her blueberries were so good she decided to smear them on her face the other day!

Hope you enjoyed this pictorial update of our recent happenings!

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Canada Vacation

We just got back from our yearly vacation trip to Canada. We stayed in a nice cabin at Lowell Lake with Samson’s family. Since Samson’s sister, Amanda, has two little boys, we arranged our fishing trips around Fiona and the boy’s nursing schedules! I really enjoyed fishing amisdt the quiet and beautiful scenery. I hope you enjoy a few pictures capturing our trip… (you can click on each picture if you wish to see it bigger).

A Photo Review of the Past Seven Months… Part 2

April  

First Easter Together!

Breakfast with some girlfriends

Samson preparing a surprise family birthday party for me! I was very surprised and blessed by my dear husband!

Reading a card from my sweet sister Rachel 😉

Joseph with his birthday balloon head-gear!

My brothers amusing my nephew Caleb with a balloon- he thought it was hilarious!!

A birthday picture with my beloved!

Spring 2010

Beautiful flowering tree!

I visited the AiG Creation Museum in KY while Samson was practicing with a friend

Look out!!

Centerpiece for Christine's bridal shower at my parent's home; Jonathan, Christine and her parents came up for a visit and stayed at our home for the weekend. Fun memories!

A lovely dessert!

Opening their gifts...

Christine (Chrissy) with her mom, mother-in-law, and grandmother-in-laws!

Sisters- Melody, Chrissy, Rachel and me

We traveled to TN to spend a few days at Newgy, the table tennis company who sponsors Samson and the company who makes table tennis robots

On our way home we stopped at Mammoth Cave, and took a tour of one of the many caves

Fat Man's Misery

Someone was kind enough to take a picture of the two of us~

May

Samson hosted his own table tennis tournament, and the evening before the tournament he taught a junior clinic. It was well attended and all the children had a lot of fun!

The evening before the tournament the draws had to be made for all the players... it was a late evening.

Some of the players

Winners of the Under 1200 Event

Winners of the Under 2000 Event

Winners of the Open Event and the officials who helped us run the tournament

Rachel & Marissa helping to roll up special flooring from the main court after the tournament- both our families were a big help!

My friend Jessica and I hosted a baby shower for Melody at our church. It was a fun evening!

The cute cake our pastor's wife made for the shower!

Opening a gift...

One of the little girls, Elizabeth, showing off an adorable handstitched bib someone made as a gift.

Josiah showed up towards the end of the shower to escort his wife home- aren't they a cute couple?! 🙂

I wanted to get a "baby bump" picture before Melody gave birth. I know mine barely shows, but it was still fun!!

Samson played in a tournament near Washington DC, so we went a day early and did some site-seeing!

My handsome man!

We toured the Botanical Gardens... so many different plants and lovely flowers!

Orchid

Samson "sitting" on a cactus!

A lady was kind enough to take our picture in front of the Capital Building

President Samson Dubina. (I would vote for him, wouldn't you?)

The next weekend we drove to Lancaster, PA, where Samson taught a table tennis clinic, and on our way home the sun was setting in the mountains, beautifully lighting up the sky!

While we were gone, Baby Corban was born! Samson and I visited him as soon as we got back 🙂

On Memorial Day most of my family came over to help us reckon with some plants that were overgrown in our side flower-bed. This picture was taken after much of the work had been done.

A Photo Review of the Past Seven Months… Part One

I thought it would be fun to post some pictures that I’ve taken from our trips and daily life over the past seven months. Life has been busy, fulfilling and fun with my dear husband, Samson! 

January 

Our Wedding Day, January 9, 2010!

On the beach of Ft. Lauderdale, FL for our honeymoon!

Side by side in the sand...

Even the Alligators in the Everglades were in love 🙂

A lovely tropical garden in Key West, FL

On the front of the boat that took us to the Coral Reef to snorkel- the first time ever for me!!

My handsome husband on our last evening in Key Largo!

Sitting close on the dock...

Key Largo Camp Ground, last day of our honeymoon, where we stayed in a cute little camper 🙂

A photo shoot for Samson's website- my husband teaching me the proper way to hold my paddle!

February 

Celebrating our one month anniversary with sparkling grape juice and tasty slices of our wedding cake

Ahh!! We love each other!

The day we told our families that we were expecting a baby in October!

Three of my brothers enjoying our hot tub! 🙂

Driving to St. Louis, MO, for table-tennis practice before going to US National Trials in TX

St. Louis Arch

I wonder how they keep the hot water hot, especially in the winter?!

March

Samson playing in the US National Trials, Fort Worth, TX

We thought this shadow picture was cute, since I was early pregnant and my purse kinda looks like a pregnant belly in the shadow!

On our way to Liberty Day with my family, at Lake Michigan beach

Liberty Day Conference in IL (last year I was single, this year married with a little one on the way!)

Get-together with friends 🙂

My brother Jonathan and his finacee, Christine, on the evening of their engagement. Congratulations!

New York City in the background, touring the area before a tournament

Not the best self-portrait, but we did get the Statue of Liberty in the background!

On the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty

Lady Liberty

A replica of Lady Liberty's ear

Yes, I was being funny!! Lady Liberty's foot...

Standing at the base of the Statue of Liberty with the wind rushing across our faces

Ellis Island

Luggage exhibit in the entry-way

The registry room from the balcony view- huge and beautiful! I tried to imagine people from all different countries standing in rows waiting to get into America, the sound of many languages mixed in the air.

We could only imagine the scenes of families being re-united after a separation of months or years.

The ferry arrives!

A side-street view of New York City- there were people and cars everywhere!

A new chapter…

Friends, I have some exciting news to share! As of June 23rd a wonderful young man named Samson Dubina began courting me! My family has been getting to know Samson and his family for several months. Samson approached my dad in early May and began meeting with him and my family for an evaluation time, after which we officially began courting at the end of June. Samson is a God-fearing man, one who loves to share his faith with others. He desires to please God with his life and loves his family very much. He has played table tennis professionally and currently coaches and plays in some tournaments. He has worked as a paramedic in the past, and is trained as a firefighter/paramedic and is currently seeking a job in that field. Something I have grown to admire in Samson is his desire to please the Lord with his life and how he seeks to discover God’s will for his life in the Word of God. So many of our core convictions are the same, and it has been a delight for my family and I to get to know Samson!

Samson & I the night he asked to court me!

Samson & I the night he asked to court me!

I recently went with Samson and his family to Canada for a week-long vacation. I appreciated the time to get to know his parents, grandparents, sisters and brother-in-law better during that week. We spent the week boating, fishing, talking, reading the Bible, portaging from one lake to another and playing games. I really got to know Samson better, and we had many opportunities to talk things over and understand each others values and standards. I also observed first-hand how kind and patient Samson and his family were with the grandparents, making sure they had at least one fishing trip a day and helping them in and out of boats despite weak or bad knees! Here are a few pictures from the trip. The Lord is good, and His faithfulness reaches to the skies!!

Morning Sun Rays

Morning sun rays

Sunset on the horizon

Sunset on the horizon

Mist in the morning

Mist in the morning

Samson, me, Marissa with our catch of the day!

Samson, me & Marissa with our catch of the day!

Fire watchtower some of us climbed

Fire watch-tower some of us climbed

From the top of the firetower

From the top of the fire watch-tower

Sunfish I caught

Sunfish I caught

A bear at the town dump (the best place to find a bear!)

A bear at the town dump (the best place to find a bear!)

A beaver house- usually the best place to find minnows!

A beaver house- usually the best place to find minnows!

Samson with one of his grandmothers

Samson with one of his grandmothers

A cute statue in front of someone's house

A cute statue in front of someone's house

Getting the boat from one lake to the next (not me, Samson!)

Getting the boat from one lake to the next (Samson did all the work!)

With our fish of the day (photo taken by Mrs. Dubina)

With our fish of the day

Fishing

Fishing

Marissa (Samson's sister) dubed this a Norman Rockwell picture! :-)

Marissa (Samson's sister) dubbed this a Norman Rockwell picture! 🙂

Samson and Marissa portaging

Samson and Marissa portaging

Samson water skiing

Samson water skiing

Samson & Me

Samson & Me (with flowers he picked for me!)

The boat dock

The boat dock

Marissa, Amanda & Me

Marissa, Amanda (Samson's other sister) & Me

Packing up to leave...

Packing up to leave... (Samson's Dad is on the right)

Reformation 500 Overview

Reformation 500 Children's Parade

Reformation 500 Children's Parade

July 1st-4th found most of my family and I in Boston, MA, for Vision Forum’s Reformation 500 conference. The four days were packed with excellent speakers, wonderful music and scenic historical tours. Over the past eight years or so my family has been greatly impacted by Vision Forum Ministries and their desire to build up the Christian family. We have learned much from the teaching tapes, books and materials they have printed. We were so blessed to be able to attend the conference through the provision of a scholarship and several friends blessing us with the ability to stay at the hotel where the conference was held!

One aspect of the week that I came away with was the fact that although the reformation was over 500 years ago, the truths that the reformers fought for (and some gave their life blood) are to be carried on in my own life. My desire is that I would be enabled through the grace of God to pass on the truths of the reformation: The Five Solas- Scripture Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone, To the Glory of God Alone to my own children, should the Lord bless me someday. I cannot ride on the coat-tails of others, I must make my Christian faith mine and be faithful to pass on that faith to my children and to others around me. I must rise above the status quo and stand firm in my beliefs.

We started our trip by spending a night with a family in western MA (thanks to the Kulberg’s for their kind hospitality!). We then toured the town of Stockbridge, traveled to Plymouth for a quick tour of the historic sites and drove on to Boston and unpacked our van by the busy hotel. I will post some pictures below.

The "crew" happy to leave for the trip!

The "crew" happy to leave for the trip!

Stockbridge Library

Stockbridge Library

Gateway to a graveyard

Gateway to a graveyard

My family (plus a little friend) in front of Jonathan Edward's monument

My family (plus a little friend) in front of Jonathan Edward's monument

A church where Jonathan Edwards preached

A church where Jonathan Edwards preached

Inside the church

Inside the church

A stitchery hanging in the church- I thought the saying was excellent!

A stitchery hanging in the church- I thought the saying was excellent!

A new friend, Gideon, and Joseph

A new friend, Gideon, and Joseph

Faith of our Father's Monument-Plymouth

Faith of our Father's Monument-Plymouth

Old City Hall (our first mini tour in Boston)

Old City Hall (our first mini tour in Boston)

Paul Jehle, our tour guide

Paul Jehle, our tour guide

In front of the building where the Boston Massacre took place

In front of the building where the Boston Massacre took place

The Balcony where the Declaration of Independence was read for many years

The Balcony where the Declaration of Independence was read for many years

On the way to the harbor

On the way to the harbor