Donations can go to:
Alex and Julia Shestak
99 Sandy Hill Terrace
Columbia Falls, MT. 59912
Donations can go to:
Alex and Julia Shestak
99 Sandy Hill Terrace
Columbia Falls, MT. 59912
I recently started calling Benjamin “Mr. Handsome”. : )He’s wearing Matthew’s old clothes here.Someone needs to wear his clothing… they’ve been sitting in a box for nearly 7 years! They look pretty cute on you Mr. Handsome! I am going to miss having a baby around. I am going to miss you getting bigger. It’s always my heartache. I think it’s going to be a long time until there’s a baby in the family again. Hmmm…. Someone has been gaining weight! Though this picture is a couple of weeks old, you weighed in at fourteen pounds today. That’s about 6 pounds in 6 weeks! I think we’ll call you Chowhound. : ) I love how your little lower lip tucks under. You don’t have any teeth there to keep your lip from tucking back all cute. It’s sad, I know I won’t hardly remember you as a baby. I have a hard time remembering my children as babies. You are so precious to me. I always tear up with new babies as I think about babies in the world being hurt. : ( We live in a sad world. Your brother and sisters love you too. They brought toys over for you to look at when you wake up from your snooze.
I can tell when things start getting back to normal because my creative side starts coming out again.
Here I made a bag holder for my bags. It’s actually from an old shower curtain that I saved just in case I found something special to use the cotton fabric up.
I am buying something special for our kitchen each month… something under $50. I found this pretty quiche dish on replacements.com. Right now the last one is only $16 (I paid $20) due to a slight imperfection: http://www.replacements.com/webquote/BRRAMF.htm#1844826
The kids painted some wooden bird houses that I bought from Walmart.
I’m going to play catch up today on pictures from the past month. Here are some pictures of Benjamin from about a month ago.
Benjamin peeking out from Daddy…
What are you thinking little one?
Fifty-five years apart. Old enough to be you grandfather.
You have an audience.
Little Benjamin 2 months old.
My two happy boys!
Our wedding flower – Blue Hydrangeas
I think I will close with this last post of reflecting on our 10 years together in marriage. Most of our memories with bearing children, farming, moving to Iowa and such are in the previous posts and I don’t want to show the same pictures with the same stories that are already here. But I do want to share what a honeymoon is between a couple who is Christian and has never been together in intimacy before marriage.
Before we got married, a friend of mine who had stayed pure before marriage with her husband shared this with me. She shared that when they got married they went to Disneyland for their honeymoon. Her tone and excitement picked up as she shared that they didn’t leave the room for 5 days before deciding that they best get going and actually go and Disneyland. You see, they didn’t need to go anywhere special for their honeymoon because when you haven’t been together with your spouse before marriage and finally do, you cannot top your intimate time together with a place outside of the bedroom. I share this with all purity and sincerity. The problem with us today is that when most of us get married, we’ve already “known” the person who is to become our spouse. We need to go to elaborate places and do exciting things to make it significant. This was not God’s plan. My husband and I went somewhere we had never been before and that is the bedroom. We read some time ago that those who abstain from relations before marriage have less than a 2% divorce rate. Now isn’t that something? We know from experience that it is because there is value there because we both waited. : ) I don’t share this to make anybody feel bad, we have our past before we came together. I share this so that we can see what is really normal, the way that has always been dominant in most societies and cultures and what is the right way in the Lord’s eyes. Let us not forget this way towards marriage.
In between posts I remember things from our first times together and first years. I’ll share these recollections so I don’t forget later on.
When we first met while doing homeless ministry, I remember Matthew and I talking once and I asked him what Christian books he liked to read. He shared that he only read the Bible and Charles Spurgeon. I got really excited because I believed (and still do) that we can get too carried away by books about God and the Bible while not reading the Bible. The Word of God should always be first. Anyways, I was impressed by this man and had hope that he might take God seriously.
Another thing that was impressive to me was our first phone conversation (that ended up being one and a half hours). He shared with me that he didn’t have a television. I got estatic! He couldn’t miss it on the other end of the phone, my excitement over him not having a television. You see, years ago someone told me that I would never find a man who doesn’t lust or doesn’t watch television. It really hurt me to the core. I didn’t have a television at the time and was very strong in not having one. When he shared this with me, it was the first time I really wondered if the Lord had plans for us to marry one day. : )
Though we both still looked kind of worldly, we were both really drawn to each other spirit to spirit. We both took the Lord really serious to the point of offending people (not trying to). We both had such a seriousness about the Lord, a devotion, a wanting to give our lives to Him every day and to be pleasing to Him. We saw that in each other and that is what drew us to each other. We were not drawn to each other physically in the beginning as we were used to from previous relationships. It was different.
The first time we went to Denny’s to have coffee together, we walked out to our cars to part. We drove away and then he called me soon after I got home. He shared that he didn’t know whether to kiss me or hug me or what to do when we parted in the parking lot. I shared with him what the Lord had told me over a year before, that no man was to kiss my lips until we were married. I knew this would either draw him to me or away from me. He got so excited about it that I got excited. We were so happy to hear in each other’s voices the desire to be pleasing to the Lord and to try to be pure before marriage.
I forgot to mention on “The Wedding” post that when we got home to his house that I would reside in for the first time, he had put little notes/love letters throughout the home to make me feel welcome and comfortable. He continued writing and leaving me notes for the first 2 or 3 years until we started to get too busy with the new babies…
Baby Matthew was either in my tummy here (in the note above) or I was holding him. : )December 2005 in our first home together in Westport, Washington. We still miss our home.Here I was pregnant with Elisabeth. Matthew thinks I look about 19 years old here. I was 35 coming up on 36.Another pregnancy picture with Elisabeth.One of Matthew’s notes… A zygote is a cluster of cells that precedes the forming of what we know as the fetus or embryo. He used to call Elisabeth a zygote (zi-got) before she arrived.Daddy in the hospital in 2006 as a brand new dad. Elisabeth 2006
October 1st was our ten year anniversary. I have some very special pictures and memories to share. Since we were already married and had had Elisabeth when I started this blog, we were never able to share our earlier days together before marriage or the wedding pictures.
What a carefree and easy life…. Youngens we still were. : )
We were looking to buy a home in the beautiful town of Raymond, Washington. We were soon to be married and wanted to have a look around. We found an old 100+ year old home with over 150 acres…. Matthew thinks it was more like 250…. I don’t remember. Anyways, he packed us a picnic lunch so after we were done looking at the home, we could wander up into the hills and have our picnic with view and all. What a surprise it was to me. He was always full of surprises. He had a very romantic spirit about him. We had so much fun during our courtship together. Here’s some pictures from our picnic.
What a happy looking man.
We never bought the home because the home was delapitated and the Lord told me that “Less is More” (acreage).
Outside of his home before marriage. He sold this old dog of a 1978 home for a good amount of money because it was on valuable land in Steilacoom. We were able to put a down payment of over $100,000 on our farm home in Westport soon after marriage. We both wish now that we had bought a home almost cashed out with that money.
We had such a fun time together. We wrote and talked to each other every day. He bought his first cell phone just so we could have free minutes between us. We used over 1600 minutes one month. We courted off and on for over 2 years but our last 6 month were the most memorable. We saw each other every single day even though we were 1+ hours away from each other. How did we meet? We were in homeless ministry together.
Now be patient with me while I continue to work on a brief life of ours together this month. I don’t quite yet know how many parts this may be or how quickly it will be done. Anyhow, it will be fun to reflect upon our time and love of our life together.