Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Morning

This was a cute scene on Christmas morning. Joel sat on the couch with his eyes fixed on the tree and all the goodies that lay beneath. He patiently waited for the moment to come

Dad reading the Christmas story and celebrating the Saviors Birth.

Joel was so excited! "I can be Santa this year because I can read now!"

Grandpa Santa has arrived!
Joel got his train!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hit the Road, Jon

It's official...Jon can drive! Not alone yet, but he is one happy guy!
Way to go Jon, you did it! Now if it stops snowing maybe you can actually get behind the wheel!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Why Can't He Just Like Bentley??

John and Bentley have had this love/hate relationship since day one! I am just so confused as to why he doesn't like my sweet puppy!! Please someone...tell me why??

I just don't get it? He is so cute!

Now see, was it really all that bad?? Pray for my husband that he really learns how to forgive and forget....sheeeesh!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thank you God for a fun family

Here we are being our crazy selves. We had so much fun at Sears taking our family pictures. This would have been used in our Christmas Card this year, but John opposed the idea because my lovely face was covered by Jake's head. I think it would have been adorable. We'll try again next year.

After we took our photos we surprised the boys by taking them to see "A Christmas Carol" in Providence. The tickets were only $10 so we jumped on it. Of course we sat on benches so we have sore back ends...but it was worth it! Somewhere between Scrooge's ghost of Christmas past and Tiny Tim's "God Bless us, every one" the creeping crud got a hold of me. My head stuffed up, my throat tickled. I was hoping it was from being out late and in a crowd...wishful thinking!

Looking over the foyer balcony and the theater

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Very Typical Ludka Thanksgiving

The boys started their day early with a scrumptious breakfast cooked by the queen B...(thats me). Then off to the annual Turkey Bowl with the guys from church. About 22 men killed each other in Christian love.

Then we headed to Grandpa Ludka's for our Thanksgiving meal. As we pulled in we were greeted by the friendly cows. I had to snap a shot of their cuteness.

Here are all the boys spread around the house devouring their turkey and all the fixin's

The next day we tried to enjoy a day together enjoying a game of "Guesstures".

Monday, November 17, 2008

Another day of the Portholes

Today was an interesting day. I think it must have been a full moon. I used to take pride in that my boys could busy themselves and understand that Mom and Dad had work to be done. Today was NOT the case. I had to take the 3 younger ones plus a friend from church down to the building so I could work on a few portholes. The kids were crazy intense on bugging me to paint. Non-stop begging! So finally I gave in. I created very attractive trash bag painting attire. For the most part this worked well...unless you are six! Joel's trash bag garment was dragging on the ground and through the paint pan and all over his bod! The main reason for our trash bag ensemble was to protect the not so cheap school uniforms!! In less than a half a second Joel was stripped to his "grundies" and Mom was running out to the hose to see if the pants could be spared. Here are a few shots of our fun day...NOTE: Mom didn't get one thing done that day!

"Mom this is embarrassing!"

Joel drying his pants on the lamp.

Portholes in the Toddler Room. Possibly called "Little Tugs" We are open for suggestions to go with our boat theme.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Never Ending Portholes

Many of you have wanted to see all the painting that has been going on in our new church nursery.

If you can't tell, these are portholes looking into the deep blue sea. So much more has transpired, but I don't have current pictures. I will post those very soon!

Some of our artists....Me, Mrs. Kate, Mrs. Beth.

2 of the 3 portholes in the infant nursery.

The beginnings of our baby turtles.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Some Things Never Change

Oh the chants of "CHANGE" ring through our ears and across the air waves. What all this means one will never really know until feet are put to those words and promises. But today I am thankful for things that will NEVER change:
The Bible still has ALL the answers.
God still answers prayer.
The Holy Spirit can still convict me to change.
God still loves to be praised.
We can still go to church and hear preaching
We can still sing
God still wants to bless us
Jesus still loves me
There is always room for one more soul
We will NEVER be alone no matter how bad it gets.

And the list goes on and on...what things won't change for you?

Friday, October 3, 2008

As the Deer Panteth for the Water...

"As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God." Ps 41:1
Seeing animals in my yard is something I will never get over. John used to laugh at me when we first moved to CT because I would call everyone to the windows to see a squirrel. I guess I have gotten used to those creatures running up and down my trees and eating the seed out of the bird feeder, but every other animal is a breath
taking experience for me...especially deer.

The kids ran up the stairs this morning to show me the wonderful surprise in our backyard. Oh it was a welcomed greeting. Here is a video off our deck.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Run the Race with Patience"

God has given our boys stamina! I am not a runner by any stretch of the imagination. I trained on my high school cross-country team with the hopes of loving it by the end of the summer then I would join the team...it never happened! John will only run if he has a ball in his hand...other than that it's just plain dumb.
Jon, Justin and Pasha had their first cross-country meet, running a 3 mile course. Their team did not beat the other school but our team did great! Jonathan had an excellent stride and stayed in first most of the time. At the last few minutes Christian Higley zoomed passed and won for the Eagles, Jon came in 2nd place (for our team) at 22.5 minutes. Justin came in at 24.3 and Pasha can't remember! :)

Jon focusing...or daydreaming

Jon pullling ahead!

I think I am dying

I think I can, I think I can!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Almost Fall

Part of me is not ready for fall because I know what comes after...burrrr!

But it is my favorite time of year. There is nothing more spectacular than New England in the Fall. I can remember shopping for a Ladies Banquet in CA and I saw some garland of fall leaves. I said "Those are so fake looking, nothing could be that bright"...it's true folks...they really get that bright!

I like the warm days and the crisp nights. I love to pull out the pumpkin scented candles and think about making a apple pie...notice I said "think"! I love to watch the kids jump in the leaves and beg to go to the corn maze...which takes 2 hours to find your way out! I have actually grown to love football season. I love a house full of boys, cheering and acting like idiots...then I walk in with a tray of buffalo wings, nachos and popcorn...and I am basically aaaaah, ummmm...WORSHIPPED! I love the smell of wood burning stoves. I love apple picking at Holmberg Orchards. I like to pull out sweaters I haven't seen for awhile. What do you love about fall? There is one thing I could do without...my fall allergies, but the shorter days means I home sooner to rest my bloodshot eyes!

Here are some pictures of the boys when we first moved to CT!! Oh how they have grown.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day

I have come to realize that having the Ludka's over is no easy task! Thanks to the very crazy Henricks family...they not only had us but their son's (Todd Keith) 4th grade teacher and her family too...which happens to be our boys best friends. Tammy prepared the most amazing spread for everyone. She had fajitas (with homemade tortillas!) , steak kabobs and everything else under the sun! I won't even mention the desserts that she brought forth...from scratch of course!

The Barbosa's have been such a blessing to us in so many ways. Sometimes I wonder if Naomi was created just to lift my spirits and encourage me! My hubby attended their wedding when he was 16 and Manny was his first bus captain in Rhode Island. They have 3 boys...Manny Jr, Josh and Andrew. I think these guys will be life long friends!

The big 4 hour soccer game!

Playing goalie on their knees! Manny and Jon were so kind to give the little kids a better advantage!

Joel on the Green Machine

Me and Naomi (of course the wind blew her hair in her face!)

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Dear One Goes Home

I received this article from a friend. Neither of us know who wrote it, nor could we ask permission to post it. After I dried my tears...or at least most of them, I thought it was to important to simply keep in my inbox. And for those at CBC who are praying for this family and remember their dear family singing in our church this past Feb. I knew you would find it dear to your heart as well.

Dear Friends,
Last night my Pastors firstborn son Tyler died in a car accident. Tyler was a godly 17 year old boy who played on the basketball team at the school affiliated with the church. Tyler just came back from church camp and said that God had encouraged his heart to make a commitment to reserve his body for the Lord. After Tyler was born my pastor and his wife had 7 miscarriages before any of their other 7 children were born. Tyler was a fine young man who honored his father and mother and loved the Lord. Tyler was very excited that God had used his evangelism to lead people to Christ. He wanted to go to Bible college and become a school teacher.
Today my pastor John Wilkerson, came to victory club, where we meet to go out soul winning, and with a smile on his face asked for them to play the song day by day. He then proceeded to thank God for his son, that he loved God, honored his parents and that he had been blessed with him for 17 years. He thanked God that he repented of his sins when he was 10 years old, and that he was born again and had assurance of eternal life through the word and promises of God. He thanked God that Tyler had such a good summer working at camp and growing in Christ. He assured us all that Tyler died at the right time, that it was not to soon but it was God’s perfect time. He said that he and his family would only visit one person today, a fellow who was terminally ill to comfort him. He said he and his wife needed to spend more time with the other children. But he said that he did not want any of us to slow down our service to Christ, he wanted us to increase it. He asked only that people might be willing to help house relative who would come for the funeral. He was not aware that the men in the church already decided to pay for hotel rooms for his family. At this point he wept, and thanked God again
I have learned alot from my pastor probably the thing that I have learned the most is to be thankful for what God gives us. Pastor is always thinking of things that he is thankful for and always desiring to give thanksgiving offerings to God. The church secretary told me that the family decided wear sweaters and sleep with bigger blankets so they could save money on the heating bill to give more money to missions as a way of saying thank you to God. I found out that he had worn a pair of shoes out to the point of having holes in the bottoms of them because he wanted to give more to God. His never talks as if he is making a sacrifice he is a cheerful person and a cheerful giver. Today he cheerfully gave his son back to God. I have met people who make sacrifices but fail to do it cheerfully or joyfully. I have met people who go through trials with strength knowing it is a part of life and God has the right to do as he sees fit, but I have met very few people who manage to do all this cheerfully with genuine thankfulness. Pastor John is not like that he gives to the Lord out of gratitude and cheerfully.
Those of you who know Jesus, please remember Pastor John Wilkerson of First Baptist Church of Long Beach and his family in prayer, but the truth is I think most of us need more prayer than they do. I know I should be more thankful for what God has given me. I should be a cheerful giver, who is always seeing the many reasons to be thankful and looking for more ways to give. He would regularly give offering to missions just to say thank you to God. He pointed out to me that in the OT when people worshipped they brought a sacrifice, including a thanksgiving offering. His view was that if he put his treasures in heaven they would be safe there, and more importantly his heart would be there. I pray that I could cheerfully accept the trials in my life that Pastor John and his family does, that I could be thankful always. In my trials sometimes I have complained I have felt sorry for myself, and I have focused on what I don’t have rather than what I God has given me. Many times I have not trusted God, I thak God for my pastor being a good example.
God Bless you,
Love Walter

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

To the Blueberry Patch

A family in our church have an amazing home..."The Teel Farm". We have so much fun when we go there. Yesterday we took the kids to teen camp (which is at the Teel Farm) and decided to hop in the gator and go blueberry picking.

My Chariot awaits

Mom and Jake working hard picking blueberries...

and Daddy....well, ahh...he ate them!

Actually, we all ate more than we picked. You've never had blueberries until you have had them off of Mrs. Sharon's bushes! There are plenty so just let me know when anyone is coming to CT...you can even stay at BB&B's (Bonnie's Bed & Breakfast.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

This is the way we do our work

This is the way we do our work, do our work, do our work. This is the way we do our work, all the live long day!

Does he look happy to share the church blueprints with Taz? I think NO, but Taz sure looks content.

My dear honey puts up with our animals only because he loves me. Although I think Bentley is on his last nerve! Pray for my Beagle.

Then there is of course my Pet Care business!
It has been a busy month for vacationers, which means mula for me!
Please meet Bentley the beagle (he's mine) Jack, Honey and Kuda...yes Kuda could eat you in one bite, but he is the sweetest one ever!
I told you John was a patient man!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Power of Love, The Power of the Unknown, and the Power of Deja Vu

As I said goodbye to our oldest kids and John today for their Men’s Camping Trip I could only be reminded of how life changes at a moments notice. God is the author of our steps, He guides our ways and he shows us the impossible. He takes our life and He gives us the incomprehensible, he takes the things that have never entered our minds and he brings them to us. Then He takes His grace and before we know it we are accomplishing the very thing we thought we could never do.

Today is an emotional day for me. Not bad emotion, not good emotion…just emotion. You see it is exactly one year ago to the very moment when Pasha came to be with us. The circumstances that are in motion today are the exact circumstances one year ago. I was home with the 3 little ones when we got the call that Pasha ran away. John was away at the camping trip, the skies were dark with rain clouds and I was dog sitting for a lab named Jack. As I write this, (in the dim room because of the rain coming) Jack is here laying at my feet. the similarities are scary...I better go get some Chinese or Dunkin Donuts to change it up a bit! I think I am experiencing deja vu…or maybe just maybe God is revealing to me what good can happen in a year, a crazy year, an adjusting year, a tearful year…but a God orchestrated year. Thank you all for your prayers over the last year…keep sending the “up”!
So, until next year….

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Think I May Be in Mourning

About 7 years ago my husband brought something into our lives that has been revolutionary. It's life changing effect in our home has been overwhelming.
You see, once you share the good and bad with something, once you experience unending faithfulness, it's ability to bring joy, it's ability to serve without complaint, it's humility to handle praise, it's strength to handle criticism, it's welcoming hospitality at a moments notice, it's steadfast unchanging ways, it's morning song, it's desire to please...you realize the thought of losing something magnificent will only take part of your heart with it.
I am about to verbalize something I have known for at least 3 days now, but did not have the gumption to admit...our beloved coffee pot, our BUNN is dying. Yes, that is right. For those of you who have enjoyed it's brew over and over at our home you will understand...for you too, have found a spot in your heart for our BUNN. This machine has served the greatest to the meekest. It has pulled us through our happiest times to our saddest. Now it sits surrounded by dish towels, catching the water it can hardly contain. It struggles to keep the pot warm...but i will tell you this, if we couldn't witness it's suffering, if we didn't see it struggling, you would never know because the coffee tastes as good as it did 7 years ago! Please send your regards to our blog and pray that our pain will ease quickly.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Our Family Reunion

What a family! My Mom organized a family reunion to her hometown, Oglesby, Ill. This will be in our hearts forever. Mom flew in from CA. Nancy (my OLDER sis) and her honey flew in from GA. They were the lucky ducks, because we had to drive! What an adventure! John took an evening nap on June 5 so he could be well rested to drive through the night. We pulled out of our driveway around 10pm. As you can imagine, 6 boys can bring some pretty heavy excitement to a small space. We drove about 12 hours and arrived in Kentucky at the Creation Museum. What a day! It was so nice to be in a place that felt Christian from the moment you walked in. The boys were in awe, surrounded by Noah's Ark, dinosaurs and so much more. We arrived in Ill. the next day around 4pm. As we checked in to the hotel we heard squeeks, screams of "Cool, No Way!, Is this all for us!" There was an actual Waterpark and Amusement Park IN the hotel! For kids that pretty much play baseball all day, everyday in the backyard as their big life of entertainment, they couldn't believe their eyes! We tortured the children by telling them "there is no time to enjoy the parks today AND tomorrow was the family reunion" What mean parents! The next day we headed to my cousins house. They live on a beautiful lake in Henry IL near their 4,000 acre farm! The boys were amazed at the size of the tractors and combines. In fact Joel could stand up in the rim of one of the wheels!Jane planed a "Hawaiin Luau" for our reuniting. It was great to have our family together and meeting cousins that have grown into successful people. I think the thrill for me was to just watch and listen to my Uncle Howard. So sharp and whitty. FINALLY, the long awaited day came...WATERPARK! It was quite amazing to see this structure of fun under one roof. I think John and my brother in law, Ramiro had as much fun as the kids! As you can imagine the waterpark became the daily event. The men took the kids to Starved Rock one day while the ladies went shopping in Princeton. We ended our time with family at a wonderful Chinese buffet. It was a great reunion that will always be treasure. I can't thank my Mom enough for planning, helping and organizing such a dream vacation. It was great having my sis next door to laugh with, cook with and play games with. The kids are still talking about what a great time they had!!