Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Timothy's first haircut!

Timothy got his first haircut at almost 16 months. Here are before and after pictures!


He sat so still...We threw on a movie...

and gave him a sucker:)  He did great with his first haircut!

Look at that hair!

Such a cute little guy! 

And the back of his hair

Happy Thanksgiving 2015

I am just putting up pictures for this post...just trying to get caught up!  Last Thanksgiving as a family of 6!
A rare picture of everyone smiling and looking at the camera!
Getting a good picture of the kids was a challenge...but gotta love Timothy's excitement! 
And my sweet husband and I...I am forever thankful for Tim!

Megan's eternal decision

Since I just posted on Megan's 7th birthday, i wanted to share Megan's biggest decision she made in the year before her 7th birthday.  On June 12th, 2015, she trusted Christ as her Savior.  I have to say  as a parent this is the hardest subject I have had to counsel on from the standpoint that we as parents  never wanted to push her into a decision just to please us or with her not adequately understanding.  We desire that her salvation decision is something that she doesn't struggle with later in life or can't quite remember.  All that to say, we often spoke the Gospel to Megan and when she asked questions, we answered them, but we never pushed her to "get saved".  Up until maybe a month before June 12th, she would say that she was saved when we talked about the Gospel and trusting Christ as Savior.  Neither Tim nor I had ever personally questioned her about when she was saved or any other specifics.  We realized that one can trust Jesus as Savior without praying a prayer. It is not the prayer that saves a person, but by believing in one's heart.  We just left the work to the Holy Spirit in dealing with her own salvation.  Who were we to say if she was truly believing in Jesus as her Savior or not?

A couple of weeks before June 12th, we were dealing with a discipline issue, and I was talking to her about the Gospel. I asked her if she had trusted Christ as her Savior, and she responded with an "I don't know".  She had never given me that answer before so I tucked it away.  The week before June 12th, she had swimming lessons, and she probably brought it up to me 2-3 times about being baptized and wanting to do that.  I remember asking her why she wanted to be baptized, and she said b/c she wanted to be saved.  I explained that baptism doesn't save, and again went through the Gospel.  I asked her if she had ever been saved, and she said no.  This is the first time she had ever answered no. Friday night after putting the kids to bed,  Tim and I got Megan up to talk to her . We truly felt like the Lord was working in her life in the area of salvation.  Tim talked to her once again that night about the Gospel, and that night she asked Jesus to save her from her sin.

I am so thankful that the Lord seemed to work in her heart in the area of her salvation. It is our prayer that she will grow in her understanding of the Gospel and develop a deep love for the Lord and others.

A picture to go with the week that the Holy Spirit really worked in her life....We had some great talks about the Gospel going to and from swimming lessons.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Happy 7th Birthday

I am behind in posts so I am going to quickly try to get caught up before this next baby comes!  Megan turned 7 Oct. 29th, 2015.  She is growing up so quickly.  She has really turned into a sweet young girl.  She just loves life and others.  My prayer for her is that she would love the Lord with all her heart and love others as herself.  The characteristic I see in her is just love and sweetness.  I pray she always has a big heart!  She loves school and has really done well in her academics. She works hard and her teachers usually say something to the fact that she is just so sweet!  She has enjoyed soccer again this last year as well as played her first basketball season which she really enjoyed.  It was fun to watch her and the little kids brought much entertainment.  She loves going to church and learning God's Word.  She enjoys Awana and learning her Bible verses in her books.  Her best friend hands down is Katy.  Megan loves her so much and has written many paragraph at school about her!  Megan loves playing with her sisters and usually gets along pretty well with them. They have their moments of course!  Megan just brings a lot of joy to Tim and I, and we are so thankful for her.  Her are a few pictures of her birthday and birthday party. She had a family birthday party and then one with some church friends.
My birthday girl!!!
Megan didn't want cake for her birthday. She wanted Grandma Riffel to make her jello for her birthday so we put candles on the jello! 
Grandma Riffel and Megan

Ready to open gifts!

Megan got to read her cards on her birthday this year:)  So fun watching her become a better reader!

Fun times with the family...

What is in the box?

She got a fish tank!

Opening gifts with her church friends.... 

A picture we do every year with her church friends.  I think this was all but one of them and minus Timothy too.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Well Done, Grandpa Riffel

My sweet Grandpa Riffel entered into His Savior's arms Sept. 16th, 2015. I am sure he heard the words "Well Done, Thou Good and Faithful Servant."  While we deeply miss him here on earth, we are so thankful he is with His Savior that he loved and served.  . We just have so many wonderful memories him.
From a little girl, my grandpa called me "Renae". He was the only one that called me Renae (That is my middle name.). So special. He loved all of us grandkids and was such a fun grandpa. More importantly, he prayed for us and showed us Jesus in his life.  His life characterized the verses Jesus quoted when asked what is the greatest commandment.  Grandpa loved the Lord with ALL his heart, soul, and mind. He also loved his neighbor as himself.  He passionately served the Lord his whole life and his faith was strong until the end.  

He was such an example to us. He LOVED working in Awana and worked many years.  (He even worked in our Awana at RHBC listening to Sparkies say verses.  How special that Megan got to say verses to him!).  He loved kids so much and even ran the bus route many many years picking up kids for Awana in Salina.  He loved being in the Lord's house and was very faithful in church and in serving in his church.  His favorite song was "Trust and Obey".  That is a song was so true in his life. He trusted and obeyed God and lived a life that was happy in Jesus.  He was so thankful and content even through the last couple of years of his life when he was often in pain.  He was faithful in reading his Bible and praying.  The list could go on and on. 
I will always remember him spending time with my siblings growing up.  We got to see Grandpa and Grandma often.   He played games with us and played with us outside. He would make us home made ice cream which we loved! I remember he raced me around the block one time when I was probably in 5th grade. I am guessing he beat me:) I remember one time he pulled some of us Varner kids around the table in Alabama to encourage us with our attitudes. He was always encouraging us to please the Lord.  
Not only was he a big part in my life growing up, but he was a big part in Tim's life and my kids lives.   We had the privilege of seeing them quite often in the last 7 years we have lived here in Kansas with the last two of them being our backyard neighbors.  He loved my kids SO much, and my kids had such a wonderful relationship with him. He was able to see each of my kids as babies which was special. I hope at least the girls can remember him. He read books to my kids, watched movies with them, played school with them, listened to their many words, and gave them many, many smiles!  We saw him almost every day. It can't get better than that!  My kids loved going to visit him and brought some life and noise to his quiet house!  My kids often sang to Grandpa which Grandpa always enjoyed.    
I could go on and on with the memories. So thankful for him. I have to share a few pictures of him that are special to me.
My grandparents at our wedding. The more Grandpa got to know Tim, the more he would tell me what a wonderful husband he was.  Grandpa knew a good guy when he saw one!  We had them over in VA when they visited, and Grandpa thought it was great that Tim helped me do the dishes.  
My grandparents came down to visit me after we had Megan.  They came and visited after each of my kids were born.  

A perfect picture of my grandpa...playing with Megan.
 Megan had many memories with Grandpa. One of her favorites included going over to his house when he lived behind us, and playing school with him. Grandpa was her teacher. After she would get home from kindergarten, she would sometimes ask if she could do school with Grandpa. Grandpa was such a good sport and made school so much fun for her! She told me also she loved seeing Grandpa go to church and helping him.    

Grandpa with Emily as a baby.  

Love this picture of Grandpa and Emily.  The girls loved sitting by Grandpa in church. Emily just snuggled right up to Grandpa this service and fell asleep. Emily's favorite memories with Grandpa were when he shared his peanuts with her.  (Grandpa always was ready to get the girls a snack when we visited him.  Of course, the girls always enjoyed that!).  She also loved it when he read them books.
Grandpa with Anna
Love this picture as well...Anna always loved going over to visit Grandpa and Grandma as well.  Her famous words to Grandpa were "I need a mint!". Grandpa would ask her how to say it nicely. Anna would nicely ask for a mint, and Grandpa would always say, yes, you can have a mint.  Anna would often ask Grandpa to read her a book. Her favorite book Grandpa read to her was Jonah and the Whale.  She would just crawl up on his lap while he read.  

Grandpa with Timothy

While Timothy was just 1 year old when Grandpa passed away, I still love the fact that Timothy will point to a picture of Grandpa and know exactly who it is.  Timothy brought the biggest smile to Grandpa's face when Grandpa saw him. Grandpa would always tell me that Timothy was SO sweet.  I know Timothy won't "remember" Grandpa, I hope that we will always have a picture around of him so he will at least know him by seeing his picture.  

We prayed for Grandpa often.  One day when he was not feeling well, my girls got together some gifts for him to feel better.  It included a teddy bear, a hat, books, a blanket, etc.  I am not sure how much better it made him feel, but I know he loved seeing the girls and their thoughtfulness.  My girls loved their Great-grandpa.

My girls enjoyed singing to Grandpa. Here was are visiting him in rehab, and they are singing to him before we leave. He loved listening to their singing and would sing with them sometimes.
My grandpa would come over and sit in our backyard and watch the kids play.  I am so thankful that they were our backyard neighbors.  God worked it out perfectly.  I remember when Grandpa was putting an offer on the house. He had prayed and had peace with how much he was willing to go.  He felt like if it was God's will, he would get the price for that exact amount.  And sure enough, God clearly showed him his will by allowing him to get the for the amount he felt like he should go.  Just another example of how he trusted the Lord and obeyed what he felt the Lord would want him to do.  

My girls all remember when Grandpa would have them over to watch Charlotte's Web with them.  They would watch a little at a time.  These are memories that won't be forgotten!
My wonderful grandparents.  Grandpa was a wonderful husband to my grandma.  Their marriage exemplified Christ and the church.  So thankful for their example.
Grandpa,  we sure do miss you here on earth, but you have left a legacy with us in how to love the Lord and serve Him. We will see you one day again in heaven. We are very thankful for that!