Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Buddy Day!

so we had a REALLY happy buddy day. becky and jeff arrived first (so we FINALLY got to meet him). the wadsworths and stonesifers followed soon after in a boy van load and a girl van! madsons joined in with lots of goodies to share. and chris arrived last (but never least) welcomed by lots of happy children yelling surprize. My Buddy even showed up from a keepsake box in the attic! and for our buddies far away who couldn't attend . . . we missed you. here's our version of the fun:i think and hope that we ate well. kendra led the children in a super fun game of simon sez. the wadsworths supplied some games. the dads got to play. the moms got to talk about cloth diapers, school, and that kim is not the superwoman that she appears to be. (look for the superwoman disclaimer in future blogs.) the children enjoyed cookies and sweets and toys a whole bunch. and we all took turns not neglecting the little ones. jeff and becky played buddy sitters for quite a while which was really sweet and enjoyable. jeff led 12 kiddos in singing their own versions of happy buddy day (to the tune of happy birthday). lots of sugar, soda, munchies, snacks, games, conversations, etc. so much fun that i forgot to serve the hot chocolate (though it was set out on the counter the whole evening!) and to take pictures. so these are the only milligan photos of the day. since we had so many good photographers in the house, i'm sure you'll all have yours up on facebook or something. we milligans just cannot commit to joining that crowd, so maybe some nice buddies could blog every once in a while so we can still keep up a bit?!? we do want to keep in touch with buddies and such, (someday i'll have to take some time to share our facebook disclaimer since i'm an explanation kinda girl) and we feel so blessed that you all traveled and took time out to join us for a fun day in our home! we hope you all had a happy buddy day too!! THANK YOU!love in Him
the milligan bunch
mark, kim, hogan, owen, leannora, nikao, able and shiloh

Happy Buddy Day to you, until we meet again . . . bumbadoodah bumbadoodah bumbadooo dahh
(my buddy song is to the tune of happy trails to you)

Milligan Christmas Letter 2009

Hello and Merry Christmas from the Milligan family! This letter is an attempt at a family update. (A simple disclaimer: both Mark and Kim have contributed to the writing, so we apologize now for any confusion.) Well, though we’ve tried to move a couple of times this year, we are still in our big blessing Edgerton house. We would love to have a bit of land, but we trust that our God has a wise plan for us. It has been good to be content and thankful for the great gifts God has given. The hustle and bustle of house repairs and readiness is behind, and for this season we have been able to ignore the itch to be on the go and rest for a bit. (This is a new thing to us!) Work has been a bit slow, but the family is growing right on schedule.

Shiloh is nine months old, just like we thought she would be about now. She’s becoming a sweetest little girl. Sober is often the word to describe Shiloh, but she will always burst forth a beautiful smile at just the right moment. Then just as abruptly as the smiles and giggles come, they vanish into a silly sober smirk or a thumb popped in her mouth. She’s a beautiful addition to this crazy, cozy circus called the Milligan household. Some days we just sit back on the couch, laugh, and enjoy the show.

Able is our small, wandering friend. (I remember Nikao doing that for a time, but Kim says that he only did it for the cookie table at church meetings.) So, maybe that’s just Able’s way, and he’ll remain the child who freely roams. What is nice, is that he is also very sociable – an entertainer, even.

Nikao is done with paper pants, so now we’re down to two in diapers. (Able seems close, too. That would be dreamy!) Nikao has been really getting better at talking. He’s such a fun bright-faced boy. One day recently Nikao was able to go tuning with Papa. It was a pretty special day for a little boy who’s on his way to growing up and a daddy who loves his little boy.

Leannora has been singing the Greek alphabet. She has heard Hogan practicing enough, that she has simply picked it up. What a way to learn! Leannora is always making music – humming, whistling, singing, creating songs – it is so fun. She loves to read and draw and LOVES the color pink! She also has some new found friends. It has been sweet to watch her grow as she has mostly known a household of brothers.

The big brothers, Hogan and Owen, are our official students this year. The boys work together on many subjects. That has been great as they help and complement one another so well. Besides working at Greek, Hogan is reading about Pilgrims, Indians, and early American stories. It’s hard work sometimes to pull him away from a book! Owen gets a bit fidgety at times, but as long as he gets in some sneak around time he seems to do well. Owen really loves science and experiments and just about anything he can do with his hands.

We have been trying to get a bit more organized, lately. Our friends, the Robertstad family, have given us some of their old homeschool books/curriculum. It’s been fun. The organization work has already been done and we just make the details work and fit our family. Though we lack consistency, the flexibility is wonderful. We’ve found ourselves to be better at routine than schedules. It has been a great relief to shed off standards and expectations.

God has given us a great gift this year – some close by friends! The Crenshaw family have become close friends over the last months. We play games and study the Scriptures and share meals and have picnics and other sorts of things together. They have 3 children that our children love dearly. And in places where our families don’t quite match up they give us grace and love us anyway!

Ah, fellowship has been sweet and full this year! Our week starts with the church meeting in our homes on Sunday evening. Monday morning at 7am, I (Mark) meet with Jason Crenshaw to read through The Work Of The Holy Spirit by Octavius Winslow (it’s a sweet time together with a sweet book). On Wednesday, we pray with the Robertstad family (our other friends who have blessed our socks off!) On Thursday, we have been going to the Crenshaw’s to discuss Knowing God by J. I. Packer. On Saturday, I have been meeting with Mr. Crenshaw

and Mr. Robertstad to discuss the Westminster Confession of Faith. Other things fit in the in-between times. It’s been enjoyable.

The Lord is good to us. He is helping us to grow up – we need a lot of that. In His timing we wait for His Spirit to grow our faith. We also need a lot of strength, patience, wisdom, discipline, gentleness, love, etc. He’s supplying all that we need for life and godliness. We’ve been enjoying Him more and more, learning deeper ways to live in Christ and be dead to the flesh, as it is written. One of the latest scriptures that has brought me encouragement is 1 Corinthians 15:10, which tells us that life in Christ is not just the spiritual/mystical stuff, but also the visible and practical stuff like doing dishes and raising children. I have been concluding that in all our labors, we should be able to say, “yet, not I, but the grace of God in me.”

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God in me. 1 Co. 15:10

Love in Him,

The Milligan family

Mark, Kim, Hogan, Owen, Leannora, Nikao, Able, and Shiloh

Friday, December 11, 2009

Buddy Day - Christmas '09

Alright, ya'll: December 20th. All day (or more if we all get snowed in). Old-time Buddies. Our old house. Hot cocoa. Hot woodstove. Games. Catching up. Bing Crosby. Eggnog.

It'll be more fun than a stick in your eye. So, be there or be square, yo.