Thursday, October 22, 2009


The time is approaching very quickly for my first-born daughter, the second oldest child to leave the nest and start a new life with a New husband. YES! Pun intended. She will be marrying Gabriel New on November 7, 2 weeks away. A friend of ours said the next time he sees Elise, she will be a “new” woman. And yes, he intended the pun also. And as I write this, she is out to dinner with her dad so that he can spend time with her one on one before she gets married and moves to Texas.

It’s all very exciting and yet, I know that a few weeks down the road after the wedding, it will really sink in that she is gone. Now that sounds dark, but it’s not meant to be. It’s just that she will be down in Texas, 12 hours away. We won’t be able to hop in the car and go see them at a drop of a hat, where as we can do that with our son, TJ.

The Draper Family gets very sentimental (at least mom and dad) when it comes to our children growing up. They are so much a part of our life. Now for most of the people that read this blog, that is normal. That’s like preaching to the choir. They might say, "Of course the children are a part of our life. That’s what happens when you homeschool and that is the way it is suppose to be." But a good part of society is separate from their children. They are all off to different places; whether it is work, school, after school events, or with their friends. Those same people may say something sentimental about their children and talk about how they miss them if they are off for a week or so, but they spend most of their time trying to get rid of them, not spending time with them (and not training them to where they want to spend time with them).

So, having said all that, Elise, along with all of my other children, have spent a lot of time in the same house, staying at home along with her stay at home mom and a Dad who spends a great deal of time at home. She has contributed a lot to the household. When a family member is missing from our home, especially from the meal table, you can feel it around here. It’s different. Their personality is missing. Their contribution to the family is missing.

We have been very busy with wedding preparations. It has taken over our life. Well, at least it has taken over my mind. I am such a worrier. It’s terrible. So, I have to ask myself: Have we prepared her for a marriage, not just a wedding ceremony?

This is going to sound bad, but all I can say is: I hope so. I believe so.

We have raised her to be a keeper at home. We have taught her by words and example, that a woman should obey God and have her work in the home, submitting to her father and her husband when she gets married, to raise children up for the Glory of the Lord, to “roll up her sleeves and do what needs to be done”, and to work at the relationships at home (and elsewhere).

Yet, I know that I have not always been a good example.

At Elise’s bridal shower, our dear friends commented on what an example we have been at raising a godly young lady. All I can say is, it is only the mercy and grace of God that did that. Despite the imperfect example that I have been, He has worked in Elise’s heart and led her to where she is today. That’s what mercy and grace are! Thank you, Lord!

Someone had mentioned that maybe some of the young ladies there might be wondering why they are doing what their parents are training them to do. Why are they doing what they are doing now? What difference does it make? So Elise was asked to give a little testimony.

Elise commented that she can look back to things that were required of her in our home, in our Family’s life journey, and see that God was preparing her for Gabriel. That is just amazing. That was touching to hear. How many times I have said, “You don’t know what’s around the corner”. What is God going to do in our life? You never know who you will meet or how God will send a mate for one of our children.”

We knew that when it came time for our children to get married, that each one would have a different situation, a different set of circumstances. From how they meet their future spouse, to how the courtship would proceed. Don’t get turned off by the term "courtship". I just don’t know what other term to use.

With our son, TJ, we already knew his future bride and her family when we were living in Illinois. We had gone to the same church together, attended the same homeschool conferences, and had even visited one another in our homes. Then when TJ was 14, we moved to Tennessee. We never had contact with them, until TJ decided, at the age of 21, that it was time to find a godly wife. He always liked Rachel. That’s the girl he wanted. As the saying goes, "The rest is history."

Now, with Elise the situation is different. She and Gabriel met through mutual friends; their “courtship” was shorter, along with how the courtship proceeded. I won’t go into details here. The mutual friends just knew (for 3 years) that Elise and Gabriel were right for each other. But my husband just didn’t feel it was the right time. We just put the suggestion out of our minds. I think both families were leery. None of us had ever met. Until, one day, Mr. New, Gabriel's father, contacted us. Again, the rest is history.

I can say with all confidence, the time flew. Elise, TJ, Johanna, my adult children, are grown. They were little “just yesterday.” Johanna is still at home and there are 5 more. But they are growing very fast.

It will be so much fun to have Elise and Gabriel visit and have them sitting around the table with us. I love to look at all of them sitting around the table. It is just so special to see all the children, “child-in-law”, and grandchildren (2 so far) sitting around the table all together. That is truly a blessing.

Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.

Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.

For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.

Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.

Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.

The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.

Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel.

Psalm 127, 128

Monday, October 19, 2009

Elise's Bridal Shower

Yesterday Mrs. Stokes hosted a bridal shower for Elise. (Thank you Mrs. Stokes.) Lots of ladies showed up to honor Elise and give her their blessing as she will be getting married and moving to Texas in a few weeks.
Amelia Matthews made this cake. It was her first cake and she did an excellent job.
Cheese ball. Oh, I love cheese balls.

Mrs. Burton reading from the Bible.
Elise got quite a few gifts;all the little kids wanted to help open them.
Mrs. Baker made this beautiful apron. Although you can't really see it in the picture, it has roses on the front. It's really pretty!
I'm sure that big bowl will come in handy.

Rachel(Draper), cross-stitched this. It was really pretty too.
Now that's cool! Jessica Courter embroidered these towels.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Boaz

Yesterday was Boaz's birthday (October 4th). T.J. and Rachel came over after church for desert and stayed all evening. That was a lot of fun!
Boaz wanted dirt cake (crushed Oreos for the dirt Of course). It was yummy!

Eight candles to blow out. He's getting old!

Miss Natasha. She's so cute.

I thought this was a cute picture of the kids watching Johanna.
Elise wasn't able to be here for Boaz's birthday because she is in Texas. She went down with Mrs. Castille and her kids. I think she will be back Tuesday.
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