Ruth Elizabeth came into the world 12/19/2009 at 4:07am, 21″ long, 7lb 8oz.

We give thanks to God for our little bundle of joy!

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Hi Everyone!!!!

A new post on this site is long overdue.

Our baby is not over due… yet. 🙂

Yes, I’m nine months pregnant… 8 days more to my due date 12-15-2009.

Dan and I are so excited about becoming parents, we’re so thrilled and greatly anticipating holding our little one in our arms very soon.

We’re planning a natural home birth attended by a midwife. I’m planning to breastfeed and cloth diaper. Dan has gotten my laundry room set up and running just in time for washing diapers. 🙂

I hope to set up my sewing machine soon, I have several things that I want to sew, it’s been so long. My sister has been helping me research a lot of things concerning caring for baby, let alone all of the information she already has to offer. It’s been fun visiting my sister’s birthing website since being pregnant. I actually need to learn about birthing and all of the things she writes about. She just sent me a link to an article found on Raising Arrows about making your own baby wipes out of old tee shirts or other scraps of material that you have. It’s a great idea, I’m sure I’ll do that someday when I need more wipes. I have plenty of new ones for the time being.

Well, that’s all for now. I promise you that I’ll post pictures of the baby when he or she arrives.

January 19th of last year…

When I opened my eyes that Saturday morning, my first thought was,

He wants to meet me!

Dan is driving here this afternoon to meet me after I get off work, we’re going to a coffee shop together… What are we going to talk about? What should I wear? Is it going to be the same when we meet in person? Are we going to get along ok? Is it going to be really awkward?

I really do like him.  He wants to meet me, does that mean he likes me too?

Have I accomplished anything in getting ready for work? No! Half of my wardrobe is strewn around my closet and room, I still didn’t have an outfit that matches.

(Was that the morning that I spilled my puffed cereal all over the kitchen floor?)

I’m trying to eat something for breakfast, I just don’t feel like it. I leave a note for grandma – to not expect me home until later that evening.  Now my cereal is soggy!

I met our neighbor Chris in the hall as I was leaving for work. She was talking about how young and beautiful and sweet I was and how she didn’t know why the boys didn’t flock all around me.  Well, I’m very thankful that I never had to deal with “the boys flocking around me”.  She continued with how wonderful it was that I visited my Grandma so often. I don’t think she ever understood that I actually lived with Grandma. I think that’s when I started “giggling” I continued to have little giggle fits through out the day. I didn’t tell Chris that I was going on a date that very day.

I was going on a date!

It was a normal day at work, I was able to keep myself fairly busy. I managed not to get too nervous until about a quarter til four.

When Dan came in the store. We both said hi, smiled, and shook hands… Then I said I’d go in the back and get my coat, which I did and just left him standing there.

The drive was a little awkward, but as soon as we got our tea and were in our seats we didn’t stop talking for 5 whole hours.

We talked about our families, stories from growing up, our work… We talked about what it means for us to live for Christ and about our churches…

When we were parting in the parking lot, I was wondering what would come next. I really liked Dan and wanted to see him again. Then he asked me if he could call me sometimes. I must have said “yes” because he did. 🙂

from Guinever, sister of the bride.

The following was read at Dan and Elizabeth’s reception:

Elizabeth Joy Shofstahl, you were born when I was 12 years old, long after I had given up hope of ever having a sister. I’m so glad that God brought you into our family and that you are my sister.

It was apparent early on that the arts and crafts “gene” that I was lacking got added onto you. When I was away at college, you drew me a picture of a giraffe because that’s my favorite animal. And inside the belly of the giraffe was a baby giraffe. I still have that picture. (Isn’t it cute?)

A few years ago, I found a fabulous little art book for making animals and other designs out of leaves. I thought I could do projects with Alex and Caleb.

Then I thought, who am I kidding? I decided to give the book to you, Liz, and you could make things with the boys. But then you showed me a framed picture of a rooster you had made by gluing leaves onto paper and had given to dad. It looked like a piece of folk art that you’d find in a little out-of-the-way gift store. I was surprised that you already had the book. Then I was astounded that no, you didn’t have the book. You just saw the leaves and thought “rooster” and were able to put it on paper beautifully.

Speaking of roosters, if you’re rooster, you’d better behave when Liz is around. When my parents lived on a farm for a couple years, Liz raised chickens and if one of the young roosters pushed or shoved or didn’t go back into its pen when it was supposed to, Liz would slate it for the butcher. Yup, she ran a tight chicken coop.

Your artistic ability extends into the kitchen as well. Dad especially enjoys what he has nicknamed “Elizabethan pizza.” Each dessert is a work of art. Chocolate covered strawberries drizzled with white chocolate. Paper thin butterflies painted in intricate detail sticking out of pudding.

How many in this room have received a handmade card from Elizabeth? Or a bookmark made from pressed flowers?

I’ve watched you grow in to a godly, mature young woman with a sweet and gently spirit worthy of imitation. I am so excited for you as you enter marriage with Dan. Just a year ago, the desire of your heart was to someday be married and have a family and you wondered if and when the Lord would ever bring someone into your life.

In the wee hours of this morning when we probably should have been sleeping, Liz told me that four years ago she had started a journal to her future husband. The entries are quite sporadic–months, even a year apart. She read me a couple paragraphs from the final entry before that first contact from Dan. I have her permission to share it with you…

Just a little background first. She began by apologizing that she had not written in so long but it was hard to write to someone she didn’t know.  This is what Liz wrote in her journal

…and what if I do know you? But please, if I do know you, and you are interested in me, please tell me. I’m dying to know. Somehow I’m supposed to trust God in his timing and rest in Him…

Then about nine months ago, the Lord did just that–brought someone into your life. You called to let me know about Dan. You were about to meet him in person for the first time after having exchanged several e-mails and instant messages. I could see God at work in the beginning of your relationship. There is no other way that you and Dan, perhaps the shyest people who I know (at least around the opposite sex) would have gotten together any other way.

A chance meeting five years ago at a church in Pennsylvania was no chance. It was positively Providential. A catalyst. Dan was there for a conversation you were having with his sister and thought even then,

This is a girl I might like to know.

Then he recognized your profile 4 years later and contacted him. You remembered him also and the rest is history.

When my husband Todd and I were paging through the pictures of Dan on the computer that Liz had sent us, Todd said, “Hold on, go back to that one.”

There was a photo of Dan standing in the woods holding his semi-automatic. Todd said, “That’s a cool gun. Ask Liz when we can meet this guy so I can shoot his gun.”

Meanwhile, my brother Sam in Texas was looking at the same photo, wondering when the guys could get together and go shooting. I thought, “Welcome to the family!” And we hadn’t even met you yet, Dan.

As the weeks went by, your contact with Dan increased. When I talked with you on the phone, you were quiet and giggly and amazed at this wondrous thing called love. You were twitter-pated.

This week has been a whirlwind of activity. You’ve been making preparations for months. Preparing for a wedding reminds me of the preparations made during pregnancy. (for those of you who don’t know me, birth is my hobby. I attend births and teach childbirth classes and I’m always coming up with birth analogies.)

Anticipation, reading books, going to childbirth class, painting the nursery, etc. And for marriage, the same thing: anticipation, reading books, going to marriage counseling, working on your new house. First time parents prepare for labor and birth, but don’t necessarily prepare for actually adding a baby to the family.

It turns out, labor and birth are the easy part. The bringing up children is the hard part. In a similar way, the easy part is over for you. You’re married. Now comes the challenge –for better or for worse– of living life together “til death do you part.” I do think that you and Dan are well prepared!

Sixteen years ago, Bethie Joy, when our roles were reversed and I was the bride and you were the (junior) bridesmaid , the ladies at my bridal shower gave me their favorite recipes, including ones for happy marriage. There is one piece of advice that has stuck with me all these years. I think this keeps coming back to me because this is my struggle (or at least one of them.) I want to leave you with this secret for happy marriage that came from our cousin Lori after she had only been married two months.

Always, be content with the circumstances and husband God has given you, but never be content with the wife you are today. Keep growing and becoming a better and better wife to Dan. He will appreciate it and do the same for you.

I love you, Lizzie.

There’s a tradition after weddings to throw rice at the bride and groom as a sign of fertility. So, Lizzie, I’m throwing rice at you. May you and Dan be as fertile as Todd and I have been.

In the first photo you see the front view of our house. This actually has not changed very much. You can see the stack of lumber on the porch. If you look really closely, you can also see the tree in the back yard right through the front right window. Pretty cool huh? 🙂 Yes, how are you going to find our house? We’ll tell you that it’s right at the top of the hill at the blinking yellow light.

Here you see a rope and pulley. This was for letting down that branch that they cut piece by piece… I was not around to enjoy watching that part of this project.  Perhaps that was a good thing. Now with that branch gone, all is clear for building.

I really enjoyed being there last Saturday. I have confidence in the work that Dan and Jon are doing. It’s so exciting to see the progress and begin to see it looking more like a place where we can live. Dan Drost was there for a few hours helping carry debris out of the house and burning it. That’s one thing that amazes me, is the volume of material that is being discarded. There are piles everywhere.

Hey, I didn’t notice that rock on the ground to the right when I was taking the picture.

Why do I think this is such a cool picture?

D

Here is Dan’s Wallace and Gromit grin. 😀

I can’t wait to take down those icicle lights and clean that siding.

Our tree!     And… back entry way.

Dan, hard at work.

New / Old

Isn’t that awesome?

This is our mudroom and back door.

Kitchen and patio door. It’ll be a few more years down the road before we build the patio.

Here, you are standing in our kitchen, looking past our Laundry room and half bathroom into our front living room.

Our front door.

Welcome!

Our family room.

Hey, there’s my kitchen sink!! 🙂

Here we are upstairs in the master bedroom.

This is our library/office and bathroom upstairs.

This is our master bath and walk in closet. Oh, and the other bedroom beyond that. 😉

Another view of our library.

Dan is still at it.

The window on the right will be in our bathroom. The windows on the left are in the Library.

Thanks for all of your help Jon!!!

I decided that this was a  hint that I should cause myself to be somewhere else.

We are so thankful to God for this wonderful gift.

Please pray for us as we prepare for marriage, that God will be glorified by our lives.

Daniel Shofstahl

&

Elizabeth Herrick

Our Big Day : 9/27/2008

Yes, this is just the beginning of making “our house” into “our home”.

We have two months (and counting down fast) and a lot of work to do to make this house “livable” by the time our wedding day arrives.

Our house is located right in town, not far from Dan’s business. He’s even talked about coming “home” to have lunch with me on occasion after we’re married. Doesn’t that sound nice? 😀

Dan has already gotten a lot of work done with the  much appreciated help of some friends.

Here, you see a mere glimpse of what the house looks like right now.

The plans include demolition (gutting everything), replacing the electrical, duct work, and windows… insulating, and putting up new drywall. Of course all of you wonderful friends of ours who are “experienced” in this sort of thing understand that there is a lot more to it than I am letting on. 🙂

I don’t have an updated picture yet of this project. But it’s actually almost completed from what I hear. The foundation had to be replaced in this corner of the house. Also a new drainage system installed.

This had to happen before any structural building could take place on these walls.


Frank & Cheryl, Dan & Liz

Frank, Cheryl, Dan, and Liz… Four singles on SGS started a book reading group of their own…


The Rare Jewel Of Christian Contentment By: Jeremiah Burroughs.

The sweet Christian fellowship that we have found is almost indescribable. Using the live voice chat on Skype, we read together an entire chapter and then discuss what we’ve read. Most often we’ll share what has convicted our heart during the reading. I can tell you that this book is very convicting. Burroughs does not “beat around the bush” as he addresses heart issues of discontentment. He brings us to Christ’s School of contentment and teaches us how to be satisfied in God’s disposal of our every condition. What is so amazing is when we find ourselves taking joy in God’s disposal. Wow! His will becomes our will. His desires become our desires. His glory becomes our delight. His promises become our source of peace and comfort. What a blessing to have brothers and sisters in Christ to walk this journey together.

The week of 4/12/08 – 4/19/08, We were blessed to meet face to face and fellowship together for a whole week.

Christian Contentment:

That sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.

Meet Dan.

This is the man who I have promised to stand beside for the rest of our lives. He is wonderful, godly, and handsome. 😉 I am so very happy and I love him dearly.

You can read about how we met on this website. www.danandliz.wordpress.com

We will also be updating it during the Summer with pictures and wedding plans.

We appreciate your prayers as we are preparing for marriage.