Merry Christmas 2009

All the family together...the main thing!
Linz and her new red blanket!
Welcome to Country-ville, USA, Cha! (We're not making fun, Marcia! Just celebrating Pennsylvania traditions!)
It's snowing! -- Packing bubbles!
The Chief cook!
My first Christmas Ham...deliciosisisisisisimo!
Binzy Bop and J'Bop
Sisters forever! And do we ever love our Dad!
Me and Binz...constructing a Gingerbread House/Birthday Cake!
Happy Birthday, Linz!
Sibling fun!
"Me and my Daddy go together like peanut butter and jelly"...still sayin' it twenty years later!
We're just so photogenic!
Us too!
Stop showing your cards, Binzy Bop!
Is there something fishy going on here?!?

I wish you all the same wonderful Christmas we had.  A good family, and a great God, and a Saviour, Jesus Christ the Lord.  Truly we are rich!

Matthew 1:21

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Do you have this Saviour?  Repent and trust Him today, for only in Him are true riches found.

Updates in the Speckhals World

Well, we hope that everyone had a “Right” and Merry Christmas this year!  We have been pretty occupied as of late due to family visiting and things going on at church–therefore the lack of posts and updates lately!  I think that Andrea is going post about her family’s visit tomorrow, then I have a few things on my mind as well.  The top of my list, though is changing our Be Instant banner and color scheme you see to something more…season appropriate.  But until then, I simply wanted to say that, contrary to popular belief, we are still alive and well, and have not stopped posting because of religious convictions due to converting to the Pennsylvania Amish!  We’re still the same here!  Actually, we got a new Nikon L100 camera as a gift this year, and we’re really looking forward to using it a lot, and posting some good pictures.

Our church’s Christmas program went very well, with lots of visitors, including our landlord and his wife, and a lady we met while going door-to-door a couple of months ago.  Praise the Lord!

Have a happy New Year!

"Silver, Wood, and Ivory"

Gina, Marcia, and I

Two good friends treated me to a fantastic dinner concert Friday evening.  “Silver, Wood, and Ivory” was an incredible performance I would recommend in a heartbeat.  Tracy and Cindy are the names of the two musicians which form this very talented flutist/pianist duo.  You can see their website at

Cindy (playing the harp, here) and Tracy (playing the bass flute)

The piano is beautiful, and Tracy’s collection of flutes, recorders, pennywhistles, and other unique pieces including a bass flute and six and a half foot tall contrabass flute is beyond compare!

Tracy's collection
The contrabass flute...taller than I! How I would love just to try playing this once!

We went to Cindy’s home in Lititz, Pennsylvania where we ate a delicious dinner served by a husband-wife chef pair, mingled with Cindy (the pianist) and Tracy (flutist), enjoyed coffee and dessert, browsed their products for sale, then joined the others in the sun room for a thrilling Christmas music celebration!

Our chefs

Their rendition of Sleigh Ride was complete with two sets of sleigh bells;  one Cindy strapped onto her hand while she played the piano, and the other Tracy strapped to the arch of her foot and proceeded to beat out a steady rhythm almost throughout the entire song while still playing the flute!

Tracy's sleighbells!
Tracy's sleighbells!
Tracy playing the bass flute once more

When they began O Holy Night, my mind was transported back to that humble and lowly stable where our Lord and Saviour was born, an outcast among men.  It reminded me of our human plight, doomed to sin and destruction, until our glorious Redeemer was born!  What a merciful God is ours!  What a costly sacrifice!  Such unworthy sinners!  Such amazing grace!  It brought tears to my eyes!

We thoroughly enjoyed the evening and I look forward to the day I can attend another of their concerts, perhaps to treat a friend of mine!

Class Christmas Party

Throughout this fall semester, I have been privileged to teach the Basic Life Principles class for second and third graders in our homeschool co-op at Mt. Zion Baptist Church.  I have eight students, and we have surveyed many different character topics from generosity to respect, gratitude to self-control.  With each topic I gave a lesson based on God’s Word, the only TRUE pattern for our lives, along with practical examples.

As a tough teacher, we had homework each class period as well!  What is a class without homework?  I attempted to make these homework assignments and projects very practical so that the children would understand the real-life meaning of each topic.  Every homework page included questions, a practical definition, a key Bible verse, and a “hands-on” project applying the topic to their daily lives.  For example, there is the topic of Gratitude:

1. Definition: Having a heart that is FULL of thanks to God and others.

2. Key verse: Psalm 92:1  It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:

3. Project: Write a list of fifty things you are thankful for.

So we went on, week after week studying these Biblical character traits.   And each week, upon reciting the verse and definition, and showing proof of having completed the project, the kids received a hole punch in their name card (created for just that purpose).  Those to complete all eight punches in their card were awarded a Christmas Party at my house.  Some struggled, but in the end, all eight students won the party!

Playing Chinese Checkers by the tree

Seven of the eight were able to attend the party, and we had a great time!  We played board games, Christmas games, sang Christmas carols, listened to the Christmas story on a cassette tape, and had the chocolate fountain!   I used white chocolate this time since that is what was on hand.  And boy was it delicious!

The white chocolate fountain with all of us in the background!

Then, those at the party who could say all of the definitions and verses in a row by memory, received a homemade, completely edible gingerbread house!

My chief gingerbread-making assistant! We formed a fantastic construction crew...built three houses in a couple of hours!

(This was my first experience making the little constructions, and it was pretty simple!  They held up real well, and we had a lot of fun doing it!)

Altogether, it was a good end to a good semester!  It is a privilege to serve the Lord teaching children!

One of my students!