Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you WILL perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas!
The Snyder Family
Paige and Peyton 
2016 was an eventful year. Paige and Peyton turned 16...and that means they drive. Crazy! After the initial fear of having them drive wore off, we realized how very convenient is is to have two more drivers in the house. We are still looking into second jobs to pay for the car insurance increase! 

James was on day shift all this year in a year long detective position. He enjoyed it way more than he thought he would. It is coming to and end and he is moving on to new things! James is still active in the volunteer fire service. James and Paige have been involved in Bismarck Fire for quite awhile now. I joined them this year by completing a Pre Hospital RN (PHRN) course, enabling me to volunteer for the ambulance service. I still have tons to learn, and am enjoying (still terrified) at the prospect. James is also active with Kickapoo fire Department and recently took a Captain position in the department. 

I am in the third year of a four year program to complete my master's degree. Looking forward to starting clinicals this summer. Looking forward to several weeks without classes even more! Paige started taking an art class every morning at Bismarck high school and loves it! Both girls took advantage of dual enrollment and took
a class at DACC this past fall. Reese started first grade at First Baptist School (my Alma Mater) and is as social as ever! She is playing Upward basketball this winter and has been taking dance classes. Reese loves going to the fire department most Thursday nights and playing with friends everywhere she goes. 

James and his friend and supervisor Josh
Most recent news...James got promoted to Sergeant at the Danville Police Department. He will more than likely be going to third shift, so that will be a change as he has never consistently worked that shift. In October, we attended the PBPA Conference where James received the 2016 Officer of the Year for Illinois. James also received a life saver award at work and the fire department (related to the same, miraculous event). These awards, accommodations, and promotion ceremonies have got to stop or James will start thinking he can get out of doing laundry!
James's swearing-in as Sergeant ceremony

The girls spent a few weeks in Florida with my parents last spring, and then returned and were kind enough to take me with them (along with a friend for each of us). My parents' condo was beautiful and we had a fantastic girls trip. James and I took a quick trip to Wisconsin and also to Galena. James, Reese and I spent a week around James's birthday in Texas visiting James's dad and his wife in October. We had a fantastic visit and bought a new truck! (happy birthday to James!) 

We lost Ella, our Shih Tzu, the last week in October. She was thirteen, she could not see, her hair was falling out and she was losing weight. As the weather turned colder it was harder and harder for her to go outside. It was a difficult decision, as Ella had been a huge part of our lives for the last 10 years. I will say, that Jackson, the 13 year old lab, has never gotten as much attention as he is right now!

Brittany and I in Zion
We started the year with the unbelievable news that our dear friend, my sister-in-love, and Paige and Peyton's aunt has colon cancer. We have had the opportunity to be part of her support team, as a family. Being able to walk along side my longtime friend, Brittany as she travels this road, as well as Paul, Nathan, Lauren and Brooke. I have had an opportunity to spend time with, and be encouraged by her as we have traveled together for her treatments in Zion. Please be in prayer for Brittany and the Powell family!

As I have been looking back through pictures and memories this year I have felt overwhelmed with the blessing in my life. Day to day, life is hard and sometimes overwhelming with how difficult it can be emotionally and physically. Late night talks with the teenagers, coffee dates, listening to my husband pray with our daughter before bed every night, last minute lunch with my parents, a multitude of hotel rooms with Brittany, days by the pool, chats with friends, chats with coworkers, car rides after school with Reese, getaways with James, a car trip to St. Louis with my parents....I don't want to take any of it for granted. I am excited for 2017 and whatever God has planned for me! ~Sandy

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Christmas 2015

2015 has been an adventure, as always! Peyton and Paige turned 15 and took driver's ed. They have been driving us around most of the time since March. I am not sure if we are more scared to have them get their licenses this next year or relieved. Paige and Peyton, James and I took a quick trip to Chicago in the spring. It was a fun few days of walking, shopping, fighting public transportation, fighting, eating, etc....

The girls did not go to summer camp this year but kept very busy. Paige did some babysitting and helped out a few weeks at Camp Assurance. Both girls enjoyed spending time with their friends. They ended their freshman year and Reese completed Thursday school. There was much time spent in the pool this summer, late nights with teenage girls who didn't care that the water was cool at night. We had a dog adventure. Our 12 year old Shih tzu, Ella wandered away one sunny day when we were out by the pool. We looked for her frantically and had given up on seeing her again when TWELVE days later a neighbor called and had found her in her yard. We were thrilled to get her home. Strangely, her skin was in the best shape it had been in for years! (James thinks it was a Paleo diet). Both dogs are showing some age, we are blessed to still have them both with us. We had a few projects this summer. For the first time we painted the huge living room. We hired this done, and I am very happy with the orange and tan walls. We (James) also put new flooring in the downstairs bedrooms, making the house less stinky and more (old) dog friendly. Late in the summer, Grandma Joyce Snyder's illness took a toll on her. She had been on hospice for awhile (but still driving herself everywhere). She took a fall in August and then grew more short of breath and weaker in the coming weeks. On August 17 one of the family started staying with her 24/7. It was one of the most difficult but rewarding month we spent together and with her as she went through the stages of readiness to go to heaven. She was very ready, she was not scared and she was at peace. She had a sweet testimony of God's grace in her life and we couldn't help but be happy for her to be at Home with her Lord, her beloved husband, son, and other family members she had lost. It was a blow to us, though. Grandma Joyce had been very active and was very important to Reese. The transition to not having Grandma with us has been hard on that little girl. I am so proud of the entire family during her illness. One of my girls seemed to always be at her side. Peyton stayed nights with me there and often helped me to move her. Aunt Cheryl, who completely put her life on hold to care for her mother, was a trooper and learned so much about hands on nursing care in a short time. I can't say enough about the supportive hospice nurses, CNA's, chaplains, etc. I am so proud of my husband as he cared for his grandmother and spoke of her at her memorial. Such a blessing!

In November, Reese turned 6 and we surprised her with a new bed and new bedroom furniture. James had built the bed for her, a beautiful loft bed. The best part of the year was the secret James and I kept from the girls since early in the summer. We planned a trip to Tucson to see our good friends, Dan and Jess. The girls were told we were going to Florida, just the 5 of us. We surprised them the night before our plane left in the hotel in Chicago. They were thrilled to go and visit the friends they loved and missed. While Tucson was strangely cold, we still enjoyed the beautiful scenery and many exhibits for locals and visitors. You could go somewhere different for weeks and not see the same thing twice there. Of course, spending so much time with friends was the favorite activity!

I am still in graduate school. I was happy to finish the first year and am now halfway through year two! The program is a four year one, so there is still plenty of time to go. Paige joined the fire department as a cadet and is spending time with James learning at the fire station in Bismarck, she continues to study the guitar and also took horseback riding lessons this past fall. Peyton continues to be part of the praise band at church and practices her drums. Peyton is an avid reader, also. Reese started kindergarten at the home of a friend who is homeschooling her son. It is a good arrangement, plus she goes to Bismarck Grade School and participates in music and PE. Reese is highly social and enjoys all the time with friends she can get!

Now another Christmas and new year is upon us. I am excited for the holiday. While I love July 4th the best as family holidays go, Christmas Eve is a close second. I love the day with extended family at my parent's house. My Uncle John always reads the story of Jesus's birth from the Bible and we sing, laugh, eat and enjoy the time together. For those few hours, it is like my childhood is back and I relish it! This year, James does not have to work so we will complete our Christmas festivities all on the Eve with Christmas day being low key, with James working. Prayers for all Law Enforcement, EMS, Fire Departments, and hospital staff who must give of their holiday to be available for others. Also for their families who must be flexible.

I close with two of my favorite quotes from this time of year:
"And, lo, the Angel of the Lord came upon them....Shazaaaaaammm!"
(Gladys Herman, The Worst (Best) Christmas Pageant Ever)

And in despair I bowed my head: 
"There is no peace on earth," I said, 
"For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor does He sleep,
For Christ is here; His Spirit near
Brings peace on earth, good will to men."

When men repent and turn from sin

The Prince of Peace then enters in,
And grace imparts within their hearts
His peace on earth, good will to men.

O soul amid earth's busy strife,

The Word of God is light and life:
Oh, hear HIs voice, make Him your choice,
Hail peace on earth, good will to men.
(I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day)

Monday, December 01, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014 from the Snyder Family

As we draw closer to closing the door on 2014, I am taking the time to reflect on the year. First of all, the years are flying by and my babies are growing up way too fast! Paige and Peyton turned 14 and started their freshman year...I have been making calls about drivers ed..eeek! Peyton is still very busy with playing the drums, she is active with the praise team at church. Paige plays guitar and loves her gymnastics classes. Paige also attended an area Homecoming this year and looked like a princess! Reese has taken some gymnastics, but we are thinking that a dance class is in her near future! I started back to school this fall also, it is a huge challenge and I am praying for God's direction in balancing school, kids, job, etc.. I am still working in the Emergency Room, but not very much, I took a part time job in the Recovery Room and enjoy the variety. In July I celebrated 20 years at the hospital and in August I celebrated my 40th birthday (yikes!) Reese turned 5 this past November with a terrific Princess Elsa party. James had a birthday in there also...James didn't have as many changes this year, but he has been very busy supporting us in all of ours! He is still working for the police department, which keeps him busy..but I think his house full of women keeps him busier!

In January, we all went our separate ways as Paige and Peyton went on a cruise to be in a wedding and James and I headed to Mexico. Reese stayed home with friends and family. Unfortunately the trips were planned when a blizzard hit Illinois and we almost didn't make it out of the midwest! In February, we welcomed a new family member..Boe the Bull Python! Most people are freaked out by our snake, but he is the easiest pet we have ever had! We spent the summer around the pool (when it wasn't cold and raining) and running the girls to all of their activities. Paige and Peyton attended church camp again in Schroon Lake, New York at Word of Life Island and had a fantastic time.  We have managed to squeeze in a trip or two to the Wisconsin Dells this year, our usual vacation spot. In October James, Reese and I flew to Texas for a few days to visit James's dad and his wife, Steve and Connie Snyder. This was Reese's first flight, and she loved it! The trip was fantastic, we enjoyed good food, good fellowship, a wonderful church service and some sight seeing in Dallas.

Finally, we are in prayer as this year closes and another begins for baby Bentley Reese. This little guy was born November 23 13 full weeks before his due date. He is my cousin's baby and we ask that you join us in praying for him and him mom and dad and grandparents as he grows. This verse has been close to my heart since the premature birth of my now teenagers: Philippians 1:6, "He who has begun a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.." That verse has become real to me again as I trust God with my girls as they grow. It has also been a comfort as I pray for baby Bentley.

Sandy and Family

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Snyder's on Baltic Drive

I am trying out the great technology that we get from out smart phones, the capability to scan a bunch of little meaningless lines in a box and have a website show up in the browser.  So if you tried out your little scanner on our Christmas postcard and ended up here...welcome!

This is my version of a Christmas letter.  I enjoy getting Christmas letters and reading what is going on in the lives of people that I don't see regularly.  I suppose with Facebook, there probably aren't too many that don't already know way more about our family than they would like! ex..catching preschool puke in my hand to save the bedsheets..I know..a yucky facebook post!

2013 has been a busy and eventful year..a good one though. Paige and Peyton turned 13..celebrated with an overnight party at the YMCA. Sounded like a good idea when we booked it, I wasn't so sure the day it arrived!  Kids had fun and there were plenty of adults that hung out with us. The big girls and I also headed down to Buncombe Il (out in the middle of nowhere) to visit my dear friend Betsy and her little family.  This was a great trip..low tech and lots of outdoor time.

  Paige and Peyton are now extremely busy 8th graders.  They went to church camp in New York this past summer and LOVED it!  Reese and I went along and stayed at the nearby Inn and Conference Center. James and the dogs enjoyed the peace and quiet at home.  The Word of Life Camp, Conference Center, Teens Involved, all became a big part of our lives last year, and we have enjoyed it.  God has used some great people and this ministry to work in our lives and in the kids' lives. We are blessed and thankful!


We took 2 trips to the Wisconsin Dells this year.  This trip seems to be our family tradition and we love it!  We would definitely recommend The Wilderness in the Dells as a great and affordable vacation spot for families.  Enough of the commercial for the Resort..

James and I went to Branson for a few days this past summer.  We mostly enjoyed our 4 wheeling excursion and our day in St. Louis.  If you are ever in Branson, there is a family that has a 4 wheeling business just outside of town, and it is lots of fun, we highly recommend it.


Peyton went on a short term mission trip with her grandparents, Steve and Marie Thornsbrough, this past summer.  They went to Cedine Bible Camp in Tennessee.  This was a great experience for Peyton to serve others, they also found plenty of time to have fun!  Paige opted to stay home and go to gymnastics camp.  That brings us to weekly activities...

...I need to consult my planner every day or I get confused...Paige takes gymnastics at DIG (Danville Institute of Gymnastics) and really loves it.  Reese has also been taking classes there since the spring and (usually) loves it too!  Both Peyton and Paige were in a play this fall.  They worked very hard and had a great time in the Homeschool production of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."  Peyton has been playing basketball this fall also.  Paige has continued with guitar lessons and loves it participating in praise band at church.  Peyton is busy drumming (she got a full drum set last Christmas) and she also participates in praise band. Peyton is also on the Bell choir at Calvary this year.  Her first performance is coming up this Sunday..she is excited! 

Speaking of drums..Peyton and I took a trip to Chicago this past fall.  It was a great few days together and we enjoyed the city and using public transportation!  Peyton and I spend lots of time at The Music Garage's Vic's Drum Shop.  Peyton attended a drum clinic and got to spend lots of time checking out different types of drums.  We also went on a Segway tour of downtown Chicago.  This was an extremely fun and educational activity.  I would definitely recommend one of these tours if you are looking for something to do in Chicago. 

Paige and I went to Chicago in the late spring and it was a totally different trip.  We used the hop on hop off trolley and checked out lots of museums.  We spend the majority of the time at the Art Museum, Paige was in art heaven! These trips with just myself and my young teen girls individually were fantastic and so worth it.  It was time I will always treasure to spend rare time alone with these girls!  James was fantastic to keep Reese at home and take care of everything here so that we were able to go. 

Another highlight of the year..the year of the dirty 5k's!  Started out with the Dirty Girl 5k that I got to do with a bunch of coworkers.  It is an all women 5k with tons of mud and obstacles that raises money for breast cancer.  We were the "Trauma Queens," and it was the most valuable team building exercise I have every done in all my years of health care..and it wasn't even officially work related!  Then James, Peyton, Paige and I did the Foam Fest 5k in June.  This was fun to do with the girls.  Of course, it was freezing and pouring..and the trail was a bit dangerous.  I spend half of it praying that I wouldn't all and break a wrist, ankle, leg..We finished up with the Warrior Dash in August.  This was what we did for my 39th birthday.  I was slower than anyone in our group, but we had a great time!  I realized I definitely need to get into better shape!



Our end of summer activity was the Finest vs Bravest Softball game that features the Wounded Warrior team.  This was, as always, a great event and James loves to play for the Finest..and Peyton loves to win a dance contest...James made the last out, so he looked cute in his pink tutu!


Lots of changes this year.  Reese turned 4 and moved out of the nursery and into the Beginner's Sunday School class, sniff baby is getting big!  We also had people that were regulars in our lives that moved away this year, this was tough on me..and more so on the girls.  It is a good lesson on how God puts people in your lives for specific time periods and purposes.  We don't always understand why they have to move on, but we can pray for them, and be happy when visits are possible!  Specifically talking about Dan and Jessica Somerville, Sara Day Hyland, and The Molyneux family.  Paige and Peyton also had some special friends from their homeschool group that moved and this had left an impact in their lives.

Is it safe to say with 2 weeks left in the year that no one ended up in the ER or hospital this year?? (gulp)  We are very thankful for good health! 

As this Christmas season is upon us, I am looking forward to the annual reading of the Christmas story from the Bible that is usually done by my Uncle John at our Christmas Eve Reese family gathering.  It is my favorite Christmas memory and tradition.  To look around at my aunts, uncles cousins and our children, I am reminded of the true meaning of Christmas, and to slow down and enjoy these moments..that go by sooo fast. 

Luke 2:1-20
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife,[a] who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory in the Highest

8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold,[b] an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”[c]
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely[d] known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

new layout!

My sister's recent blogging has inspired me to rework my blog and try to make it more active again. I enjoyed it so much at one time, and it is a great way to share what is going on in my life!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

repost from 2006..Pain doesn't kill

I stole this blog post from myself...I wrote it almost 4 years ago. I was thinking about this book that I had read by Beth Moore. These quotes have stuck with me, and I have been thinking about them alot since Sully's death. I don't blog much anymore, Facebook makes communication soo easy that I get lazy about it. But sometimes, whether there are readers or not, I want to share what is going on in my life. As most of you know, our family has had a painful year so far. My sister's beautiful Sully went home to be Safe in the Arms on Jesus on January 11. We have been kind of shell shocked ever since. But I am thankful to say that God has been active and presently in charge of our lives and circumstances. I am so proud of my family, and how they have each reacted, held each other up, and pointed each other toward God. Especially my sister, she has dealt with this pain with such grace. These quotes from Beth Moore's book remind us that it is always good to have loved, even when we lose what we love.

Pain doesn't kill
I started reading "Feathers from My Nest" by Beth Moore. I love Beth Moore. I can always hear her southern accent speaking when I read her books, and it is soothing. I bought this book a few years ago when I attended a conference where she spoke. I am just starting it again, and I thought it would be a bit lighter that my last book. I guess not. I read this last night, when I was having a "painful moment." Thankfully, today hasn't been like that.

"I have learned that pain doesn't kill...I threw my hands over my heart and fought like a Trojan not to give way to it. God gently pulled my hands away and said, 'My child, go ahead and feel it. The pain will not kill you. It will be a reminder that you are very much alive, engaged, and that you loved with abandon. That was your primary assignment. Your present pain proved you did it.' It was at this moment God spoke a transforming truth into my life: The goal of life is not the absence of pain. It's the presence of glory. God's glory. And sometimes that comes most vividly with pain. Not only have I learned that pain doesn't kill; I have learned that I will never lose or be betrayed by the one thing with absolute power to destroy me-God Himself."

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Christmas is coming!

What a year!  I sadly have little time for blogging.  What with working, chasing a walking running toddler around, and homeschooling two very active 5th graders.  I still check and participate in Facebook daily, though.  Reese has now had her first birthday.  It was a fun (large) celebration, and very bittersweet.  My very last baby is not much of a baby anymore!  The good news is that the big girls still love to cuddle with me and be babied, I am a very lucky mom!  James has finished his training for the Danville Police Department and is now out on his own.  He loves his job, and I couldn’t be happier for him.    My sister got a call in September to come and get a two day old (yes, TWO DAYS OLD) and we have been loving on him ever since.  She is doing great as a first time mom.  He is a foster child, but we love him as if he was born right into our family.  However, he IS a boy, and we don’t know anything about those!  We don’t know if God has in store for him to be in our family for a few months, a few years, or forever, but we are all loving him just the same (except maybe Reese, she could be a tad jealous…or just kind of rough)!


God has been wonderfully good to us.  I complain about soooo many little things, but I am truly thankful for all my blessings!  Here is our Christmas card 2010…christmaspic20102