"We are all handmade people created by a God who is not safe or small." Rend Collective Experiment

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thank you for the prayers for our Sweet Pea.  She did end up getting worse over the weekend and we spent a night in the ER as she was having breathing trouble.  She has pneumonia but, praise the Lord, she is feeling much better today.    I am so thankful for hospitals, medications,  and medical caregivers.

While we were sitting in our hospital room we could hear the other little ones in the ER crying at various times.  Sweet Pea was curled up in my lap and each time she heard someone cry she would pick her head up and look at me and say, "Aww..they want their Mama and Daddy."  In her little 2 year old going on 3 mind this is what makes everything better...Mama and Daddy.

It made me think of the 147 million children around the world who don't have a Mama and Daddy.  The 147 million little ones who simply want to belong to someone.  The 147 million who long for someone to love them, care for them, and feed them.

I don't think anyone who has ever spent at least 30 seconds in an orphanage can ever forget the sweet little faces..... big eyes filled with longing....and hands begging for a touch... a tickle.... a connection.

 In both the Old (Deuteronomy 26:12-13) and the New Testaments (James 1:27) God has made it clear that His Children are to care for the orphaned.

Adoption is a blessing.  Our children who have come to us through adoption have blessed our lives tremendously.

If you are being called by God to adopt than go forth with the knowledge that Jesus will be with you.   He will be with you and keep you through all of the challenges and twists and turns.

I know not every one is called adopt but we are all called to help.
World Vision and Compassion international are two wonderful organizations which help the poor and destitute.


Consider helping a family fund an adoption .  What a blessing to share in the work God is doing in a family's life.   My friend from over at Grateful for Grace has a post with families who are in process and need help bringing their children home.

Consider reaching out to those in your community whom you know are foster children or children with single parents.  Look for ways to bless them in areas of need.


PRAY.  The greatest thing you can do is pray for families in process.  Pray that God will give them strength, wisdom, and resources.  Pray that the children will bond with them and all wounds physical, emotional, and spiritual will be healed.
“Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, suffering, and injustice when He could do something about it.”
“Well, why don’t you ask Him?”
“Because I’m afraid He would ask me the same question.” Anonymous

Our son (who is now 7) is the boy in the pink shirt/jean overalls.  He spent most of his first three years in an orphanage..  He is such a loving and tender boy who is so very attached to his family it's hard to think of him without us.  God means for children to be in families.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Psalm 100:4~

A blessed day of food, fun, and family....

It was such a blessing today to prepare the meal with our children.  We had a wonderful time and ate way too much.  We were supposed to be with some of our most favorite people on this day, but sickness prevented us from traveling.  Please pray for Sweet Pea if you think of her.  She woke up today feeling quite sick again and had a trip to Urgent Care.  We are so thankful for such easy access to medical care and doctors.

We have so much to be thankful for this day.  God has truly blessed us beyond measure.   I look around our table an can not believe God has allowed me to know and love all of these wonderful people.  They are amazing.

I hope everyone had a day full of the joy of family.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
Psalm 100:4~

Photo Notes~

~The older 7 children were amazing today cooking and helping.  Sweet Pea needed me to hold her and the children were so happy to fix a large portion of the food while Sweet Pea and I sat and talked and watched them.  

~Our creative 9 year old daughter put together the table.  I gave her free reign to do whatever she wished.  I love her funky and artsy style.

~  Our boys are wonderful cooks.  I tell them they should open a restaurant together someday.  Their pizza is the best I have ever eaten. 

~ Notice the now traditional for our family hot sauce. This is Eben and Joel's second Thanksgiving.  It was so fun to see how excited they were about today.  They love having past memories of time with us.  They bless us so much.

~ The pic of our 7 yo ds and his mashed potatoes is for Aunt Deboo.  He \no longer dances for them but he still loves them!  He ate that helping and more!  

~The Wee Boy has new specs!   I think he is just adorable.

~Finally in the words of our children..

Our 9 year old daughter said,

"Thanksgiving is wonderful.  It's not everyday you get to eat mashed potatoes."


From Joel
"Every day is Thanksgiving because we should be thankful all the time.  We don't eat all of this food every day though."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

1 Chronicles 16:8~

Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what he has done. ~I Chronicles 16:8

Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863
"It has seemed to me fit and proper that (God's gifts) should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens...to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens."

May you have a Blessed Thanksgiving!   Love to you ALL!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Matthew 11:30~

 An aquaintance approached me a few weeks ago to speak about adoption.  She and her husband had brought home a sweet little 2 year old from China.  They had been home for a month and she was tired.  As we talked I shared with her how exhausting the first months home were with our toddlers.  I shared how they were like mobile newborns ..into everything yet completely unaware of danger. I recalled that they were sweet times, but oh so busy.   I felt like my house constanly looked like Toys R Us had thrown up in it and I don't even remember putting food on the table, but I must have because nobody starved. 

As we talked I could see her relax and tears welled up as she had found someone who understood that while a new addition is a happy time it can also sap you of your physical and emotional reserves.  She told me that she was so happy she had come to me and that she had been  hesitant to because I always appeared so calm and put together.   Oh, did that ever make me sad.  I am anything but calm and put together.  I am not perfect and I do not have a perfect family.  I make so many mistakes each day. each, minute, each hour.  I love my children to pieces and I think they are all wonderful, yet they are not perfect either.  We all have our moments...some days we have many, many moments ;o)

There is a song that was played wuite a bit on Chrisitan radio quite a bit this past summer.  The refrain says,

"got a couple dents in my fender
got a couple rips in my jeans
try to put the pieces together
but perfection is my enemy"

I have found that perfection is my enemy but more than that I believe that perfection is from the enemy.

There is a lot of pressure from the world to be perfect.  Sadly, the expectation for perfection is also very prevalent in Christian circles. 

This goal.. this desire.. this push for perfection robs everyone of of joy, peace, and purpose.

1. Perfectionism says our value is what we do and how well we do it. Perfectionism says we are accepted or rejected by the merits of our works.  It says that when we are perfect God loves us and when we fail He loves us no more..


 God says in Romans 8: 38-39- "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,]neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

He loves us because He sees us through the righteousness of Christ. His love is unfailing and never changing.  He wants us to let go of our human expectations so He can use us for His Glory.  He wants to use us.  He has a plan for each one of us and He is not waiting for us to have our "act together ".  He is ready to begin and He will use us faults and all.  He loves us to the uttermost and is advocating and praying for us.

2. Perfectionism takes our eyes off of Jesus.  When we are striving for perfection suddenly our measuring stick becomes people's approval or disapproval.  This makes us fearful .  We also begin to measure ourselves against other people.  It paralyzes us.  We don't want to reach out to others who we perceive may have nicer homes, more well behaved children,  better cleaning organizational skills.  We know that God is calling us to minister in this area and we will start just as soon as we have our lives in perfect order..


God says in Colossians 3:23-

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,"    When we have our eyes on Jesus suddenly it doesn't matter if our couch is threadbare.  It matters that the Lord wants us to invite that someone over and minister to them.  When we have our eyes on Jesus it no longer matters that we aren't the best cook if he asks us to bring a meal to someone in need.  When our eyes are on Jesus we don't have to have the perfect words to say to someone grieving. We can go and and He will give us the words.  We are working for Jesus.  He loves and us and will never forske us.  he will be there with us and pick us up when we fall.

3.  Perfectionism places unfair expectations on those around us.  When we are trying to acheive perfection we are very aware of the people around us and their shortcomings.  We begin to hold those around us to a higher level.  We expect our children to uphold a perfect image.  We suddenly know how everyone else should do things.    If they would just do it our way..or this way..surely we know the right way..We become critical and sharp eyed.


God says in Philippians 4:8,
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

I love the whatsoevers included in this verse.  God knows it is our nature to be critical and to focus on the negative.  He encourages us to reflect on the lovely in the timiest of ways.  He encourages us to look for the good.  He encourages us to look for any virtue and to meditate on those things.  It really is the opposite of perfection.  It's looking for the lovely in imperfection.

Which is what He does for Believers.

He chooses to see Jesus' righteousness and perfection in us.

He loves us.  He wants to use us.  He wants to bless others through us.

The enemy wants us to believe that God is a harsh taskmaster that is never satisifed with us.  That is not what the Word teaches us. Romans 5:8
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." 

Recently our Pastor gave a beautiful insight to the verse in Matthew 11:30 which says,
"For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

He shared how the yoke was built for two oxen.  They pulled together and worked together.  Jesus is pulling alongside us.  He is right next to us and with us through each step.  That thought is so precious to me.  He is not standing over us with a whip driving us mercilessly.  He is walking with us carrying our load with us and making it light.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday Night Fevers~

Thank you so much for your prayers for our Little Ones!   We are still in the thick of the Swine Flu.  The Little Fella and Sweet Pea are still sick and running fevers with cough.   They have been so sick.  Our 5 yo is coughing today too but so far no fever.  We are hoping it's just a "cough".  We have laid low all week (not going to church or TKD or Children's Choirs so as not to infect the rest of the world). 

We had such a nice Saturday Night. 





We finished up with a movie.  Such Sweet Times!

Have a Blessed Day!~

John 3:16-17~

In the first year of our relationship Yanci asked me in a letter to pray for her Dad because he needed help. What kind of help? I thought. Is he OK? Is there something more I can do than pray?
On the bus last week I asked Yanci’s mom what that prayer request was all about. “I’ve been praying for him for four years now and I don’t why. I don’t know if God’s already answered my prayers.”

 Read this...
Amazing Testimony 

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:16-17

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I was so touched last week when I discovered this letter our nine year old daughter made for her younger brother while he was sick.  I thought it was so sweet she included a Bible verse.

A few days later we were putting together our Operation Christmas Child Boxes.  The children were making pictures to put in the box.  Whenever they ask me what they should draw when they are sending pictures to someone I always say, "Draw something that would make you smile if you received it in the mail."  In my mind that is pictures of rainbows, sunshine, flowers, trees, sailboats, Christmas Trees..

Here is what our 7 yo ds drew...

A Great White Shark who is about to eat a crab..

It makes him smile.  To him vicious sharks =rainbows .

Parenting.  One minute you are raising Pollyanna and the next you are raising the next Crocodile Hunter.

Best. Job. Ever.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We are a little crazier than normal around here as yesterday the Little Fella was diagnosed with the Swine Flu.   Sweet Pea became sick quickly after him.  They are both so sick and  miserable but we are blessed with fever reducers, medical care, and time to be home with them.

* Picture Note-taken at Trunk or Treat after a night of sugar and fun.  This is our only pic of the 14 of us and I have to say I love it.  It makes me smile each time I see it.  I love our wonderful and crazy life. 

Monday, November 16, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Little Fella's newest trick!  The whole room literally erupted in applause when he did this.  All the kiddies are so happy when he does anything new.   I love his funky little hair!

We also have 7 new blue belts in TKD!  I'm so proud of them (especially the 3 children who had been sick all week).

No pics of their testing as Jim took them while I stayed home with the Littles.  

Unfortunately, we had another fall sick tonight. The plague marches on..  Hopefully this week we will see better health ! 


Friday, November 13, 2009

Belly Button, y'all, uh, uh~

 Someone asked how our Little Cowboy recuperated from his umbilical hernia surgery.   He did so well pain wise (even though he was in considerable pain).  He never complained once and I think he shed one tear and that was all.  He wasn't happy about not being allowed to ride his bike for two weeks post-op but he dealt with that well too.   Guess when he cried..

When the bandages finally came off and he saw his "new belly button".  Oh the Poor Little Cowboy.  He was so upset.  Great big tears and sobs wracked his little body.   He didn't like the look of the new belly button and asked for his old one back.  We tried to explain all of the medical reasons why the surgery was necessary for his health but he was not happy.

I am happy to say now that he has made peace with his new belly :o)  It is very cute.  Sometimes change is just hard when you are a 5 year old boy. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Heard Around Here~

 One of our boys to his sister..

"You go first because that is the rule, "Girls First.."  but I have to tell you...  when you get to heaven you will be last and it will be boys first.  Because the Bible says that whoever went first on earth will be last in heaven."

It gives a whole new meaning to the term "Storming the gates of heaven.."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hillbilly Housewife Granola~

We use this recipe from the Hillbilly Housewife for our granola.  Except we use butter in place of margarine and we quadruple it and we make two batches at a time.  It is a very simple recipe but it is so very yummy.  We eat it with either almond milk or vanilla yogurt.   It is also good on ice cream with sprinkles, whipped cream, and fudge.    Not that we would eat that for breakfast.. well..o.k. we did once..........

Speaking of Sweet Stuff our Little Fella is getting so big!  He will be 8 months on the 18th!  He's a big boy weighing in at over 22 lbs. and he is almost 30 inches long.  He's so sweet and happy and busy!  He is crawling everywhere and on the verge of pulling up.   He's such a blessing and we all just adore him.

  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
Begin by melting the margarine and peanut butter together in a 3-quart saucepan. Add the honey, vanilla and salt. Stir the mixture until it is smooth and hot throughout. It doesn’t need to boil. Add the oats. Stir until the oats are completely coated with the sticky gooey peanut butter mixture. It will be chunky. Turn the mixture into an ungreased cookie sheet, or a large 9 by 13-inch pan. Spread the granola out evenly and bake it at 375° for 10 minutes. It will be brown and crispy. Now remove it from the oven and allow it to cool right there in the pan. Break it up into pieces after it is cooled. Transfer the granola to a clean coffee can or sealed canister. Add the raisins, if you are using them, when the granola is cool.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday Night ~

Tuesday Nights after TKD we watch the Biggest Loser and make our granola for the week..I am not sure if our granola is Bob and Jillian approved, but the kiddies sure love it.  They eat it with almond milk most every morning.

Does anyone else watch this show?  I find it oddly addicting..

I have helpers.. I couldn't do it without them ;o)

AND I Quality Control.  His"job" is to make sure tastes as it should..

And he watches for cooking violations.  The Littles haven't yet grasped the concept that you don't lick the spoon while cooking.

Fun and Blessed Times!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Still HERE! :o)

We have had such a busy and fun month!
We trunked, we treated!  We have been enjoying some football!  Drop in fun from Auntie Robin and family..and a romantic getaway for Jim and I thanks to my sweet cousin Noel and her hubby Darell!  We are in full swing with school and activities and......... sickness.  I don't think we have had one week without someone sick.  Two of our boys are down with fevers and misery tonight and they are our "never get sick kids.."

God is good and I am so thankful for the full and abundant life He has blessed us with!