His Mercy

"His Mercies Are New Every Morning"

A Thought

In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

Prayer Quote

“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis

Faith

I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Erika's Baptism

Today our precious Erika was baptized. She gave her speech and Daddy baptized her.
As soon as I figure out how to get a picture out of my camera, I'll post it! :)

God is Soverign

Thank you so much for those who are praying. The Lord has answered our prayers, and we trust that His will has been accomplished.

The outcome was not what we had expected, and those little surprises and bumps help us to trust Him more.

We are confident that He has used us in a way we do not know or understand, and in that we will rest. :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Exciting Times

The air is full of excitement around here. I cannot wait until I can tell you why, but right now, let's just say the girlies are bouncing off the walls with excitement.

They are making plans, cleaning up, and making more plans......

Mike and I are so excited too. We are waiting on the Lord, and when you do that, no matter the outcome, you are in HIS will. We have been praying and meditating on HIM most of today, and also waiting for important phone calls.

Those calls have come and gone and now we wait for a final call.

But when that call comes, it will all make sense. Why has the Lord put certain things on our hearts lately? Why have we been talking with the girlies about certain things?
And then it seems to become crystal clear.

Right now, it is clear, I'll wait for that final call before I say "crystal clear". :)

Praying to be in the Center of HIS will.

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST

If you are a praying believer, please pray for us. There is something going on in our family that I cannot disclose, but know the Lord wants us to commit it to prayer.

I cannot share more right now, but it is a good thing! :)

So, if you can, please pray for the Lord's will in our lives, for the Lord's will in the life of another and that all will work out to His Glory!

Thanks so much

Friday, August 29, 2008

Baptism Revisited Again

A decision was made for Erika to be baptized on Sunday. I am really thankful that there were those that saw she was truly ready and didn't make her wait any longer.
She was willing to wait however long she was told.... after all she waited all that time before she had a family.:)

Here is her speech before daddy baptizes her: (spelling errors and all)

Hello my name is Erika Minich I am from Ukraine, Before I was adopted I started to learn about Jesus, how he died for me and you. I am a sinner because Adam and Eve sinned. Jesus Christ is my savior. Jesus loves me this I now for the bible tells me so. He died for my sins, I trusted him. I have a clean hurt but I am still a sinner. I want to be baptized because I want people to understand that Jesus died for my sins and that He is my Savior and I want to serve him for the rest of my life.

Mike's Adventure

Mike has been wanting to get into electric cars for a long time. Last night was his first call to go and pick up and electric car for repair. He has the trailer now, and took off in his pickup truck to go and get the vehicle.

It was in Commerce about an hour away. On his way home, he got a bit turned around and wound up in FROGNOT TEXAS. Where is that? I don't know, but then, his transmission in his truck blew and filled the cab with smoke, so there he was in the middle of Frognot Texas with a broken down gas hog towing a broken down electric vehicle.

The tow trucks came and got him home and the adventure continues.

He took it all in stride. The girls however were TERRIBLY worried about daddy being stranded on the road and every 2 minutes came to ask, "Is he ok? Did he call?" They couldn't sleep until he got home which was around 10:30 last night.

Poor guy.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tattle Tale Blues

We've got the Tattle Tale Tattle Tale Blues!

It seems that we are competing today for a gold medal in the category of Tattle Tale.
So, I solved the matter.


Anna won.

She won the right to clean the bedroom alone, since she seemed to be so skilled at giving a moment by moment blow by blow account of everything possible that could go wrong in that room.....

Ahhhh, it is quiet and the other girls are folding clothes. :)

I just love motherhood.

The Early Morning Events

We started off with an event filled morning. First off I had a great night's sleep due to a new mattress cover we just purchased for my back. It is 4 inches of foam part regular foam, part memory foam and it was VERY helpful. Now, this a.m. we felt like we had to climb out of bed, as it is pretty soft, but ahhhh, not having to toss and turn all night with terrible back pain was really a pleasure.....

So, first thing, darling Erika gets up early while Mike and I are having our morning coffee and our new little "bra wearer" says, "Mother, you need to put on a bra!"
Hmmm....
"Erika, don't you know that your mom is a card carrying member of the national burn your bra society????"

She says, "Yes, now go put on your bra mother!" LOL

Well, Yes Maam!!!....


This is Sarah's Pirate Look! AYE!
How's that for a challenging look to a good game of backgammon?


Guess who won?


And by 1 move!!!!!




All the while, Anna was quietly reading her new favorite book on the couch.



I love it when kids start to read for pleasure. Marcus and Tim used to LOVE Calvin and Hobbs.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Our Anniversary Date

Pictures the girlies took on our date: We had our own personal camera crew.
It is good for kids to see mom and dad admire each other.




Anniversaries are always fun. They give time for reflection and future plans. It is funny how different each anniversary is. I remember when our guys were little, we'd get out a table cloth and candlelight and make a quiet dinner with nice quiet music while the boys sat at the top of the stairs and giggled. "GO TO BED!" OK.......

Then there were a few years where we went to a nice dinner alone.

Then, the girls came. To be honest, my memory of the last 5 years is nearly a blurr!
But I know we went swimming one time, we were home from the hospital another time, once we went to a movie, and then this time crept up on us. With all our plans for the next few weeks, school starting etc. here it was, and the day before we were talking saying, "What should we do for this anniversary?" Hmmmm.... There were no movies playing, and it is a Tuesday night. So, we decided on dinner. The girls got real excited and we then decided to make it a family dinner since we are leaving for our Ukrainian missions trip in less than 3 weeks. (that is our real anniversary plan :) )

So they all got dressed up and we took them to "On the Border". Then, they said, "Can we sleep in YOUR room tonight and fall asleep to a movie? It IS your anniversary and it would be so special!" (NOT) LOL

Mike was so funny..."Yes it is OUR anniversary, NO, you can't!" LOL

They were all looking at us like WE were being selfish, ruining their special day of enjoying our anniversary. "You always want to be alone and you don't let us sleep in your room!" Sarah pouted....
Yes, that is right. Moms and dads have rooms and kids have rooms. That is the way that it is! :)

I just love childhood innocence.



Here are our 3 little stowaways. :) They had a great time on our date.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Life




Sarah was just pretending to be me.

She said, "Quick somebody get me some water, I think I'm having a hot flash!" :)


The truth can really make you, uhhhhh, S-W-E-A-T !

Speaking of Anniversaries


There are many anniversaries in our lives, some good and some not so good. Children who have faced trauma in their lives have many anniversaries. It might be the anniversary that you were taken away from your parent, or the time you were moved from one foster home to another or when you were moved to your adoptive home or when you went to court etc. etc.

Children, though many times quite young when this stuff happens, have some sort of 6th sense when anniversary time comes around. We have always noticed that there are two specific times of year when our Anna has relived past trauma. One of those times is now, and the other is during the holidays.

Every year, things have gotten better and we are going on year 5. Anna came to us on about her 5th birthday. That is around holiday times.

However, the first year we had her, we were abit perplexed at her behavior in August.
She had been doing great and then all of a a sudden WHAMO, from out of no where these traumatic behaviors showed up.
We headed straight for the rocking chair and she'd just pour her little heart out. Memory after memory.

When we finally got her adoption paperwork in the mail which didn't happen until after that first August, I was flabbergasted to see that her dramatic removal from her mother occurred in August and then there was yet another removal at the end of August from one foster home to another! So August was a FULL month of trauma for her.

So Mike and I were all geared up for this month, expecting to see some difficulties, though not the ones we have seen before. And, pretty much, not a lot happened.... then a few weeks ago, there was a little blip, like with any NORMAL child, and then the events of yesterday and today.....


HERE IS WHAT HAPPENED!

Yesterday, Erika wanted to write about her life. She started to write and started reading out loud her story about being in the orphanage. Anna later came over to me and started to cry. She said, mama, I'm not the same person you think I am. I am not the same girl. I am a new girl. I have been reborn. I was a little puzzled at first but kept listening to her. I rocked her and soothed her and talked to her. In the back of my mind I was trying to figure out what she was saying and honestly, I wasn't sure, but didn't want to suggest anything, so I just listened. (learned that from Mike, he is so great at this)

So then, last night, when Mike and I were going to bed, we noticed that Sarah had climbed onto the top bunk with Anna and they were laying there talking. I sensed it wasn't a time to tell them to stop talking and go to sleep, even though I was tempted as it was 11:30. Anna NEVER stays awake much after her had hits the pillow! So something was on her heart.

Then today, She handed me this: (she used part of a poem and changed words in it, but it is how she feels, and I think she did a pretty good job!)

My Life is Like a Poem


About the story:
Anna is the baby
The two good people are mom and dad
The child is me, Anna.



In Threads of Magic
So its told
A young child was born like gold

To shine for Dad and gracious mom
The small baby did so beam
Two good people smiled
Brought song and beauty to this child.

Link Button for Dennis

If you scroll down my side bar, you may come to a link button that says,
"Remember to Pray for Dennis". Dennis is the New son of a fellow blogger.
I have her listed under adoption blogs, "Christine's blog, and Christine's other blog".
Dennis's story starts on Christine's other blog, but now that he is a member in the family, he is on the regular blog. :)

He is fixin' to have some major surgery and many tests coming up. So, his mama has asked us to put his picture on our blogs so anybody who stops by, can pray for him.
He is a real sweety of a little guy. So, if you scroll down and see him, throw up a prayer or two and ask for prayer for him in your prayer groups. He has a long road ahead.

But it is BRIGHT! He is a very fortunate little guy to have such a special family, and his family is very fortunate to have such a wonderful little guy to be the baby in the family.

That Crazy Man I Love


Today is our Anniversary. We still haven't decided what we are going to do. Most likely we are going to take the girls out. LOL Because our REAL anniversary present is coming up in a few weeks when we will whisk ourselves away to Ukraine for almost 2 weeks and leave our girlies behind, yet in very capable hands.

The Lord has been so good to me. In spite of my failures, my sin, I have been blessed beyond measure. The Lord has blessed both Mike and I and we praise Him for his working in our lives.

We have only been married 19 years. But we sure do look older than the day we married.
I am so thankful for the brave man who entered my life and took on an army of kids, along with an eccentric, hippie throwback wife, having never been married himself or having never been a father; AND he was a YANKEE! I was a California transplant, but we fell in love in Dallas.

So Happy Anniversary dearest.
For 19 years I have not called you Mike, but "MY MIKE". :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Rhythmic Gymnastics



Well, today's Gymnastics made a hit with Anna. She loved the drama and the swirly things. She and Sarah made sticks with streamers (strings) and have been jumping around the house twirling. Here are 2 of Anna's dramatic poses!

Off To A Great Start!

We finished our first 2 days of school and we are off to a great start. The girls are loving their desks, and it seems that they have retained all that they learned last year.

I was worried about taking 5 weeks off, but you know what? I needed that 5 weeks, and so did they. They swam, and swam and played and pretended and went shopping and went to the zoo, and played some more. It was a great rest time.

Then, when it was time to start, they were really ready. It seems that we have turned a corner in reading for everybody and they are reading for enjoyment.

We are off to a good start in History, taking our virtual "Trip Around The World". :)

I'm so glad we are able to do what we do, and I pray that the year continues to go well for them.

I also found these really cool math cubes that explain fractions and decimals. They are kind of like the addition blocks, but they are written in fractions and decimals.
The one thing our oldest son had trouble with was fractions. He couldn't understand how a bigger number was a smaller amount. These cubes help you to SEE that.

Now I gotta go clean house...... :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

How Do I Say No To the Limbless?

On a good note, this was an article about a Prosthetist who makes limbs for those who don't have them, in Mexico.

What a wonderful ministry.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/08/22/heroes.puckett/index.html

I often think of where our girls would be were it not for the caring people who make their legs, and have changed their lives. I give glory and praise to the Lord for moving on the hearts of people who care so very much.

THANK YOU LORD, for changing our lives, giving Erika independence more than we had ever dreamed, and for letting us get to know some very special people, whom we would have never met, had there not been hardship in our lives.

Organic Foods Article

There is an article this a.m. at CNN.Com about a study that concluded that "organic foods are not more nutritional, than non organic."
As if a person would think that if they ate an organic apple it might contain more vitamins than a non organic one?

That has NEVER been the issue for me in buying organic foods. The issue for me is the pesticides and poisoning of the environment. The foods that are raised conventionally contain dangerous pesticides. I remember in the 1980's one of the studies on childhood leukemia linked the disease to polished apples. In organics, you don't polish apples.

HERE: is the kicker of the study:

This study -- published in the latest edition of the Society of Chemical Industry's (SCI) "Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture" -- is the first to assess the nutritional value of organic fruit and vegetables. It should be noted that the study does not make conclusions about the comparative levels of pesticides or chemicals in conventionally and organically grown food or the health effects of consuming such chemicals.

NOTE: The study is done by the "CHEMICAL INDUSTRY". LOL


So, if a person is to skim this article, they might MISS the log floating in the stream of bologana! The chemical industry didn't say anything about how chemicals remain in the food and are harmful to your body. Oops, we were only speaking of the nutritional value of a carrot vs. a carrot. duh......

Not to mention the poisoning of the water, soil, etc.

Organic farming is good for the environment, good for the soil, causing it to help the environment.... (this shows up later in the rebuttal section of th article.

But really, how does anything like this make the news other than for a teaser to make a person mad?
It is also so harmful, because many people will read a headline and then think conventionally grown foods are just as SAFE as organics. That is not the case. Organic food farmers go through rigorous regulation to get excellent, non poisonous foods to our tables and we need to support their efforts.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The First Day of School

Well, we had a great start to a great year. We covered all of our subjects today, except for art, unless you count making an Israeli Flag for History "Art". :)

For history this year, we are taking a virtual, "Trip Around The World". We actually started at the end of last school year, and plan to continue until we cover every continent and important country.

So here are the girlies doing Spelling.... guess which girlie was abit overwhelemed with doing "Just cursive????". Yep, from now on..... :)


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Girls Have Their OWN BLOG

The Girls have a new blog. We will be using this to teach typing skills, computer skills, and creative writing skills. I will leave the mistakes as they are, unless they ask for help in spelling. :)

Their address is:

http://thenoelles.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 18, 2008

Here It Is




The Lonesome Pine Ranch School Room:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

God Cares About The Little Things

I have written before about the requests the girls had for a great start to a great school year. They wanted a desk, a bell and a chalk board.

Well, we have a bell. I checked around on Craig's List to see about Chalk Boards and desks. I found a great deal from a nursing school going out of business. When I got there, they had just 2 desks and a chalk board. I was able to get them for 25.00 for all.

Anna didn't care for the desks and asked if she could get one that looked a little different. We still needed one, so she started looking on the computer and found the color and style she liked. The problem is, it was over 100.00 if you purchased it new!

I was ready to settle on another desk that looked like her sisters, but the drive was too far and it would have cost more in gas than for the desk itself.

Daddy said, "Let's wait and see what God provides, give HIM a chance to work!"

So we waited a day or two and went back onto Craig's list. There was a description of the exact desk that Anna wanted for 15.00! We thought, ok, this is His provision and the desk was located close by our church. I called the number and it turns out, it was a long time aquaintence from our home school group that was selling the desk. I told her I'd call at a certain time, but when I did, she didn't answer. So we went ahead and started home from church. When we were almost home, she called and said her phone was on silent and she forgot to change it, but they were home and we could come.

So after we got home, I headed out to get the desk. About 3 minutes after I left, Mike called and said, WAIT! Another friend called and said she had a desk she was giving away. He said, go ahead and go look at it. They just live 5 doors down! So I turned around and drove over to her house. And guess what? It was the EXACT desk, even EXACT COLOR Anna had wanted. And it was FREE. :) My friend and I had a good laugh at the way God works in our lives. I called the other lady back to share the story, and it turns out she knows my neighbor! Isn't that funny? :)

Anna is so pleased with her new desk. And now, after I decorate the wall with a map or two, and some pin ups, we will be set for school to start on Thursday! :)

What a great lesson for the girls.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

More Understanding .....


Erika has been speaking English now for almost 2 years. I have to be really careful to remember that she doesn't always understand the things she has heard. She might understand the individual word, but our words can have many meanings.

So, we were watching the Olympics. Everybody was busy and Erika was watching alone. She came in and said, "Somebody smashed Michael Phelp's goggles, and he came in 2nd place because of it!" I was shocked! Who could do something like that!???? So I'm looking all over for news about the event and there is nothing.

Then I sit down with her and they use the word, "smash" and "leaky goggles" again.
She said, SEE! They SMASHED his goggles and now they are leaky and he came in 2nd!"

I said, NO, his goggles were "leaky" and he SMASHED the World Record anyway! He came in second in a different "practice race". She was so confused. What is a "World Record" that can be SMASHED? SMASHED means broken, crushed, but it is tangeable, breaking something you can touch and feel. She didn't understand until now that that green line across the swimming pool wasn't really there but was showing us where a swimmer from another race swam before, and now the swimmers swimming now are ahead of that and they are now the fastest! They are the fastest in the world, and when that time is written down, it is a "record". It is recorded, or written down so everybody knows what the fastest time is.

I'm exhausted just typing that. :)

BUT.... now she understands and is very happy that Micahel Phelps was not the victim of "bad worldly goggle smashers!

Gymnastics Craze



Watching Olympic Gymnastics has got Sarah going Topsy Turvy!

Play List is gone now

I took the play list feature off the blog because it takes too long to load. I like the feature, and I liked the music, but it was a little too "busy" and bogged down the blog.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Back to School Countdown


Sarah was asking for "olives". Now those olives are VERY green!


Anna discovered how to make some rather uncomfortable shoes with tin cans and string.
She loves them.



This is Anna resting after a busy Sunday afternoon!



Katie and Erika really enjoyed braiding hair. Erika especially loved the end frizzy results. :0



This a Sarah kicking back and relaxing. :)


We start school 1 week from tomorrow. We are all looking forward to starting back up to a full school year of learning and discovery.
Now I need to go and finish our schedule.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Oh Sacred Head Now Wounded

I never knew there were so many verses to this Hymn.

http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/o/s/osacredh.htm




OH SACRED HEAD NOW WOUNDED


O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;
O sacred Head, what glory, what bliss till now was Thine!
Yet, though despised and gory, I joy to call Thee mine.

What Thou, my Lord, hast suffered, was all for sinners’ gain;
Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ’Tis I deserve Thy place;
Look on me with Thy favor, vouchsafe to me Thy grace.

Men mock and taunt and jeer Thee, Thou noble countenance,
Though mighty worlds shall fear Thee and flee before Thy glance.
How art thou pale with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How doth Thy visage languish that once was bright as morn!

Now from Thy cheeks has vanished their color once so fair;
From Thy red lips is banished the splendor that was there.
Grim death, with cruel rigor, hath robbed Thee of Thy life;
Thus Thou hast lost Thy vigor, Thy strength in this sad strife.

My burden in Thy Passion, Lord, Thou hast borne for me,
For it was my transgression which brought this woe on Thee.
I cast me down before Thee, wrath were my rightful lot;
Have mercy, I implore Thee; Redeemer, spurn me not!

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.

My Shepherd, now receive me; my Guardian, own me Thine.
Great blessings Thou didst give me, O source of gifts divine.
Thy lips have often fed me with words of truth and love;
Thy Spirit oft hath led me to heavenly joys above.

Here I will stand beside Thee, from Thee I will not part;
O Savior, do not chide me! When breaks Thy loving heart,
When soul and body languish in death’s cold, cruel grasp,
Then, in Thy deepest anguish, Thee in mine arms I’ll clasp.

The joy can never be spoken, above all joys beside,
When in Thy body broken I thus with safety hide.
O Lord of Life, desiring Thy glory now to see,
Beside Thy cross expiring, I’d breathe my soul to Thee.

My Savior, be Thou near me when death is at my door;
Then let Thy presence cheer me, forsake me nevermore!
When soul and body languish, oh, leave me not alone,
But take away mine anguish by virtue of Thine own!

Be Thou my consolation, my shield when I must die;
Remind me of Thy passion when my last hour draws nigh.
Mine eyes shall then behold Thee, upon Thy cross shall dwell,
My heart by faith enfolds Thee. Who dieth thus dies well.

Animal Disaster 102

101 happened last year when Coyotes ate our sheep and turkeys.

We learned from that experience that they must be locked up at night to protect them, and the girls have faithfully without question for over a year, kept all animals protected at night.

However, the shelter we have for our turkeys as about a 2 inch space around the bottom for cleaning and air ventilation. Apparently that was enough for some creature in the middle of the night last night to eat several sleeping turkeys. They lean against the walls when they sleep sometimes and what every it was was able to get to them from the outside.

The disaster wasn't as bad as last year, as only 5 turkeys were eaten or killed, one we will have to put down and the bigger ones are fine, and the goats are ok, however, I am finished with farm animals.

That is how I feel right now. The cost to raise them, and care for them, and then kill them and store them is just outweighed by the end result.

While I find it great experience for the girls, I'm not sure if farm animals are the answer.

Searching for wisdom, and not looking forward to todays slaughter to protect our food.

Monday, August 11, 2008

How Is Jesus Christ Honored?

Yesterday we were talking to our 4th grade Sunday School class for one of the last times, as they will all be promoted to the 5th grade soon.

The discussion was on "How Is Jesus Christ Honored In Your Life?"

It wasn't what we had planned to teach for the day, but it was important enough to put the planned lesson aside.

You see, during snack time, several of the boys were talking about how "cool" detention was. You get detention and you don't have to do your work, you can take a nap etc.

This class is a challenging class. The children have been "churched", many since their births, and one particular boy is always "bored", "Oh I already know that story".

So yesterday when the conversation came up, I closed the lesson and asked the simple question. "How do you honor Jesus Christ in detention, or when you get a detention?"

There was silence followed by frowns and I don't knows. Mike said, well, one way Christ is honored is "justice is served" when you do something wrong, there are consequences. Christ will be honored one way or another. :)

More frowns and thoughts and I don't knows.

So I posed another question: "How do you stand out for Jesus Christ in your school?
In your home? In your neighborhood? With your friends? In your church? In your clubs?
On your teams? Do you? If not, why not? Do you KNOW Christ or do you just know all about him?
One kid said, you really can't stand out at my school because all the kids are Christians, I go to a Christian school.

We then asked "How can we KNOW CHRIST?"
There were several answers. Believe he died on the Cross for your sins.

What does it mean to "believe"?

That got a little more direct.
One little girl said, "trust". It means to trust. As she went further in her description, I got a strong sense that she knew the Lord. She attends a local public school and is a real sweet child in class.
She stands out from the others, not because she is quiet, but her spirit is obedient.
I have known her since she was a baby, and she is definitely a different child than when she was younger. :)

I guess I wanted to challenge the children that Life in Christ IS LIFE NOW! Life in Christ is exciting. Life in Christ is REAL and as believing Children, IF indeed you know Him, you will honor Him in your life. Both at school and at home. You will put Jesus Christ first in what you do, which will effect others. You will effect them in how you relate on the play ground, how you speak to others, how you help others and how you respect others.

I truly hope the lesson got them to thinking about their own relationship with Jesus and how HE can change their lives. If HE IS WHO HE SAID HE IS, then why wouldn't we want to devote our lives to Him? If HE knows what is absoloutly best for us and only intends both trial and triumph for our good, then why wouldn't we put our trust in Him?

If there is eternal life and eternal damnation, why wouldn't we trust the ONLY one who can give us life eternal?

I hope they ponder these things in their hearts and come to know the ONE who can change them from dead to living.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Lillian the Pouting Princess


5 Girls and I went shopping today. We hit the 2nd hand store and scored BIG TIME!

Lillian insisted on this Ballerina Outfit with Ballet Shoes. What are gramma's for?

She COULD have given me a smile, but NOOOOO! She was in full pout mode after her first big swim in a real swimming pool proved too much for her and we had to go home. :)

So here she is in all her glory, pomp and circumstance. :)

Things I Have Learned About Lilly This Week



Lillian just turned 4. She is very contemplative. She has deep thoughts and watches everything.

I took her to the store with me and she was so funny. In the car I asked her,
"Lilly, what is your favorite color?"

There was a pause..... "Purple, I like purple."

We played the stop and go game with the lights on the way to the store. She told me to stop on red and go on green and be careful on yellow. (She only got to practice that once)

When we got into the store she helped me push the basket. It was so funny. Every single gesture I made, how I stood, if I put my finger on my chin to think, she did.
(I think I put my finger on my chin ALOT)

If I picked up a can to read the ingredients, she did it too. It was such an honor for her to want to be like gramma. :)

The biggest honor of all was the Ponytail. She didn't like having her hair done last week, but this week the first thing she asks for in the morning is the pink heart hair thingy. "Here gramma, put my hearts in."
OK..... :)

Katie The Farm Girl ?



This a.m. when the girls woke up, they were ready to be snuggle bunnies. Katie came in and asked if she could go let out the goats. SURE! You can also change the water and clean out the barrel before putting fresh water in.... This look of shock came over her face. "I can't do that!"

"Why not?"

"That is haarrdddd, gramma!"

"What is hard about it?"

"Ummm. you have to clean it?"

Yes. Would you like to go and do it?

ok gramma....

A little later she came in and said, "I did it!, It was EASY!"

She seemed pretty satisfied with herself. Notice the hard working smile on her face and the water on her shirt? She was already sweating at it was only 8:00. :)

Katie you are a rockin' FARM GIRL!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Busy Girls

The girls got busy today with ART. We had a few thank you cards to make, and Lillian wanted to help. She really LOVES Art. She spent the morning using water colors and the afternoon drawing and using glitter paint. She was really focused on drawing flowers.
She is starting Pre K this year and I think she will do really well as she can really concentrate when she wants to.

Here are a few pictures of creation at work.




Bananas or Watermelons


How about bananas cut like watermelons. :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hugs


When you are a mommy and a gramma you just can't get too many hugs. :)

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Yesterday, August 6, was my birthday. I had a wonderful 50th Birthday, complete with a show put on by the girls, and watching the movie Nim' s Island.

So why the title Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Well, My entire life, on my birthday when we watched the news, there was the infamous laying of the wreath in Japan to recognize those who perished by the first and last atom bombs ever dropped on human beings during a time of war. August 6, 1945 Hiroshima was attacked. On August 9, 1945, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.

I have noticed over the last few years there has been less and less coverage of the event. As a child, I would have welcomed not being born on that day, as every birthday was the somber reminder of Nuclear War. But now, as an adult, I was a little sad that there wasn't more media coverage, especially in the times in which we now live. We are on the verge, if not already there, of another cold war. Pakistan has Nuclear capabilites and the political picture in the Middle East is not good. Iran either does or is close to having nuclear weapons.

One of the problems with history, is if we forget how terrible it was, it will repeat itself.
Some of us are old enough to remember the cold war. Russia was supposed to bomb us at any time, and we were supposed to bomb them at any time. Thus, at school we had bomb drills where we got under our desks and covered our eyes, as if that would help. When we were in Ukraine, our translators told us they did the exact same thing!

I fear that the realities of war are so far removed from us that many younger people see it almost as entertainment. Movies are so realistic and violent and the instant reports of war news on the internet both video and photo numb us from the true horrors of war.

The Nuclear attack on Japan ended the war, but the atrocities continued for decades, with children being born with deformities, and people continuing to die from radiation and radiation related cancers.

Just the accident in Chernobyl, Belarus, caused many cancers and birth defects and deaths, and many don't know that the radiation and fire is still buring today 2 decades later. There are teams that go in for short periods of time and are working on covering the area to keep it from leaking radiation.

So, let's remember to pray for those effected by war, by Nuclear Fallout, and for those who might hastily enter into Nuclear Engagement without thinking through the results.

http://history1900s.about.com/od/worldwarii/a/hiroshima.htm

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Grandaughter's and Junior High

I can't believe it! My grand daughter is about to embark on Jr. High School! She is playing in the band, and it seems like just yesterday she was starting Kindergarten!

Here she is on our latest Zoo Adventure. I don't think she cared too much for touching a sting ray. :)





Conversations With a Four Year Old

Lilly:Can I help bake the cake?

Gramma:Yes you can.....

Lilly :Ummmmm..... after she has licked her hands from all the batter.....

Lilly: I'm clean now, I don't have diahrrea any more!

Gramma: That's good. I'm glad you don't~ :?/

Lilly: Yea.....

Lilly : Gramma, Can I go see Grampa's "toodles"?

Gramma: Do you mean his "tools"?
Lilly: Yea.....

Gramma: I love you Lillian!


Pause......

Lilly: You have pretty eyes gramma!

Gramma: Thank you.

Gramma: You have pretty eyes too.

Lilly: No, I have dark eyes.

Lilly:Mama has dark eyes.

Gramma: What kind of eyes does daddy have?

Lilly : Daddy has Guitar Eyes. :)

Lilly: I have to go see what the girls are doin'...........

Bye Lilly......
Bye Gramma......

Feeding the Sting Rays

Anna was really excited about feeding sting rays. They were very slimy and really neat. Glad their barbs were removed. Some of the bigger ones would splash us when they swam by. Pretty funny. video

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lilly and the Carousel

I took all the girls to the zoo today. This cracked me up.....




video

Monday, August 4, 2008

Reflections of a Sinner Saved by Grace

When we were at camp last week, a young man began to play the piano and sing.
"Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound, that Saved a Wretch Like Me!"

This young man, is Autistic, blind, and has multiple limb loss. Both lower legs and both arms are effected. How can he play the piano? I don't know, but he can, and played it beautifully.

I looked at him and thought..... I don't see a wretch. I see such a pure individual.
Yet, God has revealed to him his true nature, and he has received salvation.

I am a wretch. NOT HIM! The truth is, we are all blind, and naked, and we are all wretched individuals, apart from Christ.

I am so thankful that in my wretched state, God saw fit to reveal himself and opened my deaf ears and caused my blind eyes to see.

He continues to prune me, break me, and throw the bundles of chaff that my life produces into the fire in order to be refined.
Oh how patient He is........

Would I be singing amazing grace if I were physically blind? How about if I didn't have my arms or legs? How about if I were crippled? What about if I were destitute? What if I lived in a war torn country?

I have not had these experiences,(besides being destitute for a while) but I have had plenty of experience God has chosen to bring my way. He causes the rain to fall upon each individual to bring about his specific purpose in each person's life.

I pray that the rest of my life will reflect that Amazing Grace that he has so abundantly poured into me.

I put a link to a very special web site of a young man who has come to know the Amazing Grace of our Lord Jesus. http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org/

What's A Kid To Do?

If you have just 2 hands and you need to use those to eat breakfast, but you don't want your ball to roll away, you get creative and use other body parts to make things work! This is our 4 year old grand daughter Lillian making things work! :)
We get to have the grand girls for a week!


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Baptism Delayed

Erika had a meeting with the elders and didn't answer the questions to satisfaction. I think part of her expressive language is a problem. To articulate in English, complex ideas is hard for her. So, we are going to work with her a little more and help her understand.

We had a great talk with one of our elders tonight. He said they did not question her faith at all, they just want her to be able to express it verbally.

I have many questions about the baptism process and probably fall more along covanental lines regarding baptism.

This same elder plans to talk with Erika Sunday to make sure she understands that they are not questioning her faith. She thought they had said, "Think about it a little longer if you really want to follow Jesus."

So the August 31 date is null and void. I'll let ya'll know when it happens.
I wouldn't have posted it WAS going to happen until after the elders visited her.
There was abit of confusion. 2 elders approved the week before, but then there were some more that wanted to meet. The 2nd meeting is the one that took place today, and they have asked her to wait.

So, we'll wait some more and maybe learn abit about patience and study up some on doctrine.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Turning 50 Hair Cut


I said I would cut my hair when I turn 50. I did it 4 days early. :)

To Zip or Not to Zip

Erika and her friend Brittany, watching Jerroth go up the zip line.....




THE MANY FACES OF ERIKA IN THE MIDST OF DECISION ON WEATHER OR NOT TO GO ALL THE WAY UP THAT ZIP LINE AND SLING HER BODY OFF INTO OBLIVION.........







She went up 1/2 way, touched the wood and then chose to keep her feet firmly planted on the ground! There is NEXT YEAR! :)

Camp Out On A Limb






We always joke that it should be called Camp Out OF A Limb.... Erika and I had a wonderful time once again at Peaceable Kingdom Camp for Children. As for me, I waited an entire year just to go down that Zip Line once again! Erika was looking so forward to horse back riding. On the way home, I asked her, "What was your favorite thing about Camp this year?" There was a thoughtful pause, and she said, "Horses, Golf, Swimming,Scuba diving, Movies, Games, eating in the cafeteria, talking with Shawn late at night in the bathroom, and making friends with Brittany.

Shawn had a pow-wow meeting with the girls late on the last night we were there. She was so funny teaching them a special signal to use if they wanted to talk. This time it was the "blink your eyes if you want to speak signal". It was comical watching a bunch of little girls blinking frantically to be called on. Erika enjoyed the talk in the bathroom after they finished scaring the boys. Shawn asked about what they do if others make fun or tease them. Erika listened to the answers, and then poetically, when we got home, we played the DVD handed out at camp called, "No Arms, No Legs, No Problem". He covered some really great answers to that issue, and talked about who we are on the INSIDE is what matters.

What our children look like on the outside is not what defines them, but who they are on the inside. This is really what Peaceable Kingdom Camp brings out in our kids.

Imagine a young man 14 years old with no arms and no legs, dancing his heart out, and everybody just loves it. How about an arm wrestling match between a guy with 1/2 an arm against a guy with no legs? How about a little girl doing ballet taking her legs off to perform? How about a little boy with one arm doing hand stands, hurling his body into the air to balance? How about a child who is blind, autistic, missing lower legs, has just one finger on one hand and a nub on the other, playing the piano beautifully and singing Amazing Grace? Let me tell you, I don't know if there were any dry eyes.

There were the typical pranks and kids play, or was that the adults pulling off those pranks? There were Bugs and snakes, saran wrap on the toilet seat, sneaking over and knocking on the window late at night, and the typical, "I don't know WHO used all that toilet paper!" "Silly String?" "Isn't that a thing of the past???" The swim basket ball games and just great fun hanging out together.

The children were drawn together for a wonderful week of friendship and partnership. I saw children help each other, build each other up and just have an all around great time. It didn't matter that the cabin was strewn with extra legs, prosthetic socks, little kids looking for their own....."Mom, do you know where my leg is?" "Take your legs off sweetie." "Do you need to put your legs back on?"
It was all pretty normal.

There were also the important friendships developed among the parents. Other than going to the hospital and camp, we have never, ever, seen another child who has limb loss or limb differences. It is refreshing to be with other parents who live similar lives with their children, who hurt for their children's losses, yet cheer them on to do wonderful things in life. These parents have the patience of Job. They have deep abiding love, they are proud of their children, and they are brave enough to let their children fall, try and try again, which will result in them blossoming and growing in both personal strength and creative independence.

Thank you so very much Peaceable Kingdom Camp for Children and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children and your awesome dedicated staff. Had it not been for you, Erika would not know that she can do so very many things like SCUBA DIVING and I STILL would have never gone down a zip line. And that zip line is WAY COOL!

You Are Still Holy

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