Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Point of Grace Giveaway

If you don't know their music,
you should look it up.
They're very, very good!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bed-hog, begone!

Ruffey was a bed-hog, to say the least!
We'd find him sprawled out on Laura's toddler bed,
and the poor girl was stuck up in a corner. I think
Ruffey was very comfy, but not so much
for Laura!
So, a friend "just-happened" to have a twin-size
bedframe that she wasn't using. It's the kind that
has springs going across it, so no
box-springs are needed.
That was perfect, because we need to keep
Laura close to the floor in case she
falls out of bed.
We've kept her in a crib, portable crib, and
toddler bed for as long as we could.
Today, Jamie, Jacob, and Charlie went
out and bought a mattress, and
VOILA!
We have a bed just made for a princess and her
"prince."
Sweet dreams, baby girl.
Mommy's REALLY PRAYING for
a full nights sleep tonight!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What is Crazy Love?

A bloggy friend Linny is hosting a "Crazy Love" party.
Wondering what that is?
Here's how Linny defined it in her post:
Then since Dw returned from Haiti last Saturday, he and I have been talking about all this even more. He spoke a little about it Sunday morning.....and one of the things he called it was "Crazy Love". Dw and I both love the word "radical" - but it can, at times, have a negative connotation. Crazy Love seems to sum it up {for us} in a way that although one may not understand what that means exactly to Dw and I, it doesn't sound scary or intimidating. Basically, we are committed to living life for Christ with reckless abandon, and with hearts full of "Crazy Love. "

Stop for a moment and imagine what Crazy Love would look like? It's love that says, "only you God and everything I can for my 'neighbor'. Whatever you ask - I'll do. Wherever you want me to go - I'll go. However you ask me to do it - I'm there. Whenever you want me - I'm available. Whatever. Wherever. However. Whenever. Ready. Willing. Watching. Waiting."
Yep. That's crazy. Not striving to "keep up with the Jones's"...not
coveting everything materialistic...not working to please those
around us by their standards...
but living and doing right by God's standards.
Being available to do God's work when we're called.
So, I suppose adopting for the fourth time could be considered
"Crazy Love."
Believe me, there are some families that have done
much more than we are doing,
but it's not about keeping up with them, either.
It's about answering God's call.
So, we decided to take Linny up on her "Crazy Love" party.
So, to answer a few of Linny's questions...
1. Yes, we tithe. And before someone says "well, shouldn't
you be using that money for your adoption?" Go
read Linny's blog. She explains tithing very well.
We also sponsor three children...one through Holt,
and two through Compassion International.
2. Yes, we attend a church.
It's Evangelical, but it's not
"the religion" we try to follow...it's Jesus and God's Word.
3. Jamie has served on the Missions Committee at our church,
and recently headed up a collection for Haiti.
I've been involved with Wednesday night Kid's Life,
and have recently started an Adoption/Foster Care Ministry.
4. So, what is our need? Well, we are adopting internationally
for the 4th time, and this will be our 5th child.
You can see sweet Shasha's photo on the right of
this blog.
We are raising money for this adoption.
We are having a rummage sale/silent auction on April 17th,
and a friend also wants to help us plan a spaghetti dinner
after the rummage sale is finished.
So, let's see how this "Crazy Love" thing works.
Please do not feel obligated...that's not what this is about.
If God truly does move your heart to give,
you can send it c/o Jamie Miller,
PO Box 302, Lapeer, MI 48446.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Why Ruffey?

A bloggy friend asked last week why we were getting Ruffey,
and what he would do for Laura.
Before we ever started the process of getting a dog
through 4Paws, we had heard what awesome
things animals can do for people.
It's like the animal has a sense that humans don't...
a sense of what a person needs without words being spoken.


So, we researched service dogs for Laura last year.
(Laura has microcephaly, epilepsy, possible CP,
and global developmental delays).
Surprisingly, very few organizations will match a dog
with a child under about 12 years of age.
4Paws does place dogs with very young children
because they want the children and dog to
grow up together. Also, some behaviors can be
disturbing to an older dog, so younger dogs
are trained and matched. Ruffey is 17 months old, but
some of the tracking dogs were 11 months old and
doing an amazing job!
We read a lot about 4Paws, talked to them, and
began the process.
Laura was accepted into the program, and we decided to
request an in-home companion dog rather than a full-service
dog. Our reasons being that Laura cannot command the dog
on her own, she's not a risk for running away and
needing a tracking dog, and her seizures are not severe
enough that she would benefit from a seizure assistance dog.
Besides, can you see me handling a dog
as well as 4 children in public??
That could be its own comedy hour!
Hmmm...maybe that could have been a new reality show.
Yes...4Paws trains dogs for search & rescue, often for children
with Autism, as well as to predict seizures so the children
can get to a safe place so they don't get hurt during a seizure.
This actually happened to a family the first night they had their
dog, and an additional time later in their training!
Anyway, we wanted the dog to be first and foremost, a
buddy for Laura.
Her brothers love her and dote on her,
but they run off and play, as they should.
And Laura plays by herself.
So, having a buddy to lie nearby sounded great.

Also, we wanted a dog trained in behavior disruption
since Laura was waking almost nightly crying...and we didn't know why.
Now we know it was seizures that woke her, and we've since
gotten them better under control, but there are still those nights
when she doesn't sleep well.
So, we've been home one week with Ruffey.
He sleeps on her bed, or right beside her on the floor.
We're working with him to "lap" or "over" which means he
will lay his head or his whole body on top of Laura's legs
to help her feel safe or calm...not that she's ever very upset.
Other than being her buddy...I'm not sure what else will
happen. Time will tell. But even if this is all Ruffey does for Laura,
it will be enough. Enough for her to have a buddy that hangs
close and makes her laugh.
Just now, I heard Laura laughing.
I checked on her and she was sitting in front of Ruffey
holding onto his chew bone, while he chewed on a toy
wooden bolt. I had to discipline them both.
They pouted together.
Earlier, I caught her holding on to his bone
while he chewed on the head of a rubber dinosaur.

I think they're partners in crime.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Angels Rejoicing

Isn't it funny...some of the most important conversations
seem to happen in the van.
Or, maybe it's just because we spend so much time
in the van.
Anyway, we had another awesome conversation...
this time it was Charlie.
Now, Charlie talks non-stop...or sings...whatever it is
just to make noise. So, sometimes the radio gets turned up
just to drown out...er...so we can all hear some good music.
Today, I was glad it wasn't up too loudly.
Charlie: Mom, I want to go to heaven with Jesus and God.
Me: You do?
C: Yeah. Jacob are you going?
J: I know I'm going because I prayed and asked God into my
heart a couple years ago.
C: Mom, are you going?
M: Yes, I know I'm going to heaven. I prayed, too.
(All I hear now is whispering).
C: OK. I'm going to heaven, too. I just prayed to Jesus so I'm going.
Yahoo! I can hear the angels rejoicing now!

Monday, March 15, 2010

A "Ruff" Night

Well, we are home. The drive home was so easy with Ruffey.
He didn't budge. I think he was tired out from full days
of training!
I'm buried under a "Mt. Everest" of laundry now.
But it was really nice walking into a home that had been
tidied by the guys before they met us in Ohio.
Last night, Jamie and I debated about whether or not Ruffey
should sleep in Laura's bed.
The trainer said that we could use the kennel, and just
put it in Laura's room so Ruffey would get used to sleeping
in there, and then take the kennel away when we
were ready to let him sleep on her floor or on her bed.
So, we put Laura in bed, and told Ruffey "kennel."
Well, he looked at us, looked at the kennel,
and promptly jumped up onto Laura's bed.
I so wanted to let him sleep there, but since the house is
new, and it was his first night here,
we made him get into his kennel and all was well until
11:30P.M. Laura woke up crying.
So, we tried letting Ruffey sleep on her bed....
didn't help her crying.
After a few hours, we put Ruffey back in his crate
and gave him some treats
in case he was feeling stressed by Laura's crying,
and let her finish it out on her own.
It's hard not knowing why she cries.
When Ruffey was in Laura's bed, we noticed that he's a bit
of a bed hog. Laura's in a toddler bed, and we're thinking we might
need to convert it into a full size to fit them both.
We'll try again tonight and see how they do.
Right now, Ruffey is sleeping under my feet as I type.
He is our shadow, and is sooooo calm. He doesn't bark or whine.
He's obeying pretty well, especially since he's in a new environment.
OK...time to tackle "Mt. Everest."

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day One with Ruffey

You can read about our first day with Ruffey on Laura's blog.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Rummage Sale

Here we go!
We're starting to raise funds for our adoption,
and on April 17th,
we're having a community-wide rummage sale.
For the past few weeks, I've been cleaning out our house.
Boy, oh, boy...I never knew how much stuff
I had sitting around my house that I
didn't use.
I'm going room by room, and if it hasn't been used
in the past few years, it's outta here.
Our friends from church came over
last night to help us get organized.
I'll tell ya...they have such big hearts!
They're letting us use their warehouse which is in the middle
of town...perfect location.
They're contacting newspapers and radio stations for us,
donating some big ticket items for our silent auction, and
organizing the sale of pizza and drinks.
We are so thankful for all of their help!
What a great example of fulfulling James 1:27...
see the top of my blog if you're not familiar with the Bible verse.
They may not be adopting, but they are reaching out to the
orphans by helping us in the process of bringing home Shasha.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Break My Heart


Some of you have probably heard or read something like this:


God, break my heart with the things that breaks yours.


I found A BLOG this morning.

The woman writing is on a trip with Compassion International

in Kenya for a week.


The things she is seeing and experiencing.

Oh, my goodness.

One of these days,

I really pray that I can experience what she's

experiencing now.

My heart has been called to Africa for a while now.

I would love to go to Africa, with Jamie and the kids,

on a missions trip.

But it's not time, I know.

But someday...


You can visit her blog HERE as she writes about her experiences

with families and orphans in Kenya.

And have the tissues handy!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Is anyone else...

experiencing a head-rush??
How can they read like this?
I'd have a migrane in a matter of seconds!

Can you tell these three do practically
everything together??

Science

What do we know about science and theories?
If one states a theory, then it was proven with tangible
evidence. And it can be proven again and again
using the same process.
If it wasn't proven with tangible evidence,
then it's only a hypothesis.
This rang very true this morning when I read a headline
A group of scientists have "figured it out" that a huge
asteroid hit Mexico and killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
HUH?
One scientist stated that the answer was quite simple.
And the article goes on to explain how it all happened...right down to
the planet broiling, chemicals blotting out the sun, melted rock splattering
all the way up to Canada.
Again, I say HUH?
Believe me.
I think science is a remarkable study,
and when used correctly,
has given us vast amounts of knowledge.
But this study makes me laugh and wonder how many
people are now going to say, "Oh. That makes sense."
Including the textbooks from which students learn at school.
How many science teachers are going to share this "knowledge"
with their students today as fact?
I have two major issues with studies like this.
ONE:
Were the scientists there when this happened. Obviously, no.
How on earth can they prove this happened?
THEY CAN'T!
They are making a hypothesis, albight an absurd one, and
people will gobble this up like candy.
They can make all the assumptions they want,
and try to piece it all together.
But there is no way they can prove it. Period.
SECOND:
Their hypothesis is totally unBiblical...and before you stop reading...hear me out.
The Bible is one book that has never, EVER been
proven false. NO ONE, even the most learned scholars,
have ever been able to prove the Bible wrong.
One may not agree with the Bible,
but they can not prove it wrong.
So, are their dinosaurs in the Bible?
YES!
Are there asteroids in the Bible?
I sure haven't read about any!
Floods, yes. Fire and brimstone, yes. Asteroids, no.
My opinion only, but I can't imagine God leaving
out something of that magnitude.
And how old is the earth anyway?
All of this talk about millions of years old...
that's from a bunch of scientists who are
labeling the earth so they can put some kind of order to it.
It makes it easier to organize found bones, artifacts, etc.
But what about scientific carbon dating?
Surely, it does not prove anything is millions of years old.
More accurately, and provable,
is that the earth is closer to 6,000 years old.
(See CD's below)
And the Big Bang theory?
Physics (science, my friends) states that something must
happen to cause something else to happen.
So, something must have caused the Big bang...and
that would be...what? Nothing comes from nothing.
We have purchased some great audio CDs that speak specifically
about science and proofs. They give actual, proven, scientific evidence,
and why some other "scientific" proofs are nothing but a bunch
of hypotheses.
You can find them HERE.
They are told from a Christian perspective, but
don't scoff at them until you've listened. And then if you
can truly prove them wrong, I'd love to hear from you...nicely, please!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Job Description

A little humor for this morning...albight true!

PARENT - Job Description
POSITION : Mum, Mummy, Mama, Ma, Mom
Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop
JOB DESCRIPTION
Long term, team players needed, for challenging, permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities! Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.
RESPONSIBILITIES
The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be a willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability forthe quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.
POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION
None.
Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills,so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you PREVIOUS
EXPERIENCE
None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.
WAGES AND COMPENSATION
Get this! You pay them!
Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.
BENEFITS
While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.
AND A FOOTNOTE 'THERE IS NO RETIREMENT -- EVER!!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Safely Home

I love to sit and read before I fall asleep.
Sometimes there are books that are a good read,
and then there are books that are great-can't-put-it-down reads.

This is one of those.
Safely Home by Randy Alcorn.
In short, this book is about two young men who are roommates
at H*rvard University.
One is a Christian American, and the other is Chinese
who is loyal to the Party.
The American man leads the Chinese man
to Christ.
This Chinese man graduates top of his class, and heads back to China
to become a university professor.
Life twists and turns for these young men.
The American becomes a very wealthy, and successful
businessman and heads to China to build more
business relations, and decides to stay with his
college friend to get the feel for real life in China.
From there, you read about the house churches,
the Party, and what life really is like for this Chinese man
and his family.
An amazing book.