Friday, April 30, 2010

Go Fly A Kite

Today was one of the nicest days we've had yet this year. Clouds were predicted, but the sun shone all day, and the temperature was over 80 degrees. And, the wind was gusting...perfect to go fly kites! So, having just received kites last night, they headed outside to give them a try.
Here was Amarin preparing his kite for flight. This was another first for him and he did really well keeping it up in the air.
Run, Jacob, run! His kite was a bit testy...cause, ya know...it couldn't be the handler...especially when the younger brothers' kites were afloat!
See Char way in the back? His kite was soaring well, too. He would run like a cheetah across the backyard to get that thing off the ground. Daddy was taking a turn with Amarin's kite...and Jacob remained convinced that his kite was not working right...mmmhmmmm...

Minus the woods in the back, we only have 2 trees in our backyard. Now, one would think that they could be avoided...one would think....catch #1...Jacob...and I'm sure it was because his kite was not working properly (sarcasm intended).

Amarin's turn...and Jacob to the rescue.
Mom, these strings are just a mess!

Charlie's turn to meet the tree...
and when he tried walking backward, pulling
on the string in order to free the kite...

well, his rear met up with the sandbox.


Fresh air, sunshine, lots of playing = 3 tired, happy boys at the dinner table...even if one of those kites was "not working." :)

Art Show

My boys love art. They love to draw, and they sit for long periods
of time sketching and drawing. They're at a stage now where pencil
drawings are preferred...no color necessary.
And, since we homeschool, and since I have about
as much artistic talent as a gnat,
we thought an art class would be a good idea.
We found a great Christian art teacher for them.
She prays with them before each class,
has soooo much patience,
and comes up with the coolest projects for them!
She even enters some of their work in the local
art shows.
At the end of the year, they have an art show
for parents, and anyone else that would like to visit.
Their art show was yesterday and they were so
pleased! Amarin's already asking when he
can take art classes again!
Here's a sample of their work this year.

Amarin's leaf project using warm and cool color markers.


In the spring, they get to work with clay.
Then, for the art show, they have to "make it look real."

This is Jacob's weaving project.
He chose gold and black to make it look Egyptian.

And Jacob's pencil sketch of his hands...
"peace" and "hang loose."

Know what was really special?
Daddy skipped an awesome "work" golf outing
for the boys' art show.
We think he's the coolest dad ever!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mission Accomplished

Does anyone else enjoy cleaning out and organizing closets?
Especially those of pack-rats?
It actually gives me a sense of accomplishment
when I look and see it tidy, clean, and with clothes
for the current season.



It also makes me realize how much we have in excess.
I mean, really...is it necessary for one child to have 20 t-shirts?
I'm not kidding!
And 4 pair of tennies...2 for play and 2 for "good?"
We're tucking some away for Charlie,
(love hand-me-downs)
and giving some to our friends that have younger boys.


The boys had the job of going through their art/craft box...
which usually accumulates whatever they decide to
toss in on the spur of the moment.



Ahhhh...much better.

Wait a minute!

Who left the marble in the middle of the closet floor??

Just kidding...I'm really not that type-A.

Just ask my hubby and kids...

on second thought...

don't.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Handle With Care

Jenna Mei is about to get a big surprise!
We'll be mailing this to China very soon.
I hope she likes her presents.
I hope the clothes fit her.
I hope the caretakers take lots of photos with the camera.
I hope she thinks we look friendly in the photos.
I hope she won't have to be in China for much longer.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Catching Up On The Week

This past week has been busy.
The big news today:
Charlie finished preschool!
He loved it, made some sweet friends,
adored his teachers, and managed to keep
the parents in stitches on field trips.
Here he is at their post-preschool picnic today.
It was indoors because the north wind was just rippin'!
One of his best buds is the boy, 2nd from the right.
Look at his and Charlie's smile...
can you just see them in class together?

When it was still warm outside, Laura got comfy and played in pudding.
She didn't eat it...just smeared it all over the table.
Then yesterday...for the millionth time...the two
youngest boys knocked on my door.
Hopefully I'm not alone on this,
but when the kids go out to play,
I don't want to have to run to the door
fourteen times at their beckoning.
So, this time I was ready to give them a good talkin' to
about taking off their shoes, and coming to find me
if it was really necessary.
But then I saw this...
My boys had picked "flowers" for me.
Glad I wasn't on a rampage!
Ewwww...these smell.
What do you think, Amarin?


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Psalm 50:18

Psalm 50:18
"Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me."
Please pray fervently for Adeye and her
She goes before the judge tomorrow
in eastern Europe regarding their adoption.
Please pray that the judge will waive
the 10 day waiting period so she can
get her girls out of that orphanage!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Teddy Bears

What do you do with unwanted teddy bears?
It seems a shame to throw them away.
No one wants to buy stuffed animals from a rummage sale.
I think most of our kids have too many.
One of our pastors' wives has a collection of teddy bears.
They are a variety of sizes.
She's ready to get rid of them.
They've never been played with, only collected.
She has about 70 of them.
The police can't use them as they use a special kind
for children they are helping.
I've checked at a child's advocacy center,
but they can't use them because it could be
interpreted as bribery.
Honestly!
So, what do you think?
Is there somewhere overseas that could use them?
Is anyone going on missions trip that would like to take some?
Let me know your thoughts...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

P.S.

P.S. A lady handed us a check at church today for $60.00
for Jenna Mei's adoption.
Not sure why that's significant?
Read yesterday's post about our rummage sale
and the amount of money we were short
for the check we have to send out for our adoption tomorrow!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

So....

So, our rummage sale was a HUGE success.
HUGE, my friends!
And does God not work miracles still today for
us to see?
Here we are...
days away from needing to send in our next
big payment to our adoption agency.
Actually, we need to send it Monday
as our dossier is about ready.
Great timing, huh?
Yeah...like we planned it all ourselves!
Cause we all know how predictable the paperwork
process is for adoption....NOT!
But today was so much fun.
We opened the doors 1/2 hour early and
it was busy all morning.
We actually had a line of shoppers waiting to pay.
And people everywhere...making their piles
behind the counter so they could shop more.
Then, the typical lull during a normal rummage sale
hit around 1PM.
We thought perhaps our youth pastor should
don his pink gorilla costume and bring in more
customers...but it didn't happen!
Then another big crowd came in to close out the day.
We had a lot of help from our church family...
adults, teens, and kids, too.
They ran to local restaurants to distribute
more fliers, organized tables, cashiered,
handled the food and drinks,
carried boxes and bags and large purchases
to customers' cars, and just had fun.
So with all of that taken care of,
Jamie and I were able to greet customers,
thank them, and share our story.
We were able to share God's blessing of adoption
with people.
Some came in asking about adoption...
some came in just to shop...
some came in not wanting to shop,
but just to make a donation.
We were blown away by the generosity of the community.
Economic times may be tough,
but let me tell ya,
it was not evident today.
Now here's the coolest thing.
Ya know that big payment I mentioned that's due?
Can you believe that just from today's sale,
we were only $59.39 away from that exact amount?
Seriously...could we get any closer to the exact amount
we need to send?
Now tell me, is there anything too big
for God?
And does He not delight in blessing us when we
seek Him for direction?
One thing we did was NOT price a thing.
It was all good will donations.
That really stumped some shoppers.
Common sense would have told us to price
everything so we wouldn't get ripped off.
Especially those big items.
But I knew...I just knew...we weren't supposed
to price anything.
God reassured me time and time again,
even when others disagreed,
that He would provide.
We were blown away by people's generosity.
The gals managing the cashier stand kept sharing
stories about generosity.
What a great witness for all of us.
To truly sit back and just be amazed.

Friday, April 16, 2010

News

Great, fantastic, awesome news today on the adoption front.
US Immigration has given us their stamp
of approval to adopt Jenna Mei.
This is a huge step.
We now are approved by both countries.
Phew!
Next, the agency will double check we have
everything for our dossier
(huge stack of paperwork)
and then it's DTC, baby!
(dossier to China)
Then, our LID.
(log in date when China receives our dossier)
Then, we get to wait until China approves our dossier.
Hopefully, that won't take long.
We're still praying to travel late summer/early fall.
And,
tomorrow is our big fundraiser for this adoption.
We've never done fundraising before,
but we felt this was the right thing to do this time.
You should see the warehouse...oh, my...
The community has come out in a HUGE way!
We have so much stuff...computers, tvs, 3-wheeler,
lawn mowers, toys, clothes, decorations,
dishes, generators (new!), collectibles,
baby "equipment," antiques...
It's all I can do to not "buy" some of this stuff.
But, like I told my kids, if we're meant to have it,
it will be there tomorrow when our sale is finished.
We're praying for a lot of shoppers...
we have a lot of stuff!
Not only has the community donated a great deal,
we've had friends making signs, organizing food,
setting up for the sale, etc.
And we have quite a few friends coming tomorrow
that have offered to work wherever they're
needed.
It is so cool to see a community pull together
for such a great cause.
I can't wait to post on how it all goes tomorrow.
OK....back to work!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jacob!

It was a snowy middle of the night, April 10, 2000, as
Jamie and I drove to the hospital for
Jacob's birth. He was 3.5 weeks early, and I had been
on bedrest for the past month.
Our first child...we had no idea how this would
change our lives!
We became parents.
What an awesome responsiblity...
HUGE!
God blessed us with a very healthy baby boy...
born on his papa's birthday.
(I told my dad not to expect that kind
of birthday present every year!)
He hit the double digits yesterday.
10 years old.
Where on earth did that last decade go?
And what will the next decade hold for him?
He's an easy-going, happy kid.
Loves history, Star Wars, Narnia, trees, cactus plants,
cutting wood, wants to go hunting someday...
He's enjoying the Narnia card Amarin drew for him.

Jamie and I were going to buy him a new bike for his birthday.
He asked if he could have this toy instead...okie, dokie!
Narnia guys he has been wanting soooo much!

And a pocket knife. Oh, please keep all of
your fingers!!

And for his birthday...rice krispie treats and
butterscotch pudding.

Happy birthday, sweet boy.
We love you!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

And he's off...

Today was the day to take off the training wheels.
Amarin has been riding a bike for less than 8 months,
and that's including the snowy months
that he couldn't ride at all.



I took him into the backyard,
and after a quick explanation of where to put
his feet and the pedals,
he was off...on his own...across the yard.

Within 1/2 hour, we were in the street
riding on the pavement...no problem.
He had one fall that brought a few tears,
but he got right back on and had a blast.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Faith Like a Child

Amarin asks a lot of questions.
Sometimes it's hard to answer
some of his questions because they're
hard even in my native language.

And he loves to ask a million questions at bedtime.
I think most kids do this.
It's uninterrupted time with mom or dad,
not to mention a great way to delay the
inevitable "lights out."
Sometimes I'm just too tired to
answer a lot of questions.
But the times I do sit and really listen and try
to answer...sweet times.

And those are the nights that I get THE BIGGEST
HUGS from Amarin. HUGE!
Along with his sweet smile.


Tonight he had a ton of questions about heaven.
Frankly, I can't answer them all because I don't
know...never been there.
And the Bible does not address all of his questions.
Here's a sample of some of his questions...

do we celebrate birthdays in heaven?
does God have a birthday? (most likely not, but fun to think about)
are there airplanes in heaven?
will my stuffed animals be in heaven?
what about animals?
will they bite?
what about mean animals?
can I take playmobil and St*r Wars?
where will I sleep?
do I take clothes?
does God wear a shirt?
I want to play with God and the angels.
is Moses in heaven?
and David?
and that big guy with David? (Goliath)
and that other big guy with no eyes? (Samson)
and Samson's girl?
and Noah?
**Then came a discussion about what God created.**
and what did Jesus make?
do we go to heaven when we don't obey?
do bad guys go to heaven?
where do guys go when Jesus is not in their heart?
is there fire there?


I tell ya, I'm lovin' these conversations, but they make
my mind reel!
And I'm prayin' that I'm conveying
the right information and not poor doctrine.
Some questions I just have to admit I don't know.
Of course, Charlie is hearing all of this,
and when I get to his room to tuck him in,
guess what starts? Yep...another million and one
questions.
But his are usually about Jesus and the soldiers.
He's hung up on Good Friday and Easter right now.
And he's pretty sure those bad soldiers
did NOT make it to heaven.


So, then in walks Jacob...not to be
outdone by his little brothers.

"So, do people live after they've been

thrown into the lake of fire?"



Oh, my goodness...
I think I need a hotline to God...
oh, wait...
I already have one.
I think I need to make a call!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

In the news

Praying that it brings in shoppers,
and touches hearts for adoption!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sweet & Sassy

For the sweet part of my post...my Jacob. He loves to do things
that make others feel special.


Today, as has
been the past few days, was
raining cats and dogs.
We even had a dandy thunderstorm Monday night
and lost power for a few hours.
Luckily it was back on in time for me
to make my coffee Tuesday morning!
But this morning, Jacob went out in the rain
to pick some violets for me
as an early birthday present.
He said he wanted to wait until Saturday,
but they might not be so pretty.
As you can see...he was drenched!

As for the sassy part of the post...here's Laura.

Why is she smiling like that?

Because Charlie is in the broom closet and

can't get out because she's standing in the way

of the door. And she won't move.

I think she's gloating!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Nothin'

I got nothin'. Nothin' to blog of huge interest.
Writer's block?
Maybe.
Or just life without anything major.
And that's not all bad.
We did have an interview yesterday with
our local newspaper.
Our rummage sale for Jenna Mei's
adoption is one week from Saturday.
So, this Thursday, our family will be featured,
along with the details of our adoption
and rummage sale.
We're praying for a great turnout.
We obviously hope to raise decent funds,
but also raise awareness about the orphans
around the world.
They need families desperately.
I've cleaned out my house big time for this sale.
I can't believe how much we had sitting around,
that hadn't been used in several years.
And that was my criterion.
If it's not been used...it's outta here!
But the sad thing...
you could walk into my home and never know
we got rid of anything.
Shoot...I walk into my own house and wonder
what I got rid of because it's still chocked full of stuff.
Jacob asked me why I was getting rid of certain items.
"Why? Because Jenna's more important."
And because things don't matter.
People matter.
Following God's plan matters.
And God has never uttered a word about
how important material things are.
As a matter of fact,
He tells us that we're to cling to Him,
not material possessions...not yearn for the
latest clothing styles...or the latest gadget.
About 4 weeks ago, my microwave bit the dust.
Everything on it still works except the heating element.
And that's kind of important.
I went into temporary panic mode.
But ya know,
we've survived without it.
I've lived without my microwave popcorn. Barely.
I've managed to dig out pans to reheat food. Totally old fashioned.
And the days that I forget (wink) to take something
out of the freezer for dinner...
we eat sandwiches, or beans and rice.
And we're fine. And no one complains.
Jamie did bring home a small microwave last night
so I could have my popcorn again, and reheat a little
more easily.
We'll get a replacement sometime.
But I guess my point is,
we can do without so much more than we think we can.
And if by scaling back, we can help someone else,
why not?
Have you made changes or "cleaned out"
in order to help someone or some cause?
Leave a comment and share!