Thursday, July 29, 2010

Laura's in the news!

Laura's in our little local paper.
She, and our whole family, will be going to Key Largo next May
for her Make-A-Wish trip.
She is the spokes-kid for a golf outing fundraiser for
Make-A-Wish in a couple weeks.
You can read about it

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

One Year Ago Today

Wow...it has been one whole year since we met Amarin.
That really doesn't seem possible...the trip
is still so fresh in our minds.
This was the room where we met him.
His orphanage was so nice...clean and bright.
Obviously, he was a little nervous,
but smiles took over so quickly, and he's been smiling ever since!

He was asked to deliver a message for someone.
I snapped his photo by the signs all in Thai.
Cool script!
Jacob and Amarin bonded very quickly.
We were so thankful that we took Jacob with us, not only for the
experience, but to help Amarin feel comfortable.
They had so much fun with the Star Wars guys!
Songkhla was Amarin's home for a few years.
Beautiful beaches. It felt like we were on vacation down there.
Jamie and the boys checked out the Gulf of Thailand
where we saw many, many jellyfish!
The floating markets were awesome,
and the food was even better!
Sweet sticky rice in bamboo stalks, chicken satay (on skewers),
fresh fruits, coconut pancakes...
Banana trees! I'd never seen one in person!

The day we received the final in-country approval
from the Thai Adoption Board.

Yes...we definitely had reason to celebrate!

On our way home, Jacob had to demonstrate his ability
to become a human pretzel from riding in "cattle class" for 23 hours!
He did survive to tell about it!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Too Small To Ignore

I love to read.
Nothing better than curling up on my sofa
to enjoy a good book on a quiet afternoon.


I just finished the book, Too Small To Ignore, Why the Least of These Matters Most,
by Dr. Wes Stafford,



It's a wonderful book describing his life as a child
living in a small African village, as his parents were missionaries.
Some of these stories are hilarious!
There are also some tough parts to this book.
Parts I wasn't expecting, but clearly have worked in his life for good.
These parts made my insides churn.

Dr. Wes Stafford tells an amazing story, and shares his
awesome passion for the children in poverty.
He doesn't give a quick, easy solution to this problem,
but a long-term one that could spread from the child,
to the family, to the community, an onward.
Once again, it makes me long to go on a short-term missions trip.
I long to see what's happening in these villages,
and hug on these children that need to know they have worth.
That they matter, and that there is hope beyond their poverty.
Definitely a good read, and you won't leave the book unchanged.
And in case you haven't noticed, I've listed lots of great books that I've
read on my right sidebar. Most of them are available through your library!
Happy reading!

Friday, July 23, 2010

What Guys Do

Guy time...to do guy stuff.
The "guys" took off for an overnight trip
for some bonding...like guys should do sometimes
without us girly-girls hangin' around!
(Besides, I'm not that much of an outdoorsey person...
could be snakes in those waters!)
So, they went canoeing for a couple hours
and saw fallen trees, birds, ducks, and turtles.
Before he left, I had to assure Amarin that there were
no alligators.


My Charlie...just hangin' around!

I would have told Jacob to be careful up there!
That's why sometimes they just need guy time, right?
S'mores...can't be in the outdoors without 'em!

Jacob being goofy!

The evening campfire
Nice expression, Amarin!!
PS. Jacob, your marshmallow's on fire!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jenna Mei update!

Yahoo! Happy, happy day!
We received an email from Red Thread China with an update
about our Jenna Mei.
It was brief, but it gave her measurements and the two photos below.
Can you believe she is EXACTLY the same height and weight as Laura?
I just took Laura for her 6 year check up on Tuesday,
and they are EXACTLY the same size!
And they are 30 months apart!
Charlie is 15 months apart from each girl...smack in the middle.
He's maybe one inch taller, but 10 pounds heavier...
the kid's a brick!
Dressing "triplets" is gonna be fun!
I just love her chubby little cheeks and her full little lips.
And look at that hair! It is so thick!
Sweetie...Mommy's bringin' some bows for that hair!
Now...bring on that LOA!

A Good Chuckle

I've read these before, and maybe you have, too.
I have no idea if they're real, or if some witty person just made them up.
But they made me laugh this AM, so thought you might like a laugh, too!

They're Back! Those wonderful Church Bulletins! Thank God for church ladies with typewriters. These sentences (with all the BLOOPERS) actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services:

**The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
**The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water.' The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'
**Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
**Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say 'Hell' to someone who doesn't care much about you.
**Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.
**Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
**For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
**Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
**Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
**A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
**At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practice.
**Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
**Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.
**The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.
**Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.
**The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind! They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
**This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
**Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. Is done.
**The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
**Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.
**The eighth- graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
**Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.

Monday, July 19, 2010

More Birthday Pictures

You know my birthday was yesterday.
I guess my teacher thought I still needed to do some work.
(Mom thinks this is cool!)

Finally...time for my birthday treats!

Mmm, mmm, good!

When I got home, Jacob and Amarin gave me birthday presents.
Amarin made a card for me.

I'll take out some of the tissue paper, Amarin.

Amarin painted a rock for me that looks like a piece of pie!
Hmmm...wonder what flavor it is?

I like your card, Jacob, but this empty bag is really cool!

Jacob drew my portrait.
Can you see the resemblance?

Oooh...nice bag!

Jacob made a mobile for my bedroom!
He cut the wood, took off the bark, and put it all together
so it twists and spins!

Laura's 6 today!

Today's my birthday! I'm 6!!
I'm a big girl, and I'm ready to go to school this morning.

Mommy made cookies for me to share with my teachers and friends.
They match my new birthday outfit.
I'm sure she planned that.
But even though I'm such a big girl now,
I still need my daddy's cuddles every morning.

I had a birthday party with my grandparents, aunts,
uncles, and cousins on Saturday.
Mommy made a ladybug cake for me.
It was supposed to be red...but pink is much more girly.
Besides, it would be weird to see everyone walking around
with red teeth!

Here I am with my Ruffey.
I'm excited for my birthday party to start.

I'm wearing a pretty bracelet.
Can you see it?
I'm a big girl now, and I don't try to eat it much anymore,
so mommy let me wear it.
I'm ready to open presents...
well, at least play with that big yellow bow on top there!

See what I made for you, Laura?
It's an icecream sundae suncatcher!

Jacob helped me open some boxes with his
pocket knife.
It makes mommy a little nervous.
My daddy loves me!
He stood out in the pouring rain to grill
hamburgers for my party.
(The sun shone before and after this!)
Charlie helped me blow out my candles.
I think he spit a little bit on my cake!

My cousin Nicole helped me eat my cake.
Mommy said since I'm six, I can't just dive in anymore.
I have to be polite!
Later, some bongle ball was played.
It's good to be 6!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cycle of Democracy

Our pastor shared this quote this morning as he was taking us through prophecy in Daniel 2. Resonates, doesn't it?
And to think that this was written 240 years ago!
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over lousy fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average of the world’s great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years. These nations have progressed in this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to Complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage."
Alexander Fraser Tyler
Cycle of Democracy, 1770

Saturday, July 17, 2010

No More Orphans

Just yesterday I learned about four more orphans who are coming home
to their families...and those are just from the blogs
that I follow on my sidebar.
It made my heart skip a beat...maybe several beats.
I'm not sure how old he is, but I'm guessing it wouldn't be long
and he would be aging out of the system at the age of 14.
I'm sure you can imagine what can happen to children...
yes, 14 is still a child...
when they have no one to love them or show them the right way to go.
The other is a little boy in China.
This sweet little face...you have to click on the link above
to see him! Oh, how he needs a family to love him!
And this family, this beautiful ever-growing family, wants to be that love!
And the last two are from the Ukraine, and being adopted by one family.
My friend, who just adopted her little girls from the same
orphanage, met these children.
One of her daughters was in THE room with these two children.
From what she described, these children are living in a horrible situation.
You can read about it here.
I'm not sure about the family adopting the two children from
the Ukraine, but I do know that the other families are large
compared to the American average of 1.87.
(How can you reach an average of 1.87 children)?
I have to laugh, because people look at our family and call it big.
I do laugh, because it's kind of funny.
My aunt joked the other night about us filling up a whole long
table for dinner. I'd like to fill up two of them!
It doesn't feel big,
(until I look at the empty pantry that I just filled).
And I know it's going to keep growing this year, anyway.
But compared to the 143 million orphans in the world...
4 is barely a drop in the bucket.
Hey...10 or 20 doesn't even compare to 143 million, does it?
I don't think every family is called to adopt.
I think God speaks to certain families,
and moves their hearts in a certain direction.
But I do know that God calls EVERYONE to care for the orphan (& widow).
It might be through sponsoring an orphan so they receive medical
care and food,
maybe through financially helping an adopting family,
maybe through babysitting, or cooking a meal for a new family,
or maybe praying for the family.
But God calls everyone to do something...
God loves the orphans and wants them all to come home.
I can't wait for the day that there are no more orphans!

Friday, July 16, 2010

School: Week One

Laura completed her first week of big girl school.
So far, it has been great!
She smiled today when she saw the yellow bus.
Her teacher has sent a note home everyday telling us that Laura has...
*walked on the treadmill during physical therapy
*played on the computer, pushing a big button to hear music
and see pictures
*thrown her sippy cup and glasses on the floor!
*walked all over the classroom, checking everything out
*loved seeing herself and playing in front of the mirror
*eaten breakfast and snack each day
When Laura gets home, she has an entourage waiting for her...
her 3 brothers and Ruffey.
She gets hugs and kisses from her brothers, and
Ruffey wiggles all over, licks her face, and sits down very
close to her for a while.
I think they all just might miss her! :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

A New School

Laura started her new school today.
It has taken us a while to get to this point.
She did go to preschool last year,
but we drove her,
and she was pretty close to home.
This time, she's going to school like the big girls.
She's riding a bus, and in the fall,
will be gone 5 full days.
We'll miss her, but we're really excited.
And I'm glad we waited so that we could be
really excited for her rather than being a nervous wreck!
She'll be home just after noon,
and I'm excited to see how she does on her first day!
The "First Day of School" picture spot.
She would NOT look at the camera!
Here she is waiting for her bus to arrive.

Here she is with the bus aide, and her bus driver in the background.

Kisses bye, sweet girl!

Daddy got on the bus and took a photo of her in her carseat.
There was only one other boy on the bus,
and he was fast asleep in his wheelchair.
Note to self...get Laura's glasses adjusted.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Chores

We believe in chores.
Helping around the house is important.
It teaches discipline, work ethic,
self sufficiency...
and...well...
takes some of the load off Jamie & me! HA!
Really, though.
The kids are old enough where they
can really do so much,
and they see that working together
can actually be fun,
and the finished job well done
is rewarding!
Amarin was sent to weed the garden.
Ok...I'm not even sure which were weeds
and which were flowers. I just know that I'm
scared to death a snake will come crawlin' out of there!

Jacob was vacuuming the van.


Charlie hauled the weeds that Amarin pulled.

And, well, someone had to look cute and supervise
these boys!
But there's always plenty of time for
summer fun-in-the-sun.
And, no. We're not making them
fish for our dinner.
Trust me...
we would have been very hungry!
This was the only catch of the day,
minus some weeds.


Move over Hollywood...