Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dedication Sunday

I forgot my camera...again.  But someone had their camera-phone and
shared with me. Thank you!
Last Sunday, Jun 24th was a busy day.
Our 18th wedding anniversary...
the 33rd anniversary of our church...
Amarin and Jenna's Dedication at church.
It was special dedicating them on the same day, and with such a sweet group of church 
people excited for them.
They each received a certificate, as well as a little Bible.  
I wish I would have had a picture of Jenna when she was handed her new Bible.
She turned around to the church with a huge smile and said, "Oh, cool!"
Of course, everyone laughed and thought it was so cute.
And this certainly started off the week well for Amarin who was headed to camp for the first time.
More on that later as the boys are due home today!

See that happy piano player in the background?
Yeah...she's always that happy!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Just the Littles

 So, it's just me and "the littles" as we refer to them...Laura, Char, and Jenna.
We're keeping busy, but the days are much, much quieter. 
And I find I have more chores to do, and no babysitter.
I may have to rethink this camp thing next year!  :)

Laura's in school every morning. Sorry about the sunshine in your eyes, sweetie.

 Char, Jenna, and I met friends at the zoo.

 Char was "the preacher" and instructed Jenna, Laura, and all stuffed animals within hearing about Luke, John the Baptist, Job, and how "...some boast in chariots."  I must have missed the part when he told about how those topics/people correlated.
I texted our preacher's wife and told her that they could relax coming home from camp...Char could cover Sunday services for them.

Build-A-Bear is always fun.  Jenna made a bunny and Char made a bear.

Then they came home and painted their animals' homes.
Now I remember why teaching preschool drove me sooner do I have all art materials out for them, then they're saying, "We're done!"  But you only painted one inch of the house...

My littles.  They won't be little for long, though, will they?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Camp or bust!

 By reading some of your blogs, this must be THE week for Bible camps!
This will be Jacob's 2nd year going to camp and he could not wait, even
though it's a different camp than last year.
When we first talked about going to this new camp with his new friends from our new church,
he was not thrilled with the idea.  He wanted us to drive back to our previous home so he could go with his "old" friends.
But, he has become good buddies with some of the guys at our new church, and decided this is where he wanted to go after all!

And this is Amarin's first year going to hesitation at all.  I kept asking him if he was nervous or scared to be away from home for a week, and he answered with a sound, "No."
Alrighty, then.

So, we had to be at the church, ready to pull out at 6AM.  
Thankfully for all involved, I was able to down 2 cups of coffee before heading out at 5:30.  Ugh!

 Jacob was so geeked to be riding "Short Bus" with the teens.  Bless those drivers!

 All the kids got a gift bag with snacks, a water bottle, and a few fun trinkets...

 like these!  I just know the drivers will have a sense of humor!

Amarin is riding "shot-gun" in the SUV.  He was told that he could hold the phone with the map.
He's in his glory because the boy loves maps!  But if we get a call from Timbuktu, he will surely be relinquishing his seat!
 Before pulling out, we had a time of prayer...for fun and safety, but mostly that the Lord would work in each of their lives and they would grow closer to Him this week.

And then, as Preacher put it, we had "an opportunity," not a problem.
Appropriate that he just preached last night on suffering well and seeing challenges and trials as God's way of molding our hearts and shaping our lives.
Yeah for opportunities!
Jamie was walking out the door to loan them his SUV for the week, when they called and said all was good.
Yeah that it was an easy fix!

Next Sunday night will be a special service for the campers to give their testimonies from camp.  We can not wait to hear their stories and experiences!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Our Morning

  What's a great way to spend the morning?
Working at the foodbank with my kiddos!
We organize this outing once per month and invite other
homeschool families to join us.

Our job each month is to package meals in a bag to be 
delivered throughout the USA and around the world...
wherever the need may those in need will have a nutritious meal.

Today we were finishing a pallet heading to Africa!

First, we have to don these really handsome hats.
(Note how I'm not in any of these photos!)

Then we start scooping rice, spices, beans, and a veggie protein.
We've tasted it and it's good!

 Can you tell they're serious about their work?

 Then it needs to be weighed.  
Not too heavy, not too light.
Char learned how to read the scale and adjust the contents so 
it weighs just the right amount.
Such a big boy!

 Then, in her pretty hat, Jenna organized the bags into 20 groups of 2.

 Those dots help her count the bags.
What a great idea and a perfect job for little ones that can't quite do the scooping and weighing.

 Then those 40 bags are placed in a box and taken out to the warehouse.

 And when little legs need a break, they can rest while putting labels on bags.

And that is how I love to spend the morning with my kiddos.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

7 Years Already?

7 Years ago, Laura, you changed our lives forever.
You opened our hearts to China,
to children with special needs,
to the plight of the orphan,
to medical terms we had never heard,
to a life surrendered to God, 
because there was no way we were going to
care for you in our own strength. 

You have brought our family so much joy and unconditional love.
You are an amazing little girl, and I'm so happy you will be with us forever.
I can't imagine spending our lives without your contagious smile, belly laughs, and sassy little attitude!

Gotcha Day in Daddy's arms, 6/14/05
Nanchang, China

 Napping by the pool

 First bath with Mama in China

 Playing with Mama, Aunt Leesee, and new friend, Abby.

 Enjoying my favorite thing...water...with Daddy in Branson, MO.

 Your smile just lights up the room.  It's impossible not to smile back!

Laura and her current friend, Suki.  You have even learned to love doggy kisses!

 We love you, YiYi.  Happy Gotcha Day!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I Am Safe

Lest you think we live in a dangerous town...we don't.
But just in case anyone tries pulling a fast one on us, 
we have protection on premise.

My in-house policeman...complete with uniform, artillery, and his own set of wheels.

 Assisting him is his side-kick Jengo Fett...or is it Boba Fett?  Really not sure about St@r Wars.
I think I'm falling asleep even as I write about it.

 And last but not least...SpiderM@n.  
Yes.  I'm feeling at ease in this town.  
No fear.  
Except for the fact that he can't see where he's going and highly likely that someone will meet up with his tires.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Still Here

  Blogging just hasn't been in the forefront of my days. (Sorry, Uncle Jim!)  Lots going on, yet still enjoying this beautiful summer break.

Let's see.  Jenna started riding her big girl bike and left her trike in the dust.  Jacob rescued the trike from its peril, and joined Jenna for a friendly race.
 Jenna won.  How, really, does one fall off a trike?

Sadly, one of Jacob's best new buddies moved away...far across the ocean.  Such is the life of an expat kid.  He lived next door and the two boys were together all.the.time!
I knew our doorbell would ring about 50 times a day, we may or may not have another mouth to feed at lunch or dinner, and we always had another person joining our family in one way or another...even doing chores!  Such a sweet boy, and we enjoyed the whole family.  We miss our neighbors, and Jacob is having to start over with friends in the neighborhood.  Not easy when you're at this age, and often have clearly different rules by which to live.  Thankfully, he has joined the teen group at church and has plenty of opportunities to spend time with that super group of kids and leaders.


We're still hosting our canine friend, Suki.  She will be with us for one more week and she will be missed when she leaves!  Jenna and Charlie, especially, have been having fun with her.  But Laura is the one that gets the biggest kisses in the morning...maybe because she can't outrun Suki!

 Our kids take piano, and before they can start another instrument, they have to play for 2 years.  Well, Amarin is there and he chose....DRUMS!  So thankful for quiet drum pads, though I'm sure we'll have to get the real thing at some point.  He had his first lesson this week from the same teacher that gives tuba lessons to Jacob.   He did so well and just beamed at his new endeavor.

As for me, I'm reading as many good books as I can get my hands on this summer.  I love reading.!  This is my most recent favorite and I devoured this thing in less than two days.  It is an inspiring story of a young girl, and it challenged me in so many ways.  Jacob is reading it now, too, and it's a great way for him to get an insight into life in Africa.