Monday, February 25, 2013

Prayer Partners Needed

Doors opening to allow us to follow the command of James 1:27...to care for orphans and widows in distress.  The Lord has clearly burdened our family for the orphan, and though "our van is full" as we often say, the need is still great and the burden has not left us.

However, as with any burden, we can and do not wish to carry it alone.
"Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." 
Matthew 11:28
There is no way that one family can ease the plight of the orphans.
But when we pray and ask for God's help, when we lift one another up in prayer, the burden is lighter, and much can be accomplished.
Prayer is essential!

Recently, I began volunteer work for Baobei Foundation located in Shanghai, China.
"Baobei Foundation works with Shanghai medical professionals to provide life saving neurological or gastrointestinal surgeries to Chinese orphans."
If you click on the above link, you can see some of the beautiful babies under their care.
But the key issue here is that they are indeed orphans.
And though they are receiving phenomenal care before, during, and after surgeries, they are still without a forever family.  Once they reach a certain level of recovery, they are destined to return to the orphanage from which they came.

These children are the "least of these".
 "Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'  Matthew 25:45
Scripture makes it abundantly clear, that we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus, serving the least of these...the orphans.  And if we choose to ignore them, or wait for someone else to do something, we're not doing right.
If you're reading this, and you decide to close this blog without another thought, just remember, others are doing the same thing.  So, if not you, who is supposed to help?  If everyone closes this page and does nothing, what is going to happen to these precious children?

So, I'm coming to you readers, looking for earnest prayer partners.
Prayer warriors that will intercede on a daily basis for just one of these children.
I want people who will pray for upcoming surgeries, a forever family, and for whatever need may arise for "your child."

If you are one of faithful prayer, and would like to be a part of one of these children's lives, leave a message with your email so I can contact you privately. ( I won't post comments containing emails for privacy reasons).  And if you have children that pray faithfully, they are welcome to participate, too.  What a wonderful way to include them in the life of someone truly in need.
 In becoming a prayer partner, you will be agreeing to the following:
1. To pray daily for "your child."
2.  You will not post their photo anywhere online for the protection of the child, and future adoption prospects.
3.  Post their photo at home where you will see it daily...many times...to be in constant prayer.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Band Competition

 Friday night was Jacob's first band competition.
He's in a middle school marching/concert band, and they are such a cute group of kids.
Here they are walking in, absolutely quiet, in front of the judges.

 They played three pieces.  We sat there listening, and watching the judges writing frantically and flipping through scores of music.

 I tried catching him and his tuba buddy on their way out, but even with those monster instruments, they were too fast for a good photo.
Oh, well.  
The band got a 2nd, and Jacob said he really enjoyed it.
Two more weeks and he will be at solo and ensemble where he will play a tuba solo and play in a brass ensemble of 6.
So thankful for these opportunities for him!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Surgery Complete

This morning, Laura went in for eye surgery.
She had cataracts removed a few years ago, but her lenses were clouded again.
The last time, they could clear the clouds away with lasers.
This time...needles.
She was pretty happy this morning before surgery...her favorite toy...a warm blanket...mommy and daddy all to herself.
 But wait.  Did someone mention eye drops?
 Yep.  And after about 10 rounds of drops, the poor thing was about ready to cry her own tears.
 That did it.  Daddy...I mean, Laura...needed a cuddle.
 Surgery only took an hour, and then I got to go back to see her in recovery.
As I walked back, I could hear her crying.
Then I saw the 3 nurses that were trying to hold her still.
And that was after giving her a light sedative!
She is like wrestling an octopus...and very strong.
But she settled with in with me and rested...as long as no one came anywhere near her head.
She had little pink tears flowing down her face.  The dr. said that was normal, as was the swelling in her eyes.  They even had to trim away her little eyelashes.

 Within the hour, they released her to come home.
Jenna was ready to take over caring for her when I got home.  But no way!  I wasn't relinquishing cuddle time to anyone!
 Lady volunteers make the cutest little surgery hats for the kids.  The nurses found out Laura had a little sister, so they sent one home for Jenna.  She thought she looked beautiful!
 Look at this face.  How could anyone not spoil her?
 As of right now, we've been home less than 2 hours, and she has already slid off my lap to go play with her toys.  There goes my cuddle time!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

She lost it!

 Her first tooth, that is!
Eight and a half years old, and Laura finally lost one.
She lost it in the middle of the night, and what a surprise it was this morning!
We didn't even know it was loose.

 She's pretty happy about it, too.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Field Trip

 Field Trip!
Daddy took the day off work and we went to check out a Caterpillar facility.
 There were lots of hands-on activities.

Farmer Charlie...I can just imagine!

 I think I can make this go...

Jacob and Amarin loved the interactive google map.  They could zoom in to villages all over the world.
 Jamie favored the international logistics display.
This is why, crazy boy, you aren't getting your license until you're 30!

 I scooped up some cuties!

 Look out!  Girls behind the wheel!

 Watching her big brother's concentration...er...daydreaming.

 The simulators were a favorite, too.  We all have much more respect for the workers that move these machines.  It takes concentration, and coordination!

Jamie treated us to Olive G@rden for lunch after our field trip.
We just love field trips, and I should really try to do them more often.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Jim Roof

Once again, I bring you front row to our dinner table for a glimpse of nightly comedy.

A few nights ago, we had a terrifically strong wind storm ALL night long.
Everyone we talked to was awake that night, wondering what might be flying by, or off, their house.

I heard today that part of a local school's roof was blown off during the storm.

So, I shared it with my family tonight at dinner.

Me:  I heard today that part of the elementary school's gym roof was blown off in the wind storm.
Jacob:  Seriously?  (that's his latest line for everything)
Amarin:  What?  Who's Jim Roof?

It was quiet for a brief moment as we interpreted his question.
Then we all laughed.  As I explained Jim Roof vs. gym roof, I could see the lights go on in his mind, and he joined in laughing.

I just can't help but blog these funny times around the dinner table.  They're too precious to forget!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Or, in other words, Happy Chinese New Year,
and the year of the snake, or mini-dragon as we were told by our Chinese friends.
Though we don't believe in horoscopes or any kind of fortune-telling,
the kids have fun knowing what animal they are on the Chinese calendar.
And just for fun, we'll take a look at their personalities, matched up with their animals.

Amarin, the Year of the Snake
It's your year, buddy!
Snakes are believed to have good tempers, speak little, love helping others, and have great sympathy. 
They look calm at the surface, are courteous, and have fine manners.
 
 Laura, our little monkey!
Monkeys love moving about and are social.  They don't like to be controlled (reminds me of her spine-of-steel that her teachers talk about), want things immediately (like squealing as soon as we sit down at a restaurant), and are arrogant (her "snob" look we joke about in pictures).
Charlie, our rooster!
Roosters are said to be bright, ambitious, capable, and warm-hearted.  They are handsome and love to dress-up.  They are hot-tempered and quick-minded.  They don't dawdle...yep.  Emotions can swing from very high to very low, and are quite outspoken.

Jenna, our puppy dog.
Dogs are straight-forward, courageous, smart, faithful, and warm-hearted.  They inspire others and make good leaders.  They are stubborn about doing the right things.  Sometimes they want to be brave, but are quite anxious on the inside.


And finally, Jacob, our dragon.
Dragons are lively, energetic, intellectual, and excitable.  They are leaders, and strive for perfection.  They are sensitive about their reputation, and have great ambition.
 Jamie has our meal planned for the day:  potstickers, fried rice, spring rolls, and pad thai.  OK.  We know pad thai is not Chinese, but it has noodles and is one of his favorite, so we'll go with it!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Another musician in the family

 Laura had another music performance with her fellow 2nd graders.
It was a compilation of songs about countries around the world.
The kids were asked to wear clothing from their countries of origin.
So glad Daddy just brought home some Chinese silks.
Laura is just so pretty, and looked beautiful in her dress.

 I love how she's winking at Daddy in this picture.
Must be a secret just between them!