Monday, November 25, 2013

Thankful Sunday

 So much to be thankful for this past Sunday.
First...Jenna's baptism.
She decided that this was the day she wanted the church to know she loved Jesus.
 First, Preacher shared a little about meeting Jenna almost 2 years ago.
One of his first memories of her is her cute smile, and how her little eyes would just disappear because she smiled so big!
 Plugging her nose...
 and wiping her face dry.  Such a sweet moment to see little ones baptized!
 Thankful that Charlie was brave enough to play during the offering.  Prior to yesterday, he was too scared.  Mrs. B, his teacher, sat right beside him for extra support.  He did great!
Finally, thankful for new friends that joined us at church for the first time.  They were able to stay through Sunday School, the worship service, and Thanksgiving dinner.
So much for which to be thankful!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Relief Efforts

 Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Last Sunday, our community was hit with an F4 tornado.  Hundreds of homes destroyed, thousands of people displaced, and thousands more without power and clean water.  Material possessions have been found up to 80 miles away, carried away by this massive storm.  Families have felt fortunate to walk away with just a tote of belongings that they could salvage.  There is no question that it will take a long time to rebuild homes and lives.

But God's Word is true, and no matter what the circumstance, something good can always come from it.  In this situation, we have seen an outpouring of support from our community...a community moved to action to help complete strangers.  Volunteers are using vacation days from work to clear debris.  Communities that are hours away taking up collections to provide clothing, food, etc., for the victims.  Churches have opened their doors to provide shelter, meals, and encouragement.  Organizations like the Reserves, Samaritan's Purse, and the Red Cross were on site almost immediately.

We are all called to action to help those in need, even if it's not on "the front lines."  So this is how we chose to help.  Here is a collection for a family in need, all donated in less than 24 hours. 

A second round of donations for a different family in less than 8 hours.

Even more donations are showing up on our front porch...some with beautiful notes of encouragement.
Praying with new friends.
Jamie and Jacob were able to see things first hand.  Jacob went with friends this past Tuesday.  It was hard for them to even know where to begin helping.
 This is what Jacob saw on his workday.  At this home, a baby had just come home from having a heart transplant.  Family is safe.
Jamie worked a day with Samaritan's Purse.  He couldn't say enough about this awesome organization.

This is the area in which Jamie worked. 
At the first house, the husband was on his tractor cutting the grass.  He didn't know the tornado was approaching until it was too late.  "Thankfully," he got pinned under his tractor and only suffered cuts and bruises.  This is his garage.

Nothing can prepare a community for this kind of devastation.  Thankfully, everyone is helping and we will get through it together!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

China Bound!

I know what you're thinking, but, no, we are not adopting again!
Look whose passport came in the mail today!
Jacob and I are heading to China to visit some sweet friends and precious babies!!
We are still a few months away from our trip, but we are very excited.
And who knows?  Maybe while we are there, a little one just may need a family...
Just sayin'...

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Birthday and Veteran's Day

This weekend began with an assembly, recognizing the brave men and women who have served in the U.S. military.  Jacob played at the assembly with the band.  As always, it's almost impossible to get a photo of him without the tuba in front of his face!
 Today was the Veteran's Day parade.  Thankfully, the snowy/drizzly/cold weather held off until the parade and ceremony was complete.  Amarin loves marching with the drums.
 Finally...I can see his face!
 Waiting for the parade to start to honor those who have fought for their country...and to collect as much candy being thrown at them as possible.
 A ceremony followed the parade with speakers, music, and wreaths to honor the heroes of past wars and conflicts.
Are they not the cutest spectators?  Gus was a celebrity with lots of people, and did a super job with Laura.  Only thing that really freaked him out was the motorcycles in the parade, revving their engines.  He was shaking like crazy and hiding his head in Jamie's legs.
While in the parade, each of the kids were asked to wear a lanyard bearing names of those that have served in the military.  Jacob chose to honor his great grandpa, grandpa, and uncle.
Not only is it Veteran's Day, but it's Amarin's birthday, too!
12 years old, he is!  He chose to have lunch at Bass Pro Shop, and received a huge sundae...and he chose to only share the cherry on top with Laura!
 Home we went to open presents, and just enjoy a day off school.
 A new MP3...
 a dart gun...
 new tennies for those growing feet...
 and his surprise...a 700+ piece Lego Star Wars ship.
He immediately ran to the other room (so Laura and Gus wouldn't eat the pieces) to start building.
I expect he will be done in an hour or so.
Birthday cake time!  Amarin insisted on making his own icecream cake.

Happy 12th birthday, Amarin!  We love you!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

It's November

It's November.  The month of one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving.
I think this sums it up...kind of funny...yet sadly true.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Who Got Mail?

 Well, guess who got mail the other day?  Gus!
One of his foster moms that helped prepare him to be Laura's service dog sent him a care package, filled with all of his favorite things from her home.
 Gus' tail was just a-waggin' when we opened the box.
Milk bones, squeaky balls, monster treat holders, and his favorite blankie.
 Something tells me he was a little spoiled...Olivia??  :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Wrapping Up October

So, we wrapped up October in a flurry of fun.
Char enjoyed his birthday on the 30th, and his Gotcha Day on the 31st.
Hard to believe our little guy has been home for 7 years.
 We handed out candy, and hot cider for the parents on the 31st.  We call it "Light the Night."  There's just so much darkness, and real scary things happening in the world today, we'd rather make it a fun evening.  The kids had a couple friends over, they helped pass out treats, and played.
 So not impressed with his glasses.
 Laura and Gus helped supervise the candy bowl.
 The kids also filled 10 boxes for Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child.
 Here I am with some gal friends, heading out on "short bus" for dinner.
Such a funny group of ladies!
 Char decided he looks like his Papa while wearing this hat.
 I love finding the boys reading, especially when they're memorizing their Bible verses without being asked!
 I asked the kids to draw a self portrait on this paper.  Jacob depicted himself as Tin Tin.  Similar...
Finally, Laura made a new friend with Sherrick McMannis, a Chicago Bear player.
November is here, with Thanksgiving right around the of my favorite holidays!!