Friday, January 30, 2009


Our family has become very passionate about water. That is what the blog badge 300 voices on the side is about. Jodi wrote something that is worth reading...visit her blog. The money goes to charity: water, who is a non profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. They give 100% of the money raised to direct project costs. With the help of exemplary organizations on the ground and individuals here, we can drill wells and provide people with this basic, essential need.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Boyz Toyz

Here is my brother, Kim, and Landon at the Texas coast a few Christmas' ago. Several of our family members spent hours on this wonderful sand Ford pick-up; then Kim had the cute idea to park his Ford behind it. I wanted to send this to Ford with the title "What little boys dream of...", but raising 10 children and home schooling kind of filled my time up.

We have had so many amazing trips with our family. I think part of that is that my parents invest in time with us!! ... and they have said that we are their favorite people to play with and go on trips/vacations with. My parents really do enjoy us; and that is what I pray to teach my children. As we choose to invest time and money into our relationships with each other, our lives are richer, our relationships stronger and our hearts are intertwined.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mothering Moment

Another little darlin' sick...that's 5 with fever, tummy sickness, etc. ...
I did get the Bible read to them and we prayed, but I think I will have to give up most of the of school today. I've been struggling with that, telling myself that it is OK to be a mommy and let the rest go for now.
It's Steve's birthday today. My sweet man is making supper for us (his favorite - stir fry), and bringing home ice cream because I didn't think I could get a cake made. Just when all the sick children are resting on the couches, suddenly, one is calling and needing me to hold, or help them.
Poor dentist (where does HE fit in?)....ha-ha, they bless us by scheduling 7 of us at a time...that's a 3 hour block on their schedule just for us so that I don't have to make so many trips to town (yes, Beth A. - and more days that I have to put on make-up-ha!). All of our other Dr.s will only schedule 2 of us at a time. I finally had to call the dentist office this morning and cancel all but three of us. Poor receptionist was very confused about who was coming and who she needed to cancel. So you see - Poor dentist people!
Little darlin' needs help....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Not forsaken

(my mom and I at my grandparent on a lake)
My precious mom had a horrible accident almost two years ago... broke her leg just below her hip, broke her knee and ankle. Four surgeries later, she is still on crutches, and not sure what the future will be. My parents have taught us to trust God in all things, to pray and believe He will answer. They are such a powerful example of faith and hope!
Yesterday was not good news for my mom. I really struggled to even think about thoughts and feelings kept running into "what can be done...there has to be something". My parents have such a passion for living, ministry, serving, loving and helping. Crutches and pain really make that harder!
I was writing in my Psalm journal...Psalm 9:9-10 says 'The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you."
We aren't getting the answer we were hoping for (yet). Or is the answer something that we emotionally can't really face yet? I believe that we must hang onto the TRUTH that we are not forsaken during these times; to believe the TRUTH that we are very precious and very loved.
This is much harder when it's your mom, your loved one, or a husband/wife or child who is much harder when it is you! But I believe that we must hang on to the TRUTH...if we doubt it, or walk away from it, where would we go? Where else will we find the kind of love He has for us?
"But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God,..."Jude 1:20-21 There is not safer place, even in some of our greatest pain! My parents have taught me this.


Four of my darlin's are sick with a high fever and not at all feeling good. Poor babies! Somehow, we still got school done, with two-to- four little one's needing me to hold them.
And, as shocking as it is since I was raised in Texas, I do not wear make-up every fact, (confessions!), I only wear it when I go to town (in Texas, "town" would mean anywhere outside of the house).

Monday, January 26, 2009

From Kalyn

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Becalmed upon the sea of Thought,
Still unattained the land it sought,
My mind, with loosely-hanging sails,
Lies waiting the auspicious gales.

On either side, behind, before,
The ocean stretches like a floor,
A level floor of amethyst,
Crowned by a golden dome of mist.

Blow, breath of inspiration, blow!
Shake and uplift this golden glow!
And fill the canvas of the mind
With wafts of thy celestial wind.

Blow, breath of song! until I feel
The straining sail, the lifting keel,
The life of the awakening sea,
Its motion and its mystery!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Joeliana, here in Liberia right after Steve had received her.

I remember Steve sending this picture to me, thousands of miles across the world, after Joeliana was with him. "She looks so sad", I thought. It was so hard to not be there, to start "mothering" her. We knew at this point that she was also very sick. It is very unlikely that she would have survived much longer. But, God has a plan, for each of us!

Poor little baby; how confusing it must have been when her family took her to the orphanage and left without her. Later, when I was in Liberia to bring home Aiden, her biological brother, how scary it must have been when we picked her up at the orphanage to take her with us to visit the "displaced persons" camp (refugee camp), where her family was. I met her mom, uncle (the "village" chief), the granddaddy, and cousins, aunts, and others. They had all been placed in the refugee camp when they had fled from their village during the war. The Uncle explained that the birthmother and her extended family had no way to care for the chidlren. The birthmother was very young (19 - 20 may be) and was trying to go to school. I loved meeting the children's family and wanted to assure them that we already loved these children and were so thankful to be able to parent them. The uncle asked me if they would go to school and would we tell them about their Liberian family..."yes, yes, you are so precious and we will tell their and your story".

I cried as we drove away in the car. One of the ladies with the orphanage was holding Aiden so that I could spend these few precious moments holding and loving on Joeliana before I had to leave her at the orphanage until we could come back for her. As we were leaving, with hundreds of children and adults milling around the car, the birth mother was right there at the front of the car. She had not looked at me much when we visited them. Now, she did not take her eyes off me; and I would not take my eyes off her. We just looked at each other, reaching out to each ones' mother heart...tears started running down my face as she looked at longer refugee to rich white woman, no longer black to white, no longer African to American, no longer was the uncle/village chief between us, mediating for the family; we were mother to mother..."love my children"..."I will love them"; "thank you for taking my children as your own"..."thank you for letting me parent your children"; "I'm praying for them"...."I'm praying for you." I lifted my hand to her as we drove away...she didn't look at her children...she looked at me and lifted her hand; a rare moment had been given to her and me...mother to mother, we understood!

As we drove away, I held Joeliana, tummy to tummy, and shared my fruit flavored drink with her. I stroked her hair and told her that I loved her and we were coming back for her. And I cried and she screamed when got back to the orphanage and I had to pry her from me and give her to the nannies and leave her.

I want to remember...when we work on attachment issues, or just normal 3 year old behaviour and naughtiness, I want to remember....I have been given a gift...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Reckless Faith

I am looking so forward to seeing my sweet friends, Audrey and Britt. They will be here for a night. This family, and their four children, are so precious to us and work diligently for the LORD as missionaries in Mexico. Besides my parents and a handful of others, this family has been an example of "reckless faith" . Here's a quote from a book (yes, I love books!!!!), called RECKLESS FAITH..."If God doesn't come through in the way I want Him to, it should expand my view of faith, not shrink it. It means there is something else going on, something I can't see or understand, and I have the opportunity to be swept up in it or not. I'm walking toward a more reckless faith."
I keep learning that each day I have a choice to let go and be led. I want to be "swept up" in the things that are on Gods heart. I want to let go of what I can understand, and be led by the One who knows live my life with passionate faith, not because of me and what I can do, but because of Him and His love for us all.
Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

From Kalyn

From His Holy Hand
By Kalyn Hassoldt

From across the sea God brought the cry of orphans to us,
From across the sea God brought us to a place,
From across the sea God brought to us a small child to love.

He asked us to love them,
He asked us to care for them,
He asked us to play with them,
He asked us to make a family for them.

We have gladly brought them in and loved them,
We have lovingly brought them in and cared for them,
We have joyfully brought them in and played with them,
We have happily brought the into our family.

God has given us children to love,
God has given us little hands to hold,
God has given us siblings to hold tight to,
God has given us children to adore.

Here we stand praising Him,
Here we stand loving those He has given to us,
Here stand with a family made of those we love,
Here we stand a family made up of all the nations of the world!

Our Fields

I love the book, Fields of the Fatherless, by C. Thomas Davis. I have so many parts of it underlined. I was re-encouraged by something he said,
"As God directs, we make our "fields" available as resources we can provide from."
What is that field? Everything that God has given to me and our family...our home, food, good health, clean water, and friendship are just a few. As a mother...I need to willingly offer my energy, help, love, kindness, and PATIENCE. What a blessing to "mother" my children; what an amazement to be chosen by God to mother children who had no mother, father, home, or protection. Regardless of the "size" of our field, God has promised us ,and provided us with, everything we need (it's in the Bible somewhere, I'll look it up if you ask - LOL) to live these lives of ours. I have a harvest to share. I pray that God will direct us each as we commit our "fields" to Him.
On a funny note, my "field" was damaged last night when I wasn't of the "darling" babies got a hold of an older brothers' marker...and yes, he colored the carpet with it, and no, I haven't been able to get it out yet.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

From Kalyn

By Rachel Field

A road might lead you anywhere-
To harbor towns and quays,
Or to a witch's pointed house
Hidden by bristly trees.
It might lead past the tailor's door,
Where he sews with needle and thread,
Or by the Miss Pim the milliner's,
With her hats for every head.
It might be a road to a great dark cave
With treasure and gold piled high,
Or a road with a mountain tied to its end,
Blue-humped against the sky.
Oh, a road might lead you anywhere-
To Mexico or Maine.
But then, it might just fool you, and-
Lead you back home again!

Monday, January 19, 2009


(Out our front door)

I loved the poem that Kalyn wrote (Leisure - below). I often have to remind myself to INTERRUPT myself and stop, slow down...notice what is before me. I tend to be the kind that just goes, goes, goes...trying to finish something or other (though, is anything ever really laundry?) I become so rushed sometimes, (only me to blame) that I don't pause and look at the snow falling, the sunset, the cuteness of a child's smile, the silliness of the dog, the sadness in little eyes. It's not that I NEVER stop, it's just that I think I need to let myself be interrupted more often (without being stressed) by those unplanned, unexpected little moments of life; moments from God. I think that is one reason I like helps me to stop and see, to "interact" with a moment in time.

Nancy Campbell talks about being available for every mothering moment. That's what I be available for mothering moments, God moments, beauty moments, quiet moments, people moments, working live busy with the good, and available for the better.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

From Kalyn

By William H. Davis

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Friday, January 16, 2009

fun with art

Two of the children built a "boat" from a card board box, filled it with comfortable pillows, blankets, and other needed items. They then sat down with our Art Fraud Detective and spent several hours being art detective's. This was in the late afternoon, long after my scheduled "school time". A favorite quote from my Charlotte Mason Study Guide is "Next duty is to nourish the child daily with loving, right, and noble ideas. The child having once received the idea will assimilate it in his own way, and work it into the fabric of his life...Nourish him with ideas which may bear fruit in his life." Like giving nutritional food to their body, I nourish the children's' minds, spirits, and thoughts with carefully chosen books, toys, etc. (OK, George of the Jungle is just for fun....)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Family Intro - Part Five

(To catch up on our story, please see other Family Intro.s)

Joiliana and Aiden

A year after we brought Alia home, I was back in Liberia to bring home our newest son, who was 5 months old at the time. While there, we found out that Aiden's family had put his older sister in the orphanage. I went to meet her while I was there and called Steve asking him to pray; we had to find a way to bring her home also. We would have never knowingly separated siblings, and now we had spent all our money to bring home Aiden. We prayed and begged for help to go back for Joeliana. God and family and friends were amazingly gracious, and with prayer and much help, Steve went back in the summer and brought home a very sick little two year old. With good nutrition and life giving medical care, Joeliana is now a very healthy, very active and a lot playfully naughty girl of three.
Each child in our home has been a blessing and a "remembrance" of God's love, mercy and faithfulness. Each had deepened our faith, hope and walk with the LORD. Each child has their own story, and by God's grace, we get to be apart of it. I often tell my children, "I'm so glad God gave you to me."
I know that they appreciate day I fell off a ladder, and one of them laughingly (while I was NOT laughing, but hurting), said "OH NO, if mom gets hurt we wont have any good food to eat any more!"

Family intro - Part Four

(To catch up on our story, please see other Family Intro.s)

While Steve was in Texas, working with the Hurricane Katrina victums, we were matched with a sad little girl (15 months old) in Liberia. I flew to Liberia (yes alone - wow, what an experience) and spent two weeks there before caming home with our newest daughter. We went to Texas that Christmas with my family. Steve was able to come and meet his newest daughter, Alia, though it was several weeks still before he could come home.

Family Intro.- Part Three

Jace showed Corban how to make fun music.

Our story continues with the long wait for our little Corban Samuel. After we brought home Garett, we heard about a crisis pregnancy center in Oklahoma and decided to get on the list for perspective birth mothers to look at. It seemed like forever (two years), and we wondered if we would ever be accepted by a birth mother, when one day we got the call that said a birth mom had chose our family for her baby that was to be born in just a few weeks. It was hard to believe at first...we were so excited, but a little nervous. We had never done a domestic adoption. Just a few weeks later we got a call from the BIRTH MOTHER telling US "It's a boy". WOW!! I flew out immediately with Kalyn and we met our birth mother and our new son just a few short hours later. We had a wonderful two weeks in OK getting to know our newest family member and meeting with the birth mother several times. She was very sweet and very easy to be around. Christmas Eve we flew home.

We then attempted to adopt from Sierra Leone. We were matched several time with children that became unavailable, and then were matched with twins who died. This was very sad and at this time we began to see that Sierra Leone was probably going to close down. This is when I received the Above Rubies magazine and on the front was a beautiful baby girl who had just come home to her family from Liberia, W. Africa. We knew that this was where our new children were.

Psalm 24

Psalms 24

The earth is the Lord's and all that it holds,
the world and its inhabitants.
For He founded it upon the ocean,
set it on the nether-streams.

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in His holy place,
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who has not taken a false oath by My life or sworn deceitfully.
He shall carry away a blessing from the Lord,
a just reward from God, his deliverer.
Such is the circle of those who turn to Him,
Jacob, who seek Your presence.

O gates, lift up your heads!
Up high, you ever lasting doors,
so the King of glory may come in!
Who is the King of glory?
the Lord, mighty and valiant,
the Lord, valiant in battle.
O gates, lift up you heads!
Lift the up, you everlasting doors,
so the King of glory may come in!
Who so the King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

beautiful flowers

I have been enjoying reading Renee's blogs on photography. I love photography and use to play with it more years ago. So I got some books from the library and bought DIGITAL SLR CAMERAS & PHOTOGRAPHY FOR DUMMIES (even though I don't like being considered a "dummy" ha). I am enjoying re-learning, especially since I am not very familiar with the image editing on the computer.
These are some beautiful flowers my husband brought home one day. I just set them against the window so that I could use the white snow outside as a backdrop. Didn't this picture turn out nice?

Friday, January 9, 2009


We are headed to one of our favorite places this weekend to celebrate 21 years of being married - wow!
My sweet nieces are coming from Denver to play and help Kalyn while we are gone.
Last night my little Garett cupped my face in his hands and said "Your the best mommy I have ever had!" I needed to hear that. I don't always feel like I'm being the mother I want to be.
One of my favorite women, someone who has encouraged me so much, is Nancy Campbell (Above Rubies). I love her workbook - The Power of Motherhood. So today I will share with you a positive confession she has in this book. "Thank you, Lord, for your joy which fills my heart. I am full of joy because you live within me. I am a joyful mother and today our home will be filled with joy." When I feel like I am not a great mother, it is hard to confess this joy. Nancy says in her book "But truth is not dependent upon feelings. It is dependent upon facts.! As you confess the joy of the Lord, it will well up in your heart and will be your strength."
So this week, I can see that I have been "rushed" and distracted. I need to stop hurrying and slow down. Isaiah 26:3-4 reminds me where my mind needs to be ... "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD God is an everlasting rock." I need to get my mind off myself (my failures, tiredness, schedule, etc.) and find my strength and joy in HIM.
Now I'm going to SLOWLY get ready to enjoy a weekend with my husband.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Family Intro.- Part Two

Sometime after Kiana had been home, we learned of little boys waiting for families in S. Korea. Before long we were at the airport welcoming home our 5th child, Landon, who was only 5 months old at the time he came home. What a sweet and easy going baby Landon was. Our oldest son began to call London his buddy boo (he was excited to finally have a brother). Today Landon is a precious 7 year old, and his nick name is Boo. Later, we found out about waiting children in Vietnam. After many difficulties and the loss of a little girl, we were extremely blessed and happy to bring home Garett. Today he is a healthy 6 year old and very much a lover. We have never regretted what we went through to bring this precious little boy home, and at times it looked like it might not happen. This adoption tested our faith in new ways and at times we literally walked one step at a time, never even sure what would happen next. This time in our lives has shown us that bad things definitely happen and to trust that God will (and did), work all things out for the best for our family.
Must get the little ones down for nap...
to be continued.


Our oldest son, Jace, goes back to Texas tomorrow. Some people ask "isn't it sad to have him grow up and leave?" We all miss him, yes. However, we did our jobs as parents and he was ready to grow up and live his life; find his way; make his mistakes; and experience his successes.
So my answer is "no, it's not sad. It was time and we rejoice to see the young man he has become."
Our relationship is different now, but he knows that we are always here for him; his own cheerleader section.
And I, well, I get to always be him mama...his angel on Gods train.
"I love you baby!"

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Homeschooling-by Kalyn

I was looking at the mountains yesterday and just thinking about how beautiful and awesome they are. We are so blessed to be able to live here. I am working on my Coloradohistory report and I cant wait for this camping trip me and my mom are going to go on. Not a long one but we will do some exploring and have fun together! that is the way to do school; get out of the house and experience it!! that is one thing I love about home schooling; it gives me the freedom to follow my curiosity and study the things that I am really interested in like poetry and music and geography. I am a dyslexia and school would have been a nightmare for me but being home schooled has allowed me to learn at my own rate and learn things in a way that is right for me. Homeschooling has been a blessing for us and it allows us to be together.


Monday, January 5, 2009


After reading SAFELY HOME by Randy Alcorn (a WONDERFUL book), I felt strongly that I wanted to do something special. So I bought some pretty journals for myself and my two oldest daughters. We are writing all of Psalms in our journals, word for word. When we are finished with Psalms we will probably write one of the Gospels, and so on.
I was motivated to do this by the underground church in China in this story, and their passion and love for the Bible. They would copy the Bible and then pass on the original so that someone else could copy it. Of course, being caught with a Bible meant prison, torture and may be death.
So, I want to be more passionately in love with His Word, and also pray this for my children; and this practice of copying the Bible I think will plant a seed. By Gods grace, Book by Book, I pray we will continue this practice for our lives.

Impact 2009

Our church is meeting for the next 5 nights, encouraging us all to pray and fast for this new year. We will be fasting till supper each night, except for the little ones. My prayer this morning as we "passionately seeking God through the Word, worship, prayer and fasting" with our family in Christ, is also to see His love in ways I have become to busy to see - then to give that love to others in ways I have been to self centered to do.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Our second daughter, Caresse...yes, she is blond! ... my husband's family is Dutch decent. She is one energetic little lady and loves learning about natural remedies.

This is our oldest daughter, Kalyn. She is such a precious person; sweet, helpful and very talented!

This is our first born, Jace, who now lives in Texas. We miss him all the time!

Family intro

Some have asked about our husband and I always knew that we wanted as many children as the Lord sent to us, knowing that children are a gift from God. Our 1st pregnancy I was very sick, however, a gorgeous son joined us in Autumn. Our 2nd pregnancy I was even SICKER! However, again, a beautiful, healthy daughter was home birthed in Colorado. We tried several things to hopefully improve our chances of having a healthy pregnancy for me and four years after Kalyn, we became pregnant with our 3rd. This pregnancy was even worse; life threatening to the baby and me. Still another beautiful baby girl was added to our family (again home birthed - which we loved!)

We knew now that God would be bringing more children home to us ANOTHER way. Several months after Caresse was born, we heard about the abandoned girls in China...we knew this was how God would add to our family. 18 months later I stood in a crowded airport as my husband and my mother stepped through that long tunnel and my husband handed me this precious gift, our newest daughter. She immediately began to cry and tried to squirm out of my arms. I understood. In her short life, she had been through alot, and we certainly didn't look or sound much for her to get use to, especially having a mommy and daddy and family. Our journey with her was beginning, and God was planting a seed in our hearts that has become a be continued.

Kiana is now a happy, healthy 9 year old. Lots of energy and a mischievuos side for sure!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


The children talked their daddy into taking them to a nearby park...and I am enjoying something extremely rare-silence! I am reading a wonderful book by Randy Alcorn, Safely Home. I think I'll go eat a yummy chocolate truffle - it's organic - no guilt.

this is Aiden's happy face....

And, this is Aiden's "angry eyebrows".....

Psalms 22:10-11

You drew me from the womb,
made me secure at my mother's breast.
I became Your charge at birht;
from my mother's womb You have been my God.

A nice reminder that He is and will always be watching out for us. May He bless you and guide you as we enter this new year.
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