Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Joy and Hope

"...our joy does not just rise from the backward glance in gratitude. It also rises from the forward glance in hope: "Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God: for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God" (Ps. 42:5-6)".
(from the book Desiring God by John MacArthur)
Today will be busy...to town for an appointment for Kalyn and then church tonight for Caresse, Landon, and Garett's Easter rehersal. It sounds like Jace is doing well since he has moved to Dallas. He found a church that he really likes...I am grateful for that. He will move into HIS first home in a few weeks.
Time to make lunch, even though it is only 10:30 am. We have to be ready to leave by 11:30, so off to feed the darlin's (again...boy they eat AT LEAST 3 times a day...is that normal?)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Eyes To See - Through Fear

One day I think I'm doin' O.K. and then it creeps up on me..that old enemy, fear. I spent yesterday talking with my husband about some things that have me wrapped up in fear right now. I remembered something I had read in Fields of the Fatherless, by C. Thomas Davis..."Personal weakness provides a great opportunity for God's strength to come through! ... We need to change our minds about how we approach the things we fear...We can step out, believing in God's strength to help us, instead of letting our limitations defeat us."
A really thought provoking question that C. Thomas Davis challenges us with in this book is "Am I fulfilling the life I know I am called to live? Am I living my destiny?"
Some fears that weigh me down right now..."can I parent these children the way they deserve...can I absorb their pain and anger enough to help them deal with the emotions, what about this mission trip, money, homeschooling", and then when the ball really gets rolling the little fears come along to nibble at my legs.
I know that at these times I need to look the fears in the face and ask for eyes to see what I'm really afraid of? It generally comes down to being afraid to trust...trust God, trust me, trust that all things work together...I'm also afraid to fail or make a wrong decision...afraid of what I might not be able to control. As I do this, it becomes very easy to see the sin behind the fear and repent.
So my challange to myself and you (if you would like) is to ask for eyes to see through the fear and walk in our weaknesses with all faith in the strenth of THE ONE who is Able.
One last thought from Fields of the Fatherless is "...overcome fear by making others' pain a priority in our lives."
Please feel free to share anything on your heart about how you approach fear. I would love to hear.

I Love Faces

The theme this week at I Love Faces is Pouting (kids), and any thing goes (pets).

My kids entry: Poor little Aiden's hands had gotten really cold before I could get gloves on and wrap him up. Finally settled in the sled, he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said "tankoo Mommy".
My pet entry: Steve, Kalyn and I ran out in the freezing snow so that I could get a picture of Bluez. He was really unhappy, so Kalyn picked him up to warm him for a second and he immediately crawling onto her back and began barking at the neighbor dogs. So here is our "fierce" dog!
Visit I Love Faces to play along in the photo fun!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

On Our Knees

Prayers for Stellan

If you don't know this family , then please click on the picture to learn more...their little baby boy is really struggling!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Give Me Your Best Shot #8


Here is what we are doing today...enjoying the beautiful snow. I asked my daughter to walk over to the fence for this picture and she FELL INTO a VERY LARGE snow drift...it looked like she was swimming, but she did get to the fence, if for no other reason than to save her life! We were both laughing so hard!

And, now it's your turn to show us your favorite shot of the week! What has inspired you, made you laugh or smile? Did you try anything new this week? We'd love to see it! Visit Life is Sweet to play.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday-From Kalyn

Mom is letting me do Thankful Thursday today; hope you like it! Thank you Ms. Linny for this wonderful idea!
I am Thankful for...
1. This amazing family God has placed me in.

2. My best friends in the world, Aspen and
Hannah Hancock.

3. That I get to live on five acres out in the country surounded by trees.

4. My awsome Grandparents.

5. For the beautiful world God has created that we get to live in.

6. All the good friends God has placed in my life.

7. My wonderful daddy, who makes me feel like a little princess.

8. My mother who has done so much for me and is one of my best friends.
9. My own room.

10. The snow that is falling ourside my window right now!

The View

Yes, here is The View from my back door. Isn't it beautiful! And it is still coming down.
So beautiful!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Beautiful!!!!! Our Blog Makeover

We are so excited to introduce our new blog makeover. When we read about 15 year old Alexis and her new business we got right on her waiting list. The main reason she said she wanted to start this business (beside that she loves art and computer) is to raise money to go on mission trips and support orphans. As she said "I have a heart for missions and orphans around the world. While traveling to China with my parents in March 2007 to bring my baby brother home, we visited his orphanage. Seeing all the babies without parents gave me a heart for those left behind."
Alexis has been very professional in handling everything, and at the same time so very sweet and helpful. She worked so well with us and when I wanted a little more pink she was so helpful with her suggestions. And best of all, we get to help this sweet girl serve the LORD.
Thank you so much Alexis....it was a pleasure working with you and may the LORD bless you on the road you walk for His glory!

Tame the Wild

My blogger friend at Spirit of Adoption, asked some really good questions that got me to thinking... She wrote...
"I just want to hear what the Lord has taught you over the years. I want to hear how you tame the wild in your heart. I want to hear how you use your personality to serve and not hinder others. I want to hear how you use your personality to encourage others and not make them feel like you are being condescending. I want to hear whatever has been significant growth in your walk with the Lord and sanctification of your personality!"
I think that I have finally come to accept "the wild in" my heart as part of who God has made me to be...when I was younger, it got me into plenty of trouble and I was often misunderstood. I am enjoying where I am now...I have learned to accept myself and who I am. I know that I have weaknesses and accept them better now because I know that if I will allow it, they can lead me to a deeper relationship with God as I rely on His ever redeeming work in my life. I am learning...
-to take the recklessness and turn it into a reckless faith in our God,
-to take those passions and submit them to the LORD and then walk with them, learn from them, let them teach me,
-to take weaknesses, like very little patience, and see how God has given me greater patience as I do the great work he has for me each day (no one ever thought I would be the mother of 10 - LOL)
-to know that I am sensitive, out spoken, passionate about my beliefs, stubborn for what is important to me, and to give all of those things that are good, and bad, to the LORD and have faith that He will help me to serve him and love him by serving and loving others...I can't do it without Him.
A quote from My Utmost For His Highest, by Oswald Chambers (one of my favorite authors), is "if our motive is love to God, no ingratitude can hinder us from serving our fellow men." I say to myself that I want to do _____ for Him because I love Him, and let him worry with my "wildness"; He is taming it, but I think that there is a certain part of those passions that are from Him and He delights in what He has made.
And always, I keep learning about humility, but that doesn't mean that I will not stand on the Truth of Scripture. And part of humility is to ask forgiveness when I need to or when the LORD shows me that I need to.
I have also learned to not get devoted to a cause, in place of being devoted to Jesus Christ...who's first obedience was to the will of His Father.
And I think we must be careful to not become complacent, as many in our culture are...complacent and comfortable, not wanting to give up their controlled worlds. There are to many people and children in the world who are hurting, to much that we can do to help.
So thank you so much friend, for your questions, that got me to thinking...may we all walk in the passions of our hearts for His Glory!

Guest Writer - Jace

I would like to introduce you to my oldest, Jace. He wrote a little something for our blog...I hope you like it.

I’m writing this from a Starbucks in Austin, Texas. It’s raining right now, which makes my thoughts go back to the cold days in a Colorado winter, bundled inside away from the storms outside. I truly do miss those days, the ones spent next to the fireplace, making forts in the living room, when the biggest part of my day was thinking what I would help cook the kids for lunch.
It wasn’t always easy, a lot of times it was hard actually. I love my family more than anything in the world, but there were times that even I questioned everything. People always ask if I enjoy coming from a large family, and without a doubt I tell them “yes”, I wouldn’t have ever wanted it any other way. Through all the problems, the hard times, the doubts, my family has been, every single one of them, down to 2 year old Aiden, reminding me he knows who I am by screaming “JACE!” as I walk through the door. That’s the thing that scares me the most I think, now that I’m gone, the younger ones growing up won’t remember me, I’ll just be a relative coming to visit them.
It all started with my sister Kalyn. I wanted a brother so bad, but then came this beautiful little sister, and though we’ve had our fights she’s still that little sister that I will always love more than anything and in a strange way, I look up to her, because she’s so many things I could never be. After that came Caresse, a crazy bundle of energy and emotion, who is so much like me I thought there was times I couldn’t stand her. Her and I have also had our fights, but in the end I know whenever I need a hug like no one else’s’, Caresse will be there for me. Now to Kiana. I was so scared when my parents said we were adopting, I didn’t know how I could love another kid that I didn’t even know. But then came this gorgeous little girl, who at first was so sad, and now when I think of her face, the only thing I see is her huge smile. My brother Landon, Boo Man would still be what I call him from time to time. My first brother, I love him so much, he’s quiet, so in a lot of ways the two of us are different, but there’s a bond there stronger then I can explain. Then there’s Garett, a crazy little kid that I wonder if I ever will really understand him, but beyond that I know whenever I need a laugh, Garett is there, I love him so much. Next is Alia, I don’t even know what to say about her. I don’t think there’s a child with more attitude and charisma. She’s amazing, and I can’t wait to see the young woman she becomes. Now Corbin, for some reason my heart was touched the day I first saw him more then I can explain. This boy has big things coming. Joeliana, Joeliana, Joeliana…where to start. She’s so young, but I don’t think I’ve met someone sweeter or cuter then her. You see her smile and it seems like the world stopped. Then my little Gorilla as I call him, or, Aiden. This boy is nuts, I think he is made out of solid steel, I don’t know another two year old that can knock me over.
Now the last but not least of all, my parents. My mom, the most incredible woman I know, she really should be put in a history book. I don’t think anyone else could do what she does. I can’t thank her enough. Without her I don’t know who or what I would be. She is incredible, and I love and miss her so much.
And then my Dad. The man that taught me what it actually means to b a man, and taught me most everything else I could have ever needed to try to be the best husband and father in the world. He has given me so much, I don’t know how I could ever repay him. I love and miss him just as much, coffee in the morning just isn’t the same without dad there.
Well, I don’t know if this is exactly what anyone was looking for, for some reason once I started typing the only things that came out is stuff that probably doesn’t mean much, but what was in my heart. It’s kind of hard being off away from my family, but every day they are still in my heart. I have to go now; I’m training for my new job as a Project Manager and Air Monitoring Technician, and have to head to Dallas tomorrow. But there’s my family, a short explanation that does them nowhere near what they deserve, but there will be more to come.
Aut vincere aut mori (Either to conquer or to die)
Jace Hassoldt

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Goodbye Mustang

Our son moved out last August. He has visited a few times and though I miss him I am also so proud of him.
Jace bought a '68 Ford Mustang when he was 16 to restore and because he loves Mustangs. My husband also loves to restore cars and so it was a great father/son project. After he got it running and was enjoying driving it, a deer ran right out in front of him not far from our house. Mustangs are very heavy and he couldn't stop. Poor deer...poor Mustang. He barely got it home and we were camping in the mountains so he was alone now with this accident.
So back to restoration...only a lot more than when he bought the car.
When he moved to Texas we covered up the mustang and said he could keep it here as long as he needed.
When my parents came this weekend, they brought a trailer to take the Mustang to Texas so that Jace can hopefully start working on it again.

Jace sent two of his friends over to help, which was good since they literally had to lift the back end of the HEAVY mustang onto the trailer.
Finally, it was on and ready for its trip to Texas.

I watched it leave and finally admitted to myself how I was feeling...sad...my last little connection to my son was driving away. I know that this is a part of parenting...
I wanted to write this post to remember....remember the different seasons of mothering and to know that I place my child in the LORD's care.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I Love Faces - No Flash

At I Love Faces the theme this week is - No Flash

For my adult entry: I took this picture of my mom outside as we were all flying kites and having so much fun. I was determined to not use a flash even though the sun was going, going, gone. There were so many quick motions and I liked the way everything actually blurred except moms excited face.

For my kid entry: we were sitting on our window box in the school room, and Corban came over and lay down on my leg and looked up at me with those beautiful, brown eyes of his. Who could resist that!
For more fun, visit I Heart Faces to see other great shot.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's been a busy week...spring break for family and friends. It was so wonderful to have Jace here for just a little while and to meet Shannon. We packed Thursday with a dentist appointment, and two dr.'s appointments. I enjoyed taking Jace and Shannon to lunch since we didn't have a lot of time to see them.
We were very honored to have our friend Giff, bring a young adult group to our home from Indiana. Steve and I had the opportunity to pray with them and share some of what we have come through. The children loved having all the people to play with and show off for. A definite highlight was Aiden walking into the room with one of the young men's sunglasses on...boy did he feel cool.

I am so frustrated because my camera broke again, and my new one still wont be here for a while. I love taking pictures and wanted to get some of our visitors with the children, and then I didn't get to do that.

Mom and Dad will be here tonight...the children are anxiously waiting for Dandy and Gommy and they have so much to tell them!

I have a chest cold (yuck!)
Time to put some bread in the oven, clean a dog and get ready for tonight.

Give Me Your Best Shot #7


It was fun making these bead abacuses...sometimes it is nice to just put the normal school schedule aside and do something fun...everyone enjoyed making these!

Visit Life is Sweet for other Best Shot from the week!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Another precious Thursday to remember the many ways that the LORD makes my life beautiful! I am so grateful to Linn for starting this and be sure to visit her for her Thankful Thursday also.
I am Thankful....
1. For the sweet love of little boys and one little darlin' who will hug and kiss me and whisper "Your the best mom I ever had". (Thank you darlin')
2. Eyes!!!! I love the eyes of my children...

3. that our friend from mannnny years ago, Beth, and her daughters come to visit us.
4. that we will get the chance to see Giff and some new friends tonight...and to share our testimony (LORD, may your will be done.)
5. that my precious parents will be here tomorrow night to spend the weekend with us.

6. to get to spend time with my first born and meet his girlfriend, Shannon.
7. for the beautiful Colorado weather we have had this week.
8. for our wonderful dr. who takes such good care of us all.
9. for pizza...you know...it's the little things...
10. our church!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Seeds of Hope

Seeds are so amazing...
something so small grows into something so beautiful, and so full of life, and the ability to offer more life.
In C. Thomas Davis's book Fields of the Fatherless, he wrote "One of the most significant seeds we can ever plant-especially in the life of someone who is fatherless-is the seed of hope. A field has no hope of a future crop without the planting of a seed."
I love people's stories...everyone has one. Some stories are happy, others so sad. But I have seen that if each person will allow the LORD to come in to their stories, He does something always amazing. The LORD redeems, brings life, to what the enemy of our souls intended to kill, steal or destroy in us; from death to life, what was stolen is replaced with even more, and what was destroyed is rebuilt beyond imagining. I spent the weekend listening to several women share testimonies of abandonment by a mother, but most often their fathers (birth fathers at that); stories of rape, abortions, drug and alcohol addictions, physical abuses that are hard to imagine, fear and anger. Their stories were hard to hear, until it gets to the part where someone in their lives listened to their stories, felt compassion and offered seeds of hope. With that hope their stories began to change.
I sat on an airplane going to Africa to bring home our daughter and at one of the stops I noticed a younger African man. He was sitting alone, but smiled politely and said hello. As we talked I respectfully asked him about his life during the war in Liberia. First he was surprised that I knew as much as I do, since most Americans he had met didn't know anything about his country. I found out he had hidden in the jungles to escape being captured for the army; he had lost several of his family members to death; he had somehow gotten to America and drives semi-trucks across the US to make money to send to Liberia to his remaining family; and this was his first time to go home in years. When it was time to get back in our seats, I went back to my place by a young missionary from England. He had heard my conversation with the young man and said "wow, he has come through a lot". All I could say was "Everyone has a story".
The women who have been hurt and abandoned right in my own church, the homeless in my town, the war refugees in another country...we all have a story, and the reason I think it is important to listen to each others stories is that we show value, first by caring, and second, because we can offer the seeds of hope to each other.
As C Thomas Davis asks in his book "Will you plant a seed of hope in lives that have been stripped bare by the misery of the world?"

Monday, March 16, 2009

Baby Girl

Joeliana was so sick when she first came home and as a result, her hair was in horrible shape. Even as she got healthier and her hair got longer, it was still uneven and was so dry. About four weeks ago I took her to a lady I found from Africa who cut Joeliana's hair for me. She had to cute it really short to get the old sick hair off. I haven't braided it since then, so today I decided to give it a try again. It is still so short I couldn't cornrow it, but I was able to box braid it. She was so happy to have beads in her hair again.

I Love Faces - Green

I had an amazing weekend and hope to write more later, for now ...
here is my picture for this weeks theme at I Love Faces - Green
For the kid entry - I thought this was fun...she looks like an Irish forest nymph.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Give Me Your Best Shot

I found Careese and Corban snuggled up at bedtime and I thought it was so cute...besides the fact that they are brother and sister, I think it is so fun to see the "whiteness and darkness" of them. I think it is so amazing that God has designed my family with so much-HOLD YOUR BREATH-diversity!

Be sure to visist Life Is Sweet to see other fun photos.

Have a glorious weekend friends and thank you for stopping by.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

From Kalyn-Camping

One of the things my family enjoys doing every year is going up into the beautiful Colorado mountains to camp. It is something I look forward to every year. We put all our stuff in a trailer and try to hit the road by 7:00; if possible. Some of the best memories I have are of us up in the mountains; setting up tents when it was pouring rain, getting the van unstuck, (although if you ask my mom she'll say we have never really gotten the van stuck.) We have all been sick up in the mountains together. Yes it is true; I can remember several times when we were all sick in our sleeping bags...not that any of us really enjoyed those trips but we had them none the less.

One of the things I enjoy most though is being out in the amazing world God has created and given us to explore and enjoy! Maybe one day we would go for a hike; or maybe we would get everyone in the car and go explore on some back roads and four wheel drive roads were no one should bring a fifteen passenger van. But we have made it through sickness and cars getting stuck and I can honestly say that I enjoyed each and every trip. We have had some amazing times up on the mountains.

The picture above is a picture of this nice old man who gave all of the kids a ride on his ATV. It was quit a treat for us!

Peek-A-Boo I see You!!!!!

These two pictures are from out last camping trip. Mom and me hiked up this trail to this quarry where they dump all the marble that has come out of the mines that they are not using. We each carried a piece back with us. That was one heavy piece of marble!

We go swimming up at Glenwood a lot too. Dad bought ice cream for all of us this one day that we all shared. It was a hot day so it tasted really good!

Here is Garrett, Me, and Daddy back at our camp.

One of the best parts of camping is at the end of the day we all sit around the camp fire and talk; we all shared our five most favorite things last time. Sometimes we turn of all the lights and watch the fire coals dance and gaze up at the stars. It truly is a special time!

Thankful Thursday

Following Linn I am glad for this day to "purposefully" remember...
A verse I read this morning is perfect for this Thankful Thursday..."Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man." Psalm 66:5

1. for the silly and the fun that is around me each day.

2. for Redwork; a new craft (for me) that is easy and pretty.

3. for a nice camera so that I can enjoy one of my favorite hobbies.

4. for the new friends I am making through our blog.

5. for times to rest

6. and times to work; God has given me good work to do.

7. for the opportunity to go on a special "women's adventure weekend" this weekend, even though I am also anxious as I don't know anyone

8. that my husband comes home tonight (he's been out of town with work since Monday)

9. for the beauty around me....I love Colorado

10. that at least 1/2 of the house is clean and ready for company coming next week.

Just a little

I found this by the toilet....
I guess, "just in case you only need to go a little"?
If you have a better title...have a go at it! LOL

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Remember The Ones Left Behind

My sweet friend at No Greater Joy Mom, wrote a very thoughtful post called Cutting Back -In All The Wrong Places!

PLEASE take the time to visit her site and let her share her heart with you.

I will continue to be a voice for the ones who need a voice...please remember,
It matters to THIS one!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Eyes To See - Giving Thanks

Do you see the drop of water? As usually, having fun with God's beautiful creation!!
The last few weeks have been kinda difficult with some of my little ones...pretty normal stuff for a 3-4 year old only all that normal stuff is TIMES four. When you throw in "life" and home schooling and laundry, and other children and well, life (you get the picture, huh?)...I guess I just let it get to me to much, and really, on certain days the NOISE just begins to wear on me. Last Thursday I was reading Linn's Thankful Thursday post and decided that I was going to begin this also. That night I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep (which happens more times than I like), and I began to think about "the babies" and just stuff. And then, there it was, a prayer..."God give me eyes to see THEM and not the problems...to use each interruption or difficulty as an opportunity to give thanks."
I was thinking of what I call our "Thank Offering" verses. I use these verses to teach the children how to pray prayers of thankfulness. These are the verses...Psalm 50:5,14,23 "Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice! Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vow to the Most High. The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies (honors) me."
So, my challenge (and yours if you want) is to use those things that irritate or frustrate me and first to respond out loud or in my heart with a Thank Offering. So an example from today...one of the little darlin's was yelling his head off about something (nothing really) and I felt "that feeling", then I purposefully thought "Thank you God that he is healthy enough to yell and thank you for the opportunity to teach him to right way to act."
I wont lie to you, it's not easy, but I want to use those things to "train" myself to respond in a more controlled and thankful way. And, the good news, if I do this right, I will being glorifying God (Ps. 50:23) several times in a 30 minute period - ha-ha.
As always, I love to hear from you...thank you for taking the time to visit!


Do you know who Aiden is pretending to be?
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