Thursday, April 29, 2010

Before/After Blog Hop

I really like playing along in Pixel Perfect's Before/After blog hop. It is so fun to see how others edit their photo's. 
Here is my before/after edit for this week. I thought this picture of Jace was big twenty year old in the "children's" new go cart; however, because this was an action photo, I wasn't able to frame it as well as I wanted to... here is the SOOC (straight out of camera) photo.

Here is my edited version. I cropped it and used one of my favorite new actions that I get at Coffee Shop

I pray that your week is going well. Steve and I went to a funeral for his aunt yesterday. I was excited because it was a whole day to be with my husband (well, we did have Keshawn with us). Do you think it is bad to get excited about a "date" with your husband because of a funeral? We did get to eat out and we bought a new kitchen sink because ours has rebelled and broke. I think it just decided it would have no more of those LARGE pots and pans I use for a family of 12. 
It is COLD here bad, it would be such a nice day if the children could play outside. It has been a cooler than normal spring here so far, and we may have more snow before the weekend is over. 
We are in the last few months of our school, and as is normal, I am taking a few days from teaching to re-organize and re-think some of the children's school. And of course, there are clothes to wash...I'm behind; then again, I was behind as soon as they put new clothes on this morning....LOL.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


That is the fun theme at I Heart Faces this week - Smiles.

This picture always makes me smile...this captured moment of my oldest daughter, part child, part growing young woman.
Visit I Heart Faces if you want to join in the fun and just get inspired!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Do You Ever Have...

...days where you want to connect with your family and blog friends, but you're not sure what to write about? I want my blog to be a place of encouragement and challenge.
The challenge ... to walk and encourage each other in the Truth of Scripture. I am so thankful as I look at the comments I receive; there are young women who are not married but wanting to help the children who have no families, there are young women who want to go on the mission field and are looking to the LORD to direct them, there are young unmarried men who have have written, prec...
...I interrupt this moment of reflections and deep spiritual thinking to bring you (truthfully) real life here in our home.
As I was typing I noticed that Steve was not sitting here with us and wondered where he was. A few minutes later, he comes from down stairs with "a not happy look on his face". I asked what was wrong and found out that one of our darlin's has been playing with toothpaste the last few days. Well, I suspected something this morning and then while I was at the Dr. this afternoon, this darlin' cut with fingernail clippers, a tube of tooth past - of course this child could have used the natural opening in the toothpaste tube, however, this child has had issues with clippers!!! (which I have tried to put up high). After cutting the tube with a nice slit, at "nap time", while I was in town, this child poured a huge mound of it under a bed that wasn't used very often. Then this evening, while we were trying to rest, this darlin' took another sibling upstairs, thinking no one was watching-to "eat" the toothpaste. Well, that is what Steve walked into. This little darlin' is a constant challenge for us as he/she often does things he/she knows is wrong...however, he/she likes to take company into his/her "sin". OK, this is to hard, it's "she/her". 
I was reminded of something last night, and I am thinking that now is a good time to re-remember it...I want to sow good seeds in my children's life, however, I must patiently wait and never give up the hope of seeing that precious seed become the fruit that the LORD is growing!!!
This morning I was reading in Ezra 7, and verse 10 says "For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach His statutes and rules in Israel." I have a habit of putting a "P" beside verses that speak to me as a parent...I want to ask the LORD how to parent. So, on this long day, my prayer is the same that it was this morning, before toothpaste and lying and childishness...
"Father God, I want to study Your Bible, and to do it, and to teach Your Words to my children. However, I cannot do this without Your I start, LORD God, with the beginning of this me to set my heart to study Your Law, to do it, and to teach it to these precious souls that You have given to me. I love being a mother, but I need Your help everyday. Help us Lord God, as mothers, to hold our little ones with care and tenderness (even when I am angry about toothpaste), and help us to love their individual beauty...they are made in Your image, after all...may we always honor, value and respect that, even when they are driving us crazy."
(PS, this is not the "she/her), just thought it was cute.)

Friday, April 23, 2010

What I Have Learned Through Adoption

Moms Ministry and More
Heidi, at Moms, Ministry and More, asked me to write a guest post answering the question, "What is one thing I have learned through adoption." If you would like to read it, please visit Heidi's blog. I would recommend Heidi's blog anyway...she is such an encouraging person!

On a different note...WOW, are we getting the snow!! I had a dr.'s appointment that I tried to get to this morning, and instead, got stuck in the snow with our van. Steve drove out to try and unstuck it. After several hours and almost getting the Bronco stuck, we had to come home without the van and Steve can't even get back to town for his work. Prayerfully, we can get the van unstuck soon...however it is still really snowing hard out here and they are predicting a winter storm warning till tomorrow. So nothing to do but, sit back and enjoy the beauty of a Colorado Spring snow storm and my husband being home early!

Looking down our driveway....

Our poor chicken coop buckling under the weight of the snow....

Praying for no broken branches.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My God Heals

This little darlin' was very sick by the time she came home at 3 years of age. She acted a year younger than she was, she had malaria at some point, and besides being hunger, sick and very weak, the BIGGY was Hep. B. This little darlin' grew up in a refugee camp (they now call them "displaced person's camp" looks the same to me - BAD!!!!).  She had a rough start I can tell you. However, our God is a God of HOPE. 
I really needed our book study, Praying The Names of God, this week. And this little darlin, Joeliana is a living witness to the truth of "The LORD Who Heals". 
As most of you know, it has been a hard week for my mother. On top of finding out that there is a new problem in her crushed leg, she has spent the last 3 days with a high fever...really SICK. I loved this verse from our study...a promise from His Word; "This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says' I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you." II Kings 20:5
Also, I felt the LORD showed me Psalm 71 this week; verses that pray "Forsake Me Not When My Strength Is Spent". Especially these verses "Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; For you, O LORD, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. 
But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.
O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim you wondrous deeds." (All of these are from Ps. 71)
See, I look at her...

...and where she was...

and I look at her...
...and where we are...
and though, mother I WOULD NEVER SAY YOU ARE OLD;
this verse if living in our family right now...
"So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come." Psalm 71:18
You see, my mother had cancer at one point and wasn't even sure if she would see children of her own.  My parents had not been able to get pregnant, then came cancer, then surgery, then A! My mother prayed she would live to be a witness of Gods goodness to her children. After my birth and my brothers birth, no more babies came. However, not only did my mother live to bless me, she is now blessing and teaching "another generations"...her grandchildren. And some of the grandchildren have already come through some pretty difficult and painful things. 
And so, my precious ones, tonight may we all remember that from "our youth" to "old age", HE IS our YAHWEH ROPHE- The LORD Who Heals; and somewhere in that TRUTH and that PROMISE, we rest, and pray and tell the next generation that His love and goodness and healing is there for us all. 
Thank you, Mom and Dad for living this before me every day of my life...with you both beside us, Steve and I will "proclaim Your might to another generation".
"My Precious Yahweh Rophe, please heal my precious mother!"

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Am So Thankful for you all!!!

Thank you all, so much, for your sweet comments and prayers for my mom and sister-in-law (Gommy and Karla). And I laughed, Jennifer P,;, yes, the title yesterday came from the Silly Song Barbara Manatee. I'm so glad there are other mothers out there who are familiar with Veggie Tales...I'm not alone - LOL. 
Thank you all again!!!
Oh, and you know that baby that wasn't letting me catch up on housework...he finally took a decent nap this afternoon, and Kalyn and I worked like crazy cleaning the main level of this home. I can thankfully say that I can sit in my chair, type this and not feel crazy about my little circle of sanity. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

You Are The One I Love...

I wanted to title this "I Am Heart Sad Tonight", however it wasn't the right title, so a "silly song" from Veggie Tales came to mind and I will spare you the actual Veggie Tales movie (because I can't remember which one it is...we love them all). 
Over three years ago, my precious mother had a horrible accident that crushed her leg. We had just finished water skiing when it happened. We literally strapped her to a wake board to get her 30 minutes back to a dock where 911 was waiting. My mom (you can call her Gommy-all her Darlin's do), has had several surgeries including rods and pins put into her leg with the prayer being for her to walk again...especially without crutches.  The last few months, Mom has painfully been walking without crutches...until Thursday, when the pain was so great that she couldn't walk at all. An X-Ray revealed that the "hardware" in her leg might have broken, or...
...or what, we aren't sure. The first picture is my mom and dad...I know...They are so dadgum cute, aren't they. The next picture is Gommy (my mom...remember, if you pray for her, you are one of her "Darlin's" and you have the special Right to call her Gommy!!!!) with my nephew, Scott, when we were playing on the Texas sand dunes at Christmas...she's like that...she loves to have fun and laugh and play with her loved ones!! I'm pretty sure that she will adopt you too if you want to ask her...she's like that :) is my pretty darn cute can call him "Dandy"; that's what all his kids call him). 
So back to the "You Are The One I Love..."; I chose that title because my parents have taught me to have hope at all times and don't give up!!! However, you can imagine a crushing leg accident, over three years of pain, and for such a young and vibrant woman, CRUTCHES...I mean really... nothing speaks Non-Sexy likes crutches (although, if you could make crutches Sexy, believe me, your Gommy could!!!!)
So, she is back on the dreaded crutches and waiting for the next 4 weeks to see if the pain gets better and then a decision will be made about the "what next". 
I can tell one thing, Gommy and Dandy wont go down without a fight. Would you please pray for our precious Gommy, that the LORD would heal her and give her strength....
I have never met anyone like my precious mother and so back to my first title; "I Am Heart Sad Tonight". 
Someone else very precious to me is also VERY SICK and would you please pray for her...
This BEAUTIFUL woman married my brother...the cool thing is that we were best friends FIRST. Course, then, she got all warm and fuzzy with my brother and married him, and well, I haven't been "best" friend since...HAHA. I am so teasing...can you imagine how awesome to have your best friend marry your brother!!! Truly, the LORD, gave me the sister I always wanted. This precious sister is fighting some very serious physical problems...she hasn't been able to work since Christmas and is hurting EVERY DAY. I am asking for prayers for her also. 
This is why my friendships with each one of you is so precious to me. I am hurting for those I love so much tonight...and I am so grateful that I can share that with ya'll.  I will keep you updated...
and as my tears fall now, may we each remember the Ones We Love and keep them in our prayers and encourage each other as we walk our lives of love, faith and hope!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ummm, I can't think of a title....

"I don't throw my life away, but I willingly and deliberately lay it down for Him and His interests in other people." O. Chambers
I had seen this quote YEARS ago and have always loved it. Then I saw it again recently on my friends blog, who lives and ministers in Uganda with her family. Please visit their blog if you are not familiar with them and pray for them. They have just moved to one of the more isolated and ravaged places in beautiful Uganda....up North. 
The children and I were finally able to go to one of my favorite places out here where we live. There is a beautiful greenbelt just across the road from us. So far, our spring has been very windy and cold, but today it was nice and we took advantage of the warm weather; before it gets cold again on Wednesday. Keshawn isn't feeling well, and I'm not really sure what is wrong....we were up a lot last night, and he has wanted to be held SO much today. It has made it hard for me...I want and know that he needs to be held; yet as the keeper of the home, I keep looking around to the house work that needs to be done. I know that I'm doing the best (holding him), but, I also know that the work that needs to be done will be waiting for me later and it will probably have had some babies. 
Non the less, I tell myself to take it easy, breath, relax, let it go...
We had a PERFECT family time yesterday and when Keshawn lets me have more time I will share pictures.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I am trying so hard to learn creative things on my Photoshop Elements. It is just a hobby and I find it fun. So here and there I will put up something I played with. This was a huge accomplishment because I have not been able to figure out how to get an oval shape with a colored back ground. I use to love paper scrap booking.  Understandably, after child 5  came along, I just couldn't keep up with it anymore. When I stopped that I kind of stopped taking pictures, which was a shame, because I really do love photography. Now, with the amazing and creative things that can be done on the computer I am really finding that I want to learn this new digital art, plus it is way less messy than the paper scrap booking! And I certainly don't have time for more messes. 
Happy Saturday to you all.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Just Barely!!! and this and that...

Joeliana's hair is JUST BARELY long enough finally for me to corn row and box braid it. I am glad of this because keeping her hair in braids protects her hair as it is growing out and it looks nicer on those days that I don't have time to work with the loose hair.
SUGAR AND SPICE AND EVERYTHING NICE (except when she isn't!)

Show Off

These flowers gave up their lives for this...cute though, aren't they.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

"Remember the Lord,

who is great and awesome..."
Nehemiah 4:14 (in part). 

I love how Nehemiah here reminded the people of God, not WHO they were, but WHO God is!
They were rebuilding the defensive walls around Jerusalem and were encountering a great deal of resistance from their enemies. 
In our book study this week, the name of the LORD that is our focus is Adonay; in Hebrew it means Lord. Adonay describes a very important part of our relationship with our God, a relationship that we saw so vividly when Jesus Christ walked this earth...God is Lord, and we are His servants. 
This is such a precious part of our relationship with God. A relationship of love, protection, belonging, and purpose. It is because of Who God is that this relationship is safe...we belong to Him.
Like the people of God during Nehemiah's time, there are "enemies" that want to stop our good work, however, instead of looking at those "enemies", or at ourselves, let follow the advice of Nehemiah, "Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, you wives and your homes."
Like our book study said today "Remember whose servant you are. Fight in His strength for your children, your marriage, you church" and you home. 
Keep building those walls and know that the Lord is with you.

I wanted to tell you all about a wonderful post on parenting our hurting children over at Laura's blog. So go read it, even if you aren't having any struggles right is wonderful.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Where's My Motivation?

I teasingly wrote yesterday that I had "lost" my motivation. I've noticed that this happens when I get overwhelmed by something and can't figure out how to "get to it"...

(The above is a target, not a cyclopes eye, like Caresse thought..."Mommy, why are you trying to shoot a Cyclops?"; although it does kinda look like a monster from Monsters Inc....sorry....)
O.K., so back to my target with the bull's eye. Sometimes I feel like I am trying to reach a target, and then my arrow (motivation) just drops! This especially happens when;
 A) Steve is busy at work a lot so, I am home alone more often;
B) I am trying to learn something new and I am really struggling;
C) There are dozens of interruptions;
D) and, an always available excuse (oops...REASON)...hormones. 
Right now, I can check em all.
Also, we are having the craziest WIND hasn't stopped for days, but it has taken up new strengths and is blowing the roof off our chicken coop, and I am just praying that the house roof holds up. Wind makes me feel "cranky"....
So, when my motivation drops like that, I try to back up and make sure that I am doing what the LORD wants me to be doing.  Sometimes, I just need a good nap (or three).  When I am trying to learn something hard, I try to remember - one step at a time, I'll get it (I have dyslexia, like Kalyn, so I have to find ways to help me "see" something so that I can understand it). I've learned that I must have some times of quiet or I begin to shrivel up. 
I also find my lost motivation in remembering that I have a mission field and it is right in front of me...motherhood. In Matthew 9:37-38, Jesus said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few, therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." 
As mothers we are fulfilling this scripture.  We are laborers ourselves as we mother our children, teaching and training them in the purposes God has planned for them. And we are providing future laborers for the LORD.  We definitely have a mission from God! 
So I remember to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord I do not labor in vain (1 Cor. 15:58).

HOWEVER, what never fails is the Bible; "whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." (Romans 15:4)
Some other synonyms for motivate are inspire, stimulate, prompt, encourage. The Holy Word of God will inspire me and encourage me. 
So, I found my motivation, picked that sucker up, and got going this morning.
What do you find helps you when you have lost motivation?

I'm goin' to go tickle me some motivation!

Monday, April 12, 2010

I've Lost.... motivation. I had some this morning, but I lost it.

Have you seen it?  

Friday, April 9, 2010

Just To Be Truthful...

I did promise on my Look Carefully post to show you me, on this, my 46th birthday, with no make-up, no curled hair, and just to throw in a little "GASP"...
I'm in my jammies.  Of course, I thought it was the hight of wisdom to surround myself with my young and sweet darlin's.

Poor Kalyn got lost in the crush...Keshawn doesn't look happy, and I keep counting and only come up with nine (I did count Kalyn's legs...), who is missing? And yes, my poor African babies need some lotion on those legs!!!!

Thank you all for remembering me on this special day...and for the blessings I never expected to find in the blog and your friendship!!

I Love This Name... God who reveals Himself through powerful acts of deliverance.  Do you believe that He still does this?  "I Am Who I Am" doesn't change. He still delivers His people from their bondage; pain; fears; slavery; poverty of our souls; lack of faith. 
YAHWEH is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love towards you believe that?
YAHWEH works righteousness and justice for the oppressed. Do you believe?
As a father has compassion on his children, so YAHWEH has compassion on those who fear Him.  
YAHWEH has revealed part of His nature through His name...He is forgiving, healing, REDEEMING...
He delights to bless you...
do you believe?
Everything that I have just written about YAHWEH'S nature, I just took from Psalm103.
Today, I am 46 years old and I can tell you something...I have learned to trust in the ABSOLUTE TRUTH of the Word of God;
whether I felt like it or not...
whether I believed it or not...
whether I could see it or not...
I have gone through some things that I was pretty sure would destroy probably have to. 
And I have learned that I WILL SEE YAHWEH, mighty to save; yours and my faithful, covenant keeping God;
He is our faithful, wonder-working God.
Do you believe this?
There were times that I didn't...and I have had to confess that my unbelief came from my fearful heart, not Who He is. I wasn't believing the TRUTH. 
Do you know what to do when you don't believe the truth? Start telling yourself the TRUTH from the Holy Bible...start with Psalm 103 if you want; start telling yourself the Truth in spite of how you this constantly, don't give up, this is a battle. 
YAHWEH is mighty to save and to deliver.
Trust me ... THAT is the truth.
"I sought the LORD, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears." Ps. 34:4

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Do you see it...the make-up, the curled hair, the clean smell (imagine)...I just wanted to document something that ALMOST never happens. I do take showers (of course), and I do blow dry my hair, and I do put make-up on when I HAVE TO, but a miracle of sorts happened here...all three happened on the same day.
Now, you must be asking yourself "why" is this an issue...
because here is the is my birthday Friday (guess how old I am...I'm not really sure; I am horrible with numbers, but that is a different post).
Why does that have anything to do with this picture?
Because Jace was home and his friends where coming over, and they were bringing their cute and young girlfriends over and I was feeling "old (er)". 
So, I did it that I wouldn't feel so old around those young, non-sagging girls...
And just to be truthful...I will show you the clean me with no make-up, and no curled hair on my birthday, because there has to be somewhere where I can be "free" to be me! And I figure the internet is safer than a few teen age girls in my house. 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday Go-Go

Our precious family in Denver came down yesterday to spend Easter with us.  And the weather was barely warm enough for the children to enjoy their combined (for all of them) gift from Grandma, Uncle  Ronnie, Aunt Kathy and Uncle Les.  One big gift for the year is easier and the children are blessed with something that they all can enjoy together. And BOY did they have fun.

It was so fun to have Jace here for the weekend also. 
Grandma, Aunt Kathy, Uncle Ronnie always enjoy the children! Uncle Les was unable to come this year.

I am so grateful that Grandma (Steve's mother) is able to spend this special time with our family.

I have no idea what is going through Alia's mind, but she is so funny...she often makes some of the funniest faces I have ever seen. 

Kalyn and Grandma enjoyed catching up. Doesn't Kalyn look cute with her hair curled.

Jace, being a typical young man, always finds some way to have fun!!!

It was funny watching my 6'3" child squeeze his long legs into the Go cart for a little fun. He went back to his home in Dallas this morning. As always, I am so grateful for our families that spend time with us and love us. We are so blessed.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Life and Freedom

What a precious weekend we are having with Jace home.  It has been cold and windy, however, the children are spending as much time as possible outside playing. I am so grateful for the time to remember and teach my children about the life and freedom that we have through our LORD, Jesus Christ. Praying you are having a wonderful weekend with you loved ones.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Mom, Dad's Home-My Emotions"

I always know when Steve is matter where I am at, Aiden comes yelling though the house "Mom, Dad's Home!!!"

Many times I just say "Yes, baby, Daddy is home." Usually, Steve has brought home groceries of some sort, and 3 year old Aiden loves to help bring in the bags...still yelling to anyone who missed the 1st announcement that daddy was home. 
However, occasionally, when I hear him yell this happy news, like today,... own emotions get the best of me. The "mommy" in me feels sad for those years that he didn't have a daddy (or any family). It is difficult to explain...I guess the best way to explain it is a mourning for what my child missed those first months or years of their lives. Yes, of course, I am happy for what they have now, a home, a family.
However, they are MY children, and just like I would feel for my birth children, I feel a sadness, and a thankfulness, for what they have come through. Sometimes, I find myself saying to my newest little son, as he snuggles into my chest to rest and receive love, "It's nice to have a mommy, isn't it?" I'm not thinking how wonderful I am or anything, I FEELING emotions of gratefulness that HE has a mommy to snuggle him, because I love him so much and for 7 months he didn't have a mommy. When Kiana first came home from China, my parents came right away to meet their newest granddaughter. As I watched them loving on her, I had some of those same feelings..."She now has a Dandy and Gommy...a few days ago, she had no one!" My birth children always had all of these blessings and people that loved them, but my children home through adoption did not. Their stories started before we brought them home. And often those stories included loneliness, hunger, and fear. 
Of course we, as mothers, should and we do help our children heal from those early pains, but I guess I am realizing that we as the mothers should also realize and help our mother's hearts heal because we love them so, and WE HURT also for what they have come through. 
So, when my little man yells with all the happiness that his three year old body can hold that daddy is home, and I feel that familiar sadness and thankfulness, mourning and joy...
I am going to look into his eyes and say "Yes, baby, Your daddy is home."

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