Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Headin' South

Caress and I are leaving early in the morning for Texas. Gommy (my mom) will have her hip/leg surgery Friday.  Steve will be home with the little ones....that is 8 under 10 years old. Not to worry though. He is a great daddy and loves to spend time with his children. I am sure that Kiana, Landon and Garett will also be a big help to him.  
Please remember my mom and dad this weekend and pray for healing through this surgery!  
And guess what Sunday is (Yes, the 4th of July), but also my parents celebrate 51 YEARS of marriage! 
"We love you so much!!! Thank you for your devotion, love and amazing faith. My life is every day richer for sharing it with ya'll."

And guess what else happens on the 3rd.
This sweetheart turns 17 on the 3rd, while she is in Mexico. We miss her, but have heard that she is having an amazing time!
"I love you baby, and think of you all the time. My home is missing your special smile, sunshine and laughter (especially, when I hurt myself). Happy brithday!"

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What Is Today? Tuesday?

Do you ever have weeks where you "forget" what day it is? That is how I feel right now. I always get like this in summer because we are on a different and more relaxed schedule then during Autumn/Fall. The children have enjoyed sprinkler playing today.

I really do enjoy working on the girls hair. It's a little like art to practice different styles. Some styles work and some don't. Landon helped feed Keshawn while Garett and Kiana enjoyed their piano video from Dandy and Gommy - "Piano For Life".

Here's the final results from today.

Keshawn was really upset when we wouldn't let him chew on grass and stuff...."sorry baby".

Just cause she's cute....I told her she looks "Swedish".  Of course, Steve's family is straight from Holland, so she obviously took after his side of the family. We just say that my side of the family is "Texan". That pretty much sums it up.  I do think that she has a "Texas size" attiude...LOL.

Thankfully, it doesn't take long to make Keshawn happy again.
I'm relieved to have the girls hair finished. The lego's from yesterday are picked up, laundry is caught up and tomorrow is hair cut day for me and packing. 
Time to go make some yummy Sweet and Sour Chicken for supper.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sometimes, Only Pictures Tell The Story....

I have 3 days to get my family ready for me to leave them for 5 days...including Keshawn, which I am already having serious problems leaving. It's just not right, but it is the best thing. I need to get two girls hair done so that daddy doesn't have to worry about that.  I started with the shortest and therefore, the hardest-Joeliana.  I was getting some hair makeover from Alia while I worked.

Every few years we introduce a new group of chicks to our flock of chickens so that we have a pretty steady flow of eggs, and I just love having my chickens outside the window to look at. I really enjoy them. Our baby chickens had just been released to be with the rest of the flock-a total of 33 chickens. Something happened that has never happened in 13 years. A fox finally tore through our fence and we woke up on Sunday to a carnage of feathers and chewed off heads (again, no pictures). We lost over 3/4 of our flock of chickens. It really did sicken me for those poor chickens, and for the money that we had just lost.  Also we have KILLED (not sure how) a total of 5 fish in 5 days. Oh well...Garett asked if we could cook them...NO!!!!  Only the ones I catch on purpose!!

Kiana has been trying so hard to learn how to braid her sister's hair.  She practiced braiding and beading Alia's hair before I need to get the serious job done in the next 2 days. This will be hard because I cut my braiding finger and it is now infected....sorry not pictures of that. 

Here is the labored finale of Joeliana's hair. I really stuggled trying to braid her short hair in a way that Steve would not have to worry with. I sure hope it last, at least until next weekend. 

Caresse, Kiana, Landon and Garett have really started pitching in more with Kalyn gone. I appreciate their help so much, however....

when I saw these all over the down stairs....

...and this mess in the school room...

...and saw this little guy laying on the couch sick....

well, I wished for her.
Kalyn is having an amazing time in Mx. We all miss her, but I am so glad that she is getting to experience missionary live with our precious friends that are totally family to us. So, this is one of those days that I don't really have much to say, but I'm thinking of you each. 
Landon is crying and not feeling well, so I must go to him. Sorry that I don't have anything better to write about, however, this is our life today.  I am thinking of you all.

Friday, June 25, 2010

We Call Him Baby Dinosaur!

When Steve saw these pictures, he said Keshawn must be thinking "I'm just pure cuteness"!!!! That is why he is a GREAT Dad to his children...he enjoys them so much. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Antidote to Worry?

"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God."  Psalm 20:7
HaShem - The Name....just saying it invokes reverence in my spirit. 
HaShem is The Name that we are studying in our book, Praying The Names Of God, this week. 
It seems like such a perfect time, what with mom about to have surgery. 
I was convicted by the above Psalm many years ago, when the LORD asked me what were some of the "chariots" and "horses" that I was placing my trust in. Some on my list were;
-Steve, money, good health, friends, my own abilities....

And then, as I confessed and repented, the LORD really burned into me that my greatest hope for my future was to "trust in the name of the LORD my God".

See, when I am depending on someone else (my "chariot" or "horse"), I must control them (it) to get the end that I want. Of course, in my heart I know this is foolish, and so worry comes in big time!
On the other hand, when I choose to trust in The Name, I have confidence in Him and have hope for my todays and tomorrows; hope for the troubling situations that I may face; hope for the people that I love; hope for what I cannot see.
"That's why He tells us to trust in His Name, to count on His ability to see the future and prepare us for it-whatever may happen." (taken from Praying The Names Of God).

Worry and try to control or Hope and rest in peace. 
Today, may we all stand strong, not because we trust in our "horses or chariots", but because "we trust in the Name of the LORD our God."!!!!! Proclaim (say out loud) this truth to your troubles and trust AND HOPE. 

Surgery Soon!

Mom (Gommy) will have a hip replacement surgery next Friday, July 2nd.  The new dr. that she met with today feels that her only option is this extreme and "tricky" surgery.  However, the hopeful news is that finally, three years after the accident, she will walk without pain and without crutches. Mom has lived the last three years with several surgeries and two different rods placed in her leg with the hopes that she would recover. However, the damage to her leg was just to much. So now, the idea behind this surgery is to replace the hip and the leg bone below it that was broken. The dr. was clear that this would be a hard and tricky surgery...first off, they have to remove the broken rod, and then do the hip replacement surgery. I will go to Texas on Thursday so that I can be there.  Please prayer over this surgery.  And thank you all for your faithful love and prayers for my family.  I am so grateful that the surgery is happening over the 4th of July weekend because Steve is off and able to stay home with the children. With Kalyn in Mexico, we do not have the child watching help that we normally do.  AND, GUESS WHAT, while my mom is in the hospital, my parents will celebrate 51 years of being married!!! 
Thank you all for asking and caring! We are so grateful. 
Alia is doing much better also. 
I got an email that Kalyn had arrived safely in Mexico last night. We have been enjoying the warm weather here. Time to get us all ready for the day....

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Worship Is The Very Core Of Our Being

Worship is the very core of our being. It is also one of the specifically mentioned reasons that we were created. But what is it to truly worship? It is so much more than just singing, or clapping, or crying. Before any of those things worship starts in our hearts, it is the core of our very soul. Worship isn't as much an action, as a life style. True worship is when we come to the realization that we aren't living for us, but for the One who created us. When we look at it this way, worship changes from a mere action, and actually becomes what we are. We are worship. In all of us there is something that stirs to praise and revere something. And when the something that we are worshiping is our Almighty Creator, there is nothing more pleasing to Him. Every little action and choice we make is in some way a form of worship, and because of this it becomes our choice whether or not we will live a life of worship. It should be that everything we do is governed by the standard of whether or not it shows worship to the One that gave us life. It is so much more then 30 minutes of crying while listening to music! Raising our hands or clapping is worshiping, but beyond that, the way we are actually living, that is true worship. We have to come to the point of living a life no longer dedicated to our own goals dreams and desires, but instead bowing down in complete surrender and adoration to the One who deserves all worship and praise. After doing this, our life becomes more beautiful to Him then any song. Worship comes when we are laying on our face, giving everything we have over to the most high. Worship comes when in the middle of trials and hardships we turn to sing in joy to Him that deserves our all. Worship comes when we choose to live a life of purity and righteousness, contrary to the path the rest of the world would have us take. Worship comes when we place our whole life in the hands of our Creator, to do with us what He wills. Our whole goal then must be to devote our all to an existence that brings glory to the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Don't just worship Him, live to be worship to Him. May we ever seek to be worship to you Lord. Our defining moment is when we have come to our physical end we still choose to praise the never failing King of Majesty.

This was written by my son, Jace.  I thought it was too awesome to not share.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Started Back

Today we started back up our school schedule and it went pretty well. It is definitely harder with Keshawn curiously exploring everything and four others asking every 10 minutes if they can play with the bubbles! I have a love/hate relationship with bubbles. However, it is a quick way to clean up 8 children AND my back porch all in one swoop.
I took advantage of the beautiful sunset to get a few pictures of Caresee Nicole.  

I tried to do a braid in the front of her hair, and I can tell you, African hair is not as slippery as white, silky blond hair!!!

We are praying for Alia tonight and I will get her into the dr. as soon as I can tomorrow.  She is having some pain and swelling on the back of her neck.

Friday, June 18, 2010

When The World Says You Can't...

I don't post videos very often, however....
Mom, this is for you;
Karla, this is for you;
Friends and loved ones...
this is for you!

(These thoughts and prayers are from the Kutless song - What Faith Can Do)
Mom and Dad, you have always taught me to believe in What Faith Can Do I pray that you find the "strength to rise from these ashes and make a new beginning. It doesn't matter what you've heard, impossible is not a word. It will be alright. Life is so much more than what your eyes are seeing. You will find your way if you keep believing. You will overcome the odds."
We all can overcome the odds, even when we feel that we can't. Stay focused on our Shepherd. We are in His care, and there really is no better place to be. Please take the time to listen to this video...and believe in what He can do, regardless of what the world says!
I love you all,
(Click on the play button and then click on the "watch on YouTube" to get to the worth it)

Boy, I'm Having a Time....(And So Are My Parents)

Well, first.
I have some little ones who are giving me a pretty hard time this week.  Really bad, disobedient and angry attitudes, lots of tattle-tailing. I have been praying and seeking the Lord.  Late one night, while I was awake, I was thinking of one in particular and asking the LORD what to do.  I remembered a verse in Jeremiah 10:21 "For the shepherds are stupid and do not inquire of the LORD....". This really fits in this week with the book study that we are doing over at Jills, Praying The Names Of God.
We are studying the name of the LORD, Yahweh Roi, The LORD Is My Shepherd.  I want to be wise and "inquire of the LORD" in all areas, but especially as Steve and I shepherd our family.  My prayer this week is to faithfully shepherd my children, and I know that I cannot do this without the counsel of the LORD.
By the way this child is not one of my "hard" ones this week, I just thought it was really cute. Anyway, one of my favorite chapters in the Bible is in Ezekiel 34, especially verses 15-16 "I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the LORD GOD. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice." So that night when I prayed for my little one, what did I hear...that my little sheep will stray, and I must bring them back to what is right with patience and kindness. One of the sins of the faithless shepherds in Ezekiel 34:4 is force and harshness "The weak you have not strengthened , the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them."

And now second, 
Mom met with her Dr. this morning about her leg.  She needs to meet with another Dr. next week. Without going into all the details, please pray. Right now, they are not sure which surgery will be best and not sure that either of them will completely give her back full use of her leg.  Let's pray that our Shepherd would strengthen what is weak, and bind up what is injured and that complete recovery of her leg would happen for HIS GLORY. 
 She's got a lot of little ones to keep up with after all.  And as she would say, "The LORD be glorified in ALL things!" 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fear by Kalyn

Kalyn called last night and one of her brand new teeth had broken off. Of course, this isn't suppose to happen! So we are praying that we can find someone down there in South Texas to fix it before they need to enter Mx. 
Kalyn wrote me this morning and I want to share what my little girl is going through.

"Hey mama,

I started this a few days before I left home. I finished it last Sunday, and when I was writing it I thought, 'there is no way that this poem expresses my feelings.' I was writing it as if I was saying it but like it didn't mean that much to me personally. And then tonight when you called me and I got off the phone for a few minutes I felt every emotion that I describe in this poem. It's called Trust.

Why should I have cause to fear?
Is not the Father of the Universe here?
Does He not walk beside me?
Is it not by His son’s blood that I am free?
Then why is my spirit faint?
And why does my strength wan?
Dark clouds gather
Waiting to break loose and my dreams to shatter
I am cloaked with doubt and fear
And my vision is no longer clear
I feel lost and alone
No material thing I own
Can help me or give me bravery
All I want to do is flee
I close my eyes as tears fall
Is this the road to which I was called?
Or have I strayed from the way?
And now in silent misery I must lay?
No, lies!
Life is always filled with ifs and why’s
What was done wrong and done right
What was hidden in darkness and what was brought to light
So many questions about the past
And if in the future our souls will last
Dare I move forward on this road?
With fear and doubt as my load?
How can I trust that He will provide?
And that from my call He will not hide?
Trust, a single word, a single action
That can cause so much hesitation
Dare I trust?
I know that to truly live I must
There is only one reason why
I would walk this road were so thickly my devils fly
For You
And that is unshakably true
The first step is taken
Leaving all I have been
My trust has been placed
And I know that my trust shall not go to waste
I pull the cool air deep inside me
And face my destiny
I feel a new presence on the wind
That brings my hesitation to an end
Fear in my heart yet remains
And I know there will be days when it pours and rains
But I choose You to follow
Through thick and thin ups and lows
Hold me close, wrap me in Your arms
Engulf me with who You are
The dark clouds gather
And I open my arms to You in surrender.

I love you mom,

We all face times where we stand before fear, but we have a choice in our response to it. 
Please be praying for Kalyn and for us. 

Jace, Kalyn and Keshawn at the lake

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Laughter Is Good For The Soul

Keshawn is a hoot when he laughs like this. You can't help but laugh with him!

Monday, June 14, 2010

By The Way...

...aren't they the cutest!!!

Times Living

What a blessed week we had with our family at the lake in Texas. There were some boat problems the first few days, but we didn't let that stop the fun...we swam in the wonderful warm water, played on a paddle boat, were frightened by a water snake that Jace then killed, worked on the boat in 102 degree weather and FIXED it (which we were proud of), ate good food and told great stories. 

It was exciting to hear from Mom, Dad and Tiffany about their adventure filled mission trip and how the LORD brought them home safely. 

The children enjoyed this water ball, but it only lasted a few hours before it broke. 

We got to meet Karlie, Jace's girlfriend...she is a doll!!
Here is Karlie playing with Keshawn.

This was our first year to have a jet ski to play with. My parents got it mostly for Mom, hoping that she could play on it, since she can't ski because of her leg. Audrey and I had some fun I can tell you.

Of course there was lots of skiing, wake boarding, and is Caresse and Aspen. Aren't they cute!!!

Mom found one of Keshawn's tickle spots.

Garett learned to ski this year. He was so proud of himself!!! Aunt Karla was to sick to come in the boats with us, but she sat on the grass one day so that Garett could show her his new found joy. 

Kalyn, Dandy, Gommy and I enjoyed a late evening visit sitting in the boat. 

By the end of the day's, we were all so tired!!! Aspen loved on a tired Kiana one evening. We had to tow Kim's boat in for gas and it took a long time to get there! We actually ate supper at TEN PM that night by the time we towed, got gas, loaded, got to the house and cooked it. The beauty of my family is we all work together and enjoy being together. 

I am grateful that my parent's teach us all to value people, and even with all the hard work, this picture is why it is worth it all. Thank you Mom and Dad. I love ya'll.
One of the reason's I share our special family times on this blog is because I want to encourage us all to value our family and friends and work hard to show love to them. Spend time with them, play with them, talk about the Bible together, pray together, cry together and laugh together. My parent's have taught me so much about these things, and it is a legacy we all can pass on also. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Out Of The Loop

Just a day after we found out that my parents and niece were safely home, we traveled to Texas to spend a week with my family.  Thank you all for your prayers for Dandy, Gommy and Tiffany!!! After listening to their story, we are all sure that they were able to get home because of prayer. They drove on roads that were closed just after they passed due to the mud slides. All the countries around them were closed due to the cyclone. There was a small window of time that they could get out of El Salvador and they did, when so many others where left stranded. 
So much had happened this week, but we have just got home from south Texas and still need to bath 9 children. I will write more tomorrow...
but the most urgent prayer needs for now is:
-my mom's rod in her leg has broken and her dr is out of town till next week...she is in a great deal of pain, and her bone/rod is now starting to stick out in the side of her leg...regardless of her pain, she will tell you "PRAISE THE LORD", several dozens of people in Guatemala found their SAVIOR while they where there. 
-My sister (in-law) is still VERY SICK, and not sure where to go now for help. 
And a cute picture of my mother with my daughter, Kalyn, who is now gone till the END of July....

I am so blessed by my family and I pray that we each learn from each other how to strengthen the foundations of our families and bring glory to our LORD through them! 
Tomorrow dear family and friends...I look forward to catching up with you each. Pray for me please...I'm off to bath 9 children now...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

They Are Home!!!!

Dandy, Gommy, and Tiffany made it safely home last night!!! Praise the LORD. Thank you all for your prays for my family. May we all continue to pray for the people and Guatemala and the surrounding areas who are living through this horrible time!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Few Pictures from Guatemala...

An American Airlines plane stands covered with volcanic ash at the La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City, on May 28. International flights to Guatemala have been suspended until further notice.

Ash from the Pacaya volcano covers a rooftop in Guatemala City on Saturday.

A huge sinkhole caused by tropical storm Agatha, in Guatemala City, on Monday, May 31. A violent storm that whalloped Central America over the weekend killed more than 100 people and left a swath of destruction, officials said Monday. Tropical Storm Agatha, the first in a season of tempests that annually strikes the region, was especially brutal in Guatemala, where mudslides proved deadly.
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