Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Let’s Get Dressed!!!!

It’s fun to dress up isn’t it.  I always feel so pretty in my elegant gown.  Steve always looks so handsome in his best suit.
But I’m not talking about the above kind of getting dressed.  I was really impressed by the LORD’s Words again this morning to “Be dressed ready for service...” (Luke 12:35).  While Luke 12:35-48 talks about being ready for the return of the Lord Jesus, there is also much for me to learn from these verse as I work here in my home, and for you - wherever the LORD may place you.  
First, the LORD reminded me to get up in the morning in a timely manner and get dressed and ready for my day.  Ready for what?  To Serve!  So regardless of whether I am at home for the day, or need to go to town, my priority is to serve.  And I must pray and spend time with the LORD first asking for His guidance, wisdom and instruction (Prov. 1) for my day.
Next, verse 42 asks an important question for me to consider and encouraging instruction for us all...”Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portions of food at the proper time?”  As a homemaker, I am so encouraged when I read this.  The LORD has set me over His household (a portion, anyway), right here in my home.  I must seek each day to be faithful and wise in managing my home.  He has given me such an important job to do.  How HIS “home” is run until he comes back is very important to him.  
Have any of you ever house sit, or asked some one to house sit for you?  We have looked after our neighbor’s house and animals for years now when he needs to travel.  And it is very important to us that we do exactly what he asks us to do while he is gone.  He wants his dogs fed faithfully each day, and brought in if the weather turns bad.  He trusts us to do the work he has asked (and is paying us) to do and to watch for his return so that everything is ready.  When our friends watch our chickens, I want them fed and watered each day so that they will not get sick or stressed.  I need to trust my friend to be faithful with this work.  
These verses are talking about the same thing...that while we are waiting for HIS return, we have work to do.  We must be faithful and wise in our service.  
Serving is one of the purest forms of love that I can think of and Jesus certainly gave us many examples of this.  Did you know that just a few verses later the Bible tells about a lady who has a "disabling spirt”?  And Jesus saw her pain and said to her “Woman, you are freed from your disability.”  Do you know what she did?  She glorified God!!  Jesus showed us so many times His love for people and He met their needs through serving them, healing them, feeding them, teaching them, praying for them, preaching the good news to them, forgiving them; He brought back to life what was dead, offered peace, replace fear with faith, received children and cast out demons, found those that were lost, and told stories about the Heavenly Kingdom.  Jesus showed us how to love others...in serving them.  That’s His Love Language.  So if our pride pricks up a little at the word “servant”, well, let’s just remember the real definition - Servant - “One who loves”. 
And let’s each of us be encouraged to “Be dressed and ready for service..."

Monday, May 30, 2011

Don’t Miss Them

The below is an exert from Sally Clarkson’s Blog, which you can find here.  I know that many of you have been blessed by the sincere heart of Sally.  I am blessed to know her in person and can say that her love for the LORD and her family have blessed me in numerous ways.  

"Sometimes we can get so caught up in our to-do list for the day that we miss the little pleasures and glimpses of beauty that happen all around us. We miss the colors of the sunrise in our rush to get the kids up and ready, or overlook the chirping of a chickadee on the windowsill in the hurry to clean the house before daddy comes home, or shoo away the sweet child holding a flower or leaf she found outside because we’re up to our elbows in dishwater and have already seen fifty million of them when we walked to the park earlier that day.  
What are some little things–blessings or pieces of beauty–that you see when you open your eyes to the joy of the moment?

I love this reminder to stop and LOOK at the blessings and beauty that I might be rushing past.  I’m gonna pull out my camera more often this week and “see” more of the moments that I might be missing and stop and praise the ONE who loves us so!!!
Moments like this electronic spider scare.  Keshawn did NOT like Garett’s new birthday toy.  (By the way...do you see that ADORABLE baby tummy...goodness...it’s just beggin’ for kisses).  Anyway,  Steve tried to show him that it was just a toy.  Didn’t work.  He still can’t stand it.  I hope he isn’t scared for life...LOL. 
Want to share some moments of blessings or beauty with us?
Also, have a blessed Memorial day and let us all be thankful for those that serve our country and protect us, or have in the past!!!  

Friday, May 27, 2011

Hair And Body Products

Amy has written a good post about the products that she uses on her children.  I know that several of you have asked questions about the best products to use for our precious African children, including you Jodi :).
I recently have tried to make my own hair moisturizer using Girls Love Your Curls on YouTube.  I really like it.
Also, I have tried making some of my own skin moisturizer from Old Time Soap Company’s Ebay store.  I make a pound of it at a time.  We like this also.  Karlie had a bad burn on her arm and tried some of this.  Within days it was showing improvement.  
Does anyone else have products that they have liked?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Very Special Package

Early this morning (like before 8:00 a.m.), we got the call that we have all been waiting for, especially Kiana Grace!  We had a special package at the post office to go pick up.  And no, it wasn’t my babies from China.  (I wish!!!  Jace, our oldest, loves to tease that “Moma just finds the babies God has for us on Ebay...LOL).  

It was a cold and cloudy morning as we set out east for the Elbert Post Office. 
This package is so special and so delicate, that we needed to go pick it up.  But, we didn’t mind.
We saw old barns, cows, hawk, old farms, beautiful ponds and even mountain goats on the way.
Some of the children stayed home with Kalyn to catch up on school (their choice!!!) and others brought their school to do in the car.  Finally, after 20 minutes of driving through beautiful eastern Colorado, we arrived.  Do you know what we were picking up?
The drive back was just as beautiful.  I took a pretty little dirt road that followed a creek.

Finally, we were able to welcome our new chicks to their home.  Sadly, two of them had died.
Poor Keshawn was VERY scared of the new babies and wanted nothing to do with them. 
Kiana has especially been excited for the new babies to come home.  She has committed to feeding and watering them each day.
I know...aren’t they just adorable!!
I feel so thankful to the LORD that we can live in the country and enjoy some of the joys of “country living”.  The children even knew that baby chicks come out of their shells by using a “baby” tooth on their little beaks to help them break out.  Then a few days later the tooth falls off.  Did you know that?  Isn’t that cool!!

Aiden wanted to hold one so bad!!!  I was really worried that he might not be able to be “soft” enough, but it was so important to him.  He tried to hold the little darling bird as gently as he could...LOL.  In fact, he was trying so hard to hold it gently and yet not drop it...I think the little bird might have been squeezed just a little on the tummy area.  
Joeliana did a great job being soft.  All of my little darlin’s were so happy to have the “babies” home.  And I am thankful that I can stay home with my children and show them the wonders of the beauty in the LORD’s creation.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Now I Know

I never knew before, but now I know what Fifth disease is!  It’s a childhood virus that hurts like the dickens for an adult (yes, Steve and I both had it also).  And it, combined with a few bad colds and other assorted viruses is why we have been sick for such a long time.  We are still watching a few of the other children to see if they are going to get it.  

I am excitedly watching our mail each day for our authenticated papers from the Chinese consulate.  I am so happy to see several of our blog friends bringing home their children!!!  And it makes me so ready to bring mine home!!
Kalyn leaves next week for her mission trip to Guatemala.  We are so glad that she can do this and we are praying every day for the team, which includes my parent, and my brother and his wife and daughter.  What an awesome gift to see so many in my family who love the LORD and want to share the wonderful news of our “God Who Loves”!!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Story of 500 Tibetan Lama Priest

During a turbulent time in China's history, a time of war in the late 1930's, some 500 Tibetan priest waited.
Licorice herb grew in abundance on the lush side of the mountains where they lived on the Tibet-China border and every year the lamas collected it to sell in the cities.  One year the men who took the herbal harvest through a village happened upon a white piece of paper and brought it back to the lamasery.  Read by all the lamas, it became worn and in pieces, but was stuck to the wall where it could be read over and over.  What was on the paper?  John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  They learned from this that "somewhere" there was a "God who loved."   For 5 years, when the appointed lamas took the licorice herb harvest into the villages to sell they also were asked by the head lama to ask this one question of everyone, "Do you know where the 'God who loved' lives".  And for five years, they found out nothing.  Finally, the man who had first found the piece of paper vowed that he would not return to the lamasery until he had learned more about this God.
In Len Chow, he and his companion found a Chinese evangelist who told them all he could and gave them a copy of the Gospels.  Here the story continues as told by the head lama...
"Eagerly they hurried back to the lamasery and we read the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  We believed all that it contained, though there was much we could not understand.  But one verse seemed of special importance.  Christ had said, 'Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel,' so obviously one day someone would come to tell us more about this wonderful God.  All we had to do was to wait and, when God sent a messenger, to be ready to receive him.  For another three years we waited.  Then two lamas, out on the hillside gathering sticks, heard someone singing.  'Those are the messengers we are waiting for,' they said.  'Only people who know God will sing.'"
One lama ran back to tell the others at the lamasery to prepare for the messengers while the one waited to bring them.
The messengers that the lamas saw that day and had waited 7 years for was the tiny little English missionary Gladys Aylward and her traveling companion and fellow Christian, Dr. Huang.
You can read more about her in the book The Little Woman, which I highly recommend.
Many know Gladys Aylward as the woman who, with the help of the LORD, saved hundreds of children when Japan invaded China.  However, many may not know that she worked the rest of her life with a passion to tell those who had not heard about the love of God and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  She willingly went where the LORD told her to go.  She loved China and would have stayed there the rest of her life telling the Chinese about Jesus Christ.
At a prayer meeting one day, a young Chinese student asked for special prayers for England.  When Gladys asked why England, a Christian country, needed prayer for revival and blessing, the man told her "England, the land that send us the gospel, is worshiping other gods." Gladys was very surprised by this.  She had adopted China as her home and had lived there for over 20 years.  She asked him how this could be and he replied that he had been reading about England in the Chinese papers.  He said that "To them sport, film stars, wealth, amusement - all are far more important than God.”  She felt that the LORD wanted her to go back to her birth land, back to England and she did for a time.  
These two stories really caught me.  Personally, I had to ask myself yet again, what might be more important to me than God.  I had to confess, again, that many things in "my" affluent world  have distracted me from my True Love.  Many good works, passions, ideas, ... all of them meaningless, unless they are first born from a heart committed to and in love with my God in Heaven.  And ohhhhh, the beauty of the faith of 500 hundred lamas who waited in China for the good news of the God who loves!!!  There are others that are waiting to hear and our real work from the LORD is to "go" and to "preach" this good news.  They are waiting for the messengers to come, and we are those messengers.  The places that we are to "go" may be in our homes, our cities, our country, or a foreign land ... but may we remember always what our FIRST work is - to tell them about the "God that loved."
Nice clothes, fun entertainment, elaborate meals...goodness, Lord God, forgive me for loving anything more than YOU.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Slow Cooker Southwest Beef and Pintos

 There is just nothing like a slow cook meal ready to go at 8:31 in the morning...just makes the world seem even better.
 I don’t use the salt pork in this recipe.  And today I used elk instead of beef, which I have done before and it was delicious.  I added some extra garlic since we are sick.  I hope that ya’ll can see or can enlarge the recipe...this was just easier.  
Thank you all for your sweet comments on yesterdays post.  I am so grateful for your “pen” pal friendships!  Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I’m So Sorry

My posts are kinda “Blaaa” right now.  We are on our 3rd round of sicknesses.  I keep wanting to sit and think and write, however, I need to keep making herbal teas, stuff vitamin C into all of us and giving us rest.  

We spent almost an hour in the basement right at supper time because of a tornado warning in our area.  The weather went from 70’s to a tornado just SE of us, then it dropped down to 36 degrees with part snow, part hail.  

The children are having a hard time with the “listen and obey” part of  childhood.  This part of child training really begins to wear me out some days.
Then there are the most precious blessings of making do with what we have and being thankful, children who smell so sweet after bath time, home made bread for supper made by my second daughter, little loves who kiss me and tell me they adore me, celebrating another’s birthday, (family party on Saturday), remembering the LORD’s goodness and unfailing love, a sweet love card from my husband because he knows the last weeks have been hard, emailing with a kindred spirit, talking to my mom and dad who love us so much, a call from my sister, my brother, my oldest son whom I miss so much...
and on and on the LORD’s blessing in my life go.  I must stop now ... a little guy wants me to hold him and feed him his bottle.  I think of you all each day, pray for you, and I am so sorry that I have not been able to comment more often!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

His Wordless Love

Love doesn’t always need words,

But may our words always be filled with LOVE.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Am So Scattered Today

-New resolve to get up by 6:30 realized - no (I have excuses, but that’s really all they are)
-Devotion with children - yes, I love this time with them
-Home school - check
-Start on that sewing project - nope

-Separate these two every few minutes for everyones sanity - check  (Believe me, they have NOT been this nice to each other...they only acted this sweet for the camera...that way they keep you all under the allusion that they are angels...Ha-ha...if they only knew that most of ya’ll are mothers and know their trickery).

-Start cleaning up lunch before dinner - check - only because my minions did it (it is their job after all)

-Get some more laundry done - Ummm...still workin’ on that one

-Wanting to serve more nourishing breakfasts - I’ve thought about it today
-Read three chapters in this awesome book - check

-Lay with sick babies during their nap - check (how do you think I read the three above chapters?)
-Enjoy Caresse’s new garden - YES I did (because I went outside in the cold to get these wonderful picture to show ya’ll).

-Exercise - hasn’t happened yet
-Shower - still waiting for the above to happen
-Bathe two little girls - (they DO smell worse then me...so I really must get to this one)
-Praise God that police report came in - YES
-Bake cookies - (I clearly need more minions)
-Wedding shower gift bought for Thursday - not yet
Do ya’ll have days when you seem to be scattered?  

Sunday, May 15, 2011

False Security verses True Riches

A young man who grew up in Uganda, and then had the opportunity to move to America said this;
“This may be confounding to you, but it was far easier being a Christian in the poverty of Uganda than in the affluence of the States.  Prosperity tempts my laziness; it lulls me away from dependence upon the LORD.  The affluence draws me toward passivity.  It’s a daily battle for dependence upon God versus dependence upon my own strength!”  

I have mentioned that I am reading Worldliness by C.J. Mahoney.  The above is taken from it.  However, I have talked with different friends who live or work in other countries, including Uganda.  And they have stated the above in different ways.
I am convicted today, once again, to not look at the “rising cost of living”, but to look at our“rise in living standards”.  It can creep in so easily and so subtly  , regardless of our income.  Wanting “stuff” is an equal opportunity sin.  Like everyone, I have more than some and not as much as many others.  

Today, I want to look more and more at the Cross and remember where my true riches are...”For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich. “ (2 Cor. 8:9)

“When someone sets his affections upon the cross and the love of Christ, he crucifies the world as a dead and undesirable thing.  The baits of sin lose their attraction and disappear.  Fill your affections with the cross of Christ and you will find no room for sin.”  
John Owen
Happy Sunday!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Random Glimpses

(BEFORE I begin, I am sure that you will want to know that the dog just threw up twice on the carpet)
That post that I wanted to do is still in the works, so I thought it would be fun to see some of the randomness that is quite normal here.  I WILL not show pictures of the dog throw-up because, I AM not going to look at it.  I called my beloved oldest daughter up here and asked her to clean up the mess.  Yes, she’s a DOLL!!
The weather has been snowy and cold this week, so Steve was not able to get the plastic on Caresse’s green house.  You know, plants can cost a pretty penny, and I wasn’t going to leave them in the garage to freeze, so we brought them inside last night to keep them warm till the greenhouse is ready.  Now, to just keep the children away from them...  As I am typing, Steve is outside putting the plastic on.  He is wonderful.  
We have been using lots of pain medicine and herbal teas this week to help the darlin’s who are sick with aches and fevers.  And the black beans were soaked all night and were ready to cook for supper. 

These are three of four boys that have been really sick this week...poor darlin’s.  Aiden is the middle picture.  It was so weird to see him just laying there...HE NEVER just lays any where unless he is asleep.  

The children that were feeling well enough were inspired by our art lesson from ARTistic Pursuits this week.  They have been creating some really fun art.  This curriculum is a little expensive, but I have had mine for years and I still love it!!
And that last picture is why I love my big sink.  Boy, can it hold a lot.  You know what else I love?  The children do an amazing job of cleaning the kitchen.  Sorry, no picture of that.  I was probably sleeping with a few sick babies.  

I have read Psalm 50 a few times this week, and read it one morning to the children on a very hard day.  I want to encourage us all with verse 23 - “The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies Me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”  
I asked the children on this hard day to tell me 10 things that we could be thankful for and then we were going to “offer our thanksgiving sacrifice” to the LORD in prayer.  It can be hard to “be thankful” when things are hard, but I want to glorify the LORD all of my days!  And I want to teach this to my children.  We, as mothers and fathers, must intentionally teach our children these Truths from the Bible and lead the way WITH them.  The children came up with some wonderful things to be thankful for on this morning.  One little darling said “I’m glad we aren’t in an orphanage where there is no medicine when we are sick.”  Another little darlin’ said “Good food to eat and healthy water to drink.”  
I am so thankful for their precious little hearts that want to learn God’s Truths.  May the LORD fill us with His wisdom as we minister and serve those that He has placed in our care!   
For His Glory!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Black And White Love

 Here are my little love birds...aren’t they cute?
I have several sick children so I have been holding the babies a lot.
I hope you will visit again tomorrow...I am working on a post about something that is very important to me.  Hoping to finish it later tonight.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Well, That’s One Way...

This ...

... plus this...

...equals this!
Well, that’s one way to loose your first tooth.  I can tell you, he WAS NOT happy about this at first.  But he got over it this morning when he got his quarter under his pillow.  

Monday, May 9, 2011

O.K, Prayers Please...

Oh, the journey to our children!!!  Whether through birth or adoption, there are so many emotions; days that are up, and days that are down.  
When I was pregnant with Caresse (our 3rd, and last pregnancy for health reasons), I had been SOOO SICK (life threatening) and was just not into the whole birth thing!  I had gone through more than I thought I could handle.  I am not kidding when I tell you that I told Steve more than once that I didn’t want to go into labor.  Yea, I can laugh now, because of course, we all know that nature will do what it does.  And it did, and she came, wrong side up (which made for a difficult AND PAINFUL delivery).  I was so relieved to be holding her and all I could say was “It’s a baby, it’s a baby”!  Steve finally laughed and said, “Yes, and since you are the only one who has held “it”, tell us if it is a girl or a boy!!”  (We birthed at home, which I loved by the way).  
Now on to today, and as we wait for our children from China, I wanted to update ya’ll on the “pregnancy”.  We sent in the papers to be authenticated at the Chinese Consulate in Chicago over three weeks ago.  Within a few days the whole package showed back up - un-authenticated.  Two problems; my birth certificate had to go to Texas for authentication separate from the rest (which we didn’t know), and our police report was over 6 months old, which they would not accept - the notary has to be under 6 months.  
We sent my stuff to Texas and already received it back last week.  
HOWEVER, our updated police reports have still NOT showed up.  I was so hopeful that our dossier would be in China by now.  And I am disappointed that it could still be “who knows” how long.  Everything is so time sensitive and well,
it is frustrating.  Would ya’ll please pray with us....THANK YOU.
This afternoon I’m off to the dr. for Caresse.  She has a really bad rash on her legs and arms.  I had this a week ago, and now Kalyn woke up with it this morning.  However, Caresse has it much worse than us, so I am hopeful to find something that will help her.  
We had a great day yesterday celebrating Mother’s Day 1st at church, and then at my favorite local State park for a picnic, hiking, and wonderful river playing.  No pictures, if you can believe that...both of my batteries were dead.  
Time for lunch, because after I eat my healthy fruits and veggies, I am going to indulge in the delicious chocolate cake that is waiting for me.  YUMMM.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

What RADICAL Living Looks Like

I saw this quote here, and had to post it to my blog!

“Who can measure the long-term effects of nurturing helpless infants, supervising wandering toddlers, discipling self-willed children, and counseling self-absorbed adolescents?  Of family outings planned, traditions built, memories made, books read, songs sung, Scripture taught?  That’s why motherhood belongs under the heading, “Engage the World”; no one shapes generations or fashions cultures more than mothers.”  from Worldliness    
Yes, mothers, we really do live Radically when we embrace the adventure of nurturing those around us.  And all I can say to that is AMEN!

This week we went to a canyon park that is up the road from us.  It was windy and chilly, but we still enjoy our nature school day.

I am so grateful to the LORD to be the mother of these precious ones!!!

Joeliana also celebrated her 7th birthday this week.  Funny, I have her and the other two “stuck” at age 5, but “the babies” as we all call the four youngest, are growing up.  

And Steve has been workin’ away with the older children getting a “green house” over Caresse’s garden.  We have tried just about everything to garden here in Colorado at over 7,000 feet, but it has been hard...the seasons are just to short and unpredictable.  So this year, we are are building this...
 ...which will be covered with a garden plastic.  We are hoping that this really helps our garden grow!!!

Thank you all so much for following our family adventure and sharing yours with us.  I pray that all the mothers out there are loved on and blessed this weekend!!! 
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