Thursday, May 31, 2012

She Has Gone

My Kalyn Meshell left today with my sister (in-love), Karla.  She will be gone for almost a month.  She will be in Texas with my family for a few days before she leaves on her mission trip to Guatemala. 
I am so very proud of her.  Please pray with us for safety and the work that she will be doing.  She was really excited, as always, to go on this mission trip.  
We will miss her!
And don't tell anyone (shhhhhhhh), but I might have cried as she drove away.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

We Loved Us Some... today with my sister (in-love), Karla;

 We also loved some daddy time,

 and some eating;

and some learning;
 and hiking;

 baby time;

and no time would be complete without lots of silliness;

 and hugs and love and kisses.
 Today we loved some together time and remembered the ones who have fought and died in our military.  
We are so grateful for their service to our country.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

So, What Am I Going To Do?

It's a good question.  
What am I going to do about bad attitudes?
Anger and impatience?
Here, I need to show you a picture....

 NO, this isn't the one, but isn't he a riot?

 O.K., this is the one.
When Steve and I were at Glen Eyrie, one of the most undeniably gorgeous sights you will see are the gardens there.  Truly, they are spectacular.  The grass is so unbelievably green and lush, the flowers are so varied and beautiful, the trees are full, offering shade and color.  Everything about their gardens say, "Come rest and enjoy my beauty.  Breath in the fragrance of my flowers, sit and let your souls feast on my colors and refresh yourself."  I would just sit and look and breathe in the beauty in that garden.  'Surely the Garden of Eden must have been like this, but more so.", I thought.

 I commented to Steve how gorgeous it all was, and he laughed and talked about the hours that the gardeners worked each day to make it all so perfect and pretty.  And those gardeners need certain tools to do their work well.  
 It certainly was worth the work though, and I was grateful for it as I sat there and enjoyed the beautiful garden around me.

So, how do bad attitudes fit into here?  Well, first of all, I am talking about MY bad attitudes.  Yep, way to often I am selfish and complain, I feel angry and impatient, I speak to quickly and say things I regret.  I let the "day - ness of things" get to me and make excuses for myself.  I doubt that I am going to help my children with their bad attitudes when I am not correcting my own.  
I was reading the Bible verse "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." (2 Tim. 3:16)
What does "equip" mean?  
"Supply with the necessary items for a particular purpose."
What about "competent"?
"Having the necessary ability, knowledge, or skill to do something successfully.  Efficient and capable."
I want to be competent and equipped each day when I wake up and do the good work that the LORD has for me that day.  But I must pick up the right tools for the job.  Like the above gardener who makes Glen Eyrie so beautiful, I must consider the work that I need to do and "pick out" the tools that I will need to do that job.  
So, what am I going to do about my own bad attitudes?  
They certainly are not good "tools" to use in my daily work.  
I must look into the LORD's Scriptures and let them teach me, offer reproof and correction where needed, and let His Words train me in righteousness, knowing that His desire is to equip me for every good work.  
Now, that all sounds good, and it is, because it's God's Words that we are talking about,
what does that look like? 
I felt "stressed" about some things this week and starting getting grouchy and short tempered.  Here's a mathematical equation to help you get the picture;
Problems created feelings of worry plus thoughts of poor me plus words of complaining equaled depression and anger.  
Pretty simple to see I hope.  And since these were the tools I went to "work" with each day, you can guess that my little "garden of children" have not been to perky.  Wrong tools gets bad results.
Time to look into Scripture for some help.  
I pray 1st, "LORD teach me from Your Word, correct me and train me for the good work that You have for me to do.  I confess my sins of fear, worry, frustration and complaining.  Cleanse me from unrighteousness and help me to live a life that brings glory to you." 

 "Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the LORD.  See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.  You also, be patient."  James 5:7  
I expect to much and am often looking for "fruit" in my children (and others) without giving it time to grow.  Being patient is a tool that I can pick up and use better today.

For several of my children and their physical, mental and emotional health I read the beautiful words of Jesus and feel comforted - "Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well."  Luke 8: 48.  Pick up the tool of belief and receive the comfort that HE sends. 

Several times the last few days, I have commented that I just didn't know what to do about such and such problems.  These things have become a burden.  The LORD reminded me in 2 Chronicles 20 that His people in this book also faced those same feelingsTheir exact words were "We do not know what to do,..."
but here is the next part that I need to remember;
"...but our eyes are on you." (2 Chron. 20:12)
"Lord, I do not know what to do, but my eyes are on You.  And like your people of ages past, I will set my face to seek help from You, LORD and I believe that you will send that help."  Amen
"Satan strikes either at the rood of faith or at the root of diligence." - John Livingstone

My we each encourage others to look to His Word to find the answers that we seek. 
Happy Gardening sweet friends.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Good Questions!

A sweet blog friend has asked some good questions about older child adoptions, and I thought that I would answer her questions here, because others may be wondering some of the same things.  
First up, I MUST STATE, every child and every adoption is different!  Each child will react differently to the new changes.   So please keep in mind that this is how our new children acted/or are acting now.
We used ASIA and loved working with them!!!
Noelani was 11 years old when she came home, and Clive was 8 years old.  
How has the transition been?  Hmmm, that's a little harder to answer.  For those of you who know about the trip to pick them up in China, I wasn't sure that we were going to make it.  Looking back and now that I know the children a little bit better, I can see that they were scared out of their minds, and that really brought out the bad and the fight in them.  Noelani is settling down really well now, loves having a family, is a very helpful little girl and generally pretty easy going.  It took some time as she tested out our rules, but she has transitioned really well.  I am very proud of how far she has come in such a short time. I thought, based off of how hard she fought us in China, that she would have a harder time than she is.  She did cry and miss China at first, but now she is very happy to be here with her new family. 
I thought that Clive would do better than he is, so you just never know.  I am a little confused by him.  As I stated earlier this week, there seems to have been some abuse.  His behavior isn't coming along quite as well as we had hoped.  He still tests us a lot, more me than Steve.  He seems "afraid" of men and behaves "better" with them.  He throws colossal fits.  He does steal things, and hordes.  These are things that we read about and are certainly not surprised by.  It's the "emotional" aspect of it all that starts to wear on us all.  
There are of course, institute behaviors that take time to retrain.  We know it takes time as the children learn the right way to act in a family.  They are learning that they do not have to fight to protect themselves;  learn how a mommy and daddy are different than the workers in the orphanage; learn to be a part of a family; learn to respect others and their property, etc..
What has been the biggest struggles?  As I said earlier, Clive is a confusion to me.  I'm not completely sure what I am dealing with.  Immaturity?  Definitely.  Emotional woundsFor sure.  He's only 8 and there is so much I'm sure he still doesn't "get".  Also, for both of them, and us, it has been hard not speaking the same language.  We get along, and teaching them sign language has been one of the greatest tools.  Still, I know we all get frustrated with the limited understanding.  We use google translate when we have to, but, it's hard to speak heart to heart that way.  They have learned a way of living called survival, what ever that looked like.  Now they are trying to learn that they are safe in a family, that they are loved always, that even when they do wrong they will not be will take time and we pray for them and for their healing.
Ha, here is a great I type this Steve asked Noelani to do something that she didn't want to do.  She started "talking" in Chinese.  Steve said back to her "Noelani, are you complaining?  She said no and he said, "I may not understand Chinese, but that sure sounds like grumbling.  She said "Sorry daddy."
I know that some of you may still have questions.  Feel free to ask away.  I will answer what ever I can.  Older child adoptions does need one thing above all others!  Tons of support, understanding, and as much before hand information as possible.  I would never want to "scare" anyone from adopting an older child, but I will state that more support, honest acceptance, and being ready for this different ministry is very important.  
And the children are worth it all!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

My Darling Daughter

 This little darling turned 8 this week.  I love her so much.  She is fun loving with a touch of the mischievous, which keeps things fun.  She is also tender and beautiful, inside and out.
 I am so glad that the LORD gave her to me, my little surprise child from Africa!!!
 We did not know about this precious one until we went to bring home her biological brother (Aiden).  We then found out that she was in the orphanage, so we quickly gathered the money with a lot of help from family and friends, and went back a few months later to bring our Joeliana home. 
We are so grateful to the LORD for choosing us to parent her. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012


 Noelani learned today "why" she is suppose to put her bike up at the shed.  She had it off to the side in the grass instead, and unfortunately, today it was run over by a mail deliverer.  I felt really sorry for the guy.  I think he thought at first that he might have hurt a child. 
It was a good learning opportunity for the children and a good review of two rules; 1) Go to the back yard when a car drives up to the house; 2) Put your toys up when you are not using them.  
Other wise, Noelani is really doing wonderfully.  
I haven't talked much about my newest son. 
 My little Clive Charles is a very "wounded" little soul.  Of course, we don't know what his past has been like.  He has very large permanent looking bumps and scars on his forehead.   Questions???
He tries to hit his head or slap himself when he is really upset.  We hold him so that he will not hurt himself.  More questions???
He has "symptoms" of abuse.  Questions???
Still, after all these years of parenting, there is only one question that I will ever ask; "LORD God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, Creator of this little child, You are directing his life; How do You want me to mother him?  What does he need?  LORD God, we ask for your wisdom."
We are doing "listening therapy" everyday, and it is our special time for me to just hold him, tummy to tummy.  He gazes at me like a newborn will do.  He is trying to get what he didn't get all those years ago.  I gaze back and stroke his head or his back.  He relaxes and sometimes goes to sleep.  I pray silently..."Lord, my Father God, please heal this little child.  Make him whole.  Fill him with Your Spirit.  May his life AND his healing bring glory to your name.  Lead him in the paths that You have planned for him, and may he love YOU.  Help me to love him the way that he needs."  
Then I breathe deeply and TRUST in my father. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Teaching A Child While They Learn English?

I am ordering these books from Plum District for Noelani.  It seems to me that until she learns more English, the easy workbook route is the best way to go.  Does anyone else have any ideas about Home Educating a child while they are learning English????

Sunday, May 13, 2012

“I Want A Time Out"

 O.K., here’s the story.  Keshawn needs some herbal medicine for a tummy problem.  We started it today, and he is HATING it.  We have tried everything to help get the herbal “medicine” down. He spits it out at us, closes his lips like a vise, and in general is making it miserable for all of us.   Nothing has worked, and believe me, I know all the tricks.   However, as any good mother knows, when they have to take their medicine, you do what you have to do.  The last time we tried to give him his medicine, he pathetically started crying out “I want a time out.”  Ha-ha!!!!!!!  That was not going to get him out of this.  And we didn’t buy into it. 
These pictures are capturing his latest reaction.  The top picture, I told him he had to take one more dose of medicine before bedtime.

 The tears came, and the begging for a time out instead of the “medicine” began....(which, if anyone is wondering just what I am “torturing” him with - it is a rather yummy Cherry Berry Aloe Vera juice.)

 Now, I am being very vulnerable here showing my "no make up" face, but is that baby Keshawn sad face not cute, OR WHAT?!!!  I was trying to convince him that I would help him.  
 I offered a special, SPECIAL treat to help him.  You can see, he is thinking about it. 
 You can almost read his thoughts here....”How much can I manipulate them with these adorable big, brown eyes."
 He has agreed to try it again, without spitting the juice back out in our face.  What’s my secret weapon, and will it work?
Stay tuned.....

I Know, I Know....

 ...I am one blessed Momma!!!!
Happy mother’s day to all of my sweet momma friends...I love ya’ll.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Castle and His Word

 I verse that the LORD encouraged me with while Steve and I were at the Castle this morning was; "Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.  And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.  My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places."  Isaiah 32:16-18
 I'm not even really sure why this spoke to me so much this morning.  Steve and I had a wonderful and relaxing time, but beyond that we were so open to asking the LORD for insight in raising our family for His glory.  First, and foremost for both of us was a conviction and confession for sins in our own lives. 
 After our delightfully relaxing breakfast, we spent some time asking the LORD to show us areas where we have strayed from His ways.  Isaiah 31:1 says "Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the LORD!" 
 We did not want to consult the latest books, or hear the most recent "wisdom" from some other source.  We wanted to consult the LORD and ask HIM the questions that we have right now for our ministry as a husband/wife, family and mother and father. 
 We would walk and then sit, pray and think, talk and be quiet.  We enjoyed the below tom turkey and his mate;
 Colorado Mountain goats, and Big Horn Mountain sheep.
We soaked up the beauty of His creation,
and we came away with less of us and a desire for more of His will, His ....
well, a desire to love Him and make Him daily our focus, our passion, our love.  
We walked away from our time at this beautiful place wanting more than ever to fall in love with and serve our God, our LORD, our Creator more fully from our hearts, and to infuse our children with this love for Him.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Guess What He Got Me?

He bought me a "bed and breakfast" date night at the Glen Eyrie Castle with him.  My husband is so thoughtful!    
 This is one of our favorite places to visit on the west side of Colorado Springs.  I like to take the girls here for a Sunday special tea time.  However, I have never got to spend the night in the castle.  We are on the 3rd floor and have a beautiful view to the north/west. 
 I am sitting at this window typing, while listening to the sounds of the birds as they prepare for the night time.  

 Steve and I walked the beautiful grounds and prayed and talked.  Then we headed to a restaurant up the road in the foothills for a supper beside the river...PERFECT. 
I am so grateful for this time to rest with my husband.  I can't believe how quiet it is here. Because it is an "off" season time, I think that we may be the only ones here tonight.  How very special!  
"All my children at home, thank you for letting mommy and daddy have this special time together."
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