Monday, December 19, 2011

Another Christ in Christmas Activity

Repost from 2008-you can check out other ideas there as well. Another fun way to keep Christ the JOY of Christmas.

Shepherds Point of View

Here is another option to allow your children the THRILL OF CHRIST in Christmas!
Last year, after opening presents, we read the Christmas story in Luke 2. We listened how the shepherds were told about Jesus birth and went to find Him. Here is what to do:
Place angels in different rooms of your home like a scavenger hunt. I referred to the children as Shepherd Dolly (age 3) and Shepherd Billy (age 6) and we went on the hunt for Baby Jesus. The angels should be visible from one room to the other so they can spot them. Ours were more like a straight path with angels along the way to reinforce them. The end of the hunt lead us to our unfinished basement-damp and cold, probably like a stable. There, hanging from the ceiling, would be the final angel and under it was the Baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph. That year, behind the figures, we chose to cover and reveal an additional gift for each of the children.

This year, I think we will simply hide Mary, Joseph and the baby and allow the children the thrill of a scavenger hunt to find them. If you are like us and have a nice age gap from oldest to our youngest child, perhaps a group of Shepherds play first then a group of Wise Guys will follow stars and hunt after the older siblings. This would be especially fun for the olders to set up for the youngers after they have played.

Give it a try and add your own touches! Have fun as you teach the true meaning of Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Inn Keeper






A few years ago, My Dear and I along with Billy were gifted an amazing gift-a trip to Israel.


While on the trip we were able to see so much and learn even more! We of course went to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Interesting enough, any place thought to be holy has a church built on top of it. This was the believed birth place of Christ. It was heavily decorated and it was impossible to visualize it as a stable with all of the candles, paintings, and fancy lighting which was needed since we were in a basement. Yep, that is it in the picture above. The location was crowded and people were packed in for a Christmas carol and then lead out like an elementary field trip.



Our guide then took us next door. It was not crowded at all, actually our group was the only one there. It looked far more like a stable of that time would appear, stone and cave like. The guide then shared that most groups did not go there but he wanted us to see it. The place where we were was where the Inn would have been....(such a poet, arent' I! ) It is the place were the so called nasty Inn Keeper turned away the Christ Child--who would do that?


The hotel of that day were one large room that everyone slept in together-everyone staying in the hotel-everyone! It would be filled with noise and people drinking and partying. So when Mary and Joseph came to the door, the so called grumpy Inn Keeper had compassion for them. He did not want Mary to be in that environment while she had her baby. He wanted privacy for her. He wanted Joseph to be able to care for her without fearing for her and the baby in the setting. He wanted baby Jesus to have a "Silent Night."


I ran my fingers over the stone realizing this is more what it would have been like, like this Inn, cold and hard and how sweet a bed of straw must have been.



I thought about the gruff image I had of the Inn Keeper and my heart was filled with thanksgiving for the compassion he showed this young family. So it seems to me the Inn Keeper has gotten a bad wrap. He truly had the families best interest at heart. He had room for Jesus in his stable and likely in his heart too!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Keeping Christ in Christmas Activity

I hope to repost a few of my favorite Christmas activities that we have done over the past 10 years with our children. Billy and Dolly loved this one as preschoolers and now they are the ones helping Miss B. to enjoy it! I use this one every Christmas with the preschoolers I work with at church as well. They LOVE it!! Hope your little people do too!




In Mexico, it is tradition for children to march through the town carrying the figures of Mary and Joseph. They knock on doors and ask if anyone has rooms for the figures. They, of course do not. We did this with our children as well.


I walked down the hallway with the children while Billy carried Joseph and Dolly carried Mary. They knocked on each door in the hallway. Their quick daddy jumped behind each door to answer their knocks. He changed his approach and character with each knock. They asked if there was room for them to stay the night and each time, My Dear shared that no there was not. When they got close to the last door, My Dear said he did not have room but suggested they use the broom/linen closet. We made room for the figures in the closet and talked about how it was not as nice as the bedrooms but it would have to do, just like the stable so many years ago. As we were about to set the figures on the floor, Billy reached up and pulled a blanket down then sat the figures on it and Dolly stopped us and asked us to leave the light on. Their hearts were captured!


Christmas morning they ran up the hall not to race to the tree but to the broom closet where they found that Mary and Joseph now were joined by Baby Jesus. They called out, "They had their baby! Baby Jesus!" The real thrill of Christmas!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Gift of Reading


I am sure I have shared this a zillion times but can't help but share it again just incase someone might have missed it!

Last year at the end of the season, the children and I wrapped 25 Christmas books including a Bible. As of December 1st, we began to unwrap a book a day to read in preparation for Christmas. I know that sounds like a lot of books but you would be amazed how quickly they accumulate. Because the older kids realized last year that these are the same books, they are on the hunt for their favorites.

Miss B. wants the Little Critter book.
Dolly is watching out for the Legend of the Candy Cane.
Billy enjoys The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (which is also one of my favorites.)

I know there will be a day when they no longer have time for this silly tradition but as of now-it is a gift everyday-for them and for me!

Friday, December 2, 2011

DREAM DAY

Billy had a cumulative final exam in 4th grade! I was nervous for me and concerned that I had not prepared him for it. I left a couple of days for review and then we went for it. I handed him his test and watched his shoulders slump over. He was already defeated, or so he thought.



He then told me that if he scored within a certain percentage, he was going to pay me for being such a good teacher. Cute huh! I graded the test and Billy got 98%! I went to the bathroom to clean up an accident and here comes Billy putting a dollar bill in my pocket! He reminded me that I had earned it. I think I might hang that dollar on the wall by my desk!


To make the deal even sweeter, we went to the park and invited some friends to join us. We decided to play soccer and Billy and another little boy chose teams. Billy got to choose and he picked me first! It was a good mama day! I made a buck and made the team!




You better believe, I was sure to remind My Dear of how we met-he chose my roommate for his wiffle ball team and she said she would not come without me. He won me by default! But my boy, chose me first! Who would have thought a wiffle ball game 16 years ago would still make me smile! My Dear would have been nuts not to chose my athletic roommate.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Passion?



Today we went to Bass Pro Shop to get a specific item. We chose that store because there is so much for the kids to see! Well, apparently they have started the Christmas season. Parents and children were lined up through the store to see the Jolly Ole Elf!



The line was L O N G!






Santa had extra elves on duty just for this purpose. I questioned our sanity even going in!






As I walked past, I noticed the children were dressed up for the very important meeting and of course photo! The children seemed to be waiting patiently probably due to the "better not pout" lecture even though the line was way longer than the words to the song. The line seemed to be parent "driven" so to speak, but I am sure none of the children complained! Those folks were willing to wait.






We had to fight our way by them again to leave and this time I had a less than happy preschooler. Here are the conclusions that I came to:






1. That would NOT be me waiting in a line that long with children!



2. One would only wait in a line that long for something they are passionate about.






So, what "line" or inconvenience am I willing to stand in for my passion. Even now as I type this my heart is convicted. Is my passion obvious to others? Is it obvious to those in my home? (man, that is the tough crowd that sees all the ugly!) Am I that passionate for the case of Christ?



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lesson in Love






It is important to me that our children get to be with other children. It is especially true for our Billy since he is the only, well, "he" in our school. I was tempted to "pad" a group for Billy at AWANA to make sure he had a guy friend in his group. But God was just setting the stage. One of the young men placed in his group is not likely to be someone that Billy would hang out with. Billy is his father's son and likes sports AND likes to win! This little guy had played on a team with Billy years ago and it was his first time playing. We were all his cheerleaders, we just wanted it for him! Billy remembered this child as well and being human, he was not drawn to love him.




He admitted this to me and said that the child tells them every week that he is hungry as Billy gave the eye rolling expression. I responded that he probably is hungry. I know that Billy knows the greatness of our country and the poverty in many parts of the world but I am not so sure he ever thought about it being someone he knows. He was taken off guard by my response to his comment.



Tonight, as we were preparing to go to church, Billy seemed to be dancing around something. He finally asked if we could take the young man, something to church. I asked what he had in mind and he reminded me that he is always hungry. Although he wanted the child to have something, he did not want to be the one to give it to him. I left the ball , so to speak, in his court so we went to church empty handed.




After we got home, I took the girls to get ready for bed and a knock came to the door. Billy, pried open the door and said, "You know what I noticed tonight, he just wants stuff I have. Tonight he had a little car. It was pretty old."




Wonder what God will lay on my Billy's heart for next week. Although scripture memory would have been enough from AWANA, I am thankful that God is growing my Billy's love for others as well.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thankful for...

One day, after Billy and I prayed for his wife, he asked me if I prayed for My Dear when I was little. I told him I did not start until I was much older. He responded that God must have really wanted to give me someone special!

I am thankful that My Dear knows that after a long day of work, he has an even more important job to do.


...and it looks A WHOLE LOT like this......



Dear, I am thankful for you!

Friday, October 14, 2011

World Vision is All Dolled up!

I am no better than our children! Really, I get the gimmies too!




Tonight it happened at the Super Center in the toy aisle! Have you seen them???






Hearts 4 Hearts Girls!!!

Changing the World One Heart at a Time







They are beautiful!!!! The dolls I saw cost just less than $30. I know, so what! Well, the dolls represent different countries where World Vision serves!




The doll from the U.S. represents ministries in My Old Kentucky Home-the coal mining, Appalachia Mountains. There is a doll for Ethiopia, India, Belarus, Mexico and Laos also. Oh they are beautiful! Each doll has a "heart" for her area and how she serves the people there. This description is included with her as well as Internet link information.




Perhaps the best part is that World Vision gains some of the profits on these precious dolls.





The website is http://www.hearts4heartsgirls.com/





Is it wrong that I want to talk the girls into wanting one (or 2)!?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

How to Turn 4- B. Style!

1. Train your hand to hold up 4 fingers! This is essential for taking the first picture of our now 4 year old.

2. Direct (or should I say, command) the decorating for the fan club coming over later. If it is a party, it has got to look like one! Big sisters are GREAT at this and big brothers reach much higher to hang streamers.



3. To insure you get presents. Remind your mom to buy you some a week or so ahead of your birthday. Then remind her of what she already bought you and said you could have it, "on your birthday." Insist that you wrap that gift she forgot and decorate the paper with rolls of princess stamps.






4. Take your BFF to Chuck E. Cheese the night before to play games. Giggle lots! Get daddy's tickets to get big prizes and remind your mom to bring the camera...next time!



5. Wake everyone up to get them to help you bake cake and brownies.



6. Wash the fun decorations you have chosen for your cake.



7. Lick the fun decorations clean after blowing out the candles.




8. Get a big girl haircut prior to the party!




9. Fill your lungs with oxygen and B L O W out your candle!




10. Insist on being rocked in the rocking chair for bedtime and suggest that you do it all again tomorrow.









Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rock'n!

Last night, we celebrated the birth of Miss B, 4 years ago. She was beyond exhausted and had trouble calming down to rest. Through her tears, she asked if I would rock her. I had pulled the rocking chair out of her room to give them more play room but now, it was being requested.

I pulled the rocking chair back into her room and snuggled up with Miss B in her fuzzy robe, "night hat" on, and blankie in hand. (She wears a hat her Nana made her when she gets out of the warm bathtub and sleeps in it.)

I would have never dreamed I would be back in the rocking chair with a 4 year old. As I rocked and Baby Praise played, I was able to once again reflect on all that God has taught me in the seat of that rocking chair. My heart became filled with the honor of rocking a child to sleep, the smell of clean baby shampoo fresh from her little hat wearing head and the responsibility I have to her-to protect her, grow her, and lead her. It leaves me humbled that God would entrust us with such a HUGE task! I want to savor her and every little rock in that chair because I'll never know when it will be the last time she wants to rock, wear her hat, or even sleep with her blankie.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The One Room Schoolhouse


I picked up a box of flashcards in the $1 section of the states with some information on each card as well as location. We do what we call, "The Nifty 50 States." The children have developed a journal with a spread for each state. Dolly started her journal last year. As she read or learned about a landmark, she recorded it in her journal. It was her journal that assisted in our trip to D.C. this year.

Each of the big kids draw 2 cards every other day or so. They list the state and capitol in their journal as well as anything else they know about that state from their cards and from their sibling's cards. They locate the state on the map and practice saying the capitol. Billy is learning to spell the states as well. He is quite proud of spelling Massachusetts and Dolly is of course proud of
M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I!
They are making travel plans and hopefully all of the early American History stuff we just learned is falling into place for them as they see the locations. They both like "Nifty 50" and quiz one another as well. They like it so much that they told me to "blog it."






We started dental health this week. We soaked an egg in vinegar to learn about acid destroying the enamel on our teeth. We then checked some food labels and Billy had a talk with someone he cares about, concerning their diet. One day this week while reading, Billy said,"Can we hurry up because I feel like I really need to go brush my teeth?" I love when the lesson sets in immediately!


One of the benefits of our one room schoolhouse is that older siblings are both students and teachers. B. knows what the school time routine looks like and chooses what she wants to work on. I was not sure how she would approach schooling this year but she has progressed greatly! She can not only cut hair but on a line too!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

SALUTE!

On this day in 1789, Benjamin Franklin organized the first United States Post Office. It is located in Philly! While we were in Philly we stopped by the B. Free Franklin Post Office which is still in operation.

Franklin named it B. Free to aggreviate the British.

With that being said, we say "HAPPY BIRTHDAY UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE!" Thank you to the men and women that work in all kinds of conditions to bring us greetings, magazines, packages from grandparents and Amazon and for bills....(well, 4 out of 5 goodness is not bad!) Our family says, "SALUTE!"




Thursday, August 25, 2011

Love Notes

Remember when I posted a picture of the "Welcome" sign. Well, our family has changed a bit. We have added teenagers to the mix. We are parenting backwards! One wonderful perk is that I know when they are on youth trips, they are in the BEST hands! Of course, I am VERY partail to the minister!

We are integrated everyone into the new schedule, routines, and responsibilities.

I enjoy sticking notes in their stuff with silly comments. Today someone had the word BEHAVE written on the outside of a pack of notebook paper. Tomorrow morning when someone gets the peanut butter out for breakfast, they will find this note.





I am truly enjoying these people and the fun of leaving little notes!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Everlasting Arms


As a little girl, no one is stronger than your Daddy! My parents were very affectionate toward us growing up and still are. They hugged tight- none of those framed armed hugs. My dad's arms could squeeze me like a snake with his prey and I loved it! The feel of his tight hug became a part of me. As I worked with children with special needs I realized I had my own occupational therapy need. I need deep pressure at times, the deep pressure my parents offered when they hugged me. My dad's hugs were especially special.

After I went to college, met My Dear and married I could still receive my dad's tight hugs but My Dear's hugs were needed as well. My dad is a much bigger man than My Dear so their hugs are different. When I self diagnosed my need for deep pressure, My Dear quickly learned the Boa Constrictor Squeeze and since he was far more accessible to me, those hugs worked. My Dear knows that when I flop toward him like a wet noodle that is when I need the tightest squeeze!

While on a mission trip to V*etnam, I really missed those hugs! One day on the trip I had such a moment before God it drained me....literally drained me. You know, like the wet noodle. In V*etnam, a man is not to hug another woman's wife. Although my girlfriends offered their hugs, it was not my daddy's hug nor was it the Boa Constrictor hug My Dear gives. Our friend Bob was on the trip. His build is a tiny bit more like my dad's with big (and hairy) arms. (Guess folks in V*etnam do not have big nor do they have hairy arms.) I knew it was against V*etnam social norms but I knew Bob's wife (my friend) and My Dear would not hesitate so I stole a much needed big armed, man hug which worked!

Recently, I was challenged to explain what God is to me. All I could think about were those strong arms that have held me and hugged me when I needed it most. Those arms that comforted me through the saddest days of losing someone I loved, the arms that held when I could take no more. I recall the moments when the hugs were tight out of pride on my wedding day, my college graduation, and when we announced a baby was coming. Those days were the days the I felt God most of all...in the joy and in the sorrow.

One day, in church, the pastor shared a passage in John 12 about the "arm of the Lord." THOSE were the arms I had felt all of those times. That was the Boa Constrictor squeeze telling me to press on from My Dear. The squeeze to DELIGHT me from family and friends! The hugs just because He loves me from my dad and the big arm squeeze I received in V*etnam to tell me that He forgives me. There is a lot of curiosity about God and what He is doing and what He looks like but this I know, I have felt his Everlasting Arms.




Monday, August 15, 2011

FIELD TRIP!!!


The last of my 8 cousins got married in the D.C. area so we partied with the family then headed out for our field trip!

We pricelined a hotel and had a yard sale to pay for it and packed up the darlings and went! What a GREAT TRIP! We loved it! I follow www.aquiverfull-christy.blogspot.com and they have made the trip twice. She has excellent suggestions and well, it was indeed awesome! We used the metro and spent a couple of days there with our picnic lunches. We may make a quick trip to a museum and we may come back for more. Since the majority of attractions are free in D.C., My Dear and I could say "yes" and say it often.

Dolly wanted to see the flag that flew over Ft. McHenry from the War of 1812. It is the flag that inspired the Star Spangled Banner. We read every word of information in that are at the Museum of American History. In fact, we did this museum two days because of the "kid" areas in the basement.

Billy, My Dear and I all loved Ford's Theater where Lincoln was shot. The theater has been rebuilt and is a National Park now. Museum in the basement then a lecture in the actual theater. Very good! Billy, as a second grader would read anything he could get his hands on about Abraham Lincoln so he had a strong base to build on! Even B. knows he comes on the $5 bill. She can't read the 5 on the bill but she knows "Abewaham Weencon!"

The children were good with walking through the monuments but it is the new World War II Memorial that really caught their attention. It is done so well and connected some history dots for me. The display of stars, each representing 100 American lives lost in the war stopped all of us in our tracks.

The zoo is also free so Miss B. enjoyed the few hours we were there and watching the funny Pandas. It was suggested that one of the Panda was the actual panda used in the movie Kung Fu Panda as it layed spread out on a rock-fat and happy!

The Natural History Museum had a nice insect exhibit with included a greenhouse area of butterflies. My brother had gone and strongly suggested we go. He even told me when the free day was to see the butterflies! So that is what we did on Tuesday and that was EVERYONE'S favorite activity of the day.

We put the miles on our tennis shoes and on the stroller! But we loved it!

In fact, we loved it so much we added a day to our trip and went to Philly! Independence Hall, the "Liverty" Bell (Dolly's favorite), Betsy Ross's home, and first post office in the US and it is still in operation. We had read about this post office and the work of Ben Franklin. Billy had read about William Penn's coming to America as a Quaker and his views that all are created equal because we are in the image of God! Very cool to see what we read about!

We LOVED the "Once Upon A Nation" story tellers who set up around Philly and told stories of less than well known heroes. I learned, I don't know a lick about history really and our text books are limiting! Even the homeschooling book we have used was disappointing.

Billy, Dolly, and My Dear joined the regiment and were trained while Miss B napped in the stroller and I laughed! The children LOVED it as folks were dressed in period costumes. One of them asked Dolly what "Colony she hailed from?" Seeing that we are not from an original colony-she just froze. He asked if she was Scottish because My Dear was wearing plaid shorts. I of course wanted to eat a Philly Steak while there...yum!

After a night in a historical building turned hotel (thank you Priceline!), we hit the road! But since we were so close to Valley Forge decided to stop for only an hour......ok, that does not scratch the surface!!! We MUST go back again! I want to take the bicycle tour of the area! We did get to hear one of the "Once Upon A Nation" storytellers.

The trip was filled with extended family, points of interest for everyone, picnics, 2 birthdays (Billy and I), swimming, history, and sleepovers every night!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The HIGHLIGHT of My Week!

I skip church on Sunday nights, I confess, I do! To make matters worse, I drop the kids off for childcare at the church and then leave-it is typically a no, no but... I skip church and go up the street to my neighbor's home where I get to hang out with some precious young woman! It is without a doubt one of the highlights of my week! We challenge one another! This past week it was to learn a few scripture verses. As the girls recited, I allowed them to reach into my goodie bag and draw out a prize but I wanted to let them know how precious they are to me as well, so this is what God put on my heart.....






It is a tiny thing but I hope as they head back to school they will be reminded of how precious they are! Go ahead, STEAL this idea for a student you love!

SHOUT OUT....thanks Katie for taking a picture!

Monday, July 18, 2011

This month we celebrated a very special birthday at our house! If you count by 10s, you will say the age that someone in our home turned. Billy will soon fit this description as well but this person is a bit older and seeing that this is my blog, you know IT'S NOT ME!!

I love birthdays with children because they love birthdays. They love to give gifts, decorate and gift wrap. Thought you might enjoy a picture of My Dear's packages compliments of Dolly and Miss B. I purchased the bows with Christmas clearance. I think we got our 13 cents out of them! Too precious to open arent' they!! (Unless you are the birthday boy!)




Two weekends in a row we were on the road to visit family. This visit with Pops proved to make everyone feel as if they were royality. Lucky for the children, their aunt lives in the same neighborhood so they could ride to see her. This vehicle only has seatbelts in the front seat and making car seats difficult. This is the part where our parents wondered how they ever raised us to adulthood without all the safety gear our children have.


Sometimes I just take pictures so I won't forget. I know there will be days that I will miss the circus of activity that having young children holds but rarely do I stop and make note of the joys in my life right now! When I do, I am overwhelming blessed! It happens everytime! I grabbed my camera to head outside to take a picture and this is what I walked past. It just looked strange! PERFECT for the things that would describe our lives right now! Time for new brakes, thankfully they were still under warranty! YIPPPEEE!





There will be a day when no one plays with these little guys! They will be donated or sold in a yard sale or perhaps stored away when another young person enters our home. As I glanced out the window, I smiled at this picture. These little guys have brought lots of play time to our lives.




See the rope hanging on the railing? I have GOT to get a picture of that! Dolly has invented a way to assist Miss B. and other younger friends with traveling up and down the steep hill. She put a dog collar around their waist as they repel with jump ropes....clever and it totally works!



As I turned to head back into the door, I saw this.......





and I felt God say, "Do you really mean it?" He is nudging us around a bit!




Sunday, June 5, 2011

Adventures in Parenting

This is what Miss B looked like on a Friday when we went on a field trip. She and Dolly enjoyed trying on the pioneer type clothing from the Civil War era. Dolly likes the Little House picture books so this was right up her alley! (note the outlet in the background!)

The following Saturday, the 2 oldest children and I were preparing for a trip out of state to attend my niece's high school graduation. I knew the event would be too much for Miss B and we agreed that she and daddy (who had to work) would stay home.

In the busyness of packing suitcases and doing chores at the house, I was doing laundry. The large capacity washer and dryer can hold a lot of little clothes and those were the ones I was washing. I folded them all in the basement and headed upstairs to find these out on the bathroom counter...

a wastepaper basket pulled out with shiny, long, red deposits in it and this little face, Proud as Peacock!



This is picture was taken after she was informed that cutting her own hair is not a good thing. She put her hair in the trash and tried to clean up and was honestly proud of herself. But this picture is the one where I removed the hairy t shirt and put her in her bed for time out. Pitiful isn't it! I totally spoiled her party!


Since I was heading out of town, I called My Dear to tell him and emailed a picture to a friend who does magic with scissors. My Dear took our lopsided- head child to church and my friend Sam met them there to clean her up after the service. I called home and asked My Dear how it looks, "You will just have to see it, " he said!





Hum, wonder where she got the idea for such a short hair cut? Miss B. and me and our summer hair! I must say, I like her short hair but it could be because I am a big fan of this little girl!






Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Ole' KY Home (& a funny kid born there!)




My sister was to celebrate her Big 4-0 so KY seemed the place to be for Derby Weekend! The children and I had fun with aunts, uncles, cousins, and horses!




Growing up in KY, I just assumed all kids could tell a horse from a cow from a distance. It is hard for me to swallow that my younger 2 can not. I also assumed that everyone had historical stone fences that went along the road with hills of grass. Nope! I miss that! My allergies do not, but I do! Isn't it beautiful!




The kids and I enjoyed the Kentucky Horse Park and we learned some cool stuff about horses! Like, those tiny horses are not ponies, they are indeed horses and were bred to be small to work in the coal mines-cool huh!


Our Dolly loves animals! A few weeks ago, she asked me how to tell a boy dog from a girl dog. I told her the same way a doctor tells a boy baby from a girl baby. She found a picture of a dog and knew the gender. So, you can imagine her generalization at the Horse Park-the special educator in me appreciates the transfer of knowledge from one animal to another. She knew discussing such matters was a private conversation but I must say I LOVE that she is willing to talk about it with me! I want our children to know they can come to us about ANYTHING you know!



Now for the funny girl part....

Yesterday, My Dear began to comb the heaps of Dolly's thick curls. She said something and I started laughing. Our precious girl told her bald daddy, "It must feel good to brush hair again?"


She cracks me up! I can't even keep up with the kid's funnies, laundry, dirty dishes and definitely behind on their scrapbooks but I so enjoy them! That may be why I am behind on all the other stuff! Oh well....some day I will be bored and will get all of that done!












Sunday, May 1, 2011

Laundry Basket Memories

In doing the laundry today, I pulled out a pair of underwear that belongs to Billy. He will be so thankful that I am talking about his underwear on the web! Honestly, he belly laughs at this story so I think I am in the clear to share...that and....well, he does not read my blog.

Several years ago, Billy was in need of new underwear. He was ready for a pair that did not have Grover or Thomas the Train on them. Let's be honest, those little guy undies get yucky fast. It is part of the toddler years. So while we were out and about, I picked up a package of boy's underwear. I was not sure what size to get because every size is not represented and some shrink. BUT they do offer the chart on the back to help you pick the size that would work best for your child. So I read the chart and decided on getting the size 6 underwear for our 4 year old according to his weight and height.

I talked hype about the new underwear and how they really were big boy underwear with motorcycles on them. I washed them and had them ready for a doctor's appointment since they have to be in their undies, it would be nice for the doctor to have to deal with a new pair, you know (or maybe I was looking for the mother of the year award.)

Little man was excited about getting to wear his big boy draws' but I was a bit concerned that maybe they were a little too big! They seemed to hang off of him. You know when you have talked it up and there is no turning back, I was there. So off we go with Man Cub in his BIG underwear-hanging a bit off of him.

Our pediatrician was a deacon in our church and since My Dear was an employee of the church it was important to me that we had best foot forward. I now realize this was not all about being church members but lots about being a new mom and constantly questioning myself. So I did not want my boy to look like he was wearing someone else's old underwear or that we were unable to buy proper fitting underwear....you know, I did not want to look like an unfit parent.

The doctor was of course super nice. Billy being 4,listened like a 4 year old boy. The doctor was talking with him and Billy was sitting on the exam table with his head down. Billy notices that his underwear are too big when he sees that they are hanging off of his body a bit allowing a gap between him and his underwear. Believe me, I noticed too! As the doctor attempts to talk to him, my Billy, puts his entire arm through the gap in underwear and begins flapping his arm and waving at the doctor! Here I am, the new mom-completely embarrassed and this professional, Godly man trying to have a conversation with a 4 year old waving his arm out of his underwear.....oh my! I was speechless and probably a million shades of red! Dr. Ron smiled made a simple joke about funny kids, and corrected Clay's behavior since I was PARALYZED in embarrassment! I was so ready to get out of there!

Billy and I still crack up about that story! I wonder if the doctor lost it when he we were out of view!

Do you want to know how big those underwear really are!? Well, he was 4. The package said size 6 and Billy is quickly approaching 10 years old and THEY STILL FIT! I guess I should be thankful that he did not put both arms through there!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

DELIGHT!

We have had a tree in our yard that has been dead since we moved her almost 7 years ago. It seemed tricky, at least for me, to take down because it is on a property line and could easily fall and damage a fence, a house, a play set, an outbuilding.... you name it- risky. I used to fear any strong wind, that it would blow the tree over our neighbor's fence damaging their property. I have lost sleep over that silly tree!

Well, the weather has been quite interesting around her the past few weeks. Last Friday night, we woke the children at 2 a.m. to move to our "mostly" unfinished basement due to a tornado or 2 in our area. The storms have been so often that Miss B. is not quite as rattled by the thunder. When she does get upset, she just runs to our bedroom and assumes the position-you know the one right between mommy and daddy!

Apparently, last night was just as eventful but I too have learned to sleep through the excitement. When I went toward the restroom this morning, I glanced out the window and to my DELIGHT, I saw this:

The old tree was down-really down! In fact, there is hardly a stump to mess with. It laid across the strange, kinda useless, little patio without missing anything that we could have lost or might have missed. I looked out, smiled and said, "THANK YOU GOD!" I am so thankful that old tree is down! AND you know what an old, dead tree means.....critters and lots of them. So the scientists went to work!



Billy said he could not wait to get to that tree so I knew we had to do some other school work first or I would lose him for the entire day! Billy armed with a tool kit, Dolly armed with a microscope and her nature journal and Miss B. armed with her flip flops headed out for what Dolly called an "ADVENTURE." I could hear their squeals and thrills with each new discovery.




Thank you God for delighting me in one less concern and for delighting the children in an adventure in Your creation!



Sunday, April 24, 2011

Love Kept Him There



Over the past couple of weeks the Holy Spirit has shown me a couple of aspects about His death on the cross. Maybe you already, "got this" but here it is.

The sign language for Jesus is the middle finger touching the palm of the opposite hand and then repeated for the other hand. It helps to remember the nails that were placed in His hands (or wrist.) As I was teaching this sign to a group of little girls, I was able to tell them the significance of the middle finger in signing. It is an "emotion" finger. It shows mercy, love, those kinda things. It occurred to me as I explained the sign to the girls that it was because of God's Mercy for us that Jesus died. A person could have decided that the sign was with the pointer finger and no big deal, but it is not. It is with the love, mercy finger-that is what held Him to the cross. Our Mercy is through Jesus. The sign is Biblically correct and well, it preaches!





Along with this point, I learned this weekend that it was not so much Christ's love for us that He died because remember He asked that the "cup be passed." BUT Jesus did it because of His Great love for God, His Father. It is God's Mercy on us that Jesus died for our sins. It is God who gave His only Son. It is God who Jesus wanted to please and therefore died. It is God's Mercy, just like the sign language, that nailed Jesus to the tree.





PRAISE HIM!

Monday, April 11, 2011

You Might Be a Homeschooler If...

As soon as the children get their chores and school work finished, I can answer "yes" to most anything they ask. This keeps them pretty motivated. So motivated in fact that this is what I found after a little "break" in our day.
You might be a homeschooler if...............

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Where You Go, I'll Go...


The week prior to our Spring Break, we were loading buses and vans to send children home from AWANA. As we were lining up and getting head counts a 12 year old decided she needed to go find her friend. I told her no that she needed to stay with the group and we would insure that her friend was on the bus. The child, same height as I am, pulled away in anger and giving me an ear full. I held on to her until I was able to position her in a corner for her to calm down. The entire time I am in this situation, she continues to "let me have it" and I continue to repeat the instructions to her.


Two things that went through my head....#1. I am not very strong, mental note to eat before AWANA because this confrontation was physical draining. #2. So this God, is why you had me teaching special education and going through the training for safe physical management.


You will be pleased to know that "the friend" was on the bus the entire time, but I now had a new enemy and a bus ride to take to talk to a mama. I rode in the back with other children to bring some kind of peace to the ride.


The younger sister of the 12 year old rode in front of me. The chewed me out the entire way to her county line home! I responded very little and talked to the children around me. I knew that my lack of response would be new to her. In fact, she did not know how to take it. It was sad and I tried to not let those words hurt my heart or the love I had for the child. So, I did what I had to do. As she continued to go on and on about something she truly knew nothing about, I closed my eyes and began to sing aloud. I knew it would catch the children off guard but I needed to say it out loud!


Out came Tomlin's, "Where you go, I 'll go. Where you stay, I'll stay. When you move, I'll move. I will follow you." I repeated the chorus, again and again. At first the children fell quiet and listened. Then the "abuser" began again. She continued until we got closer to home and then she popped around and immediately began apologizing. I did not make it easy for her and had her name the specifics of why she was apologizing. This then opened the door for me to tell her why I do what I do. Why Troy, the bus driver, picks them up. I told her about the Jesus in my heart that allows me to love her and forgive her. I will be honest, it was draining. But this I know, He called and...."Where you go, I'll go."

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Lesson and a Bless'n!


Our AWANA ministry has grown into more of an outreach then a ministry within the church. A couple of weeks ago, it occurred to me that the children from the bus ministry would not be going anywhere for Spring Break! Our church family would visit family and vacation but those kids would have zero plans. In fact, their being home would be a financial hardship on most families. They would have to feed the children 3 meals a day instead of just one.




I mentioned an idea to a couple of ladies and as always they responded, "Let's Do IT" and more!




A grocery list was established and we asked for volunteers within the church to fill them. We requested foods that the children could prepare for themselves knowing that many of them would be home alone. Bread, PBJ, fresh fruits and veggies along with cereal and milk were presented to families! A few of us meet to pray and go deliver. As I was driving a church van, I looked at my co-pilot Janet. I asked her if she remembered where we were a year ago? She said, yes and it had been heavy on her heart as well that just a year ago our lives were changed forever on a mission trip to Vietnam. As we rode in a van with our 5 children, about 10 gallons of milk and a bunch of groceries rolling around I asked her, "Do you think we would be doing this if we did not do what we did this time last year?" Janet and I both felt sure, that we would not.




There is so much that we learned from that trip! In fact, over half of our Vnam team is involved in the AWANA ministry and the outreach it has become. Upon delivering groceries, we were able to talk with families, bless them, share their burdens and surprise them all the same! This week has been its own little mission trip right here in our own town! I will post more on that later but I want to leave you with what God showed me HUGE while in Vnam!




He is GOD, He does not need our help! But, He invites us to join Him for our benefit!




Just like Janet said, we would probably not be where we are today if we had not been in Vnam last year. God invited us to go so we went! He filled us with a deep desire to serve Him by serving others. We have, and still struggle with the "American Dream," the price of eating out a meal, and spending money on "stuff" when we have seen how little others have and with so much more happiness! He has shown us "our Vnam" and it is right here in our little town!! A whole "nother" world! Oh how He has blessed us by allowing us to serve in "our" Vnam!




So, I challenge you! Stop and watch where God is working and join in! He will have a lesson and a bless'n all wrapped in one!




More to come about our Spring Break outreach!




Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Now or Never Weekend

My Dear and I were college students when we got married. Two other couples, our friends, married the summer before. They were students too. My childhood best friend had prearranged my friendship with Christy before I transferred to this college, she knew we would love one another and she was right! Christy's best friend was Nancy-I won her friendship by default, lucky me!! It just so happened that My Dear was friends with the men who became their husbands. We were poor, married students. We were one another's entertainment-livin' on love!

These 2 couples were a STRONG support for us as students, as a couple, and as followers of Jesus Christ. They were such a blessing to us and provided such sweet memories and accountability. They asked the hard questions.

Facebook and blogging have made it easier to keep up with one another. Last summer, we were able to get together for the first time in at least 10 years. Among us we have 11 children, we all homeschool, all of our husbands are in ministry and seeing that they are all in ministry means that ............we will likely never live near one another again, a girl can dream!

This weekend, I did something I have never done. I flew on an airplane all by myself. There was no sweet husband like on my honeymoon, no toddlers like when I went to visit the parents, and no mission team, just me. But it was a now or never situation! We girls had talked about a girls' weekend last year and it never happened but it HAD to happen this year! You see, my friend Christy, her husband and their 5 children recently sold their home, got rid of the majority of their possessions and have moved into what they lovingly refer to as the cottage. In two weeks, they will leave the cottage and rid themselves of more possessions before completing training to move. Yep, move again. This time the move is to Africa to once again do what God has called them to do.

It was a now or never event. We isolated ourselves in a hotel to talk, laugh, encourage, and got to love on the youngest of the 11 children, 6 month old "Jr.!" We ate without preparing or cleaning up, had dessert, watched what we wanted to on television, toured a landmark, worshipped, dug through treasures at Goodwill and looked for long skirts that were acceptable in Africa, in sizes for mama and 3 sweet girls.....but we did them together! The pace was slow and company was perfect!

I had no idea how much I needed this weekend. We talked marriage, ministry, Jesus, schooling, children....all of those things that you do with girlfriends who speak truth in your life. When I think of these ladies, I sometimes get sad that we do not live closer. But they would not be the friends that they are if they were not obedient to God's call on their lives and for that, I am so thankful. When Nancy and her family moved farther away once again after a few years living closely, the song When We All Get To Heaven played through my head as we cried and hugged in my front yard. For now, we will keep up when we can, but know that we will have eternity to catch up. In the meantime, we will be working to see that a bunch of other folks are there with us! Will you be one of them?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Joyful Giving




What if we all approached the offering plate to give as UNDIGNIFIED as this guy?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

at our house

I call this picture-pitiful! We have been sick more this year then any year! This was a 24 hour stomach bug for one while the other just slept the bad germs off. Needless to say, that DVD player was burning it up this day! Thankfully it only hit these 2.

Dolly had a math lesson at the store last week and came out $1.25 richer! We have a pump and she wanted balloons. Making animals was not as easy as they thought but the swords were way doable so the battles have been frequent. We got a book at the library and look what Daddy can do....with some artistic help from Dolly. The boy builds bathrooms and balloon animals!

Look at this floor! It took him days to get a roller coaster built! He loves models like these especially when they work afterwords!

Isn't it romantic! His and Her computers! My Dear does his work in the living room and I in the bedroom but with the help of a wireless router.....love can keep us together! It is amazing how much more I got done with a little bit of company and how much later I stay up at night! I will keep one but need to leave the other if you know what I mean.



This girl loves her hats and apparently it keeps the vacuum from being loud too! You know, I think she is on to something. When I was sick, I wore a hat. If it works for B., I bet it will work for me too. Sure enough the ski hat my MIL made was perfect for keeping me warm and hiding my messy head! Haven't tried it for vacuuming yet. But if you see me in the van on the interstate with a ski hat on, you will know I am trying it out for volume control!




That's some of what is going on here.....


Thursday, February 17, 2011

What Comes Around Goes Around

I see several folks on Facebook comment on Karma. So here are my thoughts. What comes around, goes around....but maybe not the same way you would think.

2 Cornithians 1:3-4 says,
Praise be to God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comforts, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received in Christ.

So all the mistakes, hurts, habits, hang ups, heart breaks that I have survived and received comfort for, I am to share that same comfort with others, the comfort that only Christ can give. My sweater vest wearing friend Bob reminded me, it is like stepping in a big hole and looking back at others coming and saying, "WATCH OUT FOR THAT HOLE!" Some will see the hole due to the warning but others will fall into it just as I did. Then I can share that comfort that I received. So, what comes around, goes around.

I did not survive those situations for nothing nor did the Lord allow them for nothing, He allowed them for His benefit and if I am honest with myself, He allowed them ultimately for my benefit.
God has surrounded me with some amazing women! In fact, the past couple of months, I have heard God working in their hearts to warn others or to share the comfort with others. One lady shared that she needed to tell young girls the mistakes she had made so they would not make them. Another lady, shared that because of her past, she could share the love of Christ without judgement because of where she has been.

The challenge I feel God calling me to and the challenge I pose to you is, are you warning others? Are you comforting others? Are you living your life in evidence of what comes around, goes around? Don't you wish someone had done it for you?

Monday, February 14, 2011

To Be Held

WOW! The strangest thing happened a week or so ago. My Dear left for work and returned home around lunch time to find me on the couch with all kinds of activity going on around me. This happened the next day too but instead of coming home he got a phone call from Billy saying, "We are hungry, come get us." Momma was sick!

We were pretty sure it was flu. I could not hold my eyes open but would go to the couch to be in the middle of the activity during the day. The children continued to work in some workbooks with math and language getting done everyday. They would wake me with questions or Billy would help Dolly. At one time, I heard someone reading. The vocabulary seemed a bit hard for who I thought I heard reading. My eyes popped open to see Dolly have "story time" in her little rocking chair with B. parked on a blanket just like at the library. I would have never invited Dolly to read that book but she was knocking it out and so back to sleep I went with a smile on my face. I also got to see B. "read" a book from the rocking chair as Dolly sat patiently in the floor never once saying, "that is not what that book is about" to the "librarian."

God showed me that those kids are going to be okay! Despite their messed up Mama, they were teaching themselves and caring for one another when I couldn't. I don't think I was capable of that when I was their age.

I developed a sinus infection which landed myself at the doctor. My balance and my vision were off as a result. Although I longed to spend time with the Lord, I could not make out the tiny words on the white pages of my Bible but with breaks could read from Miss B's Beginners Bible.

One night as I lay in bed, I so desired to spend time with Him that I began to pray aloud. I had tried to worship with the radio but it was not working with my headache. As I prayed He laid these things on my heart to praise Him for.

1. After days of a runny nose, I has actually used a tissue to get something solid out of my nose. Gross but true and I was indeed thankful!

2. I now know what area of my abs is most exercised by coughing and I felt BUFF-enough coughing to feel fit and trim!

3. After going days without eating I told My Dear, I better have lost some weight and the scale at the Urgent Treatment Center confirmed I had (but as of today and the sweets of Vtime's Day-I am pretty sure some of it is back!) Another thing to be thankful for!

4. He reminded me of the song To Be Held. My Dear was no longer sleeping in our bedroom but was camping in the living room leaving me my germ filled sanctuary. I stole his pillow and his electric blanket control and truly felt wrapped, cushioned, bundled, and warm. My father in law told me once that there is a time that we need to rest in the lap of Christ and that is where I felt Him most-holding me.

I knew God had a word for me then as He does for me today. Sometimes the lesson takes longer and sometimes I am quick to get it but through it all, I am so thankful that He sees me teachable and when I need it most He too knows when to hold me.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Our Family Circus or is it Freak Show?

Sunday evenings My Dear and I split to two different locations and the children to another. My Dear loads them up for the drop off before heading to his small group of Jr. and Srs. My study is in our neighborhood so I get the children ready and he takes them. Works great-MOST OF THE TIME!



While preparing to load the children in the vehicle, Miss B. dropped to the floor in a crying heap. I scooped her up and loved on her a bit then buckled her in her seat. While I did that My Dear ran back into the house to retrieve the bb blanket-it was an obvious bb moment!



His phone rang as he was pulling out-someone from another church I think. I walked back toward the house to prepare for group. Use the bathroom, put shoes on instead of slippers, get my Bible, fix my hair from laying around all day.....you know, those things.



I went to turn the handle of the door but My Dear had shut both doors and they were LOCKED! He was still in view so this would be an easy fix. In fact, he was still in the driveway! I yelled his name but he did not hear me. I waved my arms like a crazy woman. I thought maybe the kids would see me but being in a car rather then a van, their view is blocked. He began to pull out!

I ran after the vehicle calling his name, waving my hands, yelling, running.....can you just see it? All the while I am in my slippers and a black hoodie from the military that was my dad's.....my dad retired in 1992! I decide, just like television, I would take my slipper off and throw it! He was close enough I am sure one of the kids would ask what the noise was when I HIT THE BACK WINDOW with my slipper! Apparently, any TV is too much TV! I throw but it was as if my slipper just fell right in front of me, yep, right in the snow! I tried to catch him as he drove off , chasing him on the road with no luck.

So here I am, slippers and an antique hoodie standing in my driveway with snow all around! You have a moment when you are in that position....what does the older couple across the street think of the drama I just gave them! They probably think My Dear and I are at odds......to say the least! It likely spurred a call to friends to share the humor or the "prayer request."

Well, nothing else to do-no key hidden anymore after a few teenagers showed us it was too easy to find by entering our home a couple of years ago...they did not and would not hurt anything but we never replaced it.

I pulled my hood up, secured my slippers and started my hike with a full bladder and nappy head up the street to small group. A family stopped on their way there and since I had slippers on in the snow, I took them up on the offer of a ride. I giggled the entire way there! I called My Dear and he said he got a good laugh out of my message.

Sometimes life gets hard and a moment like this would have really been a problem but this time, it was not. Since the last week had been one of those "hard times" just so happens the isolated walk with a case of the giggles was just what I needed........even in my slippers!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

For This Season

It is D Now weekend!!!! Teenagers go to live in small herds together in the homes of church members. A Bible study leader is assigned to live with them as well. It is like a mini camp! Our friends come to do the worship music and we get to hang for just a bit! I know I wanted to be a part of the large group sessions and "Mami" our adopted(well, you name it, she is it) agreed to hang with what ever little people would rather stay with her.

We were able to hang with our friends for a bit last night and made plans to meet up for lunch today and their daughter to come play. As we talked last night, I shared with my friend Joanna that I knew that more then anything God has called me to minister to our children because the season is just 18 years. I was so looking forward to what God would do over the weekend, then Man Cub got sick.

So, today, I am thinking and praying for those kids while we lay around the house and watching far too much television. Wishing I could be there to watch them enjoy all that My Dear puts into the weekend but instead, I am called to my primary ministry. God has a way of putting me in my place. He reminded me that currently, Man Cub is half way there. Learning about sacrifice, silent service of prayer, and a few too many things about animated Super Heroes, but I only get this season to get it!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lesson on Forgiveness by a 3 year old

I have told you about bb before. BB is a small blanket that our Little Miss B. carries. She uses it mainly at nap time but for many other "hard times" she brings it along. The bb used to be pink but it is now an indescribable color although we still refer to it as being pink.

Last week the bb was hauled often. Not sure why more that week then this week....but aren't some days, weeks, months....just like that. The bb has been tossed on the kitchen table, dropped on the kitchen floor and even taken to the bathroom. I asked if I could have it to wash because frankly, it was grossing me out!!! It resembled more of a rag then a blanket.

As I looked at that nasty, filthy dirty blanket held close to the face of our precious daughter I knew she did not care how dirty it was. She loves her bb!

Isn't it just like God. He created us perfectly. He had plans set for us and directions in the Bible for us to follow. We are all clean, pink, soft, and beautiful. But then, we make choices and go places we shouldn't and we end up marked, dirty, and no longer the pure color God made us to be. But God, in His infinite love for us-longs to be with us, hold us tightly, and even snuggle the filthy rag we are up to His face. He knows where we have been, how disobedient we have been, how numerous our sins, but He is not scared of how gross we are. He holds us close, breathes us in, and HE LOVES US! Of all the blankies that are out there-new and old-He still longs for us-the nasty, used to be pink blanket with stains covering us. He covers us with His mercy and grace and like our little B. with her blanket, all He can really see is a perfectly pink BB with flowers on it.

....so thankful.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Freedom in America


Both children had writing assignments a week or so ago that I wanted to share.




Dolly's topic was Freedom of Worship and here is what she had to say....although it would be much cuter to see her handwriting with giant and some backwards letters.




I will try to type as she wrote.






I LiKe my Church.


We donot have to go to church


But we choose to.


I LiKe Kids Church.


I am glad we can pray.


I Love America!!!!!!






Billy made a book called, I LIKE AMERICA.




I like America because it is a good place.


I like it because we have money to buy food and shelter


and DSi (he has been saving his money and just purchased this handheld game system.)


We have tools to make and fix "thinks."


We have doctors to help us.


We have school to learn.


And that is why I like America.


The End






Reminder to me of the wealth of our nation and that God will hold us accountable to what we do with what He has given us.....including these 3 little people wrestling in my home right now!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Closer ROCK With Thee

Too often bedtime is a mess! If I get started later then scheduled, it is a rushed process. In the rush, the little ladies have a hard time falling asleep. My impatience carries right over to them! It seems most likely to happen when the day has been long for both My Dear and I or when My Dear is away at bedtime.

It eventually comes down to the girls needing a back rub, an extra million hugs, a song, or for Miss B. to be rocked. I know it would take about 10 or 15 minutes but I am still too anxious to do it. But when I put the me aside, I climb to the top bunk to whisper sweets into Dolly's ear and give her those extra squeezes. It is like medicine for her she goes to sleep feeling calm and loved. Miss B. grabs her bb and is ready to "wock." She even makes a request of what song she wants me to sing.

On those nights, in the dark of the girls' bedroom, with the sound of a squeaky glider, the warmth of a sleepy toddler against me, and the sound of sweet voices, I enter into a time of worship and praise. The girls will sing along with me what they know and then fall fast asleep. I will close my eyes and sing to the Lord. For He, at that time, is my only audience. When I am in that sweet spot with God, I wonder why I don't go there more often? Many times, I just let the girls toss and turn trying to put themselves to sleep. Why do I withhold such sweet fellowship from myself? God said, if we do not praise Him the rocks will cry out. Well, at my house I want the praise to come from our hearts and that has got to start with me. So I will accept His invitation to enter into His presence with praise- me and a steady beat from the squeaky rocker.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Jesus Recycles




Grumpy me loaded the recyclables and the children to get to the recycling center. We had a LOAD! Grumpy's children were uninterested in helping. Well, I thought one was but after getting out of the vehicle in the cold they confessed they did not want to help only to go into the Reuse it store. Just what we need MORE STUFF!!! Grumpy ordered that child back to the vehicle-too cold and dangerous to be standing around not working. Grumpy was so grumpy that others heard the sharp tone in her voice and even passed a glance my way. There goes mom of the year and we are in the first days of January!




I unloaded my stuff and jumped in the vehicle to leave. I saw a older lady out of the corner of my eye (and activity) getting out of her stuffed vehicle. She was moving slow and it was cold. I took note of her and began to pull out. It was going to take her awhile and with it being so cold, she will be a "cube" (of ice that is.) She is small as well, can she even reach? I pulled out only to whip the vehicle around and park with the gang all strapped in. I invited anyone who wanted to join me to help....but they are my kids, and chose to stay in the warmth.....like I said, little humans.




The sweet dear could not even reach the receptacles and she allowed me the honor to assist her. As we finished disbursing her goods, she asked my name and spoke with me awhile. She then asked why we moved here and I said for My Dear's job which led to where does he work.




She shared her religious training with me and that she is now taking care of her husband. A stroke has left him in a wheelchair and the once a week Bible study they went to, they can no longer attend. I hugged this sweet lady in the cardboard shelter and prayed with her. My parents have been caregivers. My in laws (both sets) are caring for a parent. My sweet mama friend was a caregiver to her little angel until recently when her princess went to be with Jesus for complete healing. I have seen it and know it comes with exhaustion, depression, and pure selflessness. I knew this lady was likely facing the same thing.




It is not everyday, you tell a person your name and where you live as soon as you meet. It for sure does happen to me that a sweet little lady would ask that I stop by sometime. Needless to say, I saw the Holy Spirit at the recycling center today. With all of that being said, I have evidence that Jesus would not recycle. He was there at the center that day! Although, I have and continue to mess up, I pray that my life will be evidence of Christ recycling.....cause I am remade! Thank you Jesus!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sweet Surprise!

Christmas Day I got a sweet phone call from a lady I met in Vnam! We chatted and teased and then Amy asked if I would be home the following weekend. I told her yes. She said she had a gift for me, assured me it was not carrot juice (which she had me drink for tummy troubles in Vnam-yuck!) and that I would like it! I watched the mail for an arrival.

I got a phone call from another lady I met on the trip a week later. She is the missionary wife here in the states. I found it odd that she would call. I shared with her that My Dear's family were coming to visit. She wanted to meet up with me to give me Amy's gift and that weekend...when the fam was here.

Then the phone rang again-it was Amy! How odd is that!? I get to talk with both of them right after one another.....well, because they were together! Our sweet Amy who lived on the west coast was in our state!!! She wanted to surprise us but was getting no where. I asked permission from My Dear's family to leave that evening and I loaded some of the Vnam team up for a road trip. They knew that a gift waited for them but they did not have any idea it was Amy! Such a sweet way to start the year-precious family and rock'n ladies!


We enjoyed dinner at a Viet Bristo halfway between our 2 locations. The food had its own American flair about it like Chinese here so I enjoyed the meal! It was not like in Vnam-"and that's the truth" as we joked about in Vnam. I did try the fish sauce knowing I would be going home to my own bathroom if it did not set well. Amy teased the fish sauce was the source to speaking Vnames. I guess I will never speak it!

We all tried our hand once again at chopsticks and then Amy pulls out a fork. She said, you eat like in my country and I will eat like in your country! She is so much fun! AND as funny as she is, she is just as passionate for the love of her Savior and sharing His love to the world-especially Vnam.

While we chatted and caught up the missionary's wife asked us if we remembered one of the translators there. I most certainly did!!


In this picture, I am one person away from my God slamming me! That probably sounds harsh but let me tell you, it was just what I needed. God had began to deal with me on parts of my past. I questioned His doing so since I was about to head to the other side of the world (I think God finds great humor in my "know it all" attitude.) The feet I was about to reach would become even more precious to me because this woman's prayer was what God wanted to deal with me about. I prayed over the other ladies but for this women, I washed her feet in my tears! I not only prayed, I called out to God and begged Him to bless her with this one precious gift!

I have continued to pray over this woman and her husband. This women, whose name I do not even know, has no idea the role her tiny feet played into my life. This women, yep, the woman whose prayers are being answered!

When the news was shared, our table was pleased but I cheered as if Billy and Dolly had kicked their first soccer goals! It was a THANK YOU GOD moment and I was led to worship and praise Him right there! I was the loudest white woman in the place! By the way, in the place where we learned was open for the first time on New Year's Day....exactly when needed it to be open!

Dear God, when I call you a good God- it is indeed an understatement!