Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Amber!

Today is my sisters birthday.
She is 29 and holding.
Happy Birthday Sister!
We all love you so much.
We are excited for the next year of your life.
We can't wait to meet your beautiful baby in March!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Muslim Talking Doll? You decide.

I found this video interesting. What do you think of this talking doll?

Here is the link to the OneNewsNow article about the doll.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Adoption: We Want More and 40 Days For Life

Peter and I want more children. We know God has impressed this desire upon our hearts and we readily accept this calling. We are quiverfull. It is funny to say that we are quiverfull when the essence of this means to be open to God controlling the womb, either by giving you 1 or by giving you 18. Nevertheless, we are quiverfull and know that God has a rich plan to grow our family for His purposes and His glory. We do not know where are next child is or where he will come from, but we know he is out there and we are preparing our hearts for him (or her).

I had an anonymous poster on my AFA Journal post who asked for prayer for her daughter who is pregnant and needs clarity on a plan for her unborn baby. Please pray for this girl as well as her family as they help her to make a prayerful decision. Anonymous: I will pray with you. God has a plan for this baby. I will pray that your daughter has ears to hear what God is telling her and that she sees you as a source of wisdom.

Abortion is a big topic in our country around election time. But it's a huge topic to God all the time. Abortion and Adoption go hand in hand. Since Roe v. Wade the number of infants in the foster care system has been drastically reduced due to the increase of abortions. The movie Expelled talks about the link between Planned Parenthood and racism. I probably don't have to tell you that adoption, abortion and racism are all topics that are at the front of my mind. That being said, have you heard about 40 Days For Life? This is a powerful tool that God is using across the country to bring Pro-Lifers from differing denominations together in order to pray and peacefully picket abortion clinics. Please check out the link and pray. Maybe you can join a peaceful picket near you.

I know there are people reading this who have had abortions. My heart weeps with you at the emotion that is in your soul. I know your heart is hurting. There are many places that offer caring help. This is one. I am praying for you too...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pray for YWAM-Orissa

Please pray for this situation during the next 10 days...

"We have never seen anything like this. We knew that Orissa was the most resistant and hostile State in India as far as the Gospel is concerned. And we brushed off the continuous threats and harassment we faced as we went about His work. But none of our staff imagined that they would see this kin d of carnage.... And it seems to be totally under the radar of the Western Media ....

Let me explain.... A militant Hindu priest and 4 of his attendants, who were zealously going around the villages of Orissa and 'reconverting' people back to Hinduism, were gunned down by unknown assailants in Central Orissa last weekend. Immediately the Christians were blamed. The cry rose up...'Kill the Christians!' And the horror began.... In the past 4 days, we have first hand witness to hundreds of churches being blown up or burned and many, many dozens of Christian tribals have been slaughtered. For no other reason than they bea r the name of Christ.
Night and day I have been in touch with our Good News India Directors spread across 14 Dream Centers in Orissa... they are right in the middle of all this chaos. In Tihidi, just after the police came to offer protection, a group of 70 blood-thirsty militants came to kill our staff and destroy the home.
They were not allowed to get in, but they did a lot of damage to our Dream Center by throwing rocks and bricks and smashing our gate, etc. They have promised to come back and 'finish the job.' Our kids and staff are locked inside and have stayed that way with doors and windows shut for the past three days. It has been a time of desperately calling on the Lord in prayer.
More police have come to offer protection. In Kalahandi, the police and some local sympathizers got to our dream center and gave our staff and kids about 3 minutes notice to vacate. No one had time to even grab a change of clothes or any personal belonging. As they fled, the blood thirsty mob came to kill everyone in the building. We would have had a mass funeral there, but for His grace. In Phulbani, the mob came looking for Christian homes and missions. The local Hindu people, our neighbors turned them away by saying that there were no Christians in this area. So they left.
We had favor. The same thing happened in Balasore.
All our dream centers are under lock down with the kids and staff huddled inside and police outside. The fanatics are circling outside waiting for a chance to kill. Others were not so fortunate. In a nearby Catholic orphanage, the mob allowed the kids to leave and locked up a Priest and a computer teacher in house and burned them to death. Many believers have been killed and hacked into pieces and left on the road.... even women and children. At another orphanage run by another organization, when this began, the Director and his wife jumped on their motorbike and simply fled, leaving all the children and staff behind. Every one of our GNI directors that I have spoken to said: 'We stay with our kids.... we live together or die together, but we will never abandon what God has called us to do.' More than 5000 Christian families have had their homes burned or destroyed. They have fled into the jungles and are living in great fear waiting for the authorities to bring about peace. But so far, no peace is foreseen.
This will continue for another 10 days.... supposedly the 14 day mourning period for the slain Hindu priest. Many more Christians will die and their houses destroyed. Many more churches will be smashed down. The Federal government is trying to restore order and perhaps things will calm down. We ask for your prayers. Only the Hand of God can calm this storm. None of us know the meaning of persecution. But now our kids and staff know what that means. So many of our kids coming from Hindu backgrounds are confused and totally bewildered at what is happening around them. So many of their guardians have fled into the jungles and are unable to come and get them during these trying times.

Through all this, I am more determined than ever to continue with our goal: the transformation of a community by transforming its children. Orissa will be saved... that is our heart's cry. If we can take these thousands of throw-away children and help them to become disciples of Jesus, they will transform an entire region. It is a long term goal, but it is strategic thinking in terms of the Great Commission. What can you do? First, please uphold all this in fervent prayer. Second, pass this e-mail on to as many friends as you can. We must get the word out and increase our prayer base for this is spiritual warfare at its most basic meaning. We are literally fighting the devil in order to live for His Kingdom. The next 10 days are crucial. We pray for peace and calm to pervade across Orissa....Prayer works!”
~ Facilitators to YWAM frontlines

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Peter Quote

This morning at breakfast:

Kristen: "Peter, would you like some more eggs?"

Peter: "No thank you, I'm full. I'm just gonna have some bacon and jelly."

We both chuckled good at that one. He is so funny.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Apple Picking

On Monday we went on a wonderful field trip to go apple picking, berry eating and pumpkin patching! It was fabulous. We brought home about 50 pounds of apples, but they are going fast. Today, the children and I made crock-pot apple sauce. We are enjoying eating them and are anxious for our own farm, complete with apple trees! I promised my Mom that I would send text photos, but didn't take my phone into the orchard. So, here they are instead Mom. Enjoy!

Braving it by the beehives!

Daniel will be 4 at the end of the month. Little stud pulling 20 month old brother.

Ummm, any clue what happen?
Just apples, no little brother!
Catching back up.
D's tired. (Hope you enjoyed the progression. I couldn't leave that out, too funny!)
Our apple load.
50 pounds of You Pick apples (4 varieties), four pumpkins, loads of berries, fruit roll snacks from the shop, picnic by the goat pens, lots of walking, hot cider and a short drive through the country wondering if there is property for sale nearby! It was a really fun family filled day!

U. N. Opportuniy for Pro-Lifers

OneNewsNow.com had this article regarding the U. N.'s 60th anniversary celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be held on December 10, on their site. International abortion providers are hoping to influence the U. N. to read the declaration with the inclusion of the right to abortion. The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, otherwise known as C-FAM is gathering signatures for their petition in order to persuade the U. N. to interpret said declaration as protection for the unborn child. The petition has an inclusion for the right of parents to educate their children and choose "the kind of education for their children ."
You can sign the petition here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Adoption: AFA Journal

This months issue of the AFA Journal had an article about adoption entitled, Like Father, Like Son, which included many informative links.

A quote from the article:
“A large number of Christians – at some point in their journey – consider adopting, but they don’t know where to go or who to trust in that process,” Sandberg said. “I always say to them: ‘Of course you would consider adopting. You’re just like your Father because He adopted you. If you’re a child of God, naturally you would want to reflect Him.’” Encountering the Father and becoming a true reflection of His glory is what it’s all about for His children.

I thought that was so neat. As we grow more in knowledge of and relationship to God, we want to reflect Him. Adoption is one way that people are called to reflect Him.

Sandberg also states:
“Adoption isn’t ministry,” Sandberg said. “Adoption is choosing to parent and choosing to love and calling a child my own, as God calls me His own. “So if you’re looking for a ministry, you shouldn’t adopt,” she added. “You should … care for orphans … [in some way].”

This statement is true in some ways, but in one specific way I disagree. Adoption is choosing to love and parent a child that is not biologically yours. It is treating that child like they are biologically yours in every way without being blind to their needs to discuss their adoption. In an adoption court hearing you swear to treat them "as if your own" including promising them their share of inheritance. Cool, huh? Adoption is not rescuing a child. It is not treating them like you are their great blessing or with an "if it weren't for me" attitude. But, it certainly can be a ministry. God has led our family to adopt through the foster care system. Children from the system have varied backgrounds and suffer huge, sometimes life-long, consequences due to other peoples behavior. But why do children get into the system in the first place? It is not typically due to their birth parents "choosing an adoption plan" for their kids. They are taken from their parents, usually due to their parents negative behavior (drugs, various abuse, neglect, homelessness, not protecting them from others). Due to the backgrounds of some of the children from the system I think it can be a ministry. However, it must be balanced. An adoptive parent must make sure they are loving, nurturing, disciplining, caring for, feeding, teaching and discipling their children. You can't spend each day looking at your child as a ministry, but some days certainly can feel that way. Each day must be loving them completely in order to bring them to complete healing through Christ. I can do nothing apart from Him. I can't even love my children completely but for Christ.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Adoption poll is soon to end...

I have had my adoption poll on my sidebar for almost a year. It is amazing how quickly the time went. If you haven't voted, please do so. My purpose in asking those specific questions was to understand who I may be reaching through my blog that I may encourage you, answer questions and just be here should you decide to adopt. So, my poll is ending and I am kicking off my adoption posts. I want to point you in the direction that you may need to go in order to pursue what God has placed on your heart. If He has not shown you that His plan for you is to adopt, please don't leave! Read along with us and see where our discussion may take you. I welcome questions, so feel free to post them in the comments section of the latest post and I will answer. You may even give me motivation for an in depth posting.

Although this is the official "kick off" to talking in depth. I kind of started on Friday when I posted about our sweet Daniel and his retelling of his adoption story. If you haven't read it, please read below or if you are joining us late, click the link above.

I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts and encouragement to you. Stay tuned!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Adoption-A Story by Daniel

We are always open with our kids in talking about adoption. I tell and retell their stories so that they are very comfortable with them and feel free to ask questions. I had the pleasant surprise of having Daniel tell me his story tonight and this is how it went...

Once upon a time I was a little baby in my BaMommy's tummy (at this point he is actually looking at my tummy, but I know he is trying to get "birthmom" across but does not quite understand what that means yet). I was in there for THREE DAYS. Yes, THREE DAYS! (This is how he really said it, so cute!) I came out and Jesus gave me to Mommy. (We tell him that Jesus planned for him to have us as his Mommy and Daddy.) Now, I eat here. (This cracked me up! We often ask the kids, "How do you know we love you?" We help them with their response: we take care of you, we feed you (this is where he got that last part!), we play with you, we teach you, we discipline you...).

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my boy.

Friday Fevers and Fun

Seriously, that's my title. I have two down with colds and slight fevers. Although the day involved a lot of tissues and hand sanitizer, we still had fun.

I "twisted" or "locked" Abigail's hair while we watched a bit of our school movie. This style should last a few weeks since we are not in and out of the pool anymore for the season (sigh). It is really cute on her.

I made this for dinner! It doesn't look as good in the picture, but it was fun. Any guesses?
It's a non-seafood seafood theme. The turkey-dog is an octopus. The noodles with cheese are sand. The almonds are shells. The grapes are sea nettles. The cucumber is seaweed. Although Daniel preferred to call it a snake! The black beans are "ink." The kids really enjoyed figuring out what each thing was supposed to be and then they enjoying gobbling it up! Tip: Cut 8 legs onto your hotdog while leaving about 1.5 inches together at top, then boil. The ends will curl, helping to create your octopus.

Face stuffers! Ashley doesn't really eat like that; she saw me coming with the camera.

Don't let those cute, clean faces fool you! These are my sickies.
Come on, look sick or noone will believe me! Papa and Gramommy will just think I was teasing them in order to get them to take Ashley to her 9:15 pm soccer game. Yes, you read that right, 9:15 pm. Huh?!
Thanks Dad and Mom aka Papa and Gramommy!!!

The non-sickies after dinner. They had a great time on the trampoline.
These are their funny faces!

Hope you enjoyed our day in pictures. All photos were taken on my cell phone, so no excuse now. I will just post kind of blurry phone photos. Have a happy Saturday!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A little blog refreshing!

I did something for "me" tonight. I updated my blog page. I hope you like the new color scheme and family photo atop. Is that really the best photo we could do?! Actually, yes.

As you can see from the picture the children are in full swing for soccer. We will actually be finished the first week of November (if we don't have any more rain forcing us to postpone games). The boys had their first game last night and really enjoyed it.

John gets a little Mommy coaching before the game
while another player practices making a goal.

Daniel worked so hard. He is still only 3 and smaller than the "big" 4 and 5 year olds that he is playing with. He keeps up so well and does a great job! He is our wonderful soccer dribbler!

John is hungry after making 3 goals all by himself! He worked hard too.

The girls had soccer photos last night so Aunt B stayed with them to make sure they were primped properly while Daddy and Mommy took the boys. The girls and Aunt B made it to the field to watch the last 10 minutes. The boys LIT UP when they saw Aunt B was there!

We are halfway through our third week of school. It is going well and the children are learning so much. We stepped off the actual size of Noah's ark yesterday. It was so fun and such a great way to get a real idea of the massive boat. The children couldn't believe it stretched almost from our house to Papa and Gramommy's. Wow. They are also enjoying Math U See. They are really understanding their Math concepts. Even the boys!

We dug out an old camera and are hoping to get more photos of the children. We will post them as events happen. Maybe. If the old camera continues to work. If we remember to bring the camera. If we don't leave it in the bathroom of whatever event we are at and then fly, in an airplane, several hours away from that bathroom, never to find the camera again. Maybe. We'll see. You'll see.

Well, I have one tiny boy with a bad cold who kept me up for several hours last night. Another big boy came in before said tiny boy and decided to cuddle me no matter where I went on my bed. So, I was up for about 3 hours... Wonderful Husband is gone on a trip tonight so I am off to sleep, sleep, sleep, sleeeeeep..... Good night!