Thursday, May 31, 2012

Friends and Enjoying time together

 So last night we had some friends from church.  So here they are playing with bubbles. 
 So cute to watch them play....awwww......should have taken more pictures- bad blogger alert ;)
 So here is the fun part- you see my hubby for those of you who don't know is from England.  He came to work at a Christian summer camp, met me....and the rest is history. 

Our church has a Spanish service- so who would you hire to do the Spanish service?  Obviously a man who is from Northern Ireland- right?  He he he.....well.....YES!  So pastor Murphy speaks Spanish fluently because he grew up with parents in the mission field. 

Let's just say Jason couldn't wait to have him, his wife Alicia, and their 3 beautiful children- Hannah, Lydia, and Zac over so he could show off his English cooking skills.  (**did I mention that he actually went to school to do management and catering?)  We had English Pasties, Shepherd's Pie, *English gravy, veggies, apple crumble swimming in custard, and I made some of my chocolate crinkles too.  Can you say- STUFFED?  But oh so worth it!!!!

We had a blast talking about British things, how we met our hubbies, how we ended up here in the U.S., and about adoption- my favorite topic of course :).  It was a blessing to see our kiddos playing together and running around blowing bubbles.  We had a great time!  It is pretty much all our kiddos are talking about today :).
 Sooo.....since I am sooo behind on blogging.......and I am stubborn determined to catch up here are some pics for a few weeks ago of us having a fun time at a nearby park.  As you can see Michael is studying his book.  he he he....he totally cracks me up!  Don't you just want to squeeze him?  OK then maybe it is me. 
 Joanna what have you found?  Leaves?'re cute!!!!
 A trip to the park would not be complete without hiking and games!!!!  So here is daddy explaining the rules. 
 Jonathan was in trouble, but even with a pouty face he is just tooo cute and I want to kiss him!
 Hmmm.....I think Joanna shared her leaves with Michael :).
 And they are off!
 Being crazy.......
 Giving funny looks. this is my serious look :)
 Here is Abigail looking very tall and older.  How does this happen?  Although I am thrilled that she is such a beautiful young woman.......I promise just yesterday she was toddling around like Joanna!
 Daddy having a serious conversation with Abigail!
 And well....then there is the "cool down" time. 
 Which involves throwing water around of course. 
 Get him daddy!  he he he he.....hear the squeals?
In the end does it matter who is dumping water on who anymore?  NO!  It is too hot!  :) 

A few prayer requests please :) 

Tonight I get to speak to a room full of Birth Mothers!!!!  I AM SOOOO EXCITED!!!!  I am also nervous- not wanting to cry uncontrollably, but wanting them to know how very precious they are!!!! 

Tomorrow Jason and I are leaving........without the kids.......for the weekend..........WOW!  ***And it isn't even for another adoption.  (he he he he......which in our case is usually the only reason we leave the kids)  It is for a marriage retreat through - Weekend To Remember!  We sooooo NEED THIS WEEKEND!!!  Please pray specifically for us to listen to God's Heart for our marriage.  For a lot of rough edges to be smoothed out.  For walls to come down.  For our hearts to turn toward God and each other as we seek to renew our marriage in HIM! 

This has been planned for a while, but totally a God send as far as timing (love how God works out the perfect details).

AND of course pray for Joe and Lisa who are former Christian Camp staff members who are now married and live here in Florida.  We are soo thankful they could come over and watch after our sweeties!  We know they will have a blast!  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What do you say to a birth mom?

 So as you can see.....Michael is making lots of improvements!!!  We are just so thrilled, and couldn't be more proud!  It isn't easy, and he doesn't always like myself or his therapist stretching his muscles and teaching him how to use them correctly, but he hangs in there.  Of course getting the best pictures is hard....but here are a few to show you his sitting up skills!!!  WAHOOOO!!!!!!!
 Look at me- I am soo handsome and I like to do manipulative toys like this- they are easy :).
 I got tubes put in my ears now so hopefully I will hear even better than before. I am escaping now.....I am done sitting up for mommy and I am off......
there is just so much to see and do!  I can't just sit around all day!  :)

So next Thursday I get an AWESOME opportunity!!!  I get to speak at a banquet for birth mothers!!!!  Mothers who have made the choice for life!  They have said LIFE MATTERS and then ....then they have put all others before themselves and give their child to another family to raise.  I get goosebumps just thinking about our birth moms. 

Whew!  This is a HUGE DEAL!!!!  So any thoughts on what you would want to say to your birth moms if you have had or would have a chance??

Have I mentioned that I AM EXCITED ABOUT THIS???  Oh and that I LOVE TO SPEAK IN PUBLIC??  It's true...especially about things I am passionate about- GOD, my testimony, adoption, my family, children with special needs, value of life, ooooooo---soooo excited God has given me this opportunity!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

UFF DA!!!!

 UFF DA!  It is a Norwegian word I learned from my dad's side of the family!  Growing up we used it A LOT!  As in UFF DA- it's hot out here!  UFF DA- that is one huge mess!  UFF DA- hope it stops snowing soon (remember I grew up in Iowa)!  UFF DA! 
 There used to be this post card on our wall that had definitions of UFF DA- one was.....tying to line dance to polka music :)  He he he he....or eating Lutefisk.  If you know a Norwegian you will get that :)
 Well....being that my dad is 100% Norwegian and my grandparents used to speak bits and pieces of the language back and forth to each other seems fitting. 
 You see this last week has been UFF DA!!!  As in satan has kicked our family in the teeth!  I will not go into details, but let's just say IT STINKS!!!!  IT IS NOT FUN!!  And I totally want to punch satan in his face :)  Makes me feel better thinking about it!
 So how do we do this?  Well, instead of packing it up- we keep going!  We keep fighting!  We keep PRAYING!!!! 
 We find SCRIPTURES to help us!!!  We reread every day, every hour things that we feel the Lord speaking into our hearts. 
 We let satan know we are not about to give in - EVER!!!! 
 We ask the Body of Christ for prayers- which is why if you are my facebook friends you saw my plea for prayers.  As well as ask for wise counsel from your pastors and elders in the church!  Which we have also done.  We gather friends - close friends and we share our struggles with them and we pray and lift each other up- have done this too! 
 GOD IS BIGGER AND GREATER THAN THE WORLD!!!!!  We don't let satan win.  We may repeat Uff da a million times.  We may feel discouraged.  We may want to bury our heads in the sand.  We may want to run away. 
 BUT- then we would miss the HUGE JOYS OF GOD turning our mourning into dancing!!!!  We would miss getting back what the enemy stole from us! 
 ONLY GOD can do that!
 Through every trial and tribulation we have faced as a family- GOD HAS WON! 
 EVERY TIME we have wanted to give into the hard situations- GOD SAID NO- HANG ON I AM GOING TO DO GREAT THINGS HERE! 
 WAIT!  Because although it feels so very hard right now.....I AM GOING TO BRING BLESSINGS!!!!
SO I encourage you to hang in there!!!  HOLD ON!!!  ASK GOD TO HELP YOU- CRY OUT TO HIM!!!! 


Know that satan CAN NOT WIN if GOD IS PRESENT!  He can try it, but it won't happen.  God will be victorious!!!  So give HIM PRAISES and SHOUT VICTORY!!!!!  SING OUT TO HIM!!!!

SOoooo.....asking your ideas for some great scriptures that have helped you through hard times!  THANKS!!! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dear Mothers Part 2

 More beach pictures for your enjoyment :)  From May 5th at Siesta Key Beach. 
 Dear Mothers......

I feel there is so much negative in the world about what we do.  There is sooo much GUILT!  AND I FOR ONE DO NOT LIKE IT!  It drags me down.  Makes me feel awful, and ruins my fun with my children.  So today I want to encourage you to let go of this nasty thing that was not intended for you!
 You see God wants us to LOVE HIM, PRAISE HIM, AND SHOW HIM!  That is what we are meant to do.  If the decision over how we raise our children has nothing to do with the above- then really it is not that important!  I mean think about that for a minute.  Those little irritations that happen.  The times when they didn't fold the laundry and instead they threw it on the floor....under their bed.  Yea, it is annoying, and it should be corrected, but other than that - it is not the MOST important. 

Ha ha ha for us who may be a little bit OCD ok- maybe A LOT!  It is hard for us to let go of the fact that our homes don't look perfect at all times.  That beds aren't made.  THE IMPORTANT PART I WANT TO SAY TODAY IS- DON'T LET IT OVERTAKE YOU!  Don't let that creep in and steal the true joy of having children! 
 Think about it this way......if your child grows up and is messy, or doesn't fold laundry the best will you care?  What about if your child doesn't have a personal connection with Christ?  Will you care then?  Which is most important?  Yep- that helped me put it into perspective too! 

(and you thought I wrote this blog for you, but mostly I do it to remind myself!!!  Just sayin')
 This Earth - you only get one time around.  You only get one shot.  Which is why we feel so guilty because we feel like our shot wasn't or isn't good enough.  We feel like we have failed to much.  WELL NOW LET'S REMEMBER THE BASICS AGAIN!!!  We are here to LOVE HIM! 
 If we are busy LOVING THE LORD- we will love our children to the best of our ability.  In that our children will see this love and you know what they say- children repeat what they see!!!!
 If we are busy PRAISING HIM with our abilities- cooking, cleaning, craftiness, encouraging, hugging, correcting in love, singing, playing instruments, serving at church, serving in the community, changing diapers (what you don't think that is a talent- just let a 4 year old do it he he'll see!), picking up toys and stuff around your home that seems to collect faster than you can blink (now this is a talent too- it shows you can take care of things), doing laundry even when the piles go up to the ceiling, and well there are at least a million things you do.  If you don't believe me then write them all down one day- you will be amazed!

Again, your children see you doing these things- or at least a few (he he he....don't know if you can call what I do cooking?  ;)  but hey, I can do some great things too) and they will see your work and dedication to them, to your husband, to caring for things and people!
 If we are busy Loving God- they will see it in our dedication to reading scriptures (DOES NOT mean that we are perfect in this area!!!).  They will see that we love Christ in our eyes when we sing a joyful melody to Him.  They will see it when we act out a Bible Story with them.  They will see it when we talk about God's Love for us and them! 
 It really is that simple.  When you think about your list of things to do today- which are the things that are most important?  Those are the things to take seriously.  The things that need the most attention. 
 NOW- I will be the first to admit that this is easy to say, but TAKE HEART!!!!  Remember to TAKE JOY!  Parenting is JOYFUL!  Those little smiles (amongst the cries), the new skills learned, the touch initiated by your child, the hugs given, the giggles at bedtime, the smile when you allow something like chocolate milk, the times you get to say YES to them. 
 I pray today you will once again be ENCOURAGED!  Mother's Day is over, and I hope you still have your cards.....oh I love to look at them and see them often.  It reminds me to sloooowwww down. 
 Of the important things- like playing with my kiddos instead of stressing out at them. 
 I pray you know HOW IMPORTANT YOUR JOB IS!!!!!!  One that can bring sooo much JOY!  If we as moms could just join together and help release that guilt.  For the working momma who wants to be at home but can't, for the birth moms who tried to think of another way, for the single moms who - let's just be honest I have NO idea how you do it!  For the moms whose children have "flown the coop".  For the moms who are broken because their babes- even though they were taught about Jesus, are choosing other paths.  For the mom who has known the agonizing pain of losing a child. heart stops. 
 MOMS- let's stand together and encourage, encourage, encourage each other!!!  Let's rise up together and help each other out!  PRAY for each other!  Love each other wherever you are at!  Love the mom who is struggling in the grocery store (that goes for me....if you see me and my little man is having a hard day and is tired, and 2 of my blessings aka escape artists are sneaking away, or someone runs the cart into the nice display- please have mercy on me!), love the family at the restaurant who look worn out and the children are running around, love the children who are struggling with discipline!!!!  It is a hard job!!!  So if you are tempted to load on some guilt by a nasty glare- TURN AWAY and PRAY INSTEAD!  Better yet- go up to them and ask to pray with them and for them!!!
 Because it is easy when your babe is sleeping and the epitome of cuteness!!!!  Not so easy when they get crabby or you get crabby either way. 
GOD HAS CALLED US!!!  YOU AND ME SISTER!!!!  To LOVE as HE LOVED!  To FORGIVE AS HE FORGAVE!  WE have the next generation of Christians in our arms, homes, and laps!!!!  Give it all you got!!!!  KNOW THAT YOU ARE LOVED BY THE ALMIGHTY WHO CREATED YOU AND YOUR CHILD!!!!!!!