Friday, August 28, 2015

504 Dutch Bunny

Our kids cook.

Each older child....four of them...have a day to do all the cooking each week.  It is a learning opportunity that lets them get to know the basics of cooking, doubling, tripling and even quadrupling some receipes and it builds great independent skills AND let's mom focus on a little one during meal time or help out with school work.

This kiddo knows her way around the kitchen.  She cooks one day on her own.  And then she helps again on Friday mornings making family breakfast.
Here she is sporting a western look....cute!

Today was learning experience when she put one of her favorite receipes in the oven...Dutch bunny.  

As we sat waiting and chatting this morning, I asked if something was burning but saw that we still had quite a few minutes in the timer.  What I didn't notice was the temperature my sweet pea put the oven on....5-0-4 degrees!  Yikes!

We had extra crispy Dutch bunny this morning.  Everyone was a trooper and ate it but none asked for their usual seconds and thirds.  That's okay....we have a good one to chuckle at and it was sure better than the brownies mom made camping a few years back that the friendly night visitor...a skunk ....wouldn't even eat!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Precious Photo

Just received this photo of my dad from a Father's Day Choir this past June.

It was taken in the church I grew up in....the one my grandfather was a pastor in, my folks, my sister and I were all married of those with lots of family history.

Loving this picture!

Happy Birthday Brandon

He couldn't wait....

He was counting the days down...

He spoke of it everyday.....and finally, finally...

It came!

12 year old but more important than that....

He can now ride in the front of the car.

The question then became..Can we go somewhere? Anywhere?

Preparing for China

Yesterday, our 3 travelers to China had an exciting adventure.

They met with a travel doctor to make sure they are up to date on their shots.  They each were given one shot and pills to take every other day.  They were also given some medicine to travel with just in case.

Here is our daughter, Michaela, and our son, Michael.

Here is dad chatting with the doctor.

Never so excited for shots!

Monday, August 24, 2015

China Paperwork Update Excitement This Morning

On Thursday of last week, we received our 1-800 approval. That paperwork states that the boys can enter the U.S. as relatives immediately.

This morning came our NVC came.  That is our approval to apply for their Visas.  We will apply for those today.

All being said....we are excited waking up this morning!  

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Everybody Needs A Hug Once in a While

One amazing thing that has blossomed in our family as our kids have found a new place is their extreme compassion for one another.

I know these aren't the best pictures but just felt they were such an encouragement...

Yesterday I heard these sweet words from our boy who has struggled the most as he comforted one of our other  boys who was having a difficult day making good choices.  ."it's okay.  We all make mistakes and struggle.  I love you."

My heart melted.

He gets it....yes, we all make mistakes and have consequences from our mistakes but finding forgiveness in all of it is a gift we give ourselves and those who love us in hard places.

Speaking words of encouragement.

You can't see from this perspective but there are 2 kiddos just giving comfort to this boy.  His heart melted at their love for was a sweet time for all of our children.

Thought of this verse as I witnessed this....

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Canobie Lake Park - Foster Adoption Day

Today we we blessed to be given 7 tickets for our adopted children and discounted tickets for us to Canobie Lake Park.
Michaela took her older siblings for the big rides while Louisa and I took the younger kids.

Fun was had by all

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Her Sense of Style

Loving her sense of style as she heads out to work with her pony....good sturdy shoes, a bit of crazy going on in the sock department and of course, your never fully dressed without a SMILE!

Loving our Kiara!

Friday, August 14, 2015

What about YOU?

Recently a dear friend and I were wrestling through a problem that we came across and had some deep conversation....good conversation, heart crying out conversation about life as a Christian, walking with other Christians alongside us and just life in general.

As our words slowed about our main topic....she asked about our adoption and how it was progressing.  I expressed my joys and my concerns about our process.  

Adoption is my passion....helping the orphan is what we've been called to do.  We have a family statement of how we do ministry as a family and what God has called us to do.  We evaluate all the wonderful causes out there based on this statement so we can work exactly where we've been called....most of that revolves around adoption.

Rescuing kids....yes, we can't save them all.  I know that.  But we need to let people know of the crisis at hand.  It is not a nice world out there for the orphan....the statistics are terrible and the stories worse.  My heart says to do everything we heart cries out for the orphan....something we are told is TRUE religion.  We are ready and willing to do what the Lord calls us to do...something we find very humbling.

James 1:27New International Version (NIV)

27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Pretty simple....Look after the orphans.

As my friend heard me speak....she told me to take our incredible story to the churches....I told her I don't think they are ready to hear.  A church that my dear friend and I attended together point blank told our family that they didn't "get us".  Those very words came from the pastor.

If our churches stepped up and each one came around one family....there would be no kids waiting for years in foster care only to age out with NO one or no where to go.  Sounds pretty simple to me....but then again...why hasn't it happened?

I certainly don't have the reason for this delimma....she spoke again...GO to the churches.

Her words have not left me....I've given these to the Lord....told him we are willing if HE opens the doors.  I have thought about what the average person in the pew can do ...the orphan delimma is big.....BUT then I remembered that God uses ordinary people....he used me after all!  Why am I so different?

I have not had any churches asking us to tell our story....I will let you know when that happens...and rejoice at the opportunity if it should come.
Meanwhile....I will put some of my thoughts here....

How can YOU help live out James 1:27.....Look after the orphans?  
Do I think everyone should adopt?  Well, someone has to do it, right?  But in saying that...not everyone is able.  But the scripture says look after the can that play out in your life, the life of our churches?

How about this?


If you aren't called to adopt, how about helping a family who has?  Read up on what kids who have been adopted struggle with to give some understanding to what the daily life is like....these kids have sad stories.  When they are adopted ...there will be struggles ahead as the heal and find what family is really about....offer words of encouragement, provide a meal for when life is crazy, praying for them, understanding  what they are walking through rather than judging.  Parenting children who have walked through trauma is totally different than when you parented your own.  There will be a new normal and it is okay....just different.

What about this?


What if you ARE called to adopt a child or a sibling group?  In the state of NH, they can't find homes for large sibling groups (2 or more kids) or for drug babies.  Some states have 10,000 children waiting for homes ....what about YOU?  There are 1 million orphans just in China, 1.5 million in is estimated there are 18 million orphans world wide....yes, I said 18 million.  Sometimes God just whispers your name....are you willing?  Are you ready?  You don't need all the answers ....just be willing...HE will do the rest.

What about this?


Don't forget about this one ....if you can't adopt yourself, or don't know anyone who has adopted or are called to help another child come home...JUST DO IT.  Do you know the average adoption is in the thousands?  It doesn't all go to an agency ....our agency has a heart for these kids and works hard at finding families.  There are visa, travel to pick the child up to include airline fares, hotels, meals, medical exams, home studies, lots of government paperwork, overnighting packages to all the agencies, fingerprints, translations of documents, orphanage fees for expenses of the child.  Each of these have fees associated with them....and all add up.  Wouldn't it be a terrible thing to not make it home with a child because of the cost of bringing the kiddos home.

What ever you are called to do....I hope you do something something about this the orphan.

I HOPE I have laid something on your heart ....things that will call you to action to live out this calling from James 1:27.  I HOPE you will consider the many children waiting for something called family, home, belonging....

This saying hangs on the wall in our living room as a reminder to what gift our family has been given...

                                                   Having a place to go is HOME.

                                                 Having someone to love is FAMILY.

                                                    Having both is a BLESSING.

Bless someone today.  I can hear the HOPE RISING!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Hiking in the White Mountains

One thing we love to do when camping is to go for a hike. Today we went for a hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
We started on a trail at Moose Hillock and ended up on a firebreak road.
The kids became very eager when red raspberries were found....Yum

Camping at Moose Hillock with the Winslows

We arrived today for camping at one of our favorite campgrounds...Moose Hillock with our friends the Winslow family.
While we might not be side by side this time camping we still can share meals and the campfire together.

There is something about the fellowship together that is so sweet.
Well after a good meal you still have cleanup but it does go faster when talking with friends.

We ever get to play checkers near the campfire. We love our large set from Cracker Barrel.
Goodnight from Moose Hillock in Warran ,NH.

A Sincere Thank You....

We are sincerely thankful to each of you who supported the 5/5/5 July families....the biggest total ever raised!

Not only did we reach goal....we went OVER!

We are so grateful for each and every person who stepped forward....our greatest hope is that we can keep momentum for the families that follow and it blossoms even more as a program to bless many families!

Thank you Reece's Rainbow!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Almost To Goal....


This month we have been chosen as a 5/5/5 family and we are only $800 from our goal....would you please consider helping out 5 families bring home their kids?  Each doing a little makes it so wonderful!

Click on our 5/5/5 link on our sidebar....less than 2 days to help us out'

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Little Things

Someone once said, "it is the little things in life that mean something !".

Well, it is a little thing ....literally and figuratively but....

We found our first egg from our chickens this week.  There was major excitement in the air.  We have one chicken out of 12 laying one egg a day.