Monday, September 29, 2008

Do you Want to Join Me?

My heart was so very heavy all day. I am certain many of you have felt the same way.

What will happen to our nation? How will this all turn out? Is this the beginning of God's judgment on America? What will it look like next year for America? What will happen if the economy crashes and our kids we are all adopting aren't here yet? What does this all mean?

I have a sense of urgency that we, who call upon the name of the Lord, must fast and pray! We must ask God for His mercy on our great land. We must ask Him to forgive us for our flagrant rebellion against Him and seeking, much of the time, only to please ourselves. If you are unfamiliar with fasting, it is merely giving up food to spend time in prayer. I have seen God move in HUGE ways when I've/we've fasted in the past.

Throughout scripture people of God would fast and pray when they wanted God to move in a big way. I am setting aside tomorrow (Tuesday) and also Thursday to spend some time praying and fasting for our nation - asking God to forgive us and heal our land. He is certainly capable.

If you would like to join in, email me pastorlinn@iriverchurch.com or post a comment. I could use some encouragement that we are doing this together.

What If We Had listened to the "crowd".........

Saturday evening I was cleaning up the kitchen after coming home from the yard sale. I was tired and exhausted - it had been a long day.....I still had to feed the kids and get everyone ready for church in the morning..... Baths, clothes set out and shoes and Bibles set by the door were needing to be done. Dw had gone to prepare for Sunday and wouldn't be home till much later.

As I was doing the dishes, everyone else was doing what had been assigned to do. The kitchen was relatively quiet and I got to thinking. What a blessed woman I am. Abundantly blessed -actually in gigantic portions. My heart was overflowing as I looked around the house that was completely strewn with the remains of yard sale preparations, boxes from the storage shed that I had searched through for things to put in the yard sale, contents falling out of some of the boxes, dishes, pears needing to be canned, dinner plates, cups, the toaster, purses, sweatshirts, computers, stuffed animals, books, toys, toys and more toys.

As I was thanking the Lord for my life I started remembering something some relatives of ours had said to me years before - in 1988 to be exact. On three separate occasions that same year I had had relatives call and tell me that they had thought about it and decided that I should give up having anymore kids and move on with my life. (Bless their hearts!)

Hmmmm.....that was an interesting thought from three women: one who had one child and two who had none.... Is it just me 0r do you ever wonder what people like that are thinking? Since they have never lived near me I'm not sure what their reasoning was (that is, if they used any). I had never asked for their help in any way, shape or form. I had never complained about my kids (it's just not my style - I have gone through too much blood, sweat and tears to belly-ache about my treasures)...so what they were thinking will remain a mystery forever, but suffice it to say, I politely thanked them for their input and went about life.

Well here I am pondering my life 20 years after those three separate phone calls.....and here's what I came up with as I cleaned up our very chaotic kitchen/family room...

What if I had listened to these three family nay-sayers?? How would my life be looking today? If we had "closed up shop to more kids".....we would now have been empty nesters for 5 years already! What a nightmare thought!

On that note...here's just a sampling of what I would have missed out on over the last few days in our lives if I had listened to the "crowd"...... I would have missed:

linking arms with Emma while skipping down Main Street late Friday night on our way to a movie, just the two of us, at Gaslight Theatre....

having Emmy snuggled against me in the theatre, as we watched intently, whispering back and forth from time to time...

having Graham, unprompted, come over to where I was sitting in the family room and leaning over to kiss me good night and saying, "I love you mom"......

all six of us riding in the truck together to drop stuff off at the parsonage for the sale and being totally goofy so our older kids were completely embarassed and E and G were texting back and forth about how embarassed they were (of course they were laughing the whole way)....

while dropping the stuff off we ran into a kind friend who attends our church and asked us to stop over as he had an ice cold IBC Root Beer for each of the kids and Dw (I declined the offer) and seeing their tickled expressions --- their very own IBC!

waking up Saturday morning to my oh-so-very dashing husband singing Days of Elijah and Year of Jubilee with great enthusiasm (that song would have no personal significance if it weren't for little Miss Jubilee)...

driving early in the morning to Starbucks with Emmy and her friend as we laughed about some silly things...

phoning Graham to see what he wanted from Starbucks and having a giggle about something...

sharing our story with two young women at Starbucks who said they would come to the sale (if it weren't for adoption we probably would have talked about the weather).....

two hugs from Autumn and her boyfriend stopping by the yard sale to check in on us......

spending the day laughing and being crazy with some really special friends whose hearts are also stirred for the orphan....
hearing Isaiah squeal "mommy!" when Grandma brought him to the parsonage.....

Isaiah and Liberty's arms wrapping around me when they got to the sale.....

watching Isaiah and Liberty giggle and play all day long while we sold "stuff".....

talking to our Tyler-son just before he leaves for a few days on a special training mission.....

panicking as I ran around the side of the parsonage to see where Isaiah was? Had he headed over into the parking lot and to the church building himself?

relieved to see him safe in big sis Emma's arms....

watching Isaiah and Liberty race each other in rolling chairs down the driveway while we started packing it up to call it a day....

talking with my kids while we drove toward home...

having Emma help me drop bags off at the Thrift Store's back door.....

making supper for the kids, while Emma helped me and the guys emptied the truck of the dining set (that didn't sell)....

racing Isaiah down the hall toward the bathroom for his bathtime and hearing him giggle as we raced....

listening to Isaiah and Liberty talk with each other....

hearing Emma trying to contain her chuckle while calling to me to tell Isaiah to stop.....

hearing Isaiah mimic Emma who had come to tuck him in...."Isaiah stop saying everything I say" "Isaiah stop saying everything I say"; "I'm serious Isaiah" "I'm serious Isaiah"; "Isaiah, really, stop doing that!" "Isaiah, really, stop doing that!"; "Mom!" "Mom!"; "Mom, Isaiah won't stop copying me!" "Mom, Isaiah won't stop copying me!" "Make him stop Mom!" "Make him stop Mom!"....(his little personality continues to make us laugh!)

driving into church this morning with Emma, Graham, Liberty and Isaiah and having each praying for specific needs (Jubilee, etc.) as each of us agreed together with the one praying outloud.....

holding Isaiah's sweet little hand as we walked about the church grounds doing little necessary tasks before first service....

snuggling with Isaiah on my lap during second service at church....

having Isaiah stroke my hair while I was holding him and singing and worshipping during 2nd service this morning......

going to tuck in Liberty and Isaiah and deciding to run from the bedroom door toward their bed and dive onto it......

hearing their peals of laughter when I plunked down in the middle of them.....

having Isaiah kiss my hand and say, "you the best mommy!"

getting to snuggle up with Liberty this Sunday afternoon because she has a tummy ache and is feeling "ishy"....

hearing Emmy's excitement of who she found (after moving from Charlotte, NC 12 years ago) on Facebook - her first tiny sweetheart - Matthew - they were 3 at the time when we moved....
watching Graham's face turn flaming red as we mentioned something that tickles us and embarasses him...

tasting Emma's Mississippi Mudd that she made this afternoon......

having Isaiah sound asleep in my arms as I type this blog...(note: Liberty sound asleep w/pan beside her just incase she woofs, Isaiah asleep and Nelly on the other side)...and one trashed house surrounds me this Sunday evening.....So as I pondered just a smidgeon of all the delightful moments these last few days have brought I wonder what would have happened if we had taken the advice of our "caring?" relatives? I shudder at the thought and then I let my mind wander a bit more: Why would I ever want this joy to end??

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Last Yard Sale For Us =)

My sweet buddy Jen and I..... Emmy and Jess.....(Jubilee's sign on the background) Part of the sale....
The other view of the sale....
The mountains are so gorgeous from the parsonage.....
Whew! It's Over! A most sincere thank you to all my girlfriends who prayed for this yard sale. You guys rock!!! And yes, we needed it!

I awoke at 5:15am to Dw in the bathroom shaving and "Days of Elijah and Year of Jubilee" (on my tunes at the bottom of this blog)....he was so pumped to sell the stuff! He was almost giddy.

The little guys (Liberty and Isaiah) had spent the night at Grandma's so we could get up and out the door in a flash. Dw and Graham headed to Bread (famous for the best cookies in the Four Corners area - in lieu of donuts) while Emmy, Jessica (Emma's buddy who spent the night) headed with me to Starbucks.
Oddly enough there was no line at Starbucks at 6 something in the morning (imagine that?!). The ladies behind the counter asked what we were up to today and so I told them about this yard sale to help bring Jubilee home and both said they would come by after work. One was herself adopted and both said they hoped to adopt one day. (Both ladies did indeed come by the sale later in the day - one made a donation without purchasing anything, the other bought some stuff.) That was way cool!

We had tons and tons of items and several sweet friends brought goodies to include. But I have to confess by 10:30 there had hardly been any buyers. I think by late-September most yard salers are ready for a break. We both began to pray even harder!! We begged God to bring people - specific people who would want what we had! I know without a doubt that many of you prayed and thus had a part in God moving on people's hearts to come to the sale. By 11:30 there was a steady trickle.

My sweet friend, Jen, came with her two kids (Grace and Toby) and helped me almost all day long. Jen and her husband would like to one day adopt also. She has a huge heart for the orphan and helped carry our burden when China said "no" about Isaiah after giving us pre-approval. We had lots of laughs as we worked our little hiney's off.
Another friend, Jinny, came and lent a hand too. Jinny wants to adopt NOW - but we need to maybe (?) find her a husband first. Anyone out there in Blogland want to do a little Matchmaking with me? **Ooopsie! She's going to kill me when she reads that!**
When it was all said and done.....What didn't sell is going to the thrift store, which even meant some of my tea cups and stuff. I am adamant about wanting to simplify my life and so this was a real test for me. But it is packed up to be hauled there over the next few days. Another personal victory for me!!

Anyway, without the power of prayer I fear how the sale might have turned out, after all - no buyers=no money=lots of work with no pay-off. But thanks to the power of prayer we made somewhere over $700.00. Yipppeee Jesus!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Yard Sale Time!!

We are in the midst of preparing for a yard sale we are having tomorrow morning at the parsonage next to the church. Dw put an ad in the local paper (to the effect): "Help Bring Our Daughter Home From China - Everything Not Nailed Down is Going"...
I have a beloved tea collection (tea pots, tea cups, tea pretties) which I am parting with. Those closest to me will know what a big deal this is! I also have a sweet collection of shabby chic stuff...it's all going too. This will help SIMPLIFY my life and more than anything I want Jubilee and future kids home now!
Another load going to the parsonage....
Dw and I did get into a discussion about where to put price stickers. I was putting them on the bottom of things. He wants them on the top. I said, "Honey, everyone turns stuff over to look at it and finds the price." He disagreed saying that everything always has prices on the top. I said, "Nu-uh! Think of TJ's and stuff...prices are on the bottom." To which he replied: "No wonder the economy is in trouble!"
I called the kids to have their pictures taken in the people cards....and Graham said, "Emma that means AKA the blog needs some pictures." Oh stop harassing me kiddos and humor this ol' mama of yours....
We are selling everything we can think of or find. We are also praying that God will bring just the right people to buy it all up....I'll keep you posted about what happens tomorrow morning....PRAY!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Home Show

The last two week-ends we have had the Home Show going on here. We have managed to head to a few homes each week-end. I love homes and Dw has said for years that somewhere inside me is a frustrated architect begging for release!

I love farmhouses definitely most of all. They call to me and I wonder what stories they would tell if "walls truly could talk".

Over the years, while driving down the road I have said, on a zillion different occasions, "OHHHH - look at that home/farmhouse/cottage/cabin --- look at that architecture!" No surprise really then that over the years one could hear from even one of little ones in car seats in the back, "Mommy! Look at that house! Look at the architecture!" Apparently, my passion for architecture has been passed down. The kids even enjoy the home show with us.

Most of all though, I love staircases - they absolutely fascinate me! And so I confess right here and now that over the years, while driving at night, I have said, "Slow down Dw, their lights are on and maybe I can see the staircase"... I am really not a stalker lady I just want to see the staircase! Dw patiently slows and the kids all groan, "Mom, they're going to see you trying to see in their windows!"

Anyway, homes in our area have typically more of a Mountain/Lodge look and they are beautiful ..see for yourself.....(crazy, big hefty price tag to match too - fun to look at, but the mortgage payment? - Not so much fun!)....
Cool bathroom counter top, huh? A big, old gorgeous hunk of wood all polished and spiffy! Aspen trees are soooo pretty!
The view while heading to homes up near the resort (about 45 minutes from where we live)..
The beautiful red cliffs, not too far from our home...

Ahhhhh - our most favoritest log home ever.....A Place Called Simplicity....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Texting with Our Tyler

I started writing this post just a few minutes ago while breaking from home schooling with Liberty and as I did Emma walked over and asked me what I was doing? I said, "Typing a post about Tyler with the pictures he recently sent me." She said, "Mom, won't he kill you?" I said, "Ummm, he doesn't check my blog." =) So here's to Tyler, once again, not checking my blog.....LOL - And for the record, if I don't post ever again, you will know that I was wrong and he does read my blog...LOL

I have mentioned before how close Tyler is to us. He is such a treasure. I know that adoption is so very scary to many people who have whispers of thoughts flitting through their noggin about the idea of adopting. Well here we are just about 23 years post our first adoption and we happily admit that we are still smitten with our precious son brought to us from the other side of the world once-upon-a-time in early 1986. He loves the Lord, wants to serve our country and has the funniest sense of humor - kind of a mix of far side and randomness.

He is not deployed at the moment having just returned in July. He is now in the throes of preparing for his next deployment. His superiors had asked him, upon returning from his deployment if he would be willing to do something within his regiment with alot more risk and responsibility? To which our flag-waving American son said, "Absolutely!" (Mom and Dad are still processing what this exactly means and, of course, since he is in the special forces we are not allowed to talk about it - except to each other! But suffice it to say, he/we are going to need your prayers even more so!)

Due to this new assignment the military has sent Tyler to some very intricate "schools" to learn some very fascinating things. (Of course they sound fascinating since he is safe in the good ol' U S of A.) One of the schools he went to was about learning how to follow a person and be able to tell all kinds of things about them just from following them.)

For instance, he told me that he can now follow someone and tell from following them: (1)whether they are left handed or right handed (how in the world they do that - who knows??), (2)if they are male or female, (3) how they walk (heavy on one foot or whatever), (4)what kind of tracks they will make, and (5)even how much they weigh.

When Tyler told me about knowing how much someone weighs I begged him that if he is ever following me and has to tell someone how much I weigh that he would promise to guess 20 pounds lighter!??! Pretty Please?? =)

When Ty was still living at home he was famous for eating all the Peanut M&M's or Hershey kisses (two of my all time favorites) in a bag and leaving ONE in the bottom. He figured that way no one could ever blame him for eating them ALL. It became a joke with he and I....as I would be craving some chocolate and he would have found it long before and have eaten it all but one. The same applied to cookies....all gone - but one. There were certainly times when these kind of things would truly annoy me and yet in the end we would usually laugh.

From the time he left home for the Army and now even more so as his next deployment (with greater risk) looms in the not-to-distant future the thought of him being home and eating all but one cookie or Hershey kiss or Peanut M&M sounds so wonderfully delightful. Come home, precious Tyler-son, and eat all you want...Mama longs to find just one sweet thing left by you in the bag or box.

So with that eating-the-last-cookie/candy story as a back-drop during one of these recent "schools" he sent me the following picture and the caption read: "This is my 'who ate my last cookie' look". I laughed when I read it and texted him something silly back.

To which he replied, "Yeah, probably hard to take me too seriously when you changed my diapers for years."




Then a few hours later he sent me the following picture with the caption: "This is my - been sitting in a tree for hours getting eaten by ants - look." To which I texted back: It looks more like the "I've been constipated for days look" to me.

I am so thankful for these sweet laughs with my Special Forces son, even from afar. So thankful for whoever out there invented text messaging - may God bless them abundantly!

Monday, September 22, 2008

the River Run for Orphans

For many years now Dw has had such a burden for the orphans and their plight and years ago started, at the church we were pastoring in VA, a 5K Run that would raise money for the orphans of the world.

Saturday morning was our first year having one here in Colorado....and it was called "The River Run for Orphans". It was amazing! 186 people ran (or walked or pushed strollers) and many more showed up to volunteer. People even came from neighboring towns to participate. We had ministeries displaying their favorite orphan need in hopes of raising money for it. The run turned out that it was second largest run ever held in Durango!! (And this is a running paradise!) The weather was beautiful and it was a blast.
Dw ran and he was soooo fast that I couldn't even get a picture of him (LOL). He had worked really hard to be able to do it and actually did it in 31 minutes 29 seconds - wooo hooo!
The kids had a Fun Run that was a mile long....
Our sweet Liberty leads the pack.....
Liberty placed First Female in the Fun Run.....My buddy Jen, Grandma (my mom) and EmmyI walked pushing Isaiah in his BOB stroller. All the years we did the 5K Orphan Run in Virginia were not good Multiple Sclerosis years for me. My legs would not cooperate most of the time. Each year I would, using my cane to balance me and help support my legs, drag my legs the entire 5K. It was exhausting, but no matter how bad my legs were behaving I refused the wheelchair - attempting to make a statement that the orphans weren't living an easy life - and really why should my walk be easy??

Liberty and Luke did the 5K together along with Isaiah and I after already doing the Fun Run....My sweet baby boy.....I was so humbled this year to be reminded, once again, all that Almighty God has done for me. No longer needing a cane for support or balance I pushed Isaiah up and over that River trail, even at times running with him (while he squealed "this is so fun mommy!"). Friends told me today what a miracle it was to watch me yesterday "running" the race!
The 186 people raised just over $7,800.00 for the orphans. There was excitement in the air and many said they can't wait to do it again. My sweet friend Lori wrote and said that she thinks she will "steal" the idea of a 5K run for orphans. Steal the idea!! Go for it Lori!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Sweet Treasure

Oh how I love surprises!! You can't imagine my excitement when late yesterday the kids and I arrived home. Pulling down our long lane I could see in the distance a big box on the front porch (oh goodie - oh goodie - oh goodie)....I love surprises!

I peeked at the return and saw it was from my friend Marianthe. Marianthe and I met through our Journey to Me blogs a little over a year ago. A year ago she was following our journey to Isaiah and she was just beginning their journey to Creighton.

Through emails (and now phone calls) we have become sweet, sweet friends. She and her husband, Michael, have walked through several faith challenges - the kind that make you know that you know that you know that God is on the throne and He alone is moving for the orphan - to set them free from their 'prison'!

Over the last year Marianthe and Michael have faced many seemingly insurmountable obstacles - and with each of these she and Michael have risen to the challenge and trusted God to do the impossible even when every single circumstance (from a human perspective) would say "I don't think so". And each and every time God has shown up with His mighty, strong arm and bared it for all the nations to see that He is STILL on the throne!!

Marianthe and I have prayed together, laughed together, cried together and believed together that Creighton is coming home. As I have blogged about before, God even brought Creighton's birth mom out of hiding at the very last minute to have the DNA testing. Totally a 21st century Red-Sea-parting kind of miracle!!
One day Marianthe and her husband (who faithfully serves our country in the military) will come to visit us with their kids and we will hug and cry in person and surround ourselves with all these babies that we have prayed for with mountain moving faith!!
So last night, after I tucked the little ones into bed I sat down to open my special box. Inside I found the most beautiful treasure painted by my sweet friend Marianthe just for me! It is entitled "Days of Ezekiel" from the verse of the song "Days of Elijah".
The painting depicts Ezekiel (the sweetest wake-up caller rooster ever) in front of our little log home. (We are all amazed at how much it looks like our home - and she has never been here!) There is a yellow ribbon to remind us of our son Tyler's service and an American flag flies proudly from the front porch.
In the foreground of the picture are the flowers that do fill the front flower bed for most of the summer - Orange Day Lilies - one of my very most favorite flowers ever! It is a beautiful picture and I can't wait for Marianthe to come see this place in person and see how identical it looks. It is spectacular! She is a gifted artist and used her talents to bless me abundantly.
It will hang in my kitchen as a daily reminder of just one more blessing that comes through adoption - precious friends who God has brought into our lives to walk this journey together - who together with us share a heart and burden for the orphans of the world.
Incidentally, tonight our small group came to our home for Bible study. Almost immediately after walking in the door folks noticed the painting standing on the counter in the kitchen. They admired it and exclaimed how beautiful it was!!
How very blessed I am and absolutely I will treasure it forever!


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sweet Cooties!!



We had some of our sweet friends over for dinner - we always have so much fun with them when we are together.

Dane and Laura have five children and their youngest son, Luke, is Liberty's age. Liberty and Luke each think each other is pretty special and they play famously together. They love to catch snakes together (maybe a bonding thing?), play with frogs side by side, dig in mud up to their hips and splash in creeks together!! Laura and I both get such a kick out of watching them together. They are good buddies!!

In the midst of all the fun and festivities this particular night I sent Emma out with her friend Ashley to take a few pictures of Liberty, Luke and Isaiah playing in the front pasture.

Emma came in and reported that she had taken some really good pictures....BUT when she told them to get close together for a picture Liberty got embarassed and took off running, to which Luke chased her! =)


Luke finally caught Liberty and drug her back for a picture which he put his arm around her.....Not to worry though, brother Isaiah made sure he was in the middle of the two! =) ...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

An Important Question for All My Blogger Friends???

This morning I was helping Liberty do her home schooling and working on the blog about Autumn (see below). I also had an apple pancake thingy cooking on the stove which eventually would be put in the oven. We would pause our home schooling and have coffee and the apple treat (yummy tasting stuff just makes home schooling so much more fun!!).

Sitting on the couch, working on the blog, helping Liberty and keeping an eye on the stove all the while talking to Isaiah too. (Moms really do multi-task, don't we?) I also had a headache and overall felt kind of cruddy.

All of sudden the smoke alarm started going off. It was screaming!!! Graham and I ran throughout the house trying to figure which smoke alarm it was. I finally called Dw as we were finding it impossible to figure it out. I was also feeling cruddy enough that I couldn't think real clearly. We opened the laundry room door (even though the dryer wasn't on) and I also climbed on top of the dryer to blow on the smoke alarm in the laundry room and still nothing stopped. Finally after about 20 minutes of blaring it stopped. We were confused. We had not been able to determine which alarm it was and part of the time it almost seemed like it was all of them it was screaming so loudly!

Life returned to normal except before long I got a bit more groggy and even thought maybe I should tip my head back and take a little catnap while Liberty worked on her school work.

About a half hour later the alarm started screaming again. UGH! Graham said, "I'll try to figure it out mom." In about 5 minutes he came to me and said, "Hey mom, I figured it out. It was the Carbon Monoxide alarm going off! Don't worry, I unplugged it!"
Mike, Our friend the Captain

OH MY GRACIOUS!! That woke me up! I said, "No Graham go plug it in now." I immediately called Dw and told him. At about that point Graham came in the room and said, "It's plugged back in Mom and has the number 147 on it." I told Dw. Dw hung up and called a friend who is the Captain of one of the fire stations here in town. The friend said, "Dw get your family out of the house immediately! Fifty (50) and above is extremely dangerous!!" In the meantime I had Graham move it to the kitchen and plug it in. It now read 160!! Our Captain friend grabbed the Battalion Chief and they headed to our home.

We gathered our stuff up as I stopped to dash an email to a couple of friends who I know hang by their computers most days and would pray quickly! Graham and Emma, of course, thought I was blogging on the fly (they think I am addicted and would risk my life to blog - LOL - I may be bad, but I'm really not that bad!!).

The fire department guys arrived and started searching. They found there was some Carbon Monoxide in the laundry room. But then they said, "let's check the new stove!" I turned on the stove and the Chief brought his little detector over. He turned it on and it screamed so loudly that the Battalion Chief literally jumped up in the air about a foot. He screamed, "WOW! That's a positive! I cannot believe how 'hot' that is!" (This reading was with the windows open too!) They ordered me out of the house immediately.
Rod, the Battalion Chief
They also asked how I was feeling and I told them that I'd had a headache and felt groggy and tired and they hooked me up to a carbon monoxide detector. The numbers jumped right up there. Sure enough I had too much Carbon Monoxide in my blood. The kids felt fine so they didn't want to be checked. I wondered if my numbers were higher cause I had been at the stove much of the time and also because of the auto-immune stuff in my body.

Do you realize how gracious of God to use that 14 year old detector to warn us that there was a problem? Today could have turned out very differently if we had not had that 14 year old detector plugged in! Thank you Jesus!!!

Now my question for all my friends: Do you have a Carbon Monoxide detector in your home? Is it plugged in?

If you don't have one - Go buy one TODAY!!! PLEEEEEASE???

If you feel up to it I would love for you to drop me a comment and let me know whether you already have one or are headed to get one? Please do it!! It could be a matter of life and death!!!

What Would We Ever Do Without Texting?

I have to confess I love text messaging. It just makes my life so much easier and actually from time to time provides a bit of much needed humor.

For instance, just this morning as I was leaving prayer time with Chelsea I got a text message from Autumn. But first let me back up a bit.....I always have a signature on all my text messages. I like something catchy; that would cause myself and others to really stop and think.

When Tyler was deployed I had my signature set as: PRAY 4R TROOPS

When Tyler returned from deployment I changed my signature to this: BE THANKFUL

At the moment we are doing a Bible study called "One Month To Live". It is an awesome six week study that our church is doing and all the small groups are doing. We have a gathering of friends who meet each week in our home as we study and ask ourselves: What would we do if we had one month to live?

So again, just yesterday, I changed my signature on my texts to: 30 DAYS 2LIVE

Back to this morning and Autumn's text. Autumn works for the airlines and flew Tuesday night to California to spend her birthday with big sis Abigail and our son-in-love Ryan. Autumn loves going to LA to be with them and they treat her extra special.

Autumn is our third oldest and has always loved walking to the beat of a different drummer. Like when she was just barely three years old she wanted to have acrylic nails put on her fingers - plain ol' polish just wouldn't do for this fine lady. Of course, she didn't get them at 3, but as soon as she was in her pre-teens she spent her birthday money and had fake nails put on. As a little girl she would talk about the day she would have her nails done and I would just shake my head in bewilderment. I had never had my nails done before and wondered where she had even come up with that idea! So you can only imagine that if she wanted her nails done at three, how it would be to hold her back for the rest of her life?

Then there was piercing. She attempted piercing her own belly button at 11 years old. No ice, no needle and, of course, no alcohol on the sharp object. She just took an earring and shoved it through the skin while upstairs alone in her room. By the time we found out she had a lovely infection going on. Ugh! The belly ring (or earring in this case) promptly was removed and she was grounded for a couple of weeks if my memory serves me right. We aren't the type of parents who go all ballistic or get all hysterical, BUT the kids definitely know how we feel about all the weird piercings, etc. Anyway, if a reaction is what a kid is looking for they will most certainly be sorely disappointed.

At the moment, Autumn is turning 19 in 2 days, lives in her own apartment, pays all her own bills and works long hours for the airlines as a manager. And, at almost 19, she now has numerous piercings too. =) We, again, just shake our heads in wonderment. I did ask her one day if we plugged a hose into her mouth could we use her as a lawn sprinkler? =)

So back to the text this morning. As I was leaving Chelsea I received this text:
I got my lip pierced yesterday.

I thought for a moment. Hmmmm... If she is looking for a reaction I want to be sure to disappoint her. So I texted back: Woooo Hoooo

Totally forgetting my signature, this is what it really said:
Wooooo Hooooo
30 DAYS 2LIVE

Autumn had no clue that I had changed my signature and immediately texted me back and said:
What's that supposed to mean?

I burst out laughing!! Yup, I love texting with my big kids!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Colorado Sky






We've been having some gorgeous sunsets and sunrises lately at our home. Even as I type I face the sun rising and it is, once again, spectacular. What God does He does so rockin' awesome!


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Urgent Prayer Needed!!

There is a family in China at this moment to pick up their little daughter Susannah. But Susannah is extremely ill and in the hospital. Susannah has a serious problem with her heart and lungs and they are needing wisdom and divine intervention. Please lift them/her and the situation up.

Pray specifically that God would give them wisdom, discernment and much favor with the Chinese Government. They need to get her to the United States ASAP. Here is a link to their blog: http://www.roomforatleastonemore.blogspot.com/ **When I awoke this morning I ran to check on little Susannah. Their web site is now blocked and accessible "by invitation only". Their pain must be very great.**

Monday, September 15, 2008

It All Goes Down Hill from There

This is our 21st year of home schooling and I can hardly believe it. When I first started 21 years ago home schooling was new on the scene. Most hadn’t heard of it before. People would wrinkled up their faces and say, “You are going to do what?” And then the very next question would always be, “Is it legal?” I am so thankful for the privilege of doing it. Truthfully, I started home schooling because I just couldn’t bear the thought of not spending the day with my kids. Each of them have come to my arms after a lot of “blood, sweat and tears”, why should someone else get the joy of spending the day with them? We have a blast together and I have no regrets!!

Emma puts it this way...“Who wants to go to school when we can have warm chocolate chip cookies as we do Bible study together?” She has a point!

Over the years I have done it all different ways….using all types of curriculums. My favorite years were the years we did Unit Studies (Konos or Weaver)- lots of work but oh so very much fun!.

With more little ones headed for our home to join our forever family we have now settled into our second year of doing Switched on Schoolhouse. Emma, Graham and Liberty each do their work on computers, which generates assignments and tells me what I need to correct at the end of their school day. At this stage in life it works well and they all love it (thankfully).

Each day though we stop what we are doing and we all gather with our Bibles for Bible study and prayer time where we pray for all kinds of things. We have seen some amazing answers to our prayers. Once upon a time we used to call it Family Devotions. Graham has always loved this time and when he was little he would say, “Can we do ‘otions’?” It was so sweet.

Well recently I have noticed how this Bible study time digresses each and every day. It starts out with everyone fully engaged and eventually the giggles start and it’s all downhill or upside down from there…..little ones sure make life enjoyable….the pictures tell the story….











Giggling upside down

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Baby Time!!! - What a day!!! - 2 girls and 1 boy

Just last week I posted about our "pregnant night out". It was indeed a blast!

I mentioned that Sommer delivered her baby boy the very next day. Since then it has been really quiet on the baby scene - until today!

This morning I received a text at 7:00am from Meghan that she was in labor and asking me to pray! Benjie (Meghan's husband) is our Worship leader and they together direct our Prayer Ministry at the River.


About 2 hours later (while Meghan was still laboring) I received a text that Nate and Erin were on the way to the hospital as Eliana was on her way.


I texted with Jill who was pretty bummed that Meghan and Erin both were in labor since their due dates were the 20th and 28th respectively and hers was yesterday - the 12th!


Less than a half hour later I received a text that she (Jill) also was headed to the hospital. It was definitely River Church Day at Labor and Delivery at Mercy Hospital! Dw and I were rejoicing all over the place - we love kids and the blessings are being poured out!! Yipppee Jesus!


We had Emma and Graham with us as we were spending the day at the Durango Parade of Homes. About an hour later we got a text that Sadie had arrived.
Benjie, Meghan and Sadie...... (Benjie - worship leader and both lead our prayer ministry.)
About half hour after hearing that Sadie had arrived my cell rang and it was Erin's step mom (her mom passed away when she was young) and there was an emergency and they had rushed Erin to the Operating Room. I could hardly talk through the tears as I told Dw the news. We were in one of the Parade Homes out by Durango Mountain Resort, but we ran to our car and sped toward town and the hospital.


Erin and Nate spend their days ministering full-time on the campus of Ft. Lewis College. They are two of the neatest young adults we have ever met. Yet they have struggled with two traumatic losses and this news was just horrible.


We prayed as we drove the 35 minute drive back to Durango and begged God for His mercy on Eliana and Nate and Erin.


What a relief to get to the hospital and find that although things were really tense for awhile Eliana was here safe and sound (arriving at 5 lbs 1 oz). Although the doctors thought that Eliana was in the right position she actually was breech and the cord was wrapped twice around her neck, besides her leg was coming first....all around it was not good - BUT God!!
Nate, Erin and Eliana Louise.....(campus ministers at Ft. Lewis)



Shortly after Eliana arrived Jill delivered baby Jack (7 lbs. 15 oz). Whew!! Thank you Jesus!
Mark, Jill and Baby Jack.......(Mark and Jill are our children's pastors)
We did the tour and held babies and rejoiced with each family! And although some would say we were prejudiced, they are the sweetest three babies in the world!! God is so good and it is His word that declares: "The fruit of the womb is His reward!" (Notice it doesn't say whose womb!)



So I guess that's 9 babies at the River in just about 3 months time - Yipppeee Jesus!