Saturday, January 31, 2009

Isaiah Samuel Turns FIVE

Elijah's birthday is January 25th and three days later it is Isaiah's big day....
Isaiah came home to us from China in August of 2007. It was an amazing story of our Miracle-Working, Mountain-Moving, Awe-Inspiring, Gasp-Giving God....if you missed reading how he came home and how God parted the Red Sea (literally) head over to the sidebar section marked "My Favorite Places to Hang Out" and click on the link "Journey to Isaiah Samuel" (you won't be disappointed - he is our miracle son!):
Breakfast in bed is tradition at our home......
Dinner at Applebee'sElijah has decided to be a little stinkhead whenever we pull out the camera....no longer does he turn away, instead he grins from ear to ear and closes his eyes tight....he is too funny!!
We only could find three candles in our home (the hotel).....
still the sweetest smile on earth!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Bloggy Friends - WOW - Unbelievable!!!

This Thankful Thursday I have to give the Lord a gigantic, gargantuan, enormous amount of thankfulness for Bloggy Friends Far and Near....You guys are unbelievable....we have begun to receive cards and boxes from around the country and truthfully, we were shocked!! Once the initial shock of your love for us settled in we feel abundantly blessed, humbled beyond words and tickled to pieces....we just shake our heads that through our blog you have come out in droves to pray for us and love on us through this season of grief and pain. You guys totally rock!!

You who sent cards, thank you!! We read each one and thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
I thought that for each of you who so lovingly packed up a box for us I wanted to kind of honor you and show all the other friends and by posting pictures of the treasures you blessed us with......we have sat around our hotel room, as a family and opened each one, oooohing and ahhhhing over the contents......Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!! These treasures have been some moments of sunshine during these rough days...all because of you guys!
Our kids, having lost everything to the fire have been dealing with many emotions....deep sadness and grief....many tears too. We have worked in orphanages as a family and are not extravagant people. We know that we don't "deserve" anything. It is one thing though to intentionally downsize or give away, it is entirely something different to have it all taken in the matter of just 2-1/2 hours. Having very few stores to select from in our little town, most of the things we did own we purchased when we go a couple of times a year to a big city, like Denver or Phoenix. And being a big family, clothes from special stores that teenagers like, is just a rare treat.
We were amazed how the boxes have not duplicated each other at all, but have totally warmed our hearts, met needs (a few wants too!) and made us smile....
This box was from Julie from Illinois: For real, this was Emma's expression when she saw your presents....I was so tickled to catch her elated expression on camera...




Graham is very shy and reserved, so it's not likely to catch a look of sheer delight - unless perhaps it has to do with drums or perhaps guitars...LOL


I love, love, love my journal and pen - - - - it's totally "Me"...having, once upon a time, been accused of being a "prolific writer" I confess I love to write and I love to write in my prayer journals....and they were all lost to the fire....so thank you!!


Then this box was from: Christie from Texas.....

Now Christie, you had no idea that our Emmy is a lip gloss girl...so she was jumping up and down for those lip glosses you packaged up "for her"....She probably would be considered to have a lip gloss fettish as she was so bummed to have lost 40+ lip glosses in the fire. (And as for the fettish....the way we look at it, lip gloss is waaaay cheaper than shoes.)
And the finger puppets.....little did you know that the very day your package arrived I had found one of our little finger puppets - a giraffe - all soot covered and yukky and as dumb as it sounds I had felt sad - I LOVE finger puppets!! Yipppeee Jesus - we have a new bunch!!
Ann Marie, Jerry and their 5 kids from Virginia wrote sweet letters sharing our loss. We were deeply touched. Ann Marie had her kids pray about what to send and they gathered special things and one was the coolest Spiderman get-up for Isaiah...and so he spins his web and catches the bad guys with great skill again!! =)Michelle from North Carolina sent several things including some adorable clothes for Elizabeth and this sweet blanket...Elizabeth promptly claimed it as hers and wore it until she took it and put it in HER crib...I had to laugh, she was not giving it up!!.....(ps Michelle - your family is GORGEOUS!)
Sarah and Matt and Lilli from the DC area sent a bunch of beautiful things for the kids...And Sarah, I have to tell you...not all the kids made it out of the house with coats because we couldn't find them all...Elizabeth's winter coat was a pink one that I had found for her while in Alaska. It was lost to the fire. This one was almost identical and looks so sweet on her! Perfect!!A bloggy friend from up near Denver sent us a big box filled with goodies, including Christmas presents for all the kids!! Too fun - they were tickled to pieces as is evidenced in the pics....

More boxes with pictures to follow.......but I have to get this posted before Thankful Thursday is almost over! =)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hanging (literally) Around the Hotel Room

Bitter winds?


7 Degree Temperatures?


No playground?


How 'bout a luggage cart from the hotel in our room?







Tuesday, January 27, 2009

To Answer Some of Your Questions

Just thought I would share a few answers to the questions some have been asking and also a few prayer requests....

We have not yet found a place to rent. The kitchen in the photos of Elijah's birthday are taken here in our hotel room, which includes a little kitchenette. It has saved us money being able to eat in the hotel, not to mention toddlers just don't dig going out to restaurants often for meals....so we "stay in" most of the time.

We have been looking for a rental. Sadly there is not a waiting list for landlords wanting to rent their homes to families with SIX kids living at home. This is what they say: "We are taking a different direction with our property." Translation: "We think your kids will be smashing our drywall with baseball bats and swinging from our light fixtures, so ummm, yeah, no thank you!" *sigh* We are thankful that the Lord surely has a place for us since our situation is not a surprise to Him.

We are continuing to inventory the things in our home. It has been very difficult to throw just about everything we own in black garbage bags. Downright painful. We have had TWO 40' dumpsters FULL hauled away. The third one is being filled currently. AND We still have not heard whether our home's structure will be declared a total loss.

Sweet friends have helped with the inventorying (is that a word?) and it has made the task bearable. While inventorying other sweet friends have taken care of our four youngest. Most of the time Emma and Graham have come to the house with us.

Other prayer requests would be for each of us as we process the emotions of the situation. Each of us (with no exceptions) are dealing with all sorts of emotions, like feeling: ripped off, angry, frustrated that the house had just been remodeled, sobbing for the things lost from their childhood (things that they were saving for their kids one day), scared of another fire, scared of what will happen now, insecure, overwhelmed, feeling sad that our cozy log home is uninhabitable, reliving the flames and choking on the smoke, and there have been nightmares for several and the list goes on.

We know the feelings are all normal, infact healthy that we acknowledge them. Please pray for us as we sort through these feelings. We know that the Lord has always been faithful and in seasons of pain we are also confident that He is okay with our acknowledging ALL our feelings - whatever they may be. He says He is close to the brokenhearted and we are sure He is right here with us.

Which leads me to another thing: You guys!! You are totally unbelievable! Your continual comments: that you are praying for us or scriptures that you have sent - - - they bring us to tears and comfort us. Also knowing that although most of you have never met us - we are often on your minds and you are praying - WOW! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! We are humbled and amazed by your love for us!!

And since I last mentioned all you new friends a whole bunch more have joined in the friends so a great big Colorado welcome to: The Ellenberg's, Mike and Barb, Be Still, Shari Lyman, a barrel of bakers, Denise, Kateri, Michelle "Missi", Carrie Bowyer, LA, Pam, Rice-Kristi's Treats, Melissa and Bob, Bobbi-Jo, Kate, Beth, Traci, Peixia, Ashley, and Cyndi! You guys totally warm our hearts and make us feel oh-so-very blessed!!

Some have also asked if they can ask for prayer for us at their church or prayer chain - oh my gracious - by all means! We are comforted knowing people are praying us through this difficult time! Others wondered about posting a link to their own blog: go for it!

From our little hotel room - May the God of all peace, comfort, strength and joy minister to your deepest needs through His perfect love! xo

Elijah Muller Turns TWO - How Thankful We Are That You Are Here With Us

To put it in the words of our precious friend Celestia (who came from Phoenix with her wonderful husband Steve to spend time with us): "Elijah Muller - We will always remember how God saved your life two times in a one month."



Isaiah and Elizabeth fixing my hair for the photo op....
In perspective, after a horrible fire that could have claimed the lives of my children and I.....I personally think the hairdo they gave me looks absolutely lovely....

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Yellow Ribbon Hangs Again (this time on our hotel door)

Our oldest son has once again left for his depl*yment. He serves our country with great skill and we are extremely proud of him. Yet, his job puts him in great peril. With the house having just been destroyed by fire we are already under extreme stress. His depl*yment only compounds it all. This mama would like to have all my married and grown kids move into our hotel with us and not allow anyone to leave without us going as a group. Realistic? No! But just sharing what I am feeling.

Today we heard some helicopters went down in the Middle E*st. Our son Tyler's mode of transportation while depl*yed is helicopter.

I then texted my cousin's wife Jamie. Her husband (my cousin) is a helicopter pilot and currently depl*yed as well. She texted me back and said she was sitting with the spouse of a fallen soilder.

If we should cross your mind, please pray for our Ty's safety, as well as the safety of rest of the military and their families. Several of you bloggy friends are military wives and military moms and we pray for you and we always thank you for your sacrifices!!

My Little Boyd Bear Collection

I had a little B*yd Bear Collection. I just think Bears (and Snowmen) are about the sweetest thing around. Bears just say, "welcome" so appropriately. They are snuggly and each seem to have their own personality.



Over the years Dw had given me some B*yd Bears. Not a glutonous amount, just enough to make our home feel a tad more welcoming. I kept them on the beautiful antique hope chest that Dw's grandpa Wert had made for Dw's grandma Emma when he proposed to her. It was gorgeous and it was my most very favorite piece of furniture we owned. It was made with love for his love. Old, solid and told such a beautiful story. I had kept the B*yd Collection on Grandma Emma's hope chest, because they all just seemed to fit perfectly. They sat on little wicker chairs and sweet little old antique boxes.

There is something healing about showing you these sweet little things so that you, our bloggy friends can see our losses. Wasn't that chest just so beautiful? We have saved the lid, although severely burned we are going to see if we can find a carpenter to make a piece of it into a frame for a shadow box. Even though some things are so burned they will go in the shadow box as treasures we once loved.


Before the fire: (Hope Chest and Bears in background)


Now:

In this picture I propped the bears against my childhood dresser. We were able to cut bottom piece off and will probably put it over a door frame or something. I only have a few things from my childhood and that old antique dresser was another treasure.



Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Bathroom

Just about 3 weeks ago I wrote a blog post about how we had solved the towel dilemna. You, my bloggy buddies, remember it I know....I was so tickled with the outcome and it was really working beautifully. Here are some "before" and "after" shots..... Right after Elijah and Elizabeth came home I wrote a post about finding Elizabeth up in the middle of the night lining up stuff in the bathroom.......The bathroom now.....
I am so thankful for the pictures I took that demonstrate what a sweet little log cabin we had....take pictures friends, take pictures of everything!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Hotel

A friend and her family came to help with the clean-up from the fire. They were able to meet Elijah and Elizabeth.

One night some of our friends ate with us also...JD, Irma, Isabella and Max...The pictures tell it all...