Friday, November 30, 2012

Miss Emma Joy

Yesterday I did a post about Mr. Nehemiah and today I've decided is Miss Emma's day.

There are so many emotions floating around this silver-haired mama's heart as the days tick closer to early January.

So many changes underway....including circumstances that I cannot quite share yet...and some that I just haven't been able to bring myself to share either.  Our family has a lot of changes coming...so if we should happen to cross your mind, prayers would be greatly appreciated.   And in the days ahead, I will share more.   Promise.

In the meantime, many of you are aware that our Emma will be moving soon.  God has called her to the orphan and she will be moving permanently to Uganda to minister there in early January.  The Lord sure must have some amazing plans as she has been hearing His whispers about the future for the last 12 years...

Over Thanksgiving all of us were watching old home movies.  Randomly we threw one in and it was Emma's 8th birthday.  Our mouths dropped open as we heard what we had recorded on that special day over 11 years ago.....we found Emma telling us that she knew that when she grew up she would be moving to Uganda to serve the orphans there.   Such confidence.  So matter-of-fact.  It was amazing to have it recorded.

Anyway, as the days rapidly speed toward her departure, I thought some might want to be checking out her blog {if you haven't already}...

Over my lifetime, I have not really had the privilege of watching up close someone prepare for the mission field.    Cause face it, not many go.   Some do short term missions...some even think they will go back...but life settles in and so do they.

In today's society we often talk about role models and people of influence.

We snagged this sweet picture the day we went Christmas tree hunting
{she's carrying Ruby's emergency seizure kit}

In our home we spend the bulk of our spare time reading missionary biographies.  They are true role models.  Their lives dedicated to things that cause sacrifice and endurance, only ever honoring Christ.   I, personally, want my kids looking to missionaries and other God-honoring people as role models.

The adventure Emma is on is real and we have the privilege of watching it unfold up close.  But I wanted to invite you and your children to watch it as well, as Emma shares her heart in the days ahead about what God has been preparing her for the last 12 years to do...

I graciously invite you to hear her heart and watch a young missionary prepare to leave her much loved family, home and life as she knows it....to follow God's call on her life....Em On a Mission

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mr. Nehemiah Judson

Many have asked how Mr. Nehemiah is doing.  I thought today would be as good a day as any to give you all a brief update on our adorably handsome most recent addition.

When he arrived three months ago, he was:

Pretty scared.

Kind of angry.

Definitely confused.

Basically dazed.

We didn't know what to expect...
but truly, there were really very, very, very few rough moments.   

Almost none.

During those few difficult moments I just held him in my arms and whispered
 how thankful I was that he was home.

Forever.

One day, not long after his arrival, he kind of hit an extremely rough patch and I held his rigid little body and limbs while his tears slowly dripped, literally, for hours and he eventually collapsed, limp in my arms and fell sound asleep.

Since Nee's English was almost non-existent, it was impossible to tell what he was thinking or feeling.

But that day, not long into his arrival, was the turning point.

Truthfully, Nehemiah's adjustment has been a breeze.

Although each circumstance and situation is completely different, for those who would be given the beautiful opportunity to bring home a treasure through a disruption, we would definitely cheer you on.

The sweet treasure we were gifted on August 24, 2012 has brought us great joy already - and look at the joy he has now!



On a humorous note:

The other day when we went hunting for our Christmas tree we had just arrived at the tree farm.  All of us piled out and walked to the entrance where a young man was standing.    Our friend, Charlie, who was with us, jokingly asked the young guy if he would point us to where the very best trees were.

We were all laughing about this young guy letting us in on the secret of 'where to find the best trees.'

I interjected, "I will give you some of our cookies, if you will tell us or how about this?  I will have all these little treasures of mine hug you if you will just tell us."

The young man was laughing along with us....

When all of a sudden from our little crowd, you heard a sweet little voice in broken English say, "Or Mommy give you kiss!"

We whipped our heads around and burst out laughing.

Clearly, Nehemiah understood how we were trying to bribe the young guy and he was coming up with something to bribe him with.

I have laughed and laughed since.

I'm guessing that Nehemiah loves having this mommy hug and kiss him...

And for real, the feelings are mutual...I love this little guy so much and we are so humbled that we get to be his family.

Forever.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's Back and It's Extremely Serious

A few months ago I wrote about a concern regarding an upcoming discussion in Congress regarding a very real and extremely serious threat to American families.

The concern is back and the threat is real.

Here is a portion of the page from HSLDA that I just received:

"On Monday afternoon, Senator Mike Lee (UT), Rick Santorum, and HSLDA’s Mike Farris held a press conference on Capitol Hill warning of these dangers. Mike Farris stated that the “CRPD is a warm-up act for other UN treaties, chief of which is the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The United Nations and globalists are determined to impose their agenda on American families.” 

“This is a direct assault on us and our family to hand over to the state the ability to make medical determinations and see what is in the best interest of the child,” Santorum also remarked. HSLDA is grateful for the strong leadership of Mike Lee (UT), Jim DeMint (SC), Rand Paul (KY), and Pat Toomey (PA). If one of these senators is from your state, please thank them for standing against the UN and for parents and American sovereignty."


Here is the link to the entire news alert:  HSLDA Alert

Please, bloggy friends, do not sit back and just 'let it happen'.  

Take action TODAY.  

Contact your senator - whether he/she is openly supporting or opposing and express your deep concerns.  If they are supporting it, politely ask them to change their mind.  It is all outlined on the alert, as are the links to your senator's offices.  

It is our Biblical responsibility to care for our families.   Only we as parents know what is best for our children.  The state doesn't know what's best, nor does the United Nations. 

Please call your family and friends and 
urge them to call today as well. 
Facebook about it.   
Twitter about it.  
Do not sit back! 

Time is of the essence.
Thank you.     


~All that is necessary for the triumph of evil
 is that good men do nothing.~ 
~Edmund Burke

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Three Days Left...

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Orphan Wares is running a November special....

Order three items and receive free shipping {because of a generous donor who loves the orphan and OrphanWares}, through the end of November...

As the holidays approach, what better way to shop then to know that your purchase allows orphans to eat?

This month International Voice of the Orphan was able to also provide over 3,000 meals to treasures in India...as well as our feeding program in Uganda.  ONLY Faithful God.

One way that the treasures are fed is because of artisans and crafters who donate their talent, time and resources to Orphan Wares and then friends of the orphan go onto the Orphan Wares website and shop - how amazing is that?

Totally - Win/Win

Whether creating or shopping - the orphans win!!  Imagine that!!

Since I last reported....IVO has now fed over 23,000+ meals through our IVO Frontlines+ Feeding program.

How stinkin' cool is that?

You guys are part of that - so rejoice with us - and thank you, thank you, thank you!

If you are an artisan/crafter or have a shop and would love to help orphans and vulnerable children eat - consider making even just one item and donating it to Orphan Wares - where 100% of the proceeds goes to feeding the kids...

To learn more about donating your crafts and arts or vintage items and be His hands and feet go to Orphan Wares, go here.

And to take advantage of the free shipping offer, hurry - only three days left!

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Simple Provision - MBM

There have been so many beautiful things happening in our lives of late.  God's faithfulness displayed again and again.  I actually just want to revel in the joy of our Thanksgiving week...wishing to relive it over and over...ugh.  Life rushes on, whether we want it to or not.

Anyway, it's been awhile since I have shared a Memorial Box story.  Many reasons, but we definitely have some-in-the-making-stories, that, Lord willing, I will be able to share one of these days...but for now, here is a simple story...meant to remind us all....that He is {1} always faithful, {2} always involved in our lives and {3} it doesn't matter how small the whisper - He hears and He cares!

I have been told by bloggy friends, whom I've had the privilege of meeting, that they often feel that their stories pale in comparison with the Memorial Box stories that I've shared.   I have always assured them that their stories are just as magnificent - because God is the God of the spectacular but they have either  forgotten them or have failed to note that they are, indeed, Memorial Box stories.

So here's a story, that will, Lord willing, jog your memory so that you, too, can remember how much God loves to provide 'above and beyond all we could think or ask'.

Back before Autumn's wedding, we were wondering what we would take Ruby down the aisle in.  At first we reasoned a wagon might be best - as it would be on kind of rough terrain beside Williams Lake.  But they we realized that if we brought one from home, there would not be any room for it in the car - and how in the world would we prop Ruby enough to endure the bumpy ride to the altar?

We finally decided that a stroller would be best.  However, as I thought about it, again, I wondered how we would ever bring our stroller along?  Our van had only enough seats for all of us and Autumn's bridesmaid Molly, who had flown in to ride with us to Pagosa Springs.  Not to mention a week of 'stuff' and all the wedding clothing.  There was no-way-no-how that a stroller would fit as well.

So I began to pray, "Lord would you provide a stroller in Pagosa Springs for the wedding?"  I asked Autumn to ask some of her friends.  There seemed that no one had a stroller around.

We arrived in Pagosa Springs and still did not know where we were going to find a stroller.  The day before the wedding I mentioned it to Vicki.  She made a quick phone call and said, "I have a friend who can loan you her stroller."  Whew! That was really close, Lord!

Now the thing that I didn't mention to anyone, well, except for the Lord was this:  "Would you be so gracious as to have the stroller be something that doesn't clash with Ruby's dress?  I know it could sound silly, but I know you care about the itsy-bitsy things that are concerning to me too...so would you please?"

Somehow many think that they can only bring "the big stuff" to God to answer.  No sweet friends, He says that He wants us "to cast all our cares upon Him, for He cares for us."  And yes, I cared about the color of the stroller.

Although I love the color orange, I just couldn't see Ruby looking all sweet and girly in an orange stroller, right?  Or an Army camo stroller?  And although a black or brown stroller would be great - well her beautiful face would just get lost - ya' know what I mean?

So imagine my squealing,  giggling and 'Yippee Jesus"ing"' when the borrowed stroller arrived -


Because what was it that was Autumn's accent color?

You got it!

Hot pink.

Only faithful God.  
He hears.  
He cares.  
He works behind the scenes on our behalf long
 before we even whisper our cares to Him and then, 
in His all-magnificent way - 
and then....
He answers.  

Even the color of a borrowed stroller.

"Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you."  
I Peter 5:7


Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Hunt

This year Dw and I will have celebrated 
35 Christmas' married.
Every year {with only 2 exceptions - for medical reasons}
we have gone to cut down our Christmas trees.
The tradition is one that we can't miss.
It's just too stinkin' fun.

This year we wandered up to Flagstaff...
we'd tried to get a permit to the National Forest, 
but that didn't work...

My favorite thing to do is hike the entire place, 
searching, sizing up, pondering
and most of the time wandering back to 
one of the first trees we'd spotted earlier. 

If you've never gone to cut a tree down,
Truly, it is one of the most treasured memories we share.

All ya' need is some chocolate wax donuts.
Coffee or hot chocolate {often in a thermos}.
Amy Grant's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree".
And laughter, stories and singing.
Loudly.
Cause only loud will really do. 


Loved, loved, loved having Autumn and Karl {and Polly} home 
for Thanksgiving....
Such precious memories...

"The hills are alive with the sound of music...."

My little boys clearing a path for Mommy and Ruby
{Gracious be.  I love my boys.  Always taking care of mommy.}
And digging in some woodsy dirt...

Our miracle son...Karl.
Ruby gets some special lovin' from Charlie...

And finally - 
I found it!
The tree I wanted!!!!
But Dw said no. 
Ummm, yeah.
Sooo here's the tree we actually got.
It's *almost* the same.

And I told the boys, if I couldn't have that other tree, 
 *they better not*
lose even one pine cone 
as we drove the 2 hours home,
so help me 
or else.
haha 
{Pine cones are a personal fav.}
And it appears that most survived the 70 mph ride.
Lucky for the boys.



Ruby's first ever Christmas tree hunt.
She was lovin' it.
Every itsy-bitsy part of it. 





My heart is still smiling. 
*sigh* 
A day filled with the sweetest memories.
{And pictures to prove it.}
Soooo abundantly grateful. 
Faithful God.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Our Thanksgiving in Pictures

Thanksgiving is my most favorite day of the year.
It's so low key and we have such wonderful traditions 
that have been going on for years
and there is nothing like a day set aside to be 
THANKFUL.

Thankful for so much this year.
Sooo much.
His faithfulness always.

Last year Thanksgiving was at Phoenix Children's Hospital
where Ruby had just had another brain surgery.
Gracious folks from a local Jewish synagogue had brought
dinners up to the hospital.
Their generosity and love will be remembered by us always.

This year we had the privilege of Charlie, Karl and Autumn coming to 
spend several days with us.
We have had a blast!





Two birds this year...so we could have plenty of leftovers...
and as long as you're making one...might as well make two...




Our Thanksgiving football game...

Nehemiah's first Thanksgiving!!
He had a blast!



One team shows their muscle....


Look at how intense Nehemiah and Elijah are...
makes me laugh...

The strategy...


The fans













 Playing Foursquare on the kitchen floor

We had the most crazy game of 
Left-Right-Center
E.V.E.R.
We are still laughing about it.
If you have never played,
you must get the game.
It is easy enough for even all the littles to play
and costs about $6.00.
Wish I had pictures, 
but I was too busy trying to win playing.

Lastly, if anyone would like to link your Thanksgiving blog post,
please do so below.
It would be super fun to peek around at your day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Black Friday


The picture says it all.

Picture from The Young Turks


Since January, together we have helped to feed over 15,000+ meals to the orphans and vulnerable children of Uganda through our Frontlines+ Feeding Program.

Please consider keeping your Christmas simple.

Simple.

Simple.

 Trust me in this, as a silver haired mama,
your kids will likely never remember most of the gifts under the tree
on any given year
but rather the time spent making simple memories,
creating true giggles and building lasting traditions.

International Voice of the Orphan

*Be The Voice*
Where 100% of each donation feeds the children

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Let the Festivities Begin...



"Benjamin" {aka Charlie} has arrived to celebrate Thanksgiving with our family.  The kids could hardly stand waiting for his arrival...and even Ruby seemed giddy today....{she LOVES Benjamin too}.

I thought it would be great fun to have a link up tomorrow.  Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite holiday...truly.

So tomorrow details....in the meantime...I pray that God's peace floods your homes....