As for me, I know of nothing else but miracles. - Walt Whitman

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Peek at What We've Been Up To........

Here are just a few of the things that have been keeping us busy lately:

1. Celebrating Easter:






*Note to self: Do NOT put Easter grass in the bottom of the Easter baskets next year. When the boys decide to have an Easter grass fight, it makes a MESS all over the house. Even if for some strange reason you DO decide to use it next year, make sure it is green and not iridescent (it will be much easier to see all over the floors).

2. Growing plants indoors. Ashton is our little gardener, and loves to watch the progress of his little sprouts. So far, we have tomatoes, cucumbers, cantaloupe and peppers.



3. Picking up Easter grass.


4. Painting. Chris's uncle is fixing up a house, and I've been helping him prime and paint the walls.



5. Cleaning Easter grass off of the vacuum's roller brush.

6. Planning Vacation Bible School for this summer. Chris and I are both on the planning committee, and will both be helping with the teaching as well.

7. Picking up Easter grass.

8. Getting ourselves, our house and our luggage ready to be gone for a little over a week. Chris and I leave in a couple of days for our cruise, Malia is staying with my sister, and the other three are staying with their Grandma. It's a lot of work to pack for 6 people!

9. Cleaning up Easter grass.

10. Blogging about Easter grass.

Have a great day!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!!!







The tomb is empty, and Jesus is alive! Hallelujah!

Wishing you all a joyous Easter filled with life, hope and new beginnings!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Crucifixion - A Medical Perspective, AND a New Nephew!!!



In other news, today we are celebrating the birth of our new nephew, Lincoln! He was born this morning to Chris's brother and his wife - their first baby! What a wonderful and fitting time of year to be celebrating new life!

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Golgotha




Sit and pause awhile, my spirit,
This great miracle behold;
See the King of highest merit
On the cross, so bare and cold!
Out of Heaven God has given
His own Son in love untold!

That your Saviour loves you dearly,
He upon the cross has proved,
Where in torments most severely
He from God was far removed.
In His anguish He must languish
For the sinful men He loved.

Thus His soul of God forsaken,
Filled with sorrow to its depth,
And His flesh is likewise shaken, 
Tortured unto His last breath;
All His vigor, All His power
Is exhausted unto death.

These, the fruits of our transgression,
Fell unto Thee, Saviour dear,
While this wrathful condemnation
We deserved as sinners here.
These afflictions and convictions
We unworthy ones should bear.

Yet Thy suffering has defeated
Satan's power, yea, death and hell;
Through Thy death Thou hast completed
Thy dear Heavenly Father's will.
Thus is given to us even
Life eternal to fulfill.

In humility, dear Saviour,
Thou for me, I know, hast died;
Though I was Thy foe, Redeemer,
Thou for me wast crucified. 
Silence keep I, humbly weep I!
Thus through Thee I'm justified!

Thou, Lord, hast for me devoted
Soul and body, life and all;
So there shall be consecrated
All I have, both great and small,
All my efforts and endeavor
To Thy service and Thy call.

Through the power of Thy dying,
Into Thy death, Lord, draw me;
Let my body, all my being,
There be nailed, Lord, with Thee;
Calm and gentle may my will be;
To my love give purity!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Bunny Fun.....

This morning, Ashton's Kindergarten class had a little Easter Bunny performance. They sang several songs and then participated in an Easter egg hunt. Malia and I went to school to join in the fun.

 What cute little Easter Bunnies!


Ashton and Malia hunted for eggs together.


 Finding lots of candy.....


 


 Malia and cousin Haley, who is also in Ashton's class. These two love to be together!



And here are two flowers that Adrian and Ashton picked for me this morning while they were waiting for the school bus. My boys love to present me with bouquets of flowers......

Have a great Thursday, everyone!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Some Cousin Cuteness.....

Last week, our kids spent lots of time with their cousins. My sister and her little boy came to visit for about 4 days, we had several birthday parties, and just had cousins over to play as well. I love that my kids have lots of cousins that are about the same age as they are!
 How sweet.......but.......


......boys WILL be boys!


 Trying out a new wagon.....how many kids can fit into it? And yes, that is Malia in the background with a baby stuffed up her shirt......she was an expectant mother, of course!


 Look at all the well-behaved little eaters!


 Playing basketball at the park for the first time this year......


 Mr. Yikealo.....


 Mr. Ashton Reed loves to climb up the slide the wrong way.....


Shana and Adie.......


 More b-ball.....


 Lots of tire swing fun......


 Some walking-hand-in-hand cuteness.....


 Jumping on the trampoline must be more fun with 75 other jumpers.....and an Uncle Fred to pile on top of.....


And last, a cute picture of Miss Mimi.......

Also, thanks for the prayers and encouragement we received last week. It means more than you'll ever know!

"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when the heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thanking God For the Storms.......


This wait has been long and hard. When we started our adoption journey, we never, ever thought we would be waiting this long. The average waiting time right now is 10 months for an infant, and our age parameters go up to 3 years old! There used to be almost no wait at all for toddlers. And we've been waiting 10 months now.  

We've also gotten some negative comments from others who really don't understand anything about adoption, or why we're doing what we're doing. Including one particular comment last night from someone very close to us. It hurt. Really hurt. As we drove home from church last night, I was very discouraged. I told Chris, "I am so tired. So tired of no one around us understanding what we're going through. Tired of negative comments. Tired of waiting!" 

Immediately, the verse in the Bible about giving thanks for all things popped into my head. You see, my sister was visiting for a few days this week, and while we scrapbooked, we listened to an audiobook called The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. She was a Christian in the Netherlands who hid some Jews in her home back in the time of Hitler. She was later arrested, imprisoned, and transferred to several different concentration camps. In the book it talks about giving thanks to God for ALL things, even those things we can't imagine being thankful for. In one part it talks about how Corrie and her sister were given different accommodations in the camp and the beds were horribly infested with fleas. Corrie's sister, Betsie, read in the Bible about giving thanks for all things, and went on to pray to God and thank Him for their beds, the camp, being together with her sister, and even the fleas. Corrie thought her sister was crazy - why would anyone thank God for fleas? Some time later, the residents from those barracks noticed something very puzzling. The guards, who were incredibly cruel to everyone else, gave almost no heed to that particular dormitory. The reason? The place was crawling with fleas, and the guards refused to set foot in the
room. So it turned out that even the fleas were a blessing, because it kept the women from being abused all the time.

Anyway, I decided last night that I should be thankful for the wait and for the negative comments. Who knows? Maybe they're making me grow in a way that I needed to grow. Maybe they're molding me into a more patient and long-suffering person. After all, a plant can't grow without the rain and storms, and sometimes (as we heard Sunday in church) it even needs a little manure to make it stronger. Maybe the wait and negative comments are my rain and manure, intended to help me grow. Sometimes the bad and disgusting and really difficult times in our lives are actually blessings in disguise. And the sun always shines again (and sometimes seems much brighter!) after the storm.

*By the way, if you are interested in hearing The Hiding Place (I would highly recommend this book), it can be downloaded for free this month at http://christianaudio.com/.*