precious gifts

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I LOVE orphans. I love them because God loves. I love them because His heart is for them and because they are made in the image and likeness of God and are therefore of inestimable value.

I LOVE adopting orphans. I love giving these precious children a home where they can know the love and security of the Father. I love seeing their smiles and hearing their laughter. I love teaching them things. I love learning from them.

I used to get frustrated when other Christians did not see the needs of the world in the same way that I did. I thought that they had cold hearts. Sometimes people are cold, but I realize now that it is not always coldness that causes people to see things differently. Many times, people see things differently, because the Father is revealing Himself to them in a different way.

I know that I have been given a gift from my wonderful Father. He has shown His mercy to me in a radical way. I see His heart of love for the downtrodden and especially for the orphan, and I can't live in any other way. In showing mercy, I am given the most merciful gift of all--a deeper glimpse into the heart of the Father. I want to use this gift in a way that will glorify God and that will serve the body of Christ. I want to use this gift in a way that will show the heart of the Father more, and will cause others to glorify Him more.

Every Christian is given a beautiful gift or gifts. These gifts are glimpses into the heart of God. They reveal things that are precious to our Lord and are intended to build up the body in love. I am so very grateful that God did not only give the gift of mercy. Where would the Church be, if this were the case? He gives different gifts to accentuate different aspects of who He is. Isn't that incredible?! He gives us different gifts, and because of that, any individual person (no matter how godly he/she is) cannot reflect all of who God is. We need each other. Together, we reflect the body of Christ.

Thank you, Father, that you give yourself to your people! May I always strive to love You and to reflect You in the way that you have gifted me. May I always support and appreciate others whom you have gifted differently. You are coming back for Your Bride someday soon! May we all together, be a reflection of Your heart of love!!

In the kitchen with Yana!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I'll admit, I haven't done the best job of including my children in cooking. The kids do almost all of the clean-up, but sometimes I have used my time cooking as a little quiet moment with no teaching involved! lol

The big girls, however, have been inspired by their homeschool cooking class and by their friends, Caleb and Elijah (honestly, Caleb is on his way to becoming a real chef!). So, yesterday morning, Yana and Lily presented me with a grocery list that they had made that was three pages long! Lily went shopping with me and the check-out lady asked if we were buying food for the month!! No, er...just for the week!
Last night, we were going to a potluck, and Yana helped me make my favorite salad. Aaahhh...somebody else washing the lettuce. So nice! (This is not my favorite job!)
Dad has to give the cook a little hug. Here's Yana melting butter for the croutons.

Grinding pepper for the salad dressing.

And here's the finished product (minus the croutons--we couldn't put those on until we arrived at the potluck).

This morning, Yana made breakfast--southwestern style eggs, applesauce with cinamon and raisins and cinamon toast. Tonight, Lily is going to make quiche, fruit salad and a frozen fruit dessert. Hmmm...I guess that I could get used to this!

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little worshippers--touching the heart of God

Friday, January 29, 2010

I walked in on Lily and Grace, having a time of snuggly worship together. What precious love these two have for one another. Lily does such a great job trying to keep focused on our precious Lord, and show kindness and love to her little sister at the same time. Makes this momma's heart smile--makes the Lord's heart smile too, I think.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Please visit Jenn's blog at . She has posted a video from an orphanage in Haiti. There are so many Haitian orphans (children who were orphans BEFORE the earthquake) who still do not have adequate food and water. These children need to be flown out of Haiti now. They do not have much time left. And please pray, pray, pray. Our merciful Father is ready to work miracles on these children's behalf. May His will be done on the earth as it is in heaven!!

okay...I think that she's a little obsessed!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

This morning, during our homeschooling, Grace and I were talking about the number 64. In the curriuclum that we're using, it asked the question, "What would you do with $64,000?"

Grace's response?
"Buy gum!!"

She also pointed out later that "Grace" and "gum" both start with "G".
And here's a little blast from the past--Grace on the plane ride home from China. Her two favorite things to do on the plane were putting barettes in her hair guessed it--chewing, handing out, shaking the bottle of, and plain-old enjoying her gum!!

Oh, how I love this silly little, gum-lovin' girl!!

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on my mind...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Last night, I went back and forth between nightmares of Haiti, and nightmares of having my teeth cleaned. I in no way mean to belittle the events in Haiti by comparing them to a teeth-cleaning, but I'll admit that I'm a big baby when it comes to the dentist. And even after meticulously flossing every single day for the past year, I ended up having lots of tartar again and a very painful cleaning. Then today, I had to get novocaine and a filling repaired. It's 4:30 and I'm ready to crawl into bed. (okay, I'm going to stop whining about my silly teeth now, and be grateful for dentists who have fixed a lot of things in my mouth!)

Before I go to sleep (which, of course, will not actually happen anytime soon), I'd like to put in a plea for everyone to email their senators regarding the situation in Haiti. It's really very easy. Go to and scroll down to "senators". Find your two senators and send them an email asking that they support every measure to get all orphans who had been living in orphanages at the time of the earthquake, to get out of Haiti and be flown to the U.S. It really does make a difference. Then, find an organization that you trust, and donate whatever you can to relief work in Haiti. Many people are without water and food. They need every person to help.

On a much, much brighter note, some of the Haitian orphans are already in the U.S. Their new families have come for them and they are together forever, at last. Praise our wonderful God!!

a mama when you're feeling sick...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lily has been a little under the weather for the past few days.
Yesterday, she gave me a hug after I had handed her a cup of tea.
"Wouldn't it be terrible to not have a mama when you feel sick?" Lily asked.
Oh yes, my precious girl. It would be terrible to be sick and hurting and lonely, with no mama (or daddy) to hold you, and read to you, and bring you a cup of warm tea.
Praying for His Kingdom...where there are no orphans...where there are only sons and daughters.
Praying for the 147 million orphans who have no mama to hold them when they are sick.
Praying for the precious children of Haiti, some who have recently become orphans and some who have been waiting many years for a mama to hold them when they are sick.
May Your Kingdom come, Lord Jesus. May Your Kingdom come.
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Theology 101

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It is absolutely remarkable to me that when you give a little child the opportunity to know and love the Lord, they will fully embrace that chance.
Grace is a worshiper. She loves singing, dancing and giving praise and honor to our precious and worthy Lord. When we pray together as a family, Grace loves to have me whisper a psalm to her, so that she can offer it up as a fervent prayer to God. When we are at our Sunday gathering, she is thrilled to dance with her little friend, Addie, in praise to Jesus. And, before eating, she frequently asks if she can thank God for our food.
Of course, with all of this sweet learning about our Lord, there are bound to be a few humorous moments.
One day, during our family prayer time, Grace was hopping up and down with her hand raised. Yes. We sometimes insist on hand-raising in this family of five talkative children.
"I pray?" Grace asked.
"Yes Grace."
With a beautiful, wide smile, Grace exclaimed, "Jesus, you LOVE money!"
Huh? What was my child saying?! Jesus loves money?! Okay, you might have to know me to realize how funny this is. I'm totally not a money person, except as it relates to what God could do with it. George Muller is one of my greatest heroes in the faith, and I am enamoured with simple living. Yet, here is my sweet little daughter saying Jesus loves money!
Okay, I thought, let's try to go with it..."Yes, Jesus," I stammered, "You love when your people use the money, that you so generously give, to your glory!"
"Jesus! We want money! Lots of it!"
Well, uh...that didn't work. Let's try again. "Yes Jesus, give us money so that we can give to others!"
"Jesus, You really, really, really love money!"
hmmm...I guess that I'll leave this one alone for now. We'll try theology class another day...perhaps when Grace is six! For now, I'll just revel in the fact that Grace gives her full heart in love for our beautiful Saviour (even if she does think that Jesus is really into lots of cash!).
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Okay, so what she really needed was a pair of brown, suede loafers...

But tell me, how could I say "no" to this little sparkle-loving girl?!

My little lovers

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Tonight, I walked in the bathroom while my two littlest girls were enjoying a relaxing bath. They were listening to a CD, and from behind the shower curtain I heard Grace's little voice belt out (with Misty Edwards) "God is a lover, looking for a lover..."

There was a pause, and then the question, "Lily, what's a lover?"

"Oh, well, you know how I love you? I'm a lover, because I love you. Do you love me, Grace?"


"Well, then you're a lover!"

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Holiday Highlights

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Whew! I feel like the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year completely sped by! After my parent's visit in November, we had a whirlwind of activites, including a Christmas concert, Christmas parties, craft and cookie making, going to see a living nativity....and the list could go on!
I thought that I'd post a few picture highlights of Christmas week through the New year, but I decide not to post all of the early December pictures, because otherwise this post would be very long!!
On Christmas Eve, Oma, Opa and Grammy (David's parents and grandmother) came to our house to join us for a little Christmas celebration and also for the celebration at our church.
Jadon was all grins when Oma and Opa gave him a lego set. He must have said "thank you" and "xie xie" 20 or 30 times!
Grace and Lily enjoy some new dollhouse furniture.
The next morning we had a little family time. These two boys absolutely delight in picking out each other's gifts. Here's a brother-hug.
Our friends Anthony and Suzanne spent the afternoon with us on Christmas day. We had a great time!
Suzanne and Grace, playing Operation (Suzanne's gift from Anthony!).

On the 27th, we jumped in the van, and started our trip to MN. We love car trips. Sure, 1060 miles in the car can be a little bit long, but it can be fun too and a great time to be together! The kids did great!

We stayed at a fun hotel in South Dakota. It has a water park inside!

When we arrived in MN, we enjoyed a couple of quiet days.

On New Year's Eve, we went to a really fun first night celebration. The kids had a good time!

The girls had their faces painted.

The rest of my family came on New Year's Day. Grace and Selah liked having matching pony tails.

All the nieces love Aunt Angela!

And Lily adores Kiah. Kiah is so sweet to Lily.

Cole is such a fun cousin too! He played legos and cards with the boys.

Kiah and Kendra were the hairstylists. Angela was going curly, and Yana was going straight!

My brother, Phil and his wife, Annette, clean up after our big (late) Christmas celebration.
Cole helps Jadon tie a knot with his knot book.

What a blessing to have such special times with family and friends.

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A little bit of sunshine

Sunday, January 3, 2010

These two guys totally light up my life...

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