His Mercy

"His Mercies Are New Every Morning"

A Thought

In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

Prayer Quote

“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis


I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Sunday, July 27, 2008


You know, there is a time to talk about Miracles. REAL Miracles. For me, the time is now, as it is on my heart.

Just a little over 4 years ago, Mike and I were near empty nesters. Our last son was in college and had moved home to save for marriage.

Then came our Anna. A little girl who had been in the foster care system. She brightened our lives and through her simple little prayer of wanting a sister, drew us into a whole new world of girls, adoption, private adoption because of disruption, international adoption, early childhood trauma, attachement disorder, reactive attachment disorder, post traumatic stress, restrictive band syndrome, arthrogryposis, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, bilateral foot amputation, hip surgery, boney overgrowth surgery, hand surgery,knee surgery, therapy, Ukraine ministry, the plight of orphans in the world, Russian, Home education again, Out on a Limb Camp, and much, much, much more.

IN ALL OF THAT..... numerous miracles took place in our lives. Engergy for one. :)

But seriously, introducing the gospel of Jesus Christ, the fact that we are born "dead", but are only truly alive in Christ Jesus, to an international child is an amazing experience.
I remember the first time that Erika watched The Gospel of John on DVD (the word for word put to video) she had just been speaking english a few months so her understanding was limited. But we were able to communicate with her the basics. She saw that they were putting Jesus Christ on Trial, being mean to him, and then crucifying the one she knew we loved. This look of perplexed, mournful sadness overcame her and she began to weep.

"Why did they do that to him? WHY?"

We began to explain that God KNEW His son would be crucified for our sins. That BECAUSE of what He did for us, we can now live. A little light turned on in her heart.
She had been exposed to the gospel with Papa Dima in Ukraine, but there were parts she didn't yet understand. Some of these things are hard to grasp even for adults.

Yet, she DID grasp it, and about a week later, trusted Jesus Christ, with full understanding for her salvation.

It is a miracle. It is THE miracle, of going from Death to life.

Why do I post a picture of her standing at the table without feet?

Because some would see that a real miracle would be for God to give her new feet.
Indeed, that would be an amazing miracle, and I truly believe GOD COULD, if he so chose.
BUT what many of us fail to see, is the real miracle of being RAISED FROM THE DEAD.
Erika is ALIVE in Christ. New feet wouldn't make her alive in Christ, but a renewed SPIRIT does.

Each of our girlies have gone through the same process of understanding, and each have received Jesus Christ as their savior. And we truly praise the Lord for that.
Because with HIM, all those beginning things I wrote about above, would be the things that took over their lives.
Instead, the LORD has taken over, and those things are fading, faded, and many times just gone.
Their old lives are just a shadow of their new lives. Their new lives are exciting!
They are full of life. They are ALIVE.

Oh, rejoice with me, as I have witnessed so many miracles in their little lives. The miracles of forgiveness; forgiveness of those who hurt them, abandoned them, harmed them, rejected them; just as we had rejected Christ, hurt Him, abandoned HIM.

On August 31,2008, Erika will be baptized. She will make a public profession that Jesus Christ is her Lord, Her Savior, Her King, Her All!

And, I am so very HAPPY, that we get to be a part her life.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Soakin' Up Love

Daddy caught Anna and I in a love soakin' moment. :)

School or School? Part 2

Mike and I have had some talks, and come to the conclusion that we are already doing the right thing. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" came to mind, after a friend mentioned it to me.

I really like that phrase. It makes so much sense.

The girls are not cookie cutter children. If I were to put them into school, I don't know that I'd get much rest anyway. I'm already exhausted just from the few conversations I have had about what it will require to get the right services and placements. Then, the politics, and then of course I'd want to volunteer etc.

I'm having dejavu' flash backs of when the boys went to school.

Thanks too Melissa for making me look at what I was saying. I don't have time to be tired. If I'm tired, I need to take my iron like I'm supposed to be doing. :)

So, it is time to get lesson plan's going for next year. Erika and I go to camp next week and then it will be time to buckle down and finish our plans.

Thanks so much for all of you who have prayed and made me think.

Sarah's Story

This is Sarah, reading to us her latest words from her heart:

She has started a diary. Right now she is writing about her life. so far.......



Pretty and Clean

Today we were scrubbing furniture and chairs with Murphy's Oil soap. The girls were doing a great job. Then Anna wanted to get a new cloth to go under the lamp. The one there was rather dusty. She found a floral napkin and said, "How about this?" "It is pretty and clean and that is all that matters!"

I said, "Oh, that is pretty and clean, just like you!"

She said, "Oh mama, I'm not clean, I touched Turtle poop today!" :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

School or School? That is the Question

Here is a picture of Erika and I on a field trip. We took Papa Dima to take a Hospital Tour. I think Erika LOVES her teacher. :)

My life sometimes seems like a whirlwind of activity.

I have been homeschooling kids since Marcus was in 2nd grade for the 2nd time. :)
I believe it was 1992 when we embarked on our Homeschooling Adventure, and it didn't end until Marcus went to college.

Then, came Anna. She was so needy and so fragile I didn't even consider school for her.
The same with Sarah, and the same with Erika. Homeschooling has worked out very well for them, and they are all at their grade level in most subjects. Probably in all subjects, but I don't know that for sure. :)

The truth is, however, I am tired. Very tired. The girls have all settled in, they all know English well, they are all reading and doing math and most importantly, they are all attached to us and know that we love them with our whole hearts.

I am considering checking out the local schools in our area. Schools in our area are rated quite well and we are supposedly in a top school district. I think they would all do well, and I am considering trying out the school waters for them.
I will be going on an information mission first.

The biggest thing is, I want to do what is best for them. It might be good for them to see what public school is like; what it is like to ride the school bus and have homework and what it is like to get up at 5:30 to catch the bus by 7:00.

IF, and I do mean IF we choose to do this, I will work in the office with Mike again and work on my writing projects.

What do ya'll think?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Girl Time

Our precious grand daughter Katie, now known as Kate, is visiting for a couple of days.

We started our Kid day on Sunday with a visit to Cheddars and the local water park.

Boy those places can be hard on a mom. There are so many themes I could write about I wouldn't know where to start.

I'll start with.... I just LOVE my grand daughter. She didn't come into our family until she was 5. She came with a fantastic mommy who is now my daughter.

The first time Katie spent the night, I had this great idea to buy her an outfit.
I did. I just didn't realize at that time that little girls had taste in clothing at such a young age, and my taste was definitely NOT hers. I had her try on my prized outfit to which she said, "GRAMMM! I LOOK LIKE A CLOWN!" dang..... I told her to go show grampa to which he sympathetically said, "honey, she does kind of look like a clown." To which my first gramma outfit feelings were hurt, but I bucked up and dealt with it. She wore her jeans to church. :)

So here we are, 4 weddings and 3 adoptions later and she still loves me. I haven't purchased ANYTHING for her to wear unless she gives the green light. I guess I've improved because she usually does. :) What a good sport.

So, back to yesterday.....

She was so great at the waterpark. 2 of the girls cannot wear their legs at the park so they either have to hop (sarah) or be carried (erika). Katie generously gave Sarah piggy pack rides all afternoon. Erika and I hung out most of the time in the wading pool or lazy river while Dad, and the other girls climbed all those stairs to the water slides.

I am so amazed that Sarah could hop with a big inner tube, drag that thing up all those stairs slide down and have the energy to do it all over again!

I liked the Lazy river. :)

Erika started her afternoon hoping that I would drag her up those stairs, but I just couldn't. If I had been younger, or had a different body, I probably would have tried, but that isn't my or her reality. I simply said, "some things we are going to have to accept that we cannot do, and we need to be joyful for others who CAN do it, and cheer them on!" So, her sisters and daddy and Katie thought of her often when they were at the tops of those towers, always looking down to wave and catch her eye so she could see how high they were, to which I would say, "aren't you glad you didn't have to climb that?" and she'd grin.....

She liked the lazy river too.

One great thing about their ages, is we can let them go in a certain area and give directions to where we are seated and they can meet us back after a few times on a slide. This was the first time we had done this and it worked out great.

Instead of taking Kate back home last night, she and the girls schemed for her to spend the night. I wanted her to anyhoo, all along really.... so she got permission and is here today. I have had a pedicure and manicure, a nap, and the girls have cleaned their room. Then they decided they will be putting on a play tonight and right now they are playing store. They also painted some cool pictures.

I just love having them in our lives.

Thanks Chuck and Jodie for sharing Kate with us. :)

I have pictures of today, but we forgot the camera at the waterpark.... dang.:(

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sisterly Love

This morning Anna and Sarah went out to take care of the animals and didn't come in for a while. I glanced out the window, and saw them sitting on Mount Baldy. (that is our hill in the front yard that never grows grass on top) I went out and took a few pictures. They were digging for treasure and enjoying each others company.

And so where is Erika? She is getting her beauty sleep of course. :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I had to take Erika to the Doctor today as her right leg was giving her trouble. She was having so much pain we couldn't get her legs on the other day. I found the "spot" that was giving her trouble, and then made the appointment. Today, some reality set in.
She isn't going to be able to be as active as she wants to be. Not without paying a price anyway. We probably didn't NEED the appointment. She she just needed to rest because of so much activity last week.
When we do alot, she pays the price in pain. I had to turn down a really nice invitation to go to the Arboretum this week because I knew she wouldn't be able to walk that much without more issues.

This brings me back to memories with our Tim. I think we might be needing to invest in a wheel chair. I hate that. I don't know why, other than it seems like a "failure" to me. A failure on my part to fix the problem to the point she doesn't need one. But the truth is, she most likely DOES need one, at least part of the time. When we go places, shopping etc. She probably would do best to have a wheelchair.

Why am I so bothered by that? I don't really know. Maybe because it seems like "giving up?" It says, "I'm not like everybody else."

Well, the truth is: She isn't like everybody else. She is a HARD worker, but she is limited by her condition. And mama needs to "deal with it." :)

My beautiful, energetic, delightful daughter cannot do all she likes, and cannot keep up. She has special needs for rest and she can't over do it.

Lessons, lessons and more lessons.

Can I Inherit This?

That was the question of the day yesterday. "Mama, Can I inherit this?" I turned around to see what treasure Erika was speaking of, and this is what I saw....

It is actually a .99 cent deviled egg plastic dish that I found at Walmart. I had gotten it out for the girls to use with water color paints... it makes a great pallet!

Then, came that simple question when we were cleaning up.

I told Erika, if it is still around when you are grown, you can "inherit it". LOL

But my mind got to thinking about our REAL inheritance. Many times I hear people speak of that "mansion on a hilltop in that fair place where we'll never grow old".... and it is always far off, sort of "untouchable" and distant... but here, we just sadly wait.. and wait... and WAIT......
not knowing or understanding that our INHERITANCE is CHRIST! It is NOW! Our life is NOW! It has already begun. Many times we don't see the riches and treasures we have in this life, because our minds are on the material and not on what is important.

We settle in our minds that our inheritance is far off, and then we settle in our minds for that cheap egg dish. When, in reality, the riches of Christ are not those kinds of things but the things we cannot fathom or touch.

We have a RICH inheritance that we can partake in NOW. It is there for the taking or should I say, receiving.

And it is a RICH inheritance, not a cheap walmart egg dish. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


And here is a little guy who LOVES his mommy! Look at that adoring look he is giving her. :)

Joe and Sam

Isn't this a sweet picture? :) Daddy and Son sleeping away......

Hair Dresser

Now here is something I never saw the guys do!


No, this isn't about "blending things", but about blending families. Actually, blending the same family, but we are all spread out! We are spread out in age, situation, circumstance, and even in the churches we attend.

When we adopted our Anna, 3 out of 4 of our children were married. Our youngest son Marcus had moved home in order to save money for his upcoming marriage too. So Marcus is the only one of the 4 oldest kids who was living at home when we had a little girl in the house.

I remember him talking about cringing under the blankets early in the morning when he would hear her little foot steps headed for his room to wake him up. MAUCUS! (she couldn't pronounce her R's yet... and she was so funny. "Caful, I bwuise wike a gwape!" (that one was my favowite)

Pretty soon, Marcus married and moved out and then Sarah came, and then Erika came and then there were the surgeries, and more surgeries, and more surgeries, and locations changed and before we knew it, the girls were getting bigger and we had 4 grandchildren, 2 foster grand children, and it goes on and on and on!

I have more gray hairs than I can count now, and more lost socks.....

I have unending guilt about not spending enough time with the older kids and grand kids and being a good gramma. Yet, I'm still a mama, and can't get away very often.

Yesterday we were housebound all day because Erika's legs were sore and she couldn't walk. Today she is fine, but I wouldn't dare chance taking her out anywhere as when ever pain strikes, that is it, and I would have to carry her to the car. :)

So, trying to blend everybody together as brothers and sisters is no small feat.
I get the feeling, in reality, we are raising 2 separate families and that is how it is.

I think everybody cares very much for each other, but they are not all the same ages.
It is more like having uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews instead of brothers and sisters.

I know the guys are close and I know the girls are close, and it may be that they won't be as close with each other because they don't have the same life experiences together. They just share the same parents. And even then maybe not... the guys got the younger version of what the girls have. :)

I wonder if this is just part of having a large family.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My Mike

You know, I have always called Mike, (since we were married) My Mike.
I told him one time, now I won't call you "Mike, but "My Mike".

And he is..... :)

I just wanted to say how very much I love him. He is a wonderful, husband and father.
Tonight, he took Anna with him to a distant part of Texas to get a trailer. Then, he took her to dinner. She was so excited to spend "alone time" with dad. :)

I love to spend "alone time " with dad, which is rare, but we savor the times we do have.

Our anniversary is coming up, and we have a kid volunteer to babysit; one of the older kids... and I am going to take them up on it for sure.

Now, to think... What should we do?
Our real celebration will come in September when we leave on our missions trip.
But, on our anniversary weekend..... we will take advantage of the generous invitation to go out on a REAL date. :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Chuck the Famous Babysitter

Chuck and Jodie came over on Saturday and Babysat for us while we went to a wedding.
They had 6 kids for about 5 hours. :) We all had a great time knowing they were in good hands.

THANKS Chuck and Jodie....

Here is a picture I got of the grand girls, our girls, Rebecca and Chuck....
hopefully this experience has given him more writing material for his music. :)

"Won't you PLEASE PLEASE help me, help ME HELP ME!!!!....." :P

Sam and Will about a year later :)

Sam and Will had a great first visit yesterday. I got to be at Marc and Ivy's for phone time and bath time. :)

They are so fun. Their Daddy's are Joe and Marc and it is funny to me how Joe's son Sam is much like him, and Marc's son Will, is much like him too. So, it was like remembering many years back, the antics and playing of two little guys very close in age. :) Sam and Will are 1 month apart.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Wacky Gramma's and Sweet Baby Toes

Aren't these the cutest toes! :)

And here is Sam looking at crazy gramma under the table. What is with her anyway????


This picture reminds me of how far we have come as a family. Just a natural shot that I caught..When I said, "where's Sarah, she popped out from behind with that huge smile.

The Real Life Baby Doll

Sarah loves to play babies. This time, she has a real one in her stroller! Sam is our 16 month only grandson. He is such a little ham. :)

Schedules, Schedules and More Schedules

Our little girls thrive best when they are on a schedule. Not a feeding schedule like for a baby, but a planned out day that incudes work, play and food.

To leave them to their own devices with too much time on their hands, can wreak all kinds of Havoc on the Minich home, so we have decided to do a summer schedule.

They were all excited about that this a.m. when I announced to them that we would be making a summer schedule. They were especially excited when it included painting and a trip to the Lake.

Now, if we can all be disciplined enough to stay on task and keep it! :)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Opening Night

Last night, we were treated to "Opening Night" of the new movie, Kit Kittridge,An American Girl".
The movie was pretty good! A good clean movie with loads of life lessons from yesteryear. It let the children see how the "Great Depression" effected people all over the Country, and how people are more important than things. And the biggest lesson? NEVER GIVE UP!

Wanna see how excited the girlies when they found out where we were going?
How's this for excitement?

We arrived just a bit early, so we had time to look at some video games.
The girlies liked the car racing kind. Should I be worried about "driving?"

It was time to get Popcorn, Candy and Drinks. YUM......

A few minutes later we were sitting outside the theatre until they finished cleaning....So here are a few pictures with Daddy and all his Little Women.

Here they are in the Theatre....

When Tragedy Strikes

Today, I was getting ready for our kids to come home, and stopped by a friend's house to get some extra eggs. She told me that a mutual friend of ours, who had moved about 2 hours away a few years ago, had a tragedy happen in her family.

The boy involved, isn't a boy anymore, but the last time I talked to his mom, he was 17. This year, he turned 26.

Unfortunately, he will not turn 27 or 28...., because last week, he was murdered.
He was murdered not far from where we live, leaving a Christian Recording Studio with the owner, who was his friend.
Why? For a cheap car.
He probably would have given the car to the thieves, but they didn't ask. They not only took his life, but the life of his friend, leaving behind a wife and baby.

The sad part is, when I heard about this last week on the news, I didn't even pay attention to the names. I didn't pay attention because in my mind I had a preconceived notion that people out late at night, being shot in the head in an alley are usually up to no good. The preconceived idea that it was probably a drug deal gone bad. The preconceived idea that, "It happens all the time." And then I didn't think that much about it.

How terrible of me to assume. How sad that we have been desensitized to crime to the point that it is a passing moment of shock to hear in the headlines and then we go on, as if nothing happened.

2 people's lives swept away, and we treat it like a giant ant colony that takes out their dead, and goes back into the mound and continues as if nothing happened.

I'm ashamed of that.

Every life is precious. Every person is born with a precious gift, and we each have a story. We each have written upon us years of expereinces and relationships.
One of the memories I have of Stevie, was when our children did 4H club together and they had to come up with a safety project. He demonstrated what to do if you get burned.
He and a friend had a fake stove and then he pretended to get burned, "ow, it is hot".
(in this very monotone voice) we all started laughing because it was so funny).

I'm sad that 2 people snuffed the lives away from precious family members. That Stevies mother is suffering the grief of losing her son. His father has lost his first born child. His brother and sister have lost a precious sibling.

I didn't know Stevie as an adult, and I'm sure he probably wouldn't appreciate me calling him Stevie still, but that is how I remember him; but I do know that in Christ, there is always a plan, even when things don't make any sense. This doesn't make any sense to me.

It also saddens me that 3 people 18 and 19 are sitting in a jail cell charged with Capital Murder, and may face the death penalty. It saddens me that they have thrown their gift of life away.
They have a tapestry woven of their life also. Who is woven into their lives? Do they have mother's and father's who are weeping for them? Do they care what they did?
What causes somebody to become so callous that they would murder for no reason.

If you think about the Swan family this week, please hold them up in your prayers.

Update on Mamajeanne and the Reeds

Mamajeanne and her new kiddos are back home and getting to know each other.
Christine and her husband John are still in Ukraine. They had Court Today and they have a new son... Dennis Jack Reed. Isn't that a GREAT NAME?
They were hoping to have the 10 days waived, but no... it wasn't allowed. So, now, they may need to leave Dennis in Ukraine, come home to the other kids and then go back in 2 weeks to pick him up. They don't quite know yet. So pray for them for wisdom as they are torn in deciding what to do.

Dennis is a little sweet heart. You can follow their story in "Christine's other Blog" in my adoption blog sidebar.

The Yankees are a Comin'!

And we are so glad they are! Joe, Becca and Sam are arriving around noon from Maryland. We are so excited to see them! This is an extra special trip because a childhood friend of Joe's is getting married.

Our dear friend's only son is getting married, and just a few months ago his life was hanging on a thread between life and death thanks to a car and a tree!

So tomorrow, their family and our family will all converge back together and see each other as "whole" families, which hasn't happened in years. I cherish those times because change is inevitable and when we are able to be together, it is so fun.

So today, is cleaning day, getting ready for Joe and Becca and Sam.

Happy 4th of July to all.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Laundry Woes

Today was one of those laundry night mare days I don't like to remember.
I woke up at 6 to get things in the dryer from the night before, then had to get another load going to catch up and then get another one... etc.

One of the things that I thought would never be repeated in history, not in this family anyway, was washing clothes, folding them, turning them over to the kids, only to find them in the laundry again. Unworn!

It is a case of the "too lazy to put it away syndrome".

So today, I folded my least favorite wash. The WHITE clothes, which includes nightgowns, only to find Erika taking the nightgown I just folded 1/2 hour before and placing it in the dirty clothes.

I told her, "that is not dirty, I just washed it." Her answer?

A. I'm sorry
B. Yes mam, I'll put it away.
C. Oh, my mistake, so sorry, I'll put it away right now....

D. You didn't wash it, I wore it last night!

Unfortunately, the answer was D.

So then I continued, "Yes, I did wash it, this morning!" Please put it away.
So did she stop and put it away?

"No, mom, you didn't wash it!", and so on!

So, I made it very clear that I was unhappy with her D answer and the one that followed, to which she burst into tears.

So I said, "do you not beleive that mother washed your nightgown?"
Her answer, "I don't know....

Meaning, :She didn't want to be wrong....

I felt like I was dealing with the FONZ from Happy Days.

I asked her, "Why are you crying?"
Because you hurt my feelings..... hmmm.....

Do you want to know why your feelings are hurt?

NO, if you tell me it will just hurt my feelings more. LOL

Oh, so you don't want me to tell you you were wrong?


females..... hmmmm..... never thought it COULD be that, but it just might.
I think I'm going to need a pent house apartment with a white linen couch
to recline on during these "special times", that are coming up.

argh......... and the times are a commin' I can feel it. :)

3 puberty stricken girls and a menopausal mother.
Poor Mike.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Today is Marcus's Birthday!

Happy Birthday our dear Marcus.

25 years..... wow. 25 years ago, I was 24. Marcus was baby boy number 4 and when he was born with ease. That is, minus the part that he wasn't ready to be born.
He had been trying for a couple of months, which caused me to be hospitalized, and it was a huge group effort to keep him in the oven long enough to be able to live.

Finally, his day came and I was allowed to look at him and then they whisked him off to neo natal intensive care. This was our 3rd preemie baby but each one is as different as they are in personality. Marcus almost died. Had it not been for some VERY skilled nurses and doctors, he would not be here today.

The respirator was not getting enough oxygen to him and he was not even attempting to breathe on his own. This greatly concerned the doctors. So they removed the ventilator and hand bagged him for 24 hours straight. That meant a nurse sat with a breathing pump and pressed it over and over in shifts. He finally started to help, and then they were able to hook him back up to a ventilator.

Then, something else happened. I'm not sure, but I think he realized he wanted to live.
He reached up and pulled the ventilator out! ALL the way out! His alarms went off and scared everybody and they had to put it back in. 24 hours later, he reached up and pulled it out again! They reinserted it again, taped it to his face pretty good, and then guess what?
He did it again.... The 3rd time,the doctor said, I don't think he likes that.
Let's try just oxygen, as he was helping himself pretty good by then. He did great.
I was able to nurse him and hold him, and about 2 weeks later, he was home.

Marcus has been a delight in our lives since the day he was born. We are so proud of him. Everything he does, he does with his whole heart.

Favorite memory:
Playing gas station at 4 years old and filling up the neighbors gas tank with a water hose.
(along with neighbor's son)

Winning the Lego contest at Walmart and buying baseball equipment for the Ritchies and the Minichs to have regular baseball games.

Dancing with Joe, (can't remember who's boutineer pin pierced the skin)

Piano practice

Love of dogs, especially Butch...

Boy Scouts



Marriage to Ivy

Will....... :)

Happy Birthday dear son. :)

You Are Still Holy