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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Monday, September 29, 2008

We Are ALL Home Now

Last night at about 11:00 our luggage arrived safely at the front door courtesy of KLM-NW Airlines. THANKYOU. :)

The girlies were quite excited about opening that bag, because inside they just knew we had brought them a gift. :)

I went to the post office today to collect the mail. That is the worst part of getting back from somewhere. All that MAIL! Ok, I guess laundry is worse, but it is next to worse.

I saw this note and I assume it was for Dear Becca:

It read as the following:

Dear Mam,
I heard you weren't feeling well. Is that true? If it is, then I have a good idea. You need to take medisane each day. And you need to have a rub on your back, feet, hands and face. I know it sounds crazzy, but it feels good!
A Friend who can help you......

I'd say Becca was in good hands with the author, whoever it was. :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

We are HOME mostly!

Learning a new song at the TB Sanitarium

We are home and so glad to be here. We will be quite happy when our luggage joins us.:)
Apparently it didn't make it on the plane change in Amsterdam, but the good news is they plan to deliver!

That is REALLY good news, since this a.m. we went to take Becca to the Airport and when I got there I had a flat tire. Soooo, I had to call poor jet lagged Mike and get him to come and rescue me and Erika. He showed up with a happy attitude and 2 sleepy girlies that were fairly decently dressed, so we decided to head to church after changing the tire. We were late but made it to 2nd service. Bob was GREAT today, as my jet lagged body stayed awake during the sermon. :)

As soon as I feel more normal, I'll post some pictures and video. We really had a blessed time and so much happened. Right now all I can think about is how thankful I am that I don't have to shoe horn my body into the metro every day to go somewhere.
I honestly didn't know what really crowded was until the metro pulled up and I was thinking, "this one is full, we'll have to wait for the next one, only to be pushed in by the crowd behind and holding on to perfect strangers for dear life. Then, the "take off" like a bullet out of a shot gun and the sudden stops reminded me of why the girlies would not have been able to live and walk the streets in Ukraine, and it made me feel for the elderly and those who are less fortunate.

It was also great to see a smiling face when we arrived at the airport. We are blessed in America and don't realize HOW blessed we truly are. While we our nation is in flux and has its positives and negatives, one of the positives is the influence of Christianity, that effects MANY areas of life that we do not even understand.

Well, this jet lagged, body needs to get some much needed rest, and I must say before I go, THANKYOU ALL for your wonderful prayer support. We could sense your prayers and we KNOW that the Lord did some awesome things. We so much appreciate the day in and day out work that Papa Dima does every moment he can, and to God be the Glory.

good night... or day, or ..... see you next Thursday. :)

I'll sign off with this photo of a Praying Mantis, I thought he was a really cool guy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We Were Able To Call The Girlies!

We just finished talking to the girlies a few minutes ago. (or I should say, I did) Mike is still talking to them right now. It was great to hear everybody's voices.
We understand that Anna wants us to bring home a alligator or snake stuffed animal, Erika wants a horse stuffed Animal and Sarah wants a glass doll.

We are so happy to hear that Becca is fairing well! Great Job Becca! I had to laugh talking with her and hearing her say she was tired. :) I know EXACTLY what she is talking about. :)

I am so thankful that she is there with the girls. It sounds like everybody is doing well.

Girlies, we are on the home run stretch! We will be home on Saturday afternoon!
We cannot wait to see you. We miss you so very much.

Dad and Mom

Hello From Kharkov

We are happy to report that we are alive and well! We got to see the Russian Border yesterday. It looks like any other border that is heavily guarded. :)

The soldier walked up to our van and said, "What do you want?" "To see the border".
He said, "You have seen, now go!" Ok, no problem! :)

SO we saw. :)

I have so much to say but it is swimming in my head and stuck there.
Just know that we love you all and care for you. I'm so glad you are all doing well and obeying Becca.

We will see you soon! SATURDAY!

BTW- how are we getting home? LOL

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hello Little Girlies

Mommy and Daddy made it safe to Ukraine! It SMELLS like Ukraine. :) It is cool here and beautiful. We miss you and think about you. We are going to leave on the train in a couple of hours. We are looking forward to seeing everybody!

More later

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Science 101

I girlies are loving thier new science book.

Yesterday during our lesson, the subject of "Field Guides" to help us learn about a specific topic came up. I thought I was doing a great job explaining "field guides", that is, until I asked "Can somebody tell me what a "Field Guide" is?

All hands went up immediatly!

Erika: A field guide, is a guy standing in a field!

Sarah: No Erika! A field guide is a guy taking people in a field and telling them
what is there. Like, "guiding them!"

Anna: It is some kind of book.


Becca, I hope you do a better job of teaching science!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Last Day Trip Message

We are leaving for Ukraine tomorrow. I have a minute after finishing packing to tell all of you that we love you so very much. We have asked the Lord to bless this trip and keep us in His perfect will.

To Becca, Sam and the Girlies that we leave behind at the house:

Have a wonderful bonding time together. Make sure that you season each day with joyfulness, help Becca with the chores and help her to take care of baby Sam. We will write to you as we can when we get to an internet cafe'. MOST OF ALL, do everything to serve Jesus. He is all that is most important in life. Serving Him, in chores, work, play, family fun and all we do can make our lives full of true Joy and Peace.
Rest in the thought that Jesus has EVERYTHING under control. We do not have to worry about one little thing. (except mommy was a little worried because I have misplaced the zoo card) :(
Becca, hopefully Hurricane Ike wasn't the "calm before the storm". :P

Be GOOD GIRLS for Big Sister Becca, and we also want you EACH to know that we are so very proud of you. We are proud of your brothers and sisters who don't live at home too, and Katie, Lilly, Sam and Will.

BIG HUGS AND KISSES TO ALL, and you can only get in our bed if Becca says it is ok!

Daddy and Mommy

James 1:27

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Our Parents

Our parents celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in July. But the Party is Today.
How poetic that a Hurricane is blowing through at the same time. They have withstood many Hurricanes in their lives. But they didn't budge. We will not be at their party today, but our hearts will be there.

The first time I met Ed and Lois, I was a little scared. Especially since I was abit of a package deal. I came with 4 grandkids in tow.:)

I quickly found out that they were accepting of all of us and 4 more was no big deal.
What WAS a big deal was that I didn't know how to play spades.

I thought Ed was being nice to me when he gave me Jim for my partner and he took Mike.
He was really taking advantage of a chance to BEAT Jim at cards! :)
Jim nearly pulled all his hair out trying to teach me to play, but I finally learned, and Jim forgave me.

I was looking at old pictures of Ed and Lois and the time has FLOWN by. I can't believe how YOUNG they looked 20 years ago. :)

We love our parents, and pray that they have a wonderful Party with friends and family.
As of this writing, the winds are really blowing and it is raining and we did make the right decision to stay home, though we really are feeling sad that we missed such a big celebration.

Happy 50th Dad and Mom!

Friday, September 12, 2008

You Mean He Doesn't Know About......

SEX? :)

This was Erika's question after she and I saw a news clip about Teen Pregnancy in the Dallas area being out of control. I do allow the girls to see these types of broadcasts in order to teach them. So, we watched, and after the clip was over, the News Anchor said, "I have NO IDEA how this is happening!"

Erika's eyes got kind of big and she said, "What does he mean he has no idea? You mean
he doesn't know about sex?" I was trying to keep from laughing.

As you can see, we have had the "talk". And NOW, she KNOWS and was shocked somebody that old didn't know! :)

Marcus, Ivy and Will

This is a picture of Emily, Marcus, Tim and Ivy.... From Last Christmas. Emily and Tim are married, and Marcus and Ivy are married. Emily and Ivy are sisters too.
I sure do love our family. :)

This is Will with Marcus. Our littlest missionary. :)

Marcus, Ivy and Will are now in the friendly skies to Mexico for a short term missions trip. When you think about them, send up a prayer their way. They are very excited about ministering to the people there.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hurricanes and Parties Don't Mix

It was our intention to head out to Oklahoma tomorrow afternoon and spend a quick day with our relatives to celebrate Mike's parents 50th wedding anniversary.

But it appears those plans will not take place due to a Hurricane named "Ike".
It appears we are in the direct path for this storm and it has plans to go all the way through Oklahoma as well.

We need to come back to Church for Sunday before leaving for our trip to Ukraine on Tuesday, and that would cause us to have to drive BACK to Texas while the, then tropical storm will be headed the other way. Not a good mix for late night driving.

So, unfortunately, they will have to celebrate without us.

There will be other times to be together, and we do cherish those times.
It just couldn't be this time. :(

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fun Times

We were all having breakfast and Anna was complaining she was cold. I was hot, and the jokes started coming....

Anna says, "That was a rude compliment!" :)

Dad says, "And I'm boiling cold, or am I freezing hot?"

Monday, September 8, 2008

Extra Sweetness Coming Our Way

You know, as a parent, many times you feel inadequate, ill-equipped, inept, fill in the blank. When those feelings come, it puts you on your knees, and strikes fear inside of you.

For the life of me, I don't know why I doubt the Lord, but many times I do.
Especially when a little bump comes our way. I am then quickly reminded of God's grace.

Our Anna became afraid after hearing about a little girl removed from her home. She became sullen, grouchy and down right difficult, for about an evening. :)
I KNEW in my heart that she was afraid.

Imagine if you had been removed from your home again and again, and then felt safe, only to hear about somebody you KNOW being removed from their home! It truly struck fear into her.

Last night, I watched her toss and turn and get up for another hug and another kiss and another trip to the bathroom. I had to remind myself that she was struggling.

But, when she awoke this a.m. I expected the same as the day before and instead, we got big hugs, REAL big hugs and lots of I Love You's, and Loads of smiles ALL DAY~!

I think in her heart she knows she is ours and we are hers and we will never leave her. But there is that "fear factor" that sometimes pops out. It is fading more and more each year, and I am so pleased that this VERY REAL, UPFRONT IN YOUR FACE experience did not cause more than just a little bump in her life.

It just made my day today when she woke up and was so happy to be HOME! FOREVER HOME!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Cable TV, Good or NOT!???

Ok, last week we got an offer that was a little too good to pass up. With a slight differene in our bill, we now can get FIOS internet, which we already have, Fios phone and FIOS TV.

We have NEVER had cable television, let alone Fiber Optic anything, other than internet. So, we decided to take the plunge, after all, there will be no channels around here in February unless we convert to some sort of signal box anyway, so why not?

Now, after watching PART of just one news show, I find this on our Bulletin Board!


I have to say, I am a little annoyed with the regular TV stations. If you have cable, you can get any news and hear anything, but we were unable to hear the John McCain speech on the same channel that fully covered the DNC.... I cannot help but think that is planned. No matter your political conviction, people need to be able to have access to BOTH camps and that was not provided for the regular guy who cannot afford special programming or cable.
And THAT is politics.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Friend Michelle

I am pleased to report that my friend Michelle is in Ukraine right now, and they have met their new daughter which she reported that they are totally in love with. :)

This is a miracle. Things are not happening in Ukraine very easily, and I am so happy for them. Can't wait to see PICTURES and possibly MEET her!

We will be in Ukraine at the same time and plan to hook up with them.


Most of ya'll know I am not a big shopper. Once a year maybe, for enjoyment to see the crowds at Thanksgiving, and then after that, only what is needed.

Well, I NEEDED to get a few things for Ukraine. So for a couple of days, Sarah the first day, then all of them again, have done a little "shopping".

Sarah LOVES shopping. She longs to walk the corridors of a mall or shopping center.
She gets all dressed up and has a wonderful time.

Anna and Erika are more subtle. They enjoy going, but I think Anna would prefer to stay home and take care of animals and Erika would MUCH rather clean tools for dad.
(but dad is out on business)

So, we all went. It is so funny watching the girls interact in a store vs. the experiences with the boys at the same ages.

The girls get all thrilled when walking past the clothing sections, the bra section,
and toys. The boys, turned their heads at the bra section in horror, they hated clothes, toys were common but much preferred the check out counter where the baseball and playing cards were kept.

They never really pretended to talk with friends that weren't there, bring fake cell phones, speak in british accents or be happy that I was trying on jeans.

The girls do all of that, and insist I show them the jeans I tried on before I take them off.

"Oh motha, you look just lovely!"
Why thank you Sarah. I never felt so lovely in a simple pair of jeans. :)

The guys, if I dared take them with me, when we would pass through a clothing section would get on either side of me and say, "Dad said don't spend any money." They were all in Jr. High and High school at the time and it would crack me up that they would want to protect me from myself. :)

I really didn't need any protecting, but they were so funny to try and help.

My Daughters in Law do enjoy shopping.
I am considering asking them if they would love to take Sarah out for a day of hit the mall all day shopping. She would LOVE it.

Me, I think I'm more like Anna. I'd prefer to stay home and take care of animals.
It's a zoo out there in those shopping centers!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Girl Conversation

Oh my, I wonder where they come up with this stuff!

I took the girlies to the store with me to get a few things for Ukraine. As we were on our way home, they whipped out their pretend cell phones to have a conversation.

It went something like this: Speaking in their best British Accents

Sarah- Hello
Anna- Oh you must know, I'm engaged!
Sarah- Engaged! What IS his name?
Anna- His name is Kevin.
Sarah- Oh what a beautiful, lovely name.
I'm engaged too!
Anna- How old is he?
Sarah- 23!
Anna- That's a MAN!
Sarah- How old is your fiance'
Anna- 18
Sarah- that is awfully young, don't you think so?
Anna- well as my mother always says, "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!"

(she knows I married at 18)
To which I said, ok, girls lets be quiet now. Inside I was dying laughing. :)

A Glimpse into School Life

We had a variety pack of personalities with our boys, and it seems that we have the same with our girls. :)

Now that the newness of school is worn off, they are off to a good start. At least from how it looks BEFORE grading papers.

Today, we continued our trip around the world with Israel and the girls learned about Golda Maier. They learned snippets of World war 1 and 2 and what it meant to be Prime Minister of such a small country in a hostile environment. They also learned that important people, as with King David, can many times have tragic family lives. Such is the life of many rulers.

Then we moved on to Spelling. Erika, who typically keeps a very neat desk, and keeps very good track of her posessions, seems to have misplaced her spelling workbook. AHHH.
She is only on chapter 2. We have searched High and Low and so far, no spelling book. If we HAD a dog, it would be his fault, but since we don't, it's "not me's" fault and "I don't know" has it.

So then we move on to math. Anna finishes suspiciously fast. She prefers that I don't grade her paper. Hmmmm..... Oh my she is doing REVIEW. 454-267. She would have to carry over, but she doesn't like subtraction, so she invented a new way to do math.
Reverse. 7-4 is 3, 6-5 is 1, and 4-2 is 2. So her answer was 312???????
When I asked her about it, she said, she thought that was a fine way to do math so what is the problem? LOL

She is now working on redoing her entire lesson, hopefully before dinner.

Then there is Sarah who zooms through everything, gets it right, and asks, "Can I read on the porch? I'm finished." She took her practice spelling test and got everything correct. But for some reason she can't spell on her blog. LOL

So, during this typing, Anna is almost finished with her math, correctly this time and Erika just located her spelling book. It was on the couch under the pillow. Apparently she didn't look "that hard". :)

I wonder if I could lose the washing machine?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Practical Sarah

The Girls have been taking care of the animals next door while the neighbors went on a weekend getaway. One of the joys of this job was being able to play with 4 puppies that are about 4 weeks old. They are really cute, but if anybody has ever raised puppies, when they first start learning to eat on their own, they can get really STINKY!
This was Sarah's solution:

You Are Still Holy