― C. S. Lewis
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
We celebrated Passover tonight with our first family Seder. I think we are going to do this every year. It was very meaningful. We wanted to attend a Seder, but couldn't find one for tonight, but we were able to watch one on the internet, participating with Baruch Hashem, a messianic fellowship in Dallas.
I looked up how to prepare the Seder meal on the internet, and had everything prepared.
The girls were especially excited about being able to eat! The Seder included an explanation of Seder and it's history, so was a little long winded, but really good.
Instead of Roasted Eggs, I used hard boiled. We had horseradish, celery, eggs, (instead of parsley we used romaine lettuce, we used salted water with vinegar, and raisins with sunflower seeds.
I didn't know what to do with not having bones from a lamb, and when Mike asked about it, I said, "I'm not sure what to do".... and then, it dawned on me, I need to check the freezer. And low and behold there was a Leg of Lamb from last year FROZEN and ROASTED already! :)
So, we added Lamb. :)Here are a few pics of the girls eating "Bitter HERBS"
I was really amazed at the Matza bread. The 3 pieces of bread in one bag, and the middle one taken away and broken.
We really had an interesting night. :)
I think Erika enjoyed it.
Monday, March 29, 2010
We usually watch a little bit of the Movie Jesus of Nazareth and finish it on Friday.
We plan to make our tomb pudding .
You get a pie plate and put a 1/2 styrofoam cup on it's side. Then, you cover the pie plate and cup with chocolate pudding. Crush chocolate cookies to make it look like dirt. Put a stone over the entrance to the "tomb", and set soldiers to guard it. And then on Easter Sunday Morning, before everybody gets up, you roll the stone away. :) The kids like it.
We wanted to attend a Seder this year, but had trouble locating one. We did find a large Messianic Jewish Synagogue in Dallas that is having a Seder tomorrow night. They are going to live stream it on computer because they didn't have enough room for everybody who wanted to participate. They were so kind to send us a link to watch at home.
If you are interested, here is the link.
It will start at 6:45 PM Central Time on Tuesday night the 30th of March.
Easter time is very exciting, because HE LIVES!
Friday, March 26, 2010
She put what was on my heart last night, into wonderful words to read this a.m. :)
Her blog is on my side bar and it is called "I Take Joy"
Please read and enjoy. :)
When Trials Come
When trials come no longer fear
For in the pain our God draws near
To fire a faith worth more than gold
And there His faithfulness is told
And there His faithfulness is told
Within the night I know Your peace
The breath of God brings strength to me
And new each morning mercy flows
As treasures of the darkness grow
As treasures of the darkness grow
I turn to Wisdom not my own
For every battle You have known
My confidence will rest in You
Your love endures Your ways are good
Your love endures Your ways are good
When I am weary with the cost
I see the triumph of the cross
So in it’s shadow I shall run
Till You complete the work begun
Till You complete the work begun
One day all things will be made new
I’ll see the hope You called me to
And in your kingdom paved with gold
I’ll praise your faithfulness of old
I’ll praise your faithfulness of old
Keith and Krystin Getty
God's plan in our pain is more than we can comprehend or understand. I cannot imagine life without an eternal mindset. God takes our broken lives and makes sense out of them.
I want the Breath of God to give me strength.
I want my faith to be gold.
I want HIS mercy and for Him to draw close to me.
I want His wisdom.
And in having those things, I will have HIS rest.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
I love to walk, but lost my walking buddy back in August. It is really hard to walk around our area, because of dogs running loose... so I used to drive down to a track to walk. Then, came my shoulder episode which ate up 6 months of my life. So NOW, I'm ready to walk again!
Mike and I have been saving our change in a huge jar for about 8 years. We counted it, and had enough to buy something we have both been wanting for a LONG time. :)
We bought a Treadmill! I am so excited to be able to do my walking indoors! Mike has needed to walk for a while too, so this is really going to be fun. :)
We found a great sale, and purchased a Livestrong. Mike can plug in his phone, which also has an mp3 player and we listen to music and walk. It has 12 programs to choose from for exercise, a 12% incline and it keeps track of miles, calorie burning, journals your program and tracks your heart beat. You can also make your own exercise program or just walk or jog.
We both tried it out after getting it put together. I have never in my life seen so much packaging for a product. :)
So our next work out will be to get all this to the trash. :)
7 Inches of snow on the 2nd day of Spring, with drifts more than that! How FUN!
Our friends visited church with us today, because their services were canceled, so it was a double treat. :)
And for a triple treat, we made more snow ice cream when we got home from church. YUM!
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Anna was laughing so hard, telling me about a part of the book she is reading.
I love it that she really likes her books. She is a true Gilbert Morris Fan!Lillian played it safe this year on the carousel. She sat on the bench with me. :)
Last year, she was so funny. I took this video of her.
Here is Sarah waiting to go in and feed the birds. :)
This year, we did something knew. We fed birds in the bird exhibit. I was amazed that the zoo keeper knew each bird's name individually, and said he memorized them by their feather patterns. :)
Lillian was a little scared at first. After all, how often does a bird land on your head? LOL
But she pulled herself together and fed birds. :)
I think her favorite place was in this giant Dinosaur Egg. :)
Anna is a good bargainer. She stumped the information guy this year. He didn't know what kind of skull she brought, other than it was some type of bird skull. She then told him rather matter of factly that her MOTHER killed this bird, we buried it, and then she dug it up to bring to him. LOL
Of course his next question was quite appropriate, I thought..... "Did he taste good?" :)
Friday, March 19, 2010
I must say, the older I get, the more I just love Easter and the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I love to prepare the children and get them thinking about what was going on during the time of Passover, teaching them what the passover was about, how the Jews put the blood on the door posts in Egypt so that the angel of death would passover....
It was during the Passover season that Jesus was Crucified.
I love to retell , over and over, about how G-d, the CREATOR G-d, redeemed His creation in Christ. Christ, the everlasting, the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us, emptying himself to become a servant unto death, FOR US.....came, in the form of man, grew up, and obeyed the father Perfectly in every way. He was our Passover lamb.... who took our sin onto himself and became sin for us.... and he died. Totally died! But then.... Up From The Grave He Arose! He was fully risen! He IS NOT DEAD BUT ALIVE!
What amazing Love that God had for His creation, that though we are corrupted by sin, He has chosen to redeem us.
He calls on all men to repent, and respond to the good news! He has come, He restores, and He has risen!
Over the last several weeks we have been studying the Gospel of John. The famous verse "John 3:16" came up, and along with it, the issue of "How do you present the gospel"?
There was much discussion.... and then some self searching. There are so many ways the gospel is presented in scripture, but I wanted to see what Christ said about himself... After all, He is either who he said he was, OR a big fat liar!
He called himself the Light. He called himself the WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE, He was called the Word. John 1: IN the beginning was the Word, and the word was with G-d and the Word was G-D. He was in the beginning with G-d. All things were made through Him, and without him, was not anything made, that was made.
As I went through my study, I was seeing Christ minister to so many hurting people. "Take up your bed and walk", "If you ask me for water, I will give you life giving water and you will thirst no more", "Rise", the lame man, the blind man, the man who could not hear, the woman with the issue of blood, the woman caught in adultry, and the list goes on, and on and on.
He wasn't here just to make people's temporary lives feel better but to pick them up and turn them around totally both outwardly and inwardly. He was here to REVEAL G-d's very nature;G-d's will for his creation. He was here to REFLECT the Father PERFECTLY in every way. And he did it, in the form of Man. Jesus was his given name as a baby, his Last name was not "Christ", like Mr. and Mrs. Christ had a baby named Jesus. It was Christ, as in, that is his Title. Messiah.
Jesus was eternally existent. He has no beginning and he has no end. Our creator came down and interrupted History, with a personal visit.... He walked among us, and we hid.... He was the light..... many hid in the darkness, not wanting their deeds exposed, but those who believe, come into the marvelous light and walk in it.
And how do we walk in Light? We become one with Christ. He is in us. The Holy Spirit comes in and changes us, opens our eyes, and gives us NEW LIFE. We go from walking dead men, to living, abiding, children.
For a guy to have lived just 33 years on this earth.... it is amazing the impact His life and presence had here. I cannot believe he was "just a good man", or that what happened isn't true.
Why else would every single one of the disciples be willing to go to their death? When He was crucified, the disciples scattered in fear. Roman scourging and crucifixion was a horrible heinous, thing. But something happened. When Christ resurrected, they truly believed. And every single one of them were martyred, except John. They tried to martyr him, but he didn't die, and then he wrote 1,2,3rd John and Revelation.
Another post on this subject from 2007
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
When Mike and I were empty nesters, or near- empty nesters, we met our daughter Anna. She was a foster child here in the U.S. She asked us to be her parents. We were told she asks everybody that.... :) I'm sure she did. But it pricked our hearts. All children want parents, and to have a permanent family.
After prayer and paperwork, Anna came to our home. It was FAST. We didn't realize how fast until we became more aware of the adoption world.
After Anna had been home for about a year, she asked for a sister. We told her, "If God wants you to have a sister, he'll bring one."That is when we got the email about Sarah. Sarah is in the red sweater in the above picture. This was taken in Ukraine, before we knew her. When we contacted our social worker she was so excited... "I already had you picked!" 5 days later.... we had Sarah in our home.
Sarah was from Ukraine and came with an entire entourage of people. Papa Dima, Hal from the Pentagon, just to name a couple. :) She was 5 (almost 6) After being here just 3 days, we had phone calls and I looked at her and said, "Wow, for 5 years old, you sure do know some important people!" LOL
Sarah settled in just fine, and then began to open up abit about her life. She kept telling us about this little girl that was her best friend. They used to do hair together and she couldn't bend her arms, but she could do hair! And she was nice and not mean. And she wore funny shoes. And, she was worried when I left.... I hope she is ok..... etc.
So, I called those people back who called us, for information about who this little girl could be.
I saw a picture Sarah had brought with her, and the little girl in the picture had the saddest look on a child I had ever seen. In fact, it haunted me. I could not sleep.
( I took a picture of the picture I am talking about. Sorry it isn't clearer)The picture was taken on Sarah's goodbye day. Sarah was smiling and Erika was profoundly sad.
We were given a new picture, and I had it on the desktop of the computer for Sarah to see in the a.m. She was so funny when she saw it! It's her! How did you do that mommy? HOW? :)This is the picture Papa Dima sent to us.
Then, Anna and Sarah were both jumping up and down saying "Let's adopt her, let's adopt her!"
With the information I had, I found out she was available for adoption, but Mike and I couldn't possibly be the people to do this. After all, we already raised 4 boys, then 2 girls were here and we were after all, getting older! (I was still in my 40's lol)
So we asked around, sent emails, and let everybody we knew, know about this little girl. We were told she was very sweet and a "good girl" from Papa Dima. We were also told, she was too old to stay where she was, and would be going to a terrible place on the other side of Ukraine. It was a mental asylum.
No, Erika is not mentally ill; but there were no places for her to go.
We called our pastor and told him we were concerned for her. I blurted out, "We would do it, but it is impossible! Who has that kind of money?" He very wisely said, "With God, nothing is impossible!" He was so right!
A week later, an anonymous person came to us and asked us why we were not the ones adopting Erika? I let him know that it had to do with finances.
He said, "Is that all?" IS THAT ALL? That is quite a bit!
He said, "If you'll adopt her, I'll pay for it."
So, here we go, having NO CLUE, what we were doing, got a hold of Sarah's old agency and signed up. We payed our money and then adoptions shut down in Ukraine.
However, God was bigger than all that.
7 months later, they opened back up; but only for Special needs children, older children and for those who had already adopted Ukrainian children and FILLED OUT THEIR PAPERWORK~!
Though Sarah was Ukrainian, we adopted her domestically and we were not really obligated to do the paper work. We adopted her as an American Citizen. But we felt morally responsible to do so, even though she had only been with us for 6 weeks before the first report was due. Had we not done that..... I hate to think what could have happened.
God's hand was on Erika. She was supposed to leave the orphanage the VERY DAY our intent to adopt letter showed up on the director's desk, and he emailed us right away. "Are you sure you are going to adopt?"
Erika remembers her bags were packed and then she had to go back to the baby house and she was mad. She didn't know where she was going, but she was ready to get out of that place.
The Lord had her wait 7 long months. She was sad and abit depressed because she didn't understand what was happening.
She never imagined anybody would come for her, because nobody had before. She remembered crying again and again as children left with new parents. She had no one.
The whole Ukraine trip was one of the most amazing things of our lives. We savored every minute of it. I could not believe the conditions I was seeing. I could not believe so many beautiful children could be in such sad conditions. Their little faces are forever etched into our memories.
So in answer to your question:
The Lord paved the way for us to go and get her. He is the one who made it all possible.
We are all very aware of that, and in awe of it. It never gets old. :)
And we trust that He knows what is best for us, for the rest of our lives. Will our family grow?
If He wills it, we are open. :)
LIFE IS EXCITING!
and that sad, sad little girl, has become a confident happy young lady who is about to turn 12!!!!!
And somehow, this is about as close as I think I will get to the Eifel Tower. :)
Sunday, March 14, 2010
I cropped a few to get more detail. Sarah's fingers on both hands were fused together, and bent down to where she couldn't lift them. The first surgery she ever had, before she came home to us, was on her hands. I remember when our friend Hal Tait, (the guy who provides all the "somebody from the pentagon loves me" shirts) called, I sent him a few pictures of the girls, and he wept with joy that Sarah's hands looked so wonderful. He said, "WOW! She has separated fingers!" Of course, at the time, I didn't know why she had had the surgery. Now I do. :)
These pictures are so precious. Sarah looks just the same, and the one in the back with the ponytails is Erika! :)
Sarah and Erika only spent 11 months together in the orphanage. But it was a bond forged in love and Sarah never forgot Erika for one minute. Erika didn't forget Sarah either!
On March 18 or 9th, we left for Ukraine to bring Erika home. It was a long journey and we KNEW going, that Erika and Sarah belonged together, with Anna.
Here are a couple of pictures of them meeting once again in April, at the Airport in Dallas, after being apart for nearly 2 years.
I remember Sarah saying (in this picture) SHE IS SO BIG! And Erika not understanding what she said, and speaking to Sarah in Russian, and then Sarah saying, "I NEVER talked like that!"
Anna was ready to start playing, and was VERY happy to have another playmate.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Ok, this is titled Holiness, so why the embarrassing picture of all the crud under my fridge?
Well, for some reason Christine's blog post about her fridge combined in my mind about what I am studying ; made perfect sense; probably only to me, who is now broadcasting the filth under my fridge to all of bloggy world, but there is a point to be made. My righteousness is like the crud under my fridge.
I am reading a book right now by J.C. Ryle. J.C. Ryle lived in the 1800's. However, his writings continue to bless us to this day. The book is called "Holiness, It's Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots". I am only on Chapter 2 and already I am drawn in, by the richness of this book.
I was reading about Sanctification this a.m., and as I was reading, about how the Holy Spirit makes us anew, when we have trusted in Christ. We are justified AND sanctified, and the true believer will have light, even if it is a glimmer of light, where before coming into the marvelous light, there was nothing but darkness.
This writer went on to talk of the false teachings that permeate the church. And this was in the 1800's! As I was reading I was drawn in and began to examine my own life, my own heart.... do I feast on the things that are lovely? Do I desire HIM, more and more?
Am I ABIDING in HIM?
Sadly, there are many areas in my life that I know are nothing but filthy. I don't want to be filthy.... I want to be totally sanctified NOW... I don't want to struggle... I don't want to..... yet this is the condition of my soul. God has made me alive in Christ, but has not removed my old nature. My old nature battles each day, with a renewed heart and mind. It battles to take back what it has lost. But Praise the Lord, through Jesus Christ for His infinite, wonderful, loving grace and mercy that he shows me each and every day. His mercies are new every morning and I rejoice in Christ my Savior and my Lord. I know that there is nothing good dwelling in me.
I know that I am only alive in Christ, because he called me out of the miry clay. He desires to mold and shape me. And I have the eternal hope that someday, I will cease to struggle and will be rid of this sinful flesh that weighs upon me, and I will be with HIM.
So why THIS under the fridge picture?
God chooses to see me like this: BECAUSE of Jesus Christ. There is nothing I can do to find favor with God, outside of Jesus Christ. In Christ, I am pure and clean, justified (just as if I'd never sinned) and am being sanctified..... :)
And now, I'll put my fridge back.
I was just horrified by the thought of what is under the stove!
Monday, March 8, 2010
A couple of days ago, our neighbor's daughter Haley was cleaning out her things that she no longer wanted. She came over to play, and brought Anna a new pair of skates that were barely used. They fit Anna perfectly and she was so very excited! She has never had roller skates. She has never really asked for them, but after Ice Skating last a couple of weeks ago, she brought up the idea of roller skates.
It is so cool,when the Lord blesses our children with the unexpected. :)
For 2 days now, Anna has had roller blades glued to her feet. I'm surprised she didn't try to sleep with them ..... However, she is doing school with them on. LOL
The other blessing, that made my heart joyful, was that Sarah and Erika were truly joyful that Anna received such a nice gift, even though they didn't. They were all out there laughing and playing and dragging her down the drive way, and on the front porch. I love it when children can be happy for each other.
The other neat thing, was last night Anna showed me the special card she made for Haley to thank her for the skates.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
We found him this a.m. in the barn when he didn't come out with the others for feeding time.
I think I am truly done with goats. We will keep one, who is trained by the girls, and is able to keep the lawn mowed. The others, we are going to phase out.
This has been a hard 6 months for our family, with all the health issues, and deaths of both family members, friends and animals. (not that any animal is even comparable to a family member or a friend)
As I write this, we have 2 more friends who are both dying. One I just found out about last night, and the other is our friend Phil, who is succumbing to a sepsis infection that has been ravaging his body off and on for over a year. We are trusting in our Lord, that He will bring about His perfect will and plan in all of this , and that our hearts will see the wisdom of His plan. But it is hard.
I don't have a picture to post that is specific, but somehow deep down, I find myself comforted by our Lord, that He is truly in control. I am so glad that is true. I could not imagine life without Him in control. So, I will rest.
There are no guarantees in this life. No guarantees of physical comforts or that life will be easy.
But we do have guarantees that the Lord works ALL things out for God for those who are called according to HIS purpose and plan; even the hard things.
I have reason to rejoice and be glad. My arm is getting better and better. I am starting to see more and more range of motion. The girls are happy and healthy. Mike has a JOB, which is something to be VERY thankful for. We are blessed with all spiritual blessings, and we are thankful for each and every member of our family and extended family.
The Lord blessed us with a small happy surprise for a short time, and brought smiles to all of us. He even blessed Sweetie Pie with a baby, when we all thought she was barren. Everything we have is His.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Sweetie Pie is 3 years old and has never had a baby. She has always wanted a baby, because when the other goats had theirs, she would be very attentive to their babies..... and then yesterday, we heard a baby goat Maaaa- Maaaaaa.... and there was Sweetie Pie, sorta freaked out by what had happened to her. :)
The girlies could not be more excited. I fear this one will be loved to death! :)
So, now, they need to figure out a name. I vote for Surprise. :)
Monday, March 1, 2010
Meet the Carr Family
Is having AN EXTREME HOME MAKEOVER! :)
We are happy for them. We enjoy seeing them at camp, and various activities at Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Well, this time, they were in Hawaii, while we all went to the hospital for a leg drive. Ryanne wanted to donate legs for children who don't have any in Haiti. She is such a sweet little girl with an infectious smile. A foundation is taking the legs to Haiti for all of the new amputees over there.
The girls brought legs they had outgrown, and we all got to meet Paige, and the film crew
who were filming the show. They interviewed the kids and showed everybody signing up and yelling HELLO from TEXAS....
It was a lot of fun! The Carrs will be back from Hawaii on Thursday. We may drive out there to see them MOVE THAT BUS~! How fun. :)