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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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our Society

Erika and I were headed to Scottish Rite Hospital yesterday to have her leg adjusted and to get new straps, as her velcro  had worn out.

As we were driving towards the hospital, Erika wanted to listen to Christian Radio.  I am typically not a radio listener, so I was shocked at the commercials on the Christian Radio Station.
This is just a part of what we heard:
Give the gift of a new body for Christmas.
The commercial was from plastic surgery group that was advertising surgery as a GIFT!
So if you aren't satisfied with your face or your stomach or your hips or your nose, you can FIX it!
Then, there was the commercial for the "perfect smile".  This was all about cosmetic dentistry. Not dentistry that is needed because you have a tooth ache, but because you want your appearance to be better and your smile to be white!

Erika and I looked at each other after several of these "bombardments" with dismay. I can't believe how  we as a society in America, are so infatuated with how we look in the mirror that we feel that we need to spend billions of dollars a year for cosmetic procedures, let alone cosmetics in general!

We had a little talk about it in the car, and then went on to our appointment.  In the doctor's office, we had a long appt. Staying in a small room can drive one to do insane things, like, turn on the little TV in the room.
Yes, we did. We found a cool cooking show, but there were commercials.  To our utter SHOCK, there was a commercial about BUTTS.  I am not kidding. That is what they called it.  Apparently there is this kind of "cusioned" underwear women now wear to make their bottom look bigger? (like anybody needs a bigger bottom in America)  Or, to make it look shapelier.
What was even more shocking was the interview with the construction workers who said they admired big rear ends... and then the women who was doing the commercial actually suggested these things will help you pick up guys and have more partners for intimacy.
With that, the TV went off and we settled for a lesser form of insanity. Silence.

When we were on our way home, I brought up our day's delve into FLESH and discussed how sad it is that people don't accept themselves for who they are.
In the media we here all sorts of reports about young girls who have eating disorders and have low self esteem. That same media then turns around and tells us all the reasons we should not be satisfied with who we are, and that we should pay 10's of thousands of dollars to change our image!

It is SO HARD to compete with media that says, "You are not ok unless you are perfect."  As I  tell MY daughters that who they are on the inside is the most important thing and the most APPEALING thing, to the RIGHT PERSON.  That who they are IN CHRIST is all that matters. The value one has as a person has nothing to do with the outside, but everything to do with a living spirit on the INSIDE.
They are learning what true friendship is and what shallowness is.
I have some very brave girls who, in spite of their outward differences, carry themselves in public with confidence.
I feel sorry for those in our society who have to achieve bodily perfection in pursuit of happiness.
When they get "there", whatever that is..... happiness will not be there, but the emptiness of a white washed sepulcher full of dead men's bones.

And I am really sad that Christian Radio is carrying these ads.

Sarah's Funny

Sarah was doing vocabulary:

"Mama, why would they use such an awful word for something so nice?"
What is the word?

She said, "Engaged", but she pronounced it "Engagged".  LOL

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

An Alli Update....

I write this update with tears of joy.  I am overcome with thankfulness for our sweet Alli. 
We are ready to send our first post placement report for Russia.  As I read our social worker's words, I wept.
Why?  Because I am so happy inside. I am happy because a little girl who's life was total chaos and destruction from the moment she was born is now HOME...
I wept because the Lord has redeemed her.
I wept because when I see her smile, her GENUINE smile and her joy, and I see the changes she has made, I am just overcome.

Friday will mark our 9th month together. Alli is a JOY!
She was helping me wrap a Christmas present tonight and taking total glee in the fact that her sister was going "to really LOVE this present!" :) 

The changes we are seeing in her are remarkable.
She is joyful, she works hard on her school work, she is helpful and kind.  She shares her love for her sisters and us all the time, and expresses her joy in her prayers.
She is herself.... and she is liking herself. :)  I could go on and on, but it would be a book.
I am just amazed.

I am so thankful that we are able to be a part of her life.  Both Mike and I are in awe of what the Lord has done in our lives and in her life.

Anna Being Creative

She made a "digestive system" theme park...
And then a wanted poster for her dog....
And this???.... I have no idea! LOL

Excitment Around Here

 Alli woke up this a.m. and said, "Mama, I think we have the prettiest tree I have ever seen!"
She is so cute, and is really enjoying the Christmas season.  She has woken up each morning and just looked at that tree.  And SHE IS A PART OF IT.  HER ornament is on that tree. :) I love her excitement.
And then we had a huge surprise!  A package from Iceland! WOW! One of our precious readers sent a package! We have never received a package from Iceland!  I think we are going to save the box forever. :)  Thank you so VERY MUCH Dagbj√∂rt! You made everybody's day! :)

I am always touched by the tenderness and sweetness of those around the world who touch our lives.
The Lord is so very good! :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Saint Nicholas

I have mentioned this website in the past, but wanted to remention it. :) 
www.saintnicholascenter.org  is a really great site to learn about the REAL Saint Nicholas. He was the biship of Myra.... in Turkey.  He was raised by Christian Parents and orphaned at a fairly young age. He inherited a great deal of wealth but chose to give it all away to the poor, with great joy!
He was imprisoned for a time, and had a huge impact on Christianity today, arguing during the Nicine Meetings for the doctrine of the Trinity.  He was very involved in the development of the NICENE CREED.

Saint Nicholas DID drop money down chimneys, put money and gifts in shoes and greatly enjoyed giving.
It was not until the 1800's that some guy named Knickerbocker mentioned that St. Nick was an elfvin creature who wore a red suit that things began to change. And it wasn't until the early 20th century that our American, Modern day Santa Claus showed up.  We have always taught our children about the REAL St. Nick, but mostly, we have taught them the REAL reason for the Season we celebrate.  JESUS CHRIST, come in the flesh.... to save a world from Sin.

New Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread Recipe

And OH IT WAS Delicious! :)
 This recipe makes 1 large loaf or 4 small loaves.

   Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

2 cups of Bob's Red mill Baking Flour

(OR MAKE YOUR OWN.....  I tried Rice, sorghum and tapioca too. As long as you have 2 and a half cups, with at least 1/2 cup tapioca you will do well.  The Bob's red mill is Garbanzo bean, rice, fava bean, tapioca and rice flours all mixed together.  I prefer not to use too much rice flour because of the "sandy grit". :)

1/2 cup of tapioca starch or flour
1 1/2 tsp powdered vanilla (if you only have liquid, that is ok too)
1/2 cup butter softened or 1/2 cup of canola oil
1 1/4 cups of sugar
1/2 tsp xantham gum
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (we use sea salt)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp creme of tartar
1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
2 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
(1/2 cups nuts optional, 1/2 cup raisins optional or 1/2 cup craisins optional)

Preheat oven to 325
spray pan with cooking spray to prevent sticking

mix all dry ingredients together well.
Beat eggs, sugar, and butter together, add pumpin. Stir in remaining ingredients until well blended but not too much.
Divide into 4 small pans or 1 large.
Bake for 45 minutes for small pans or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  (times vary)
For large loaf, 1 hour and 10 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.  When fully cooled, wrap in plastic wrap.
Tastes delicious with holiday butters or plain butter or just plain! :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Anna is 13!!!

This morning, I write about my Anna. OUR Anna. :)  She is our precious girl. Anna has grown so much since the little girl we met just over 8 years ago.  Anna is so sweet.  She has a tender heart, and has turned into quite a beautiful young lady.  She loves EVERYTHING Cowboy and Texas!
She is our biggest reader and has gone through more books in her short life than I have in my long one!

I love it that she loves cats and dogs so much.  When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she said, "I already have my birthday present." Maizy!  (the dog) :)
 Today, she has requested that we visit our old church and I think that is a grand idea! We haven't visited in a few months.
Time to go and wake the birthday girl. :)
Let the celebration begin!

After opening a few gifts, we headed to our old church.  After church she chose On The Border for lunch.

 We surprised her with a birthday sundae. :)

I think she liked it! :)

And tonight, we are having Pumpkin Pie.

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl. :) You are an incredible blessing to us! We LOVE YOU!

BTW- the pumpkin pie was GREAT! :)
The movie for tonight.... Percy Jackson the Lightening Thief.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Decorating Firsts

I love decorating the tree. :)  It is so full of memories. Some ornaments date back 30 years.
Some are new.  Alli was filled with awe and wonder today as we carefully unwrapped each one. She ooed and ahhed all morning. LOL  Every ornament was a new excitement.

What a blessing to have her this year. :)  What a blessing to have each of my girls. :)  But this year is Alli's first ......
And her ornament of choice????
A horse. :)
Here she is putting it on the tree....
She is so proud of it. And there will be many more to come over the years.

Slap Jack, Reading and Mr. Hal

Oh the giggles!

 While the other girls are playing slap jack, Anna is deep into a new book.  She announced proudly,  is on page 183. :)

Another BIG surprise.... Mr. Hal stopped by on his way out of town! What a treat!
We had pulled pork smothered in green peppers and onions,  served in hot tortillas, and some wonderful tamales from NM with red chili sauce. :) YUM! (thanks Chuck and Jodie for the amazing treat!)

Hal was sharing pictures from His Thanksgiving in Waco Texas with Mike and Bob. He had a nice time visiting his sons and grand son. He stopped by for lunch and is on his way back to the east coast.

More Thanksgiving 2011

You Are Still Holy