Monday, November 23, 2009

Catching Up...

Ok...I'm so far behind on my blogging, I'll never get caught up. So I thought I'd share a few highlights of what we've been up to...

Most recently, we've celebrated a couple of birthdays around here... Will turned 11 and DH turned 41. Since both their birthdays happened to fall on a Wednesday, we decided to go out to eat with friends after church. However, I (the one who usually always has her camera with her) forgot to take it along, both nights! So no pictures to share (except the one I did take at home). In addition to eating out on his actual birthday, Will also celebrated with a party here at home with some of his friends. This year we (or rather I) opted to forgo the usual theme party (which as you probably know, quickly adds up to be quite expensive) and had a variety of foods along with a cake I made myself. And the kids just played... with no organized activities. And I must say they all seemed to enjoy themselves very much! And so much less stress for mom!

He prefers brownies to a cake

the kids playing at Will's party

He didn't care that the icing barely concealed crumbling cake layers (lol)
We also enjoyed our church's annual fall festival on the Saturday morning of Will's birthday party. After the fun and games and hayride and lunch, the children were all given a pumpkin and a carving tool my kids and some of their friends decided to carve their pumpkins at the party. They had fun and the pumpkins turned out quite cute, I think!

My family joined a new home school support group this year, as our local group has pretty much disbanded. There seems to be fewer and fewer of us in my county who continue to homeschool. Most are opting to send their children to the local Christian school. I can't complain, since that is what we did with our oldest child when he was in 9th grade. He is very competitive and into sports and our homeschool group has never been big enough to support a sports program. I love living in "SmallTown USA," but there are definite downsides to rural living... so we sent him. He did very well academically, socially, emotionally...I just missed him...alot! And now our daughter wants to go next year, as she will be in 9th grade.

Needless to say, I really want to continue to homeschool, but I also know how important sports are to her. In the meantime, I joined a larger group in another county (still it's not big enough to support a sports program), hoping that she will enjoy other activities and make new friends. Recently we took a field trip with this group to an orchard and enjoyed a corn maze, a hayride and a pumpkin patch!

DH is off work this whole week and oldest son is home from college...yaayy! We won't get much school work done these next few days, but that's ok...we enjoy having the extra time with them. We'll be heading out to Alabama in a few days to spend Thanksgiving with our families. We're all looking forward to that! I am thankful for the time we will have with them. I am thankful for so much! The Lord has been good to me; I am truly blessed!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, surrounded by those you love most...Blessings!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What Jesus Is Teaching Me

Hinds Feet on High Places...we just finished reading it yesterday. My friend is reading it right now, and as she has said, I think that it has blessed me as much, if not more than, it has blessed my children. How much of the main character (Much-Afraid) I can see in myself! How I so very often give in to my Fearing relatives and listen to their voices, inviting them into my abode! How so often I forget to call out to my Good Shepherd and listen to His voice, instead! God, help me to seek You all the days of my life; give me hinds feet so I too can run to meet You on the high places; help me to humbly and gratefully learn the lessons that You are teaching me on this journey.

Children of the World...the Lord recently used this team of children to minister to me and to my family, as well. They are an international children's choir comprised of 15 orphaned and disadvantaged children from several different countries around the world. This inspiring group travels across the U.S. for 10 months, putting a voice and face to the desperate needs of children whose lives have been devastated by civil war, famine, poverty, unclean water, and preventable diseases. It also allows the mission field to be brought to you.

I cannot adequately express what the Lord has taught me through these children! We were a host family to two of the little girls for two days while they were in our town. Their presence in our home opened our eyes to how very blessed we are, and sadly, how very spoiled. We take for granted (and I'm just speaking for my family) the basic necessities of life, even clean drinking water! Drinking water!!! No thank you, I'll have sweet tea, please. See what I mean by spoiled? They were so excited when I made green kool-aid to serve them!

No one has ever had to convince me that children are precious and a gift from the Lord, but being with these children most assuredly cemented that feeling in my mind and heart! I can't begin to tell you how the Lord has burdened my heart for orphans! I certainly pray (along with my family) that He will open for us the door to adoption. But in the meantime, there are other ways in which we can help meet the needs of these precious boys and girls. Our church has agreed to raise $15,000 to provide a well for a village in an underprivileged country. Our family has committed to sponsor two children through this organization. All three of my children volunteered to give up their allowances to help us sponsor these children! Because they volunteered without our even suggesting it, we agreed to take half their allowance to help with the monthly commitment. God certainly softened their hearts as much as he did my dh and mine. It will be a sacrifice for our one-income family, but hasn't my God promised to supply all my needs through His riches in glory?

I know that there are many worthy charities who seek to bring the gospel to hurting people while providing for their basic needs. However, if you are interested in having this special group visit your church, I would encourage you to visit their website, to find out more and to see their tour schedule.

My children with Pashi and Aljane
Playing balloon toss