"to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faithin me." Acts 26:18

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Talitha--8 months and a blankie

Last night our church gave us an a.m.a.z.i.n.g farewell dinner.  I will post stories, pictures and video later.  But first I wanted to get these pictures that I took of Talitha yesterday morning on the blog. 

I forgot to switch out her blankets for a while and sweet girl just decided to attach herself to this blankie...

Doesn't she know we are moving and we already need to pack a box of soothers and now she's asking for a box of blankies too??

oh, yea...

Daddy...don't make me give it up!!

I think she's got him with her eyes...don't you?? :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Oregon Gardens

Tomorrow marks our 12th anniversary.  What glorious grace that is to us!!  I'm still amazed that God brought me such a wonderful husband!  And it is such a joy to be able to whole heartedly declare that I love him more and respect him more than I did 12 years ago.

This year we decided to take a day away to visit the Oregon gardens.  Something we have never done in our time here in Oregon. 

We had a great day...we walked, we talked, we prayed, we read our books, we sat he sat and I took many flower pictures... :)

 God's creation astounds me when I photograph it.  All these flowers, perfectly layered, beautiful scents...God didn't have to make the earth with such lovely things to look at...we never would have known the difference if the whole earth had been made black and white, but truly...this shows the fatherly love of God to us...

Not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed like this Clematis.

And if he causes this wonderful bloom to open up for me to photograph yesterday and by next week it will be gone, all for the praise of His glorious grace, surely he will watch over our family in the coming months to praise of His glorious grace as well.

Truly, Jehovah Jireh provides...

How to Avoid the Worst Kind of Socialization

This article is written by Mike Ferris, the president of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).  I thought it was worth passing along. :)

While academic and teacher qualification objections to homeschooling are pretty much a thing of the past, the age-old question of “What about socialization?” continues to increase.

Just as we should be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is within us, we should also have an answer to the socialization question. Having answered this question in many different ways, I thought it might be smart to see what the dictionary defines as “socialization,” as it can mean many different things to folks asking the question (that’s probably why we should ask them how they define socialization before we answer).

The common theme in dictionary definitions is that the individual conforms to the beliefs and actions of a larger group.

Most people agree that socialization is essential for the development of individuals so that they can effectively function within societies and for ensuring that society’s cultural features will be carried onto the next generation. That being the case, peer socialization, especially in the teenage years, would be the worst socialization today, if we want our children to be responsible adults.

I ask you in what setting, other than school, will a person be exposed to long hours, days, months, and years with people of their same age? Only in school. So this socialization, at best, prepares a person to get along in school. At worst, it prepares him for drugs, sex, rebellion against parents, and fuzzy thinking. You don’t receive training in responsibility from peers, only from adults. Therefore, the key to positive socialization is more time with parents and other uplifting adults.

I’m not negating the need for peer interaction, but it should be controlled and monitored by the parent so that peer interaction will not counteract the training and teaching of constructive values and beliefs that you do in your home. Homeschooling gives you this opportunity.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Breakfast in Bed

Our kids LOVE to make us breakfast in bed.  When they first started, we would only allow them to make us toast... then they moved up to eggs and yesterday they made us chocolate chip pancakes!

The results were amazing!  We really were surprised!

The only thing missing was a bite out of Eric's toast...which apparently ended up in Benaiah's mouth... 

I have to admit though... it totally stresses me out...

I have to take a shower while they are in the kitchen. 

Otherwise I see three kids stirring the eggs...

...at the same time... 

And hear them asking each other questions like,

"Is baking powder the same thing as baking soda?" 

And after my shower, as we sit on our bed and wait anxiously for our plates... not because we are necessarily hungry, but because we hear the shenanigans in the kitchen and have experiences like this...

Child #1 enters...

"Benaiah is putting fishy crackers in the jam!!"

"Please take the jam away from him."

Child #2 enters as child #1 leaves...

"Benaiah is putting fishy crackers in the jam!!"

"Yes, we know..."

Child #3 enters...obviously not having talked to child numbers #1 and 2

"Benaiah is putting fishy crackers in the jam!!"

"Yes, we know..."

Child #4 enters... making it ever so apparent that they are not communicating with each other and that child #1 has failed in his task to remove the jam...

"Benaiah is putting fishy crackers in the jam!!"


5 minutes pass...

Child #5 enters...

"Benaiah is putting fishy crackers in the jam...

Eric and I, in a defeated chorus of voices... "We know..."

Child #5 continues..."And then he scooped them out and put them in the butter..."


but soon, breakfast arrives...and we are delighted and amused at how it looked and tasted...minus that one little bite! :)

Despite fishy crackers in the butter, jam on the curtains and on every square inch of William's shirt (still not sure how he managed to get that covered), one egg lost to the floor, chocolate smeared on the floor and a kitchen that looked like a tornado went through...

it's a happy state of chaos...

And we love it!
Katelyn: head cook and dictator director of siblings

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Out of the mouth of Benaiah...

::This morning Benaiah woke up g.r.u.m.p.y.  While he was sitting on the floor next to Rebecca and me, he would randomly cry an angry cry.  I said, "Benaiah...what is wrong with you?!?"  

And he replied through tears,
"Rebecca is giving me the eye..."

Where in the world does a two year old learn that expression??

::This afternoon our family was praying about Uganda.  When it was his turn, he started praying about going to "Myganda"  Of course we were all snickering through our closed eyes and folded hands.  After his prayer Eric, joking with him, asked him... "Is it YOUganda or MYganda?" 

He answered, "It can be both of ours Ganda."

Thanks for sharing, Benaiah!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Whatever became of Daddy's chair??

Daddy was under the mistaken impression...

...that this new chair was for him...

But we really know that anything that might appear to be daddy's...

...is joyfully shared...

...with daddy's girl...

...after all, who can resist such sweetness...

 ...static hair and all?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Before and After

Precious friends, precious babies

Pregnancy was more fun with friends:

Motherhood and babyhood is more fun with friends too!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Silverton Fun Run

For the last few years, our family has participated in the Silverton 5K fun run.  It has become a great tradition for us and one that will be missed.  I'm thinking that we probably won't find many 5Ks in Uganda to participate in. :)

This year, Jimmy and a great friend of his, Lucus ran in the kid's 1 mile race.  Eric, Timothy, Katelyn, Matthew, Rebecca and I, along with some great friends from church--Heather and Ben--all ran the 5K.

Lucus and Jimmy, right before their gun-shot
 Katelyn took first for her age group (at 25:00) and Rebecca won 2nd (at 30:19).  They were both in the girls 10 and under.  Matthew took 3rd for 10 and under boys (at 29:26).  Timothy aged up this year to the 11-15 year old category and placed 6th (at 24:47)...it's such a bummer to have to grow up! :)  But it's all worth it, when your dad can no longer keep up with you...lol! :)

It was a great day and another good family memory.  :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Updates and Prayer Requests

Things are going really well around here, but very, very busy!  School is, much to my children's dismay, in order to keep mom sane, mostly done for the year.  We only have 5 weeks left in Salem!!  (Our container arrives June 15...did you see the counters on my side bar?) Yikes!

  • Packing has begun and is in full force!  We have a space marked off in our garage that is the same size as our container and boxes are being filled, labeled for customs and stacked in that space.
  • We are praising the Lord that we probably found a vehicle for our family and that it is already in Uganda--that means no huge import fees!  We are now praying that all of the final details will be worked out in a great way.
  • We are also praising the Lord for providing for us our first missionary associate, Tessa!! Tessa spent a week with us in March and after her application process with the OPC missions committee was finalized, we were able to welcome her aboard our team officially.  Lord willing she will fly out with us in July and spend the following 5 months helping me in a HUGE way with the kids.  We are so thankful for the ministry that she will be providing for our family.  We are also praying that the Lord would provide for her financial needs.  She needs to raise support to cover the cost of her travel expenses, etc.

  • We just posted our new address under the contact us section of our blog.  Did you catch the hint?  Care packages: welcome.  (Shameless, I know...) :)
  • Please continue to pray for us as we wrap things up here.  Saying good-bye hurts.  There is no way around that.  We feel the hurt as we think about what we want to do "one more time" and squeezing in final visits with friends.  Our farewell dinner with the church is May 30.  Pray that this will be a good time of closure for us and our church body.  Pray also that Eric will continue his ministry here with zeal and wisdom until his last day.
  • Pray for physical stamina.  My daily to-do lists tends to outlast my my physical strength these days.  Pray that the infinite God will be glorified in my finite self by allowing me to get done everything that HE wants me to in a day.
  • Please pray that our house will sell for what we need out of it in God's good time.  Aside from a really bad scam artist trying to make a fraudulent offer (thanks to my husband for googling his name only to find out that he was freshly out of prison having served time for fraud and to our good police man-friend who looked up his record and subsequently contacted the FBI to add our complaint to Mr. Scam-Artist's growing list of evidence that will most likely be used soon to throw him back in prison) we have had no real offers.
  • Please pray for our older children who will be meeting with the elders of our new church this coming Sunday, to, Lord willing, profess their personal faith in Christ.  This is a wonderful time in their lives and we are praying that the Lord will bless their child-like faith.

Thank you so much for praying for us!!  We really appreciate it! :)