Friday, December 19, 2008

Kookoos Pens



I had the amazing privilege to spend one week with these magnificent children of Cato Manor in Durban South Africa. My team and I could not help but to fall in love with these children and learn from their love for each other and community. The girl pictured above holding a book her name is Kookoo. I want to share a story about Kookoo. Our last day at camp when we broke off into groups our discussion went to the topic doing what is right and how to know what the right thing to do it. Kookoo has a love of pens she says that at school she is tempted to take pens from kids when they walk away from there desk and she feels like one voice says "kookoo go get it, you love pens they wont miss it!" and another voice that she thinks is God saying "No kookoo its not the right thing to do, walk away.'' Kookoo walks away listening to the right voice but watching the pen on the table with sadness. This made us really choke up, PENS people. A dime a dozen. At the end of camp we gave away socks, I gathered tons of marker pens and went over to Kookoo and put it in her sock and gestured my finger to my lips and Kookoo knew what I meant. The smile on Kookoos face was priceless. Evertime I see a pen I will think of Kookoos small but strong voice.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A sweet Tribute to my Mamma

Tonight the heavens has opened up a celebrating service for this woman, an inspiration to hundreads and hero to this one. I will miss her more than I have ever missed anyone.

Frostbite

I sit here in the warmth of my own home watching the snow flakes fall to the quiet soft ground. I just thawed out my half way frostbit children after an hour of play, I could only bear it for 5 minutes before the kids found other playmates to tag with the snowball fights. Frostbite...... it take me back to story that's not so warm I want to share, if you have a soft stomach you may not want to read on! On our fun day with the children at the transition home in South Africa last week a small child so adorably plays in the sand with us and one of our team members asks sheepishly whats on his face. He bears the scar of wonder. His house Granny said that's frostbite. Frosbite in South Africa, but how?! This sweet two year old was found freezing to death in a fezzer, why? His body would then be cut up and used for medication purposes by the "sambonas" (natural healers, or in my book a witch doctor!) The police was tipped off and they went to check and sure enough this child was rescued from being frozen to death. I look at my children with red cheeks and I grasp thier little frozen fingers in mine as I breath warmness into them and thought of Jesus. How amzing he gave this little "b" boy a new life His love and mercy breathed warmth into his little soul. I could not fight the tears as I listened to the story as I envisioded a little guy crying without no one to come rescue, but Christ answered his cries. That story will stay with me forver especially when its this cold outside and I fight to get my fingers to have feeling again.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Process

Disclaimer to the photo I was really swollen after a long plane ride so yes I look fat!
I am back home got back home after a 33 hour transport with Lisa, the rest of the team gets back in tomorrow. Lisa and I came back early she is a teacher and I a mom who had to get home to kids.

I have been processing what I have seen and heard these past two weeks and the deep spiritual meaning of all of it. I missed my children and husband yet I believe that God protected my heart from missing them so much I could not do what I was sent to do and I am so glad for it. To think there were so many times that I almost didn't go, to think that I let others try to influence what God was telling me to do, Oh my I would have stolen a huge blessing! The whole time while in South Africa it was so pleasing to know I was doing what I was created to do. The stories will leave huge imprints in us forever. I would do this again only I really want Frank to come with me :) The faces of the children as we said goodbye stains my heart I am sore. I did leave with Hope, that iTemba Lethu is making a HUGE difference in the community that God has not forgotten these and he loves these kids more than me. We made some friends in South Africa I will have forever. Ang and Anton, Glenda, Janna and Derik, Mark (with a South African Accent:) Gill and Jonathan, Shannon and Patrick, Allison and Graham, thank you for your love and hospitality you are missed already!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Broken heart

These last few days of camp I have endured a strong attitude and heart and today I could not help but weep with these little ones. This was our last day of camp we were at camp with 5 and 6th graders at a community hall in Canto Manor a severely underprivileged neighborhood. I have been blessed to listen to the values that these children hold on to. I want to share a few stories.
one of a little girl named kokoo, she is precious and small and so quiet yet when she opens her mouth to say something its so profound for instance; yesterday we spoke on becoming great influences to influence those around us to become ones that peer pressure for good this is what kokoo said by the way she is 9
'' I think its wonderful to influence people but everyone in my family has died and my mother and I are the only ones alive she is always drunk and I does not make good choices to help my community I must help my mom first, I can make a difference in her life and I will teach her the things I am learning about God!''
another boy said
''I must take a stand and stand up against the people that are drinking and steeling when they want me to go with them, I must say no because this is making a stand for the positive in my community!'' Understand the pressures the children face are very different than our culture. The face things my children may never face until they are grown. This boy who feel in love with one of the guys on our team we nicked name him ''gadget boy'' because he loves to borrow our camera to take pictures, he cried the whole day. His father died last year and his mother left and lives in another town he is being raised by his older sister, he really drew us in. He was so happy that we came. Our presence alone meant so much to these kids that we would leave our families and our comfort to come tell them that Jesus care means the world to them. We didn't even have to do a thing our very presence there was enough. By the end of today I was overcome by emotion and felt as though I cant cry anymore. I want these children to be tucked in at night have someone say a prayer with them and the reality is it cant happen.
What I am so impressed is that the youth workers which are people employed by Itemba Lethu they are a HUGE cornerstone is these children lives. The are always present for them the go to there schools and listen to them and once a week the kids meet during an evening for a night of fun and learning. One youth worker Wendy gave each child her phone number to call her for anything I asked her if she gets calls for anything. She told me that she gets calls like ''Wendy its been four days since I have had something to eat can you help me?'' She said this is the most common also the girls have come up to her to tell her they have been raped again. I ask her how on earth can she do this listen to these stories everyday and not loose it. She told me ''who says I don't, I have to hold it together because they need someone and then when they leave I am down on my knees praying and sobbing before the Lord for them''.
I followed Gods call to come, and I am so blessed for it, but also broken. Please go to Kinseys blog for great picutres.
ps. Frank I miss you so much but I am so more proud of you for sending me on this call then ever.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

exhaustion ''ditto''

I am to tired to write this day so please click here for ditto.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Greetings from SOUTH AFRICA!

I am safe in South Africa and just got back from a weekend retreat camp for some zulu kids, I am amazed by them they have captured me. We arrived on Thursday after 29 hours and three flights to Durban South Africa. Our team of 7 are staying with families from the Church that sponsors the organization we are working with. The house I am staying in is huge, has a pool and a great family so I am safe, however we spent the night and then took of in the morning for the jungle/beach bungalows along with 70 kids for the local townships. Its so sad to pass the houses/shacks where these kids live and not feel a gut wrenching pull from your heart. We stopped by the home where the Orphans are staying and I held this 10 week old baby boy named Thebu (hope in Zulu) Frank watch out I just may bring this guy with me :)!
I sadly gave him back to board on the one hour bus ride with the kids. These kids mostly speak Zulu and we had the youth workers help with translation also i have picked up on a little myself. The first day was difficult these kids had a hard time letting us in, we felt very discourages. But when you think of what they have gone trough and with apartide ending so recent they have every right to be guarded. I gave my testimony that evening and we shared with them some bible stories and we were in solid! The next two days were spend just playing with them. During one of the small groups I had a group of girls and when I asked how do they know they are valuable these were the answers.
1 soma: '' I know I am valuable to God because there are so many time I go to bed with no food yet there are days my mom finds and old piece of bread, God loves me because of that''
2. another girl said '' I know i am valuable because everyone in my family is still alive''
not things you would hear form typical 6th graders. The things these kids go through every day will amaze you and this program has saved them from such heartache. I was meant to come I have no doubt about this now. I have so much more to say, I miss my kids but I am just blessed to be apart of this!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

South Africa here I come :)! ahhh




Tonight I say goodbye for my family to board on the plane at 7am to South Africa! I am so nervous I could puke! This is one of the hardest things I am going to do, but I know I have been called to this trip with no doubts! My sweet hubby, oh that's an understatement, has all three kids for all the days. Don't forget to check in with him Amy, Melissa and Jenn and anyone else please.
Above I have made 11 bags as a count down for the kids the bags have a little note with what I will be doing that day and a trinket for the kids. I have labeled the rest of the weeks school clothing with the day and names (Dork I know!) Also at night I got library books and wrapped them up as to be an element of surprise for the bedtime read. There are things I didn't get to do like vacuum and mop and sweep and make dinner for the night but I am at peace that they will do great with dad. The organization we are working with came out in the news yesterday for National Aids day take a look if you get some time. Signing off and please pray for out teams safety and for the kids lives that we will be in contact with. I hope to have great stories when we get back!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mr. Teabo, My Mr. Darcy

Mr Teabo with his famous "Frank the Tank" breakfast sandwich
Today my Mr.Teabo, who is my modern day Mr. Darcy and Mr. Knightly (of Jane Austen's novels of course!) and I make 11 years married. Why is he awesome, so glad you asked.
He is the most selfless man I know, even out of the husbands I know by far my Mr. Teabo holds the trophy for selflessness. He always puts me first. How many guys do you know would encourage his wife to go look for a mission and go for 11 days without him and leave him home with all the kids?? Hello! Unreal I know, I am so blessed to have this gentleman at my side through joy and deep sorrow. He gets me, and whats amazing about that is I don't need to explain anything. He is extra careful during November- February when I get my want to move to a sunny weather and had enough of the rain depression. He lets me look at other states housing and job markets and listens and then I come down from my grey cloud. He grounds me! When I am out running errands or with friends, I find myself wishing to be on the couch with this guy just happy to watch the 1000th re-run of Seinfeld and Friends. If he would wear a BFF necklace I would buy it for him :)! If you find yourself with a modern day Mr. Darcy your are as lucky and blessed as me!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ruby learns how to shampoo!


I had some friends over last week and the kids were playing upstairs while the moms chatted down stairs. One of the boys came down stairs and said "mom the babies have shampoo!" I ran upstairs to check my carpet, its new from the summer and I was freaking out. I didn't even notice my little angel had shampoo all over her head and face, she didn't even cry or whimper. I quickly scooped her up and rinsed her hair I think her friend was showing her how to use the shampoo :)! She smelled great all day!

First tooth for a Sweet boy!



My A man lost his first tooth! He is so pround of his space, its much earned! I love this guy is he not the cutest five year old! To me he is :)!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A great Friend :)!


Sometimes you get buddies like these, when you do hang on to her! This is Dena, she will blush at the sight of her face on my blog, but I had to brag about her. Dena is a mad organizer she thrives on it and gets a little giddy even at the idea of organizing someone else's house! When I heard of her mad skills I joked about my laundry room being a mess in to which she responded with "I can take a look at it, I would love to help you organize!" and my reply as I began to hyperventilate with the thought of someone looking at my mess "No, its okay, you don't have to look at it at all!". She sweetly insists to take a look and asked me not to clean it she wants to see where things lay. Ha, will she even begin to see the floor :). Our laundry room is the entrance to our garage like most homes and so its the throw all too. She came by on Thursday took a notebook and wrote things down and gave me ideas. Yesterday I asked her to come play, and she suggested we "have at it". I was nervous! She came and got to work and brought her own cleaners and all. She totally set up with a clutter free room! This is the best part, she brought some paint to try out and even her own supplies and began to paint my laundry room for me. I had to go to a birthday party and Dena stayed at my house and painted! Awesome right?! Seriously she Rocks! Thanks Dena

Saturday, November 15, 2008

OCC Advent Conspiracy

Christmas ahh that time of the year to spread joy and frolic in the warmth of the holiday. Or be in a franctic stage to find that one last item, wait in lines at crazy hours in the morning to get that smoking hot deal (I have done this and probbly still will, not knocking anyone:), and hyperventalateing our ways to the dinner table. I say NO MORE! Breath, ENJOY, Laugh, Be frugal, give the gift of your time!
This youtube was created for Overlake Christan Church in Redmond Washington but what a sweet message it demonstrates on the importance of this meagniful Holiday!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dangerous Surrender


Since I came back from Ethiopia with Ruby last year, I have had a hard time adjusting back to life, and finally came to the conclusion that I wont ever be the same. My heart has been broken by the beautiful children of Ethiopia and all of Africa has captured me! In my quest to get others on the band wagon I have come to many road blocks. Its so hard to explain the vast need of the crisis in Africa unless you have been there, or unless God has broken you too. I find it hard to return to building my own kingdom, or just being a woman that sits in the pews at the church and be surrounded with my small group of friends and live in my own little secluded world turning an ear to the hurts because its to hard to fathom or just "not my thing". I wont go back there!

I have been wanting to read the book Dangerous Surrender but if you know me I hate doing anything alone :)! So I asked a friend if she would be interested in reading with me and asked her to see if her best friend would do it with us as well. Last month we got together one Thursday morning with coffee and our book and we have entered into a world of complete eye opening! Dangerous Surrender is a book written by Kay Warren she is married to Rick Warren pastor of the Saddleback church in California and author of the book The purpose Driven life. Dangerous Surrender was required reading from Jodie leader of our South African mission in December. From the moment we opened the book we three knew God would do something here. I am amazed at the conversations we have in my little living room. I love these girls and God is meeting a need in my heart with them. Amanda and Dena I love you :)
If you have not read this book I truly recommend this as a wonderful read. As for my new Thursday morning group, I believe we have some great things to come!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Going to South AFRICA!!!!

26 days and counting!
Yahhooooo Guess what I am for real going to South Africa thank you to so many of your donations, I along with 7 others are traveling the 3rd of December to Durban South Africa to help with Ithemba Lethu. I am so excited for the work we get to partake in there.

Donations needed:
Ithema lethu also has a breast milk bank and are asking for for pamphlets on information on the importance of Best feeding, I am also looking for brand new 30'' PVC tubing to take with me. I will be contacting my local health care department, and local La Leche League branch. Does anyone have any more suggestions? Or ideas on how to get these items? Leave a comment if you have suggestions.


SO EXCITED WOOHOOO!!!

Long Lost Camera FOUND!







What would you think would be a bloggers worse nightmare, okay besides deleting your blog on accident. Losing your camera right?! I lost my camera two weeks ago (seen any pictures of my kids lately?) I lost it on a trip to the pumpkin patch with As preschool and have retraced my steps a thousand times called the patch a few times, left my name and number and have been sick to my stomach because of it. You know cameras are not cheap, and I hated the thoughts of the holidays without them. I prayed and prayed that it would show up. One week and four days later we get a call from our sons school to say that a man found a camera in the middle of a busy highway near the patch right on the road! He got out of the car picked it up and scanned thought the photos on file, he saw a picture of my son near our school sign and brought it in to the school. It has rained so much here, and that highway has tons of traffic yet that camera was in perfect condition. Crazy!! So I have some catching up to do.






Saturday, October 25, 2008

I have been tagged!

I have been tagged twice this past week by Neely and Suzi!

Seven random things about me:



1. I always have a coffee cup in my hand, I know terrible, but I cant live without my dark love. Its my love language. You love me you bring me coffee :)

2. I talk to God out loud when no one is in the car, sure I look like an idiot, but I like to think He is in my passenger seat and I even use hand gestures and turn my cheek to look every now and then, I know CORKY!

3. I love Mr. ED, Leave it to Beaver, Lassie, The Andy Griffith Show, Laverne and Shirley and tune into TV Land when no one else is around everyone else gets bored with at my house.


4. I can speak fluent Spanish and Cruzian and my thinking voice has the same accent! The scary part is I translate for myself, LOL, okay not you I am rolling over her!

5. I have this recurring dream that someone on an airplane screams for a doctor and I come to the rescue, No serious it happens all the time, whats that about?

6. When I am standing in line at the bank, I think about a plan if in case we were to get in the middle of a Robbery, for instance how will I tackle the robber. Okay do I have HERO Syndrome?
7. I practice crying in the mirror,( when I feel sad) I have the ugliest cry you have ever seen. So if I cry in the mirror I feel like I am practicing for when Niagara falls in front of people I feel a little more confident :)....shut up you know you do the same sometimes?!

Now I am tagging Frank, Jenn, Kels, Candace, Lindsey,

Okay I am still searching for two more that have not been tagged :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Please pray for Abby


I have been following the Riggs family blog since last year when I was praying for their daughter Sami from Ethiopia to be united with a forever family. Sami was united with a family of 6 other children. 4 Biological and 2 from Guatemala. In July their three year old daughter Abby was diagnosed with Leukemia and have been battling with Chemo to fight. She seems to be a fighter! I just ask that you add Abby Riggs to your prayer list. Reading the Riggs postings I know that they love God but I can hear their hearts breaking facing the fight of sweet Abby's life.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hellos and Goodbyes....




Ruby hamming it up with Mamma
Mamma with her sisters Eppy on left, Casita on right, brother Marsall and Virilo
My cute Uncle Marsall

I arrived back from Florida late last night with Ruby. The last five days I spent with my family at my Aunt Yvonne's house surrounding my grandmother with broken hearts and nostalgic yearnings of old days past. I have a HUGE family on my mothers side the Perez family. My grandmother has 11 brothers and sisters and five are alive and well. My grandmothers two sisters have been with her these past few months before she took a turn for the worse. When she was rushed to the hospital a couple of weeks ago she sent for her brothers both came to see her along with grandchildren and nieces and nephews and so many friends. At one time I counted 23 of us all in the house at the same time. We surrounded her with care, love, prayers and songs. We grew up Pentecostal, went to pentecostal churches and our old roots runs through us. So when there are songs to be sang about Jesus its hard to keep our bodies still so can you imagine what it looked like when we were given tambourines and shakers to sing with my grandmother in her bed?! Some time my grandmother would not talk and other times she would repeat herself over and over and we would pretend it was the first time we heard what she had to say. My grandmother would tell everyone that came to visit her, and there were tons of people coming in and out, that I am like a daughter to her. Its true I spent my youth in my grandmothers house, I called her to pick me up every day and she did! My parents did live five minutes away :)! So we are VERY close.
One afternoon she kept repeating the names of the couple that gave me airlines miles to go see her she kept saying Alex and Shelley's name over and over and when I asked her what she was doing she said she was praying for them. We had a revival on Saturday night my Uncle Marsall is an evangelist and fasted all day for a message for the evening. We all gathered to hear the words he prepared and to sing as we celebrated my grandmothers life. It was peaceful and aching all at the same time.


We had moments where I thought I would laugh until I cried, knowing the laughter was good medicine. And moments like on Saturday night when I had to say Good bye for good. I will try to explain in words what its like to say good bye to someone who is awake and can understand what you are saying. You both know that you know. Its like a cloud of uncertainty all around. We know heaven is near, but when right when I leave, as I am talking to her? I looked in her eyes and said "Mamma its time for me to go...." She looked at me with the saddest eyes and like a small child responded with "Why?" "I have to go back home to my family..." She then kept asking random things like a child would ask when you are tucking them to sleep to keep you in the room. She would ask things like the clothes size of my kids, she wanted me to go through a ginormous stack of old recipes, old photos, it took two hours of procrastination and I could see she was getting tired. So I kissed her on her sweet forehead caressed her thinning grey hair sobbed on her chest, dried her tears as she wiped mine ,covered her frail body with a soft blanket and exited the room. I remember this feeling only it stings a little deeper, its as if its opened old wounds of grief. I wish at times I could love with a distant heart so that not to hurt this badly, but I was not formed that way. I like her Love with Everything in me!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

God Wink!

Ruby and my grandma last year.
This weekend I had the privilege to join some woman who attended a woman of Faith conference in Portland. One of the speakers spoke on God giving us moments of joy through other people a tangent reminder that He works still today and that He loves the very existence of our being. God winked at me this weekend, though some sweet friends Shelley and Alex who gave me miles and booked a ticket for me to fly out tonight to see my grandmother and be surrounded by my family as we are at her bed side. My grandmother is in my aunts house right now with hospice at her side, some days its worse and some days she is just okay. You ever have the feeling that you don't deserve someones goodness and generosity. That's what I felt, it was to good to accept! There was no pause or hesitation to their generous offer, I did accept and for me its a God wink! Alex and Shelley no words I have can express my sincere gratitude. I hope God will use me one day to give you a God wink! I thank the Lord when I think of you sweet friends!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Abuelita

From left: Tia Cynthia, little sister Yvonne, My Mom, My Grandma, Tia Yvonne, my Sister Sharlene, Me, Cousin Monica
My sweet Grandmother has been battling cancer for a few years now. She was first diagnosed when our baby Hudson was in the hospital two years ago and was told she had a few days lucky if she had months. She was not convinced of her time and told everyone she was not ready and was not going anywhere. I have been back to Florida twice to "say Good-bye". A few days ago she was taken to the ER where she is still at the moment for liver failure and this time she does say she is ready. I am not! My family is very close my grandma is a STRONG Christan woman that loves Christ with every fiber its illuminates from her glow. She is very charismatic, there is never a dull moment when she enters a room. Compassion is the gift that she has given me. Her name is Maria. Maria purchased a bar from her brother right down the corner of her house. This bar was a haven for the towns drunks sadly this included my grandfather. I would sneak out of the house to go bring him home again. Maria was happy to own the property and turned it into her non-profit called "The Rescue Mission". She housed prostitutes and drug addicts to give them a chance at turning there life over the God and getting clean. She dedicated her time and energy to the poor of our island, and is well know for her hospitality. Her heart is for the poor to be rescued. She is nicked named "Sister Maria". She traveled to Countries when she felt called and one the is close to her heart is Guatemala. Growing up with her was a challenge, in the sense that her charisma embarrassed me, I Laugh now because of it. But when I would bring friends home to my home she would ask them if she can pray and anoint them with oil....AHH!!!! RUN. My friends grew to love and her, and even knew who they could go to and ask for prayer. The way this woman prays shakes the roof off. When she opens her mouth its like a thousand angels are present she prays with authority and gumption! When she prays you feel like her prayer was the one the one God did listen to even though he listens to them all. We are just convinced that she had to pray for God to do something.
Tuesday night as my Aunt Yvonne sat next to her at the hospital updating us at every event via email via text. I wrote an email to my aunt to please kiss my grandmother for me and how much I wish I was there to touch her aging hands. So much of me wished to be right next to her at this moment. She is in Florida and I am in Washington across the states. My aunt opened her computer to check her email while my grandmother slept peacefully. As she was reading my email to herself, my grandmother wakes up and says "Natalie, oh she was just here!" my aunt surprised at her sudden wake replies "No Mom Natalie is not here!" to which my grandmother replies "Yes she was here and she kissed me and said she loves me, she was just here!" My Aunt had to leave the room because she was overcome by this strange encounter. I spoke with my grandmother who asked if I asked God to do that for her. How amazing is that.
I have been in tears for two days my eyes are so puffy and red, my heart heavy with the knowledge that a great woman my hero will be leaving this earth.
Pray for Maria when you think if her, pray for our family as we have to say Good-bye.

Friday, October 3, 2008

This stud made 32 today!


Frank turned 32 today! I am incredibly lucky to share a union with this guy. This king of my castle rocks. 32 reasons why you rock my world! Beware: Will get Mushy!

1. My morning cup of coffee always ready for me, no reminders!

2. You never think twice about having all the kids all at the same time, its no problem for you.

3. You help with the laundry without me asking

4. You say "I love you" still at the end of a phone conversation

5. You like me and enjoy spending time with me over others

6. You clean out my car when I cant see the bottom of it,

7. and still love me when it gets dirty again

8. We laugh till we cry sometimes its therapy for me

9. You know my looks the "okay thats enough time to go" look the "help me out of this conversation" look, the "can you believe she just say that, on no she didn't" look.

10. You saw me in labor, and still think I am pretty!

11. You lied to me and told me I was prettier than Sarah Palin

12. You like my hair curly

13. You love watching the kids sleep

14. You lock all our door at night and when you ask me to do it, you still have to get out of bed because you have to "double check"

15. You don't get mad because I forgot to lock the doors just as you thought

16.You let me read things out loud to you all the time

17. Even other peoples blog you don't know and you think its cute when I cry as I read them

18. You giggle when I laugh at silly hallmark commercials

19.You cant get enough of Ruby!

20. You still are entertained by inability to keep a project

21. I love your routine you have to do every morning and every night

22. I love that your are a mad republican and you know your political facts

23. I love that you always put me and the kids first

24. I love that you are so selfless

25. I love that you remind me of the light at the end of the tunnel

26. I Love that you are a hard worker

27. I love that you Love God

28. I love that you are a tower for us

29. I love that you are my North Star never wandering

30. I love that I can think of 30 more things I love about you

31. You let me breathe without feeling guilty

32. I love that I have our children with you, I love that we will always have Hudson you and me babe!

Happy Birthday

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Green Halloween


If you know me very well you will know I am Green :) Not as much as I would like to be but for the most part I am a light green! Last year our family partook in Green Halloween and we signed up for it this year as well. Green Halloween was thought up by a Seattle mom who was tired of her kids getting sugary sweets at trick and treat time. She made a grassroots community movement that encourages families to offer things that are an alternative to sugary sweats for health benefits and also environment on the eve of the 31st. We made play-doh and green slimy geek last year ....it was not so poplar with kids out looking for one more sugar buzz so this year my kids asked us to NOT go Organic...sorry kids, cant help it. Check out Green Halloween and sign up to be a green friendly house!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Here comes trouble.....






Sometimes I, with the common mom annoyances, blame the boys for getting into things. For example the one afternoon I see my cash (because I am so rich, ha!) on the outsede of my purse and I ask out loud "Boys were you in my purse?" followed by the lecture " This is moms purse, its the one thing I ask you to stay out of etc". Then I get the response if you have kids you know the one "MOMMMM....ITS WASN'T MEEE!". My answer as I scurry to pick up the cash so Ruby does not get into it "then who was it...its sure not me, and I cant see Ruby getting into my cash." So I veru upsetly becuase no one has fessed up yet put my cash back in my purse and left it out as a booby trap for the the perpetrator, and catch them red handed..I did, and was put to shame! This morning I came across a nice pile of unused tissues all over the floor, "boys just take one, tissue, you know how this works!" again followed by the above response. To then embarrassingly finding myself returning to them in apologies because once again the sneak was their cute can't do anything wrong sister! Who moves very quiet like a mouse I must add. Having a face like Ruby's does pose some serious benefits, number one being how can anyone stay upset with her?

Monday, September 15, 2008

My son the Boy Scout!




My son is a patriot from the inside. He gets teary eyes at the national anthem, makes sure everyone has their hat off when giving the pledge. Even stood up when the American flag was brought out for the Summer Olympics opening ceremony. He indeed loves the USA. So we thought he would appreciate the boy scouts, that was an understatement. He LOVES the scouts. I think I saw a tear come down his face when he saw his uniform. And with a good behavior day he earned the privilege to wear it tonight with his first goal of raising money for his scouting community. I am amazed that today he raised $450 (with the help of grandma and dads work :)

The other fascinating fact about my now eight year old is that he is an entrepreneur at heart! He sells everything to everyone. At the age of 3 I lost him in our neighborhood, a small cul-de-sac but still very scary! I found him at the door step of a 90 year old neighbor selling a bowl of Cheetos for $50 bucks, a bargain! When our neighbor chuckled and said no, he dropped it down to 5! He is always coming up with something to sell or someway to make a dollar.

Tonight he went door to door in his very handsome uniform to sell popcorn. Can you imagine the look on our neighbors face when they opened it up and heard his speech, he gives it good too!

So look out your doors a scout may be coming to your neighborhood soon its popcorn time!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

We love Almaz


Ruby ready for the day with her matching doll!





Yesterday we drove south to Battle Ground Washington to have dinner with Almaz. Almaz is the woman that runs Hannah's Hope in Ethiopia. She placed Ruby in our arms for the first time. She is the most remarkable woman I know. I love her to pieces. She is passionate about the children in her home with almost 100 kids home in the US from Hannah's Hope Ethiopia she has remembered them all! Having Almaz walk up to a park with kids that's she has placed in homes left her very emotional with joy. I am sure that she even has a feeling of sadness she saw both sides of the story. For her she say a family that gave up a child in order to find care a sacrifice most of us may never have to experience or even in full concept are able to understand. Then she sees them here with families that have accepted them as though they were born from their wombs. Full acceptance. In the midst of all our celebration I also felt a unity a sense of belonging. We all have the same heart after orphans and it was nice to be in that company. Almaz was able to share information on us about Ruby's birth mom and took pictures on her camera for her to see them. I had a smile on my face the whole time being with these families, seeing all our children play. Even seeing the families waiting or in process meet Almaz for the first time was refreshing. We even had the privilege to meet Hannah herself. The reason All God's Children started. Her dad Ron Beasley the founder of All Gods Children was there the whole family was. We chatted with Ron and we were just watching her play with Ruby and he said "One Adoption=2000" what an tremendous way to look at it, so profund. I was in awe of Gods goodness from one girls vision! Can you tell I love our Agency! Can you tell I love adoption!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Js 8th Birthday

This handsome man made eight yesterday. We celebrated going to his favorite store (Cabellas) for dinner and the best part he got to pick out some fishing gear! This guy is all about fishing. This birthday is special especially because he was named after a great king in the bible who became king at eight. There was no king like him or after him so we told him this, I think it may have done the opposite effect than what we wanted :)! Happy Birthday you Rockstar!
Eight reasons why your top notch in my book:
1. You are compassionate
2. You make friends very easy
3. You are loyal to your friends
4. You love your brother even when you say he is annoying you
5. I am spechless about your love for Ruby
6. You are so smart
7. You are so patriotic you love America
8. You have great intention to obey sometimes :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Should I stay or Should I go!

A few posts ago I posted on my leap of faith to go and follow God's leading to South Africa on a mission trip in December lead by Jodie Howerton of Overlake Christian Center in Seattle. I took the leap to follow! So lately I have had some serious anxiety of the trip and thoughts like. 1. Why would I leave my family to take care of other peoples kids? 2. What if I die and orphan my children to take care of Orphaned kids. 3. What if I don't raise enough support, then I have to send all my money back to the wonderful supporters and feel extremely embarrassed. 4. What if this was not God? 5. What if I sink in quick sand, (my youngest sons fear!) 6. What if something happens to my father in laws health? 7. What if my mom can't help out? 8. Why would God call Just a mom, my ministry is to my kids first right!?
So its been so many of these thoughts of doubt that has kept me up at night in cold sweat. On my knees I have been with all this anxiety that if the Lord is wanting to stop me that He would not bring in any support or make it so clear that I will not go. I shared it with my friend Jen who just came back from Kazakhstan with her baby girl Alea. She reminded me that anxiety is not something God would want for me, so that I need to see the lies the enemy would want me to believe and claim Jesus' blood over them! Also challenged me to look at myself as Gods' vessel not just a mom! So I did just that and I can say that I felt a huge relief over me, as if a veil had been lifted off my head. So this morning I sent out 15 more support letters ( I have been having a hard time with this one too!) I went to the mail box and there was a letter with $ in it a good chuck too from a missionary friend in Uganda! Shannon is a good friend of a friend of mine and her family are missionaries to Uganda, I am inspired by her love for Africa! I was also reminded that this thought of mine in not selfish, for big reasons I must believe that my heart was stirred for Africa. How awesome is that?!! So I take it that God is still moving me there. Would you pray with me that if indeed I am to go that $1800 :) would come in by the 7Th of September!!! Oh and that I would Fear not!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hudsons 2nd year Home coming


Two years ago this day our sweet third son was taken from our arms. We miss him and although it gets a little bit easier as the passing days we always feel that something is missing. I see him in the face of every sweet baby boy, I see him in the face of kids with down-syndrome, and I even see him in the face of Ruby. When I think back on how his death has affected us, I am amazed by where God has brought my heart and how he has used his passing to ignite a fire in me for Africa. I know it seems like it has nothing to do with him. But really it has everything to do with Hudson, you see my Father has shown me how much my heart can really take. Setting foot on the African nation of Ethiopia and allowing him to break me for kids who seem to have no hope. My Hudson was that child the one that had no hope yet we were taught to hope in God for him. He passed away despite that hope but his small life on earth touched so many in ways I may never know. I miss him and love him and I rejoice in the fact that he plays with my Savior! Sweet friends if Hudson has touched you remember him today.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Family Camping Trip 2008
















We loved camping with our family so much we are making it an annual event. I must admit camping with kids is hard work! Oh my word! We did have a tremendous time with our kids and cousins. We played at the lake for hours and the kids found there new hobby fishing. The last day the kids made fishing rods out of sticks for the cousins that didn't have one, how Tom Sawyer :)! Fun times! We also celebrated Ruby's Love Day! The day we meet Ruby for the first time in Ethiopia one year ago!
Note: I was there I am never on camera because I am behind it LOL!!
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Pray for sweet Abby Riggs!!