Monday, December 28, 2009

revolving door

Our home has been somewhat of a revolving door since the middle of October. As soon as one batch of company leaves, I have just about enough time to wash the sheets, clean the bathroom and restock the pantry before the next group arrives.

We have been blessed with lots of visits with family and friends over the last 2 months. We just said goodbye to some dear friends this morning and we are anticipating a visit from Chuck's uncle tomorrow. We had Chuck's parents here for a week in October and again for Christmas. My sister and her family were here for just over a week for Thanksgiving. And we were able to squeeze in a visit from a college friend for a few days.

We have had a great time, but needless to say...we are a bit tired. I am sure everyone is tired right about now. Christmas is over and packed away...and we are ready to get back into a normal routine for school. We have been extra busy with adoption stuff and we haven't had much of any time to take a breath.

I still have very limited internet access and that is why I haven't been online blogging or staying in touch. Sure miss staying connected, but we haven't had a lot of extra time anyhow. I hope you all had a great Christmas season and are staying happy and healthy. Hope to post some pictures soon of all our enjoyable Christmas holiday.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Still here...just not connected

I have been so busy and haven't had time to update the blog these days. Plus I haven't had internet connection so I have been completely cut off from the world. We have also sold our car (yay!!! so we can use that money to help fund our travel to Africa sometime this spring). Without a car, we have been a little stranded and not connected.

On a positive side, we have had fun making lots of christmas gifts (homemade ones are the best). And yummy baked goodies. Oh how it feels like Christmas here. We just haven't been very motivated to get our school work done or do any needful.

I just wanted to let you know we are still here and doing just great. Hope you are having a great Christmas season and are safe and healthy.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saint Lucia invites you to breakfast

This morning we were greeted by our sweet girls in traditional fashion with breakfast in bed on Saint Lucia Day (December 13). Over the past 5 years this has become one of our favorite family traditions. The girls plan and prepare (with Grammy's help) to rise early while it is still dark and prepare breakfast for the family.

They enter our bedroom in the dark with only their lighted crowns shining to light the way (don't worry - battery tea lights make it safe). They dress in white gowns and a red sash and say "Saint Lucia invites you to breakfast". Each carrying a tray with breakfast goodies.

This year was extra special because they prepared the breakfast all themselves. They only needed Grammy's help fixing their crowns and setting the alarm. My, oh my, how our little girls are growing up.

Click here and here to see them in years past. Click here and here to read a little about the history of Saint Lucia. Just wondered if any other family out there celebrates Saint Lucia Day and how they do it?

Monday, December 7, 2009

jesse tree - advent - getting ready for christmas

We have really enjoyed our time together as we have been preparing for Christmas. And I don't mean buying gifts and making cookies. We haven't even started any kind of shopping or baking. That will come in time.

We are trying to spend a little time each day doing family devotions in the evening as we celebrate advent. We read our verses and short devotional and light the candle. Like any busy family, we miss a day here and there, but we make it up when we can. It is nice to have a purposeful time each day to focus on God and His word.

This is our second week of Advent, and our family celebration night included family time at home watching an old Christmas movie. The girls are not feeling great so a night hanging out at home was just perfect. We watched the old Christmas In Connecticut movie (a favorite of mine).

We have also been working on making a Jesse Tree. Also a way to count down the days for Christmas, but with visual pictures that help retell the story of the Bible. We have not done a Jesse Tree before, so I googled some ideas and decided to print some pictures and use the verses from this site HERE. I was trying to do this in an easy way rather than "make" our own ornaments with felt or sewing, I just printed them and the girls made a tree on paper. I have the ability to make things more difficult for myself so I was determined to make this easy for all of us.

Each day we put an other ornament on the tree that represents different parts of the history of Christ and the Bible. We were a little behind so we have done more than one ornament a day, trying to catch up.

Maybe it is the educator inside of me that LOVES things like this. This is such a great way to have the kids learn Biblical history. Tristen pointed out how it is all connected and part of one big story.Right now our kitchen door is displaying this tool we are using to learn more about God and His history.

I love being purposeful and spending our time on things that we find a lot of value in. If the Jesse tree works well for us, I might make some cute ornaments out of felt for next year. You my spare time. =)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

catching up

We have been busy...and I mean BUSY around here. As I sit here and write this post, the family is conked out on the couch watching Cinderella (well ~ Chuck is snoring and not watching much). I think we needed a day of rest. It feels like a long time since we have had one.

We had lots of excitement and holiday celebrations in the past few weeks. We had a nice time with my sister and her family during Thanksgiving. They were here just over a week and all the cousins played and played and played. From football outside to Wii golf indoors to letterboxing to playing at the park. We had an active week. There were 11 of us in all for the Thanksgiving meal and most of the evening diners so the dishwasher got lots of use (couldn't have done it without all the help in the kitchen ~ thanks!!).
The girls helped make our rolls for our meal. It is always a joy to serve with them in the kitchen. I love teaching them to bake and cook. This year we made cloverleaf rolls with our traditional recipe. YUM !!

The kids watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in the morning and worked on a craft at the same time. I made a quick turkey collage for them to do. My kids had so much fun on the one we made for the reptile project we wanted to make another one.

My 3 nephews were here and the girls enjoyed having cousins around. My sister's youngest is the same age as Tally. All of them are fun to have around.

It really was a fun time for Thanksgiving with my family. We are pretty tired from all the action around here and I will have to post more of catching up from the last few weeks. The girls worked a yard sale table yesterday and I posted that on the adoption blog with an update of our funds so far. Feel free to go and check it out. HERE

We have also had other holiday parties and activities going on and I will try to post pictures soon. Just trying to catch up and get some much needed rest at the same time.

Hope your weekend has been great. Enjoy the second Sunday of Advent.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Peace because Jesus is my HOPE

I have a peace this week. In all of the excitement and chaos and roller coaster ride from the holiday and having family here and getting our referral...I have peace. A peace that comes from trusting in God and resting in the truths of His Word.

I was so blessed by the prayer from our Advent devotional book. I shared it on the Sweet Pea blog but I wanted to share it here.

O Lord, help me to see Your future possibilities in spite of the limitations of the present moment.

This week for advent we have been focusing on Jesus being our HOPE. I can stand firm in knowing that Jesus is my HOPE.

Our prayer is that God will provide $10,000 in 10 days. My human doubt says I can't figure out how that will happen, but I don't need to rely on that. I am trusting that God will do it in His perfect way. We are trying to sell our cars to get to some cash and God has already provided another car for us to use when we need it. How cool is that??? I love how God works.

We are already seeing God providing in so many ways and I desire for this to be HIS story and not mine. For Him to get the glory. So thank you for being part of God's plan. Whether by giving or praying or being encouraging and supportive. We are so blessed.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

We got a referral !!!

2 Precious boys ages 4 and almost 2. And when I say precious...I mean....PRECIOUS. They are just about the cutest things ever. We are SOOOOOO excited we can hardly stand it.

We are on the fast track on this adoption. We only submitted our application 3 months ago today. First things first - have the international pediatric office review the file and give us a report.

We have about 10 days to get all the paperwork done and get our money turned in. And it will be a miracle from God to organize all of this. I can see how His hand has been all over this already. He needed this to go quickly so we could be ready to accept this referral. Thought we had about 6 months to raise the rest of the money...but God will provide.

I hardly slept at all last night. Riding the excitement wave. =)

Stand with us

We have had a busy holiday week with family and lots of celebration for Thanksgiving. I hope you all had many things to be thankful for this year. My list of gratitude continues to grow. I can't wait to post pictures of some of our goings on and our visit with my sister and her family.

We will get back into the swing of things this week as our family leaves today. I feel like I need to get back to schooling and take advantage of the few weeks before the Christmas break.

Just very quickly I am asking for my blogging friends to PLEASE pray with us in these next few days. We have seen God working in amazing ways (looking forward to sharing more). I will share details as soon as I can, but we are praying that God provides in a big way in the next week. I can see clearly how His hand has been on our family both here and in Africa and that His timing is perfect.

Trusting in a mighty God. Stay tuned for details....