Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Day at the Doctors

What a day!!!:)We went to the doctors today...which, by the way, I truly have the best doctor ever! :) Not only is he our doctor but our dear friend and an elder in our church! My heart was so blessed when we went in and he had a whole plan of action for what tests needed to be run on the boys, etc...from the research he had done! Thanks Dr. Taylor for everything!

Faith made the trip with us and I am so glad she did. She tested positive for strep throat...poor wonder she has been so miserable! I am praying that her prescription kicks in quickly and she is feeling more like herself tomorrow! The boys received a physical from Dr. Taylor and he discovered something with Caleb and his little boy parts that needs some further investigation...nothing super serious...but I'll fill you in more when we know more. So, we'll be headed to see a Urologist soon which is just fine because we would have ended up there at some point to have the boys circumcised. (In case you are wondering...we have had some great advice on the subject and have decided to go with that advice which is to "make them look like Daddy"...and also, the whole cleanliness thing we have a feeling would be an issue later on :) Sorry if that is too much information...but maybe one of you out there will or is having to deal with the same thing :)
We all took pictures while we waited in the room!

Other than that, they checked out very healthy!!! So, it was on to the blood work. Samuel took it like a trooper...not one tear! He informed me through "sign language" that it was no big deal! :) Caleb freaked out and cried the whole time!:) Then it was back to the room to wait for immunizations. The staff was amazing...but I'll be honest, it was awful. Samuel had to get 4 shots and Caleb 3. It never seemed to be a big deal when my other kids were babies...sure, they cried but it was over so quickly. I held Samuel and he just sobbed, calling out for me even though I was right there holding him. It was the first time I cried over any of my kids getting shots. I couldn't explain to him exactly what was happening and they just kept coming. Caleb was already crying by the time Samuel was done and I had to literally hold him down in a big bear hug while they gave him his shots in his legs. Samuel was still crying. I'll tell you this much...Bryan is going with me for round two next month...someone needs to hold our dear boys till the tears stop! :)

I'm so glad it is over...but, even as I look back, I can't help but giggle at the sight of Caleb leaving the doctors office (pockets full of candy from the wonderful staff!), walking like a penguin...stiff legged! We still have stool samples to deal with (now that will be a story to tell! :) ) and we have to go back for their DTP shot on Monday but I think the worst is over for now and we will just wait for the results. Dentist appointments are next week too!

On a completely different note...but a literal "note" at was a joy to hear the name of Jesus proclaimed in song both in English and Ahmaric today! I pulled out the DVD that I had gotten at the Christian Book Store in Ethiopia. It was a DVD of children singing Bible songs and the boys were SO excited and new every song by heart. I can't help but think they must have had the same DVD at the orphanage or something...they even knew the hand motions! I truly believe it was a huge encouragement to Samuel...he was singing out with a big smile on his face! Thank you Lord!!!!
Caleb is enjoying our newest CD just as much as the rest of us are! Sovereign Grace Ministries has nailed it again with another FANTASTIC children's CD called "To Be Like Jesus". The words are wonderful...and I can't tell you just how precious it is to hear little Caleb singing word for word "I want to be like Jesus" and other phrases from each song!!!

Lord willing,(depending on how Faith and the other kids are feeling) we are headed up to visit my parents where they are camping (we got a motel for two nights) and we are really looking forward to spending a couple of days with them as well as together as a family! I think the key is not so much where we are but that we are together. I'll let you know if that theory is way off or not when we get back :)

Bryan has been given permission to not wear his brace anymore!!! Still physical therapy though! He met with his doctor yesterday and it was really neat....I guess the conversation his doctor had with Bryan's physical therapist before Bryan's appt. was more about our family and our adoption than his knee!:) It was just a reminder that we are sowing seeds all the time!!!

My girlfriend emailed me this verse yesterday that is just beautiful and I think I'll close with it (and thanks so much to the rest of you and your sweet encouragement over yesterday's difficulty! Today may not have been the easiest, but my spirit was at rest and I know many of you were praying for...thank you friends!!!)

"The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail." Isaiah 58:11

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Coming up for air! here is me being completely was the hardest day since we have all been home together. Faith is sick...a constant fever (thankfully, it comes down with meds), an upset stomach, sore throat and headache...poor thing feels miserable. Samuel and Caleb have their first Doctor's appointments tomorrow and I am hoping our doctor can take a peak at Faith's throat too. I am also praying that she will be well for her surgery next Friday (she is having her tonsils and adenoids removed).

Samuel seems to go through episodes of sadness and it just breaks my heart. It's not that he cries...he just doesn't talk and he looks so sad. It's not all the time, but when I see it creep up on him my heart just aches. I think he feels lonely. He was a very social young man in Ethiopia...everyone seemed to know who Samuel was! And now, here he is, unable to truly communicate with us on his age level (our communication feels more like on a 2 year old level right now) or to fully understand the things that are going on around him...from movies, to CD's, to family devotions. I know it is just a season, and I know that it will get better and he is still so full of life...but when those moments come I can do nothing more than hold him, tell him I love him and I am so glad he is my son and then just cry out to my Heavenly Father to meet my precious son where he is at!!! On a more chipper note, I crack up every time I hear him say Grace's's a tongue twister for both he and Caleb and comes out sounding like "Gooyace"! :) He calls her name often and Grace has blessed my heart over and over again with her servant's heart in keeping an eye on Caleb, riding bikes (way more than I know she would like too) with Samuel and just plain ol' setting aside her desires to meet other needs!

Today was also cleaning day and I have realized that it is going to take WAY longer to clean than I ever planned for (I am starting to think I might have to make a night out of it!). One of our two bathrooms that normally takes about 5 minutes to clean took over 25 minutes with all the interruptions! :) I can smile about it now but, I will be honest, I had to do some serious heart checks and crying out to the Lord earlier!

And then I realized that I had to figure out my homeschool curriculum order ASAP so that I could send it in to our charter school so that they could process it and order it for me. There was also the curriculum I needed to order myself because it would not be covered by CVA...not to mention that as I was thinking about the fact that homeschooling would be starting in less than a month I could literally feel the ulcers eating away at the lining of my stomach!:) I had to remind myself to not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself (Mathew 6) and that God's grace is sufficient!!! :)

As I look back on today, there are many things that I could do nothing to Faith's sickness and Samuel's sadness...but one thing that needs to become a fixture is our old routine and that includes rest time in the afternoon!!:) One of my goals in keeping a routine has always been to stay one step ahead of the kids. Right now, without the presence of a schedule/routine, I find myself about 5 to 10 steps BEHIND all of them...and they are almost always going in different directions and leaves me very lost and overwhelmed...or, in other words, exactly where I was today...trying to come up for air but feeling like I was drowning!!! :)

But, therein lies the beauty of the Gospel...the beauty of Christ in us (in me!). Even on days like today,because of Christ, I can echo the words of Paul(though I am only beginning to learn the depths of them) when he says in 2 Corinthians 4:7-10:

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

How great is the Lord's salvation!!!

I picked up Charles Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening" meditation book last month ( I hadn't read it for almost a year) and it has been blessing my socks off by way of encouragement!!! The morning meditation from a couple of days ago hit the bulls eye and I thought most of you could relate and be encouraged as here it is! Happy Lord's Day!!!

“Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.”
Exodus 14:13

These words contain God’s command to the believer when he is reduced to great straits and brought into extraordinary difficulties. He cannot retreat; he cannot go forward; he is shut up on the right hand and on the left; what is he now to do? The Master’s word to him is, “Stand still.” It will be well for him if at such times he listens only to his Master’s word, for other and evil advisers come with their suggestions. Despair whispers, “Lie down and die; give it all up.” But God would have us put on a cheerful courage, and even in our worst times, rejoice in his love and faithfulness. Cowardice says, “Retreat; go back to the worldling’s way of action; you cannot play the Christian’s part, it is too difficult. Relinquish your principles.” But, however much Satan may urge this course upon you, you cannot follow it if you are a child of God. His divine fiat has bid thee go from strength to strength, and so thou shalt, and neither death nor hell shall turn thee from thy course. What, if for a while thou art called to stand still, yet this is but to renew thy strength for some greater advance in due time. Precipitancy cries, “do something. Stir yourself; to stand still and wait, is sheer idleness.” We must be doing something at once—we must do it so we think—instead of looking to the Lord, who will not only do something but will do everything. Presumption boasts, “If the sea be before you, march into it and expect a miracle.” But Faith listens neither to Presumption, nor to Despair, nor to Cowardice, nor to Precipitancy, but it hears God say, “Stand still,” and immovable as a rock it stands. “Stand still;”—keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long ere God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, “Go forward.”

Saturday, July 25, 2009

We have added to our family again! :)

I'll make this post quick as I have a date night with my husband...a rented movie and ice doesn't get much better than that! Plus, I actually think we will both be able to stay awake for the whole movie! :)

The picture says it all...we bought a Suburban today. A 2003, 91,000 mile, nice and big Suburban!!! It was a blessing how all the pieces fell together. Friends from church have a friend who owns a used car dealership, let us know about the Suburban...and after doing a bit of investigating, we realized the price was very good. So, today we went down (all 8 of us!) inspected, test drove and then spent a couple of hours filling out paperwork and waiting for loan approval. I am so thankful that the dealership had a room with a TV in it, a kids movie to watch and candy! :) They did beautifully! :)

We are so thankful for the ways in which God provides... we are going to keep our van and hope that all the leaking it is doing and all the blinking that our dashboard is doing does not mean that it is about to breath it's last breath!:)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Confessions of a mom of 6

We have officially had the boys home for one week and have been a family of 8 living under one roof. I'll be honest, the first few days we were extremely tired but I saw much of it as a challenge...and I love challenges!:) But, this challenge, unlike others, does not have an ending point (or at least not one for more than a decade!) and I have been hit with the reality of 6 kids, 24/7, for as long as the Lord gives us...and it no longer feels like a challenge but more like someone asking me to jump over the Grand Canyon...I just can't do it! Can't do it, that is, in my own strength. Through this most beautiful of life changes, God is once again reminding me - in HUGE ways - that HIS strength is perfected in weakness and I can do all things through Him who gives me strength and that I can rest confidently in the fact that God will complete the good work He started in me and in our family IN SPITE of my sin and my failures!!!

I don't think I have ever heard the word "Mommy" used so many times in the course of a couple of minutes as I have in the last week. I feel like I should have one of those "draw a number" things they have at the meat counter in grocery stores attached to my hip so that everyone can come and draw a number and then wait their turn until I can get to them!

And don't even get me started on the bathroom...I have seen pee in places that I have never seen it before and there is only so much I can do to "show" them exactly where we put pee in the Pichura home...I'm trying cheerios tomorrow and after that they are all Bryans!!! And I would like to know whoever thought up the words for pee and poop in Amheric. Pee is "shint" and poop is "caca"...not the best word choice if you ask me! That is the new language we will be working on for the coming week!:)

After one full week, we also have a rough tally of how much food (certain items) we will be going through every week. Here is the statistics for one day:
-approx. one loaf of bread a day
-one box of cereal a day
-two gallons of milk every three days
-one Costco size tub of jelly (I'm guessing it will be every week and a half!)
The jury is still out on many other items as I have not had to make dinners yet (what a blessing!!! The thought of adding that to my plate is still a little daunting! :))

We still are praying for some good nights of sleep! We had one...we know there must be more somewhere! Last night we thought would be one of them but around 10:30 the power went out (until 7:30 the next morning!) and without central air we really count on our fans working to keep the air at least moving. I ended up sitting on the front step around 2 in the morning just trying to cool off!:) And just now, as I was planning on heading to bed as soon as I finished this post, we went to go and shut the garage door and we found a dog in our garage! :) I tried to drive it home (thanks to an address on it's tag, but no working phone number) and no one was I came home, grabbed some paper, wrote a note, went back to the house to leave it...and we now have a dog in our garage and are praying to NOT get a sunrise phone call!!! :)

I pray that in the midst of this chaotic post you do not see a whining, complaining woman...but one who is overjoyed to be a mommy of 6 beautiful children, who wouldn't trade it for anything, who doesn't look back with one moment of regret but looks in thankfulness to her Savior...but a woman who is also trying to be transparent about life in hopes that what shines forth is not ME, but JESUS CHRIST Who lives in me!!!

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I know live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

An Amazing Journey

I think this will be my longest post yet...but I wanted to keep the flow of our trip going...and, well, I just wanted to get it all down. I have no problem talking for great lengths of time, so I figured typing for a while wouldn't be too hard either!:)

We headed to Seattle Friday the 11th of July. Our flight left Saturday morning at 7:30 so we had to be to the airport around 5 am and it just seemed easier to go the night before. My brother, Paul, met us and drove us to the hotel as well as to find a place to eat. We slept really well, considering, and we were on the shuttle by 5 am. Those flights were the longest I had ever been on, I ended up reading two books (you can never hear the movies anyway!) and sleeping very little. Ethiopian Air proved to be great and we were very thankful for the service they provided!

We arrived in Ethiopia Sunday night around 7:30 pm. We all clapped as the plane touched down! Getting our visas took the longest (over an hour) and I would say we were in the airport about 1 hour 45 minutes from start to finish. The process, though long, was fairly simple. Bryan was able to go and exchange some money into birr while I waited in the visa line.

We were driven to the Ethiopia Guest House along with two other couple we had been blessed with the opportunity of getting to know them better while we waited for our flight in D.C. It was such a wonderful way to start the beginning of our long flight overseas! We wished we had had even more time with them (they were placed at the other of the two Guest Houses) but we are so thankful for the time we did have and the sweet encouragement they were! Anyway, it was almost 10 pm by the time we arrived and we quickly took showers and headed to bed.

We woke up around 6 am Monday morning to the Muslim's call to prayer being blared over loudspeakers...all I could think is, "You have got to be kidding me...don't you people sleep?!!!!" :) I spent my own time in God's Word and had a call to prayer far different than those listening to the loud speaker...and, of course, started feeling my heart beat a little faster knowing that we would meet the boys in about 4 hours!

We met the other couples at breakfast and then waited excitedly for the van to arrive to take us to the care center. The ride over,
we had our eyes peeled outside...taking in the sights of a land our children were born in but would quickly forget (we took lots of pictures to help fight that!).
And, of course, there were those thoughts of wondering what it would be like to meet them for the first time...would they run to us? Would they run away from us? Would they recognize us? Would our reunion be one we'd remember forever or one that we would want to forget?

I laugh looking back on those thoughts. When we pulled into the driveway of the administrative offices and parked,
a door was opened up and kids came streaming out. It was not personal, it was actually a bit awkward, but it was also so beautiful as we looked for glimpses of the faces that have been etched upon our hearts for the past year!
I saw Caleb first and quickly closed the gap between us...our hug was brief and he quickly turned and ran away, seeking the comfort of those familiar to them. Samuel stayed by our sides. His face showed the fact that he knew this was where he needed to be but his eyes were watery and my heart ached at the uncertainty I saw there.
Samuel was SO affectionate, though, and that really helped to bridge the gap and my mommy's heart took full advantage of every hug and every kiss. Caleb was on the move from the first moment...back and forth, back and forth.
I think we "lost track of him" at least 3 times in that first hour! :) We spent the following hour giving them their new sunglasses and Boston Red Sox hat's (of course!) and playing soccer with them and thanking the other families who were well prepared with bubbles and cars and other things we never thought to bring!

We filled out the necessary paperwork, handed over the money that was due CWA and the Embassy and then set out to go visit the care centers (one for the boys and one for the girls) that Samuel and Caleb had lived in for the past 5 weeks. Samuel led the way...and, since I was holding his hand, he pulled me along to the front of the "pack" very quickly.
It blessed my heart to see how familiar he was with all the kids and how they seemed to love him back just as much...lots of hugs and goodbye's. They showed us the bed they slept in...but there was no desire to sleep there again...we could see it in their eyes and their demeanor.
The care centers were clean and neat and full of nannies that clearly loved the 50 plus kids that were in them.(CWA and CWAE is doing an AMAZING job! We are so thankful God lead us to them as our adoption agency!!!) There was one little 18 month old baby that Samuel took me too to "introduce me". The little guy was sitting in a baby chair and as soon as I got close to give him a hug he grabbed my hand and didn't let go. Truthfully, I didn't want to let go either. I still get tears in my eyes at the image I have in my head of that moment. Praise the Lord, he will be going home to his new mommy and daddy soon...but all I could think is...Oh, Lord...can we do more? (I am not sure Bryan holds my sentiment...but we both feel that we are not done with Ethiopia...whether it be simply financial aid or something greater).

We spent the rest of the day at the Guest House just getting to know the kids. For us, it was great having the other families with their kids there too as we were able to see them "in their own element"...playing, talking, laughing.
One thing we learned quickly is that they were not shy!!! It was a blessing to have staff at the Guest House that spoke both Ahmaric and English...they were often our translators! In fact, the first night after we laid the boys down, I went up to check on them and Samuel softly said one word...I immediately headed down the stairs repeating the word over and over in my head (what if he was sad? what if something was really wrong and I didn't know how to help him?).
I got to the reception desk and repeated the word to the gal. She got a smile on her face and said, "Candy...He want's candy!" Boy was the joke on me! :)

Tuesday was Embassy day...and I had to keep preaching to myself that God was in control and His plan for that day would not be thwarted by any human efforts or missing paperwork.
He would accomplish exactly what He had ordained, whatever that might have been. We were all picked up around 2:30 pm, took the long ride there, went through two security check points (just like in the airport) and then we were ushered into a room to wait until our name was called. We couldn't believe it when our name was called first...I prayed all the way up the stairs...and within 5 minutes the documents were signed (they asked for nothing else but our signature!)
and we were holding birth certificates in our hands with promises that the visa, passport and other important papers would be delivered Thursday before our flight! I was stunned how simple it all was after all we had prepared ourselves for! We continue to rejoice in God's grace and mercy in that specific situation!
We still had to wait for the rest of the families to have their names called (another hour and a half) and I was grossed out watching Caleb crawl around the floor with his car LICKING the wheels whenever they looked dirty to him!!! But, he was quiet and that is what was needed and of utmost importance while we waited! :)

Wednesday morning we took the boys with us to Acacia Village(if you haven't taken the time in the past to see exactly what it is, please click on the link!

We are so excited at the work, passion and desire of CWA to help families and especially, to help Ethiopian families (specifically the moms) so that these precious kids can stay were they belong the their own families!). Although there is nothing much to write home about...we were so excited to see the first building going up and we were so glad we made the trip! Plus, the boys LOVE riding in a car (macina, macina...that's what it is called in Amheric and that is the shouts we heard every time we got into the van!).

That afternoon we both felt comfortable enough with how the boys were doing for me to leave and go shopping with a couple other ladies from the Guest Home.
What an adventure. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love deals...but the whole bartering thing just left me flustered. One of the gals who came with us, Kylie, (was not adopting but was a friend of one of the couples who was adopting and joined them for the week (she is working on a military base in Djibouti, Africa))was a lifesaver and so much fun to watch as she bartered for us getting deals I never thought were possible! I have some images in my head that I will never forget from that fun outing! And the driving...whew, you could not pay me to drive over there!
Our driver, Getcho, was great!!!

One thing we never thought much about in going to Ethiopia was what our stay would be like at the Guest House...or, more specifically, what type of impact the people that we stayed with would have on us. I never could have imagined such a sweet blessing...or such a great impact. The couples we spent time with were not only fun but they loved the Lord and He shone bright in their lives.
It was not always the easiest being crammed into one house, seeing our kids go to other people with more delight than they came to us (Caleb!), but there was a sweet, calm peace that was so visible just in clinging to the fact that God has called each of us specifically to this adoption, these children and had ordained even the moments we were there! We have gained friendships that I pray remain till we meet again in eternity! And, we were so blessed to find out that one of the couples lives near Seattle...only a couple of hours drive away from us! Their newly adopted son and our boys and a lot of fun playing together and we are looking forward to getting together ourselves soon!

Thursday was our day to leave...but not before I got to meet Bea's (the precious Ethiopian gal who lives in Seattle) sister and brother.
They took us ( a couple of the gals at the guest house came with me!)to a cafe for coffee and smoothies and then we went to the Christian Bookstore which was so neat! I brought back Bible books for the boys in Amheric as well as a music DVD of praise songs (and some other stuff). It was a real blessing to meet them and share that time with them.

We spent the rest of the day packing and just waiting...I think, by that point, we were all ready to get home! Our flight left at 10:15 pm and the boys ended up staying up until about 1:30 in the morning before crashing.
Caleb was completely fascinated by the light buttons and the "call" button...not a good fascination to have on a night flight. As you can guess, it ended in tears...his, not mine! :)

They truly did amazingly well on the flights. Once we landed in D.C. things started going down hill a bit(picture Caleb whining in the loudest voice possible, "Boo-boo" over and over and over again while we waited for our baggage in customs. Don't forget to picture the pairs of eyes that kept looking over at us staring like DO SOMETHING...that little stinker ended up with his second lollipop and a bag of popcorn from an Ethiopian man working in Customs!)...but we received some sweet encouragement in the form of a visit from my Uncle Steven, Aunt Sharon and cousins (and a friend) while we waited!!! They live about an hour away from the Dulles Airport and it ended up working out GREAT to be able to see them and for them to meet the boys. The last flight was a bit that point we had been up for about 38 hours and the kids were getting tired of sitting down! Praise the Lord it was only a 5 hour flight!

On the flight we kept showing Samuel and Caleb pictures of their siblings, repeating their names in hopes of a smoother transition. And, the whole time we were doing that...MY anticipation of seeing them again kept rising and rising! By the time we got to the escalator and knew they were at the top, my eyes were full of tears! I cannot thank my friends Tyffany and Stacey enough for bringing them down to Seattle to meet us (nor can I thank the Taylor's enough for keeping them safe and loved the week we were gone!!!). The reunion was so special!!!

We met up with my brother's Paul and David and his wife Michelle...along with Bea and her daughters and (thank you so much Michelle and David!!!!) had sandwiches in a park right off the highway from how we would get home. The kids all got a bit of time to stretch, play and get to know one another. By the time we got into the car to head home they had their arms around each other in the car and the air was filled with giggles and laughter the whole way home! Not only was it beautiful to our ears but it helped keep us both awake! :)

We returned home to balloons on the door, all the kids laundry being done, weeds picked around our house and my garden, food on the counter, in the fridge and in the freezer (does the body of Christ get any more precious than that?!!!!:))and hearts that were so thankful for the gift God had given to us in the children He has blessed us with!

"The Lord watches over the sojourners; He upholds the widow and the fatherless...Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; His understanding is beyond measure...Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being!"

Psalm 147:5, 146:1-2,9

Celebrating Adoption Together

If you look at the left sidebar, I made a change...I took all the families that we stay in touch with and feel so blessed to call friends (several from our trip to Ethiopia)and made a section just for them entitled "Celebrating Adoption Together". In fact, a couple of them are doing a much better job of recapping their trip then I have, seeing how I have not done it yet!:)

I am praying that the Lord will use our story and theirs to continue to tenderize all of our hearts toward the beauty of adoption...however that may look in each of our lives!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

From bee stings to bike riding

Our day was full but not overwhelming! I still have yet to put together a post on our trip to Ethiopia...but bear with me, it will come! :)

Before I get to today...I wanted to share a picture with you from yesterday. Last night Samuel stood at the chalk board and wrote out ( a few backwards!) the beginning letters of the alphabet...I was so excited...I just had to share it with you! Today we went to the park with some friends from church...note to self:bring a towel next time we go to mop up Samuel and Caleb's faces...I have never seen so much sweat before!!!
Poor Caleb was stung by a bee while we were there...but thankfully, it does not appear he is allergic to bee stings! :)

This afternoon was pretty eventful, too! Samuel was just determined to ride his bike and he kept trying and trying and trying and trying...and he finally did it!!! He is ready for the road!!! I went out there to see the progress he was making and couldn't believe it when I saw Grace tightening the bolt on one of the training wheels for Caleb's bike. She literally put both training wheels on his bike all by herself! I never knew she had a mechanic's brain inside her pretty head...but I am going to have to enlist her help way more often from here on out!!!

On a side note...I just got a book in the mail yesterday called, "Womanly Dominion:more than a gentle and quiet spirit".
It's the newest "Girltalk" book that they will be discussing and they always have great picks so I am looking forward to diving into into it! I'll be honest, reading has taken a backseat lately...I have not even been able to read the two latest copies of WORLD magazine which is one of my favorite ways to catch up on the news (from a Christian perspective) and something that I typically read from cover to cover! Part of me starts to feel that if I can't do all that I want when it comes to reading...why bother doing any! But the Spirit keeps prompting me that, even when time may seem to be short, I still need to keep up the discipline and habits of those things which encourage my walk with Christ...even if the length of time I do them is not what I might like it to be. Anyway...that's my rabbit trail for the night! :) See you tomorrow!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hitting the Road! :)

Well, today we made our first trip to Walmart! We have been so blessed with meals from our church family (for about two weeks!!! plus lunch and breakfast supplies!!!) but there were still some odds and ends that I needed to pick up. I don't think I can ever have enough bananas in the house and, while the boys do an amazing job of washing their hands and face, I have never seen so much water all over my bathroom we picked up a bath mat. Their skin seems to be constantly dry so we picked up a new product, some milk and DONUTS!!! (Samuel was very confused by the "custard" in his donut when he bit into the middle of it....I couldn't figure out how to explain that there was filling in the donut he wanted:) and Caleb wanted nothing to do with his donut...oh well, at least he ate lunch!:) They really have been doing well with eating and I have been thankful that they have at least been willing to TRY the food before pushing it away. They may not fully understand...but they will catch on...that when they at least try the food, then I am very happy to give them bread or bananas instead (which they like very much)...but if they are not willing to try it...they get nothing! They are so sharp and are picking up on thing really quick!!!

I mentioned before we left for Ethiopia that we were going to reread the booklet by J C Ryle, "The Duties of Parents". Well, I did that but I also want to keep reviewing it. I believe it will be a huge encouragement especially in light of our adoption and all the questions that keep popping up in my head. If you are interested, here is the first directive that I am going to be meditating on for the next couple of days:

First, then, if you would train your children rightly, train them in the way they should go, and not in the way that they would. Remember children are born with a decided bias towards evil, and therefore if you let them choose for themselves, they are certain to choose wrong.

The mother cannot tell what her infant may grow up to be- tall or short, weak or strong, wise or foolish: he may be any of these things or not- it is all uncertain. But one thing the mother can say with certainty: he will have a corrupt and sinful heart. It is natural to us to do wrong. 'Foolishness,' says Solomon, 'is bound in the heart of a child' (Proverbs 22:15). Our hearts are like the earth on which we tread; let it alone, and it is sure to bear weeds.

If, then, you would deal wisely with your child, you must not leave him to the guidance of his own will. Think for him, judge for him, act for him, just as you would for one weak and blind; but for pity's sake, give him not up to his own wayward tastes and inclinations. It must not be his likings and wishes that are consulted. He knows not yet what is good for his mind and soul, any more than what is good for his body. You do not let him decide what he shall eat, and what he shall drink, and how he shall be clothed. Be consistent, and deal with his mind in like manner. Train him in the way that is scriptural and right, and not in the way that he fancies.

If you cannot make up your mind to this first principle of Christian training, it is useless for you to read any further. Self-will is almost the first thing that appears in a child's mind; and it must be your first step to resist it.