Monday, December 31, 2012

Brecken Down.




They really are giving kids too much homework these days.  

Friday, December 28, 2012

Dainty Donut Eater

She wouldn't want to get her hands dirty. : )

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6
Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Kansas Kids

A friend recently messaged me and asked several questions about adoption. One involved getting to the bottom of the orphan situation in Kansas specifically. It got me to thinking that maybe others wonder too. Everyone knows there are orphans and waiting children in countries all over the world. That is no secret. But what about Kansas? We don't have "orphanages" in the traditional sense that other countries do. We don't see homeless children on street corners and store backs like other countries. So, does that mean we don't have any? Where are they kept?

According to Adopt Kansas Kids, there are 850 orphans in Kansas right now. This means that they are ready for adoption at this moment. On top of that, over 1,000 foster kids are in placement across Kansas now. Many of those foster children will also end up becoming legal orphans.

Photo: Meet Gregg, age 16. He is a creative, active young man with a good sense of humor. He enjoys swimming, playing games and riding bikes. Gregg is very interested in cooking and learning about cooking. Someday he would like to pursue a career in cooking, possibly on a cruise ship. 

Photo by Kathleen Bishop, Bishop's Studio
Children who are God's. Chosen, beloved, precious and desired by their Creator. Yes, most are children who have experienced hurts and desertion but they are so much more than that too. They are resilient, hopeful and ready to be chosen by a mother and father here on Earth. They are creative, loving, gifted, and ready to take a role in a forever family.

That part about being polluted by the world? Oh my. What a yucky feeling. I fear I've been polluted by the world. I let it tell me that if something makes me uncomfortable then I don't have to do it. That others say I shouldn't disrupt birth order. That I need more space. That it will be hard to meet the needs of so many little ones. That we'll never go on another vacation due to size. That I'm going to be "that" mom in that too-big van. That I may never shower where I get to wash my hair AND shave in the same shower ever again. That if bringing in a child to my home makes me have to alter the way we've been living and the "perfect" little set-up that I've got going on right now then surely God isn't asking that of me. God, purge this pollution from me.

Here are some resources if you're interested in changing a life. Each of these pages has links to information on children waiting RIGHT NOW. I pray that our eyes will be opened to see them the way God sees them:

Adopt Kansas Kids

Adopt Kansas Kids Facebook Page

Kansas Children's Service League


(all kid pictures from the adopt kansas kids facebook page)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Giving and Getting

When the TV is on at our house I dread the commercials. Because that's when I know there will be two 5 year olds saying, "Oh! I want that!" and "Mommy, can we get that!"  There is something about this that grates on me so much. I know that it is natural. They're 5. They want everything. But oh, how I want to instill in them hearts of giving too. Christmas seems like a particularly hard battle. I fight to balance the excitement and fun of getting gifts with the obedience and joy of giving. I harp on being grateful and cognisant of the abundance we have compared to the loss and need of so many others. Really I just have to release and trust that the life that we live is placing them in position to learn to look outside of themselves and to see the hurt in the world around them. I hope that throughout the year, but especially at this time, that our focus on celebration and giving at home is equally balanced with giving in the community. Here are some ways we're placing ourselves in positions to teach our children this year.

We participated in Operation Christmas Child at our church. A very popular and child-relevant mission. The kids loved filling their boxes and now, when you pay on-line, you get a tracking code that allows you to follow your box on-line all the way to the county that yours goes to. My kiddos love checking in on their box and seeing that we didn't just hand it over to the church and that was the end of its journey.

We took a shift ringing bells at a Salvation Army collection bucket at a local Dillons.

I liked that the kids could see others giving. Typically all we see in the stores is people buying. Consumerism at its finest. Spending two hours watching people selflessly give was such a blessing.

We had each kiddo pick out a "birthday present to Jesus" from Samaritan's Purse's Christmas catalogue. They love flipping through the book and we read to them the need for each item. Taryn chose a sheep. Z picked some fruit trees. I picked for the little girls. : )

We filled "Blessing Bags".

I was so happy when I read this idea because there have been several times when we have seen hurting people standing at street corners with a sign. I wasn't prepared at the time and would think, I need to keep cash handy or I should buy some gift cards to have on hand.

I liked this idea even more because it meets needs and gives our kids opportunity to see how much we take for granted. Now each of our vehicles has a couple packs in it so we're prepared!

Talking with other moms I know I'm not alone in this internal struggle at teaching our children to value the giving as much as the getting. I know there are so many more ideas for placing our children in a position to see love played out. I would love to hear your family's traditions!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Longing and Peace

I feel this today and every day since last Friday. Anticipation, longing, desperation for the day that God will come back and take us from this pain. The challenge I'm fighting is to not give in to living by fear. What I'm reminded of by this terrible shooting is that my fear is an indication of misplaced trust and a false feeling that I have any real control over anything. I trust my children's school, just as those at Newtown did. I trust my church just as those in the temple shooting in Wisconsin did. I trust when I go to the mall that we will be safe, just as those in the mall in Oregon did. What a wake-up call that I'm trusting in the wrong things.

"Peace I leave you, My peace I give to you; NOT AS THE WORLD GIVES do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

What a gift. Did you catch it? Peace that is NOT as the world gives. Praise God because lately, the world has been giving very little peace. My heart doesn't have to be afraid. I get my peace from Him.

Creator, I believe that you made this world good and that humanity's choice to sin has corrupted that perfection. Sometimes I hate living in this world of suffering and brokenness. I long for the day when you break the curse and set everything right. Come, Lord Jesus!  - Nancy Guthrie

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Is there anything better than snuggling with a nakey baby?

Does every little girl dream of being Princess Frostine like I did? I overheard Taryn saying she wanted to be her the other day...

Is it crazy to want to clear her crib out of her room just to make room for this life sized bear because it was so stinkin' cute watching her try to lug it around the store?

Am I the only one who finds it disturbing that the show Friends is now on Nick At Nite? Isn't that station supposed to be reserved for Bewitched and I Dream of Jeanie? Can Rachel and Ross really be that dated? Sigh...

Is 1 year old too soon to be projecting my college preference choices on them?

Is it ok that I love watching her watch TV? She gets really into it.

Can I get a real swingset made these fun colors?

Where the heck are Max and Ruby's parents and has anyone considered calling CPS?

Is there a chance that she's got it too easy?

Will I ever be able to get a picture with everyone looking? Or even have everyone in the picture? Hmm...wonder where Brecken went to...
If you got our Christmas card you now know why I did three separate pictures.
Can I make her wear footie pajamas the rest of her life?

Should I be concerned that the second page in Taryn's latest book says I love Harry? As in Harry from One Direction. Isn't she a tad young for boy band love?

Is it sad that the best concert I've been to in years was free? And performed by these two?

Is it ok that I'm too cheap to buy a real race track and make my kids use masking tape for a road?

There will be a point someday when we can put the medicine away, right?

Have you fallen in love with Duck Dynasty too? Can you even begin to fathom that these are the same two people? Guess that explains where their kids got their dimples.

Well, those are a few of the unanswered questions rattling around in my head. Clearly some of life's big issues still yet to be resolved. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Free To Play

Children need the freedom and time to play.

Play is not a luxury.
Play is a necessity.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Game #1

Taryn had her very first basketball game the other day. She was pretty nervous. She was so worried that morning because she can't get the ball up high enough yet to get a basket. Bless her heart she sure tries with all those little arms have though! We talked about how being part of a team means putting together lots of talents. Like how she is good at dribbling so she can get the ball and do that down court then pass to someone who could shoot. It seemed to help some but she was still pretty nervous. : ) I felt nervous for her. I prayed she would enjoy it. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't care less if she is great at basketball. Or even that she wants to do it again ever after this season. I do want her to feel confident in her ability to try new things. To get a feel for what it's like as part of a team. To see how practice at home can translate to better performance on game day. To look stinkin' cute running around a court.

Ok, that last one was just an added bonus.

Here she is rocking her first uniform. It's huge. We told her that's how all the kids are wearing it.

#4 has my heart.

Here she is in her first huddle. I have a feeling she's just wondering what the snack will be after the game.
She's the littlest one. I just had a flashback to my childhood.
Oh, if only I could protect you from classmates daring each other to pick you up. Sorry baby girl.

Here she is running right.

Oh, and now she's running left. And as you can tell, my camera is a super quality one.

Here she is guarding. I think she's thinking that she could take that girl if it comes to it.

"Dare ya to try and get past me." That, or, "Let's hug it out for sparkly headband passions."
Pretty sure its one of those.

This is her dribbling. She's pretty good at that. It's good to focus on the positives.
Her real strength on the team is cheering. That girl can cheer for her teammates like nobody's business.

And twirling. I'm learning that sometimes the urge to twirl on the court is so great that one cannot hold back.
Game one was a great success.
Her Hornet team won and Taryn didn't cry once. I consider that a win-win.
And if you know Taryn at all you'll totally agree.

And now it's time to consider the very real posiblity that she won't be going to college on a basketball scholarship.