Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Our backwards ways...

It's hunting season, which means we don't get to go to our other house on weekends because daddy is at the hunting camp.  So sometimes we do things backwards, we spend the week at the river and come back to this house on the weekend!  This was one of those weeks.  It's so amazingly quiet and peaceful out there.  We hang out inside, make a fire in the fireplace, read, play games, take nature walks, and the boys ride their four wheeler.  We also had the special treat of celebrating daddy's birthday out there this trip.  I cooked a great shrimp fried rice and dessert was this simple but amazing recipe for chocolate wontons!  A nugget of chocolate folded in a wonton wrapper and sealed, fried, and sprinkled with powdered sugar...yummy!  As you can see, Grace LOVED it!  (BTW, the shrimp fried rice and the dessert came from this book The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight's Dinner which I have loved--great and simple chinese recipes!)

Going there tends to wear us out!

I found out that Grace can climb trees...She'd get a ways up and then cry out for help.  Didn't stop her--she go right back and do it again!  She keeps me on my toes....

Life can be rough for poor Gracie...we don't even know what triggered this one!  LOL

Or this one...

While the girls were climbing trees, the boys found a chicken (not ours) loose in our yard.  They spent about 20 minutes trying to catch it!  Gotta give it to them, their persistence paid off.  The held it for a while and then we released it.

The moon looked very interesting.  This was taken at about 5:30 yesterday afternoon.   Really neat!

Same moon (LOL),  different view.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Chicken update

It's been a while since I did a chicken update, so I thought I'd let you know what's happening.  We hired someone to build a coop.  They build it on Wednesday and Thursday.  A sad turn of events on Thursday morning.  Jacob went out to feed the chickens.  He came running back into the house in tears and I knew...his hen had died.  How sad that she was so close to getting to live in the new and big coop...  She was his pet, she would sit at his feet and let him carry her all over without a fight.  He really misses her.

I have to ask, why is it that it's always the pet of the child who cares that passes?  Connor wouldn't have been broken up.  Same as when a gerbil was Shaoey's and she LOVED her gerbil and was crushed.  Connor's lives on.  But I digress...

Here the roosters (and kids) are in their new home:

We are expecting a shipment of 35 Rhode Island Red day old chicks around February 9th.  No, they're not all for us.  We are keeping about 15 of them.  I can't wait to get the call from the post office that they are waiting for us!  How fun is that going to be?!  I'll keep you posted!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sowing and reaping

I am in such a funk this morning.  I know it's permeating my family and I don't mean for it to. 

Lately I've felt like nothing was working out or moving forward in my life.  I want to sell the Sequoia and the Jeep (yes, my jeep... or what use to be my jeep 2 kids ago!) and purchase a 12 passenger van.  I want to sell this house and sort of downsize and move more into the country, small town.  My heart desires to adopt that special little girl who's paperwork isn't done yet.  I want to live in China.  

Yes, I notice there's an awful lot of I's and me's in there.  I realized I don't know if any or all of this is truly my husband's heart or if he's just saying it to appease me, he's that kind of sweetheart.  

This is what I emailed him-- "I guess my timeline is too short.  Sorry, feels like nothing is moving forward, like I'm stuck in a groundhog day.  Adoption, vehicles, house, China...  Not seeing any growth or movement in my life."  

Then I read my Proverbs31 devotion this morning... A Patient Parent.  Thought I'd share some of it that stood out to me.

"Don't be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God.  
You will always harvest what you plant." Galatians 6:7 (NLT)

*One of the most damaging choices a person can make is to give up too soon when faced with a failure.

*Paul used the analogy of planting to explain the principle of spiritual growth. He encouraged his readers to sow into the things of God, with the promise they would reap the things of God. In the life of a Christian we sow into God by how we think, speak, our actions, where we spend our money, and our time. These are investments in a God-honoring life, which reaps a harvest of blessing – but not in the same season. There is always a delay between sowing and reaping.

*What if you don't see results right away? That's normal. After a few days, the farmer doesn't get frustrated with slow growth and rip the seeds out of the ground. No. The farmer continues to water the soil, shoo the birds away, and pull the weeds. The farmer protects the seed until it has a chance to grow in its own time.

I know they were referring to raising a child, but so much of this can be applied to our lives, my life, in general.  I think I may have been right.  There isn't much outward movement right now.  I am in a season of sowing--sowing into my children (which has lacked with all these endeavours), sowing into my marriage and spending time with my dear husband seeing if our hearts are truly in tune and we have the same vision for our family, and most importantly--applying myself to intentionally drawing closer to God and building my relationship with Him and in doing so revealing His will for me, for our family, for our future.

This all goes hand and hand with what has stood out to me in my devotions--

*God does not open paths for us before we come to them...
*People who are God's without reservation "have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."  His will becomes their will, and they desire to do for Him whatever He desires them to do.
(From Streams in the Desert)

So while there may be no outward sign of growth, I know that God is growing me from the inside out.  Changing me, changing my heart.  For that, I praise God.  I know that there will be a season of due time.  I will not give up, I will press in closer to the One who loves me and who sees the big picture.  I will continue to prepare myself for the time when He does open His paths  to me.  I will continue to get to know Him so intensely that my heart reflects His.

God bless!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Latest bracelets to benefit SFCV

I received a few more bracelets yesterday.  I went ahead (with the help of my sweet models Shaoey and Grace) and took pictures of all I have left.  

Picture 1 (I have 2 butterflies and several of #4)

Picture 2 (I have about 5 of #2)

Picture 3

Picture 4 (2 of #1, 3 of #2, 3 of #5)

Picture 5

Picture 6 (too cute to put with the others--the only turtle bracelet I received!)

And this, this my friends, is one of the many children helped by SFCV/PHF through donations and sponsorships:
our very own sweet Gracie!

While selling the bracelets has been an amazing fundraiser and the funds will REALLY help the children, we really wanted to raise awareness of the children at SFCV.  SFCV runs on sponsorships and donations.  At this time of year, many people cut back on their giving to have money for other things... But the children are still there, the ayis (nannies) who love on and care for the children are still there, some still need surgeries, they still have NEEDS.  PLEASE consider making a donation or sponsoring a child.  For $35 a month, you will be one of 10 sponsors needed PER child.  You receive quarterly updates and pictures of the child you sponsor.   Please hop over to their site to see the children living at SFCV.  

p.s.  If you're needing a calendar for the new year, SFCV is also selling calendars with the children's pictures....  :-)