Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. and the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
I finished this book, Fields of the Fatherless, By Tom Davis this week.
My heart has long been with the fatherless, but he has such a beautiful way of expressing not only the need, but the command!
Yes, we are commanded to care for the widow, the fatherless and the poor!!
So the question is how are we going to respond to the command?
I challenge you to read it and see if your vision is not changed forever!!
In this world you are an orphan--
eagerly anticipating your adoption as God's child.
In this world you are a widow--
longing for reunion with your Bridegroom.
In this world you are a stranger--
a pilgrim waiting to become a citizen of heaven.
And in this world, God has called you to care for the orphan, the stranger, and the widow.
(From Fields of the Fatherless)
Friday, January 29, 2010
We are so very thankful for the man he has become!!
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I am not really highly gullible!
But my younger children must think I am!!!
These are the walnut 'hulls' the kids finished with yesterday!!! Notice any thing funny? Like all the actual----walnuts!
These are the nuts the kids brought in!!! Again, notice anything funny? Like maybe all those hard shells that are going to feel just great in your cookies!!!
Now I do recognize that they are just kids, and not to expect perfection......
But you also have to realize that these are not kids who learned a work ethic from childhood. You know when you have your kids help you carry something, or have them help set the table, or dry the dishes, or make their beds, it goes on and on. Actually with such high unemployment numbers in Liberia, post civil war, they saw lots of people sitting around doing nothing a lot.
So teaching that any job worth doing, needs to be done well is an important task for us everyday.
I love how God works things too!! This mornings Bible lesson was on Nehemiah returning to Jerusalem and encouraging the rebuilding of the walls and gates!! The people were content with a half way reconstructed Jerusalem, but that is not the kind of job God wants done!! Wow, what a precursor into our discussion on work ethic!!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Hannah and Grandma Becky making a puzzle!
Only to have Drew get up and dress you in his shorts instead!!
Seriously, I thought he had gotten over this dress up thing when he packed away his Davy Crockett hat!!!
Wasn't this the kid that was talking about college this weekend?!?
Well life is never boring!!
So this morning Caleb and I spent a good deal of time trying to teach Hannah how to add!!!
I must say we did not get to far--here is one of our discussions---
ME--Hannah if you have one dog and Caleb has two dogs...How many dogs do you have together?
CALEB--Hannah you only have one and I have two (holding up his fingers)
She could get 1+1 and that was about it. But a few weeks ago 1+1 was 11(eleven). So we are making progress.
Just part of the challenges of teaching a child with learning delays. I do still feel her delays are due to her early malnutrition. They may be permanent, they may not. So little is out there on the long term affects.
But what I do know, is that, I am very, very thankful that Hannah is our gift to raise!!!
I love my job!!!!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
So bear with me again while I post another article the the Medford Mail Tribune, and congrats again Drew!
Distance aces Jordan, Schaaf commit to WSU
They'll compete for coach Pete Julian, a former Ashland High running great
By Tim TrowerMail Tribune January 24, 2010
WSU RECRUITSDREW JORDAN: North Medford senior has won two straight Class 6A cross country state championships and this week was named the Gatorade boys runner of the year in Oregon.
WILDER SCHAAF: Ashland senior Wilder Schaaf garnered the Class 5A track gold medals in the 3,000 and 1,500 meters last spring, setting a meet record at the longer distance.
As an elite cross country runner, Pete Julian has been on trails the world over.
The recruiting trail, however, brought him back home.
In his first year as the head cross country and an assistant track and field coach at Washington State, Julian, who hails from Ashland, has received verbal commitments from two Rogue Valley state-champion senior distance runners.
Drew Jordan, a home-schooled student who competes for North Medford, and Ashland's Wilder Schaaf visited the school last weekend and have pledged their services to the Pac-10 Conference school.
Jordan captured the Class 6A cross country state title the past two years and this week was named the Gatorade boys runner of the year for Oregon.
Schaaf claimed Class 5A state track titles last spring in the 3,000 and 1,500 meters, setting a meet record in the former. He was slowed by illness in state cross country and placed sixth.
The emphasis for Jordan, who said the longer the distance the better he likes it, will be on cross country. Schaaf fancies himself more of a track runner, and will likely lean to the 1,500 or 5,000, he said.
They'll have the chance to develop under Julian, a four-time All-American at the University of Portland who followed that with more than 10 years of professional track and road racing. He won the 10,000-meter bronze medal in the 1999 Pan American Games and was on the U.S. world cross country teams the previous two years.
Before taking the WSU position, he coordinated the elite distance training group for USA Track and Field in Boulder, Colo.
Julian is restricted by NCAA regulations from commenting on recruits before they sign letters of intent, other than to confirm they've made official visits. Jordan and Schaaf will sign during a ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 3 at Ashland High.
However, Julian — whose brother, Bob Julian Jr., is the Ashland High cross country coach — did speak to the top-flight distance running here.
"There's some exciting, big-time athletes down in Southern Oregon," said Julian, who coached for four years at Metro State College in Denver before joining the Cougars in August. "They're going to make a huge impact at any university they attend. We were excited to have both Wilder and Drew on visits last weekend."
They were in a group of four Northwest runners who paid simultaneous visits. One other, Kyle Boe of Vancouver, Wash., committed as well, said Jordan.
Jordan also made visits to Oregon and Boise State, while Schaaf had a couple of NCAA Division III schools in the East on his radar.
Ultimately, they were sold on Julian, his program and the small-town atmosphere of Pullman, Wash.
"I liked everything about WSU," said Jordan. "Coach Julian is from Ashland, and he seemed to definitely know where I was coming from. When I talked about runs, he knew exactly what runs I was talking about. I definitely felt a strong connection. It felt like I was talking to my coach here."
Julian typically has a 15-man roster, which is much smaller than Oregon's, said Jordan, and should afford Jordan and Schaaf a better opportunity to crack the race lineup earlier in their careers. As in high school, college cross country teams send seven runners to meets and five runners are used in scoring.
The meet distances are 8,000 meters in the regular season and 10,000 meters for championship competition. High school races are 5,000 meters.
Jordan's goal is to make the cross country varsity as a freshman, but with five of the Cougars' top seven runners returning, he realizes "that will be a long shot."
WSU was ranked as high as 26th in the nation last fall and placed sixth in the Pac-10 championships. It advanced to the NCAA West regional but not the NCAA championships.
Jordan, whose winning time at state in November was 16 minutes, 10 seconds in miserable conditions, welcomes the longer college races.
"I don't have the best speed, but I definitely do have speed," said Jordan, who has gone 4 minutes flat in the 1,500. "But the longer the distance the better. I've run a couple of 10Ks on the road and love them. Even the 3K on the track seems too short for me. I'm looking forward to the jump in distance. I think I'm better at it."
Schaaf stormed onto the scene at the state track meet, winning the 3,000 in 8:42.17. It was only the second time he had eclipsed the 9-minute mark and was a personal best by 17 seconds.
He followed with his 1,500 win the next day in 4:02.64.
Although they're both from Ashland, Schaaf hadn't met Pete Julian prior to his recent visit.
"I liked it a lot up there," said Schaaf. "I was pretty amazed at how different is was from here. I'm excited to go. I like Pete a lot. He's a lot like Bob, who I get along with, so that will be good."
The other schools Schaaf considered were Middlebury College in Vermont and Haverford College in Pennsylvania.
But the lure of NCAA Division I competition won out.
"I think it'll be the same as high school," said Schaaf. "I'll start at the bottom as a freshman, and hopefully by the time I'm a senior, I'll be at the same level I am in high school now."
Both Jordan and Schaaf still have their senior seasons of track in which to compete.
Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, January 22, 2010
The Oregonian, January 21, 2010 8:41 p.m.
Drew Jordan - (Olivia Bucks/The Oregonian/2009)North Medford senior Drew Jordan, who won the Class 6A boys cross country state title and led the Black Tornado to fourth place at the state championship meet, has been selected the 2009 Gatorade Oregon boys cross country runner of the year.
Jordan won the Class 6A race for the second year in a row, finishing the 5,000-meter course in 16 minutes, 10 seconds. He also won the Southwest Conference title and placed 24th at the Nike Cross Nationals Northwest Regional championship meet in Boise.
Jordan, who is home-schooled, has maintained a 3.77 GPA accredited by A Beka Academy. He has also done volunteer work with a soccer program for disabled children.
Elliott Jantzer of Phoenix (2008) and Bryce Burgess of Franklin (2007) won the Gatorade Oregon boys runner of the year award the first two years it was bestowed. -- The Oregonian
Thursday, January 21, 2010
I was approached by friend from the adoption group about teaching a class at her church for the homeschool kids whose moms are attending a Bible study on Thursday's.
Of course, my first thought was--
No way-too busy!!
Oh my it has been soooo long since I have done this!!
So I found myself saying yes to 21 weeks of 1 1/2 hour classes with no curriculum.
What to do???
So of the seven kids I am currently teaching, all but one are adopted internationally or have at least one sibling who is........
So of course you teach a class on COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD!!!!
Some of the places we will be stopping are:
All countries represented by our small group!!
We started with Honduras and last we we had a sudden change of course to Haiti, to give the kids some idea of the area and people affected by the earthquake.
Today we studied......does our snack picture help?
We made Chapati bread and rice!
The kids had a good time and loved their chapati.
1 c whole wheat flour
1 c white flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
3/4 c water
mix it together and roll into balls. roll out with rolling pin. and cook on hot greased skillet!
Simple and fun!
I have been using this site to pull down information and worksheets that we are filling in.
Hopefully by the end of the 21 weeks the kids will know:
all 7 continents
21 different countries and where they are on a map
how to say "hello" in a few languages
what life is like in different cultures
what animals are found on different continents
played some games from around the world
tried some food from around the world
how they can pray for kids around the world
Today along with making chapati the kids wrote "hello" in Hindi and we tried to say it--LOL!!
And we talked about Sarah's Covenant Homes and how they could pray for the kids there!
So you can see I am enjoying it as much as the kids, and I am thanking God for the little push to get me going doing something I have always loved to do!!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I love all the engagement pictures (which I will be sharing a little at a time)!
We all need a reminder now and then of the wonder of our young love---and what better way than to be surrounded by it in your own daughters and their future husbands!!
I pray for them, many, many wonderfully blessed years, as David and I have enjoyed!
So I leave you with Danielle and Ryan and the Santa Barbara sunset!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced the provision of “humanitarian parole” for certain Haitian orphans. (check it out at this link)
This means that all those families who are in the process of adoption from Haiti will be able to immediately get their children home!!!!!
WooHoo for them and to the US government for getting this one right!!!
Monday, January 18, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
We were also blessed to attend our local Sanctity of Human Life Rally at our courthouse. It was nice to see a small crowd attending on this cold Sunday. Did you know that if a woman is considering abortion, that is she sees a 3D ultra-sound she is 70% more likely to choose life for her child? Wow, that number just amazed me! We will be happily donating to this wonderful project.
David and I as young parent with our first born, Danielle.
As the parents of a child from an unplanned pregnancy, we know how hard the choice can be. We have personally walked that difficult path. We have been shunned by our friends. We have walked alone as those in authority pushed for us to end the life of our child. We have walked into churches to have people turn the other way. We have heard the unkind remarks. We have heard people say our marriage was doomed from the start. We have parented at a young age and learned by trial and error. We have pinched every penny possible to make ends meet.
I thought long about posting a very personal issue, but as I stood there listening today, I was reminded how difficult it was and how it was people from the church who actually made it harder on us. I just wanted to use this opportunity to encourage you to be the one to make the difference in the life of someone in this difficult position.
When they find themselves in this position, it is not the time to judge or lecture. I promise you that they most likely have heard it all and more importantly have known it in their hearts already for a long time. Guilt they know, love is what they need.
As a couple who has been in this position, we can also tell you that we are very proud of all these women who choose life!! Choosing to parent a child is a difficult choice, but choosing to place your child for adoption is heart wrenching. It was not the choice we made, but we faced it.
Now as adoptive parents, we at times find ourselves in tears over the choice our children's mother made!! She choose life!!! Hannah would not be alive, except for the choice she made.
If we believe what we preach, we should recognize these women have made a wonderful choice for life, and we need to honor and encourage them in this amazing adventure they are undertaking, whether to parent or to place for adoption.
Show love as we have been shown love!!
Oh---and by the way we have been very happily married for almost 25 years, and our daughter that so many said was too much of an inconvience.....well she is a beautiful treasure who loves the Lord with all her heart, she will soon be joining her life to another to continue this wonderous circle of life!!
Was it worth it all?
You bet, we have NEVER EVER looked back!!!!
Saturday, January 16, 2010
So back this summer when I was preparing for my marathon, I presented a ministry that I was hoping to support with my fundraising--Sarah's Covenant Homes
I have so enjoyed supporting this ministry and watching the children as they change and grow under her care.
While I was training for the marathon with Nichele and talking about my fundraising, she mentioned her sister-in-law, Faye, was going to be going to India in January. I really did not know Faye at that time, but wondered if all the places in India to minister it would be the same place.
It was!!! Faye is now in India helping to minister to these special children. You can follow her progress here on her blog. I was overjoyed to be able to send some things with her that can be used at the homes in India.
Interestingly, Erinn and her friend Grace had traveled up to a fundraiser and ministry opportunity last year, I did not even know about SCH then, but that was who the ministry was.
You gotta love God's tapestry--the way He weaves our lives together into something amazingly beautiful.
Friday, January 15, 2010
That is the question of the weekend.
Drew is off on his last recruiting trip this weekend.
This is his top school at the moment.
We are praying for clarity in the decision.
I am thankful to hear of a fellow adoptive family in the area that I know through the blogging world. It is good to have input from a family close to the school, that knows the spiritual climate of the area too.
Interesting to think, that if God had not led us to adopt, we would be looking at an empty nest! That sound so boring!!
I am not excited to be letting my last born leave my home, but I know he is ready for it. I know it is what I have spent so much of my life preparing him for. I am thankful he is looking at a school here on the west coast.
After 2 weeks with my lovely foot friend, I am not feeling like I am any nearer the end of this!!
After injuring my heel training for the marathon, then running the marathon on it--pain of some degree in my right heel has become the normal! So after 3 months of "just wait, it is a bruise, or swollen tissues" --we opted for total immobilization.
It really seems to be helping till I was needing to drive the stick shift for a few days, which meant a lot of shoe time and heel on the ground to drive. So the pain is back even when it is immobilized now.
To add insult to injury while walking with this on I hyper-extended my bad knee on the other side, and it is totally swollen.
I am feeling like the walking wounded and icing both legs in the evenings!!
So there is all my whining--guess I felt like I just needed to get that out!
Have no idea where to go from here and the doctors seem about in the same place.
Praying for healing. Praying for peace in moment!
We were able to bring David's dad, Darryl, home from the hospital yesterday; and after a small scare and a quick trip to the doctors, we are happy to say he is doing well.
Here you see Caleb schooling him in the game of Stratego!!
Actually it was only Darryl's 2nd game and Caleb, in true Jordan form, did not go easy on his poor, recovering grandpa!! It took a while, but I think the Jordan competitiveness is becoming more and more ingrained in our youngest son's mind--I guess it has served most of the rest of us well!!!
So watch out world---when this one gets it, I have a feeling he will be a hard one to stop!!!
So can you teach a 90 year old woman how to do a puzzle, when she has spent most of her life avoiding them because she does not like them?
Yes, you get her sweet, cute, 6 year old great grand-daughter to sweetly ask her!!
Well I know why she does not like them, she does not get them! Seriously she can not figure out how to match the pieces up. This from a woman who paint beautifully!!!
So David was showing extreme patience helping her to find the pieces and hinting on where they go.
Then Hannah would jump in and show her what to do. It was fun watching my youngest daughter who struggles so much with learning to get a chance to 'teach'. Maybe she will be a teacher some day! She will definitely be able to empathize with the child with learning delays.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I thought I would pass on this information in case anyone was looking for a way to make this tragedy a little more personal to help their children pray for this country.
I believe they are all safe, though shaken up. They are presently preparing for an influx of children from this disaster.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Erinn and I enjoyed a girls night away on Friday. We drove to Roseburg and had dinner and watched 'Blindside' with my mom. It was a great movie, even a second time!
We headed up to Eugene the next morning to a bridal show. Talk about overwhelming! Did you know the average wedding the the US costs between 15K and 25K???? I don't know about you, but that is not what we are going to be able to do, especially twice over in the same year. Plus I believe a beautiful wedding can be done for less and that it is all a big game in the industry.
We took lots of ideas from the wedding show though and had a good weekend together.
We are presently looking for a church that will rent to us without breaking the bank! Danielle will be getting married outside at a private home in the hills around here. Erinn is looking for a site, due to the fact that our church meets in a gym and is not a real pretty sight for weddings. Back to the calling churches---some churches won't even talk to you, others will only do do if you are using their pastors and their counseling (we are using our own), and some are in the $2000 range just to rent their facilities. We are praying for some place to come available at a reasonable price soon, as so many of your ideas are based on location.
The other priority is the dress. Thankfully Danielle has purchased her dress. She was able to get a great deal from someone who bought the dress she wanted then did not use it. My mom is presently making alterations on that dress. Erinn has found a dress she loves and is in the process of trying to find it at a reasonable price.
I am praying this whole process will draw us closer together as mother and daughter and sisters.
I keep trying to find the fun, even in the stressful moments. Like beautiful flowers, fun table settings and good food.
So as things set presently, the score is:
save the dates ordered-1
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
* I got to catch up with my mom in a nice long phone call!!
* I got to talk wedding dresses!!
* I got to talk wedding decorations!!
* I got to talk wedding flowers!!!
...getting the picture!! LOL
* I also got a complete day of homeschooling done!!
* I helped Drew complete a Gatorade Athlete Scholarship application.
* I did laundry!
* I did the planning for a short class I will be doing with homeschoolers during their parents Bible study--It will be a trip around the world...more on this later.
* I am working on the ironing!
And then the unexpected...
* I also scheduled doctors appointment for my father-in-law who will be coming back through for and unscheduled medical delay before heading back to the Philippines and their ministry!!
And then the continuing...
* I restarted some 'motor memory' work with Caleb...more on this in the next few days.
Life is good--Life is busy--Life is changing---And I wouldn't change it for anything!!
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
We had a complete day of schooling with no where to go!! Only a couple of meltdowns and no interruptions!!!
I can almost see my desk for the first time in two months!!! I got----
*Grandma's bills done
*Grandma's files cleaned
*Grandma's checkbook done
*Our bill done
*Our files cleaned
*Our checkbook balanced
*New files set up for weddings
*Responded to our 5th child inquiry where the child was placed right before we called!!!
*Scheduled for a co-presentation on teaching our kids to be racially and disability sensitive
*Caught up with a good friend on weddings and kids
*Worked on some scholarship and college stuff with Drew
*Graded all Drew's school he did over break
*Cleaned out the desk drawers
All this and my house is relatively clean, my kids are relatively happy and my family ate 3 meals today!!
Praising God for the amazing feeling that comes from a day of big accomplishments!!!
Now praying for a good night sleep, which is not easy coming with a husband with a cough and cold---I spent last night on the couch with the dog!!
Sunday, January 3, 2010
This is the theme that I will be endeavoring to adopt for this new year! Those who know me, know I like consistency, and routine. I believe this will be a year that will stretch me in areas I have not even begun to think about!!
David will be continuing with his Masters in Management (MIM) program a the local university. He is also continuing with every physical activity he can prod his body into---we are abundantly thankful for the health he continues to have and for medication to keep things under control. He is the hardest worker I know and I am so amazed that I have been blessed to have him as my husband!!!
Danielle and Ryan are planning to be wed on June 5th at an outdoor site here at home. Ryan is presently looking for a job after his year long deployment with the National Guard in Kosovo. Danielle will continue to work at the Reagan Ranch as a Curatorial Assistant.
Erinn and Michael are planning to be wed on July 3rd in a church wedding, which will probably be much larger, as both families are from Medford. They will then be headed to Fort Hood, Texas where Michael is stationed with the army. At this point it looks like Michael may be again deployed in the fall and Erinn would return here to finish her last two terms at the local university to get her degree in Anthropology. But with the army, nothing is ever certain.
Drew is always keeping us running, forgive the pun!! He is presently narrowing down his college choices for the fall. He will be enjoying his senior year in track with his eyes on the state championships and hopefully junior nationals. His graduation date is set for May 15. He will most likely be heading out to school about the same time Erinn is returning if the army stays on schedule.
Caleb will be continuing to work on his sensory integration issues. We are so excited about the improvement we are seeing. We will also be working on some new ideas with listening and responding and also with helping out Hannah with some of her lessons.