Sunday, June 23, 2013

this and that, more ramblings

Lets see.... what have we been up to lately.... we've been to the beach quite a bit. It's been beautiful weather here for a while now. The kids love it, and Georgia and Calvin are still a bit cautious (that's a good thing). We've spent some time at the inlet, which is where the river joins with the ocean, and there is a lovely tidal pool there. Still lots of sand to play with, and swimming, but not the constant waves, and worry of the undertow, and riptides. The other day we were there, and while I was out swimming a whole school of little bait fish came through. They were tiny but were jumping and it was out of nowhere. I could feel them hitting my skin, and I Freaked.Right.Out! LOL I started for shore, all the while yelling somethings touching me! I'm pretty sure it was an entertaining show for the other people around. I know my kids enjoyed it. Later that day, Olivia was swimming,saw something dark, and thought it was seaweed, but then she realized it was a manatee! There ended up being a couple of them. We also caught quite a few hermit crabs, but released them all ;) Last week was Vacation Bible School at our church. I wasn't sure if Calvin and Georgia were ready or not....they do go to class together on my Bible study morning, but I just didn't know. I was prepared to stay with them, if they needed me. They amazed me though. Gideon and Calvin went together into the 3's class. No problem, and Georgia went with Vivian. She was proud that she was Da (Big). They had such a good time. I ended up helping in the crafts room, and was able to see them when they came in for their craft times. They were happy to see me, but happy to leave with their class and go to the next part too. My boys all had a great time in the older classes, and Olivia was a helper for the first time this year! She did a wonderful job. I finally got my hemoglobin level up enough again to give blood for my little sweetheart. She'll be getting transfused tomorrow. It took iron pills, steak, drinking kale juice, and lots of prayer, but it worked! Georgia and Calvin had their urology testing last week. Ultrasounds, and post void testing, and Calvin also had to have a test where they placed a urine catheter and then inject dye and takes lots of xrays. He was so brave. It ended up being a super long day, with no naps. Olivia and my niece went with me, to help with all four little ones. They were rockstars! As soon as we got everyone back in the van, the four little kids passed out and slept the 1.5hr drive home. We ended up having to go straight to VBS, no time to even stop and let the dogs out! All that was worth it because all the tests came back normal. That is huge with two children with spina bifida! Georgia is already potty trained, but Calvin isn't. The Dr. said we can go ahead as he is ready! Such a blessing. We are prepared to deal with whatever comes, but for their sakes, I'm so thankful everything in that department is working well. Sunday was a big day, as it was not only Father's day, but also Hamilton's 9th birthday! He is such a sweet soul. Kind, and sharing. Quiet, but thoughtful. I took the children all to the park last week to take a picture for Michael. They did well considering trying to get 8 children to pose for a picture, and and hold signs is nigh unto impossible. We were going to play at the park, and we gave it a good try, but it was so so hot. It was over 90 and humid and just miserable. We gave up and headed for home. Sunday, was church, and we had ovenfried chicken wings and celery and blue cheese for lunch. Michael's choice. We had nacho pizza, and double decker giant cookie cake for dessert for Hamilton's choice. He went shopping with Daddy for his present. A soccer ball and art supplies. Then home to play soccer, and then late night swimming. It was a very good day.
Calvin was on a mission, lol.
Gideon loves the water
Gorgeous girl.
Abram is so full of life. All the time :)

A treat after her transfusion!
Getting Mommy's blood, we were both excited, sorry it's blurry.
First night of VBS
Could she be any more beautiful?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Today's her birthday a day we celebrate the birth of my best friend, my confidant, my one and only true love, and my gift from God to make it through this world.  There are so many words that I could use to express the endless number of ways and things Joy has and does daily just to keep our family and household functioning.  She does this day in and day out, some days are amazing to the see what she accomplishes in such a short time and others are just the opposite but she always stays focus on the bigger goal ahead and without complaint moves through the day regardless of the smoothness or bumps.  For this alone she deserves about a year long vacation on a quite tropical island resting.  But the reality is she see past the temporary pleasures of life that we often seek in our lives and desires to do more for others and His kingdom.  For this reason I am most blessed and thankful to have her in my life for without the patience and loving ways of Joy waiting almost six plus years for a stubborn and strong willed husband to understand and open his heart to the wonderful gift and picture of Christ that adoption IS.  When Joy first came to me about adoption and her heart breaking for these children without families I was so not interested and actually pretty set against the whole idea.  I mean really we already had four wonderful children and had already been blessed more than most.  But then she really made things interesting when she said she really felt we were being called to adopt from China...CHINA! I was like absolutely not!  I had many reason in my mind not to adopt in the first place but then China was the last place I would want to adopt from for what now seems like crazy misguided reasons.  Needless to say and saving a very long story her patience and gentle persistence to follow her heart helped me to clearly see and agree that we were called to adopt and from China as well.  This small thing as it really is small in the scope of the bigger picture of our lives and the rest of the world has been one of the most rewarding and uplifting experience I almost missed, but thankfully on June 13th 1974 a wonderful person was born into this world and then raised by both a mother and father who taught her to love the Lord and follow his path whatever the cost.  To Joy's parents whom played a large part in the women Joy has and is today I say thank you.
So to summarize my thoughts of this exceptional women I will just simply say what I don't enough "THANK YOU JOY I LOVE YOU!"

One last item that has been on my mind to write about is an amazing song by Audio Adrenaline "Kings & Queens" This song since the first time I listened to the words speaks so clearly the heart and direction the Lord has given us all as Christians if we want to see it.  Here are the Lyrics and a link to the song on YouTube...Joy also recently made a video of our three beautiful children and the adoption photos set to this music and it is so moving when put to our real life experiences that I almost cry each and every time I watch the video and think of all the other children left in these orphanages around the world and such a need for the Church to stand up and follow His Word and make these types of images and needs a thing of the past.  We need to stop following just some of the teachings in the bible and ignoring others that take us away or out of our comfort zones. I as Christians have been blessed to be adopted by Christ and now to be part of the adoption of these three unbelievably amazing children that after just four short months of being home with us have already blossomed and show such potential when given a chance to be and have a family.  

  "Kings & Queens"

Little hands, shoeless feet, lonely eyes looking back at me
Will we leave behind the innocent too brief
On their own, on the run when their lives have only begun
These could be our daughters and our sons
And just like a drum I can hear their hearts beating
I know my God won’t let them be defeated
Every child has a dream to belong and be loved

Boys become kings, girls will be queens
Wrapped in Your majesty
When we love, when we love the least of these
Then they will be brave and free
Shout your name in victory
When we love when we love the least of these
When we love the least of these

Break our hearts once again
Help us to remember when
We were only children hoping for a friend
Won’t you look around these are the lives that the world has forgotten
Waiting for doors of our hearts and our homes to open

If not us who will be like Jesus
To the least of these
If not us tell me who will be like Jesus
Like Jesus to the least of these

Boys become kings, girls will be queens
Wrapped in your majesty
When we love, when we love the least of these
Then they will be brave and free shout your name in victory
We will love we will love the least of these
We will love the least of these
We will love the least of these
We will love the least of these
We will love the least of these
We will love the least of these 
These lyrics are spot on to Christ Word and our duties as Christians to follow as it is written in James 1:27 (Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.) What else can I say about something that has already been said through Christ himself in his Word except that I can tell you from my own personal experience nothing and I mean nothing I have ever done in my short Christian life so far has been such a blessing to me personally and in my walk with Christ to humble me, direct me, and ground me back to a place so that I can see his will and direction instead of mine.