I like what Lisa has to say at MountainTopMemories in her post entitled passionate politics. I also like what Courtney, at Storing up treasures in Heaven has to say here . Please take a moment to read both of these well thought out posts, which also include facts on our presidential candidates that many may not be aware of.
This weekend, we decided to take a trip to Portland, Oregon, to visit our crazy friends, Dave and Gwen, pictured above.
They also have two precious girls, close in age to ours, so the kiddos had a wonderful time playing together.
Lilyann and Kayla are only a month apart, and enjoyed the weekend together.
On Sunday, we got the girls ready, and drove to Roloff farms, yes, THE Roloff farms, of the "Little People, Big World" t.v. show! We are fans of their show, and I think since working with children with special health care needs for so long, when this show came on, I was immediately attracted to it. In fact, about 11 years ago when I first started working in pediatric occupational therapy, one of my first patients was an adorable little 2 yr old girl with dwarfism. The Roloff's live only about 10 minutes away from our friends. It was crazy driving in, as you can imagine. They only open their farm to the public during pumpkin season.
I had no idea if we would see any of the family members there, but after we parked, Jeremy was one of the first people I saw. He was coming down from the house, and he jumped on this tractor, and started taking large groups of people on tours around the farm!
Here's a photo that gives you a better idea of how many people there actually were there. It was a beautiful, warm, October day yesterday.
One of the first things we did was to get in line for a tour. The tour began by taking us up around the front of the house. Here is their newly remodeled part of their house. Gorgeous!
Here's the front door area, that you see a lot on the show. One of the things the tour guide told us is that they are actually filming 5 days a week, 11 months out of the year! That was a bit shocking to me, I never thought they actually had to film them this much!
We wound around back behind the house, where they stopped to let us out at the western town that Matt built. Molly was there waiting, and people were free to go up and get pictures taken with her. She was very sweet.
This is a little church built next to the old western town.
Here's part of it, the old post office. This was a very well built little town, and very fun for kids to run around and explore. The girls loved it!
Here's a better view of it. I am amazed at the level of creativity Matt has, and how his visions became such an amazing reality around his acreage.
We then got back on and rode past the pirate ship, and Molly's castle, before we arrived back at the pumpkin patch. As soon as we got off, I was surprised to see...
.... Amy! She was standing down in the pumpkin patch and there was a long line of people waiting to take a picture with her.
She was sooo nice! I just love her. She really liked Lilyann and started talking to her, she wanted to know where we were from, etc. I even gave her a flyer from my workplace. It is something I think Matt would be very interested in because it is very much like their farm, built to be engaging and interesting for children. For example, our elevator looks like a mine shaft on the outside, and inside as well. As the elevator goes up and down, through the glass there are "jewels" for the kids to look at. Our front desk looks like a covered wagon, and our therapy pool looks like a pond in the middle of a farm yard. I invited them to come and visit!
They had a lot to look at around the pumpkin patch. This was the pumpkin funhouse, with lots of little rooms filled with a hilarious pumpkin family.
Night, night baby pumpkin!!
Big daddy pumpkin is taking a bath.
There were a lot of unique and interesting pumpkins to look at.
Miranda made a pumpkin train. We had spent a long time here, and it was about time to go, so we started walking to our car, when....
Matt Roloff himself came driving down from the house in one of his farm vehicles. He got mobbed. There was a camera crew following him around, as you can see here, and lots of people ran up to him and wanted their picture taken with him. He was very gracious. He would take a picture, and then was only able to pull forward about another foot before more people wanted a picture. He did this several times. At one point there was a man with his son around 10 yrs. old. As Matt was talking with some people, the son had enough nerve to jump in the seat next to Matt while the dad took pictures. Matt never even noticed, because he was busy trying to deal with the people to his left.
Then, we noticed their youngest son, Jacob. The only family member we didn't see was Zach.
Then, it was time to go....what a fabulous experience! This is one pumpkin patch outing I will never forget!!
Sue over at Praise and Coffee sums it up so well. Please take a moment to read her post titled, "I vote for Life". I am astounded at the amount of christians that are voting for someone who is for abortion, as well as partial birth, late term abortion. Our country is one of the only countries that allows this horrific act. So many people have been led to believe that this "option" is one they are entitled to, and that it is a choice they can live with. Many people do not realize that those who have had abortions are living with the pain and regret every day of their lives. I cannot imagine standing before God one day and trying to explain why I voted for someone who does not support life-and the miracles of His creation. Whether my vote wins or not, my conscience will be at peace.
I pray that christians out there will not allow fear of an uncertain economic future to be at the forefront of their minds this election. I pray they will make the right decision.
Fall outings to the pumpkin farms are the best! Miranda found the perfect pumpkin to carve here. After this we enjoyed a hayride, pumpkins being shot out of cannons, and homemade pumpkin donuts at this place!
This was Lilyann's first time to the pumpkin patch. She found this pumpkin and went up to it to touch it with one finger.
I also love fall because that's when our snowberry bushes are in full bloom!
Fall decorating is my favorite!! Here is our table centerpiece we've been enjoying this year.
Now that the leaves are falling, we'll have big piles of leaves from the maple and cottonwood trees. The girls love going for rides in the garden cart. Pretty soon we'll be able to dump them out into the piles of leaves! Last year we missed out on this because we were in China, all the leaves fell while we were gone, and it was too cold when we got back to go out and play! Our leaves didn't get raked up until spring. This year we will be enjoying ourselves outdoors as much as possible.
There is a christian radio station here I love to listen to. They are commercial and advertising free, but occasionally they play a funny little christian related commercial. There was a new one on that made me laugh, however, it actually has a serious message attached.
It started off with organ music playing, then you realize there is a funeral going on. Then you hear some guy going "psst, psst" to the lady in front of him who is actually the widow of the man who died. The guy asks her (in the middle of the funeral ceremony, with organ music still playing in the background) if she knows if he might be mentioned in her husbands will? The widow politely asks if he knows her husband, and he states that no, he was just wondering if he might have been mentioned in his will because he is such a good person. He goes on to say that he pays his taxes on time, and other good deeds he has done. She then explains that the recipients of the will are only her husbands relatives. At this, the man starts talking in a very frustrated tone about why he cannot understand why noone ever puts him in their will, he just doesn't understand it, he is so good and everything!!
By the end of this I was laughing, but realized what a great example this is because there are so many people out there that truly believe that they are saved and will be going to heaven one day because they are basically a "good" person. I have talked to many people who believe this and it makes me sad! They truly do not know what the Bible really says about this.
It is really simple.
The Bible states in John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
It is not "being good", or even "good works" that get us to God, and get us to heaven. It is coming to Jesus. It is repenting of our sins. It is acknowledging that He died for us. It is believing that he is our savior. Then we will be in God's "will", or eternal life, living with Him one day in heaven.
Please bless me with more patience!!! This sweet little one is requiring this of me today. Help!! I don't have all she needs. I need your assistance in this, Lord! Amen!
Miss Lily has not been feeling well. She seems to be coming down with one cold just as she is kicking another. This latest one left her with a bad cough. Today the cough seems to be at bay, but I now have a little girl who is glued to her mama. She will not let go of me without going into a screaming fit. She has literally been attached to me all day. I seriously thought about taking my hip carrier out again. She just wants to lay on me. If I try to put her down, she whines and begins to cry. I got a phone call earlier, and tried to set her down, and she wouldn't have it. I finally had to, and she lost it. She just wants to lay her head down on my shoulder, and rest. She just doesn't want to let go. She won't do anything with her sister. She only wants me to hold her. She is very sleepy too. Poor baby.
It is a beautiful fall day here, the sun is shining and I hear my DH pulling up (Thank-you Jesus! He does answer prayer!). I think I will hand little one off to him and go for a walk, I'll have more patience when I get back, rejuvenated and refreshed!
Lately, I have been missing China. With fall officially here, it reminds me of all we were going through last year at this time. We were getting ready to go! We were making last minute preparations, getting plane tickets, and getting really excited to go get our baby! It is almost hard to believe that our 1 year anniversary since being blessed with Lilyann is almost here. I really wish we could hop on a plane and go re-live the whole momentous occasion. Just like in the fall of 2001 when I gave birth to my now 7 year old, there was something very magical in the air. In China, it was so much the same way. Yes, it was a very different experience, but just as magical and special. I miss the sights and sounds of China, just being in a foreign land is exciting to me! I miss the special people in our group who were all there to meet their children for the first time as well. I miss the whole experience! Can I go back? Please? Please? We would have stayed longer if possible, but all good trips, must come to an end. Well, I guess I will have to just start planning a 2nd China adoption (Shhh! Don't tell Jeff!). Really, it would take a miracle for us to financially come up with a way to do it, but I do not at all doubt God's amazing power!
In the mean time, I will rest, and relax and be content with the beautiful miracles the Lord has blessed us with. I do not take this job lightly, it is such a blessing, and I pray that I can be the mother they deserve!! I also pray for China to begin speeding up their method of matching their orphans with families, and that more Chinese orphanages would participate in the international adoption program. It is hard to believe that only a small majority really do participate. And my heart goes out to all the orphans of the world. May God comfort them until they are united with a Mommy and Daddy!
To enter to win a wonderful farm gift basket, go here!
Lately I have been amazed at all the amazing blogs there are out there. I love so many different kinds, adoption, farm, primitive, decorating, crafty blogs, and more! They are all out there, any blog for any interest! I could read them all day, but I can't! So, I have to pick and choose the ones I like the best, and most of all manage my time so that I am only on the computer a little each day. Ideally, I will only spend time on the computer during the night when the kiddos are sleeping, or once in awhile during quiet time, if the housework, and schoolwork is caught up!
It was time for Lilyann's first haircut! Miranda needed one too. She has grown her bangs out, but decided she was ready to have them cut again! She asked the stylist to make her hair curly, and below you'll see that she got a little more than she asked for! Here's Lilyann getting the first snip, she did really well!! Nothing like Miranda's first haircut when she was 2. I have the cutest scrapbook layout of her first haircut, but she looks so sad and pitiful, with big tears streaming down her face. Not Lilyann. She LOVES having her hair done. She brings me things she finds around the house to do her hair with, and she stands very still until I am done! Curly with Neon stripes, now this made her smile!!! Not something she gets to do every day, that's for sure! Lilyann even got her hair curled, after her bangs were cut, and she didn't want to come down from the Seahorse! What a fun time!
I have wanted to do a weekly meal plan forever, and I finally did it! It was so much easier than I thought. I sat down with some cookbooks, and wrote out two full weeks of dinners I will make for my family! I then went shopping and got all of the ingredients I will need. Here is my very first menu of dinners for the next two weeks. I started yesterday!
Yesterday: Spaghetti squash with spaghetti sauce-this is a great way to get your kids to eat veggies if that's an issue in your house. The first time I made this, it took awhile before anyone even realized the spaghetti was not pasta!! And its yummy!!
Today: Quinoa with curry blend
Green salad with yellow pear tomatoes
Wednesday: Bean burritos made with homemade refried beans
A day to myself in the fall is almost a perfect day!! The temp. was cool, there were some clouds in the sky, and the air smelled of fall! I got outside in the garden and picked a bowl full of scrumptous little pear tomatoes and a zucchini. I then walked through the yard, played with my two baby kittens a bit, and got really excited when I saw some of the yellow leaves falling from the trees. I talked to a couple friends on the phone, worked on my craft room some, and then made a nice garden salad for lunch. I then got to work on some of my projects. I finished one of my prim stitcheries that I think I will frame, and then got to work on two more. When I needed a break, I took a short trip to the nearest thrift store, in search of treasures. I found some! I found two items I will show on another blog post, and about 8 wonderful books, some I had been looking for and others I just thought looked great. When I came home, I made two loaves of zucchini bread. I ended the day by visiting with my goats, and decided this was just a wonderful fall day!!! I hope there will be many more to come. I hope you all have time to slow down, and enjoy all the blessings and simple pleasures of fall this year!
Things have been so busy lately, I forgot to introduce some of the new critters on the farm. Here we have two adorable brothers, Greyfield, and Tiny. We added two more goats. These are young Nubians, a boy and a girl, that join our other pair of Nigerian Dwarfs. We have a total of 4 goats now on our little farm. We think that's a great number to start out with, and they are so much fun! The girls have been enjoying spending time with them, feeding them, and getting to know them. They are a great addition to the family!
My sweet girl turned 7 the other day, Sept. 29th. Another reason I love fall. What a magical time it was 7 yrs. ago when my tiny 4 lb. baby girl was born. And what a lovely little lady she is today. I love birthdays. This year she had a littlest pet shop birthday party. She loves animals so much, so the littlest pet shop toys are her favorite. Cousin Olivia, shared in her joy! They are two peas in a pod. They play so well together and have so much energy! Lilyann had difficulty staying on the sidelines. She wanted in on all the action. She just didn't understand why it wasn't her birthday again!
The best part, cake and ice cream!!! What a fun party!!! Happy Birthday, Miranda!
We are a christian adoptive family! God has pieced together our family in a way that is more beautiful than anything I could have imagined! We have adopted internationally, as well as through the US foster care system, but most importantly we have all been adopted by God! Ephesians 1:5 says "God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ".
We live on a small hobby farm, and homeschool our six children. Life is full!
My first miracle born in 2001. After giving birth to her, I realized that being a mother was the best job out there, and children are a miracle and precious gift from God. She is a true country girl at heart. Horses are her passion. She is an amazing big sister to her 5 little siblings!
Adopted from China in 2007.
Her sweet spirit fills our home with beauty and love. She is our little dancer, and introduced me to the world of recitals, dance practices, tutu's and ballet! Most of all, her love for Jesus shines bright, and even at her young age, she has a passion for orphan care and missions. These are subjects she talks and prays about on a daily basis! Can't wait to see where the Lord takes this girl!
Adopted from U.S. foster care, July 2013.
God's surprises never cease to amaze me. He is Laney's full sibling who came to live with us in Nov. 2011. Our son since the day he arrived. This is the sweetest boy you will ever meet.
Adopted from U.S. foster care November 2011.
Words cannot describe the joy this precious pumpkin brings to our lives! Another sweet miracle fromt the Lord. She was our first foster baby, arriving at the age of 7 weeks. We were blessed to adopt her in November of 2011. She refers to herself as a princess, and is also a lover of kittens, books, and dancing. I guess many more dance practices and recitals are in our future, lol!
Adopted from U.S. foster care, July 2013.
She was our second foster child who came home from the hospital at one week old. She livens up our days with her endless energy and strong will! It has been such a joy to see her and Austin have the chance to be together as brother and sister, and they definately have a bond that makes my heart smile!
Adopted from U.S. foster care July 2013. What a surprise it was to see that the little boy I pictured in my mind, who only the Lord would know, was actually in need of a forever family! Another miraculous gift from the Lord. He arrived at 4 mos. of age in Oct. 2011. Cute as can be with a contagious laugh and smile.