Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Disney Days...

Our days last week at Disneyland truly were magical. From seeing Lilyann meet her favorite charater, Rapunzel, to the parade, shows, rides, and fireworks, it was a trip we won't soon forget. Now, I just can't wait for our youngest two to get a little older so we can take them!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sorry I've been away....

but I've been at brunch with the ladies pictured above.

After I recuperate for awhile from our jaunt to the happiest, yet most exhausting place on earth, I will be back with some fun photos and an update!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Motherhood, a journey of love.

Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love. ~Mildred B. Vermont

I am feeling especially blessed this week, and agree wholeheartedly with the quote above. I have experienced pure love X4! My days are filled with big huge hugs around my neck, kisses, pretty pictures painted just for me, and little girls calling me mommy, telling me I am thier "favorite" and sharing all their joys and dreams with me! How did I ever get this lucky? Motherhood is challenging, but it is worth so much more than even the highest paying job I have ever had. Thankfully I have the Lord to guide me in this most important task! Without Him, I would be lost! Even on those stressful days, I can look back when I fall into bed exhausted and see the blessings. There is not a day that goes by that I have not been hugged countless times, and literally squished with love from my girls. All 4 of my girls are so generous with the love they give. I am humbled beyond measure. I hope that I can always pour out as much love to them that they always offer me. Sweet baby kisses, squeals of joy, laughter and love. This mother's heart is full.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I do remember the terrorist attacks...and many more random thoughts.

So many people ask if we remember 9-11. What were we doing that day? How did it affect us? How have we changed since then?

Yes, I do remember that day...I got up early to go in for my scheduled ultrasound, as I was 7 months pregnant with Miranda that day, only I wandered out into the living room, and turned on the t.v. which is something I never did. What I saw in front of me was shocking, and I was sort of in denial, thinking this can't be real.

Later I was lying on a table with DH by my side, looking into the screen at my soon to be daughter-we had just then found out we were having a girl (She would be born prematurely only 2 weeks after 9/11)! At the same time, I couldn't help but think of what was going on in New York, and what the world was going to be like afterward. I knew it would profoundly affect every American.

I remember going to church the Sunday after those terrorist attacks, and seeing this church literally filled to the max with standing room only out in the foyer and out the doors. I remember the pastor's message, and how much it made sense, that God knows, and he loves, and he cares, and yet we live in a fallen, sinful world, where evil occurs, and tragedies happen. I had secretly hoped the weeks following would bring as many people through doors of this church and thousands of other church's around the nation. But, slowly, the people stopped coming, maybe no longer feeling their need for God, and for answers? One sad reality in this nation called America, where we have such abundance, and many find it so hard to see why they would need the Lord.

I remember hearing someone speak on these attacks, and how we must always refer to 9/11 as the terrorist attacks, and how we must realize that these enemies had been trying to get our attention for a long, long time, through other smaller types of attacks in NY and elsewhere. I remember realizing that the evil one is roaming around seeking to kill and destroy...and that there will always be a battle against this evil in our world and that it would only get worse. I became keenly aware of that fact, and I see it in my Bible. So, I am not surprised, but more aware.

I remember my precious grandmother telling me, when I was about 12 years old that this would happen. Evil would increase. One way she explained things to me was that she said one day Halloween would be more popular than Christmas.I was utterly shocked at this statement, thinking that would never happen in my lifetime. I loved Christmas, and still do. Just this year I have become well aware that this is now the case. Halloween items are much more sought after than Christmas items now. Stores dedicate more and more space to Halloween merchandise than ever before and it is bigger than Christmas. Antique dealers look for vintage Halloween items over Christmas items because this is what sells. Halloween, and all the evil associated with it, has become more desirable than a holiday called Christmas, which is associated with holiness and love-the birth of Jesus. You were right, Grandma.

So, what I am trying to get across is this. I do remember, I became much more aware of the evil that is against us after 9-11-01, and I realize people are not moving closer to Jesus and goodness and holiness, but instead moving in the opposite direction. I also became so much more aware of this during the last presidential election. I was so saddened, but yet, not surprised, and realized that this is the way people are moving. I remember seeing our former president immediately after the terrorist attacks, and feeling so much warmth and admiration for him. Now, we have a president who has declared us no longer a christian nation, and who has motives many americans aren't even aware of. (or they are aware, but turning a blind eye, and instead of being concerned about how protected we are as a nation, many people were/are just hoping this president would help them financially).

And today, my almost 10 year old daughter is at a birthday party for her friend who turns 10 this day, who was born on the same day as the attacks on America. I pray for this younger generation, that we can raise them up with heightened awareness of the world around them. I pray that we can impart to them, the Godly wisdom we are asked to train them up with. I pray that our children will see their need for God, will follow Jesus, and will impact this world for Christ. This is my dream, and my highest calling as a mother, and my husbands highest calling as a father. Why live for things that are meaningless, or raise our children to be successful with riches? I would trade in any riches I have to live out my calling for God any day. I have experienced being in His will and in His presence and there is no comparison to material riches. To know that I am living a life where I am making a difference for His kingdom is more fulfilling than growing up, going to college and accumulating material items. I can tell you, the feeling you get from being in God's will doing His work is SO much better. My prayer is that I always feel my need for God, so I can live in a manner that my children will see, and then see their need for Him as well.

So, yes, I remember, and I am profoundly changed. And as I watch the coverage today, and the tears stream down my face as I remember those that lost their lives, and so many that were left behind and lost in such tragedy and devastation to their families, I remember this verse below, because I know what the enemy intended for evil, God can turn around for His good, and His glory:

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Genesis 50:20

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wanted: Open hearts & homes

So last week, our other social worker stopped by for her monthly visit as well. Her caseload is full! I asked her if the need in this town for foster parents is still just as great as I had always heard. She verified what I already knew, but can hardly believe. Yes, the need is huge. Just last week she recieved 11 new babies on her caseload...yes, 11 additional children added in just one week! And that's just her caseload...many more came into care that week and were added to the other SW's cases. I can't even imagine how many children total came into the foster care system, since I am only talking about babies and toddlers. I am sure many others of all ages ended up in foster care here last week too. This is not a huge area. It is an area with a major drug problem, and I know that this is what brings so many children into the foster care system here. To me, this represents a sampling of what is going on all over the U.S. It is different in some areas, but I know the needs are great all over. These babies/children need loving, christian homes. They need support, and guidance, and a safe place to feel cared for. All you need is an open heart...would you open your heart and bring one or two into your home?

Last week I was talking to the CASA/GAL-guardian ad litem that is assigned to our foster children. She has also been asked to take more cases, and she already has many. She said it's very sad that so many babies are ending up in foster care, and that it really speaks to the state that our society is in. Very true. Drugs. Babies being born to addicts, teens, and other heartbreaking situations too sad to even mention here. This woman is 73 years old, single, and do you know what she does? She does this volunteer CASA position full time! She visits all the kids on her caseload at their foster homes, and goes to their visitations, birthday parties, and all court hearings. We were talking about how little there is on television to watch these days, aside from a good documentary here and there. She said she just turns off her t.v. in the evenings and writes court reports. She then stands up for the child in court and is the voice for that foster child. She gives the judge her rundown of what she sees going on and what she feels is in the child's best interest. And the judge takes her report very seriously. She is my hero. I hope I am doing such meaningful work when I am her age.

Don't miss the blessing. Become a foster parent. Become a CASA-court appointed special advocate. Adopt. Care for the orphan. Open your heart and home. Be the heart, hands and feet of Jesus. He will be there with you all the way. Just do it. The need is great. The time is now.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Good News!

Last week got even worse after my post of all the frustrations that were happening. I decided to spare you all more of those details...but this week is SO much better!

First of all, on monday our adoption worker came over and finished updating our homestudy! It was a great to talk to her, and find out that our adoption of LexiLou will be done soon! So excited!!! Next week the other adoption worker will come over to help with the last bit of paperwork, then we will be on to the final stage...court! We should have her adopted in October sometime...please pray all goes smoothly over the next few weeks.

More good news...we just got a call from the tax advocate I requested last week...she said the IRS approved our adoption refund and we are no longer being audited! Praise God! We should have our refund in the next few weeks...just in time for our trip to....

Disneyland!!! Whoo hoo! Time to celebrate!!!