Saturday, January 30, 2010

[ The Frog Prince ]

Yes, "The Frog Prince", not the princess and the frog. However I do want to see that Disney movie! :o) Ever since I saw the first preview it's been one of those that I know will be a favorite for many years to come.

My son had to turn in his book-it form this week for school in order to earn his pizza certificate through Pizza Hut. Well, we were a little lax in keeping up with our reading schedule due to a few 'distractions'. (i.e. CNN and Haiti) Anywho....we spent one night reading half a dozen books and one of them was The Frog Prince. We all know the story right, princess loses her golden ball in the well, frog retrieves it for her because she promises him all the riches she has. She lies to frog, frog follows her to palace, tattles to her daddy the king and he enforces his fatherly duty to make her uphold the promises to frog.

Now... here's where it went south for me. I was expecting the ending we all know and love, she kisses the frog and he becomes a prince. They live happily ever after.

My son's book doesn't tell of the kiss. Instead, the Princess drop kicks the frog against her wall!!! Are you kidding me?! When he's drop kicked and hits the wall he turns into a prince.

Now, I don't know about you but if I were that frog, her kickin my slimey butt against a brick wall would certainly seal the deal for me. Spending eternity with that wicked little princess would be out of the question! I'm just curious as to what category this falls into?

Are we being politcally correct or just mean and selfish with a spiteful spirit? Is it really so wrong to introduce one simple kiss in a children's book? Those are the tiny seeds inspiring a hopeless romantic. Teaching a spirit of love and forgiveness. Is it so wrong to teach a child of a simple kiss that we would rather replace it with a drop kick? An act of spite and meanness?

Yes, I may sound like I'm ranting and raving....carring on about a silly topic written in a children's book. I'm just old fashioned and wonder why old fashioned values, old fashioned stories...old fashioned chivalry....why does it have to die? ;o)

My son is 6 and even he said, "That's not how it's supposed to go mom." He thinks kissing is still yucky and tells his dad and I to "get a room!" when he witnesses simple little pecks. :o) But he's growing up with a sense of how to show love and affection and to care in the simplest form.

Maybe I'm just a drama queen lately (I've even been labeled 'one of those religious fanatics' this week! lol A step up in my opinion.) ;o) but gosh darnit! The frog is supposed to get his kiss, not a drop kick! Poor frog... or maybe I'm just sensitive because my husband's nickname was Toad in high school and I used to have little frog prince stickers in my locker and on my notebooks where the princess kisses the frog. He turned into my prince charming.... I think it's time for a book burning!!!! LOL (I hope you all can hear the sarcasm in my voice. I'm laughing out loud, literally.) Somebody go kiss a frog already!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

[ Having PEACE ]

How important is having peace in your life? Recently Joyce Meyer did a lesson on 'peace'.

(this is my tiny disclaimer: views on this blog may or may not agree with someone else's. Form your own opinions and do what you believe to be true. I don't personally enjoy Joyce Meyer or support her ministry but that's a blog for another time.) ;o)
It was said that having PEACE in your life is sometimes more important than being right. Hmmm.... I beg to differ Ms. Meyer. 1 Peter tells me differently.

Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened." But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
-1 Peter 3:13-17

I've been struggling with this lately. So many points I've posted to my blog. I definitely have been praying for the 'gentleness and respect' part of that verse to come through my voice and my personality. Because at times, as humans, we can lose control of our emotions. Certain things will spark an emotion and lately those emotions have not been good for me. I pray for guidance, I pray for that 'Peace'.

But at the same time I've ask God for the direction He would lead me in dealing with situations or people that have said mean, spiteful, selfish things. Should I keep the peace and let it go. Or am I passing up an opportunity to share the love of Christ? The good news He has given us in His word. Am I missing the opportunity He may be providing me to "make disciples of all nations." Because obviously sometimes you have to start right in your own backyard. There are definitely people around me that need God in their lives. Am I being gentle and showing respect at the same time I'm sharing His word?

I've prayed for these things. I've prayed for the wisdom to know which direction He would have me take. Asking for the words to share His message in a more eloquent way than I seem to be doing lately. Because right now.... right now I'm hurt. I'm disgusted. I'm angry. And it's getting old. Yes, there is the situation with Haiti that hurts my soul. Yet, we all know (if we're being honest at least) that there are many things that can seem to pile up on us when we least expect it and it's just been one of those times. We like to post our shiny, sunny side of life posts about our children and our wonderful husbands and our awesome lifestyles of happiness and joy, but we all have those days that come. They blindside us and knock our feet out from under us.

How we cope with them is different from person to person. I cope MUCH better than I used to. And here it comes again Diane.... I pray. I pray a lot. ;o) When it gets to be too much, I stop what I'm doing, I close my eyes, I cry out to my Lord. I cry.... these are the times I know He is closer than ever. He wipes away the tears. He lifts me up, brushes me off and tells me how to get back out there and do what I know is right.

So, that's my question to you. Do you have Peace? Is it because you depend on your Lord, or is it because you learn to avoid the hard stuff? I want to face the hard stuff. I want to knock it out of my way, I want to destroy it!

I want others to know the security and the peace I have found. I want others to learn to trust and see the good in people before they see the bad. Someone commented recently "if your kids were starving you wouldn't go buy food for the neighbors kids and feed them first." What a sad analogy. This is the attitude that we need to share Christ with. These are the people we can't turn away from because these are the people who need us most. These are the people we are to be an example too. My answer to that very question..... sure I'd feed the neighbors kids. I'd share equally anything I had. It may mean just a little bit less for my children but that little less is a lot more than nothing to the 'neighbors'. And believe it or not, I distinctly remember a verse about that too! "Love your neighbor as yourself....." Oh how quickly people forget when it involves selfish gain.

It worries me that these 'grown up' attitudes will again be multiplied and rebuilt through children. When in fact, we can all take lessons from our children. They are much wiser than we are. They love unconditionally, they see someone in need and long to fill the void. They're eager to save the world with reckless abandon and no one has to teach this to them. Where does that spirit go and when do some people lose it? I pray that if you lost it, you will find it again. You will find Christ. I pray that I hold onto it and am strong enough to never, EVER let go, even when others discourage my behavior.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

[ You're Speakin' My Language... ]

Well, maybe not yet but you could be! :o) This awesome free giveaway is for a Rosetta Stone program of your choice! How cool is that?! It's a contest entry that you simply enter by blogging about it! I never win anything so usually don't submit stuff for contests. But, since the kids are trying to learn Creole and French for when we return to Haiti, I couldn't pass this up! I've heard of Rosetta Stone, even stopped in the airport long enough to browse and drool over their goods, but it was never within my budget. So.... we shall see if I win!

Surround your family with language. By taking them there!

Travel to Paris, Madrid and Barcelona with Homeschoolers from all over the United States. Join Rosetta Stone Homeschool, Heart of the Matter and Fusefly on the inaugural Homeschool Language Learning and Networking Trip August 2-11, 2010. Become immersed in new lands, explore history, culture, art and community. And truly speak to the world. For more details visit

Hurry, registration for the trip ends February 15, 2010.

For your chance to win a Rosetta Stone language product, please visit Heart of the Matter. Entries are being accepted until February 1st.

You can enter for a chance to win too. Just click the link info above to find out how to post and enter and good luck! (Not that I want you to win, because I want to!) =) I'll be speakin' Creole in no time! Won't Roberto and Alex be so surprised! Now I'll be able to say more than just Wi, No and Bonjour! LOL (Okay, I know a bit more than that.... ) piti piti! (but not a lot!)

Monday, January 25, 2010

[ Unbelievable... ]

Seriously.... some days I think I'm surrounded by people I don't even know anymore. It's popping up everywhere as people's facebook status:

America: the only country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed without eating, elderly going without needed meds, and mentally ill without treatment - yet we have a benefit for the people of Haiti on 12 TV stations. Not that I am against helping Haiti...but what about our own suffering and needy people?

I think if I hear comments like this one more time I may SCREAM... Literally! I have posted a note before about this very subject but just feel the need to rebuke yet another ignorant post. Where we are born is not our choice. I don't call myself American, I don't call my friends Haitian. I am a child of God. We are all God's children and ALL deserve the same respect and help from our fellow man. I won't bombard you with scripture verse after verse AFTER VERSE about how we are commanded to help the less fortunate. We live in America. One of the most advanced and prosperous countries in the entire world. We do not live in the 'norm'. We are the exception to the rule. The majority of the world's population are MUCH LESS fortunate. HOWEVER.......

Just to put everyone's minds to rest (and hopefully their fingers.....)

The Homeless Situation:
Yes, we held benefits for Haiti.
Celebrities also support the following AMERICAN AID for homeless

(These are just a few of the top ones I found)

The Hunger Situation:
Yes, we held benefits for Haiti.
Celebrities also support the following AMERICAN AID for hunger

(These are just a few of the top ones I found)

The Medical Situation:
Yes, we held benefits for Haiti.
Celebrities also support the following AMERICAN AID for medically deprived
ST JUDE CHILDRENS RESEARCH (One of my favorites)
(seriously I think we could all name health causes... some of our local resources provide aid to our own local seniors regarding health care, medications and life alerts... I've worked with them!)

We have had benefits for Haiti because due to a natural disaster they experienced TOTAL and MASS destruction in their country. Their experienced a death toll of over 200,000 people! That is more than DOUBLE the population of some of our major cities including Kansas City, MO; Springfield, IL; Stamford, CT; Waco, TX; Topeka, KS. Imagine these cities being obliterated! Completely and totally destroyed with not one remaining survivor. This is why Haiti received such attention. Not because it's a third world country less than 200 miles off the coast of Florida. Not because they live on less than $1.00 per day, not because it's the poorest country in the western hemisphere. It received attention because there are still people in the world with compassion.

A little research would enlighten those doubting thomas' about our lack of effort to help our own country. I just wish everyone would stop complaining about it and get off their duff and HELP SOMEONE! ANYONE! It doesn't matter who they are. Just find something to do besides complain about those of us who choose to help.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

[ Sunshine! ]

It makes me think of the song, 'You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.... you make me happy!' The sun finally returned to our little corner of the world today. The sunshine streams through my bedroom windows and that's what woke me this morning. I looked forward to today because one of my best friends...I should say 'sister'....Diane, was to give a presentation at the Christian Church regarding her mission work in Haiti. I went along, not only as support, but because I love to hear her voice speaking of the friends and family I've come to know as my own too.

I reminded myself as I got dressed this morning that the sun was shining, it was a new day and a time to rejoice. I also remembered my Haitian friends were probably heading to church and hopefully they were singing praises to our Lord amidst the heartache and trouble that still lies ahead for them. They have a strong faith, but we're all only human and I know the heartbreak can be overwhelming for them at times.

Then, as I'm surfin' and getting my blog fix I find a Compassion blog entry about a little boy who is like a lot of Haitians and believe that the tragedy that struck their country was due to their sins and God's wrath upon them. Yet they continue to praise God and always ask for His forgiveness. You can read that blog HERE. 'Looking Past Haiti's short-term needs.'

How strong and committed they are. Can we claim the same faith? Are you that committed to your Lord? Not to believe that a tragedy is a punishment, but that IF you believed that way to continue to praise, honor and glorify a God you believe brought that punishment upon you? I've heard of people losing their faith or turning from God at tragic times in their life. Loss of a spouse or a child being at the top of the list of why. I have people, even friends, that have confessed their lack of faith on occasion. Wondering how to believe everyday, how certain situations or discussions from others can cause you to question that faith.
I can't imagine what that feels like. I can't say I can imagine what a heart must feel thinking a natural disaster is God's punishment for my sins either. I can tell you my faith never waivers. I may wonder why on occasion, or add things to my mental list of 'what to ask God when I get to Heaven'. But it never waivers.

My faith stands strong. Everyday. When I'm happy, when I'm sad. When I'm hungry, when I'm mad. When I am overflowing with pride in my children and my husband. When I feel forsaken by friends or angered by acquaintances. He is with me always. He knows and understands those feelings. My faith is so deep and my heart is so full for my Lord that I feel I could accomplish anything in this world. I lean on Him and depend on Him for everything. I sometimes don't even know how to explain it, I just wish everyone could feel the same overwhelming fullness and joy it brings to my life. I wish everyone could know so strong and so deep that they would never doubt it.

Pray for people all around the world that they could know Jesus. That they could have a relationship with Him that is like no other. Pray for the children and people of Haiti to know God's love. Not just a faith to believe in Him but a faith to believe He wants nothing but the best for them.

"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord,
Plans to PROSPER you and NOT TO HARM you,
plans to give you HOPE and a FUTURE."
--Jeremiah 29:11

I know those words are for all God's children. Not just those who can read it in English. But for all those who believe in Him. African, Chinese, Haitian, American.....He has a plan for all our futures.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

[ The 'Good ole USA' ]

I've been wondering what to post to my blog for the last few days. Many things ring through my mind and stories I need to write. This morning I was upset again by a comment made on facebook about the situation in Haiti. A comment replying to bringing attention to the telethon for Haiti and the stars helping out. Someone actually posted "woopie doo"!!! And then went on to explain their disgust at the help Haiti is receiving, how with all the aid they will become bigger and better than us and bomb us like Iraq, that their tax dollars were sent by Obama so they have done their part, and how we need to help those right here in "the good 'ole USA". I swear if I hear this one more time I may burst!!!!! After much thought this was my response. I may have several friends on facebook but know it will be read here by many more people. Heck, I may not have so many friends left on facebook now.....

Wow.... I forget that some people still have this attitude. Even though I keep trying to explain it to those that pose the same questions directly to me. We are commanded to care for widows and orphans, the weak... it's in the bible, repeatedly. We are told to "Go therefore and make disciples of ALL the nations" Matthew 28:19

I believe that God lays upon all of our hearts different people and situations that we need to be the hands of feet of Jesus to. Some are drawn or called to China, Africa, Mexico, HAITI and yes, some are called to help right here in the good 'ole USA. We all need to do our part to help fellow man. When I hear people make this comment I wonder what exactly they have done to help those here in the USA. Don't proclaim a call to action if you aren't willing to do something or give to help those who need it.

It's people's ignorance to a situation and their prejudice toward a people they may have never met that breeds hatred among people and nations. And let me clarify (as I seem to offend this week....) I'm not calling you ignorant, the word ignorance is defined by one's lack of knowledge, learning or information on a subject.

You only need to learn of the people and their culture to understand they will never be bigger or better than the USA, no matter how much aid they receive. They only dream of what the USA is because for most they will never be allowed to leave their country. Their government is not like ours. You have the freedom to go and do as you please. Congratulations. You are blessed. I choose to go and help the people of Haiti. With your words of inspiration to help those of the good ole USA I hope that you will now consider helping the people of California and Arizona who are losing their homes and their lives are in turmoil due to floods and mudslides.

We are called to love like Jesus. We ALL fall very short of this. I will pray for you. I will pray for myself to learn to love those who believe as you do. I will continue to pray for Haiti, to provide as much help to them as I can, and look forward to the day when I can return to their country and its people who have shown me the love of Christ.

So, I've said my peace....I'm coming down off of my soapbox and I pray today that God will find some way to touch the hearts of those who are 'ignorant' in so many ways to his world and ALL of his people. I pray that more will come to know the love of Christ and to accept him as their savior.

So, tell me..... What Do You Think?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

[ Something to Smile About ]

It's been a long week it seems since the earthquake, and we are on the outside looking in. As much as we want to be there to help our friends and loved ones, we know we would only be a burden at this point and honestly..... I don't know if I could handle the heartache. During our mission trip this summer there were times that it was just so emotionally draining for me. I've cried many tears this week, but none so much as the ones who are living the nightmare I'm sure. I'm wearing out my knees in prayer and decided today to finally put our videos and pictures together from our trip. I'm such a procrastinator and it was something I could share now more than ever and knew it would bring a smile.

This short (and yes, it's SHORT!) youtube video is my daughter Taylor and our 'brothers' Roberto and Alex. I can't begin to describe to you the heart these two men have for the work they do for the mission, the people of Haiti that they help, the Americans who become a part of their family and their Lord. Many nights we had long talks regarding scripture, or discussed Alex's desire to be a pastor. I know their hearts are broken right now also, but knowing the men they are it's never a question of "where was God?", they know He is right there in their midst and they continue to work everyday to bring needed supplies to Port as they can, search for friends and loved ones, and just minister to those in need. We love you both beyond measure and hope this will bring a smile to your hearts as it has ours.

We were updated late last night that another friend made his way to our compound yesterday, Elage was fine. We still search and wait to hear from Celissa. She has some medical training as she desires to someday come to the U.S. to be a nurse and is currently studying in Haiti. Knowing Celissa's heart and spirit her first thoughts would have been to help others before worrying about notifying anyone of her own safety. We hold out hope that she is doing just that. Finding a place where she can be of aid to those in need and we will hear from her soon. Please continue to pray for all of Haiti and I encourage you to send monetary relief to the agency of your choice. Whether it is through our efforts or others. The chip-in box has been moved to the top of the sidebar for convenience rather than scrolling through all the Haiti updated posts.

Simply put in English ;) LOL.... Welcome to my house my brother. We sang this in church and let me tell you, church....well, it's a whole 'nother experience in Haiti! God is definitely among them and we loved worshiping with them!
"In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said,
"It is more blessed to give than to receive."
--Acts 21:35

Friday, January 15, 2010

[ Searching... ]

Below you can read the information regarding Haiti and the families and friends we have been praying for and the link to make {legitimate} donations for aid and relief to victims. The links provided are missionaries currently working in country and can help victims. Please feel free to visit their links of their missions and the organizations they are affiliated with. If you don't feel led to give through these missions, please find some way to help support the families in Haiti. Right now they need money for food, water and medical supplies. Things cannot be shipped into the country such as clothes, shoes, etc. and there is more immediate need for necessary, life-saving items like food, water and antibiotics and other medical provisions.

I urge you to continue to pray and keep the victims in your thoughts as our lives continue to go on as regularly scheduled, they are displaced, burying loved ones (if they are fortunate enough to provide a burial--most victims will go into a mass grave), they search for food. I encourage you to fast for a day, one day and try to understand the urgency for their needs.

Please pray for our friend Celissa. She has yet to be found. Roberto and Alex are making another trip into Port today to search for her and others they are still waiting to hear of their safety. I'm not sure what school Celissa was teaching at but we have posted her photo and information to the CNN search site as well as Earthquake Haiti facebook group in hopes of finding information about her.
Celissa is able to access the internet from school to visit with us on a regular basis.
We have not heard from her since the earthquake.

We pray for your safety and well-being Celissa and know that God is with you.
We ♥ You!

Please continue to visit the links in the next post for the missionaries and their updates as they become available. Pray for their safety and that provisions will come soon. Everyone is running out of supplies at this point.

If you'd like to read more about our trip to Haiti you can click HERE.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

[ Pray for Our Haiti... ]


Have you ever gone somewhere and felt like you had been there before, or like it was a home away from home and you didn't want to leave? That's how we felt about Haiti this summer. After yesterday's earthquake we're left heartbroken today for the people of Haiti. Not just the ones we know, but the ones we don't know that are still God's people.

To most yesterday was just like any other typical day. Even myself. I got up, took my shower, did household chores, sat down to work at my computer and spent my day in a normal routine. I checked my e-mail around 4:30 and started discovering messages about earthquakes and Haiti. Huh? There's no earthquake in Haiti..... then I discovered the news. I don't turn my television on during the day and once I clicked into yahoo I saw the home page and the news releases. Instantly my heart sank.

My mind raced with all the faces of the people I met, those I didn't meet but passed on the street or drove by along the road. One can't begin to imagine the fear and devastation they must be facing. It's one thing to live in a world like we do where disaster may strike but there are plans in place and methods to follow to ensure we don't stay 'down' for long. We're America after all. Power gets restored, telephones work, there is more than one airport..... Imagine being in a country that has no regular current of electricity. You live on generators on a normal day and now your world has collapsed and there's not even a source to bring fuel to your country to run your generator (which believe me is the least of their worries!). No phone, no electricity, no roads left to get through.

We made new friends and found family in Haiti. Not just the other missionaries but the native people of Haiti. Roberto and Alex who spent every day with us from sunrise to bedtime. Marjorie who cared for us and fed us. Celissa, Claudia, Linda, Smerelda, Miko, Stanley, Mackline...... the list goes on and on. Where are these faces? Where are these loved ones?
Marjorie was our 'mom and grandma' in Haiti. We love her beyond belief. ♥

Leslie and Chris are missionaries living in Haiti with their adopted Haitian daughter Olivia. Chris went to port to have the truck worked on. The last time Leslie spoke to him was 45 minutes before the quake. Imagine wondering where your husband is in the middle of a natural disaster with no phone and no way to communicate. Luckily, after countless hours..... he made it home last night.

* Chris made it home, but the 'countless' hours before his arrival he had spent in Port after the quake trying to help others. He was near a 3 story school full of girls that collapsed and was trying to pull them from the pile of rubble and debris. You can read his heartbreaking story on their blog that is linked below. My heart breaks for Chris as he had to leave some girls behind to find help and wasn't able to return til morning, only to find the girls had died in the night. Please keep this family in your prayers.
Leslie and her daughter Olivia
Kevin and Olivia

Keith's new wife is in Haiti while he is stateside right now. Imagine not just being away from your spouse and knowing of their safety, but being in another country.... across an ocean. There is no 'coming home' to the arms of the loved one. Luckily, before bedtime last night Keith was notified that his wife was alive and safe. Yet he still had to go to bed with his arms empty.
Those of us here (and in Haiti I'm sure) began to pray. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Have you ever literally stopped what you are doing and fell to your knees and prayed?
Roberto, Me and our sponsored child Smerelda

Roberto and Alex let us know last night that they were safe but they have family in Port that they cannot contact and don't know of their safety or whereabouts. They have become our family. When someone you love is hurting, you hurt. I may not know their extended family but I pray for them. My heart aches for them.

* Roberto and his father traveled to Port yesterday and were able to find his brothers and they are okay. Last we heard he was still searching for his mother. They have brought members of their family home with them to Montrouis.

Roberto, Taylor and our sponsored child Smerelda

Alex! These men have a heart of gold. I believe Alex had found his siblings and they are okay.

Remember the wedding we just went to in December? Bobi and Marcus flew home to Haiti YESTERDAY! Only by the grace of God did they arrive, make their routine trip through the airport, out of Port and traveled to Canaan safely. They were far enough away from the point of the quake that they were safe and unharmed. Can you imagine just arriving home from a long vacation only to be thrown into disaster within hours. Can you imagine being their parents and not knowing how they are just hours after you've said good-bye at the airport? They had no way of contacting their parents. Luckily through the wonder of internet and before they lost power they were able to get a message to friends to notify their families. We praise God for their safe return home. Now they are caring for the dozens of children at the orphanage where they live.

* Bobi and Marcus have updated their BLOG from Canaan Orphanage on their account of the earthquake as they were driving home when it happened. There are also links if you are interested in supporting Canaan Orphanage and their relief efforts.

My 'sister' Diane still has regular contact with her children's biological mother in Haiti. Can you stop for a moment and imagine having your son turn to you and want to know if his Momma Cheri is okay? How do you tell your children you don't know for sure? How do you comfort them? (sorry Diane..... don't cry. Know that I love you and I'm still praying for Cheri and the kids. We know they'll be fine. xoxo)
Diane with Momma Cheri and Brian and Kristi's siblings.
* Diane received word that Cheri and the kids are fine. Roberto went out and found them to let Diane know of their safety. Many prayers have been answered. =) There are many more in need of prayer.

I can't tell you how much I want to be there today. I've yearned to go back for the past 6 months. But never so much as the last 24 hours. You can't live with someone for the period of time we did, sleep under the same roof, share all your meals together, pray together, worship together, work together, play together without loving together. A part of my family is hurting today. So please, when you know of someone in Haiti who is safe, don't stop your prayers there. Be grateful for their well being and praise God for that blessing. But remember there are still thousands of others who need your prayers still.

Me and Mackline (she's 7 and has brittle bone disease)
Roberto, Kelsey, and her sponsored child Claudia
Diane and one of her sponsored children Miko (Michael)

Kevin and another girl they sponsor Alexandra
Taylor made MANY friends with her long blonde hair. ;o)

These aren't just faces in the crowd.... not only do they belong to someone here on earth, they belong to our Lord. If you are wondering what you can do to help the people of Haiti.....the very first thing you can do is pray, and secondly you can click on the link in the sidebar (or below) for the mission and donate through paypal or click on the chip-in box and funds will be sent to Leslie and Chris' mission Clean Water for Haiti (which they are so desperately going to need now more than ever, and gas alone to run vehicles to transport people and water and food will be in short supply) and a portion will go to the Heartline Ministries and Life Connection Missions to help any in need. We may not know who they are right now, but God does. These are reputable missions and people we know that are working for the people of Haiti. You can read updates on their blogs and here. Thank you for your prayers.

* Please also keep Britt & Kris and their family in your prayers also. You can read her blog and updates HERE.

If you'd like to read more about our trip to Haiti you can click HERE.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

[ The Laughs Keep Comin' ]

I'm tellin' ya, my 6 year old needs his own blog. It would make money I swear. People would flock to his sense of humor.

I posted before about some of his funny sayings. Well, the other day we were getting ready to have breakfast and he wanted pancakes. One of his favorites, and of course his dad tends to spoil him so he had made a special trip to the store to get more mix and 'the good syrup'. While I'm mixing and flipping I couldn't help but wonder what was going through his little mind as he has his elbows on the table, quietly studying the syrup bottle.... reading (or trying to read) maybe??? Then out of the blue, he looks up and says, "Mom, how come dad got the one that doesn't talk?" He had been studying Mrs. Butterworth looking for an 'on button' I suppose. I tried desperately not to laugh because he's serious as a heart attack. So I said, "Hmmm.... I don't know. Leave it to dad to get the wrong syrup. Why don't you go ask him?"

I could hear him as he entered the living room accusing his dad of buying the wrong bottle, dad informing him of the great disappointment that Mrs. Butterworth really doesn't talk, it's just a commercial. As he returns to the kitchen he announces to me, "Well, I guess she's dead......."

Now tell me, how do you keep a straight face for a kid like this who is serious as a heart attack every time he speaks! LOL :o)

Moving right along...... On Saturday he had his first wrestling tournament. We knew it was coming. I just wondered how his dad would handle it more than my son. I didn't expect him to win right off the bat, after all he'd never wrestled before and this was his first year and we'd only been to about 6-8 practices. Of course, being the biased mom that I am realize he is rather gifted at all things sport so there was hope. ;o)

We went through the usual bout of first jitters, nervous trips to the bathroom to poop (thank goodness that came after weigh-ins! lol) and then we wait....

Dad took him to get the bracket and as a round robin tournament he would wrestle three rounds. Well, he actually got a bye for his first round (which automatically gives him a win). As he's coming back up the bleachers where I'm sitting with his dad following behind I notice a look on his face that seems concerned, and just a bit confused. He stops in front of me, hands on his hips and says,

"Mom, I can't believe I have to pay the first time....."

"What Tanner?"

And of course you never want to say what to the boy because he comes back with "you heard me"....

He heard the word bye, but it registered in his little brain as buy and he just couldn't figure out why on earth they would make him pay to play. LOL

He has another tournament this coming Saturday. We'll see if we have to pay for anymore rounds or not. ;o)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

[ Kids Say the Darndest Things... ]

Not only do they say the darndest things...they do some of the most off the wall stuff to go with it. Oiy.

My six year old is a riot sometimes. He says the most hilarious things, does some crazy stuff and it all comes from being a 'bonus baby' with two teenage siblings. Yes, God has a sense of humor and I think he sprinkled a little of it in my son before He sent him to us. =) I've been telling myself I wanted to keep a diary of all the crazy things he does but it slips my mind and of course we get busy and I forget to write them down. So, today really topped them all and I had to blog a few things because hopefully I will NEVER forget these.
He has wrestling practice every Tuesday and Thursday night and tonight I was taking memory mate pictures of the kids. It's fun being the only photographer in town at times, because things like this sure make it easy to have my own kids' pictures taken. ;o) lol Anyway, after every wrestling practice it's a cardinal rule that you shower and use head and shoulders or selsun blue to avoid getting ringworm (Lord I hope he gets bored with this sport....). As he's showering tonight he hollers at me,

"MoM! I think I cracked my chin, it's bleeding!" So I get up to go check on him and sure enough, there's blood running down his chin.

"Did you scratch yourself?"

"Yeah, I think so...."

"How did you scratch yourself?" as I spy from the corner of my razor.

"I don't know..."

"Did you cut yourself shaving? Were you trying to shave?"

"Umm.... (as he's looking away)"

"Tanner, don't lie. If you were shaving it's better to just tell me. It's no big deal, but you know you'll be in trouble if you are lying."

"Yeah.... I was shaving."

"Well, that's how you cut your chin goofball. You're not old enough to shave. From now on, let's say we don't try to shave until you are old enough to have a beard like daddy okay?"

"Okay.... Can I have a band-aid?!" =)

He has a fascination with band-aids so of course when he finished his shower, we put some antibiotic cream on his chin and a big fat bandaid. You know, the kind that you use on your knees. We don't have any of the itty bitty ones left. They seem to mysteriously disappear around here. lol
Our first official shaving accident. Which I'm thankful it wasn't any worse, because I just put a new razor in the shower last week. And we all know what it feels like to get cut with a new razor. Poor kid. The even funnier part of our story was that he turned the 'old country' radio station on when he got in the shower and was singing, "You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille...."

Oh how I love this little boy.

Some of his more recent funnies from the last couple of weeks include his Christmas quest. When we were discussing adoption again, he said I just needed to tell it to Santa because whenever you tell Santa what you want he always brings it. Just tell him I wanted another kid.

Yep....that'll do it Tanner. ;o)

He's been watching hours on end of football with his dad over the last week or so too (as you can imagine). He's going to be a big jock when he grows up. He's watching a game with daddy (the Chiefs and the Bengals) and as he races back to the living room from getting a snack in the kitchen he wants to know "Who's ahead now dad? The Chiefs or the Bagels?" Never a dull moment...

And of course, this list would not be complete without knowing that he has an Elvis curl to his lip when he looks at me and says, "Hey pretty momma..... Can I have some chocolate milk?"

What's the funniest thing your little one has said lately? I love comments. Please share your funnies!

Monday, January 4, 2010

[ Pizza Pops & Play Dates ]

So, today was the last day of winter break for the kids. Or should I say some of the kids. My kiddos go to two different schools and one had to go back today and one goes tomorrow. Plus, it's still subzero temperatures outside so being the mom-of-the-year that I am....decided I wouldn't make them go back today. Seriously. Before winter break they were calling school off due to freezing temperatures (and I'm talking in the teens and 20's folks) because they said if a school bus stalled it would be dangerous to have children stranded in the freezing cold. Okay, I can buy that.... but why, today when it is a whopping 2 degrees outside.... yes, 2...T-W-O did they decide to go back? I have frozen water pipes so we haven't been able to do laundry for about 4 days (at least) and as the wood pile dwindles because it takes LOTS more wood than a normal winter day we have closed off extra rooms in the house to conserve heat. So.... sue me. I didn't make my boys go to school today. They were never up for a perfect attendance award anyway. ;o) Just for fun, you can leave a comment and let me know what you would have done. It won't make me love you any less if you would have done the responsible thing, honest.

Well, it wasn't 5 minutes after school started and I get a call from our favorite teacher. Which ended up being a guilt trip for the 14 yr old who decided to get up and go. So dedicated.... NOT! lol My sister (a.k.a. best friend Diane) was bringing her kids to stay with us today so she could work and volunteered to take my oldest son to school on her way back home. Which works out great all the way around. It's awesome having a friend who loves sharing in random acts of kindness. I love it!

So, my 'niece and nephew' came to play today with Tanner. I swapped babysitting service for school bus and laundry service. I think it was a good trade. Kristi and Brian thought it was going to be so great to stay at our house today. What they realized is, it's just as boring at my house as it is at home. lol I think they both professed their boredom on at least two or three occasions each.

I've done my usual surfing and found a recipe for "pizza pops" that Pineapple Princess had shared (see my sidebar). Seemed simple enough, a cross between homemade pizza and cinammon rolls (only in appearance here). This would be so much better if my uploader was working and you could see pictures. Because if you check out her blog you get these pretty pictures that are cookbook material. Here in the real world.... rural Missouri where the rednecks live.... it was sloppy and crooked, but yummy. =) Since the temperature here has been in the single digits not only have my pipes frozen and I can't do laundry, I've decided not to get out of my house unless absolutely necessary due to winning the lottery or in case of fire...whichever comes first. (which means I ain't goin' nowhere baby!) So I made pizza pops with what we had on hand. Improvise...yeah, that's it.

I made homemade pizza dough (simple enough, always do), rolled the dough out in a rectangle (okay, it was a bit odd shaped but it worked). I'm out of pizza sauce so I used Hunt's spaghetti sauce in a can, which worked well, no delicious pepperoni in the freezer so resorted to using some of the ground beef I was frying up for chilli. Covered it with mozzarella cheese and began to roll. This is where it's important not to just skim blogs but read them thoroughly... lol.... there are reasons to roll the dough toward you, not away from you. Now, these were looking good until I went to cut them apart like cinammon rolls and realized they were more like the 'grands biscuit size rolls' rather than 'pop'sicle size... So, they weren't the prettiest things and I had to cut them into fourths, but the kids raved over how delicious they thought they were. "You're the best cook ever!" Of course I didn't share my secret that it was a copied recipe or that I just managed to fake it and make it with what I had on hand. I rolled out another dough, sauced it, sprinkled with cheese and just made a normal pizza.... which didn't go over nearly as well as the pizza pops. They were awesome and cool and a really neat-oh invention mom! LOL =) Yes, that's me.... Mom of the Year.... a.k.a....Betty Crocker 2.

So, our day was pretty uneventful but I just had to share with everyone that my kids think I'm a genius and I took credit for another woman's recipe. Thank you Pineapple Princess.... my kids love me again and no longer wish for you to be their real mother. xoxo ;o)

I've enjoyed my evening of peace and quiet, watched a movie (which I could care less to ever see again...not worth putting on the Must See Movie list), and have settled in with my sweats to do my daily bible reading. Much love to all, and I hope you are staying warmer than me! Maybe tomorrow I can load pics of my famous pizza pops! =)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

[ Alcohol ]

After just passing into the New Year I'm reminded of how others may have celebrated. What tugs at my heart is how those celebrations may or may not have affected other people I love. I recently joined a group call 5:16 Gals and found a blog from a fellow member that shared her thoughts on the topic of "Alcohol and The Believer; Should They Mix?". Let me say first and foremost, I have friends and loved ones who drink (or drank) and my views on the topic of drinking make me love them no less, quite the opposite probably. This is a personal opinion and value, not a judgment I'm sharing. It's just been in the forefront of my mind lately, knowing that New Years was coming, having family that are struggling with alcoholism and watching their family fall apart, having my husband overcome a history with alcohol and seeing and experiencing how our lives have changed because alcohol has been completely eliminated from our lives....and feeling the pain and heartbreak, disappointment of family and friends with their loved ones makes me pray that others may someday share the same view on the subject.

I believe everything we do should be done in a manner to glorify God (and trust me I fall short many times over) and we should always be ever mindful to think of this before anything we do. No matter how big or small.

"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and florify your Father who is in Heaven."

"Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
--1 Corinthians 10:31a

This is a very controversial issue, even the comments on her blog had people asking questions about wine in the bible. She also had a comment that explained just that before I could post to it. lol I'm linking her blog for other articles and maybe it will become a favorite bookmark for you. But I'm copying and pasting her exact post to share here as I believe it, agree with it and want it to be heard (or I should say read).

Love to all my friends and family. Alcoholics, casual drinkers and non-drinkers alike. I love you all with all my heart. ♥

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

"Alcohol and The Believer; Should They Mix?" - by Traci Michele
BELIEVE ME! I know that this topic is super-controversial. That is why I have tried to avoid writing about it at all cost.

The Holy Spirit keeps prompting me to write about it.

I keep avoiding it.

I can't ignore the Spirit's nudging any longer.

Let Me Clear The Air:

I have never drank alcohol.

I do not intend to EVER drink alcohol.

I use to think that all Christians were on the same page.

I've come to learn that this is not always the case.

Do I think that I am more spiritual than you, believer, who chooses to drink alcohol in the privacy of your own home, in small amounts?


Do I still think that alcohol should be completely avoided, as a believer?


I really like what Brian Richards says on this topic:

"First of all, the question is normally asked in a self-centered plea for permission than a genuine desire to know what pleases God. In many cases the person is looking for justification of a specific action rather than sanctification (or growing in holiness).

I believe the question followers of Christ need to ask in ALL things should be far less self-centered and more Christ-focused. The question should be less about

is this action RIGHT or WRONG and more about “Does this glorify God?”

What this post will NOT be about:

Proving that alcohol is WRONG, according to the Bible.
{We can have that discussion at another time}

What this post WILL be about:

Shedding some light on why it should be avoided, at all costs {as a follower of Christ}

Causing us to think a little deeper about this topic.
{to search our own heart}

Can we all agree that the bible clearly speaks about NOT GETTING DRUNK?

Some questions for the Christian who says "There is nothing wrong with drinking alcohol, if you don't get drunk".

1. Does drinking alcohol, even in small amounts, alter your mind or state of being?

2. When do you turn to alcohol? And why?

3. How do you know when "to stop". How do you know "when you've reached the DRUNK state?"

4. Is it possible, that you could ever be tempted to keep drinking? What if you are having a bad day, stressed, and keep drinking to make yourself feel better?

5. Does it bring you closer to the Lord, or further away? Does it bring Him glory?

6. Does it ever hurt your conscience?

Why I Choose To Completely Abstain From Alcohol

1. It bothers my conscience. Romans 14:14-23

There are 75 Warnings in the bible regarding alcohol. There is more Scripture warning about the use of alcoholic beverages than will be found on the subjects of lying, adultery, swearing, cheating, hypocrisy, pride, or even blasphemy. To partake in something that has that many "warnings", would certainly sear my conscience.

2. I have an addictive personality.
I don't want to be tempted to be enslaved. 1 Cor. 6:12

Alcohol is an addictive drug. My mind is already blurred, on most days as a busy mommy. I do not need to introduce a beverage which not only blurs the fine shades of moral restraints, but also could easily become habit-forming. I agree with Paul, when he says “All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything (1 Cor. 6:12).

If someone giggles and says, “why not prove that you can have some self control. Why rule it out on the basis of a possible weakness?” My answer: I choose to flee. I know I am weak. I am only strong, because I choose to be filled and controlled by the Spirit. I have nothing to prove. Why should I put something else in my life, that may tempt me to become addicted to it? I say, why not avoid it at all costs and be triumphant that way?

3. I want to be different as a believer. I want to be sober and alert!

Titus 2:12-14:

12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

14Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

1 Thessalonians 5:6-7

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

1 Peter 5:8

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

I want to seek to pursue holiness in all matters. I do not believe that alcohol will help me as I daily seek to be sanctified.

4. Alcohol is associated with evil most of the time.

Alcoholism is one of the greatest health problems in America. About 70% use alcohol as a beverage. Alcohol contributes to 205,000 deaths each year. Life expectancy of the alcoholic is reduced by at least a decade. It is directly connected to 1/2 the homicides and 1/3 of suicides. One out of every twelve marriages comes apart over drinking!

5. I have seen the negative affects of what alcohol can do to a person.

It makes the angry person more angry. It makes the selfish person, more selfish. It can turn the sweetest of the sweet, into the vilest of the vile!

6. I don't believe that it would be glorifying to the Lord.

The bible warns about being associated with winebibbers Proverbs 23:19-32

7. I don't want to make other believers stumble.

I am in several different capacities of leadership in the church (ladies bible study, mentor to young adults, teens, and small children). I would never want them to look at me, and think, "she drinks, so it must be okay for me to."

8. Alcohol is a mind altering drug. As Brian write on this topic he says,

"In its effect upon the mind alcohol works most quickly as a depressant to eliminate restraints. The fine shades of moral restraint are among the first to become blurred. Further, split-second decisions and the quick neural reflexes leading to physical action become sluggish — as well as our judgment as to whether or not our critical faculties have been at all affected by our drinking” (Christianity Today, Sept. 18, 1981, p.13).


What the mature believer should never ask:

How many enjoyable things can I do and still not transgress God’s will?”

What the mature believer's mindset should be:

Is there anything at all that I can do or stop doing which will refine my ability to recognize and do the will of God? For the most part, can we agree that drinking alcoholic beverages does not increase one’s sensitivity to the will of God?


1. Brian Richards: Alcohol and the Believer: Abstinence or Moderation?
2. 75 Warnings in the Bible

What are your thoughts? Let's discuss this together.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day 1 ♥ That Looks Tempting

Part of my New Year's Resolution is to read my bible through in a year. I have two study plans and hope to keep up with both. One I wanted to try and one my husband has chosen that he wants us to read and study together so we can discuss it daily. Now, blog posting on the other hand...well, it may come on a weekly basis for updates rather than daily. We shall see.

So, my day 1 is from Genesis 1:1-3:24. Of course we all know the story of creation and Adam and Eve. The parts I find interesting are the little things we never give a second thought to. Like the tree of knowledge. We always teach our children the story of Adam and Eve and how she tempted Adam with the apple. But no where does it tell us what type of fruit came from the tree of knowledge. We stereotype knowledge with apples to this day. I'm sure (like many others do) I have a list of things I'd like to know when I get to heaven. Finding out what kind of fruit this is (seems trivial at best) but an unknown I'd love to find the answer to. Of course, when I get to heaven and am in awe of my savior, falling to my knees I'm sure the thought of that apple will be the farthest thing from my mind. lol :o)

The other thing that has puzzled me in doing bible study is the four rivers that flow from the Garden of Eden. Two are no longer on the map. Some notes on the subject suggest this was pre-flood so they were altered. But if these four rivers were pre-flood, why are two still on the map and two not? And where did the other two originate or end up? After studying, some suggest that the river of Gihon surrounds the whole land of Cush and that Cush could be modern-day Ethiopia. Could this explain Ethiopia's strong Christian heritage? I study Ethiopia because I wish to adopt from there and the people of this country amaze me. It's beauty draws me.

But the real beauty of my study today is the nature of sin. First of all, knowing that I am forgiven of my sins when I ask of my heavenly father. Not that it should be so easy, as I strive and try so hard daily to please him. But knowing that when I fall short of his expectations that I can come to Him and be forgiven and loved in spite of my shortcomings. Satan continuously tries to get us to give in to temptations daily. They are all around us. Being tempted is not sin. Only when we give in to temptations do we sin. Resisting them is not always easy, but is possible (after all, nothing is impossible with God). We must pray for strength to resist sin when we knowingly are tempted. We must say no when confronted with what we know is wrong. Run away from the temptations (sometimes literally!). Everyone's temptations are different too. I believe that as God knows every hair on my head, the devil also knows every weakness to bring me down. When I'm tempted to share that small bit of gossip someone felt the need to curse me with in passing during my day, or when I'm angered by someone's spiteful and inconsiderate ways, when I feel the need to yell at my children because they have failed to pay attention and listen for the umteenth time in one day..... these are the times I need to catch myself. Close my eyes, take a few minutes and ask God to control my mouth, my heart and my hands to be the person He desires for me to be. Is it really necessary to share that little story about someone who may not be my favorite person? God loves them despite the faults I see in them just as he loves me. Is it right to share my own biased opinion of someone who makes me angry and hurt because of their inconsiderate ways or does this make me just like them and give others reason to doubt my heart and sincerity? Does it do me any good to yell at my kids when they don't listen? Or is it my lack of finding ways to get their attention properly (like following through with idle threats of discipline) that needs to be corrected?

I love the song, "Love Them Like Jesus". Not only is it a wonderful song, but it's something I sing in my head repeatedly now on a daily basis, just to be a reminder that everyone holds the same place in God's heart that I do. Even the biggest athiest that walks his beautiful planet means no less to him than me and my children. Teach me Lord to love all just as your son loves.