Friday, August 30, 2013

Like a Dead Sunflower....

Like a Dead Sunflower….
I hang my head in shame,
No one to blame.
My life sucked away,
Who is left to stay?

Once vibrant, full of life.
Now I wait, holding my strife.
The birds peck at my soul,
Wasting me like a sink hole.
The sun sets its warmth away,
Please I beg, come another day.
I didn’t mean to be this way,
Forgive my sins today.
Author: Valerie Belknap

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Up from a 6 year old

“Up” from a 6 year old.
 Sophia stands in front of me and says “up” with her arms stretched upward when she wants to be picked up.   She has turned 6. She has grown. I can’t pick her up anymore. I simply say, “lets go sit down and I’ll hold you” and we do.
Time changes, while in my heart she will always be my little girl – she is growing up. It wasn’t so long ago I could still scoop her up. So that is sad and happy for me. Sometimes Steve can still hold her, but for less time than before and on vacation she gleaned some piggy back rides.
I see this girl and cherish the times I can still sit and hold her, hug her and kiss her. She remains the glue that bonds us all and while we have those “tantrum” times, she is so in the realm of loved by all in our house, it amazes me what the older teens will do for her. She adores them, they adore her. Mutual. To watch a 16 year old boy watching “My Little Pony” because she asks him to, is the cutest thing. She can get them to play too that is so touching to watch. Memory games or puzzles or babies – it doesn’t matter as they speak the language of love through their actions. 
She is growing up too fast and having teens with teen "mouths" is a challenge when things get repeated…like the other day at breakfast her spoon was just too sexy. OK…..who even taught her the word sexy?   She didn’t know what it meant, but it won’t be long.
Balance – trying to find that and hold it.
God probably sees us doing the same thing, asking for “up”when we need to get past our infant Christian walk and take a stronger walk that we are called to. Growth – it is a good thing.
Let us all keep growing...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Finding a Penny

Do you stop and pick up a penny if you see it laying on the ground? My kiddos sure do and holler – “make a wish!” As an adult, I’ve stopped picking up pennies for a while, but recently started again when I see them or at least point them out to my kiddos if they are along. 

The penny is the lowest form of currency in the United States. Recently Canada has done away with their pennies. Most people typically walk past them on the ground, not worth much to bend down and get it.  Souvenier places charge you 50 cents to smush a penny into a rememberance of their kiddos do collect those too.
My hubby recently received a coin that sorta looked like a US penny, but discovered it was a South American coin and only worth like 1/6thof our US penny. He didn’t feel “ripped”off but rather as a casual coin collector of sorts, he was thrilled with it.
I liken picking up the penny to so many children out there in the foster system and other places in need. They are the “penny” of society and just need someone to value them as a 20 dollar bill and step up for them. The excitement my children have in finding coins is lost on older adults – we want “more” – top dollar or nothing. That sparkle they get when they find a penny is the life and hope living in them. As adults, many of us need to gain that sparkle back!
I’m looking at my “penny” children who to me are $1 million dollar kiddos – my job daily is to make them feel like that million dollars and still be able to make change! They are my God given purpose on this earth and I take that seriously, even when others sometimes make them feel like less. I’ve been known to be tough on my kiddos, holding them to high standards - but I work hard to uplift them daily as well. I’m searching for the penny every day and to discover it with great joy as they show me how it is done. Each day we share our "highs" and have done away wish sharing "lows" as to focus more on the positive at the end of the day.
Yearly, our church, with many other churches collect pennies from the children during offering and place the coins in a specially made tower. We then turn them in at the annual MCC Sale –each year all those pennies add up to a good sum – 2012 penny offering totalled $19,843.27 for world wide relief.
Here is a link from last year to this wonderful fund raising event that ranks in the highest percentage of your given dollar going to those in need!
So, while not everyone in the world is called or capable of being a foster parent either, next time you see a penny on the ground – I dare you to pick it up….does it give you just a little thrill? Don't worry about anyone watching....find the joy in picking up that penny!  Think about it….

Friday, August 16, 2013

1st Day of Kindergarten 2013


She was so excited!  I'm excited she was excited! 

Let the good learning times begin.

"let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance..." ~ Proverbs 1:5

Thursday, August 15, 2013

1st Day for the teens 2013

And let the fun begin.....

First day for my 8th, 9th and 11th graders.  Yikes.  Let the routine and stress begin!

I won't tell you why they are laughing so hard....but it has to do with Anthony.....let's just say it is a boy thing.  :-)  Have  great day.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

August 10th, 2013 ~ A Great Day!

I’ve been waiting and praying for this day to share this post.  She is home.   Our family feels restored.
We are all changed and have grown so much in the last nine months.  Nine months.  That is what it takes to grow a child in pregnancy and go through childbirth – it sorta feels the same for me in that we gave our lovely daughter to a very special place for 9 long months, awaiting a sort of re-birth.  During that time we’ve reflected inwardly and worked hard.  Most of all – she has worked the hardest.  Many times it wasn’t easy.  And the work remains ongoing – but we are reunited as a FAMILY again…ready for this next path the Lord is leading us on as a family. 
Thank you to all of you, who held us close, nurtured us all and supported us in this passage of time.  Without your support and understanding we couldn’t have made it.  You know who you are….we love you all very much!  Family, church family, friends and professionals involved.  
We continue to pray daily for strength and wisdom. Tough days will appear again, I know that but for today, we rejoice.  We welcome your ongoing prayers and support.  You can read all the books in the world, know the ideals – but you still have to put it all into practice and there are always things that come up we aren’t prepared for in parenting, especially teens.  

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.   ~ Samuel Ullman ~
5 days from today we have a Kindergartener, 8th grader, freshman and junior all hitting the school system.  Phew – it will be a fun and busy year no doubt.  I’m so grateful for the Lord in sending us our children – each one chosen for us.  We are so blessed!  Let the celebrating begin!
Luke 15: 22-24, 31-32
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

Friday, August 2, 2013

Onions and Layers

If you know me well – you’ll know I HATE onions. Let me rephrase that. I hate the TEXTURE of onions…the pieces that squeak in your teeth send me dashing to the bathroom to do an onion hurl! I actually love the flavor of onions…..I use onion powder and tolerate minced. Finely minced please. Yes, I’m an older lady who picks out chunks of onions and it annoys me GREATLY if I order my pizza without onions and low and behold they put onions on it…like I’m something rare that I hate onions.
Opposites attract? Yup – my husband loves onions – all kinds, all ways.
My in-laws (the best in the world!) grow a healthy garden and graciously share their produce with us. Onions accepted on a minimal basis will be used up in things like a roast in a crock pot simmering all day, etc. I pluck them off – my husband eats them up.
Onions are funny creations – who ever pulled them out of the ground the first time, peeled them back and decided to eat them? First of all – that outer coating is protecting their squeaky insides and my eyeballs from crying like a fool….chop them or slice them after peeling outside layers away and I cry like there is no tomorrow. I don’t enjoy cutting up onions too much, do you? I know there are ways to cut onions without causing a person to cry – just can’t remember them when I need that Pinterest tip.
As our daughter rejoins our home life again this month…..I think of the many layers we as people have. Sometimes we only see the outer peelings, dried and brown and don’t see the juicy goodness or inner ugliness until those layers are peeled back. We all have layers in our lives, some have to be analyzed harder and worked at to get to the goodness inside and release the flavor for all to enjoy in whatever way those fixin’s happen. I’m very proud of our daughter – she still has her layers, we all do – but she’s worked so hard to peel some things back. 
We’ll have crying days – no doubt. But I’m ready to slow cook our family into one dish of delish!

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