Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving week

As we prepare for Thanksgiving we are reminded of a few of the things that we are thankful for this year.

We are thankful that we have been approved as a home for a foster child.  We pray that God uses us as a safe refuge for a child who needs a temporary, safe home.  May we wait patiently on his perfect timing.

We are thankful that we will be spending Thanksgiving with Grandma this year.  Although we suffered a loss this year as the Lord brought Grandad home, we can be thankful that he is with our Lord and Savior and thankful that Grandma lives close enough that she can come be with us for this holiday.

We are thankful for the wonderful reminder we had at the retirement home last week. 

We made pages with the residents that were like advent calendar pages
 but inside the windows and doors we wrote their memories.

Their memories were made up from holidays when they were children, holidays they spent with their own children, life, death and work.   May we all remember every day that right now we are creating memories with our families.  Not tomorrow, not when things slow down, not when we get that house we want, not when we get that job we want.  But right now life is happening and it is what we will look back on and remember as we grow old.  May we remember to make time to slow down and enjoy each day and each season of life we are in.

This lady was 104 years old!  She will be 105 on the 10th of Dec.  She was very sharp.  Her family has planned a big party for her but she says she is ready to go be in heaven.  She told them if she doesn't make it until her birthday to use the party as a memorial.  May we all prepare to meet Jesus with this same courage and excitement!  

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Operation Christmas Child

Every year Samaritans Purse collects boxes for a charity they call Operation Christmas Child.  For those who don't know what it is- you take a standard size shoebox or plastic box of the same size and fill it with gift items for a needy child.  We usually do toys, candy, personal hygiene items, warm socks, scarves or gloves.  This year we also added a canvas tote bag to each box. 

You can enclose a note with your gift and sometimes the children will write back.  (We have never had a child write back yet though.) 

Then we pray for each child that will receive our boxes.  In countries where it is not prohibited by law, Samaritans Purse also gives them a book when they receive their box.  It is written in their language and tells them about the Saving Grace of Jesus Christ.

We usually allow each of our children to do a box for their own age/gender.  But this year the children talked and were concerned maybe nobody would pick the oldest boys and girls so we did a box for each gender and age category.

Here are the children packing their boxes-

Kylie is not pictured above because she was recovering from getting ear tubes when we took the pictures.  But here are the things she picked out for her box.

Feel better soon Kylie.

Drop off Day

If you have never filled a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child but are interested in doing it next year just click on the verse below for more information.  It is such a tangible way for children to help other children.

Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.
Deuteronomy 16:17

Friday, November 18, 2011

Elayna's Update

Elayna hasn't officially started school yet and isn't in any activities so her update is just pretty much about what she is doing day to day.

She isn't in physical therapy or speech therapy this year.  On a given day you can pretty much find Elayna doing whatever Anna is doing.  Which right now means pretending to do school too.  Today she surprised us and kept right up with Anna identifying all of her upper case and lower case letters correctly.  It is hard to convince Elayna that she doesn't have to be able to do all the things Anna does!

This year Elayna is learning new ways to care about others. 
She packed her very first shoebox this year for Samaritans Purse.

Elayna has always been a very serious young lady.  She spends a lot of time thinking and watching and isn't one to just jump right in.   Maybe because she is our baby and she has so many people looking out for her and caring for her.  She is so special to all of us!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Anna's Update

This year Anna started school!  She loves doing school with the big kids!  

Writing is hard for Anna but she works hard at it every day
 and wants to keep trying.

Anna has a lot of energy.  She enjoys riding the horses when she gets a chance.

She loves art.  And she loves doing crafts.


Elayna and her are very close.  She likes to play with Elayna but she is also protective of her. 
She is such a good big sister.

Anna is a blessing to the family, she has such a joyful spirit. 

She enjoys helping out and never complains about doing chores.

 And Anna was also....an adorable baby!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Clara's Update

Clara is also doing the US States study this year with Kylie and Jacob in addition to her basic subjects. She does very well in school and is ahead in almost all her classes.

She is in homeschool choir this year where she is learning to sing and play the recorder.  She is playing Piano for the 2nd year and will have a recital for both coming up in December.

Clara has always had an adventurous spirit which has
given her the courage to try things like vaulting.

She loves to try to keep up with her big brother.
At the fair she goes on the scariest rides her height will allow. 
On the last vacation you could find Clara going down the tallest waterslides
and climbing the tallest rock walls that she could find.

But Clara also has a very gentle side and loves caring for the animals. 
 Right now she is responsible for the family's chickens.  
 She has all the work of feeding and watering them
 and checking their pens for possible predator break ins.

She does a wonderful job at the retirement home each month. 
She has been going as long as she can remember
 and has a very natural way with the residents. 

And....little clara

Birch Bay 2004
Showing off a crab

A lap full of baby chicks

Friday, November 11, 2011

Jacob's Update

Jacob is working on the same US study as Kylie and Clara.  It gives them a chance to learn about each State in some detail.  We are doing them in approximate order that they became States.  In addition to this study he has his basic subjects.

His project for the last 8 months or so has been raising pigs.  He is responsible for keeping track of costs and expenses, repairing and building shelters, the daily care of the animals and doing any research he needs to keep his business going.  He works really hard every day caring for them.  He has sold all of the piglets except what he is raising for our family. We are looking forward to re-filling our freezer with homegrown pork in December or January.

He has taken on the challenge of playing 3 instruments this year and is doing well with all of them.  He has taken piano for 3 years. He is in 2nd year band with his Bass Guitar and 1st year band with a Tenor Saxophone.  He has a Piano recital and a Band recital coming up in December.

Jacob has always been a natural with older people.  He does an amazing job each month at the retirement home visiting with and bringing cheer to the residents.

He also enjoyed sharing his pigs with the Special Friends camp that
Stephanie was helping with over the summer.

And a look back at our "little guy"

1 week

Hiking Trip 2002