Monday, December 31, 2012

A Beautiful Way to End the Year

White as snow, white as snow,
Though my sins were as scarlet;

Lord, I know, Lord, I know
That I'm clean and forgiven.

Through the power of Your blood,
Through the wonder of Your love,

Through faith in You I know that I can be,
White as snow.
~Leon Olguin~
"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD.
"Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
thought they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool."
Isaiah 1:18

Friday, December 28, 2012

No home for Christmas

~Our Family Christmas 2012~
Imagine for a moment, what would it be like if you had no family.  No one who you could call when things got rough, no one who you know you can count on, no place to go home for Christmas, no place where you "fit".  That's the reality for the roughly 30,000 kids aging out of the foster care system this year.

Did you know...

~In 2009 there were 115,000 children waiting to be adopted in the US state system.

~In 2009 57,000 children were adopted through the state.  That's about 50% of the total children waiting.

~The average wait time from when the parental rights are terminated to when a child is adopted is about 14 months. 

~In 2009, about 29,000 children aged out of the foster care system with no permanent family connections.

Do you have room in your heart for one of them? 

It's not easy to adopt these children, as we are finding out!  It is a process and many times we wonder if the agencies really have the best interest of the children at heart, but there is so much regulation that it makes things difficult all around.  There are photo listings of many of the kids that are available for adoption, like , and many states have their own photolistings as well.  We are finding that a lot of these kids on the photolistings are in process of being adopted already, but many are just waiting.  So even though the system isn't perfect, it's what we have to work with, so we do it.  We are glad God has chosen to use us in this way, to care for and love some of the fatherless in this old messed up world.  If you think of us, please pray that God would send us whoever he wants in our family, and that we would be open to His leading- thanks so much!

All statistics are from this website.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dreaming of summer

I was sorting through my pictures this evening and came across
these pretty roses- don't they make you wish for summer again?
"Sing a song of seasons, something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer, fires in the fall!"
~Robert Louis Stevenson~

The seed catalogs have come in the mail already, so we can
start dreaming about next year's garden.

I would like to move our vegetable garden this year and possibly
make some raised beds or build a new garden area closer to
the house.  It hasn't happened yet though and now it's too cold.
Guess I'll keep dreaming...

I'm so glad to live in a place with seasons, there is something
good about each one.  Although once Christmas is over
winter could be over too as far as I'm concerned!
As long as the earth endures,
seed time and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.
Genesis 8:22

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A fun toy-

One toy that was a big hit for Christmas this year was this fun little plane.
When AJ flew it the first time it flew a little too good and ended up in the
top of one of our tallest trees...  They got it down though and we headed out
to the pasture where we'd have a little more room.  This plane really goes!
The kids had fun chasing it down.  If you have a little boy that loves
planes, here's where I got it.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Christmas House Tour

Merry Christmas to all of you!  I hope that you have a very
special time celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior
with your families.  Today I'm going to take you on a
little Christmas house tour- this is the home I grew up in
and it's where my dear Mom and Dad still live.  There
are lots of pictures, hope you don't mind!
Come on in!  My Mom is very good decorating with details
as you will soon see.  She made this cute Christmas door decoration
with a silver platter and creamer and some pine branches.  First
we will tour the living room.  Mom calls it her "parlour".

This was my Great-Grandparent's nativity.  I love it!  In the back
there is a place for candles, and the heat would make the angels
go around and around.  You can tell it did catch fire one time!

Another family nativity on the organ.

I love this rose tea set!

Mom made the trees out of cereal boxes and spray painted them.

Wouldn't it be fun to eat at this table?  She clipped little candles
to each plate charger- a little detail that would be so fun.

This doll belonged to my Great-Aunt.  Isn't she cute?

I love how my Mom packed this box with family treasures.
The photo is my Great-Grandma.

Mom has little fun things to look at throughout their house.
She made these trees out of scrapbooking paper, cut in
little rectangles and glued to styrofoam cones.

In the kitchen my Mom grouped these trees together next
to her miniature village on the antique kitchen cupboard.
It used to belong to another Great-Aunt.

Moving on to the family room- she decorates
this room in a more natural, rustic style.
There are lots of birds in this room, especially at Christmas!

Mom made the little twig tree and candle holder- I love
this grouping together with the vintage elk and antler!

And at last Santa's coming on his sleigh!
I hope you enjoyed the tour-
Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Beauty and Pain

We had such a pretty snowfall this morning when we woke up!  In the shelter of the trees the snow had piled up on the branches- what a beautiful sight every time I looked out the window today.

Of course, when the kids got home from school they immediately headed out for a snowball fight.  I tried to stay out of the way and just take pictures!  Where we live the wind always makes drifts of snow, so even if we only get an inch there are lots of places where it's deeper.  They had fun!

This is a different subject, but I read this article, by Rick Lawrence the other day.  A friend had posted it to facebook, and it made me think, especially since we are pursuing an adoption of a waiting child who will probably challenge us in many ways!  Maybe it will make you think too.  Here is an excerpt--
"Jesus pursued the marginalized. He never spoke condescendingly to the broken and hurting. Pain was a beacon that drew him to people—he always made time for them. And he’s our model. If we’re not available to hurting kids, then we’re not serving as Jesus did. Our mission is to go after the frightened and desperate and abused—to offer them safety, forgiveness, and unconditional love. Our filter and our mission: Never trivialize a teenager’s pain, no matter its source. Remember the woman at the well? Jesus took a detour into enemy country just for one counseling session with a stranger in pain!"

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Look what I got!

One thing I love about our house is our wood stove.  It keeps
the whole house warm and we don't have to use any other
heat.  Plus it's cozy!  The previous owners had put up the brick
wall behind it but there was just a strip of plywood surrounding
the bricks.  So for my Christmas present this year, Andy
made an oak mantle!  It turned out really nice and I love it,
so I just had to show it off a little- hope you don't mind!

Christmas is so fun!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Where is the Peace on Earth?

It's a crazy, mixed up world.  There are so many heavy and hard things on my heart.  Where is the "Peace on Earth" this Christmas?  I am not the first person to ask that, by any means. 
I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
Yet pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."
Back on Christmas day, 1863, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the words to this song, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day". His wife had burned to death when her dress caught fire from a candle a few years before, and his son had just been seriously injured in the Civil War. Here is a photo of his family a few years later.  He knew what he was talking about.
Consider Jesus' words in John 16:33-
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Saturday, December 15, 2012

No other words--

Jesus loves me! this I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to him belong,
They are weak but he is strong!
Jesus loves me! He who died
Heaven's gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.
Jesus loves me! He will stay
Close beside me all the way;
He's prepared a home for me,
And some day His face I'll see.
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.
~Anna B. Warner~
Art by David Bowman

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

SJ's new horse

SJ bought himself a miniature horse this week!  She is a
really pretty little horse, but a little timid.

I love that we have enough space that our kids can
have their own animals.  It teaches them responsibility-
at least, that's the hope! 
A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal...
Proverbs 12:10

Monday, December 10, 2012

It wouldn't be Christmas without Peppernuts

Here in our part of the world peppernuts are the traditional
cookie of Christmas!  Everyone has their favorite recipe.
Most are flavored with anise, they can be fancy or plain,
cut out with a round cutter, or rolled in ropes and sliced.
This is my favorite recipe, it comes from a peppernut cookbook.

Quick Peppernuts

1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. butter
1 egg
1/8 tsp. anise extract
2 T. white syrup
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. ginger
3 1/2 c. flour

Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add egg, beat well. Add other liquids. Add dry ingredients with 2 c. flour. Knead in enough of remaining flour until dough is no longer sticky. Refrigerate in tightly covered container overnight or a few days. To make peppernuts, you can either roll the dough out into 1/4" sheets and cut with small round cookie cutter, or roll into ropes and slice with sharp knife. Place separately on greased baking sheets and bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes. Let cool slightly before removing from pan.
I usually have a helper- this year AJ had fun punching them out.
Peppernuts are the perfect treat to have with a cup of tea.
 Some people pride themselves on how small their peppernuts
are, mine are not that small but they sure taste good!  Some
people's are crunchy, some are so hard you almost break your
teeth!  Mine are more crunchy than hard.
But the angel said to her,
"Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.
You will be with child and give birth to a son,
and you are to give him the name Jesus."
"He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.
The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,
and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever;
his kingdom will never end."
Luke 1:30-33
I'm joining Sandi's Christmas Tea today. 
I hope you're having a special Christmas season!

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Christmas Tradition

Do you have any fun Christmas traditions?
For the last several years we pick a night in December
to watch The Nativity Story and then the boys all get
to sleep under the Christmas tree. 
 This year I made pepperoni pizzas in the shape of candy canes
for our supper.  You can see them back there on the stove.
SJ always gets into the spirit!  I think he looks like a little elf.

The boys are all trying to figure out what's in their packages-
some are a little too smart and already have it figured out...
But our citizenship is in heaven,
and we eagerly await a Savior from there,
the Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 3:20

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

You're not Home

I heard this song, Merry Christmas, by Third Day, on the radio and it expresses just what I'm feeling this year and what we've felt for half of the Christmases since we've been married- waiting for our next child to come home!  The photos in this video I made start about 7 years ago- and if we adopt an older child that's a lot of Christmases where we weren't together.  It makes me sad to think about it.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Crocheted Teacup Ornament Tutorial

A few years ago my mom received a couple of these
 little crocheted teacup ornaments from my great-aunt's
things after she died.  I copied one and wrote out the
instructions for you, in case you need a fun and easy
craft this Christmas season!
Crocheted Teacup Ornament

 I used a size 6 crochet hook and crochet thread.


With cream thread, ch. 4, join with slip stitch to beginning chain to make loop.

Round 1- chain 3 (counts as first dc), 15 dc in loop, join with sl st to beginning dc.

Round 2- chain 4 (counts as first dc + ch 1), dc in next stitch, ch 1, repeat around, join with sl st to beginning dc. 16 dc.


 Round 3- chain 3 (counts as first dc) dc in ch 1 space, ch 2, 2 dc in same ch 1 sp. (forming shell), ch 1, [(2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in every other ch 1 space, ch 1] around, join with sl st to beginning dc. (8 shells)

Round 4- sl st over to ch 2 space, ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in ch 2 space, ch 2, 2 dc in same ch 2 space (forming shell), ch 2, [(2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch 2 space, ch 2] around, join with sl st to beginning dc.
Round 5- sl st over to ch 2 space, ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc in ch 2 space, ch 2, 2 dc in same ch 2 space (forming shell), ch 2, sc in next ch 2 space, ch 2, [2 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 2, 2 dc in same ch 2 space (forming shell), ch 2, sc in next ch 2 space, ch 2], around, join with sl st to beginning dc.

Round 6- Join contrast thread to top ch 2 space of shell, [ch 3 (counts as first dc) 5 dc] in ch 2 sp, ch 3, sc in sc, ch 3, [6 dc in top ch 2 sp of shell, ch 3, sc in sc, ch 3] around, join with sl st to beginning dc. Finish off.

Round 1- Join cream thread to unused ch 1 sp of Round 2, [ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc, ch 1, 2 dc] in ch 1 sp (forming shell), (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in each unused ch 1 sp around, join with sl st to beginning dc. (8 shells)

Round 2- sl st over to ch 1 sp, [ch 3 (counts as first dc) dc, ch 1, 2 dc] in ch 1 sp (forming shell), (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in each ch 1 sp around, join with sl st to beginning dc.

Round 3- repeat round 2.

Round 4- Join contrast thread to top ch 1 sp of shell, [ch 3 (counts as first dc) 4 dc] in ch 1 sp, 5 dc in each ch 1 space around, join with sl st to beginning dc.

Handle- ch 15, join with sl st to base of cup, turn and 25 sc over chains back up handle to top of cup. Join with sl st to top of cup. Finish off.

I also made one with red trim, I like them both.

I'm joining Tea Time Tuesday.

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