Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Kings and Queens

The past few months as I have been thinking about us doing foster care
or adopting a special needs child this verse kept coming back to me.
Then the righteous will answer him,
"Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you something to drink?
When did we see you a stranger and invite you in,
or needing clothes and clothe you?
When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?"
The King will reply,
"I tell you the truth, whatever you did
for one of the least of these brothers of mine,
you did for me."
Matthew 25:37-40
I just heard this song for the first time today, and I had to share it with you.
It's Kings and Queens, by Audio Adrenaline.
I am praying that God would give our next child a crown of beauty instead of ashes!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bet you didn't know...

SJ and his Jack-o-Lantern, he carved it himself!
***The first Jack-o-Lanterns were made from turnips.
***The largest pumpkin ever measured weighed 1,810.5 lb.
***Halloween was not widely celebrated in the United States until the early 1900s.
***The practice of trick or treating is American, but probably has it's roots in All Soul's Day in England, in which poor people would receive "soul cakes" from the rich in exchange for praying for their dead relatives.
***Illinois grows more pumpkins than any other state.
***Pumpkins are native to the Western Hemisphere and colonists learned about them from the Indians.
"I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself,
than be crowded on a velvet cushion." ~Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Psalms on Sunday

I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing."
I have set the LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Psalm 16:2,8,11
Just enjoying God and his gift of a beautiful fall day today
and a wonderful family to share it with!

Friday, October 26, 2012

1,000 gifts!

Over a year ago I read the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, and as a result
I decided to make my own list of things I was thankful for, adding a few each day. This
has been such a blessing in my life!  God is always good and gives us good gifts, even
through the hard times- like failed health, difficult relationships, and droughts.

Well, today I finally made it to gift number 1,000!  I would like to encourage you to
make your own list too, it helps keep things in perspective, especially if you tend
to be a "glass half empty" kind of person, like me. (:
You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
Psalm 30:11-12

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


What makes a house feel homey to you?  Having your family there would be the first thing I'd think of, but what else makes your house a nice place to come home to?  Sandi, at Rose Chintz Cottage, is having a blog party where you can post what you do to make your house a home, and I thought it would be fun to join in.

I love this corner of our dining room.  It makes me feel happy every time I look over there, because it's filled with things I love and things that bring me good memories.  The red and cream pie safe that holds my transferware came from my great-grandparents' home.  Family antiques are very special.
I just received this quilted wall hanging in the mail a few weeks ago from a dear friend.  She told me that during last winter when I was having health problems she decided to make this for me and pray for me while she stitched it together!  I am so thankful for her and so now when I see this cute wall hanging it reminds me of her.
On top of the pie safe is this old blue canning jar filled with seashells that we gathered on vacation in South Carolina back in 2000.  That was a fun trip because it was the first time I'd seen the ocean.
And of course, I love red transferware- all the interesting scenes on each one make them fun to use for everyone in the family.  I let the kids pick which plate they want to use for our holiday meals, and they all have their favorites.
So, using things I love for decorations is one way I try to make our house a home.  I'm looking forward to seeing what other people share!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Adoption and Foster Care

The other day as I was walking through our meadow I came across this little purple daisy, all alone in the middle of the grass.  There weren't any other wildflowers around it, it was all alone.  It reminded me of our next child, who is all alone in the world somewhere, waiting to belong to a family. 

As I've mentioned before, we are in the middle of taking classes to become either foster parents or adoptive parents through the state, so adoption and foster care are on our minds a lot lately.  After our last class, which emphasized the foster parents' role in keeping in contact with the child's bio family while they are in our home, I came to realize the very different outlooks you have to have when you are doing foster care versus adoption.

Andy and I have a heart for adoption.  We love being able to serve the Lord through providing a needy child with a secure and permanent home, unconditional love, and a sense of belonging.  We love each of our children so much and are grateful to God for how he has put our family together.  Adoption is very child-focused, it's all about giving an orphan a family.

Foster care, on the other hand, is more whole bio-family-focused.  In order to do foster care well, you need to have a heart for re-unification.  Your desire must be for the bio parents to change and improve their behavior so that they can get their child back.  You obviously can't go into foster care with the mindset of, "I hope the bio parents don't improve their life so we can keep their child".  Unfortunately sometimes the bio parents aren't able or willing to make good choices and they do lose the rights to their children and they become available for adoption.  Then your focus can shift to the child and away from the whole family.

So, we are thinking through where our heart is and whether we should do foster care or just seek to adopt again.  We would appreciate your prayers as we make this decision!  We are praying that God would lead us to the child he wants in our family, however that may come about.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

October's Bright Blue Weather

October's Bright Blue Weather
~Helen Hunt Jackson~
O sun and skies and clouds of June
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October's bright blue weather;
When loud the bumblebee makes haste,
Belated, thriftless vagrant,
And goldenrod is dying fast,
And lanes with grapes are fragrant;
When gentians roll their fringes tight,
To save them for the morning,
And chestnuts fall from satin burs
Without a sound of warning;
When on the ground red apples lie
In piles like jewels shining,
And redder still on old stone walls
Are leaves of woodbine twining;
When all the lovely wayside things
Their white-winged seeds are sowing,
And in the fields, still green and fair,
Late aftermaths are growing;
When springs run low, and on the brooks
In idle, golden freighting,
Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush
Of woods, for winter waiting;
When comrades seek sweet country haunt
By twos and twos together,
And count like misers hour by hour
October's bright blue weather.
O sun and skies and flowers of June,
Count all your boasts together,
Love loveth best of all the year
October's bright blue weather.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Walking through the woods with DJ

~An autumn walk through the woods~
~The plum bushes are turning a pretty shade of red~

~DJ came along and we looked for the horses~

~The cedar trees are covered with blue berries~

~It was raining leaves down by the water hole~

The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

Monday, October 15, 2012

Tea in the Woods

The weather is getting cooler, so we might need an afghan
with our tea today!  I'm using a few of my red transferware
dishes again today.
I love this teacup, it's one of my favorites!  This is the saucer below.
I guess they liked having tea outdoors back in 1792 also!  The saucer
depicts Kenilworth Castle, which was first built in the 1120's, and
then was added onto many times over the years.  Here's what it
looks like today.  Only two of the buildings are still habitable.
Here's the bottom stamp from the teacup,
if you care about things like that.  (:

I still have some roses blooming, so I picked a few
from our miniature pink rosebush for this little vase.
I'm enjoying some no bake cookies with my
chamomile tea today.  The recipe is below-
they are perfect if you're in a rush.

This pretty floral transferware dessert plate is made by-
It was fun to sit out on the bench and watch the leaves fall
while I drank my tea.  I hope you all have a great week
and enjoy the beautiful fall weather!
No Bake Cookies
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
3 Tbsp. cocoa
1 stick butter
Mix and cook in saucepan until butter is melted.
Remove from heat.  Add:
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
4 c. oatmeal
Mix well.  Spread in 8x8 pan or place by spoonfuls
on waxed paper.  Chill until firm.
I'm joining Sandi for her Pink Tea Party.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Family life update

Here's a little update on what's going on at our house--

~PD (in photo above) sprained his ankle pretty badly in his football game today, so he'll be out of commission for awhile.

~LA and DJ aren't feeling too well, looks like they might be getting the sore throat/fever that's been going around.

~We have been having the most beautiful fall- perfect weather and the leaves are all turning, it's a great time of year!

~SJ and AJ are going to the pumpkin patch for a field trip this week and they are super excited.  I get to go along too so that will be fun!

~This week we started our ladies' Bible studies at church, I"m helping lead one...  We're doing the study on James by Beth Moore.  I've done lots of her studies and they're always good and challenging, so I'm looking forward to that.

We are staying really busy with all the kids' school activities, football, foster care classes, and church activities.  Being so busy is really not "me", I'd rather sit calmly at home and work on my projects!  But, that's life these days.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Colors of Autumn

So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today-
to love the LORD your God and to serve him
with all your heart and with all your soul-
then I will send rain on your land in its season,
both autumn and spring rains,
so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil.
I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle,
and you will eat and be satisfied.
Deuteronomy 11:13-15

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Never say Never

SJ and AJ with our miniature mare, Star
Have you ever said you'd never do something and then ended up doing it?  That seems to happen fairly often, doesn't it?   One thing we always said was that we would never send our kids to public school.  And now we're doing it!  It's going quite well, some of them tend to think school is a waste of their time anyways, so that hasn't changed no matter what school they are in!  But overall we are pleased with how things are going.  They are finding friends and we are happy with their teachers. 
You know, I was thinking, that when we say, "I would never do __________", aren't we really limiting God's ability to work in our lives?  How can he change us and grow us if we are so stuck in our ways?  In my case he had to send me seizures and bad health to get us to send our kids to public school- I couldn't physically home school them anymore.  Thankfully I am feeling lots better now, but I am glad that we made the decision to send our kids to public school.  They are learning things there that I couldn't teach them- and I'm not talking about reading, writing and arithmetic.  They are learning how to do work for people who might not do things they way we do, they are learning about how to make wise choices, and how to get along with kids who are different from them- all great life lessons.  So the old saying, "Never say never!" is really true.
In his heart a man plans his course,
but the Lord determines his steps.
Proverbs 16:9

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Knitting a Sunbonnet Sue dishcloth

The weather really cooled down this weekend and we had our first freeze last night.  The cooler temperatures put me in the mood for knitting and crocheting again!  So I've been trying out a few of those patterns I've pinned to Pinterest over the past year.  Currently I'm working on a Sunbonnet Sue dishcloth.  Here's the pattern link.  It's really cute!  I like Sunbonnet Sue quilts too, don't you?  Hope you all had a good and restful Sunday--

Friday, October 5, 2012

Cleaning, Paperwork, and Home Visits

I haven't updated the blog for a few days, but that's because I've been cleaning!  Yesterday we had our first home visit by the agency who is helping us get licensed to do foster care/adoption.  It went well and she didn't see anything keeping us from getting licensed, except a few small things like installing carbon monoxide detectors and outlet covers.  There are so many rules to follow and paperwork to fill out to be able to do foster care, it is unreal.  I have said this with each of our adoptions, but it shouldn't be this hard to help a child!  Of course, I understand why they have to have so many rules, and they need to make sure that a child is going to a safe and loving home, but it is a lot.  We are almost half done with the PS-MAPP classes we have to take.  There are 10 of them, once a week, for 3 hours.  They have been interesting and helpful, they help you to understand more of what the foster child is experiencing and what we might run into.  Hopefully we'll be all done with the paperwork and licensing by the end of the year, but it might take longer.  Keeping our next child in mind keeps us going!
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