Friday, November 30, 2012


I love watching this squirrel behind our house, he's always busy!
Waiting is always hard, especially for impatient people like me.  Usually when you are waiting you have an end in sight- like when you are waiting for your wedding, you can count down the days, when you are waiting to give birth, you can count down the months and you know you won't be pregnant forever!, when you are waiting for Christmas, you know it is always on December 25th, and so on.  But waiting to adopt is a whole different story.  I realized today we have spent 44 months waiting to adopt in our lives so far.  Waiting to adopt is so difficult because that phone call telling you of your new child can come at any moment.  You have no idea how long you will be waiting, and you have absolutely no control over how long you will be waiting.  It's pretty much torture.  I don't know how many sighs have escaped my lips while we've been waiting to adopt, but it has been a lot.  I saw this cute Family Circus cartoon on facebook today-
When you adopt, there isn't any physical pain, no pregnancy sickness or contractions, but there definitely is labor of the heart.  And, having experienced both, I would say that adopting is a lot more painful than giving birth.  But the reward is great!  It's a good opportunity to learn to trust God and his sovereign control over each situation.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
Psalm 27:14

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November is Going

November comes and November goes,
With the last red berries and the first white snows.
With night coming early, and dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket and frost by the gate.

The fires burn and the kettles sing,
and earth sinks to rest until next spring.
~Clyde Watson~
Isn't this a cute poem?  Thanks for sharing it, Sandi!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Crochet Stars

Here's a cute and easy crochet pattern to use this Christmas!  I found this on pinterest, here are the original instructions, although it's an older post and none of her pictures are showing anymore.

I have had fun making these stars in a variety of ways.  First I made a single star ornament with regular worsted yarn and a size G hook.

Then I crocheted several and tied them together to make a garland.  This is a silly picture of SJ but you can see the garland in the background. (:

Another idea is to use crochet thread and make a small string of stars for the tree.  These are really cute and if you were really ambitious a long string of them would be really fun.  (Did I use too many really's in that sentence???)

I enjoy fast and easy crochet patterns and this one fits the bill!  Hope you all have a great week- we have had someone sick at our house for 8 days straight now... tis the season!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Christmas Village

About 10 years ago I started collecting pieces of our Christmas village, and now it's quite a busy place!  Putting up the village is one of my favorite parts of decorating for Christmas.
I love how the light shines through the windows, especially in the evening.

The kids love looking at it too, it looks like a fun place to live!

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee
to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David,...
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born.
Luke 2:4,6

This is the village we had when I was growing up.
It's a lot simpler, huh?  In fact, I think all of Christmas
was a lot simpler back then, or maybe it just seems that way.
We do tend to over complicate life!

I love Christmas memories, I can't stand to get rid of any
of our Christmas decorations, no matter how out-of-date
they are!  They stay in the boxes and I look at them each
year even if I don't put them all up.  I hope our children
have equally good memories of Christmas when they are grown!
Sorry this picture is so blurry- I can't hold still enough
 in low light and neither can they! (:

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Love your Neighbor

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture,
"Love your neighbor as yourself,"
you are doing right.
James 2:8
"God knows the tendency of the pious to use preoccupation
with Him as an excuse to ignore people. The 'I'm too busy
looking up to look out' kind of mentality doesn't hold water
with Jesus.  He'd just as soon pour that water from a
pitcher and wash somebody's feet." 
~Beth Moore, in James, Mercy Triumphs

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Our Thanksgiving Table

Well, the Thanksgiving food has all been enjoyed (except dessert- we'll have
that later!) and the guys are all relaxing and watching football, so I have a little
time to share our Thanksgiving table with you-

I got these Pilgrim and Indian placecard holders at a yard sale
this summer, they were a fun addition to our table this year.

Our kids each pick which red transferware plate they want to use
for the holiday meals, and LA always picks this one.

This gravy boat is the first piece of red transferware I ever had.

Ready to eat- the kids had to endure a few pictures first!

I'm so thankful for my family!!
Give thanks to the LORD,
call on his name;
make known among the nations
what he has done.
1 Chronicles 16:8
I'm joining Tablescape Thursday, where there are lots of fun tables to see!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Baking up a Storm

The oven is working overtime today at our house!
This morning we made apple pie, pumpkin pie, and berry crisp.
Whenever I peel apples little people show up
to eat the peelings!
SJ had to help me roll out the pie dough.  He's so funny!
Now this afternoon I have to make cranberry bread and cranberry jello.
Everything else will have to wait for tomorrow!
We're going to start a new tradition this year.  I thought it
would be fun to keep track of what we were thankful for
from year to year, and decided to write it down in this notebook.
We're going to start with the youngest, and each list three
things with no repeats, so we don't end up with God,
family, and friends over and over. (:
He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me,
and he prepares the way so that I may
show him the salvation of God.
Psalm 50:23
I'm joining Sandi for her Home Party today.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The week of cooking and baking

This postcard was sent to my Great-Grandpa in 1916,
unfortunately I can't read it because it's all in German.
Are you busy getting ready for Thanksgiving this week?  I have my list ready of what I need to do each day to get everything done!  Today is making cranberry jello for DJ's school Thanksgiving party tomorrow and I think I might cook up some pumpkin.  AJ is wanting to make his pumpkin from the pumpkin patch into a pie so we better get it cooked up today.  Unfortunately LA is home from school with a fever today, so hopefully we don't all get sick this week- that would put a kink in our plans! 

Cooking up pumpkin isn't too hard, just takes a little time!  Of course it's much easier to buy it canned at the store, but where is the sense of accomplishment in that?? (:  Here are a couple of our favorite pumpkin recipes that use homemade pumpkin puree.  Since being gluten free is kind of difficult during the holidays, I'm including a recipe for gluten free pumpkin bars also, in case you have someone like that in your family and you don't know what to cook for them! (:
Pumpkin Bread
3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cloves
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
3 1/3 c. flour
1 c. oil
1 c. water
2 c. pumpkin puree (or 1 can)
4 eggs
Mix all ingredients together with beater.  Pour into 2 greased loaf pans and bake at 350 for about 1 hour.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
1 box gluten free yellow cake mix
2 c. pumpkin puree (or 1 can)
1/2 c. softened butter
1/4 c. water
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
3 eggs
Mix until well combined with mixer.  Pour into greased 9x13 pan and bake 20-25 min. at 350.  Let cool completely and then frost.
2 c. powdered sugar
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. butter, softened
1 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix in bowl and beat till smooth.  Spread on cooled bars.


Friday, November 16, 2012

My weakness isn't as bad as your weakness

We all have weaknesses in our lives.  Usually these weaknesses run in families, if you look at your great-grandpa, you might see that he was a very proud man too, or maybe your aunt has that same tendency to lie that you've seen in yourself or your children, or maybe a cousin has that same weakness for spending too much money that you have.  When we are surrounded by people in our family with the same weakness or tendencies that we have we can start to think that it's not that bad.  We make excuses like, it's just the way we are.  You know, those Joneses, they are always trying to deal underhandedly, or maybe those Smiths, they always look down on the Jacksons.  We get comfortable with our sin, to where we don't even hardly notice it.  But we definitely notice other people's!

Yes, these are my ancestors...
that's where I get my grumpiness from!
Needless to say, this one isn't framed and up in our house!
Enter adoption.  In our family we have 6 different biological families represented, all with their own set of weaknesses.  Some of those weaknesses are things we have never felt tempted to do ourselves, so when we see our child doing it, it's very easy to think, "oh my goodness!  I can't believe my child is ___enter sin here____!"  That is why we end up hearing excuses for adopting like, "I don't want to bring bad blood into our family."  Like one person's blood is actually better than another's?  We are all sinners before God, none of us are righteous.  The sin of pride is not "better" than the sin of stealing- it is all filth, and it all destroys relationships between ourselves and others, but most importantly, between us and God.  Thankfully we have Jesus, who has made a way for us to have a restored relationship with God, through his death on the cross!

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,
so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;
by his wounds you have been healed.
1 Peter 2:24

Thursday, November 15, 2012

It must be November

The leaves have almost all fallen,
The firewood has been cut,
Hundreds of geese are flying over, heading south,
It's almost time for Thanksgiving!
(and that means Christmas isn't far away!)
A few things I'm thankful for this week-
~a wonderful 2 day visit with our good friends~
~antibiotics- because Andy has bronchitis~
~winter skies- pink sunrises and sunsets~
~learning how God can turn our anguish into joy~
~another opportunity to trust Him~
~we finished our foster care/adoption classes~
~the privilege of raising five boys~

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Look at the birds...

This afternoon as I was looking out the window I saw about
five cardinals eating these little white berries on our bushes
in the back yard.  I love having cardinals around, especially
in the winter, they are so pretty.  It reminded me of these verses.
Look at the birds of the air;
they do not sow or reap or store away in barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more valuable than they?
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:26-27,33

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Studying James

At our ladies Bible study at church we've been doing this study on the book of James by Beth Moore.  It has been excellent so far and I'd recommend it.  James is such a practical book and there is lots to learn!  I like our group of ladies too, it's encouraging to get together with other women and share experiences and what we are learning spiritually as we go through life.

I have done lots of Beth Moore's Bible studies and they have all been very applicable and challenging.  I like what she said here- it has been true in my life for sure!

"Wait on the Lord!  So many presents are wrapped under your tree that it will take a lifetime to open them.  That's God's way.  He keeps telling us that there's something He's not telling us, like exactly how this whole thing is going to work out.  This we can know; it's going to be perfect." ~Beth Moore

Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17

Friday, November 9, 2012

Those cute toddlers--

Look at those cute little kids!  I think this was about 7 years ago, back when we lived in the desert.  From time to time we would take a day trip up into the mountains where we could see actual trees again, and this was one of those times.  It's been awhile since we've had little kids, and I was reminded of that lately as I observed busy moms taking care of their toddlers at church and in our extended family.  It looks like a lot of work! (:  But it would be fun to do it again, just once more! (: 

We still don't know whether we should do foster care or just adopt a waiting child.  We're trying to decide what would be best for our family.  We have no doubt that God wants us to do something, but we're not sure what that is yet.  I know that God will show us at the right time, but I still stew about it.  Thankfully his timing is always perfect!

Children are a gift from the LORD;
they are a reward from him.
Psalm 127:3

Monday, November 5, 2012

Love of Country

I love our country.  I love that we have the freedom to choose
our leaders, the freedom to worship how we choose, the opportunity
to improve our lives through hard work, and that there is
justice for all.  Our country is not perfect by any means,
but there is no other place I'd rather live!  I am looking
forward to voting on election day and adding my voice to those
of many others across our nation as we choose leaders
for the next four years.
"I have always given it as my decided opinion
that no nation had a right to intermeddle in the
concerns of another; that everyone had a right
to form and adopt whatever government they
like best to live under themselves."
~George Washington~
We have the opportunity to choose our government
tomorrow, thanks to the sacrifice of many, many people
over the last 236 years.  What a blessing that is!
Of course, I hope that the people I vote for will win!  But no
matter who wins, God is still in control.  I read these verses
a few weeks ago and they were an encouragement to me.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortal men, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them-
the LORD, who remains faithful forever.
Psalm 146:3-6
The teacup is by Adams of England, and the plates are Historical America by Homer Laughlin.
I am joining Tea Time Tuesday and Table Top Tuesday again today.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Football season is over

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens.
Ecclesiastes 3:1
Tonight we enjoyed this beautiful sunset on the way home from PD's last football game of the season.  Football has made life very busy but it was fun to watch PD play each week this fall.
PD is number 14.  His team played hard and learned a lot this season!
He played running back on offense and defensive end on defense.  PD has always loved tackling his brothers so they were glad he got to tackle some other people for once! (:
My dad said when he was in grade school the kids practiced for their team sports during P.E., and then played their games during afternoon school hours.  The whole school got out to watch them play.  Too bad they don't still do things that way, it would be a lot nicer!  Traveling to practices three times a week in the evenings plus games every Saturday for 3 months got to be a little much.  But PD had a good time playing and we enjoyed watching him and cheering him on.

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