Sunday, December 28, 2008

Feeling like home...

We have found our church home and haven fallen head over heals in love with the body of Christ. I haven't felt this way since we left Fargo. We have visited and went to many churches in the past 4 years but nothing felt like "home." Don't get me wrong we have met and participated with many wonderful people and churches but it just hasn't felt like we are completely home. This is the FRIENDLIEST church I have ever been to! They welcome the socks off of any newcomer! (and it is not just the greeters....everyone comes up to you and says..."Hey, I have never met you before, I am so and so." The preaching is awesome and they seem to be a church striving after the gospel. I feel blessed!

Today the Pastor talked about rest and how we need to rest in order to get rest. I am the queen of the checklist and my checklist is always going! I start one every week with hopes of finishing it. But today - I took a nap! It was very refreshing to close my eyes. I didn't do anything on my list today!

With that being said, after 6 months of being here we are settled. The newness has worn off and we are into the real routine of life here in Minnesota. We don't long for SF or our way of life there, we love exactly where God has called us.

I had the opportunity to talk to an old friend from Fargo for an hour last night and that always warms my heart. (it is not too often that I have time to talk for an hour!)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Away in a Manger

Here is our little choir...


video

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gingerbread houses and Happy Birthday Jesus

So we took the 9 children and made gingerbread houses! Again my sister-in-law and myself are a tad bit crazy...but so well worth it. The kids had such a great time plus we used all of my mom's old candy.

I was so proud of Grace today because we went to visit Alice (the woman whom we bought the house from) and Grace gave Alice her gingerbread house. Her heart was being generous and it was a big deal because she worked so hard on hers as you can see from the picture below.



We had my family Christmas this past weekend. And can you believe that my brother Chris and I still look alike? When I shaved my head, was the first time that I really saw how much we do look alike.


Happy Birthday Jesus...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Flashback Friday

Who's Taller?




One day about 5 years ago my brothers were arguing as to who was taller? We couldn't tell with just looking so we got out the level. Lo and behold...it was completely level! I was laughing so hard because each was so sure that "He" was taller.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008



Larsen Family Theme Verse 2008

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

What a year 2008 has been for us! While writing our Christmas letter last year, we had an inkling that God was up to something big and boy was he ever! We took a huge leap of faith, following God’s lead, and moved back to St. Cloud, MN (Carl’s home town) to start our own business; Telescope Media Group. Daily we’ve repeated our theme verse as a reminder that God has called us on this adventure.

When Carl is not stuck in his chair working on an animation, you will find him and all the kids playing on the Zipline that runs from his sister’s backyard into ours. At 210 feet long, it is sure to make your heart race when you jump off for the first time! Carl has also been hosting a podcast on the internet teaching other video professionals his latest tips and tricks.

If Angel isn’t busy with the girls or helping Carl with the business, you can find her making nursing shawls, head scarves, and bows for her own company, Wings. She also has become a faithful blogger, and enjoys keeping friends and family up to date with the pictures and stories of our life. She also continues to homeschool Grace and Lydia while chasing a two-year-old who thinks its fun to dump everything out of every container.

Grace is now 5 years old and has a serious flare for drama. Everything comes with actions, sound effects and frills – and she loves the fact that her six cousins live right next door! When all of them get together there’s a full cast and crew just waiting for an audience.

Lydia is 4 years old. Give her a pencil and she’ll draw you the cutest family you’ve ever seen. She’s usually is the first to wake up in the morning, and loves to have special time with her Daddy reading their Bibles before anyone else is up.

Adie will be 2 in January and we are happy to report that she thinks walking is cool. She has decided talking is unnecessary because her older sisters do enough of it, and screaming gets you most everything you want anyways. She hates having her hair done, wearing a diaper, and sitting in her car seat, but she loves to sit on Daddy’s lap while he is working.

We have started the process of adopting two children from Ethiopia. We don’t know who they are yet, but we think and talk about them daily at our house. Lord willing, we hope to have them in our home by next Christmas.

May the Lord richly bless you with His love,

Carl, Angel, Grace, Lydia, and Adie Larsen


www.telescopemediagroup.net

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mysterious Christmas Card

So, I had Carl go and get the mail at 10pm because I never think to do it while there is still light. Anyway, we get this card in the mail (from Sioux Falls) that is addressed to us with our same return address. Inside was a gift certificate to Walmart and the card read:

"Wish you a season of new beginnings and a wonderful journey into the year ahead. "

Here we are trying to figure out who's handwriting this is and we are coming up blank.

So - if YOU are reading my blog, I say thank you! I am still smiling about this and will the next time I need to make my famous Walmart runs.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Adoption update

We have our home study on the calendar for January 6th! Yeah! The crazy part is that if we would have been home this weekend, she would have done it then! WOW!

Now we need to head down to the police station to have them write up a little notice that we have not committed any crimes:)

I was encouraged to talk to our social worker today. She is on our side and wants us to adopt! You don't always get that vibe when you talk to people in the adoption world.

I am now off to read to my girls and put them to bed.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

We're back...

We just made it back from my parent's house. The mid-day snowstorm put a little damper as to the time we were going to leave. But we had a great time hanging out at Papa and Nana's house and even got in a little Christmas caroling.

Now we are off to the cousins for some yummy soup!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Candid

The assignment:

Take a picture of yourself right NOW!

DON’T change your clothes, DON’T fix your hair… Just take a picture.

Post that picture with NO editing.

Post these instructions with your picture.


So this is what I look like after having the whole day without my girls. My parents are simply amazing. They drove an hour last night to pick up my girls so they could have one extra day with Nana and Papa. Now this means, We have 24 hours with no children in the house. I have been on a terror cleaning, organizing and I have a whole lot more that I would like to get done. Oh - I even got to go on a walk with my sister-in-law without children! (that is unheard of around here!)

One would think I would have showered by now, but hey, I still have time.

So, If you are reading my blog...you are tagged! I am looking forward to your pictures!


Friday, December 12, 2008

Flashback Friday



This was the last snow fall of the year last year in SF. We took advantage of the 30+ degree day and made a family of snowmen. I was a little sentimental about it knowing that we were moving in a couple of months. Grace and Lydia were standing next to the snowman that "looked like them." Notice that it can't be too cold outside if Lydia is wearing her rain boots instead of her winter boots.




Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gracie's getting married...

This morning at 7:00 am I let all the kids come out of the bedroom - (They were up at 5:50, but we have a rule that you must stay in your bed until 7 - so same rules apply when the cousins are here.)
Grace informed everyone at the breakfast table that she was going to marry Simon.

Then she told me, "You know mom, he is 3 1/2"

I had to correct her and tell her that he did just turn 4.

"Well, I need to be older than him, so that I can take my driver's test first."

"Oh, that's great honey. I am sure Betsy will be really happy that she can be apart of our family."

I am kind of glad that she arranged her own marriage.

Oh Grace I would love for you to stay by baby girl forever! But I know all too soon you will be walking down the isle. Until then, I am going to cherish everyday!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The sleepover!



We had 5 out of 6 cousins come over for pretzel dipping, supper and a movie. The three oldest are now snug in the bedroom with Grace, Lydia and Adie. Yes there are 6 children sleeping in one room tonight. I am very curious how it will go because Adie has been a pickle the past few nights.

The video actually shows them all very quiet but I have to admit that they were more like a bunch of JH boys who just slammed a Mountain Dew, running around, building forts and boy can 8 children be loud! We just don't have any place to tell them to "go and play." Someday, Lord willing, we will have a basement!

All in all the kids were great! I feel so blessed that we can live next to our cousins and have so many fond memories such as these. What was I thinking dipping pretzels with 8 kids 8 and under? I am glad that I had the foresight to put freezer paper on the table...made clean up a breeze!

video

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Friday Picnic

Yesterday was tough morning with Adie throwing temper tantrums. So, I needed to come up with a change of pace otherwise I thought I might go crazy!

We had a picnic lunch in the entry way including blankets, sandwiches, grapes, carrots and chips. We had a wonderful time imagining what we would see at the park. There were swings, trees, green grass, caterpillars, and even ants were on our blanket. Birds flew overhead and one almost pooped on Lydia. We had a great lunch and were well sunned by the time it was over!


Friday, December 5, 2008

Flashback Friday

Christmas 2003


Life was a whole lot different 5 years ago. This was our little "Rooster." We called her "Roo" while she was in the womb, but it quickly changed to "Rooster" because she was our wake call in the morning. Granted once she was a little older she would sleep until 8 or 9 in the morning. I knew that I had it good, but I didn't know how good! I have no idea what I did all day but I was "busy."

Here was Grace's schedule:
8:00 wake up/eat/play
10:30-12:00 Nap
12:00 Eat/play
2:30-4:30 Nap
4:30-8:00 eat/play

I seriously thought I was busy. I had a child who loved to sleep! Now she thinks she will miss something if she sleeps. No more naps at our house (that is until you strap them into the van for a little drive about 4:30 in the afternoon. Those eyelids can get pretty heavy.)

I am cherishing my little girls right now because they grow up so fast. I pray that you are cherishing yours!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Nifty Idea

So tonight I started wrapping presents. It more or less stemmed from the fact that I needed to clean out my stash of gifts and really write down who was getting what. I shop all year round for gifts because it saves on the pocket book come December. I am always listening to what family and friends tell me and most of my gifts really come from the heart. I don't like to give gifts that will just sit and collect dust somewhere.

Back to my nifty idea. I found a lap desk for in bed for my nephew for Christmas. I could not find a box to fit it in so, I went to my stash of fabric and found an old sheet. I sewed it up and now I have a great gift bag. I am quite proud of my little accomplishment tonight. So lesson for everyone...save those old sheets because you never know when they will be handy! I might have to make some more bags with them!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend

Grace was a photographer this weekend, but the big bummer is that all of her photos are corrupted. I can't view them right now. They were extremely cute when I saw them. This picture Grace was taking a picture of Carl and Carl was taking a picture of her.

Adie loves to be in the backpack...even though she doesn't look very happy.


They were putting a lot of "love" in the bread.


They were pretending that they were sleeping.


It took us 12 hours and 5 minutes to get home from the ranch. We were VERY thankful to finally make it back. We have figured out that Adie has about 5 hours of car seat time and then things can go a little sour.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Flashback Friday

Thanksgiving 2005




We have tried to take our Christmas picture this year, but we can't seem to get three little girls to look at the camera at the same time. Hopefully tomorrow we will have three bright smiles!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More adoption drawings

Lydia made this new picture and she really wishes that we could just mail it to her new siblings.  Grace, Adie and Lydia are the bigger ones and the two little ones off to the left are her new brothers or sisters.  They are loved so much already and we don't even know who they are yet!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Big decisions

God is calling us to a few big decisions and one of them might be to switch the adoption agency that we are using.  We were told of a different agency who is much more friendlier to our situation (already having 3 children in the home)  and their wait time is SIGNIFICANTLY less, they will let us adopt out of birth order and would let us adopt two children whether they were siblings or not.  (of course they would become siblings once they were apart of our family.)

So  Carl and I are taking this Thanksgiving weekend to pray over this new situation,  please join with us so we make the best decision for our family and that we would glorify God with the decision.  

Also pray that we would be able to work with our health insurance.  I am totally amazed at how uncooperative they can be with an adoption.  When you are self-employed, you fall into a totally different category which doesn't carry the same standards as everyone else, so thus an insurance company can just say, "No" because they, the children,  are older than 90 days old.  And there is not much I can do about it.  But with God on my side anything is possible and I am going to stand firm on that truth!

Now this is only one decision that is on our plate right now, the other I can't share publicly but it is heavy on my heart.  I am trusting in God's ultimate wisdom and grace.

......................

I am in the thick of packing for the ranch tomorrow!  I hope I don't forget anything too important...it is 50 plus miles to town!  Now talk about crazy living!  I can't wait to post pictures from our adventures!




Monday, November 24, 2008

High heels and duct tape


In order for us to keep a diaper on Adie we have resorted to duct tape!  
She understands when she has gone to the bathroom but doesn't like to sit on the potty.

Grace and Lydia have found the two pairs of high heels that I own and run all over the house.
I can't imagine all the pairs of shoes that will be in this house in 10 years!  

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lydia...



I just found this picture from a couple of weeks ago of Lydia and I thought it was just beautiful. I could just eat her up!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Adoption Classes

We just completed the next step in our adoption which was to attend two days of classes. 

Was it helpful?  Over all I would say yes but there were aspects that I thought could have been extremely better.  I know we made some great connections with other families who are in the same place we are right now and I am looking forward to their friendships continuing in the future.

One thing that I took home was the fact that we are now a minority family.  We are not a caucasian family but a transracial family from here on out. We will look and act different than what we were before.   This is something that my extended family with have to deal with too.  But I want to stress that whenever you add a member to your family...you create a new family identity. 

The paperwork is going to ....stink!  I wanted to use another word to describe it, but refrained myself.  My life has never been so completely invaded by complete strangers in my life.  Questions up the wazoo with the never ending..."what is your philosophy..."  and a stranger is going to be able to meet us twice and come into our home once and decide if we would make good adoptive parents.  (I completely understand why they have to do it, but the process just takes so long that it is frustrating.)  

I am so looking forward to the day when I can meet our children...my heart longs for them, but God is calling me to a long season of patience endurance and it is going to be well worth the wait.  

I have paper over load because I think we took home a whole tree of paper!  

Good night!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Big Bummer!

We just found out that the potential lead on buying our house just put an offer in on a different home down the street.  Bummer!  It would be such a relief to have that chapter closed.  In the grand scheme of life, this is a small matter.  I trust that our home will sell and the right people haven't seen it yet.  I have been praying for it to be a godly family to be a light to the neighborhood.  

For now I am standing on firm ground that God did call us to move to St. Cloud and He has much bigger plans for our family than we can ever expect.  Beth Moore said in one of her bible studies that God's dreams for our lives are so much grander that we can think of .  (and I am a big day dreamer!)  So even with our house not selling, I am believing the promises of God.  


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Adie saying Elbow

video

She is acquiring more words!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Honey do list...

We completed the WHOLE "honey do list" this weekend.  I cannot believe it!  and there were some big projects on there too!  (fix the skylight so it wouldn't be a vent for all of our heat to escape this winter.  Caulk around the kitchen floor because the installer did a pretty poor job, completed the sound booth, mud and taped the bathroom ceiling, changed thermostats, and many small little things that never get done.)  I even took a picture of Carl with everything checked off!

Now we could not have done without my mom coming and playing with the girls, running to Menards for us, and holding my hand while I broke two screws trying to put up safety latches under the sink.  (she broke two also...so we improvised with a few nails.)  So, thank you mom for everything.  A girl still needs her mom no matter how old she is!




Friday, November 14, 2008

Cookies and adoption

I let all three of them sit on the counter while we made cookies.  Let's just say they were very happy!


Grace has been my little saver recently.  She wanted to have a piggy bank so we could save our money for the adoption.  Even when we are out shopping, she will continually remind me (especially when are in a store that she doesn't care for) that we should save our money instead of spending it.  
Lydia brought me this picture last week and explained that Carl and I are on the left and our two adoption children are on the right.  (notice that they are two girls:) I don't know if that is what she is secretly praying for or not.

Story behind the flashback...

A few of you wanted to know the story behind this flashback friday.  I wrote a letter to my girls right after I shaved my head.  I will share it with you now.


July 23, 2007

My Dearest Girls,

I wanted to write to you while this is still fresh and God fingerprints are still anew in my mind. One week ago Sunday I had the privilege of having Lauren Ellwein shave my head. She is currently undergoing chemo treatments for Ewing’s sarcoma.(A type of bone cancer found in her pelvic bone.)

About 3 months ago we were all driving home from Nana and Papa’s house, when I leaned over and told your Dad that I had a feeling that someday I would shave my head. I felt the Lord was preparing me in advance for something that I was going to do. He said that I would look cute bald. I thought maybe I would have cancer, or one of you or someone very close to me and then I would shave my head. Timing was a mystery to me but I thought it would be something in the far off future.

Little did I know that God had a different plan for me. Just over a month ago, Lauren was diagnosed. I gave it a little thought but then let it pass my mind. One night while I was praying and reading God’s word the Shama came to mind. “Love the Lord while all your heart, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.” I would shave my head in an instant for one of you, now would I do it literally for a neighbor girl? It was a done deal in my mind. I talked to Lauren’s mom and then called her in the hospital and asked if we could shave our heads together. She giggled and thought it would be fun.

I learned while she was shaving my head that she wanted to be a hair dresser. So I was her first official client. Pretty easy cut – don’t you think? We video taped it and Nana watched via Ichat. Daddy was in Omaha that weekend so he saw me the next morning.

All the firsts were crazy! The first time you wash your hair and put conditioner in out of habit. Or the first time you lay down on a pillow…it feels really weird. But it nothing compared to what Lauren is going through right now. We went to the mall together to look for hats. People look. But that is just because we are different.

I am praying for a miracle for Lauren. I want to see her walk down her wedding isle someday and have her send me Christmas cards of her growing family. God has a special plan for her life just as he has for yours. He knows the number of our days before one of them comes to be. He knows the number of hairs on our heads. I put my trust and hope in Jesus – The Way, The Truth and The Life!

My prayer is that my life will point you closer to God. I want to be the best example of Christ for you. I love all three of you more and more everyday.

I am doing exactly what God has called me to do…be your mommy!

I love each one of you more than you will ever know!
-Mom


Flashback Friday

Remember when I didn't have any hair?  I sent Carl a picture text when I did it because he was in Omaha that weekend.  This year Lauren is cancer free and has the cutest little pixie cut right now.  

This is when three girls actually fit in the tub without fighting for space.  They have gotten so tall in the past year.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

God's favor and Grace

Last night I could not remember where I put a very important piece of paper. It was something that I should have know exactly where it was at all times since our move.  I stayed up well past midnight and could not find it and like any mother, I laid in bed just thinking about where in the world could I have put it.  Thus, I did not sleep well, but in the morning I was granted grace and it all worked out even though I still haven't found it.  

This afternoon Carl received great news that we have some awesome potential business by the end of the year! Yahoo!

And....drum roll please....
We might have sold our house! Keep praying on this one because a LOT of details need to be in place before we can say for sure.  But even the slightest glimmer of  hope, gives me great hope! I love our old house and all the memories that are there, but I am ready for someone else to begin to create new memories there.

I am feeling so overjoyed.  God is always watching over his children and His timing is not always our timing.  There are so many times that I wonder what in the world is God up too?  Why this or why that?  I trust Him full well that He is working for my good even in the trying and stretching times of life.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sweetness

Last night I was over at my sister-in-law's house when my niece came up to me and gave me a dollar for our adoption fund.  She wanted to tithe the birthday money that she received.  It was such a sweet act that melted my heart.  She gets it!  I am still blown away that the average church going person only gives 2.2% of their income away.  There is so much joy in giving that it is not even measurable.

Today Grace  got her bank and gave money for our adoption fund too!  This was an unprompted act on her own part!  Grace and Lydia also made about 20 pictures for our "adopted" children.  They really wanted me to make sure that they got it, so I am going to tuck those pictures away so someday our children will know that they were loved long before they were ever adopted into our family.  A child's heart is so precious!


Friday, November 7, 2008

Flashback Friday

Remember when Adie didn't sleep through the night until she was about 15 months old.  I was so desperate for sleep that my mom bought Adie a new bed to help her sleep better.  She loved her bed and actually was better in the morning.  The little stinker still loved to be up every 1-2 hours...and boy could she cry!  She would lay in her bed and kick and kick and that would make her bed bounce, which she just loved!  

Isn't she so sweet?  

and they are too! 


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Surprises!

I love surprises...especially when you can pull off a great one!

We surprised my father-in-law for his 60th birthday by inviting all his friends over to Matt and Carrie's house.  

The Rouse:

We invited my parents (Nana and Papa) to go out bowling for Lydia's birthday and of course Grandpa and Grandma needed to come with us.  (aka: we needed Peter and Caroline out of the house so they could set up for the party)  We came back to my house and "had" to look at pictures and my parents did a great job of keeping Peter talking!  We then walked over to Matt and Carrie's for everyone to say, "Happy Birthday!"  From what I could tell, he was really surprised.  

It was also great to put a face to a name with all of their friends.  Of course, many were at our wedding, but I wasn't too concerned about them on our big day.  

But now I am tired and off to bed - because my children haven't been sleeping in.  I am sure you can tell if you have read previous blog posts.


Six kids

This is what was looking at me when we drove to Sauk Centre.  There are lot of pairs of eyes!  


I am thankful Lydia wanted just cupcakes for her birthday.  Everyone was able to decorate their own with as much sprinkles that could possibly fit on their cupcake.



This was the best pouty face that they could give me.



Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Lydia

My Liddy Bug turns 4 today.  FINALLY!  Lydia was the most mature 3 year old that I know who thinks she is more like 7 than 4.  Always wanting to keep up with her older sister and cousins, she will not be left out!  She is such a sweet girl who brings so much life and energy to our family.  Usually every morning she comes in bright and early to greet the day and she always has a huge smile on her face and is really hungry too!  Lydia couldn't wait to eat her bran muffin this morning.

This afternoon we are going to Papa and Nana's house for a long awaited slumber party and her three cousins get to come too!  She planned her menu of sausage, smashed potatoes, and LONG green beans, (the short ones taste different) and birthday cake.  Plus she is getting her hair cut at Jessica's.  Pictures will come tomorrow!

Monday, November 3, 2008

5:15 AM

Since they went to bed early two nights ago, they made up for it this morning.  

5:15  - Lydia starts crying - Adie thinks it is time to get up

5:27 - Lydia and Grace are talking in bed

5:32 - I hear wrestling in bed

5:48 - They are playing the Kazoo in bed.  Seriously - who wants to hear that in the morning!  I love my children to pieces, but the kazoo? 

6:12 - I yell for the 8th time that it is still the middle of the night and they all need to go back to sleep.  (In my book, unless there is a 7 on the clock - the first number mind you, then it is still the middle of the night.)

6:45 - We finally all get out of bed to start the day.  Adie had started the process of taking her PJ's off when I went to get her out of her crib.  So very helpful at the young age of 21 months!

I am laughing right now just thinking about what they all did this morning before they were actually out of bed.  I am hoping Adie takes a nice long nap to make up for a few hours of lost sleep.  

We are awaiting the arrival of daddy at 4pm.  He was gone for the past two days working on a PULSE event.  We have become so accustomed to having him around that it is really lonely when he is gone.

I am off to enjoy this AMAZING fall day here in Minnesota!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

6:15 am

This was the time the wee ones decided that it was morning around here.  I then had the brilliant idea that they should stay in their room until there was a 7 on the clock.  (Just like any other day)
They made it until 6:50 when all mayhem broke out.  Not too bad for being put to bed so early!

We spent the afternoon and evening with extended family for November birthdays.  Lydia felt like a queen since it will be her b-day on Tuesday.  

I also made 25 sets of bows last night.  I have been working very hard to build up my inventory so that I can sell my nursing shawls, bows, and head scarves here in St. Cloud as well as Sioux Falls. I am putting all the money that I make into our adoption fund.  $10 dollars here and $20 dollars there starts to add up over time!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

oops!

My children were, let's just say a little tired tonight.  So, I decided that it was going to be an early bedtime especially since Adie thought she needed to be up from 11 - 1 am last night.  I was so proud of myself that I was able to get everyone into bed and shut the door at 6:45 pm.  I remind you that they were VERY tired and usually go to bed around 7:30 ish.  

I come into the office and start researching on how to clean bath tubs because I just can't seem to get mine clean.  Anyways, I go and read Fox News to only see that tonight is daylight savings. YIKES! that means my children went to bed at 5:45 pm.  They are going to be up soooooo early tomorrow morning.  I am guessing that tomorrow will be a long day.  Hopefully they all take a nap. 

Last night Carl and I had the best date!   He ran and got cheesy bread from Papa John's and rented Pride and Prejudice.  (awesome movie!  I should read the book sometime with all my free time)  I felt like I was back in college ... that was until Adie thought she needed to watch the last half with us.  I completely fell in love with the characters and Carl even liked it too!

I am off to go and make hair bows!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween


So, we love Jesus but still go trick or treating.  We had this awesome talk this morning in the van about how some people want to worship Satan on this day.  You should have seen Grace and Lydia's eyes bug open.  They couldn't believe that people would do that.  So, we decided that today and every day  is God's day and that we should love the people around us.  We prayed over our house and our neighborhood.

Now do you know why I love Halloween?  This is the one time of year that everyone opens their doors and you actually see your neighbors.  (One of our neighbors invited us to a football game at SCSU.  How fun!)  Last year we had a coffee and hot chocolate bar set up in our house and invited everyone in for a hot drink.  It was an awesome way to connect with the neighborhood.  We now live on a street where it is us and the cousins who are the kids on the block.  We actually didn't get a trick or treater this year.   But that is okay, we will have to do a neighborhood party again sometime.
  
 Grace was a princess...Lydia a dragon...Adie a ladybug


Last weekend we went to the cities and Carl went climbing while I went to the zoo with some friends.  We had a great time and the kids just loved it and can't wait to go visit their friends again.  We have made it a monthly commitment to hang out and I am truly blessed because of our time together.



video

This is a video Carl made to introduce a new sermon series at our church which will address the topic of death and dying. Lukie did a great job!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Choose Life





Voting next Tuesday is easy for me.  One issue separates both candidates as night and day.  I believe to my core that we are supposed to love, help and cherish the oppressed of our day, but you cannot deny the littlest of them all.  This is the foundation of who we are - "Choose life so that you and your children may live." Deut. 30:19  

Abortion does not give women the right to choose...it forces them into bondage beyond their wildest dreams.  Simply put, Abortion hurts women.  My heart is broken for all the women who have had an abortion and for all those babies who never got to take their first breath.  

The issue is not economy, terrorists, or health care as many would have it to believe.  The real issue is who is going to appoint the next supreme court justices because they will decide the direction of our country for the next 40 years or more.  WOW!  You don't hear this on NBC, ABC or CNN.  They want you to be self focused and thinking how is the government going to meet MY needs instead of being outward focus on the unborn.

I am praying for the direction of our country!







Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pictures




I let Lydia take a few pictures and think one actually turned out.  Not that Adie looks too happy, but I will take it~


We babysat Baby Rachel on Friday afternoon so that her mommy could go swimming:)  Grace got to hold her for 20 plus minutes and was in complete heaven!


That silly little grin again!  and those cheeks just don't quit!


She refused to put on a diaper the other day.  These panties only last about 20 minutes before she had an accident.


I catch her all the time knocking on Carl's door to his office.  She wants to be let in so she can sit on his lap and push buttons.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Flashback Friday

These are on the first roll of pictures that we have on our computer. Carl and I went on a mission trip with my in-laws two months after we were married. 

 Gladys won my heart as soon as we got to Africa.

Mark was a little orphan that I wanted to take home.  It broke my heart to leave him there and know that there was no one there who cared.  He never smiled while I was there.  But he did want to be by me the whole time I was there.  This fueled my desire to adopt.


Women who had surgery the day before, it brought a whole new meaning to, "I was blind but now I see."  To be able to have cataract surgery in Africa, one must be blind in both eyes.  And more than likely you have been that way for a very long time.  So to wake up the day after surgery and be able to see was a miracle and they began to sing and dance.  The only word that I could understand was Alleluia, but they were singing praises to Jesus.


A few picture of the operating room.