Thursday, December 29, 2011

Answered Prayer

Today we just want to thank God for once again answering our prayers and realize that we should not be surprised. Back when we felt led to start the adoption process, we had no idea on how we were going to do it financially. We both knew that we were suppose to do this and that if we walked in faith He would provide the means. We agreed to follow Him knowing that if this was truly His will He would provide us a way to make it work. For months we have been filling out paper work and doing  the other necessary things that need done not knowing how we were going to pay for it. Everyone kept asking us how we were going to do it financially and all we could say is that He will show us the way. We have been diligently praying together about this and trusting in Him to open the doors that needed opening in the time they needed opened. We finalized our home study last Friday which means we are able to start applying for grants and no interest loans for our adoption. However, last night we received a call from my dad. He told us that Jeff was just approved by the town board to become a part-time deputy for Walton. The money he is going to make will be just what we will need every month to take care of a adoption loan payment. (Ok, now I'm crying because He is so amazing in the way He works- He is truly awesome!) Should we be surprised that He has opened this door?  We have seen Him work so many miracles in our lives at just the time we need it that we should not be. However, I am always amazed at how powerful and how much He truly loves us. So we will continue to walk by faith in this process even though we cannot fathom at what He has in store for us.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! 
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord! Luke 2:11

Saturday, December 24, 2011

1 day of serving

So today wraps up our days of Agape for Christmas. The kiddos made some treats for the neighbors and helped me get ready get the house ready for the family to come over. Even though we are wrapping up, our mission as a family is to look for ways to serve Him not only this time of the year, but everyday. We are always praying for ways to be His hands and feet and to show agape love to those we don't know. We feel that it is so important for the kiddos to learn this in a world that teaches us to be so self centered. Pray for Him to show you ways to serve. This year I have truly  asked Him to help me to know when I need to serve someone else and for us as a family to serve. I want to lay myself aside and totally put myself out there for Him.
 So pray this coming year for Him to use you and to allow you to be an instrument for Him. Then be still, look and listen for the ways He wants you to be a light in this dark world. I tell the kiddos all the time that they may be the only face of Jesus that someone may see that day.

We are merely His instruments that we humbly abide to. He has used us this past year as a family and as individuals in ways that give me God bumps. Moments that only He could have orchestrated in allowing us to be His light. I pray, God will continue to use us in only ways that can be done through His strength. Shine your light for Him and remember to give Him all the glory in the end.  Let God completely use you in 2012!
To God Be the Glory!
If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you (Luke 6:38).

Friday, December 23, 2011

2 days of serving

I really was starting to wonder if we were going to get today's count down in. Today is one of those days when I really needed to do this; to take a deep breath and realize the precious reason we celebrate Christmas by letting others see Jesus through us. From the time I got up this morning it has been non-stop. The kiddos and I had to go to the grocery this morning and patiently get through the crowd. Put groceries away, start making cookie doughs, got Jeff up early so he could be Santa and go to Noblesville to pick up a gift, then take the kiddos out to the woods for a walk. While we were out in the woods Ally discovered something very smelly, and dirty. Of course she had to roll all in it. Once we got back home she needed a bath so Livy took on that chore. In the meantime the boys say they are freezing from the walk and want hot chocolate. So while I am helping Livy finish up Ally, Josh spills his hot chocolate all over himself. Got that cleaned up. Then as soon as I start making chocolate covered pretzels Ally throws up.  While this is all going on I'm praying for and telling God there is no way we are going to be able to serve someone else today when we are a circus act. Then while I'm thanking Him that I'm not a single mom, because I can't imagine having days like this without my hubby to help me, He lays it on my heart what we are suppose to do for today.  He  reminds me of a single mom I know who can't drive, is handicapped and her son has some disabilities. I call her up and ask her if she would like to get out of the house for the evening and go see the Christmas lights around town and get some ice cream. When we picked them up she and her son were so excited. And once again He has humbled me to realize that amidst all the craziness in our lives that we are so blessed in many ways we take for granted everyday. However, I must share that before we left Nate decided, for only God knows why, that the Lincoln Log bucket with all the blocks in it looked like a toilet and pottied in it. Also, Ally threw up again on our bed. So we had to throw the blocks into the laundry room sink to soak and the bedding into the washer before we left. Oh, the joys of being a momma!


        I heard this song today and it really sums up what these days of serving have meant for us.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

3 days of serving

Ok, well I had planned on having our neighbor Jerry over for dinner this week. He lost his precious wife, Diane, to cancer in June. It has been very lonely without her next door. She was like another grandmother to the kiddos and was very involved in all our lives.  I know that this will be a hard Christmas for him and his family as her absence is so evident. Anyway, since Jeff has been sick everyday it doesn't look like that will happen until next week. So instead for today's count down we used some of our zucchini that we froze from the summer, and made bread for my grandmother in Michigan. We will mail it out to her tomorrow with some recent pictures of the kiddos. My grandfather passed away several years ago and I can imagine that every Christmas is hard for her also. So let's cherish every Christmas we have with those we love thanking Him for another year to be with them.

Making some bread for grandma Debbie.


If you have never heard this song ,The Christmas Shoes, have a Kleenex ready. It chokes me up everytime. If you ever get a chance to see the movie it's a great one to see.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

4 days of serving

For today's count down we donated Bibles to people in Africa that have never had one through Bible League. I can't imagine not having my Bible. It is my source of life, my Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6: 17) preparing me for warfare, my source of strength, and encouraging words of wisdom that guides me throughout the day and this life. I know for myself, I often forget how blessed we are to live a country were Bibles can be found all around us and even freely given. If you would like to donate this Christmas go to https://www.bibleleague.org/home\\

PS- Our church did end up winning the blood drive yesterday by one!!


Show people that Jesus is the light of the world this Christmas by donating Bibles to those that never had one.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

5 days of serving



Today I was able to slip away for an hour to go donate blood for the Red Cross. Our church goes in with the Methodist Church in Galveston to see which one will get the most people to donate. Unfortunately, we lost by 6 people. Maybe next time we will win the trophy. Anyway, Jeff is still feeling under the weather. He goes back to the doctor to have a follow up visit in the morning. Hopefully he will sleep well tonight and wake up feeling much better.  Have a great evening!

Monday, December 19, 2011

6 days of serving

For today's countdown til Christmas, the kiddos made treats for the trash-man and mailman. This is something we do all through the year for them. The kiddos enjoy doing this to make their day a little brighter. Also, please lift Jeff in prayer. He went to the doctor today and he has strep throat and a yeast infection. The guy feels miserable and we had a lot we were to get done this week. So please pray for a quick recovery.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

7 days of serving

Today's day of serving is something Josh has been doing since I can remember. Every Sunday when church lets out, Josh first gets his sucker from Pastor Joe's office then he holds the door open for everyone as they leave. I don't know why he ever started this other than his dad and I have always told him that it is polite to hold the door for ladies. Anyway, he has taken this on himself and it is so unlike him since he can tend to be on the shy side. We are so proud of the polite young man he is turning out to be.

The kiddos at 'Breakfast with Santa' yesterday at church.

My two Rudolph's!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

8 days of serving

There is a family in our community that needs a little help this Christmas. So our church is helping out by getting presents for their kids. Each of the kiddos were able to get a gift for one of the children and tomorrow we will drop them off at church to be delivered. Have a great evening.

Girls night out!  We had a fun night  Wednesday with  going out to eat and to see a show at the Honeywell. I was able to take  Kris and Dorothy with me. It was great to talk and catch up during this busy time of the year. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

9 days of serving

Ringing the bell for the Salvation Army is #9 on our countdown until Christmas. Livy, Josh and I rang the bell for an hour at Kroger. Every 15 minutes they took turns ringing. They did an great job talking to all the people that donated. I was so proud of them. This is something I know we will do again next year.
Good Job Kiddos!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

10 days of serving

For our tenth day of serving,  we took the kiddos to the nursing home where my grandma is. Olivia played Christmas songs on the piano for the residents as they ate their lunch. She was very nervous, but did great. One of the gentlemen pulled out his harmonica and played along and grandma sang. It was a blessing to see them enjoy her playing. After she was finished she and Josh passed out candy canes with the meaning of them attached to all of them. One of the ladies was 101 and it was such a blessing that the kiddos were able to wish her a Merry Christmas.

Liv playing Christmas songs.

Josh passing out candy canes.

Livy passing out candy canes.

Grandma with the kiddos. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

11 days of serving

For today's Christmas serving day I was able to purchase a ticket for a friend at church that is having a rough time right now to go see a play with me tonight. I'm glad she will be able to enjoy a little girl time tonight and relax. Have a great day.

Date Night! Went out last night  with hubby and our very close friends, Aaron and Christi (it's just a little weird we all matched). It was so nice to catch up and enjoy some laughs. 







Tuesday, December 13, 2011

12 Days of Serving

Last year my sweet friend ,Brittany, gave me the idea of doing 25 days of Christmas in which you do something for somebody else from Dec. 1 until Christmas. I really wanted to do this ,and had every intention, but the days seemed to slip by us. So we are going to do 12 days of Christmas instead. For today we made a care package for Cory. He is a young man in our church serving in the Air Force. He was just deployed a few weeks ago and will be away from his family and new bride this Christmas. We filled a box with some items and the kiddos made him Christmas cards. So today if you could, say a prayer for Cory and all our men and women serving this Christmas overseas.
Merry Christmas Cory!





Hubby did his serving today by emptying the dishwasher when he got home from work. What a nice surprise when I opened the door and found a sweet note to start my day.  Love that guy!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Prayer Basket



I found this idea in a homeschool magazine and I can't wait for us to start it Monday. It's called prayer basket devotions. Up to now the kiddos and I say a prayer before we start the school day. We dedicate the day to him and ask him to be present in all we do and then add any other prayers we have. Anyway, our prayers often become routine and not heartfelt. They often don't realize that there are people all over the world that need our prayers. But Monday that will change. I have made a prayer basket with four different colors of paper each representing a different category for prayer: Countries, Ministries & Missionaries, Family & Friends, and Prayer Requests. Everyday we rotate on who's doing the prayer so the person doing the prayer that day will choose each color from the basket and pray for that specific need. After the prayers we will locate the country on the map we prayed for (just a little way to sneak in some Geography). Then, as weeks and months pass they will right down any answered prayers they have heard or seen in their prayer journals.I will be continually rotating the slips of paper for any new prayers that come up. I can't wait to start this. I never want the kiddos to think of prayer as mundane. I want them to see the power of prayer and to be prayer warriors for their families someday. Here is an awesome site I found where you get daily emails for a country to pray for,  specific needs that country has and some interesting facts.  I think this will be an added bonus in the educational area .Here's the link
http://www.operationworld.org/join-prayer-movement

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Busy couple of days...

We have been non-stop the last couple of days. We had our home study portion of the adoption process Wednesday. Our next step is to take ten hours of classes and begin an essay of the country we are adopting from. We are hoping that by this time next year maybe we will have our little girl home. We are so excited that our dear friends, Aaron and Christi, have also decided to adopt internationally. It will be so awesome to watch these girls grow up together and see how amazing adoption can be. Anyway, Liv, Josh and I went with KASH on Friday to the Seiberling Mansion for a field trip. It had been a long time since I had been there and forgot how beautiful it was inside. Friday evening we went to some friends house who also homeschool. They had four homeschool families over to kick of the Christmas season with dinner and fellowship. A couple of these families are the ones that encouraged five years ago when we started thinking about homeschooling and we have all enjoyed growing and learning through this experience ever since. We  try to get together a couple of times through the year with our families and once a year just us parents pick a homeschool convention to go to for the weekend to enjoy each others company.  So then this morning we got the kiddos up at 8:00 and told them we had a surprise for them!  We love waking them up like this and having them guess all the way there what it is. This time we got tickets to see the circus at Conseco. They were all glued to the show and had a great time. Tomorrow we have church then the kids Christmas program in the evening. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

At the Seiberling Mansion standing in front of  the Dirilyte display and a picture of the factory workers from 1942. They were excited to see their Great, Great Grandpa Charlie Heflin and Great Grandpa Dan Heflin  in the picture.

At the Mayhill's for dinner Friday evening. Liv and her girlfriends enjoying some playtime.

Daddy and his boys in their Bronco shirts at the circus.

Two clowns!

Daddy surprised them with snowcones in their own elephant cups!

Mommy surprised them with cotton candy! Yummy and sticky!

Only Nate could fall asleep during the circus. Poor guy.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Songs

I just love Christmas songs. We started singing them at church yesterday and it was so good to hear about the birth or Christ. K Love has on their website a Christmas radio you can listen to online. Here's one I really like by Casting Crowns. Looking forward to the true meaning of this season. Blessings

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

We spent a relaxing Thanksgiving day at home this year. Here's a peek at what we did. Hope you all had a wonderful day too!

Kiddos were in and out helping me cook.
In between cooking they watched the parade with daddy.

First turkey I've ever made.

Time to eat!

Make a wish!


The rest of the afternoon the kiddos and I played while daddy took a nap. He has to go in at 3 am tonight. After his nap we got the Christmas tree out and set up.  We then had dinner, which was pie, while watching the Polar Express. . (We were to full to have it with lunch earlier.) Then decorated the tree, cleaned up then off to bed. Hopefully tomorrow we can get the outside decorations up.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Christmas Boxes

Sunday after church the kids came home and emptied their piggy banks to buy gifts for Operation Christmas Child. Our church does this project every year and the kids get so excited about doing it. What it is,  that they each get to fill a shoe box up with gifts for another child somewhere around the world. They get to choose the gender and age of the child which make it even better for them. The church then sends the boxes to Samaritan's Purse who will then disperse the boxes. It is so fun for them knowing that they are able to make another child happy on Christmas. They also include and written card for the child telling a little about themselves and that Jesus loves them. It's just a little way for them to realize that it is not all about them this time of the year. Have a blessed day!

Filling up their boxes with lots of goodies!

Monday, November 7, 2011

National Adoption Month

This is National Adoption Month. As you continue to keep our unknown little girl in your prayers, please pray this month for all of the children that go to bed tonight without a mommy or daddy to tell them they love them.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Learning

Part of the teaching method we use is teaching the kids to do and fix things around the house. Today Jeff was to teach Josh how to change the washers in the laundry room sink. He and the boys headed out to town to get the items needed. Came home and started to work on the sink and realized they bought the wrong size. So he and the boys headed back to town again. Instead they came home with a whole new faucet. Anyway, Josh learned how to replace a faucet and I guess will learn how to change the washers later. On the other hand Olivia has been helping me do laundry, and that includes making the laundry soap. I have been making my own laundry soap for two years and I can't believe how much money we save by making it ourselves. Normally when buy the laundry soap it is costing you $.71 a load when you make it yourself it cost $.1 a load. That savings really adds up. We also save on our electric bill by hanging out our clothes in the nice weather.  So if you want to make your own laundry soap here's the recipe I use. Go to 
http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/laundrysoap.htm   I usually triple it so I don't have to make it as often.  I also use 1 C. of Borax and 1 C. of washing soda instead of the 1/2 C. of each they call for. It really works and Olivia really likes helping me make it.



Working out her muscles making laundry soap.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Time

The kiddos have been ready for weeks to carve out their pumpkins. I put it off as long as I can because I know that in the end I will be the one with my hand in three pumpkins taking out the cold, slimy junk. Daddy gets the fun job of making the faces. Why do mama's always get the dirty jobs, while daddy gets to have all the fun. Tonight (nothing like waiting until the last minute) I am making their costumes for tomorrow night. Wish me luck.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Earings

So last night Jeff and I tucked the kiddos into bed and were enjoying a nice fire outside. About fifteen minutes later Olivia comes out and said she's decided she's ready to get her ears pierced. Last time she thought she was ready she got in the chair and decided that having a needle go through her ear was not so appealing. We talked to her about it and told her she would have to be brave. So this morning I took her in as soon as they opened, as fear she would change her mind, and bravely had her dainty ears pierced. She was so brave. She did the first one and I could see her eyes water up, and I was so scared she wouldn't her do the other one. She held my hand tightly and fought back any tears for the second. She is so proud of herself and looks so cute.

Get ready....

Ouch!

I love them!