Thursday, December 18, 2008

Good Food

This spoke to me so deeply. I wanted to share part, but what part?!?! Soooo, I think you should read it all. I know there are others needing to read it....I just know it......millions actually!

Peter 1 (NIV)
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
Praise to God for a Living Hope
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
Be Holy
13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
17 Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord stands forever." And this is the word that was preached to you

Then it was gone...and then it was back???

Yesterday my beautiful kids spent a couple of hours outside playing in the leftover snow and just having a blast. Then in the afternoon it started to rain and within minutes the lovely snow was gone. Just like Western Oregon. At least it wasn't freezing rain. I hate that stuff. So the rest of the night I would occasionally check outside and it was still wet, unfrozen rain. This morning we get up....lightly raining...still unfrozen. Start to make plans for the day such as shopping for stocking stuffers. Got the baby up, took her to change her clothes, diaper, make a bottle and walked into the kitchen and what the heck? White stuff coming down like crazy. Everything already white outside. Wow. Turned my cell phone on and message after message coming through. lol Doesn't take western oregonians much to get excited! It is soooo beautiful. From a previous post.....

Ahhhh O Holy Night playing on the are playing in their is cooing....give me a moment.....

Ok....Im back. I have mentioned in a previous post how Snow was nothing but an inconvenience in my past. Especially when I was working. But there were other times too. When I lived on our farm in Eastern Oregon. When the snow stays around for months and watering and feeding animals is no small task. The husband worked and at that time I did not make my kids help with chores. If anything they were instructed to keep the little ones in the house and keep them safe. I would trudge up to our barn in the freezing weather bundled as well as possible. Milk the cow, feed the other cows, feed the chickens, gather the eggs. Break the ice from the water bowls, check the cows watering trough to make sure the self waterer wasn't frozen up (yep...happened once...overflowed...right into our basement) Make sure everyone had fresh dry straw. A few hours later do it all over again but many times the husband would be home and he would do those chores while I cooked dinner. It was good times and it was hard times. When the temps are around freezing, a cow you are milking becomes your good buddy. Even those who don't like animals may find themselves cuddling up to a cow for warmth. But for me, I loved my cow. She was beautiful and gave us great milk. She was a Jersey with beautiful brown eyes with lovely lashes and very friendly. I rested my head on her warm side many times. The best milk is in the winter though. Chilling the milk down quickly takes away any funky taste. Great butter too. I would have our cats (the ones who would survive the coyotes) and our dogs and the potbellied pig (which was a rescue) circling me waiting for some of that sweet milk to come their way. But, snow was a huge pain. Made everything hard. Driving into town. Walking to the barn. Then I started working and I really started to hate the snow.
So all that I love it. This moment right now is perfect. Lovely snow, beautiful Christmas music playing, fire burning, kids heading out to play (pray they stay safe) and baby sleeping. Just great. Good time to do some scripture reading.
Be blessed this day. If you work, don't work, have snow or no snow or whatever.... See that blessing God has for you this day!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Oh yes....

Playing with Nana on the floor
A with rosy cheeks
LB, neighbor friend V, and MK

S and J standing against the wind

Trudged through the snow to see Nana

What a sweet Sunday it has been. We had snow in Portland Oregon!!! More specifically at our house. We don't have snow often, so it's a treat and this is the first time in YEARS I have been happy to see the snow fall. To see the wind blowing like crazy swirling the snow around. One big difference? I don't have to go to work tomorrow. I didn't have anywhere to go today. Even church was cancelled. I just stayed home, decorated the tree, made home made soup and muffins, dressed and undressed kids several times today. Picked up wet clothes and sheets off the floor. My eldest son and his wife and the owners of my beautiful grandson bundled up and trudged through the snow to get here. My son wanted to play with the kids in the snow. :-) They only live about 4 blocks away. CJ slept like, a baby on the way here. He was so snuggled. It was fun today. Even the kids running in and out and getting snow all over the carpet (which quickly turned to water soaking the carpet...hence the sheets)didn't bother me. I felt the need to cook and bake and feed my kids. A compulsion so strong it couldn't be ignored. They really enjoyed it too. Thank you Jiffy company for making boxed goods. I so wanted to bake but had very little flour (bummer) so I dug out the reserves...the boxes of Jiffy muffins. The kids loved them. Anyways...I had tons of baby kisses too. Oh yum! I had both babies on the floor. It was a good day. I missed my older girl K. She was home alone. :-( also she has a fire place but no wood. Bummer. We texted often. I love my kids.
So time to post some pics and get back to decorating the tree and call the last of the kids in.
We had a great day. Much fun!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Tree Hunt

So, there are several (all but me) in my family who think we need to load the family up, drive to a farm, search in the rain and mud, then saw down the perfect Christmas tree. Then sell my fine china (not that I have any) in order to pay for said tree (it USE to be cheaper to cut your own). I have done this for many years and to be honest. The only part of it I like is seeing the smiles on the faces of my kids. But when I was a single mom, I had an artificial tree (aka FAKE) and guess what? The kids still smiled. When we would dig it out of storage, place the synthetic boughs appropriately, hang the lights and ornaments it still brought joy. But then I remarried and thus back to the trudging for a tree again. Yes there is an aspect I love about real trees. The smell...but pretty much...that's it! I have had my fill for a lifetime.
After last years hunt (because the cut your own trees are so expensive) I had actually talked my husband into letting me get an artificial so I was prepared to do my own hunting......and then it happened. We got new kids. Kids who had never been to a tree farm. Kids who had never walked through mud to find the perfect tree and then participate in cutting it down. So, I agreed. Yes....let's take out a small loan and go and buy a 'U-cut' tree. Grandma was so wonderful to offer to keep baby girl home where it is wind and rain free. So, here are some of the pics. We happened to choose a day that the wind blew the hardest and the most rain was falling for the month....but hey....we have a tree. A tree which is now sitting in the carport drying off! We also took my eldest daughter K so she too could get her first (living on her own) tree. One concession? We support local family businesses. So, today the tree comes in the house along with the dead needles and spiders...........<things that are right, pure, praiseworthy....ok ok I'm still working on it!> AND yes....we did have fun. It wasn't muddy, God held back the rain while we were picking out and cutting the tree. It was fun listening to the kids play Marco Polo in a Christmas Tree forest. To hear the littles ones laugh as the tree started to fall was great. LB was the one to do the final cut this year. Each year all the kids take a turn cutting and only one gets to do the final cut. So LB was the winner this year....with help from Papa L. We did yell timber during the whole second it took for the tree to fall. The kids were happy...they had a great time and once Papa L's wallet and keys and anything else he had in his pockets dries out he will say he had a great time too. I do have a BEAUTIFUL family.

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Christmas desire

As part of our homeschooling we always do bible study first. What I have chosen to do is pick a scripture each week and we talk about it for the entire week. We have discussions and we have exercises I have created to help them (us) memorize the scripture. I have NEVER been able to memorize scripture. I have just never had the memory for such things. Same reason I have never been able to memorize multiplication facts and MANY other things. It's frustrating but it is what it is.
Some of what we have studied has been the Ten Commandments, the two greatest commandments (Matthew 22:37) and others. This week our study is one of my favorite scriptures. Philippians 4:8. I love this scripture. It's beautiful. It's what I want to attain. I want to daily have my thoughts on such things but for anyone who knows me this is opposite of my personality. I am a worrier. I am a fretter. I am judgmental. Life has not be horrible to me but most of my life has been a struggle. Be it my life decisions or not.
The last 4 years have been some of the hardest. I will spare the gory details but they have been the hardest and the darkest. God has chosen this time to bring Philippians 4:8 back into my life. He knows what I need. He knows what would turn my life around. He knows what foundation my kids need to build on, they do after all carry my genes. Christmas time is one of my favorite times of year. It's beautiful. It's sentimental. It's full of lights and music. All my favorite. Sadness tries to creep in and steal my joy. Christmas' of past. People who have come and gone (and many of them still living). Christmas where we had no money and yet it was the best Christmas ever. The one Christmas day that I spent alone. Christmas no matter how we celebrate it, happened. Christ was born. Doesn't matter when or how the stable really looked. We know, believe and celebrate that he was indeed born. Our King came to earth as a baby. For us. FOR US! No sadness is due. It's only truth and beauty. So this Christmas I ask God to help me heal and hold onto this verse. This verse to Transform my mind. Transform my life. After all we all were given the best Christmas present ever. A Savior!

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anythings is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A day with Santa

The Gang
(The baby's really were happy....)S, A, and CJ

LB and MK

CJ (my sweet grandson)

Precious Baby Girl

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Kickoff

Dinner with my friend was great. It's always great to share some time with her. It's never enough time, but sweet it was. Dinner was fantastic. My fav...Olive Garden.
We had a good day yesterday. We took the kids to see Santa and have photo's taken. We were there my grandson also. Last year my adult son J was working at the same place and was the photographer. We took the two girl (S and A) and as he got ready to take their pic he said "Girls I have a surprise...Emily is pregnant" and he caught them in midst's of gasps! So that is how they found out about their nephew coming. Yesterday we had their pics taken with their little nephew. We don't get the pics til today so can't post yet. Then I had a pic taken with the foster kiddos. First M and L and then baby P. She wouldn't smile because she was ready for a nap and the photographer didn't try very hard but she still looked darling.
Then we spent the afternoon at my house. Eating lunch and watching Narnia. Non of the kids watched the whole movie. They lost interest. We then bundled up the babes and headed to Fairview City hall where my son A was part of the choir singing at the tree lighting. We met Grandma and Poppy and my daughter in-laws parents there. There was another Santa there (with a REAL beard) and he took alot of time with each child. They had crafts, coffee, cocoa, horse drawn buggy's, music, and radio Disney. We had fun. Cold but tolerable because we didn't have the 'east winds' blowing like usual. My grandson slept through the whole event. My baby girl wanted to be held so she could see the lights. I love Christmas...I love the music and the lights. It was a nice day. I was able to be with most of my kiddos and I got to juggle two babies all afternoon. Lots of wet kisses!!! Yum.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Dinner out

Wow...I can't believe it. I get to go to dinner with my best friend and with no kids in tow. Will I know how to carry on a conversation without interruptions from little ones? Will I know how to finish a thought? That's the great thing about best friends. You can go weeks months and even years without actually talking and just pick right back up again and talk for hours.

God truly brought this friend into my life. He is the one that connected us. Her name is Amy. A name very dear to my heart. It was through working at the Red Cross we met. We didn't really become friends though until she encouraged me to apply for a job in her department. God blessed me with that job. That was the best years of my life within the Red Cross. I had many good times in my 10 years there, but the time I was in Special Collections (for 4 of those years) was the best. The people in the department were funny, loving, and oh so supportive. We all became very good friends. At one point Amy even became my boss (with my mentoring...ha ha ha)...if you want to call her that. She was a manager and that is what she did. She managed the department but she was never a 'boss' to us. We grew so close. If we could have stayed the same department, running the way we knew best, and running the way that WORKED we all could have stayed in a happy world longer. But as all corporations work, there is always someone else higher on the ladder who comes up with stupid ideas that rocks the boat.

She is at Red Cross and I am at home. I will admit she has been a much better friend to me than I have to her. She stays in contact and makes arrangements to come and see me. She is truly wonderful.

This woman is Godly, kind, gentle, compassionate, loving, hardworking, dedicated, understanding, and loves to laugh. Could you ask for anything more (maybe She is a perfect friend and I am so richly blessed with her and by her. AND tonight we get each other all to our ourselves....for a few hours anyways.
When we get to heaven she will be one of the ones in charge of much but you won't know it because she will still be floating around with the likes of me! :-) I love ya girl.

The Lord Bless you and Keep you and The Lord make His face to shine upon you and give you peace!

Numbers 6:24

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Life Changes

I'm not sure why it's so easy to get on a pitty pot but it is. This darn flesh is so consuming sometimes. It's been a rough week but then unexpected events happen and your perspective is changed. A dear sister in the Lord may have a cancerous tumor on her shoulder. I know she will have complete victory in this but consider the fact she went in to see about a torn rotator cuff. Wham...then she is hit with the big C word. Life changed.
Another sister in the Lord has been working on getting an adoption of two older siblings. Siblings to her 3 adopted children. It has not be an easy road for her and on top of that she is expecting her 3rd bio in February. Her husband planning to go to Ethiopia in January to get the older two. Then this morning, however, the unexpected. She starts bleeding, goes to the hospital and the baby is delivered by C section within an hour. Now she is recovering from surgery and we are all praying her and baby will be fine. Life changed.
So do I REALLY have much to be sad or mad or worried about? NO! I have it so good and yet it never seems to be good enough. God has allowed me to have what I have and I have more than many. It may not be what I want or desire but it is my life and it is divinely the life I am suppose to have.
I pray for healing of my friends. I pray for strength of the new baby. I pray her lungs mature and do what they need to do. I pray we all live in a greater faith because of his plans. His mercy. His love. So when life changes, we just step over the bump without hardly noticing and just continue down the road. I need greater faith. I need deeper faith. I need faith in order to have greater, deeper peace! I need peace. I WANT peace.

Please pray for my friends the Friesens Their adoption goes to court tonight and also pray for their new baby daughter who is 2 months early.
God had a plan. That plan is unfolding. His ways are not our ways.....thankfully!

May the Lord Bless You and Keep You.