Saturday, January 31, 2009

Off to Winter Camp

Last night, my last errand of the day, was to take the 3 older kids up to Camp Arrah Wanna's Winter Camp. They were all very excited. They couldn't wait to go up on Mt. Hood and ride the 'tubes' today. Would be nice to see pics....but the kids don't take any eletronics with them. The weather is sunny here so I hope it's the same for them.... Maybe I should be more worried for the fact our pastor is up there with them! The mountain will never be the same. He has more energy than some of those kids! They will all have a blast!
God Bless them all!!!
PK and L

Checking in at Camp Arrah Wanna

Precious One


These pics are too adorable...just had to share.

It's exhausting being adorable!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bible Study Homeschool Style

The most important part of our 'homeschooling' is to start with prayer and a bible study. I chose not to use a formal study, such as a store bought study guide, but to use the perfect guides. The bible and the Holy Spirit. It has been great.
Each week I choose a scripture or topic and that is what we study. Sometimes it take longer than a week. We read it, write it, talk about it until I feel comfortable moving on. I don't require them to memorize them mainly because of the person I am. I am not able to memorize scripture. I have, all my life, had a poor memory and feel memorization comes with study. Once they have it solid in their heart (that could take a day or years for any of us) then the scripture will be committed to memory. So, we work on putting it in their heart, but we move on to the next study even if they don't have it memorized. You would be amazed how the forum opens up with just the reading of a short scripture. It has been fun and fascinating.


This is what we have studied so far:
The design of the bible (I am sorry to say my girls did not know much about the bible. I have not taught them and neither has their bible study classes or youth groups) Such as OT and NT. Who the different writers were and so on.
Genesis 1
The books of the New Testament
Psalm 23
The Ten Commandments
Matthew 22 (the greatest commandments)
Philippians 4:8 (....think about such things)
Galatians 5:22 (currently-Fruits of the Spirit)

I have them look up the scripture. We read it, talk about it and then I make up different assignments for each day of the week. We have word match, word scrambles, mixed up words and (again) so on....I type these up on the computer, print them off, and have the girls work on them. Easy and cheap and very meaningful. We have really enjoyed this part of schooling. I will also print off the scripture so they can tape it to their door or wall or bathroom mirror. Though they may not be memorizing each word, they partake of the bread and it feeds their soul. I know it is being planted in their hearts and minds.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Playing Catch up

Our Anniversary was on the 16th. It was a nice day, different but nice. We went out to breakfast, then did some errands and purchased some new, used furniture for our home. We then went out to dinner. Wanted to catch a movie but it was getting too late and my mom was gracious enough to care for the kids that day.
The wedding:
The weather was cool but clear and sunny for our anniversary. Very beautiful....unlike the year we were married. During the week I had heard reports of weathermen forecasting freezing rain (funny how when it's bad news people beat a path to you to share such info) but I took it in stride. They are rarely right. That Friday when we had our rehearsal dinner and set up the church I arrived back at my home at 1:00 a.m. Sky clear...stars too numerous to count. I fell asleep about 2, alarm went off at 6 and the first thing I noticed was the sound of rain hitting the bathroom vent. I can not tell you how deep my heart fell into my stomach. It just couldn't be. So I threw on my robe and went to the front door. I took a deep breath and opened the door. I walked slowly to the railing and slid my hand across....it was....solid ice. It was like a dream. I went back to my room and called L and told him. He couldn't believe it. The first person to call me was my hairdresser (whom I had met once when my daughter had her hair done for a school dance) She said, "Malissa, I don't think the wedding is going to happen today." I knew she was right. The next 3 hours I spent on the phone calling and receiving calls. I did not have a list of all the people and their phone numbers. Oh no...that was at work on my pc. That was the day the weather shut down Portland Oregon. Here I was to be married to a man who was brought to me by God and then God said "You had your plans but I had mine." What was the purpose??? I had no idea and still don't. The wedding did happen. It happened on the 16th instead of the 15th. though we had about 45 people there (out of the 130 invited) it went fantastic. It was relaxed and enjoyable. My childhood friend was going to be my matron of honor but she could not stay for the Sunday wedding so I asked my Redcross friend Amy. She was so happy to accept and would you believe she had a beautiful and perfect dress?!?!? Isn't God good and as it turned out...she was the perfect choice. We are best friends! It was just the way it should be. I missed many of my family but knew God had a purpose. It was my first real wedding....a wedding in a church and it was perfect. I went on my first honeymoon and also my first trip to Seattle and my first train trip and all of that was perfect. So, our anniversary always conjures up laughs and memories but as my brother always says, it's when things go wrong that make the most lasting memories. Still to this day our silver goblets that we took communion with are engraved with January 15th. Maybe I should just take a sharpie and edit correct it. Hence is our life. Very flawed but yet very blessed!

Happy 45th Birthday to my husband.

My hubby was a New Years baby, born in Selma Alabama. He was beat out of being the first baby of the new year by a baby girl born minutes before him. He has 9 siblings most of which are girls. Little did he know that would be his course of life. Over ran with females.

Larry is a fragile and precious jewel in the Lords eye. Though L has tried very hard to live the life he wants to live, which was not in alignment with God, God never gave up on Him or let him go. God has always been there to welcome L back into his arms. L was a gift to me. One foretold to me by God. I knew he would come into my life and when but I just didn't know who he was or what a rough and difficult gift he would be. God had a plan and a purpose and it is with thanks and gratitude that our Heavenly Father has chosen to give us L for yet another. Each year he becomes stronger, kinder, and closer to Christ. God bless this man with wisdom. Bless him with peace. Bless him with joy.

Birthday pics.















A, AR, L, and S.
















LB, L, and MK
















Happy Birthday to you....and so on......
















Serving up Black eye peas, ham, rolls, sweet potatoes. Our New Years Favs. There was also duck, but that was for the birthday boy! His fav....not ours!

The most recent addition

Alexander Cole
Born: December 20th
To my niece Jennifer, her husband Brad and little Violet
I pray blessings on this precious and beautiful family. God will reign in their hearts and in their lives at the appointed time. They are precious to Him and I am thankful He has shared them with our family.
I love you

Meeting the Mom

The appointment for BG went fine. I was pretty wore out after it was over. Mom was very 'mentally' young and trying hard to impress upon me how she loves the baby and does everything for the baby. I won't go into details of the appointment except to say the 'baby' is in the right place at this time. The place where she is safe, loved, and well cared for her...for her sake. As for Mom, most of my frustration has melted away . I have been feeling more compassion for her. Sorry for her. Sorry that she is blind to the truth of this life. Blind that she does not know the Lord. Blind that she does not understand true love. Blind that she has so much to learn and she is taking a much harder road to learn it all. Not sure what God is doing in my heart or where this road will lead but I have laid my heart at His throne and He will do what he so chooses and I will follow. I do give God praise that the Mom was not argumentative or combative. It all went just fine and Gods grace was right on time. The morning of the appointment I woke up with peace in my heart. I had no "dread" going to the appointment.
As for BG. She did not receive her immunizations. She, surprisingly, has an ear infection in one ear. Very strange. She has not been ill or cranky or feverish. So we have another appointment in 2 weeks for a follow up. The down side is, she is now on antibiotics for 10 days. I have fought Thrush and Yeast with this poor little thing and I can see what is coming. With her being on antibiotics it will have a field day in her body. But God is good and will see us through this as well.

My fabulous friday

I did finally make it out the front door yesterday for my birthday freedom shopping spree. So, what did I do first? I went and saw my grandson and his parents. :-) I had to get my birthday hugs and kisses. He was in a fantastic mood too. Smiles and kisses. I took a lot of pics...with my old camera though so we have to wait to get them developed. I then went to 'Fashion Bug.' The place that sells clothing for 'thick' women. I bought one shirt and two sets of earrings...all on clearance. Then I headed to the second hand stores. Now that is my kind of shopping. I bought some books for the girls for HS and a book for me. One by Robin McGraw (wife to Dr. Phil). Looks good. We will see. I did bye me a pre-worn shirt. What's funny about this shirt is it is originally from 'Fashion Bug.' Too funny. I bought a framed picture with a painting of an elephant for our bedroom and lastly a frame for the cross stitch my sweet S gave me. I did make a trip to Bath and Body Works. Haven't been there in years. My dear friend Heather recently gave me some hand soap that I just love, so I went to look for the body spray. They didn't have any on clearance but they did have bath gel and bubble bath. Yae! So that was it on the shopping spree. I was given $100 budget, had my own personal goal of $50 and came in at $62. But I just had to get the books for the girls. The day flew by. I came home to a messy kitchen and we had leftovers for dinner. We watched a movie together as a family. It was a nice calm ending to a blessed day.
More about the books. 4 of the ones I bought are part of a series called 'Dear America.' They are journals from different people in different time periods and places. I purchased 'Voyage on the Great Titanic, A light in the Storm, A Journey to the New World, and The Journal of Joshua Loper.' Three of them are young girls who are writing. The first one obviously is a passenger aboard Titanic, the second a girl living through the Civil War, and the third is a Pilgrim girl. The fourth book was more for my husband and son but I will have my girls read it too. It is about A Black Cowboy in 1871. I can't wait to read these myself. They were published by Scholastic. I did buy some other books also, Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables (one of my favs) and Little House on the Prairie. I love used books. At $2 a book, you can't go wrong.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Birthday

Today is my birthday. Another year older though I feel several years older. I am an even 44 today. Our 44th president was just sworn in too. Hmmmm
Anyways....so far I woke from a beautiful joyful dream of my family (ALL my family...siblings, nieces, nephews and so on) meeting at an office. I then went back to sleep and woke to my family coming into my bedroom (I was allowed to sleep in until 7:15) and they came in carrying breakfast. They were all just beaming. Not easy to eat a 'hardy' breakfast first thing in the morning but I did and they were happy. They each gave me a gift. LB gave me a ruler for "homeschooling" MK gave me a small stuffed bee (what she didn't know is honey bee is the meaning of my name) and A gave me little plastic animals representing each of my family. Sweet.
I have been promised a day of shopping alone. I'm not a huge shopping fan but I look forward to looking for a new shirt and a couple of other items and doing it alone. Looking and not hearing "I have to go potty" "I'm hungry" "stop touching me" and so on.....yes, it will be nice AND I don't have to push a stroller or a cart. Yes! Don't get me wrong I love pushing the stroller or carts but to have a break is nice.
I was just handed a gift from S...she just finished it. Cross stitching. It's beautiful. I love it. I will let the pic speak for itself.
It's a great day so far. January is a very special Month. My hubby's (whom I have to catch up and post about his special day) birthday was on the 1st and our anniversary was on the 16th and then my birthday today.
Time to head out for my special day...daylight's a burnin'!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dreading


Tomorrow I have to take BG to the doctor for her 6 mth checkup and the dreaded shots. But what will be challenging tomorrow is it will be the first time I meet her bio mom. I am super dreading it. I know that is not the right way to feel. I know it's not the Christian way to feel but it is, however, how I feel. Mom has not been receptive to my communications I send her so it could be a challenge. I will insist on holding little one while the shots are administered and I will insist on comforting her and I have a feeling I will be met with resistance. BUT we are there for the baby so
I will stand my ground for her. It's about her and I need to comfort her. I am the one she sees every day and night. It's my voice she knows and gives her comfort so I will be the one to be comforting her. But meeting opposition isn't always easy for me, especially in a doctors office setting with a child who is not 'mine' but is under my guardianship. So, pray and pray some more. I just want to be kind and loving to bio mom and I want to be able to take care of baby girl the way I know she needs. I know it will work out. I want Our Father to be glorified in my actions and my words and BG to feel loved and secure.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A few more pics....


Left: My newest Great-Nephew. Born during
the "Artic Blast" that hit Portland.







Sirion enjoying the new wood stove.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Up to date

Besides my monitor going out in December we in the Portland Oregon Metro area have had quite a winter. With what is usually pretty even keel weather...rain and more rain, we have had a couple of blizzards, a monsoon type rain storm, and last night a crazy wind storm. There are power outages all over, and branches and trees down every where. It's been a wild ride. It hasn't affected us too bad. We lost our electricity twice during the blizzard but only for a few hours the first time and 20 minutes the next. Thank God. Some went days without it. I love my home and I am so thankful for it. It keeps us dry, warm, and safe.
My hubby was on vacation for the last week and a half so i haven't had time to blog anything, not that I have too much of great importance or excitement to share....but always something to talk about.
The family is doing great. Homeschooling was put on the back burner during Christmas break and we have only did half of our intended lessons last week. I wanted to time with hubby to do some things around the house.
The foster kids are doing great. There have been some changes regarding the parental units so that could be bringing some changes in the near future good or bad. Physical changes and emotional changes. But I trust that God will get us through and he will allow what He so chooses. This week I meet the bio mother of BG. She is meeting us at a doctor appointment. I will be honest and say I do dread it because so far nothing I have written to her in our communication log has been well received. She is young, this is her first child whom has been removed from her care but she knows more than I do about this baby. Everything I write to her seems to be received as a challenge to her parental authority. So, I do dread the appointment. BG will be receiving at least 4 shots and I want to comfort her and will insist so. So I am praying there will be no problem with that. Again though, I trust that God will get us through it. He will give me peace, wisdom, love, grace, and he will harness my tongue when so needed.

I am so thankful the Lord has chosen us to participate in the ministry of fostering. Today in church I was thinking about this ministry and telling the Lord how thankful I am to be blessed to "raise" these kids he has placed with us when I felt him tell my spirit the ministry is for "loving them" not "raising" them. Hmmmm, never thought of it that way. I knew I would love them but to specifically say this ministry is about loving kids. That is God! Anyone can raise kids. I see many of them everywhere. Providing their basic needs. But loving them....that is the gift. That is the task because sometimes it's as easy as melting butter but other times it's like cutting through real butter that has just come out of the fridge. Love them though they don't love you. Love them though they were not born of you. Love them though they may not stay with you. Love them even if they do what they can to try and make you not like them. Love them the way God loves us. Unconditionally. Love them with actions. Love them with words. Love them with prayer. Love them with discipline. Love them totally. THAT is the ministry.
Pictures into my world:
Our Front door, on the right
Our place of Fellowship
'Woodland Park Baptist Church'
Beautiful!
My Treasures!!!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back up and....sitting

My monitor went out on December 19th. I was stuck all of Christmas break and throughout our 'Winter Freeze' without a computer. I survived and so did all the kids and dogs. I do admit I am addicted...yes....My name is Malissa and I am addicted to my computer. ... I missed reading family emails. I missed reading blogs. I missed looking up info on the Internet. It was terrible. I guess there are worse things. Being without electricity (did that twice during the storm) being without a washer or dryer or (ackkkkk) being without hot water....but not much worse.
So I will have lots to share, mostly pictures once I get this monitor set up the way I want it and I get caught up on e-mails. But right now I just wanted to say....I'm "back up and running"...ok well not running exactly....but you know what I mean.