Monday, November 28, 2011

Advent Calandar

So I dug out my Paddington Advent calendar yesterday while decorating for Christmas.
But what to fill it with??? as now I have 2 kiddos and one can't eat candy, artificial colors or flavors, nor gluten or chocolate, and the Playmobile Advent calendar was $35.00!!

Well this season is supposed to be about Christ so I thought I'll fill it with bible verses. Then the thought of writing out all those verses. I can picture all the spelling errors I will make. Bah!  Then one google search later and woo hooo I found a cute set and just printed them out.
You too can find them here!

So this week were gonna do Homeschool Lite.  About half speed so we can bake piles of cookies and get the cards and presents out. I also need to bake the fruit cakes.  Maybe I'll post that recipe tomorrow.  This is not fruit cake we all make fun of.  But one that gets gobbled up every time I take it places.  Considering it does not contain that weird looking plastic like fruit they sell in the store. But rather a nice mix of real dried fruit, and no molasses.  (Which I have discovered  people don't like in fruit cake. :-)

So have fun printing out bible verses and making a Advent calendar this morning.  I know I will... after I make about 30 sandwiches for the staff.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A multi week check in

Ok I've been on a Quilting kick determined to finish a 2 month late wedding present, and yes those are all hand appliqued leaves sewn down with silk thread :-) I also have a first... this quilt is perfectly square. Now that's never happened before.  But its done and delivered Yeah!!!

So this will be a photo show of the last few weeks of Heart of Dakota
 a spontaneous poem I found in sweet potatoes notebook. 

Little miss sunshine making a secret message like the Romans. Took Dad a good long time to figure it out.  

 Look Mom a Cell! 

Fossils in bread

 The girls are trying to put together each others line drawings.  The discovered it was impossible... they did manage to separate out the pieces but not knowing what they were putting together made it very difficult. 

 Can I stop now Mom. this is impossible...

Ok I'd blog more but I'm totally swamped today!!! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Faith and Fear

So its 1 AM and I can hear Sweet Potato coughing, *sigh* The Vest (huh what is The Vest?? click here) is working, much less coughing but the night time coughing is still interrupting her sleep.  A few days ago she was complaining of stomach aches and My Knight In Shining Armor was worried about Appendicitis (Because it can strike at any time!!!)  He made her do the kick and cough thing. And Sweet Potato's response just reinforced my believe in her "sympathy cough."   She looked at Dad and said "But I can only fake cough right now I don't have any real coughs."  (Ahhh Ha!! I was right! She does cough extra when it gets her extra attention!!! And do you blame her!)

Were still working things out with the insurance company so far Cigna looks to be stepping up and doing the right thing. I hope it continues in that vein. But looking at a piece of equipment that is a huge chunk of change to this missionary family gave me personally a few days of fear! How will The Father pay for it! (no Dad I don't mean you ;-) but thanks for the braces check we appreciate that.) I can see it may clean out our emergency fund and missionary mobile fund. But I don't think we will need to take on debt. Whew!  But then we will have to start all over again rebuilding those, yes yes I know that is what they are there for.

Part of me wishes I was more mature and had less of a fearful reaction to the exorbitant cost.I keep thinking if I was more of a mature christian, this "walking by faith" wouldn't be so scary. Why can't I just look back and see He is gonna be there for us.  I mean He provided in so many ways to pay for Little Miss Sunshine's adoption. And giving credit where it is due Who knew a cartoon about Dogs locked up in the pound click here would cause support to come into our life. By the way Way to Go Mike! on winning all those awards for your animations.   (We'll put it to good use buying medical equipment.) May "Pound Dogs" go on to amuse the men of this world and gross out the ladies for many years to come. *wink*

I sometimes wonder what was the agency thinking "Sweet potato was labeled as "Mild" but parents must be open to unknowns in the future.... then I think What was I thinking!!!  that our family would be fine normal and never have any problems. Life is NOT assured to be happy and fine all the time. People get in car accidents and end up with brain trauma, cancer hits very young children, and even me the child of my parents has learning disabilities that still make me use spell check far more often than your average Joe.

Not picking anything "rough" on that form of how: severely damaged a child are you willing to take. Was more of a self assessment of what we thought we could handle. God knew we had far greater depth.

What I can stand firm on is the fact that God knows Our hearts, Our limits, and He put these children in our lives to raise as best we can.  Ahh well the coughing has awoken her so I'm off to tuck her back in and pray this time she sleeps without coughing herself awake again.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Worth it

I was watching a video last night at All Night Prayer. It explained the terrible conditions of the Dalit community in India and one thing struck home. I don’t know who the man was who was speaking but it really pulled at my heart. He was speaking about the mental state of a child raised in a world that sees them as little better than animals and only worthy to be enslaved. His main point was by the time the children are 11-13 or so they have a skewed world view of themselves. 
Then I was on face book and a message from last year popped back up due to the changes in the inbox thing.  Here it is with the names changed to protect the repentant
I heard from XXXX XXXXXX via facebook. She said to tell you how bad she felt about how she was mean to you back in HS. I said I felt bad too about how I sometimes treated you. So apologies from both of us.
This is the 3rd apology in as many years.  It seems to me every year I get something like this in my inbox from people of that particular town. 

We were challenged last night to understand that we (and I’m paraphrasing here) raised in one of the wealthiest countries in the world could have sympathy but maybe not truly understand how it feels to live in a community that vilifies you.
I think he is right.. even tho I was called “Ugly” every day of my High school career. I was only slightly higher than Pond Scum* in High school hence the apologies I keep receiving. (Sometimes I suspect a 12 step program to be involved.) My mantra as I walked the halls and heard politically incorrect epitaphs tossed at me was “God doesn’t make Junk, God doesn’t make Junk.”  I still had that to hold on too. I had parents that reinforced that belief system. I was Not junk… But a Dalit child, his belief system says you are slightly better than an insect and you are only worthy to do the dirty jobs in this world. (For example you can clean latrines with your bare hands.) *Evenually I was able to raise my level, I started winning races in track and cross country then I was allowed admittance in the Jock clique. Not so for Dalits their position in society is more or less fixed. 
I have experienced a village who decided they didn’t want us to live in their town.  I won’t go into the gross and unkind things a few families in our community did to our family to try to drive us out of town. (gross and unkind things....that is putting it pretty mildly).   But in no way does it compare to the loss of the Christians in Orrisa during 2008 village burnings.  The insurance company here In America paid to repair the damage done to our home and car. Meanwhile many Christians in Orrisa who lost everything are still waiting (3 years later) for relocation and a home.
My family has known the pain and suffering of loss, heart break, rejection, and violence. Our faith pulled us through and helped us overcome the words and actions of others. My Sainted Mother often said to me: “What doesn’t kill you makes you grow stronger.”   
I feel like Paul I see through a glass darkly of the plight of Dalits,
YES My family has been persecuted in America but, the police were willing to protect us. 
YES We suffered loss but we could earn enough money to set things to rights again.
YES I was vilified and told by my peers I was worthless every school day for years (and even if you don’t believe it, it still affects you). But my God did not reinforce that message.  I cannot know their level of pain and suffering but I can sympathize and help.  
It just reinforced my belief that helping those in Asia to be better educated, to learn there is a God who says they are NOT junk, to change the outlook of even one child is worth all the effort being a missionary in Texas.
If you want to watch the video click here
If you feel moved to help click here

Friday, November 4, 2011

Surmountable: Capable of Being Overcome

Ever have days when you feel stalked by sorrow?  I have been feeling this way lately. I wonder if it's due to the narrowness of my view? Its like I have the Mommy Blinders on and I have no Idea of the world around me. It was a HOT summer where we have been stuck inside. Now the weather has flipped and its cooler than normal and yet I'm still daily praying for rain, Oh where are the October rains??? Oh no wait it's November... So I keep diligently praying for rain. Who's idea was it to build a city in this arid landscape anyway?

Last Sunday I ran into a friend I used to work with on a daily basis. She was sitting outside on a perfect evening. I was feeling lonely and sad. I had totally messed up my schedule and had just completed a task I was supposed to have done hours before that I had forgotten about.  Yet here in Gods perfect timing was my friend.

She looked at me and said "It feels like 2 years since I really talked to you last." Oh how true that was!! She was so right it has been 2 years. My focus has been so turned into family, fixing the issues at home, healing Little M...... I mean Sweet Potato's brain.  Side note here: I have been lovingly rebuked (isn't it awesome to be Truly Lovingly rebuked :-) by a dear friend and as per her suggestion I am officially changing Little M.' moniker to Sweet Potato, but I digress.  So back to the story... Yup its been a good bit more than 2 years to bring about real change in her attitude, hurts, learning disabilities.  I'm still amazed at the flexibly of her brain and it's ability to change, grow and heal. I just love these Nuro typical days..... upon day, upon day, upon day...we are enjoying them so much.  It was wonderful to sit and talk to my friend about dogs, and the weather. To pass the time pleasantly in the company of  one who loved me even when I wasn't available. 

I feel like I have been under water for a long time holding my breath and now I can see the surface all sparkling in the sun. Soon I can burst forth from the water and breath again.  Only just a few more strokes for a clean full fresh breath of air. Ever dive really deep and look up, feel the pressure of the water actually propelling you upwards. Yup that is how I feel now, ever since the last evaluation at Little Giant Steps. Not that we don't have bad moments brought on by her issues. But now I suddenly feel confidant again they are surmountable.

It's been a season at home and it's been worth it. But today I so enjoyed a fuller day at work.  C. took my kids with hers to a petting zoo (woo hooo field trip I didn't have to chaperon!!!) And I got to go use part of my brain that hasn't been used in a good 5-6 years. Once I found where Adobe hid the tool I was looking for in Photoshop. I was able to then train a talented artist in a different way to silhouette... Old school style...cause lets face it... it's the only way I know how and that select tool just wasn't cutting it.  I swear my brain made happy juice as I was remembering how I used to do this. At one point I was bouncing back n' forth between tools.  I KNEW there was an easier way and of course once I stopped trying to actively remember, my reflexes took over. And bingo!! My fingers had not forgotten the key strokes even tho my brain had. I had the tools I  needed at the stroke of a key.  The Brain is Amazing!!!