Friday, February 28, 2014

Today is Going to Be an Exciting Day!

"Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing praise to his name . . ."
Psalm 135:3
Victoria and Caroline are awaiting the arrival of some more goat kids any moment now! 
These babies are from one of their newest, most special does,
 and so will be very exciting to see what they get!
Kyle may be selling his car today, and buying a truck for his landscaping business!
And on Wednesday, he was really blessed by a brother in our church that gave him a riding lawn mower and push mower, a very good quality weed wacker, a brush wacker, and a blower! 
Valerie and I are heading out soon to attend a conference for foster and adoptive families in Seattle.
We are really looking forward to all that we will learn and to this time of refreshment!
"Praise the LORD, O my soul;
 and forget not all his benefits~"
Psalm 103:2

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sing to the Lord with Thanksgiving . . .

Beautiful little flowers sprouting from bulbs beneath the ground,
enjoying the sunshine in our garden by our front window yesterday! : -)  
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make music to our God on the harp.
He covers the sky with clouds;
he supplies the earth with rain
and makes grass grow on the hills.
He provides food for the cattle
and for the young ravens when they call.
His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his delight in the legs of a man;
the Lord delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love. 
Psalm 147:7-11

Monday, February 24, 2014

Annual Home Educators' Day at the Capitol

Today we spent the day at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia,
as part of the annual "Home Educators' Day at the Capitol" event.
It was our first time to participate in this,
and it was such a great experience!
The day started with delivering homemade pies to the legislators with a thank-you note for their service and a brochure for the upcoming Christian Heritage Homeschool conference. 
I think there were 182 pies that were made and delivered this year!
Just one table filled with part of the 182 pies!

This picture below is of several of the leaders of the "Apple Pie Tradition"
and the kids that made up 6 delivery teams.
It was so well organized!!  It was truly amazing how smoothly it all seemed to go!  
There was a pie delivery orientation and then prayer time before going out.
Here are a few pictures of the kids with their teams, as they went to various offices delivering pies.


After lunch we had a very special time gathered together under the capitol dome with many other families to hear from several legislators that strongly support homeschooling.  I think all of them spoke about their faith in Jesus Christ, and one even opened his Bible and read lots of Scripture!!  That was awesome!!  He also led us in singing "God Bless America" together! 
Then, the homeschool leaders would gather around each legislator, and pray for them!!
This was such an awesome sight, right there in the center of the capitol building!

 Oh, and we were also treated to some really cool live music from some of our very own talented homeschoolers!  : -)
Future Apple Pie Deliverer  : -)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Celebrating Brielle's "Gotcha Day!"

One year ago yesterday,
we set out very early in the day,
to bring home *something special*,
(pinching ourselves as we went ;-)
and praising our Lord for such a sweet blessing!
"This is the Lord's doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes!" 
Psalm 118:23 

Since we love "remembering" all the wonderful, awesome, amazing things
that the Lord has done for us,
we decided we should have a celebration to commemorate
this super special day in our family!
So we loaded everyone up,
and headed for our favorite Chinese food restaurant!
(The same one we celebrated at last year, the night before we got her! : -)
Then, we ended the night with special ice-cream treats!
"Remember the wonders He has done . . . "
Psalm 105:5a
This *something special* sign behind Brielle just happened to be at the cash register where we ordered our ice-cream treats!
We thought it was quite appropriate for this special occasion! : -)
But be sure to fear the LORD
and serve him faithfully with all your heart;
consider what great things he has done for you.
1 Samuel 12:24
Funny story about this picture . . .
I snapped it just after we scooped up Joseph's blizzard off of the table,
as he wanted to pose like Kyle did with it turned upside down.
The only problem with that was,
his was already a few minutes melted,
and as soon as he turned it over,
it all slid right out onto the table! : -(
"You are the God who performs miracles; 
you display your power among the peoples."
Psalm 77:14
One year ago . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . today! : -)

"I remember the days of long ago;
I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done."
Psalm 143:5

                           Bonnie's Custom Photography

Thank you, thank you, Lord,
for this very special gift!!!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

On This, the One Year Anniversary . . .

  . . . of getting the life-changing phone call that a precious baby girl had been born to Benjamin’s biological mother, I awoke this morning with an intensely emotional dream.   In the dream, I came across a young lady our family knows and loves very much.  As I began talking with her, it was learned that she was pregnant and had made plans to give her baby up for adoption.   When I asked her how far along she was, she said “36 weeks” and began sobbing.  I knelt down beside her (she was lying down) and through my own tears, and while hugging her tightly, I began trying to share words of hope and truth that might encourage her.  I was telling her that she had made a beautiful decision to bring her baby into the world, and that her child would always love her and have a very special place in their heart for her. 

As I awoke from the dream, my heart felt heavy with such strong emotions.  Our family has often talked about how very thankful we are that Benjamin and Brielle’s mom chose life for them.  And we are so grateful for the blessings they are to our family!!    We get pretty emotional when we think of what “could have been” had their birth mom made a different choice. 
Then, soon after waking this morning, I saw an email come in from the director of 40 Days for Life, with the subject line saying “#1 pro-life recruiting tool.”    It is all about offering the book, 40 Days for Life:  Discover What God Has  Done . . . Imagine What He Can Do, at a reduced price to get it into the hands of as many people as they can.  Speaking from our family’s experience, this truly is a life-changing book, with it having the ability to powerfully inspire and motivate its reader to become more engaged in God’s commands to defend, protect, and speak-up for the weak and the fatherless.
So the dream this morning, which happened to be on the one year anniversary of getting the call for a  precious treasure miraculously brought into this world, coupled with the subsequent 40 Days for Life email, has become our “call” to action!  After talking it over with the family, we would like to purchase a bundle of these books, and give them to anyone that would like one!  So, dear friends and family, if you don’t have a copy already, just let us know if you would like one, and we’ll be happy to send it to you!  Also, if you would be interested in purchasing a bundle as well to pass out to others, we can give you the information from the email to do so!
"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;
maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.
Rescue the weak and needy . . . "
Psalm 82:3-4a

Monday, February 17, 2014

Very Special Guests and Such a Fun Visit!

We were so happy to have Uncle Steve and Aunt Debbie come for a visit yesterday!
They were here on a quick trip from Phoenix for a few various visits,
and we were so blessed to have them for lunch and an afternoon of catching up and fun! 
When Uncle Steve and Aunt Debbie are in the house, it is always a good time!
We had lots of laughs!
Aunt Debbie and Brielle got acquainted real fast!


(Thanks for the adorable outfit and headband, Grammie and Papa! 
It is sooooo cute and fits her perfectly!)
 Aunt Debbie LOVES babies, and they love her!
Speaking of lovin' on babies . . .
Aunt Debbie was anxious to share some cute videos and pictures of their first grandson!
And we enjoyed seeing little Troy so much!  
Soon, the whole family was gathered around!
We were also so very happy that Richie and Lydia could spend the day with us!!
We LOVE it!!!
And we love their little lambs too, that came along for the day . . .  
 so they could be fed! : -)
Aren't they cute?
 And last but not least,
a little visit out to the farm animals! : -)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day . . . Now Sweeter than Ever!

Valentine's Day will never be the same for our family!
We are so grateful to now have a little sweetheart's birthday to celebrate on this day also!
"O Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done marvelous things,
things planned long ago."
Isaiah 25:1
Our family loves to celebrate things and make special family memories!
So, we've sure had a ton of fun decorating, cooking, baking, eating feasting
and visiting with loved ones!
This is how our Valentine's day started!
Valerie made us a delicious egg, hash brown, and sausage/ham casserole;
and waffles with fruit topping for breakfast!
Then, we put on a fresh white table cloth, and added a few decorative chocolates
for our family Valentine's Day dinner!
And we invited a our very special guest. . .
Aunt Kelley!
Benjamin is going through a phase where he asks anybody and everybody ALL DAY to "play with me for a while?"
Aunt Kelley was happy to oblige.  Now, she is his very best buddy!
Daddy requested steak, potato skins, and asparagus for the dinner.
We added a green salad, a fruit jello salad and brown rolls!
It was our first time making potato skins.
Caroline did a fabulous job with them!
They were  delicious!
Then, after dinner, Brielle opened up this special little present.
And then we enjoyed the birthday carrot cake pictured at top,
and this "Death by Chocolate Cake." (as we call it!)
But the most special of the festivities was planned for this morning . . .  
a birthday breakfast for Brielle!
So we added a big table and put on the party tablecloths!
Heart biscuits to go with the sausage gravy!

All kinds of sweet things!

And sweet guests!

The menfolk talking after breakfast.
(Wait, is Kyle STILL eating? ;-)
We all sang Happy Birthday to Brielle,
and gave her the traditional little birthday cake to
eat play in!
 LOVE these guys!!!

Us girls!
(Wish we thought to snap this photo before Lydia and Richie left!)
Daddy and Brielle all tuckered out after all that celebrating!
Dear friends, let us love one another,
for love comes from God.
Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
Whoever does not love does not know God,
because God is love.
This is how God showed his love among us:
He sent his one and only Son into the world
that we might live through him.
This is love:
not that we loved God,
but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Dear friends,
since God so loved us,
we also ought to love one another.
No one has ever seen God;
but if we love one another,
God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
1 John 4:7-12

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