Thursday, May 28, 2015

Happy Birthday PapaBob and Meemom!

We had a big party tonight ;-),
celebrating both PapaBob and Meemom's birthdays!

Just before the party began,
(like, moments before the guests were arriving ;-),
we found this . . .
Brielle decided to decorate herself with toothpaste!  
 A few of the party guests . . . .:-) 
Meemom took this picture with her Smart phone and emailed it to me!
Way to go, Mom!
We all sure love Richie!
Benny couldn't wait to see what was in PapaBob's gift bag!
We love you!!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"He That Refraineth His Lips is Wise"

The other day, a few of us were at a birthday party for a young man/friend who was turning 18.  His dear family was hosting a pot-luck at a nearby park, and invited other families and friends to the party.  Only Kyle, Valerie, Brielle and myself were able to attend that night. 

Soon after arriving, one of the dad's that we hadn't met before, said to me, while he was looking at Brielle, "I see you brought your neighbor kid with you."  I was a bit shocked, to say the least! But in an effort to smooth over the awkward moment, I began to explain that we were blessed to be able to adopt her and her brother Benjamin.  He then said, "How's that going for you?"  

Of course, the mama bear in me was getting increasingly agitated, and I hoped to end the conversation as quickly as I could and move along.  My heart ached as I saw our precious bundle-of- blessings-that-God-gifted-us-through-adoption standing there, and thought what if she was old enough to hear and comprehend such thoughts and words?  

As I was mulling this over, it sure reminded me of how we need to be prepared to talk with our precious children about such things, and do all we can to encourage them through these times.

It also sure made me think hard about my words (or lack of encouraging words) and the affect they have on other people. I truly want to speak words of life and encouragement to people!  So first and foremost, I need to continue to fill my heart with the treasure of God's word.  Then, I need to pray daily for the right edifying words, and when I should and shouldn't speak!   There are so many verses on Godly speech in the Bible, but I only have time to list a few!  (We're hosting a birthday party at our house tonight! :-)

"But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart . . . " Matthew 15:18

" For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things . . . " Matthew 12:34

"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Prov. 4:23

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."  Philippians 4:8

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."  Ephesians 4:29

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thess.
"The words of the godly encourage many . . " Prov. 10:21
"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." Prov. 25:11
"In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise." Prov. 10:19 
"Let all that you do be done in love."
1 Co. 15:14

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend

As we gathered together this weekend with family and friends,
we were especially mindful and thankful for all those who have given
the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy each day. 
We thanked God often for them and asked for His hand of protection
upon all those that are still serving,
and praised Him for all the blessings we enjoy because of their sacrifice!!
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
On Saturday, we drove a couple hours to Oregon to celebrate with some friends
for the graduation of three of their children from high school.
It was a lovely ceremony, awesome pot-luck feast,
and great time of fellowship and playing "capture the flag" afterwards!
We were very blessed to spend the day with them!
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Then, on Sunday, after a wonderful time of worship and hearing Pastor Dean's great message on "Turning Work into Worship," (Ephesians 6:5-9); 
we spent the afternoon over at Papa Bob and Meemom's house,
barbequing, telling stories around the campfire, roasting marshmallows, and playing Farkle! 
It was great weather and awesome company!
Below, our neighbor, Doug, was telling us a funny story!  
The extraordinary barbequerer (I know, it's not really an official word) 
hard at work . . .
Even the furry friends were invited!
Yabba Dabba Doo! says Papa Bob!
 Marshmallow roasting time!
 Then, on Monday, our plans changed last minute,
from driving a ways to visit and play with friends,
to inviting family and friends to come, visit and play with us here!
Richie and Lydia, Papa Bob and Meemom, and three other families were able to join us!  
We scrambled a bit to put together another barbeque
at our house last minute, but it turned out great!
We even had some friends that stopped by to talk with Papa Bob about haying his front 5 acres,
that joined us for the evening! It was all very fun!
We visited, and many enjoyed playing volleyball and Ultimate Frisbee! 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Yabba Dabba Doo!!!!!

Yabba Dabba Doo
1.  An expression of happiness or excitement!
2.  Something Papa Bob says all the time to the little ones
when he is visiting here! 
Speaking of happiness and Papa Bob and being here . . .
Meemom and Papa Bob have arrived here for the summer! 
Yabba Dabba Doo!!!! :-)
We are SO excited that PapaBob is FINALLY retired,
and they can stay here the whole summer! 
We've already enjoyed a rip roarin' game of Farkle with them,
wherein Papa Bob came in second (after Kyle;-), and Meemom came in third! 
I'm sure there will be lots more gaming to come,
and I imagine we'll not be so easy on them next time! :-)


Friday, May 22, 2015

More Blessings?

We are finally re-foster licensed!!!
And today, we were very excited to meet with Antioch Adoption's placement coordinator
 to go over potential, future placements!
We are excited to see what the Lord has in store for us!
They said it could take a while to find younger kids that will most likely be adoptable.
We talked about our willingness to accept lots of various special needs,
but as much as we would love to take older kids,
and kids in need of short-term foster care,
we are currently feeling that it is best for our family to keep birth order mostly in tact,
and wait for the nearly "legally free"  kids.
We know the Lord's plans and timing are perfect!  
We would be so grateful for your prayers that God's peace and patience would fill our hearts and minds as we wait!
And that He would clearly direct all our steps to the next Bowes blessings! 

Puppy Love!

Thursdays are weekly picture time!
Sometimes the weather cooperates . . .
sometimes it doesn't! :-(
Valerie is always so grateful to have a helping hand on picture day!
Most often, Victoria is the willing and available sucker helper. ;-)
"It's crowded in here!"    She's touching me!!!"  "Are we there yet?"
"Pick me! Pick me!!"

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

My Eyes Will Never See Happiness Again . . .

 . . . . as is written in Job 7:7a.   I remember that this was exactly how I felt 13 years ago today, on the birth day of our precious, little Susannah Patience.  Her unexpected delivery at 32 weeks and subsequent death was such a complete surprise to us.  It sure took quite some time to process. 

The memories of this day were just rekindled Monday evening when I was visiting with a special "Grandpa" in our church body who recently lost a little great-grandson on his birthing day.  He also lost a toddler son many years ago, and was sharing with me his remembering of how his world seemed to come to a complete stop, and how he just couldn't fathom how, for everyone else around him, life went on as normal.  I remember feeling the exact same way, and sharing with my mom that I felt like I would never have joy again.  These were powerful emotions! 

But I also remember how in all my grief, the Lord faithfully ministered to me in those dark days.  At first, the pain seemed too hard to face and deal with.  I wanted to hide or run from it.  I remember He gave me Psalm 139:1-12, which began the process of my surrendering everything to Him, and thus began my journey of walking through the grief process with my Father's comfort, help and strength.

His word really became my only comfort.  Through the tears, it was such a sweet time, really, of hanging on to every word He gave me, and how He ministered to the depths of my soul in this way.   Another passage that really spoke to me was Isaiah 55:6-12a.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord.
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."   Is. 55:8-9 

And of course, all the verses that speak about how we can plan out our days, steps and ways, but it is the Lord's sovereign and good plans that prevail in the end.

We just read such a verse this morning in Proverbs 20:24.   "A man's steps are directed by the Lord.  How then can anyone understand his own way?"   It is so good to know that everything in our lives is directed by the Lord.

Blessed be name of the Lord . . . for He is good in all He does!!!  He gives, and He takes away, and we can trust Him, and have His comfort, peace and strength through it all!

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness."
Lam. 3:22-23

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Take Me Out to the Ballgame . . . .

Kyle recently had the opportunity to be the umpire for one of Timothy's games.
He enjoyed the job very much!
He just had to try not to interject his usual brotherly advice/coaching.  :-)  
Timmy up to bat!
Timmy up to bat again!
Timmy on the pitcher's mound!
Daddy was also filling in as one of the assistant coaches that night.
Below, he is helping Timmy warm up his pitching arm!
 The littlest baseball fan!
He always wants to dress in his baseball clothes!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
While on our trip to So. California,
Kyle found out the Diamondbacks were in town playing the Dodgers!
So, off he and Daddy went to Dodgers Stadium on Saturday night!
 There evidently weren't too many folks in red! :-)

Monday, May 18, 2015

2015 Wild West Boer Goat Show

We just returned home from the weekend show in Moro, Oregon!
It was the most exciting show ever for Caroline and Victoria!
Their home-bred, Crossroads Boer Goats doe, Roxi, stole the show! :-)
She ended up winning "Best in Show" both days,
under different judges Saturday and Sunday!
Thank you, Lord!
"Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father . . . "
James 1:17a
Roxi and her mom, Reddy

 They were blessed with not only the "titles" and points she earned,
but lots of prizes too!


Friday, May 15, 2015

Our Daily Dose of Cuteness! :-)

"Do Little Things with Great Love"

The other day, I saw a bumper sticker that the Lord used to gently remind me of His work in my life concerning the "little things."   I think the quote on the bumper sticker might have been taken in part from an original quote by Mother Theresa . . . "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

I often struggle with thinking that my day-to-day little tasks of mothering, homemaking, and ministering to my husband seem so insignificant.  Pastor Dean has given some awesome messages recently in this regard that have sure helped encourage me in this area.  ("For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  Eph. 2:10  Usually, if we're seeking to serve and please the Lord, we'll naturally be doing the things He has prepared for us to do.  He talked about how often times the good works He has prepared for us might be within a certain desire or passion or gifting that we have.  This passion or desire is probably God given and is a means to serve Him and others and bring glory to Him!  Even if that is changing diapers! ;-)  So, the Lord has really been helping me gain a fresh perspective in this area. 

Pastor Dean also recommended a good read a few months ago, and though I haven't had a chance to read it cover to cover, a portion near the end of the book has been continually coming to my mind recently as I go about my daily little works that God has prepared in advance for me to do!  Not only should we be faithful in "doing" the little things, we need to be faithful in our "being" holy in all the little things . . .
"But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do . . .  "
1 Pet. 1:15

This has always seemed a little intimidating and/or overwhelming to me.  But reading this little passage has really helped me.  And of course, every breath we take and everything we do is only because of God's good, sovereign plans, provisions, strength, mercy and grace working in our lives!

" . . . a dying world needs you to be with God more than it needs you to be 'with it.'  That's true for me as a pastor and true for you as a mother, father, brother, sister, child, grandparent, friend, Bible study leader, computer programmer, bank teller, barista, or CEO.  Your friends and family, your colleagues and kids --they don't need you to do miracles or transform civilizations.  They need you to be holy.  As Horatius Bonar (Scottish preacher) reminds us, holiness is not measured by 'one great heroic act or mighty martyrdom . . . It is of small things that a great life is made up.'  (Found in his book God's Way of Holiness)

"Holiness is the sum of a million little things--the avoidance of little evils and little foibles, the setting aside of little bits of worldliness and little acts of compromise, the putting to death of little inconsistencies and little indiscretions, the attention to little duties and little dealings, the hard work of little self-denials and little self-restraints, the cultivation of little benevolences and little forbearances.  Are you trustworthy? Are you kind? Are you patient? Are you joyful? Do you love? These qualities, worked out in all the little things of life, determine whether you are blight or blessing to everyone around you . . . "  (Taken from pages 144-145 of Kevin DeYoung's book The Hole in Our Holiness)

I am so grateful for God's gentle "little" dealings with me, faithfully loving me daily with kindness, compassion and correction! I want so much to be faithful and pleasing to Him in all of life's big and small ways!

"One who is faithful in very little is also faithful in much . . ."
Luke 16:10a ESV

Family Fun Vacation ~ Part 3

We are so grateful to the Lord for this extra special time we had together!
We sure enjoyed every moment!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Our 2nd day was spent at California Adventures!
And the last day was a little bit of both parks!

The next two photos are of the family being goofy for the camera on the "Tower of Terror" ride,
as it quickly snaps a picture just before the "elevator" plunges its passengers sharply and suddenly . . .
in the dark!


 Most of the family is pictured here on the California Screamin' rollercoaster,
just before it takes off!

 River Raft ride . . .

 Kyle being very kind to be a bench while waiting for the fantastic "Aladdin" show to start!

 Our all-time favorite ride we can all do as a family!

 Waiting in line for it . . .
 more waiting in line for it . . .
 still waiting in line for it. . .
 and finally!  We're good to go!

Everybody loves the bumper cars!!

 It just brings out the best in everyone. . . ;-)

 This is Brielle's "smile!"
 This is California Adventures newest attraction . . . "Cars Land!" 
Enough of the PB & J sandwiches . . . . the man needs some MEAT!!!

 Awwww  . . . and impromptu photo as we stopped for our picnic lunch.
 And then we were entertained by this hilarious little Toy Story show.

 Back at Disneyland . . .

 Thank you, thank you, Lord, for such a wonderful family time!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...