We received a much anticipated snow/ice storm this week. It’s beautiful outside, but not so much as to cause any problems, at least not that I’m aware of. Josh got a snow day from work and we had a blast today.
First Daddy built the kids a snow fort, which they really enjoyed. They also loved eating ice cycles. Then we went sledding down two hills on our county road. We had one unforgettable moment when Cora went down by herself. I thought she would just go a little way and run to the side, as that particular sled had been doing. But instead it took her all the way down, FAST! She was squealing with delight the whole time. Josh was at the bottom and said her face was priceless.
Here's Josh and Sam starting down the hill with our crazy dog, Maggie, close by. She had the honor of licking the sledders when they reached the bottom of the hill:)
We have had a fun week. It warmed up late last week so we spent some time outside. We went to the hayloft and had a blast jumping, rolling, and tunneling through the hay. It is so awesome to enjoy that with my kids like I did when I was little. We rode the golf cart around as well. God is so good to give us days to get outside and “blow the stink off” as Nana says.
We also helped Uncle David move little turkeys to the finisher building. This consists of 3 or 4 people using brooms to guide the turkeys from one building to the other, just across the drive. The 6 week old turkeys do not like to go outside in the cold, so they move pretty slowly. It takes a while to move the 6000 turkeys. I have always enjoyed this job, even when I was a kid. The two buildings from my childhood have been replaced, but the moving the turkeys is the same. Sam and Cora enjoy it too. Sam found some bailer twine and that became his turkey lasso. He and Cora chased after wayward turkeys for us. Our payment for helping David – Debbie Cakes!
Sam lost one of his enamel caps off his front teeth, and he was so excited because he just knew the tooth fairy would want it. He’s wanted to loose his teeth for a while because he wants money (sounds like Uncle Mark). Anyway, he got four quarters for his cap, and immediately gave one to Cora. We took some piggy bank money and went to the Dollar Tree and they both picked out a toy. Sam got a sword, which hasn’t broke yet, and Cora got bubbles for the bath.
Now this week it is supposed to snow quite a bit (I can’t wait!). Unfortunately we had to postpone our shower for Hannah’s Hope, Eli’s current home, until next Monday.
We received wonderful news about Eli today. A family who is adopting a little girl through All God’s Children traveled last week to bring her home (Here is their blog). They live in the Indy area, and we hope to let our ET children keep in touch. They got to see Eli, and tell us a little about him. Here is what she wrote to us…
Hi Kristi...we just got back from Ethiopia on Friday! You are the very first email that I'm typing because I know how anxiously you must be waiting for word on your precious baby, Eli! He is a beautiful baby!
The special moms at HH are truly wonderful!!!!! They really do love the babies. Every day they take the babies out into the sunshine for a little while...talk with them, love on them. HH is an amazing place full of joy, love and hope. Almaz is incredible. Eli is in great hands until you are able to come to him!!!! I'm praying for you as you wait patiently for your very own travel dates.
God sent us this news came on a special day. Josh’s grandmother passed away this weekend, and today is the visitation, tomorrow the funeral. We will miss Granny very much, she was a wonderful mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. Eli is great grandbaby #14!
This week I tried two Ethiopian cookie recipes. One had 3 Tablespoons (that's not a typo) of Cheyenne pepper, but it was inedible, so I do think the people who originally typed the recipe goofed. The second had only 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and they were "different" as Josh said. Not bad, a little kick, and different. I have a bread recipe to try next (no pepper).
We were so happy to have friends over this week. The baby girl was asleep for this picture though. Sam kept counting the girls and then saying, "Why is there only one boy here with five girls?" He loved teasing the girls with his plastic bugs and dinos though! We need Eli soon;)
Pastor Jim and I were recently discussing the various children’s ministries at our church. There are some changes being made, and he is good about praying them through. We are a young church with many children, which is wonderful. The responsibility to teach the children is taken very seriously, but sometimes it seems there aren’t enough helpers to go around.
Children are very good discerners of character. They know when a teacher cares for them verses one who is just putting in their time. They know if we have prepared for the lesson. They sum us up, and then they act accordingly. I’ve seen this to be true in church classes as well as when I was a school teacher.
Pastor shared something very insightful with me, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. He reminded me of the times in the Bible that Jesus spent with children, how the children came to him, sat with him. Children don’t do that with grouchy people or people who ignore them. They do that with loving people, people who get down on their level and listen, not just talk at them. Pastor rightly said that those instances teach us as much about Jesus character as the rest of the Gospels.
This has challenged me in the classes we teach at church. I love the kids dearly and love to teach them about Jesus, but sometimes I let other things come first. I want to show those kids love every time I am with them because they will know my heart, just as my own children at home are watching me.
Thank you Lord for the privilege of teaching children about You. Help me point them towards You through love, as Jesus did.
We spent most of the weekend in Indianapolis visiting family. We had a movie night and the kids got to swim in the hotel pool with Papaw. Well, Cora didn't actually swim, but she got her feet wet at least.
The highlight for us was eating at Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant. The food was different as we expected. We had beef, chicken, and lamb dishes (I was so interested in the food that I forgot to take pics). I was hoping I would like injera, the Ethiopian bread, but I guess it is an acquired taste, which I don't have yet! The best part though was the gentleman who was managing it that night, who is brother to the owner. He was VERY nice. He went out of his way to be nice to our kids, who spilled three glasses water! He also told us that Eli's Ethiopian name means "miracle". He told us that maybe he will be a miracle to our family, and he also said that we will be blessed. I know that we are the blessed ones, and I have no doubt that Eli is a little miracle. It was so awesome to meet a real live person from Ethiopia, and then for him to be so nice was even better. I am looking so forward to our trip, but I will definitely be bringing some "comfort" foods along!
After we got home we set up the kids "new" bunk beds in their new room. The beds have actually been around for quite a while. My mom and her sisters used them first. Then my brothers and me and some cousins. I have spent quite a bit of time the last three months stripping, sanding, staining, and sealing them. It is so fun to see the finished product. The kids slept in them Sunday night, Sam on top, Cora on bottom. They are very excited, and I have to put the ladder away most of the time or they would go up and down constantly.
Now the empty room will be a nursery again soon, and it is so exciting to refer to it as Eli's room. I can't wait to decorate and find out what size clothes to hang up!
We had a light dusting of snow this week. The kids thought it was great! Cora couldn't wait to wear her snowsuit, and then she spent most of her time eating the snow. Sam is hoping for a big snow so he can make a "snow monster", and Mommy would like a big snow too.
Its seems like we had more snow when I was a little girl, but maybe not. I do remember fun times sledding down the hills, building snow forts, and ice skating with my brothers on the pond. I can't wait to show the kids all the best places on the farm to play in the snow.
I also remember winters at Purdue when the snow seemed to never melt. We walked to class in the snow for months...maybe its better in the south afterall!
Today has been “one of those days”, at least so far. I mailed a package for Eli, which contained a blanket we’ve been sleeping with for weeks and a photo album of our family. I can’t describe how sending it made me feel, but it wasn’t good. I guess it just reminded me of how little he knows us and we know him
So I’m a little down today, but Sam and Cora don’t know to take it easy on mom. So first, Cora squirted lots of lotion on the carpet. Sam tore a page in his library book minutes after checking it out. They fought loudly, which is surprisingly unusual, while I was on the phone (isn’t that embarrassing, especially when the other person asks who else is at your house). Then Sam put his remote control car on Cora’s head and let ‘er go, wrapping lots of blond curls around one wheel. That was the final straw: I yelled, both cried. I told Sam I would probably have to break his car to get the hair out, and he said, “I don’t like my mom because she breaks my car.” (And of course he added, “I’m telling Grandma!”)
Well, I got the hair out, car in tact, Cora a little sore. Then I declared nap time for all, which is rare. So I lay with Sam in his bed and after a few moments of silence he asked me to forgive him. Of course I did and told him he should also ask Cora. He asked her, and her reply was “Jesus”. I doubt she knew what Sam had asked, but I think the Holy Spirit gave her answer for me.
They both fell asleep, Sam with his arms around my neck. I was no longer tired as I thought about Jesus’ forgiveness in my life, over and over and over again. I was not a very good mother today, but He forgives me, and I will try harder this evening to extend His forgiveness and grace to my children.
I just finished reading "The Shack" by William Paul Young. I highly recommend this book and have heard many others say they enjoyed it too. It has a great plot, but the best part is how it portrays the relationship God wants to have with His people. Thank you Ralph for passing it on to me.
We had our final Christmas party of the season Saturday night at my Aunt Maureen and Uncle Bryan's in Santa Clause, Indiana. The perfect town for Christmas parties. The great-grandkids had a great time. With three boys ages 4,5, and 6, it was very busy. Here are the superheroes. Sam is Spiderman!