Saturday, January 30, 2010

A few good links

I came across this blog of a missionary family in Haiti. They give an insider view of all that is happening.

A few years back some friends of ours told us about Family Man Ministries. It is a ministry for dads by a funny, insightful guy. Their family has a quiver full of kids and they home school too. We have been on their weekly email list for a while, and I thought some of you might like to read them too. Even though they are written for dads, I enjoy them also!

Here is a link to their website:

A special flag

A high school classmate of Josh’s is in the Air Force and has been flying F16s for Operation Enduring Freedom. He recently sent us an American Flag with a certificate stating that the flag was flown with him in the cockpit during a Special Forces raid. How neat is that!!! Thank you Luke!

As God would have it, the flag arrived the same week we were teaching Sam the Pledge of Allegiance. Don’t you love it when He does things like that!

Lord, we pray for your protection over all our armed forces in foreign lands. You are there with them. We thank you for these brave people, and ask that their service will make more people free to learn about You. Amen.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Haiti Relief Project

A church in our town collected items to send to Haiti. Included were wash clothes, hand towels, bar soap, nail clippers, toothbrushes, combs, and band aides. Sam and I went to help put items into baggies. Sam was very excited to help, and I think it made real to him some of the situation. He has seen very few pictures, but we have been praying for the people there and talking about earthquakes. Even though it was a very small project compared to the need, it was a big thing to Sam and a great example of being the hands of Christ. We can PRAY and we can DO something to help. We hope God will allow us many ministry opportunities to do with the kids, and many of them can be right here at home.

Our hearts break for the people of Haiti, especially the children. Praise the Lord for the adopted children that got to come home. Adoption paperwork does NOT move quickly, so God must have moved the hearts of many to speed things up.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Library

We go to our local library a lot. Its pretty small, but we know the librarians and there is a system that allows us to order books from many other Indiana libraries, so we love it. Sam has learned where different types of books he likes are, and he is VERY friendly to everyone (in a quiet voice of course).

Well, this week we (just Sam and I, for sake of the librarians:) decided to go to the neighboring town's larger library in search of kids audio books for an upcoming trip. We walked into the kids section, and it was as if lights shone down, angels sang, and my heart sped up.

CD's, audio books, DVD's, flashcards, and BOOKS!!!

I just didn't know where to look first. I was very amused to see that Sam felt the same way. We were there over an hour, and got at least 15 items. I can't wait to go back, and I'd secretly like to go without Sam!

Its so neat how our kids LOVE to read books. They crave information and good stories. Currently we are really enjoying Magic Tree House books. This is a series written by Mary Pope Osborn that explores many different science and social studies subjects through the eyes of two kids who travel in a magic tree house. We were able to get some of these on audio too, which makes trips much more enjoyable.

Here is Eli doing one of his favorite things, and yes the book is upside have to start somewhere!

Something about libraries seem too good to be true. I guess its because we don't expect something for free...but it is!!! I may never buy a book again. Please, go to your local library and be inspired!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Calendar Time

Mommy: What month is it Sam?

Samuel: Mmmm...Jaytember?

Nice try! He knows all the months pretty well, but reading January is not always an easy task. Calendar time is the best. It naturally teaches number and time concepts. We also get to countdown to special days. When I say its calendar time, even Eli goes to it:)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wonder Lab

On Martin Luther King Day Josh took us all to Bloomington to the "Wonder Lab". It is an awesome place filled with neat science stuff for kids. We all loved it. Sam's favorite was the bubble room, where there were all different sorts of bubble making contraptions. Cora liked the funny mirrors. There was even a fenced off area for little ones like Eli where he could do lots of neat things too, like hit drums and crawl through a mirrored tunnel. We highly recommend it for anyone in the area.

This week in school we are focusing on letter names. Somehow in the process of learning all the sounds and doing pretty well with phonics, Sam has forgot many letters' names. He knows sounds but not names. Today we wrote on the magnadoodle a lot, and tomorrow I think we will use shaving cream.

I got pretty frustrated with him today after having to tell him the letter "h" about 50 times. As soon as he sees my disappointment it gets 10 times harder for him to do work. If I give even a little encouragement, he tries harder. Aren't we all the same way? So tomorrow I promise to encourage. Hopefully we helped him tonight when we made a human "h". Who could forget that?!

Eli is a little under the weather with a sinus infection, and we had some vomit this morning...NOT FUN!! It was so sweet though to see how concerned Cora and Sam were for him.

We recently had our last post-placement visit with our social worker. She will file a report to be sent to ET on his progress. We met Belinda 2 years ago, when Eli was only a dream every night, and it was hard to tell her goodbye. Will we see her again...only God knows. Now we will file reports ourselves until Eli is 18...WOW. These reports are meant to show that adoption DOES work well for the children. They build good relationships between agencies and governments too.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Photos from Christmas Past

I finally found time to put some Christmas photos on here...

Here are three camels getting ready for the church Christmas play. Sam is the camel on the left. The play was all on CD, and the kids just had to move their mouths...a great idea. The camels part was a rap song, and it was so cute! They were supposed to dance. The middle camel was quite the dancer, as you can tell. One line of the rap song went, "Its been a long time since we've gotten to eat. The guys on our backs say they got sore seats." Makes you think...the wise men must have been certain of what they were searching for, because they spent a long time on the journey and did not stop until they found God's Son. How about me, do I keep on the path to Jesus or get sidetracked? HMMMM...

And here is Miss Christmas herself! Her favorite gift was probably a stick horse and a flashlight.

Eli received an Ethiopian flag, which is proudly hanging on his wall.

And this is the beloved Daddy. No kidding, every morning the first thing all three kids will ask is "Where's daddy?" Eli has to go in our room to look for him, as if I'm lying that daddy went bye-bye. Its so sweet. Sam is very enamored with daddy right now, to the point of wanting their clothes to match and wanting to eat the exact same thing. Now, if only we can realize the great opportunities this gives us to shape him, for Daddy will not always be his hero...maybe Jesus can be though.
This Christmas we were able to make a few gifts for our loved ones, and its so much more fun to give something that you've put time into. We made a photo album for Eli, mostly with farm pictures, and he loves it. We made stick stars from sticks from our woods. We tied them with twine and they look rustic. Also, we used old barn wood from one of the farms barns, to make signs that read Gregory Farms. We gave these to my brother and dad with poems about the barn. Homemade gifts are fun...I'm already thinking about next year. I like to search for ideas online and then personalize them for our family.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Go Fish music

The kids got two CD’s by the band “Go Fish” for Christmas. We LOVE them. I don’t know who likes them more, the kids or the parents. The songs are catchy and funny. I highly recommend them for the kids in your life. I think all their CDs are $5. Check out their website here…

With no TV, we listen to a lot of music and dance. Eli’s dance moves consist of clapping, stomping one foot, and spinning around. Cora loves to dance in her swim suit…looks like July in our house while the snow is falling. I’m afraid her suit will be work out by summer, but its seen some good times anyway. Samuel has some pretty cool moves also.

Thanks Nana Joy for the perfect Christmas gifts!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tall Tales

We read a lot of books with the kids, but they LOVE for us to tell them stories. Josh and I often lack creative juices when they are begging for stories, but this week we had fun letting them help us with the stories.

First we told stories using numbers, from 1 to 20. One of the stories started with one barn, where there were two chickens arguing over three hay bales. We took turns with each number. Somewhere in the story there were boys and girls and popsicles in the hayloft. Even Cora helped with the story line, and it reinforced Sam’s number concepts.

Another way we included Sam in the story telling was to do an alphabet story. We started at A and went to Z. We had to use things that started with the next letter, and I was impressed at Sam’s ability on most sounds. This story had an Ape, of course, who loved to eat biscuits. He ended up at K-Mart and on it went. This was a fun way to liven up our stories.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Sam and Cora got glow in the dark planets and stars for Christmas. We finally got around to hanging them up last night. They couldn't wait to go to bed and see them glow. Unfortunately, Cora also got a beloved Dora night light for Christmas, which she loves to turn on each night. After about 3 seconds of dark and admiring the stars, Cora wanted her night light. So we turned it more stars. Sam was not having this! So began the STAR WARS, Ausbrook's style. The first night we ended up settling with leaving the door open just enough to still see the stars but not too dark. Tonight, I laid with Cora until she fell asleep. Tomorrow night, who knows? Like Josh said, we never thought of this!!! Is anything easy with children? NO! But we love them anyway:)

We are excited to usher in 2010. Josh and I both have some resolutions. Nothing I would post, as they probably won't happen, but I do love fresh beginnings. 2009 was HARD. Our emotions ran high waiting to bring Eli home in March. The months after he got home were a blur. The final 6 months of 09 were just difficult. Eli is tricky baby. He has specific likes and dislikes and loudly lets us know them. He also has extreme separation anxiety, even when mommy needs to go to the bathroom (even if its to eat chocolate). Homeschooling is fun, but also added extra stress as we find a routine.

So, here comes 2010. Pastor told us Sunday that the pattern of days, months, and seasons are God's way of reminding us that time is passing quickly. And it is! Difficult or not, I thank God for these days home with my little ones. Sam has learned so much and seems so grown up now. And as I laid with Cora tonight I remembered a year ago, when she first slept in a twin bed I could lay with her and not know she was there. Tonight, she was taking up over half the bed! My little girl will not always be:( And Eli, we used to tease about him never smiling (just his personality) but today I noticed he was all smiles as we were playing together. What a year it has been!

Lord, please let our family shine for You this year. Amen