Saturday, January 26, 2008
We are here. Doing GREAT! I still love Swaziland and now my girls do as well.
Thank you for your prayers and please keep praying.
Tomorrow we attend a Swazi church service and then go to a farm that is providing not only a home from orphans but teaching them how to live in a family and one day be a productive member of Swaziland society.
Must go for now. My internet time is up.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Mommy loves you and misses you already!!!!!! Please give Daddy lots of hugs and kisses then tell him that Mommy loves and misses him, too, okay?
Hope you're having a good time with Daddy doing extra special things and enjoying all that fun Daddy food.
BIG KISS, little kiss, BIG HUG, little hug!!!!!!!
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
I've got to keep this short as I'm bushed from a full day of being a mom PLUS 7 hours of last minute errand running and shopping for the trip. We leave for Africa in a little over a day. Oh my.
Many of you have asked about the chicken pox situation. The girls are doing much better. Thank you for your prayers. Just continue to pray for their speedy and full recovery and pray for my brain. So many of my thoughts are becoming worrywart ones.
I'll post a more detailed update tomorrow as it will be my last day to blog for who knows how long.
Thanks again for all of your prayers and support.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
"I don't have a hard time believing the Gospel is true.for you. God loves you and accepts you and wants to do good to you. The problem is, I have such a hard time believing it's true for me. Luther nailed it when he said that we are born with an inborn suspicion that God is not for us. Like a bass note in a terrific song, I battle almost daily the constant thumping that because of my failures, sins, and selfishness, I do not have God's favor. He seems to be never satisfied. So what is the answer? How do I keep on keeping on? The life and death of Jesus tells me that the lie is just that, a lie. God is satisfied because He was satisfied with Jesus; and I am in Him and He is in me. That's the antidote to the inborn suspicion-the Father is for me, because of the cross of Jesus. So daily, it's a fight of faith; to believe the Gospel is true for me."
Tom Wood, www.cmmnet.org
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
I've got to keep this short but please be praying for my oldest daughter. Her pox are actually worse today and she broke down this morning crying in despair. For the first time, she is afraid that she won't be well enough to leave for our trip on Wednesday.
It hurts my mother heart to see her this way.
Please keep praying. I know God is able. And we sure need His touch today.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
PLEASE PRAY RIGHT NOW!
Someone close to me is a very honest and hardworking business owner. For the last year and a half he and his business associates have been fighting a legal battle in which they have not only been falsely accused, but have also had unethical things done against them. Please pray for my loved one as he meets with authorities today. Pray that the truth will prevail. Pray that the authorities will finally see and accept the fact that there were not illegal activities going on and end the investigation. Pray for my loved one that he will have wisdom and clarity as they speak. Pray that this will all be used to strengthen his relationship and trust in God. This whole thing has been incredibly difficult and taken a toll on him physically.
Above all, I pray that all things will be used for his good and God's glory.
Thank you so much,
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
That's right folks, the spots have arrived!!!!
12 year old B has 'em, 10 year old D has 'em, and 14 year old A has 'em! WOOOO-HOOOO!!!!!!!! That means the girls will be over and done with them and ready to travel come next week. God is SO GOOD...His timing is never too slow.
Thanks for all your prayers and emails of encouragement. God is showing me that more and more He wants us to need each other and praying for each other is part of that.
Love to you all and I'll keep you updated as we face departure on Wednesday, January 23.
P.S. Some of you have been asking if there is anything else you can do or that we need. A says that if anyone wants to bring her a Sonic Reeses Blast that "they will not be counted as one of the sniveling, snickering people who are happy in my misfortune and I will be so appreciative". Obviously she was hoping that God would answer by supernaturally keeping her from getting the pox. I'm obviously one of the "sniveling, snickering" ones who is ecstatic that she's getting it and we'll know that she's good to go.
Monday, January 14, 2008
PRAYER NEEDS AND UPCOMING SWAZILAND TRIP
Since we leave for Swaziland soon, I felt an update was in order.
None of the other kids have come down with chicken pox though my second daughter B (who is going to Africa with me) came into my room just a bit ago with spots that look suspiciously like chicken pox. We'll continue to monitor the situation.
Seeing these red spots does start to give me a bit of tiny feelings of panic but I hold true to what God got into my spirit in a very tangible way last Friday. I was sharing with someone about different times that God had moved powerfully in my life during past events. There were times when in the eyes of man (and in the eyes of THIS woman) things looked bad. But God overcame.
What I spoke and finally, finally, FINALLY really and truly meant it was that God is bigger than the chicken pox. If He wants my oldest daughters to go to Swaziland with me next week, then they are going to Swaziland with me. If they don't go, its not because of the pox, its because its GOD'S BEST WILL FOR THEM AT THIS TIME! Its not because the devil won. Its not because we didn't have enough faith. Its not because God's not able. Its not because God can't protect from sickness. Its because GOD CHOSE FOR THEM TO STAY. Now I'm still hoping and praying that they are both going with me. I know that God can prevent illness and God can heal from illness. And if God wants them to go its going to happen! But if He, for whatever reason as the ultimate sovereign, loving, powerful, all knowing God, decides that they are staying put, then I will praise Him then as well. I won't understand it perhaps. And I will be disappointed. But I am determined to trust Him that He is able to accomplish whatever is for our good and His glory. His ways are higher than our's. His will is not always easy to understand. But one thing I know and I stand firm on...no two things....HE IS LOVE and HE IS ABLE!
Romans 8:28 assures me that ALL things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose...the purpose of making us like Jesus. And later in Romans 8 we are encouraged that NOTHING separates us from the love of GOD...not chicken pox, not plans that don't turn out as we thought they would, not disappointments, not ANYTHING!
Please keep praying for us. Pray that if the girls are to go with me next week that nothing will stand in the way of that happening. But I pray most of all, that we will learn to trust and love God better thru this situation and that HIS will be done.
Thanks so much,
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Four year old T informed me that I was "born by cupcakes". When I asked him to explain this he said:
"When you were in Grandmommy's belly, she was making cupcakes. She ate one of the cupcakes and then you were born."
Guess that helps explain why he's so sweet on me!
Friday, January 11, 2008
SURPRISINGLY DELICIOUS PEANUT STEW
To most Americans, a dish with a name like "peanut stew" sounds less than appetizing. But when my friend, Allene Vinzant, fixed it for us years ago, she introduced us to an entree that became a family favorite for us. Allene spent many of her growing up years as a missionary kid in Sierre Leone. The recipe was passed on to her family orally and that's how it was passed on to me. Because of this reason, there are not a lot of exact measurements, but that's okay as its a very "forgiving" recipe.
Today, our homeschool group held its first "eat your way around the world" meal. We had fun tasting desserts from Italy, cookies from China, lumpia (spelling?) from The Philippines, sushi from Japan, flat bread from the North American Crow Tribe, and many other items that were on the most part, pretty exotic for our down-home group. I made my friend Allene's peanut stew. Enough brave souls tried it and liked it that they asked that I pass on the recipe. Since I was sending it through our homeschool e-loop, I thought I might as well pass it along to my blog readers as well.
Happy cooking AND eating!
PEANUT STEW (also known as GROUND NUT STEW)
In a big pot, add however much chicken meat you want to cook. For my family, I usually do 3 boneless chicken breasts. If you want to use cheaper parts of the chicken, such as thighs, cook them and then debone before continuing with the recipe.
Okay, so back to the first part. Put the chicken in a pot. Cover it with water. You should have enough water to make about 2 to 3 cups of broth. Add some salt, pepper, and chopped onion (anywhere from 1/4 to a cup according to how much you like onion). Boil til chicken is done.
Remove chicken from broth and cut up into bite-sized and smaller pieces. Return to broth.
Reduce heat to medium. Add to this 3 small cans of tomato paste (the 6 oz size) and a jar of peanut butter (I use smooth, all-natural but use whatever you want. If you use the kind with sugar and salt added, you'll not need to add additional salt and sweetening). If you are using all-natural p.b. add a few squirts of ketchup, a bit of stevia, or a little bit of honey. You want a bit of sweetener to cut the acidic taste of the tomato paste just like most folks do with spaghetti sauce.
Stir often until peanut butter is melted and its well blended. Lower heat---you do NOT want the pb to burn!
Add a bit of ground red pepper to the stew, stir, and serve over rice.
If you've used smooth peanut butter, offer chopped peanuts (or other nut of your choice, even sunflower seeds) to sprinkle on top before eating. The crunch adds a nice touch.
I also like my peanut stew HOT so I add hot sauce on my serving before eating.
The meal that my friend always served included these items---
Peanut stew over rice
White bread w/butter and jelly
Fruit salad made of chopped bananas, oranges, and pineapple
There is something about the combination of these foods that really works well together. I don't do sliced white bread but I do white yeast rolls. In most parts of Africa, white bread is considered fancy and is preferred over brown or whole wheat bread.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Invitations are pretty serious business here and if we commit to going we have to be prepared for the ride. On the other hand we have handed out a few invitations ourselves. Ours are usually a bit less formal and those that are able to come aren’t met with such regalia. Usually they get a slice of pizza, cake, or whatever the occasion calls for and around the kids bed time we start laying down the hints…Which they pick up on and so the evening ends.
I noticed this morning something…I was woken up early and invited to spend to some time with the creator of the universe. I was ushered to the front of the throne where I sat soaking in all could get before the bright eyes of our children would inevitably open. I was reading in Isaiah 66 where it talks about His invitation and how we ignore it at our own peril. There are no limits on his time, no limits on his grace… no limits on the depth of the occasion. He has invited me here and I am an honored guest.
I have to admit His invitations often get replaced with my own. My meager invitations don’t quite match those that come from the one who separated the light from the darkness and the land from the seas. When I invite him to join us He usually gets a place at the table, a slice of pizza, cake, or whatever the occasion calls for and around the kids bed time we start locking up the doors.
This morning if there is an invitation take Him up on it…don’t wait to find time and invite him in at your leisure. His throne room beats whatever you might have to offer!
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
AND THE WINNER IS....
..."Just Me" from the blog, PEANUT BUTTER AND BACON SANDWICHES. She'll receive a handcrafted bracelet from GRACEWORKS. Thanks to all of you who took the time to share your memories and participate in the drawing.
Deleise had asked in a comment how she could purchase some of the jewelry. Just email me and I'll tell you what we have left and the prices. We have several things that are already made up but can custom design pieces as well. All proceeds go to support ministries that benefit mostly HIV/AIDS orphans though we do have plans to expand that scope as God brings new opportunities across our path to bless others.
Again, thanks to all who entered the giveaway and if you'd like to check out our winner's blog, just click here:
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
....to be announced tomorrow! I know, I know, how mean! But I have got to make this snappy and don't have time to do the winner justice. My oldest daughter was the official number picker and we'll clue you all in manana.
Til then....keep praying for SPOTS!!!!!
Monday, January 07, 2008
Sunday, January 06, 2008
But now I'm like those children of God who on the brink of possessing the Promised Land heard about the giants and trembled. Yes, I'm scared and worried and not trusting....not trusting the one who has proven Himself faithful over and over again.
Please pray for us. Pray for His provision. Pray for His healing and protection. Pray for us to fear not the "giants in the land".
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Okay y'all...we REALLY need y'all's prayers! My wise husband has reminded me that we believe God's will was for our two daughters to go on this missions trip so He will take care of the situation, but we still need prayers.
It appears that our 9 yos has chicken pox. None of my kids have ever had it before and they've not been immunized for chicken pox. Please pray that either the 2 oldest girls will either go ahead and get the pox and get them over with OR they just won't come down with them at all. They've been exposed big time in the past and never came down with them so our nurse practitioner friend thinks they may have dev'pd a natural immunity.
Who knows. Regardless, we need them to be well and ready to travel in 2.5 weeks.
PLEASE pray for this situation.And pray that the girls and I will learn to trust God more and more as we face this situation that has the potential to really stress me out. I know that God is bigger than chicken pox and this situation comes as no surprise to Him. I know that He is in control...I just need to keep resting in that. ALL things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). We do love Him and we do believe that we're called according to His purpose. So now I need to just pray and trust and sit back while God shines!
Thanks in advance for your prayers,
Thursday, January 03, 2008
FROM MY HUBBY:
This is a quote that may cheer up all of us that are down on ourselves about our sins and failures (and imagined failures). I'm not condoning sin, just noting that we should extend some grace to ourselves and others. If you don't try, you won't fail, but you won't succeed either (that is my quote). As additional food for thought, note that Matthew 25:14-30 indicates that a life spent doing nothing is a sin.
George Bernard Shaw said, "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."
BTW, to clear up any confusion, the included photo is George Bernard Shaw, NOT my hunky hubby. ;)
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
As much as I'd love to think that I'm going to write a detailed account of all our wonderful Christmas memories, I just know it ain't going to happen. At least not tonight when I'm wore plum out from taking care of sick kiddos all day but at least I can post a few pics. I'll just have to settle for my kids' journals being a written record of our seasonal happenings. When I'm their teacher, I can conveniently let that be a homeschool assignment. One day they'll thank me for it as they rise up and call me blessed....really.
Super hubby says I'm staying up too late on the pc so in an attempt to be a good, sweet, submissive wife, I'm getting off without any captions. I'll try to add those tomorrow. Til then...g'night!
Audrey Hepburn was able to join us for our Christmas Day festivities.
D loved the Catan card game he rec'd for Christmas.
Grandmommy and my nephew Cullen share a Christmas hug during our family get-together on Saturday, December 29.
My brother Edward and his youngest child Connor enjoy my mom's traditional fried shrimp Chistmas dinner.
Cullen gets enjoys another hug, this time from my sister-in-law Stephanie of THAT GIRL DESIGNZ.
The cousins actually sharing a gift nicely with each other...the scene was not quite so pretty where the highly coveted viewmaster was concerned.
Princess LG was thrilled to receive her favorite Eric Carle book, Mr. Sea Horse, as a gift from Grandmommy.
Here I am very gleeful over a new book, Lucky Jim, from my brother's family.
Baby M loves her markers and Dora book...I love that they are the kind from Crayola that ONLY write on the special paper and NOT on the furniture, walls, and carpet.
Mr. T is also pretty happy about his new book, a Thomas the Tank Engine one in his case.
I'll post more photos later today...hopefully.