Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A fruitful weekend...

God is so good...

    I started writing a whole long post about everything that has happened in the past couple of days and I stopped and erased it and boiled it down to "God is SO good"...but I guess I need to elaborate on that a bit :)

    Unfortunately, with homeschooling and having a constant supply of kids around me all the time, I really don't have time to really think out all my thoughts and feelings in order to put it down here in the way that I would like.  So I'm just going to throw it down here...better written down in some way than not at all.  And I feel WAY too blessed from this weekend to not write it all down.

    We had the opportunity to go to several adoption workshops on Saturday...what was going to be Dan going on his own to learn more turned into a last minute decision for all of us to go together.  What could have been a stressful, difficult trip turned out to be a really wonderful one.  God just keeps giving us these opportunities and each time we stop to question or "make sure we're being reasonable" He reaffirms His call to us...even if it doesn't seem wise by the world's standards.

    The workshops were good...Dan was really glad he got to go and figure out some serious questions we both had that didn't seem to be getting answered.  It was really helpful to talk face to face with people there and get things clarified.   Dan, amazingly, feels very called to the same Eastern European area that I have not been able to take my mind and heart from for the past 10 months.  The kids there are constantly on my heart, our kids know many of their names and faces and pray for them unceasingly.  It was also a beautiful, warm day and we were able to take the kids to a park nearby and spend a good amount of time just having fun with the our kids.

      Another major blessing of the day was that I was able to meet another adoptive mom who has adopted from the area we are considering.  She lives only 10 min. from us and was so kind as to come over on Saturday night and answer questions for us for 2 1/2 hours!  Thank you, Michelle, for letting us bombard you with questions!  I can't believe we kept you that long!  This get together was totally a blessing for us and really encouraged us.

    Also, there is another family that is currently in the country that we hope to adopt from...I emailed this woman with some overwhelmed and confused questions and she so amazingly took the time to email me back some very helpful explanations to our questions....what a blessing!

    God is so good...pursuing an international adoption has so many difficulties...things that most families would decide was just too complicated to deal with while raising their own family of young kids.  But God doesn't ever seem to call us to easy stuff, does He?  Our Lord just keeps placing this country and its children there before us..especially at church.  Songs being chosen that speak of the orphan, homilies pointed straight at us and His call for us to adopt.  Sounds a little vague, though, right?  Well, it hasn't been.  Its always after we've had a little pow-wow about whether what we're considering is a good idea or not.   And then "bam!" Our Lord says do it!  This past Sunday was the big one.  The one that couldn't be ignored.  We're singing the Mass parts at church and they've chosen to use one (the only one, mind you, since there are several others that could have been used) that is based on a hymn from the exact country that we've been praying about.   It sounds weird, but it was just so well timed with all that had been learned the day before...when God had brought all the workshops and individuals together to ease our questions and encourage us in this.  We just pointed at the little name of the hymn and the country, smiled to eachother and I tried really hard not to burst into tears.  Happy, thankful tears... 

This is all pretty jumbled, I'm sure...when my brain has a free minute, it is usually thinking about what I should be preparing for school this week or what thing I could get ahead on around the house...but I just couldn't help but get something down about this weekend.  A great weekend...God really blessed us with a wonderful Saturday to enjoy one another, learn more about what we have in store and gave Dan and I a chance to really talk things over.  We were also so blessed to meet a new friend with an awesome heart.  

Michelle is fund raising right now to bring two little girls home...
Feel free to hop over to her blog and help her bring them home.


Sorry- Dan is the one who knows how to make that a link....oh well, just cut and paste it into your browser.

And please pray that the Carmichael family is able to have court soon and bring their amazing little boy home soon!

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for easing our worries and making our path just a little bit clearer.



Thursday, January 26, 2012

As always...

We can always count on Matthew to speak truth and make us laugh out loud while reading it!

Some Things Moms Can't Do


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"The sanctitiy of ALL life...from conception to natural death"

Its January...the month that all christians recognize yet another anniversary of Roe vs. Wade and the legalization of abortion in our country.  Many people will attend local "March for Life" rallies and even the national March for Life in Washington D.C.   We have done these things and have loved being able to be a part of them.

This is a time when you will hear about the importance of the "sanctity of ALL life...from conception to natural death."  Our family has prayed for the end of abortion.  We have taken the kids and stood outside abortion clinics and prayed for the closing of their doors, the conversion of their hearts, and for the healing of all those that enter there.   The idea of the sanctity of ALL life from conception to natural death covers so much....and it is heavy on our hearts as we grow as a family and learn the plight of the special needs orphans of other countries.  The children with special needs in Eastern Europe are precious in His sight and deserve dignity and love.  We have such a tendency as society to value people by their usefulness...if they are not wealthy or beautiful or useful by this worlds' standards...if they cannot do something for us, make our lives better or easier then they are a "burden".  Oh,  if we just knew our worth and the worth of the "least of these!" Those in need cause us to give, to sacrifice in ways that can bring about a joy in us that only God can create!  God is in these needy, little ones and whether we realize it or not...we ALL are searching for God.

There are many special needs children over the months that have touched our hearts...many that we pray for regularly...many that my kids have thought lovingly of and have prayed for each day.  Kids get it...we can learn so much from them.  We hope to use the blog not only for ourselves, but to also highlight amazing kids that are in need of families.

This is Isabella..

thats not her real name, but that doesn't much matter.  This picture doesn't do her justice...she is amazing.  She, unfortunately, is barely existing in a "laying room" in Eastern Europe.  Most kids are available for adoption and have to wait for a family to choose them....Isabella hasn't even had the chance to be listed for adoption.  Probably because nobody thinks she's worth it...no one thinks she would be adopted.  So she waits...in a bed...24 hours a day.  She has been quoted as saying the best parts of her day are when they change her bed and when they eat.  That's not asking for much...She is one of the only kids in this room that is able to communicate....and yet she calls all the other children "her friends"...she is so social and loving and yet she is confined to this bed.

There was a wonderful missionary who visited with her...took video to share with others.  I've seen this video and let me tell you...this child is Beautiful...like break your heart, this child would be a blessing to any family who called her their own kind of blessing.  She is funny, engaging, sweet, smart and deserving of the dignity of a home and family of her own.  Please pray that she is given the chance to be listed for adoption.  

This is Maxim...

What can I say about Maxim...he is too funny for words.  I've followed him through two different missionaries now and he's always been one of the kids the struck my heart.  He needs a family.  He IS listed for adoption and has a grant set up for him through Reece's Rainbow.


From all the videos and pictures I've seen, he is funny, sweet, has an amazing laugh and needs a family!

During this month of January...please pray for all the unborn, the terminally ill, the sick, the dying and the special needs orphans as well...that all may be loved as we would love Christ himself.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Best "Hide and Seek" House ever

One of the benefits of a house with more storage than we've ever had before...

It sure makes "Hide and Seek" at our house A LOT more interesting :)  There are a lot of closets, cubbards and nooks & crannies to hide in...and they've managed to squeeze into them all.  They've even hoisted their younger brother and sister into cubbards above my head...but usually ends up being given away by their cries to "get me down....I wanted to hide up here, but I'll NEVER be able to get down!"

This one particularly cracked us up....since our lazy susan in the last house was small and rickety and usually such a pain that we really didn't use it, much less hide in it.  In the end, he won this round :)


Thursday, January 12, 2012

A litte reading for Dan & I...

A couple good adoption reads that Dan and I will be reading over the next week or two...

The Connected Child 


and The Stength of Mercy by Jan Beazely who is the Cofounder of All God's Children International, which is a non-profit adoption ministry.

I've already started The Strenth of Mercy but had been waiting for the library copy of The Connected Child to come in.  It finally came!  So...that will definitely be evening reading for Dan and I.  We're both looking forward to learning more about the skills needed for international adoption.  Dan is even hoping to attend an all day adoption conference this month so he can get up to speed on all that I've already read and learned from other families' experiences.

As always, your prayers are appreciated as we open ourselves up to God's will for our family.
And while your praying,  please pray for "Isabelle"....that's not her real name, but a nickname given to her for her protection.  She is an orphan in Eastern Europe that has the most beautiful spirit...and desperately needs to be listed for adoption.  This girl deserves a family of her own.  Please pray she can be listed on Reece's Rainbow (an adoption awareness and grant raising organization for orphans in Eastern Europe)  so she has a chance of finding a family.

More on Reece's Rainbow in a later post...


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Some much needed nature time...

Some time out together at Crowder's Mountain State Park...

So thankful to live in the South...where we can be outside year round.

Taking the kids out in the woods for a walk is like bringing them back to their natural habitat!

Everyone is quite happy to climb, build, explore and check out what kinds of nature treasures they can find.

Thank you, Lord, for time in the out-of-doors with the ones I love most.

Now, everyone else out there...get outside and enjoy some time with the ones YOU love most :)


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Some Christmas pics...

A few photos from the Christmas Season....

St. Nicholas Day...

 Christmas Cookies...


Waiting for The Nutcracker to start...Dan took the day off and we all went together

My little Christmas baby had his 3rd birthday...

Dan and the boys worked on making us a nativity for our yard since we didn't have one and thought we really needed one :)  

Making  the Perry Family Tradition "Christmas Cakes"

Christmas Town USA...walking the streets on the evening of Christmas Day.  Church bells playing
Christmas carols while people travel through the entire town lit up in lights....we sang hymns while we walked....

We loved this...

The finished product...very pretty lit up at night :)

Making decorations for our "Night Tree" from the story book...its our Christmas tree for the outdoor animals each year.

Hanging up the decorations and singing Christmas songs...

Hope that your family has had a very blessed Christmas!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Guess what we've been planting!

I know...its a little crazy because I have a lot of back-logged  Christmas photos to post...lots of fun things we've done or made...but I just couldn't help but post a few photos of whats been going in here at our new home...

Fruit Trees!!

 We found a really nice nursery in a nearby town...its in a really cool, three story building that was built around 1912.  Super nice people....we just went to see what they had, since Dan had heard some kind of advertisement about a sale on fruit trees.  We've know from the start that we would be planting fruit trees all along the north side of our property and we really lucked out with the sale!  We ended up getting 3 Granny Smith Apples (what can I say...that's what my kids love best), 2 Gala Apples, 2 peaches and 1 Plum.  These are full size trees so we're excited about how big they will get over the years.  Dan's looking forward to trying out all the techniques he's read about planting different things around the base of the trees to fertilize them and help them grow.  Daffodils, garlic, clover, lupines...Daffodils and garlic keep other critters away from the trees and clover and lupines are nitrogen fixers that help produce nutrients for the soil.  Looking forward to trying it out :)

My handsome husband....who was so nice as to work with the boys to get several of the trees in the ground.  We still have a few to plant...

These are our little blueberry bushes...we have a couple of them.  Looking forward to them getting nice and big :)

We are really excited to finally be settled enough to be putting things in the ground that we will be able to enjoy for years to come.  So awesome....we were chatting with the boys about how we can't wait from them to come back with their kids to visit Gramma and Grampa and pick fruit from the trees... :)


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Trading Cards Art Project

Another homeschooler and blogger named Kimberly hosted a Saints Trading Cards art swap that we've wanted to try the past couple of times she's hosted one.  We finally got some done and we're able to participate!  Basically, anyone that wanted to participate needed to make 5 little pieces of artwork...each one depicting a saint.  We sent 5 as a family....Dan did one and the two boys each did two.  We sent them to Kimberly and she sent us 5 different little works of art that other people had made to trade.

The boys really enjoyed making them and also getting to see Dad's finished St. George!
My eldest made St. Clare and St. Gabriel and My second eldest made St. Basil and St. Francis.
And Dan had a little fun making St. George :)

Next time Kimberly is having one of the trading card swaps, I'll  try to post the deadline date and directions to participate on this blog.  Any age can participate...even younger children!
Its really fun getting other peoples' cards as well!  We got some really nice ones.



Sunday, January 1, 2012

Aquaponics Primer

So as Kim has mentioned in previous post I've been interested in starting up an aquaponics system at out new house.  So I thought I would spend some time putting my thoughts down as a introduction to those visitors that are un-familiar with it.
Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture ( the raising of aquatic animals like fish ) and hydroponics ( the growing of plants in  nutrient rich water instead of soil).  The advantages of combining these two techiniques is that the fish, plants, and some benifical bateria work together and form a symbolotic relationship.  Plants take in water and carbon dioxide from the air to create sugars but require nitrogen from the soil to grow.  Fish need oxygen and clean water and their excrement and urine contain nitrogen.  So with the help of bateria the fish refuse is converted into a form of nitrogen that the plants can use and the plants help to clean the water for the fish.
There are a lot more details which I'm learning but that's the basic gist of it.
So in later posts I'll be going over my design and progress of building my aquaponics system.