Shine Like Stars

Shine like stars in the universe as we hold out the Word of life (Phil. 2:15)
We're not trying to be rock stars but just shed some light on a sad and lonely world. Stay tuned for how God works through weak and tired, sometimes really cranky vessels.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Caleb's Dream

Caleb had a dream last night in which Jesus came back to earth. Caleb told him, "we're not dead yet". So Jesus said "Ok, I'll come back later". He then went back to Heaven. When Caleb came down in the morning, Lauren asked him, "did you have any dreams last night?" Caleb's response was, "it's a secret". Kind of makes me think of Joel 2:28!

Friday, May 16, 2008

China Cry

I'm so heartbroken about the earthquake in China. I've been watching and reading the updates. It's so horrible to watch these poor parents who have lost their only child, wandering around, searching everywhere they can for their child who holds the key to their future. How devastating. I want to hug those mothers who are so broken and weep with them. It makes me pray more fervently for their peace in the midst of this awful catastrophe.
There was a glimmer of hope as a 5 year old was pulled out of heaps of rubble. The news show I was watching said the country played the footage of the rescues over and over again, knowing what the country needs is hope. It's good to know that we have a good God who always gives us hope, even when it's hard to understand this ridiculous pain.

Adoption process, here we come!

This is a copy of an email Michael wrote the other day about how cool the Lord's care for us is:

Lauren and I wanted to take a few moments to testify to all of you of the Lord's provisional and gracious hand in our life. Most of you know that we have been praying about adopting for many years, and have recently decided to begin the process this coming fall/winter. Both Lauren and I have been struck recently at how incredibly the Lord has provided for us financially over the past year, not only to keep our heads above water, but also to give us enough to start the adoption process.

This past year, with the economy so poor in the State, and the Dearborn School District in a contract year, I did not receive the expected salary step that we were planning on. In response, the Lord provided two at-home side jobs for Lauren, both of which basically fell into her lap. I am convinced that without these two jobs, we would be paying bills with credit card debt right now. Jehovah Jireh!

During this year, we have really learned to trust God fully for our finances and to continue to tithe and give sacrificially even when things are tight. We were not altogether surprised when we both felt that now was the right time to pursue adoption. We had seen the Lord provide for us amply in the present and past, and knew that he would continue to "graciously give us all things". Last week, the Lord showed us some of the ways He planned to do this. In the span of about three days, I was offered two coaching positions at Fordson for the 08-09 school year, (boys varsity soccer and girls assistant track), and was also given a summer school teaching position for this summer. With this added income, and the adoption tax credit available the year the adoption is finalized, we are quickly seeing how adopting from Ethiopia is actually a feasibility, through the Lord's great provisions! Jehovah Jireh!

Lauren and I feel so blessed to be in a relationship with the Living God, the Creator of the Universe, the owner of cattle on a thousand hills. It has been incredible to see how the Lord has deepened our trust in Him and allowed us to know Him better and draw closer to Him through this process. Thanks for praising the Lord with us.

Michael and Lauren

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Little Teeth

Addie Joy got her first tooth last Thursday. She's such a happy baby I barely knew that she was teething. She isn't a big fan of me looking in her mouth so it's hard to get a good look. Michael checked yesterday and said the second one on the bottom came in too. My little girl's growing up.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Rod's not dead- No he is a-live!

So, Michael informed me that my job was to clean out the dead frog from the filter. I opened the tank, took out the filter and looked all around for little Rod. I decided at that point to check the rest the tank, lo and behold--Rod was not dead. He was bouncing around in the corner of the tank. Michael claims that he was raised from the dead.

We say goodbye to Rod.

Caleb felt real loss for the first time tonight. Our pet frog, Rod (named by Caleb) that we had for exactly 6 days passed away. 6 days may not seem like a long time for most people but we have gotten very attached to our little African Dwarf frog. Michael was putting the boys to bed when they discovered it. Things went downhill from there. Caleb was overcome with grief. At first he just laid in bed calling out for Rod. Then the sobbing started. There were a couple good quotes during this saga:
Nathan: Caleb don't cry, Jesus is with you.
Caleb: Why did Rod have to die?

When I got home and went to check on them Nathan said "Mommy our fwog died, We said Rod wait for us"
Caleb: It's not time for us to go to heaven yet.
Mommy: Yeah, did Rod go to froggie heaven.
Caleb: No, he went to people heaven, when Jesus comes back he's going to need a lot of saddles on his horse.
Mommy: I don't think we are all going to ride on His white horse...
Caleb: Yeah we're going to ride in a huge bus that says Jesus on the side.
~at first I was thinking he was way off, but than I remembered that toriding on a real bus is a dream of theirs. Who knows how the Lord will bring us home. How cool is it that these two little boys already know where their home is? Caleb really spends much thought on heaven and Jesus coming for us. It's a good reminder for me.

Caleb: Mommy, I have a question...When all of our fish die can we get all frogs and just have a frog tank.
~He is obviously more accustomed to fish death.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

"We don't have money for you, Thomas"

We've always taken the boys to Greenfield Village when Thomas the train is in town. In the years past they've been completely happy with just looking at the train and playing with the activities, since the cost of riding that silly blue train is outrageous. Caleb has never minded and Nathan was always too young to know, until this year. Here's a touch of his intensity: before Michael even got to the Village with the boys Nathan was talking about riding Thomas. He really didn't enjoy the trip there because he was upset about not riding him. Michael kept telling him "Honey, we don't have money for Thomas." It took him days, literally, to get over the disappointment. I had to hide his Thomas underwear to avoid memories of not getting to go on a ride.
Yesterday I took Nathan to Barnes and Noble to play with the train set and as he was pushing Thomas around I heard him say, "Sawwee, Thomas we not have money for you." What a cute little guy.

Nutty Natie

Nathan is such a funny little guy. I'm started having anxiety attacks the other day when I realized that he's going to be 3 next month. I can't believe it. He's getting so old. He's has a pretty intense little personality, he's so sweet and fun loving but some things he takes so seriously. You never know what you're going to get.
Last weekend he spent a few hours with Sarah and Ryan and had a blast. They had a good time and told me he was very polite and funny. At one point Ryan asked if Nathan wanted some coffee, he replied yes but I like it warm, not hot. The last couple of days he's been playing a game with me where he pretends that I'm Sarah and he plays with me. He's always had a thing for her ever since he was a little baby.

Posts from old blog

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Favorite Thing about Jesus
(Michael)Tonight when I was putting Caleb to bed, (interestingly enough, it always seems to be bedtime when we have he best spiritual conversations with Caleb and Nathan), I asked him what his favorite thing about Jesus was. He responded quickly, "that He died on the cross to pay for my sins". I asked him, "what do you think would happen if Jesus didn't pay for our sins?" He responded, "He would look at us and see all the sins on us and say, 'Oops! I forgot to pay for his sins!'" I responded, (after laughing), "But he didn't forget to pay for our sins, did he?" Caleb responded, "Nope. Look dad, I don't have anything on my face, (I assume he was referring to sins)".
Posted by michrengo at 9:37 PM 1 comments
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Theatre
Caleb and I had a date last week to see the Velveteen Rabbit with his preschool. He wsa so cute. I loved watching him in awe of the theatre. As the play started he leaned over and whispered in my ear "I've never seen a play before," it was so cute.Later, one of the characters, Montana, was singing a silly song with a lot of falsehoods in it. I was wondering if we were going to have to reteach him about what wind is or that snow falls from the sky, but again he leaned over and whispered, "Mommy, she's not right." Half way through the play Caleb noticed that Mrs. Hadley who was sitting in front of us was sitting alone and he asked if he could sit next to her. It was very cute, although I was sad to have lost my dream date:)
Posted by michrengo at 10:28 PM 0 comments

The Shack
I love this book. It's really been an amazing new way for me to view the Lord. Here's a quote that I read last night and loved: "Religion must use law to empower itself and control the people who they need in order to survive. I give you an ability to respond and your response is to be free to love and serve in every situation, and therefore each moment is different and unique and wonderful. Because I am your ability to respond, I have to be present in you. If I simply gave you responsibility, I would not have to be with you at all. It would now be a task to perform, an obligation to be met, something to fail.....That is why you won't find the word responsibility in the scriptures."I've always had this weight of responsibility on my shoulders. The idea that the Lord doesn't place responsibility on me. He wants me to relie on him for my response. This idea really encouraged me in my parenting. The Lord didn't give me these children with the all the responsibility of raising them. He truly wants me to respond to them with his presence.It really is a great book.
Posted by michrengo at 8:07 PM 0 comments
Thursday, March 20, 2008

I tan't beweave it
Tonight when Michael was putting Nathan to bed (for the second time, I might add), the convo went something like this:M- Jesus went to heaven.N- we tan't see him.M- no not now but he will come back for us one dayN- does he have a car?M- No, but he's going to come back riding on the cloudsN- I tan't beweave it!
Posted by michrengo at 12:22 AM 0 comments
Saturday, March 1, 2008

Saturday with GG
My Grandma is in the hospital with double pneumonia. I just had a great visit with her. She was telling me stories of her childhood. I have a horrible memory and know I'll forget if I don't write it down. Here are the highlights:~Living by the Plymouth factory, there were railroad tracks close by she remembers riding her tricycle and seconds after she rode over the tracks a train went by. She was so close to it she could feel the wind it created. She said "Someone was watching over me that day." It interesting to think that had she died that day, I wouldn't be here now.~When she was in Cleveland(?) Intermediate School, her class was going to see the Wizard of Oz and her mother designed her a Judy Garland dress (she said she was very creative with her sewing just like my mom) that she absolutely loved. Her mother had funny ideas about hairstyles and put a funny bow around her head, which Grandma removed on the walk to school.~Stories about her mother and stepfather:-He was a great carpentar, he was always working on something. He turned the garage on 1239 St. Louis St into a house that he rented out.-One day he was repairing the boards on the front porch, so he had removed them all. Her mother was inside and heard fire sirens, she ran out of the house and found herself flat on the ground. Grandma chuckled heartly at this even with the crackly lung issue she's having.-Neighbors of her family's grown son passed away and his body was laid out in their house. As her mother and stepfather left her house, they said do not go over there, they don't want you there. So of course she couldn't resist...she doesn't remember going into the house. She just remembers stepping onto the front porch and seeing her mother's car pull up at her house. She said she knew she was in for it (her stepfather's belt) so she hid under a trailer but she "had to come out sometime."-Her stepfather had funny ideas about clothing and her and her sister had to wear funny high top shoes. One day her mother picked them up from school (which was unusual) and noticed no one else was wearing shoes like theirs. She took them directly to the store to buy new shoes.-Her stepfather's handman qualities lead him to steal tools from the Ford factory where he worked, which lead him to be fired. He then changed his name from Ingelman to Ingels and got another job at Ford.
Posted by michrengo at 1:51 PM 0 comments
Friday, February 22, 2008

Baby #4
On Wednesday night we decided to start the adoption process. We have been praying and hoping to adopt for years and have never felt like the timing was right. This last week I felt a stirring in my heart and I talked to Michael about it, we prayed and felt so excited that now is finally the time for us to start this incredible journey. We love our children so much and are so excited to see who the Lord has in store for us to love. We are figuring the process will take close to 2 years so Addie will be around 2 1/2. We are jumping out in faith here. We financially can't afford an adoption but we are trusting the Lord will provide for all our needs, after all He can do more than we can ask or even imagine. How awesome is that? One cool thing that got me started thinking about starting the process is that Michael just finished our taxes. We have a lump of money coming in and it will take a lump of money to get the ball rolling. We generally don't have extra money so I feel like this is perfect timing for us. Right now we are trying to figure out agencies. Right now I think we are leaning towards All God's Children...We'll see where the Lord leads.
Posted by michrengo at 11:03 PM 0 comments

Caleb's 4
Caleb turned 4 this week. It's so hard to believe, he's getting big so quickly. Since he's the oldest and our household is so hectic, I feel like I often overlook how brilliant he is. I expect so much out of him and he is so helpful. Just tonight we were reading a book and he was trying so hard to sound out the words all by himself. He's so smart. He has such a cheerful heart, too. He goes around the house making up songs all day--what's that verse about making music in your heart? He totally does that.He's very good at taking care of Nathan and Addie. It's amazing to me how close they all are. They are constantly keeping tabs on one another. If Nathan's taking a nap, Caleb misses him. He wants to include as many people as he can on his fun adventures.We had many parties for this birthday boy. They started on Sunday and ended on Wednesday. Lots of fun. He wanted cheeseburgers for dinner so Michael grilled out in the freezing cold. We had a soccer theme on his actual birthday and he was so excited when he opened up his soccer gear (I think he knew he was getting the kleats because Michael took him to the sports store). On Tuesday he wore his whole "uniform" to CHUP and when Mrs. Hadley asked him what he got for his birthday he kinda did a Vanna White, started down at his feet and moved his hands up to his head. It was very cute!I just love this boy so much. He always has such an optimistic, adventuresome outlook on life. So full of love and energy. I'm so blessed to have such a great son. The last 4 years with him have definitely been the best years of my life.
Posted by michrengo at 10:11 PM 0 comments
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If you give me a kiss...

Yesterday Caleb was playing at Zoe's house, Steve overheard this conversation:

C- Can I use your lip gloss.

Z- If you give me a kiss.

Caleb, without a thought, leans over and kisses her, and she hands him the gloss.

(the lip gloss is a completely different issue)

Who wouldn't want to kiss that sweet face:)

Adeline Joy

Adddie is getting so big. She's offically crawling all over the place now. She's been scooting along for months now but she's been very content at staying in a small area. Now she crawls from room to room. She has no interest in her toys anymore she only wants to play with the boys stuff. Today she carried a little rubber spider around for hours, it was a purple spider.
She really is a sweet and spunky girl. She loves to mimic all the loud noises she hears from the boys. The other day in the car the boys were sitting in the back watching a movie and cracking up, she was facing them watching them laugh and screeching with joy. Megan told me for years that it's easier to have more kids, I never believed her but now I get it. Addie is so preoccupied with everything that the boys doing that she often forgets her issues.
She still doesn't have any teeth yet. I think they are trying to work their way in these last couple of days. She's been out of wack lately.