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.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I love reading.  I've been off my reading game lately because I've been so busy with life.  Well this weekend I'm going to see Les Mis, which is one of my favorites.  I've been rocking out to the soundtrack in the car for the past week.  So, yesterday I pulled out my Les Mis book and all morning I couldn't put it down.  I don't usually just lay on the couch all day.  The kids were enjoying the change of pace for the most part.  By eleven the girls were getting antsy to get dressed and kept saying "in one minute."  Caleb took pity on them and got them dressed.  Then he decided to do the girls hair.....

I've been getting a lot of compliments on Melia's new twists (one lady stopped me at Costco and asked if I did it myself and was impressed).  It only took me 3 hours to do. 

Addie was more patient and ended up bedazzled. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Meet Alonto

Addie and Melia were eating breakfast and I was getting ready in the bathroom.
I hear....

A:  This is our new monkey friend.
What is your name?
Oh, Alonto.  It's so nice to meet you!
Melia say hello to Alonto.


A: Oh, Melia are you too shy to to talk to him?

M: No I'm too beautiful.

(the monkey was imaginary, in case you were wondering)

In other news, I realized yesterday that laundry really needed to be done when Nathan borrowed his sisters socks and Caleb wore sandals in 30 degree weather because they had no socks to wear.  That's part of my home schooling plan - learning to think outside of the box.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring and a "string bandaid"

I took this picture yesterday thinking I would write a post about how much we are
loving the awesome weather we are experiencing.  We've spent the last 3 days playing outside.
Addie and Nathan played with these really fun laser for hours one day.
So I took this picture of them playing with the laser guns
meanwhile Caleb got to spend the afternoon with his cousins.
They also played a game of laser tag...

During his game he collided with his cousin and got a gun to the head.
He came home with a small but deep gash on his head 
so we took him to the er.

This was our first stitching incident.  Which I find surprising
cause we have so many little people around here. 

We waited a long time for the doc to see him.
When he came in and took a look at it he said
"we're going to have to use a string bandaid on that one"
Caleb responded with
"you mean stitches?"
He wasn't going to be fooled.

Caleb was determined to document the time with pictures
so that he could share the experience with Nathan. 
So here are the pictures...

He made us stand up so that he could get a picture of the chairs. 

Keeping Grammy and Aunt Meg updated on the process
or lack thereof. 
(Thanks Meg for staying with the sleeping kiddos).  

Caleb was such a good patient.  The numbing gel didn't 
work as expected and he could feel as doctor stitched him up
but he was such a trooper.
Here's the final outcome at 2am...

Today this cutie decided she was going to potty train herself.
She had quite a successful morning actually. 

Cuddly sisters...

Friday, March 11, 2011

This petition

The Joint Council for international children's services  is going to send this petition to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.

It's really quick and easy to sign this petition.  Please show your support of Ethiopian orphans and take a moment to sign this petition.

loved this..

i had an awesome time watching My Name is Khan with the lovely Elena.
being a dearborner i have a great love for muslims.
i have amazing neighbors and it's great to live in a community that's so full of hospitality.
watching this movie reminded me that not everyone shares my view of muslims
 and often times muslims endure hardships because of hate mongers. 
anyway, this is a great movie and you should watch it. 
really watch it! 
it's on netflix instant play--- thanks lara!

here's another thing that i loved today....
a sweet friend of mind sent me this email

As I read the devotional in my Women's Bible for John 20:29, I thought of you.  Here it is:
Sitting on my bookshelf is a book published several years ago called The Myth of Uncertainty.  The title alone catches my eye and speaks to me with a ring of truth.  How I long for a world of black and white, good and bad, yes and no; a world of clear-cut distinctions and effortless decisions because the good and bad can be easily identified.  No blurring rationalizations.  No complicating considerations.
But clear-cut distinctions and effortless choices aren't true to my experience of life.  Between black and white are shades of gray.  Between good and bad are confusing questions.  Between yes and no is a strong maybe.
he fact of the matter is, no matter how black and white and absolute some defenders of the faith portray the gospel, I simply can't buy that line.  My experience and the experience of people of faith throughout the centuries, is one of a God who meets us in the questions, who honors our seeking, and who created us to be intelligent beings.  When it comes to faith, if we're looking for proof and certainty, we won't find it.
Living at the heart of faith is living with uncertainty, trusting in the unseen.  Somewhere along the way, we have to leap the chasm between that which we know absolutely and that which calls us from within.  Yet even in our uncertainty, we walk in the presence of the holy.  
God is far more interested in our honesty that our piety.  We have only to offer him a willing heart and truthful spirit and He'll take it from there, meeting us in the chasm as we make the leap.

Tears (someone else's this time)

Before Christmas my sister told me (via google chat which I'm sure was purposeful because she knew I'd yell loudly-- really it was because she could say it in front of her kids, they waited until Christmas morning to surprise them) that her family was planning to adopt.  Her and her husband then spent a few weeks in serious prayer about where they would adopt from.  They were sure that they wanted to adopt 2 boys, but not sure if they should go the domestic or international route.  They felt lead to Ethiopia!!  Yay more Ethiopians in the family!

Side note:  as the youngest of five children I have been so blessed to watch how my siblings deal with situations and learn from them.  I have found this so helpful in so many areas of my life.  I am glad that they share their journeys with me so that I can learn from them.

I felt the need to share that side note because as Megan is dealing with the news that the Ethiopian adoption process is almost certainly going be slowing down, she has been very calm about it and then goes and writes this amazing post....  (and yes, I'm the ugly cry face girl mentioned)


I really haven't cried or wigged out too much about the adoption slow down in Ethiopia. I know that God has the hearts of kings in his hands, but tonight as midnight began to roll around my heart became super heavy. Now I don't get the "cry face" like some sweet people I know, but I am having a hard time shaking this heavy feeling. I decided to check the time in Ethiopia...midnight here is 8am there...the new procedures are taking place. Families who have had referrals in hand will wait for court dates. Babies will be in orphanages longer. All is not well in God's creation-it hasn't been for a good 6,000 years. There is a problem. The spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places are working hard to get us to not trust our mighty King. We pray for the truth to come out through this process, we pray that the adoptions that are done in a righteous way will continue to move along quickly. We pray that the name of our LORD will be glorified through our adoption and the adoption process in Ethiopia. We pray for HIS will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

I don't know for sure that we will bring 2 little Ethiopian boys home. I do know that the Lord has called us to adopt and that he has put Ethiopia on our hearts. I also know that I am learning more and more to walk by faith and not by sight. I am glad we serve such a mighty God.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lent trees

I don't know much about lent.  I the basics like the day before lent starts is 
paczki day (which is amazing, but I sadly went the day without a paczki yesterday) and 
that you fast from something for 40 days.  All the while focusing on Christ and his amazing sacrifice.
So that's all I know about it and maybe I made that stuff up.
But it's always interested me so this year when I read about doing a Lent Tree on Andrea's blog
Opps... I guess they're called Easter Trees.  
Anyway, I thought I'd give it a try.  My version is a ghetto one compared to Andrea's.  
I bought my trees at Target's dollar spot (the boys were bummed they weren't read) and 
 I'm just going to use random stuff to create ornaments each day. 
Today we read about having faith like a mustard seed and glued seeds on to a piece of paper.

Today as the kids and I had our tree time I shared a bit from this website and this website
We also talked about fasting.  I shared with them that I'm fasting from facebook 
and from eating after 7 (tonight's just the first night and I'm already really wanting a snack).
Nathan decided to fast from Caleb's I-touch 
and Caleb's fasting from chocolate.
I'm interested to see how serious they are about their fasting :)

What do you do for lent? 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sad news and a glimmer of hope

This news is really upsetting.  I love that MOWA is trying to ensure that all adoptions from Ethiopia are on the up and up.  Believe me I really do appreciate that.  But it seems like making sure that systems are in place for providing support to struggling families would be the first step in this process, not slowing down the process to a snails pace.  There are an estimated 5 million orphans in Ethiopia.  Last year the number of international adoptions rose significantly but at it's height only .05 - .10% of orphans were adopted internationally last year. There are so many children who need to be loved and cared for.  It breaks my heart to know that there are going to be even more in the coming years.

My sister is in the process of adopting 2 boys from Ethiopia.  They are just finishing up their dossier and are ready to be put on the wait list.  I know several other families who are in process to adopt from Ethiopia.  Please pray for peace and wisdom for their families.

For the last few months I've been thinking about how sad it is that there are so many orphans in Ethiopia and wishing that there were better solutions for those children.  I've also been hearing about really great church planting movements that are spreading throughout Ethiopia.  So my prayer has been for those churches to embrace orphan care.

Then the other day I stumbled on Seeds Adoption.

Seed Adoption is a pastoral training workshop that brings together influential pastors of evangelical churches from across a country to discuss (1) the plight of orphaned and vulnerable children, (2) a Biblical perspective centered on the gospel, adoption, and the local church, and (3) appropriate strategies to bring holistic and lasting change to the lives of orphaned children, all for the glory of God.
We believe that the gospel, when understood and applied, must work through the local church and in the lives of Christians to effect such change. Therefore, in order to help address the orphan crisis, the Seed Adoption training aims to create, maintain, and encourage a national conversation with the indigenous church.

click here and you can help bring adoption to Ethiopian churches by sending a pastor this conference. 
This is really a huge God thing for me.  I have been praying and praying for something like this and it's happening.  It couldn't come at a better time with this new process taking effect in the Ethiopia adoption process.  

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I love this Bible

I really love reading this storybook Bible with my kids.  I think that every person should own one whether you have children or not.  Every story points back to the awesomeness of Christ and how He really "is all and in all."

Here's a little snippet from the beginning of the book.  Sally (yes, I'm on a first name biases with her because we've read the book so many times) is talking about how some people think that the Bible is a book about rule or heroes....

"No, the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes.  The Bible is most of all a Story.  It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure.  It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne -everything- to rescue the one He loves.  It's like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!
You see, the best thing about this Story is - it's true.
There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story.  The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them."

I don't know where you are at with the Bible, what your past experience has been when reading it, but I encourage you to read it with the above idea in mind.  It's really changed my life to read it this way.