Thursday, March 17, 2011

All in a day...

A couple of days ago, we were just enjoying a regular ole ordinary kind of day...working on schoolwork, doing chores, you know, the "normal."  Melita grabbed the camera and took a picture of Paul reading to me:

What fun it is to watch my youngest begin to read "for real" after many months of working on laying the foundation!  He is growing in his abilities every day.  Isn't it absolutely amazing how much a little one learns in just a few short years?

Later that day, Melita was working on a portrait.  My girls went to an art camp this past summer for four days and discovered they really liked portraits. We asked a very talented young artist at our church (who happens to specialize in portraits) if she would be willing to teach my girls.  She graciously agreed (thank you Kerilynn), and every two weeks the girls are itching for their next lesson!  They blow me away with how much they have learned in such a short was my turn to grab the camera:
When I walked into the next room, I happened upon Bekah sitting on the floor sewing...she loves to figure out how to create things with just about any medium, but this round she picked some material from a tote of scraps we have to make a doll pillow.  

I love the privilege of being home with my kids, a privilege I know not all women share.  I am very grateful!  Of course there are challenges, but God's grace always proves sufficient and the joys are incredible as I watch these three wonders of God's creation, made in His image, learning and creating and giving and praising and growing into such lovely young people.  

I wasn't going to include this at first, but the kids laughed so hard at this little video that we made and they thought I should share it with you so you could have a good laugh too.  Here's the of our dear Florida friends, affectionately known as Mrs. B, called us one day to tell us her famous duck joke (well, she's maybe not famous, but she's well known for this joke in her circle of friends).  Melita and I were out running errands yesterday and we came home to discover Paul and Bekah had been having fun acting this out.  They wanted to show us, and immediately I knew I needed to grab the camera once more (so I could share it with Mrs. B, of course!).  Laugh away...we do every time we watch it:

All in a day, or two,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Today I want to direct all of you to a new blog that Doorposts just launched.  I've mentioned this company a number of times recently...I do occasional proofing/editing for them.  For the next 10 days, they will be doing some fantastic giveaways...go here to learn more.
This is what they say about TODAY's giveaway: "...Today’s giveaway is a copy of Plants Grown Up or Polished Cornerstones (winner’s choice).  This book is a complete, Bible-based character training resource you can use with your sons (or daughters) from age four or five on up to adulthood. Hundreds of Bible studies and other practical projects are all organized under fifty different Biblical character qualities we want to encourage in our children."

These are wonderful resources!  Don't miss your opportunity to win a copy.  Their blog just may be one you'll want to earmark and visit again and again.  Hmmm....I wonder what tomorrow's giveaway will keep spreading the word for the next 10 days for the opportunity to win some tremendous tools.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

One Less

THIS post is all about shouting some hallelujahs and doing a bloggy-celebration-dance and drinking some virtual glasses of celebratory drinks together BECAUSE the Shubins are now FULLY FUNDED.  Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!  In less than two weeks, David and Erica will get on a plane and go meet Zahra, a little 4-ish year old girl destined in the wisdom of God to become a member of their family.  Please hop over to Erica's blog to bask in the radiant joy oozing out of her pores.  What a year it has been!  I'm still crying happy tears here over knowing that Zahra will soon know the family who loves her deeply already, the family who has fought for her and prayed daily for her and worked hard on her behalf and have promised to do so all the rest of her days as they receive her as a gift from the Lord into their number.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who have prayed for the Shubins and for Zahra as God does the work of knitting their lives together via adoption (don't stop now!), who have contributed financially to help knock down the obstacle of fees standing between little Z and her family, who have written notes of encouragement along the way, or have become a part of this story in some other way.  What a privilege God has given us!  When we were in the process of adopting our son Paul, we set up an account that we named "One Less Orphan."  One more "less" at a time is a big part of our family mission...seeing orphans grafted into Christian homes where they will be raised up to know, love, enjoy, and serve the King of all kings is our family's middle name, you might say.  So we're rejoicing today because after a year of praying and working and encouraging, we know that in a couple short weeks now there will be "one less!"

On another happy note, this past week my girls and I got to spend some time with another little one you may have read about at Christmastime on my blog.  She has an amazing story too!  I'll leave you with just a few pics:
Me, getting to hold little Harper Noel Marl for the first time :-)...
She's already a couple months old.  
Crazy days kept me away far longer than I wanted, 
but I sure enjoyed soaking her in on Sunday.

My precious Melita, 
also known as the junior baby hog
(I still hold the "queen baby hog" title),
getting to snuggle up with her.
My Bekah, thrilled to get a turn
(yes, Queen baby hog and Junior baby hog CAN share).
Oh, and this is her blog debut in her new glasses.
Isn't she adorable?

Oh, and speaking of adorable, check out this last picture:
Amanda (Mommy) and Harper, both glowing!
We continue to praise God for knitting little Harper Noel into this family!

Working towards "One less" as God enables,

Friday, March 4, 2011

Crazy Days

Good morning Bloggy Friends,
     I mentioned awhile back that our family was facing some changes.  So true!  Here is the biggie.  My dear hubby is a route/salesman for BBU (commonly known as Oroweat) and recently he was shifted to being a relief driver which requires more flexibility than the two of us "like to have routine in our lives" sort of people, along with our precious children, seem to muster up naturally.  Believing with all our hearts that this is from the Lord to grow us, among other things, and thankful with all our being to have a job, we've been working at making the necessary changes in our lives (with much needed grace from the Lord) to receive this daily unpredictability with joy.  My husband is a planner...he's a "make a plan/work the plan" guy!  Now from day to day he does not know until the day before what route he is going to be running, when he will need to get up or go to bed, if he'll be working with someone or running solo, etc.  And the ripple effect is like a wave crashing down on the whole family.  Will he need a short or long nap when he gets home (thus requiring our activities to be very quiet for the duration), and how will the events of each day flow in relationship to his ever-changing needs?  It makes planning MANY things interesting :-). But I have to say, the Lord is rich in mercy!  He has blessed us with good communication, unity of mission as a family, and joy in the journey as He walks us through this latest adventure together.  Instead of seeing the limitations (resulting in frustration, dissatisfaction, and bad attitudes), we're trying to see how God is working this together for our good -- because that is what He promises to do, isn't it?  The result has been growth in working as a team, increased joy in God, and thankfulness to Him from whom all blessings flow!
     Another temporary change was that I agreed to proof/edit Doorposts' revision of For Instruction in Righteousness.  I work from bell to bell already, so trying to sneak in a 40 hour project might be considered by some to be a sign of insanity, but again, the Lord is gracious.  He has given me a skill and I REALLY enjoy working with Pam Forster on her projects that are geared towards equipping parents to train their children up to love and serve our Amazing God.  She has afforded me the privilege for the past 10 years or so.  Thank you, Pam...I really do count it a privilege!  The demands on my time have increased since those early years, and I very well may be crazy, but the job is DONE and yesterday I handed the book back to is her turn to have some fun, making all the corrections/changes and then off to the printers it can go.  I encourage you to consider their products.  I have recommended them before and will probably do so again (and no, she doesn't pay me to promote their works...I do so simply because I think they're helpful).
     The kiddos are taking swim lessons for the first time and LOVING it.  T-ball for Paul is coming up.  The girls take piano, art classes, practice with the girls' choir, etc.  There are doctor, dentist, orthodontist appointments, etc.  Life is so planned and many things to juggle in between homeschooling, hubby's work, care of the home, etc.  I am wearing a compass pendant on a chain this morning (and have been for the past couple of weeks) is my reminder to live "by the compass and not the clock", as a friend recently encouraged me to be directed by the Master of Life, not my little-kingdom-of-me-to-do-list.  All the to-do's and schedules or lack thereof need to be subjected to His plans, and His plans are good and do-able with His grace.
     So changes, yes.  These are crazy days, but good days.  We continue to taste and see the goodness of the Lord in our lives.  He is with us!  Whatever the day holds, it comes from His hand as an opportunity to enjoy Him and make much of Him...there is NOTHING I would rather do.  I yearn to know Him better! 

Thanks for stopping by,