About Me

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Indiana, United States
I'm a mother of five of my own children, very blessed adoptive mommy to one, step mother to three! Married to a wonderful man who forgives ALOT! Grammy to 6!I also have the best "kids in law" that I could have! I am blessed to be able to baby sit for our grandchildren a few days a week. I am blessed to be able to NOW stay home full time to take care of our home, children, and grandchildren!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy ALMOST New Year!

Lord willing, we will be heading to Pensacola, Florida to visit my husband's sister and her family on Thursday morning. We MAY be trying to visit the Hermitage (Andrew Jackson's house) in Nashville, Tennessee on the way! Wouldn't that be wonderful? Becca, hopefully, will enjoy that since she has been studying that time period recently! Gideon enjoys history, too, and Roger and I are always interested in American History as well.

We hope to visit the ocean while we are in Pensacola. I know that it is not terribly warm there this time of year but I will never miss out on a chance to visit the ocean!! I love Indiana's flat farm land and it has always been "home" to me, but I do love the ocean.

I've been thinking about some "New Year's Resolutions." I'm not very good at keeping them...I still have lots of weight to lose so I don't intend to make THAT a resolution....perhaps I will make more of an effort in the coming year, but.......
Anyway, I hope to make a resolution that I can keep!

My biggest resolution is to keep a neater house! I think it is so difficult to keep a clean house when we are in a much smaller home but I know that our family will be happier to live here if it is nice and neat! I do love this little home....the other "big" house is much much grander and I must admit that at times I wonder "What was I thinking?" when we decided to move. But when that house is sold, we will be soooo much better off!

I hope that the Lord sells that house soon! (I don't think God needs to make New Year's Resolutions though.....)

I also fervently hope that the Lord blesses us with an adopted child. I dream of the day that I can take care of our own little one again. I was just thinking how nice it would be to, instead of always having to write on Christmas packages, "From Mom and Roger" or "From Dad and Beth"...to just "From Mommy and Daddy." Doesn't that sound nice?? Unification of the family...in a little, cute, cuddly sort of way! :)

I hope the Lord blesses and keeps you this New Year!
Blessings,
Beth

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

We went to the Christmas Eve service at a church we used to attend tonight. It was very nice and we saw some old friends!

One of the soloists is a professional tenor and he was absolutely amazing! We have heard him several times and attended church with him. Each year, he sings "Oh Holy Night." His song was so powerful and beautiful and suddenly, through his song, it dawned on me anew just how wonderful Jesus really is! "Fall on your knees" he sang....I DID fall on my knees in my heart and the tears rolled.

I suddenly realized that I have been harboring a bit of anger toward GOD! I know, that's awful! I was so disappointed in not being able to adopt the two little children and I feel like it has really hurt my relationship with my Savior. All of the sudden I came to the conclusion that I have NO RIGHT to be upset with God! He is the Giver of all good things and He OWNS ME! I gave my life to Him...after He gave His life FOR me! God knows the very best for us and for the orphans I have been praying for. I've been behaving like a spoiled brat just because I didn't get what I wanted.

It was really a burden lifter to ask my Savior for forgiveness for my "hidden" attitude.

On a good note and kind of a really cool thing...After the church service, we saw some friends again and as usual, our conversation lead to adoption. The husband turned to me and said, "Really? You are considering adoption?"
"Oh yes," I smiled, "we've been working on this for quite a while!" I related, through tears, again, about our disappointments lately.
He asked, "Who is your agency? I'm the new president of the board of ------- adoptions and I can put in a good word for you! In fact, I can talk to -------. What kind of an adoption are you looking at?"
I told him that we were really exploring our options right now and that we are at this point investigating fostering to adopt. They work through foster care, domestic, and foreign adoptions!
I thanked him deeply for any help he could give us!
We parted with encouragement from him, his wife who was also adopted, their birth daughter and their adopted little boy.

Kinda cool, don't you think?

Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Oh dear...I was told last night that our inquiries, registration information, and our debit card info (to pay for the registration fee) for the little girl we were trying to adopt, was never read. I know for a fact that the email with all the attachments was received because we got back an automated response...but evidently our email was never opened. Sooo...now the people deciding on the new home for the precious little girl are deciding TODAY whose home she will go to. We were not even considered because "supposedly" they didn't know we were interested. It is now too late for us.

It is a very hard thing, again, to be disappointed like this when I did everything right. I emailed all the information on Dec. 12th, emailed again to make sure the information was received, I called on the phone on Tuesday...but they were too busy to take my call...Their website asks us to wait 24 to 72 hours for our emails to be answered and NOT to phone because they are just too busy. So I did that over a period of almost two weeks and this is what happens. EERRRRGGGGG!!!

It just makes me wonder WHY these things happen!! Why is is so very difficult just to give a needy child a home?

Sometimes I feel like giving up...but I know that when I reach the end of my life, if I live long enough to be very old, I will regret not at least doing everything I can do to offer a child a home.

On a brighter note, Christmas is just around the corner, isn't it? Most of our shopping is done and the presents are mostly wrapped. I decorated a tree at the "big" house yesterday since we are going to do most of our celebrating there this year because we will have more room for everyone. We have a family dinner tonight with some of Roger's family coming over. Next week, Lord willing, we will be heading to Florida to celebrate in Pensacola with his twin sister and her family. We will first stop over in Nashville, Tennessee to visit with Joe, Roger's college roommate and good buddy!

Some friends of ours from Becca's homeschooling group are flying back from Ethiopia on Friday with their newest children! They already have 7 birth children and they are bringing back 4 more precious kids! Praise the Lord that is working out for them! We have been surrounded by adoption or "safe house" kids and that is probably what is making our adoption journey a bit harder for us...I know that they probably all have had bumps in the road as well that perhaps I didn't hear about! I am taking a meal to them the day before we leave for Florida...a meal for 13 people!! :) THAT will be fun!!

The little guy that I got really close to from my friend's "safe house" went home to his mom this week. That is wonderful for him but we got the impression that maybe she was going to place him in an adoptive home...we had hoped it would be with us....
I guess I should explain what a "safe house" is....when parents for some reason can't take care of their children and don't want to turn them over to the state, they can be put in a "safe house" with the intent of coming back to get them. It is all regulated and controlled but they are NOT in the foster care system. We have two friends who are doing that now.

Well, I have lots of cooking to do and kids to wake up! I was really mean to Becca on Tuesday, the first day of her long Winter break! I got her up and told her that I wanted to have her start on her Health class that day. She moaned and almost cried! (haha!!I'm sooo mean!!) She DOES have to do it in the month of January but I am going to give her this week completely off!! I'm not soooo mean! She doesn't have to start classes again for her "school" until January 23rd so she is working on Health and possibly Child Development for me! Some of the kids in the group are heading off on a missions trip but that wasn't in our budget this year.

You have a merry CHRISTmas!!!! Blessings to you!!
Love,
Beth

Friday, December 16, 2011

Adoption Road....

Wow....the road to adoption is NOT an easy one. I guess I've heard about adoption stories that just miraculously happen for a family. That has NOT been the case around here. Maybe in the future, I can look back and see miraculous things and road paved for us but from what I've heard other adoptive parents tell me, the road is NOT an easy one.

Our road is full of ups and downs, getting turned sideways, seemingly getting lost and confused along the way. Sometimes we just don't know how God is leading us.

Roger came and sat next to me a few nights ago. Very gently he told me that he doesn't see how we can possibly adopt from Africa. The money we need to do this will be required very soon. Our plan...what we thought God was going to do...was to sell the big house and use that money to finance our adoption. That hasn't happened yet. In fact, finances are tighter than they ever have been since we are trying to take care of two houses.

On the upside of things, though, we feel that PERHAPS God is working in a different direction in our adoption "journey." During the last few weeks, I have become aquainted...and rather attached...to two little boys in "Safe" houses...staying with two different friends of mine. Their mothers are working to get themselves in a better situation and the plans have been to get their little boys back. It looks like they are going back home and all should be reunited by Christmas. But I have suddenly realized that RIGHT here in our city...our state...our country...are children that desperately need homes...just as greatly as children in foreign countries need homes. These two little boys show signs of neglect...no physical abuse...but a lack of nurturing, teaching, and guiding that little ones need. If I could have adopted either of these little boys, I would have done whatever it took to do so...but that door closed as well.

Roger went to a two day seminar about children last week. Both days speakers talked about the need for homes for children in crisis. He came home every night talking about them. He was really interested in finding out more information about adopting from Foster Care or in some similar way. Quite a while ago, he told me that he thought that we would adopt by hearing about a child or children who were in need of a home. I don't think that foreign adoption was his first thought when we first started talking about it.

Soooo....right now we are making inquiries about a pretty 4 year old little girl who needs new parents. (Well....not NEW! In fact, EXPERIENCED parents were actually what they requested! Hey! We have 8 kids and 5 grandkids! How much more experience do they need, right? I think that makes us professional parents!)

The 4 year old little girl is GORGEOUS!!! She will certainly need lots of patient parental care since she has signs of abuse, neglect, domestic violence. What a precious little soul...she has endured so much in her little life. I wish I could just make it all better for her but I know that love is not all she needs. But....it's a start. Unconditional Love.

I'm trying not to get my hopes up AGAIN...like I did with the two little ones. I don't think that I am but I certainly keep finding myself going back to my email just to gaze at her precious little face. Oh wow. I'm in trouble!!!! ;)

We sent in our application to gain more information about her and hopefully next week we will at least have more knowledge. I don't know, as in the situation last month, if there are other families who are also interested in her. All we can do is try and to ask God, once more, for His guidance.

If you think about it, perhaps you could ask the Lord to guide us? And to protect these precious little ones who can not protect themselves.

Blessings to you this Christmas Season and always,
Beth

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Blessings....

I'm so grateful for my husband. He's my true sweetheart.
This last week or so has been pretty hard on me...I've either broken down and cried at the drop of a hat, moped around in the dark, or I've been sick with this cold.

I mention all of that to say that I haven't done much around this house. Almost all of the cleaning up after supper has been done by my husband. I'm very grateful.

Sometimes he just put his arm around me or called me on the phone to tell me that he loves me. One day he walked in the living room to find me sitting in the dark. "Are you mourning?" he gently asked me.

He told me over and over again not to get my hopes up that we would be adopting the children that we tried to get. He said that he didn't want me to get my heart broken.

Well, it did, but I am better.

Nyquil has a lingering effect on me and it takes me hours into the day to fully function!!
But this morning I got up and ironed three pairs of his pants and I am working on baking two birthday cakes that people have ordered. This weekend we are planning to take two of the grandchildren to the Christmas parade and then to go cut down our Christmas tree.
I'm also working on more Christmas sewing projects! Hopefully I will get a lot done today!

I have two wonderfully scented candles burning in my little house this morning, I can look out my back window at the neighbor's woods and watch the silly squirrels dancing in the back yard.
Hopefully I can plan a birdfeeder craft to do with Brody and Dylan this weekend and we plan to hang them in the trees!

Life is good...and God is even BETTER!

Blessings to you all...Merry Christmas! (almost!)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Switching Countries????

Hello! Yesterday the snow fell heavily in parts of Indiana and today it is all white outside. I have a bad cold...probably brought on or at least made worse by my crying for days about the adoption disappointment. BUT I am recovering...from both...and feel somewhat better today!

I just talked to our adoption agency here in Indiana...in fact, I talked via email numerous times today. She said that the country that we have been thinking about is getting slower and slower and she is very frustrated about it. "Have you thought about switching countries?" she asked...and suggested Uganda.

They operate an orphanage in Uganda and she sent me names and ages of children there that are available...all HIV negative! She has a brother and sister pair...sister aged 3 or 4 and the little brother about 10 months old. She has other little ones as well...so.....we are thinking about it and considering and praying at this time. We have about a month to go in the process that she does and then it will be sent to the country we choose.

How exciting, especially after coming from such heartache last week. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!

It is amazing how God works in our hearts and lives. I have become very attached to two little ones from the Congo that I take care of on Monday mornings at Becca's "school." There are also two more preschoolers from the Congo that attend the same school and they are also just adorable! I love their little faces and God is certainly giving me a love love love for their little African ethnicity like I never thought He could!!!! I think that they are just absolutely beautiful. When I held my little newborn birth babies, of course, they were white and I thought that no one else had such pretty babies. Now I feel the same way about these little ones. They are just so beautiful!! I am so very very happy that He is giving me time with these other little ones before He gives me MY little one or ones! I can hug and love on them and imagine my own little child someday. (And you know that I will think that he or she or they are the MOST beautiful in the WORLD!!!) God IS GOOD. I think sometimes He is hard for me to understand and it is even more difficult for me to be patient...but through it all, HE is GOOD!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Brrrr......

Oh wow...what a cold day this is turning out to be! It's another rainy day here in central Indiana.
I've been watching Thomas the Tank Engine with grandson Brody, though, and that always makes for a good day! (Not Thomas, necessarily, but BRODY, certainly!!)

I've also been drinking hot tea and starting on another Christmas sewing project this morning. I'm having some trouble locating my scissors. I'm rather quick to blame some teenagers around this house, but maybe I have them in my own mess. I DID see my kitchen scissors in one of their rooms and I found out today that they were giving the dog a trim with them. YUCK......Gross......

So, now that I'm trying to move on from the huge adoption disappointment, we're not exactly sure which way we are to go. I'm having a difficult time getting our adoption agency here in Indiana to answer my emails. Not sure what to think about that. I don't know how God is leading right now and I'm just not sure what to do. I think I will just wait and see what God does for us. I do know of a couple of children who MAY eventually be given up for adoption. It breaks my heart for them and the uncertainty and havoc that is in their lives. I'm really concerned for one particular little girl who I understand is in danger of being abused. Please keep her in your prayers. There's nothing I can do about it because I don't have a name or particulars...just that she is being badly mistreated and she's only 2. Could she turn out to be "my baby Grace?"

It's beginning to look a LITTLE like Christmas around here. I have a cute little quilt throw on our tiny kitchen table. It's a red, white and green wedding ring quilt. I have a poinsettia on the table as well and one on my tea cart in the living room. I have a stack of Christmas presents in the living room just waiting for a Christmas tree to put them under! It's strange to decorate this tiny little house compared to decorating the big house we have on the market. But it's still fun.

I've done quite a bit of Christmas shopping and I feel like we're almost done. I have gift cards to buy and just a few other things. We're cutting back this year!

Well, try to stay warm...and dry. Even the squirrels who dance around my back yard are holed up in their comfy tree. I think I will grab a blanket, a Christmas magazine, and an obliging toddler (and Thomas the Tank Engine...) and cuddle up on the couch!

Blessings!
Beth

Sunday, November 27, 2011

One Last Word About the Two Little Ones...

Today the family that was chosen to adopt the little ones are meeting with the "parents" and the two children. The kids don't realize that anything is going on with them but if the meeting goes well, the process for them to be adopted by the new family will start.

I have been thinking about the incredible joy that must be in the new Mommy's heart at the prospect of having these two beautiful children. I know that they brought me joy when I thought that it would be us adopting them.

I don't understand how God works...but that's ok. His ways are not our ways.

Today in Sunday School, amidst my tears when I shared with our class that we would not be getting the children, our teacher, Dennis, said to me, "You know, God knew all along who was going to get these children. But He knew that these children needed prayer...and I bet you prayed for them, didn't you?"

Of course, I did. I prayed so often, almost continually about them. I talked to so many people and asked for their prayers for them.

I don't understand prayer...I never have. I don't understand that an omnipotent, omniscient God would want us to pray but He does. And I did.

I most likely will never find out anything else about them, except that the adoption will be taking place but wow...I feel like they are part of my family. I will never be able to hear their names without thinking of the little ones I thought would be mine.

I'm sure this sadness will pass and so will the hurt. I'm sure we were brought this way for a reason that maybe we will never understand. But once the healing is done, we are made stronger.

But I know that we NEVER wanted to "compete" or "fight" for a particular child. I just realized that today...that THAT was why we wanted adopt from a 3rd world country. We wanted to give the child or children the love that we have in abundance to share. We want to give a home to a child without hope and to share our Savior with a child who may otherwise never know Him.

She's out there somewhere...I just have to wait to meet her.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

No News is Bad News....

We still haven't heard anything from the adoption agency regarding the two little ones. I realize that this is a major holiday week but in light of the fact that this is almost an "emergency" situation and the social worker told me that we needed to work fast, I am thinking that most likely we will not even be interviewed to possibly adopt the children.

Other families have already been contacted and have had conference calls to talk to the people the children are with now.

It's pretty hard right now. I have gone from the joy of thinking we will have the children we have been praying for for 4 years right after Christmas to the ugly reality that we will not get these children at all.

A little finch just landed in a tiny tree just outside my window where the computer is located. The limb where she sat almost leans on the pane of glass so I was able to really see her and I thought how pretty she is, tilting her little head from side to side, bright eyes darting around our back yard. Then I thought how the Bible says that God knows when a sparrow falls and that they do not have to worry about where to live or where to get food. How much more does our Heavenly Father love us?

This is a really hard time for me. I can only think of a few times in my life that I have been so upset. I have spent the last few days asking the Lord, respectfully, why He would put me through this? Why would He lead us in this way just to have "the rug jerked out from under us."
(Yeah, I used that phrase to Him, too.)

I don't know the answer but I do know that He loves us. He loves the little ones more than I do and He knows the very best home for them.

I have often thought, after we adopt and are adoption "savvy", that I would love to have an adoption ministry. I can't imagine having a ministry to people that are hurting if I have never hurt in the same way. What good would I be if everything were always easy?

I had cancer 13 years ago and I know the uncertainty of the diagnosis of malignancy. I can talk to people who have that looming over them.

I have been divorced. I can promise that things get better to those who are going through it now.

I have been abused. I can talk to women who have had the same experiences and shame.

I guess this is something else that I can add to my list. I don't like it very well, but to God be the glory. His GLORY is all that really matters anyway, isn't it?

One of these days, hopefully, I will have a lovely little brown skinned beauty to love and nurture. (Or possibly with skin more the color of my own...it doesn't matter! He or She will be OUR to love and cherish.)

The waiting is just so hard.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Breaking Heart....

Sometimes things happen that I simply can not understand.

We were told tonight that there are several other families who are trying to get "our" little ones. We are 4th in line with 3 other more preferable, impressive families ahead of us. I was told that they have already started the phone interviews with them and that we would be told what happens. I have a feeling that the adoption specialist we have been dealing with is feeling bad for us...or something. She was almost gushing to me before and then became almost businesslike...as if she knew it weren't going to happen for us.

I was pretty sure that my heart ....having fallen quite hard for these two little angels...was very safe and not going to be broken and that the Lord was going to give them to us. I guess it is possible that we can still be chosen but it doesn't look good. But I know that with God all things are possible.

I've heard about families who have gone all the way through the process and even made trips to Russia...just to get to court to be turned down. What a heart break for them.

I had a miscarriage many years ago and this is what that felt like.

I don't understand it. At all.

There are two things that I can think of to make this a little bit more bearable. The first one is that we have been praying, all along, that the RIGHT home for these precious little ones will be found. It's possible that it is not with us.

The other thing is that WHEN the Lord gives us our child or children, the love we will have for them will be even deeper than it could be if the path was always easy.

Right now I am just feeling so empty. I have so much to be grateful, THANKFUL for, but right now I'm just so very very sad.
I was just so very very very sure.

But in all things, the Lord is GOOD. I don't understand it, but hopefully, some day He will show me why. Maybe when I look into the eyes of the child or children that He gives us, I will see His goodness reflected back to me. I just wish it could be soon....

Blessings,
Beth

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Another adoption story...

Two weeks ago today we were given information about children who need a home. I can't go into specifics but they are gorgeous.
We realize that adopted children who are a bit older than newborn very very often have some emotional needs that need to be addressed, dealt with, and usually need to have some help getting through them.
We fell in love with these children immediately upon seeing their pictures. (We still haven't met them yet.) But being a Mother who desperately wants more children, I was afraid I was putting my heart before God's direction. So I prayed. And prayed. And prayed.
Finally I pleaded with God, asking Him to show me/us without a doubt that this was HIS will in our lives...and in the lives of these precious little children.
I asked Him to show me in the Bible without a doubt. Then I asked Him to do something for ME...this may sound silly, juvenile, for someone who has been a Christian for soooo many years, but I asked Him to allow me to open my Bible, anywhere it opens to, and I will start reading 10 chapters. Within those 10 chapters, I asked Him to show me the words, "Adoption, Orphan, or Fatherless". Then I told the Lord that if He doesn't show me those words, I will close the Bible and accept that these little ones are not the ones He has for us. (Immediately I started trying to figure out how I could get out of that last part of the prayer...because I really had fallen hard for these little children!!! But I didn't "weasel" out of the prayer. I knew that I would just not answer the email back if I didn't find those words. And a lump rose in my throat.)

I removed all the papers and bookmarks from my Bible and prayed again. Then I closed my eyes and opened the Bible....to Romans 8. I started reading there in verse 1. When I got to verse 15, I literally felt like I had been struck by lightening. It scared me to pieces! Romans 8:15 says, "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of ADOPTION, whereby we cry ABBA FATHER." There it was!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I continued reading. What else did He have for me in those chapters? Three times in the first 45 verses or so it says "ADOPTION"!!
I ran and showed my husband...Mr. Rational. He was fairly impressed. (as impressed as irrational thinking can impress him, that is....)
But I was at peace with the decision to move forward and started telling people about my experience.

Someone told me "Yeah, but ADOPTION is a pretty common theme throughout the Bible."

Oh, really???? I thought perhaps she was right. Do you know that the word adoption is mentioned only 5 times throughout the Bible? Three of those times were in the first 45 verses I read.

I've heard, throughout my whole Christian life, about people who say they open the Bible and put their finger on a verse and that's their answer. I've wondered about the wisdom of people who do that. (ok....yeah, I've done that myself a time or two.....) But I usually have done that out of my impatience. I want an answer RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!
I honestly don't feel this way about our situation. We had to make a decision right away and we wanted the Lord's leading in this. I don't ever ever want there to be a time .... if we get these children...that we think, "Wow...this is hard. Maybe we weren't supposed to have done this."

I don't think we will feel that way. Oh, yes, I'm sure that there will be hard times. There are always hard times. Even with biological children who haven't been through what these children will have been through, I have UPON OCCASION thought..."Ewwww....sometimes I don't like teenagers...."

So it is now out of our hands, into the hands of the people handling the little ones' situation...and into the very capable Hands of our Lord...who loves them even more than we already do.

HIS WILL BE DONE......(but I hope it's with us!!! ;) )

Monday, November 21, 2011

Adoption prayers....

We are still praying and waiting for news about two little ones we are hoping to adopt. There is a lot to be considered but we know that God's hand is in all things in our lives. That is quite a comfort. In times that we are unsure or questioning ourselves, we can turn to Him and ask what is His will. If we truly feel that God is directing us, then we know that He is in charge. Thank goodness!! Everytime I'm in charge, I mess things up!
Keep us in your prayers, if you think about it. Also, keep those little ones in your prayers. It has to be so incredibly sad to not have a mommy or daddy to turn to and to get comfort from. How scary.
I think we need each other....;)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Angie's Gift

When Roger and I married 4 1/2 years ago, I was thrilled to gain a wonderful mother in law. I was excited to have this steadfast Christian prayer warrior in my family and often in my home. I envisioned lots of times of prayer and chats with her as I became her daughter in law. Unfortunately, that was not to happen. We married in June and dear Angie went to heaven the following September.

She was in her 80's...she had her twins, Roger and Ronda, in her 40's. I knew it was not going to be for a long time that I would have her influence in my life, but I certainly took it hard losing her so soon after just getting to "have" her.

One of the hardest things I have thought about is trying to tell the precious child/children that the Lord eventually allows us to adopt about their grandma. I want them to feel that she is a part of them as well and how very very much she would have loved them! I am very fortunate to still have my crazy and funny parents to share with my little ones but I really wish that Angie could be here to love and nurture them as well. What a blessing she would be to them, as she was to us.

On Saturday, I was working on our bedroom. I finally put a closet pole in a niche in our room, creating a temporary closet until we build on to our home. I started sorting through the stacks of things we have in our bedroom and I came across a long flat box. I opened it up and was delighted to find what was within.

Angie had been a Sunday School teacher of young children for many many years. I think that she had to have been very much involved with little ones throughout all of my husband's life. What I didn't know is that she had kept her "visuals" that she had created during those years. In an age where people seem to think that children need electronics and gadgets to learn from, I was so happy to find her beautifully created pictures that she had used in teaching her Sunday School children all those years. There were hand drawn, colored pictures of Jesus, churches, missionary and Bible stories and open Bibles with verses written in them.

I became very excited after realizing that I had been searching the Internet for teaching aids to use when we are finally able to adopt little ones. How absolutely wonderful that I will be able to teach our little ones about the Lord, all lovingly created and drawn by their Grandma's gifted hand!

So, while it's true that Grandma Angie won't be here to physically love these children, she has left an amazing legacy. Not only did she rear a wonderful adoptive Daddy for these little children, she left her love and dedication to Biblical things to teach her adopted grandchildren about our dear Lord...and that's a precious precious gift.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Resting in Him

For the last few weeks I have been waking up at about 4 or 4:30 every morning burdened for our adopted child/children, all along not having a clue who he or she or they are. I have prayed and prayed for them...or him...or her...until I finally am able to drift off to sleep. Then the alarm clock sounds at 6. Sounds about right, doesn't it?

But last night, during my sleepless hour or so, I realized that I was beginning to really enjoy that time with my Lord. I pour out my heart to Him, my concerns, my pain, my worries...and He listens. I finally place it all in His capable hands and find rest.

I wake up with my soul at peace knowing that His will will be done. VERY often, I wake up with a refrain from a Christian song running through my head. What a blessing that is when I know that the Lord has been taking care of me while I sleep, comforting me and giving me the needed rest. How often have we looked in on our children while they slept, taking care of their every need, coaxing disheveled locks of soft hair from their foreheads, covering them up for the 100th time, adjusting their little arms into a more comfortable position, retrieving lost "Bear Bears" that have slipped to the floor.

What does He think when He sees His Dear Ones sleeping? He says to us, "I will keep thee in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Me." Isaih 26:3 (Paraphrased by me!)

We love and cherish our children...how much more capable is our Heavenly Father to take care of us...AND them...even before they are placed in our homes!

Blessings,
Beth

Friday, November 11, 2011

Signs of Winter...

Looking out our kitchen window I see signs of winter. Central Indiana has had two mornings of thick frost on our windows and ground. The soybean and corn fields are now bare...but still beautiful. As a child, I loved to wander our farm fields just after harvest. Often we picked up ears of corn that the harvester missed. We would clean all the kernels off the cobs to help feed our animals. In the wintertime, I would iceskate on the ice left in the rows where the corn had once stood. In the late fall or winter, I would gather dried weeds to arrange and decorate our home.

I'm looking forward to wandering in the woods behind our house...now almost completely bare of their leaves. It seems all new to me now that the trees look different.

Winter makes some people sad...but not me. True, I hate filling up my gas tank when its so cold that your nose freezes. I really hate driving (or having my loved ones drive) in bad weather, but I truly love playing in the snow with the kids. I have always loved building snow men, snow forts and writing "I love you!" in the traces of snow on my husband's car. The approaching holiday season makes me happy! I love buying people presents, wrapping them beautifully and having them appear under the tree!

When my children were younger, we had HUGE stockings that "Santa" filled. That way, there was a limit on what "he" could bring. He brought toys that would fit in the stockings, dolls, stuffed animals, legos, etc. We are not sure how we are going to handle "Santa" with any adopted child. Our true focus has always been on Jesus and the last few years even more so.
We have more Nativity scenes than we know what to do with!

How have YOU handled Christmas... with or without Santa? Roger didn't have "Santa" come when his children were younger...in my home, we did. We are not arguing about this, I think either way would be fine. In this and in all things, we want to do the right thing in the eyes of God!

Blessings,
Beth

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Adoption Prayer Request

Yesterday I received news of an adoption option. (waxing poetic...) I can't really give specifics but we are exploring this with great anticipation and lots and lots of prayers!

I think knowing God's will is sometimes so very difficult. I want to do HIS will, not BETH'S will....but what is it?? I've been searching the Scriptures and Roger and I have both prayed and made a decision. However,the ultimate decision is not in our hands...but God's, right?

Prayers, please!!!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

When I hear about dear ladies whose hearts are breaking because they don't have a child, now I ALMOST understand how they feel. I, of course, have been blessed to be able to have a child, so I am sure I don't understand the depth of sadness they experience. But this longing to hold a little one again and call him or her my son or daughter is pretty deep in itself. It seems like a long long journey to adopt. I know that I will surely think that it has been worth it when we finally are able to go and bring our child home.

Maybe it will help when we are finally matched with a child...but then again, the longing will be even more extreme when we can actually see the child's precious face and know that he or she is without us...and that we desperately need each other.

I think about the women in the Bible who prayed and prayed for children...of Hannah, of Sarah, or Elizabeth. What sweet names they would make for the little girl I am desiring. Hannah Grace, Sarah Grace, Elizabeth Grace.....precious!

Or Nathaniel Allen........No question about his name. (We intend to incorporate the African name into the name as well....)

Sunday I heard about a two year old little African American boy who was just taken from his mother because of her meth addiction and my heart went out to him. I think it is very unlikely that we would be able to take him in...but we are making some inquiries. Currently, a friend of mine is trying to obtain temporary custody. I am praying earnestly for that to happen. Of course, it would be a long and difficult road to actually try to legally adopt him. Possibly full of heartaches for us all. But this woman has already lost custody of two other children earlier in her life because of drugs. This little guy needs a home but she still has her parental rights currently. I'm not sure what it would do to our African adoption but we really want to have two children!
Roger would be soooooo thrilled to have a little boy!!

I'm just asking for God's leading in this and in all things. He is good. (Confusing to me sometimes but very very good!!)
Blessings to you all,
Beth

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What a weekend we had. Roger, my dear hubby, became sick again on Thursday morning and within two hours was admitted into the emergency room. He had an infection and his heart rate was 136 beats a minute and his temperature was just over 103 degrees. He was one sick man! He stayed in the hospital until Sunday afternoon when I was finally able to bring him home with me again! He is feeling better and trying his best to go back to work.

We had paid for a camping weekend with Becca's homeschool "school" for Friday and Saturday night. Roger insisted that I take her to at least part of it even though he was in the hospital. Amidst lots of tears from me (because I didn't want to leave him) it was decided that I would drive up late Friday night and "camp out" in our big "homeschool" van. We had intended to take our camper but I didn't want to try to set it up alone! We arrived at "Prophetstown State Park" near Lafayette, Indiana at about 10 p.m. (Named for a Native American man who lived in that area long ago.) It was VERY cold and windy but she and I were snug in the van! Leaving Roger in the hospital was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do but Roger insisted that this weekend was important to Becca and that he "commanded" me to take her.

We did have fun but I sure worried about Roger and I am sure that I drove him crazy calling him every few hours. We spent a lot of time getting to know the other homeschooling families...some of them we got to know a little too much! Some of the dads decided to put on a "rock concert" as they walked out from behind an RV dressed like 80's or 90's rockers...wigs and all! They didn't REALLY sing, just acted like they were the performers while someone's Ipod played. It was REALLY silly. Other campers who weren't part of the 50 or 60 people we were with walked by with curious yet amused expressions on their faces as the dads played the electric guitars (with no strings) and beat on the drums...kind of in beat...sometimes.

I hurried back to my van to get my camera and happened to speak to some of the other campers. I told them that we were a "fairly conservative Christian homeschool group" and that we really knew how to have fun....haha!! They laughed and I thought it was kind of nice to let people know that we are KIND OF normal...for homeschoolers, I guess.

On Saturday, I took Becca to Wolf Park which has 15 wolves, 2 coyotes, and 2 foxes all in a beautiful and large confined area. They were wonderful to see. We went back in the evening to learn more and join in their "howl" night. Becca's favorite topic is wolves so she was really in her element! Two other homeschool families joined us so that made it even more special!

We drove back home late Saturday and I dropped her off with her big sister and I hurried to the hospital and stayed a few hours with my Roger. I think he was happy to see me but was also happy to see the small back of chocolates that I brought to him! I was really happy when he told me on Sunday that I could come and get him!

He went to work today and yesterday but I think he is very tired and needs to rest as soon as he gets home.

I made a cute little dress for our niece Kathy for Christmas today! I have yet to figure out how to make buttonholes but other than that, it is done! I am planning to make her a matching little doll dress to go with it for "Hope", her baby doll. Kathy's sister, Jenny, is 11 and I plan to make her an apron and oven mits to go with a girl's cook book we purchased for her. It reminded me of how much I enjoy sewing and I can't wait to make little dresses if and when we are able to adopt!

Well, I have dished to do and supper to start so I think I should get back to work!
Blessings to you all,
Beth

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Aaron's Witness...To God Be the Glory...

All of my "Christian" life I have been told that people watch us as Christians and are affected by how we live our lives. We've been told that sometimes we have a silent witness and that when people are hurting or are in trouble, they will come to us.

That is exactly what happened to my "big" boy, Aaron. I say "Big" boy because he is my oldest child, oldest of our 8 combined children.
Last week, his boss called him into her office and told him to close the door. He thought, "Goodbye job..." and did as she asked.

"You're a Christian, right?" she asked.
"Yes."
Then she broke down. She told him things that he didn't divulge to me and I didn't ask him.

He told me that it was difficult for him because the things she told him were big, heavy things.
So later that weekend, he sat down and composed a large email and sent it to her personal email.

Then he waited while she didn't respond or even talk to him about it at work.
Today she called him over again and thanked him for his words. She said she had to have read it 200 times over the weekend.

I asked him what he told her and without going into details about this woman's struggles, he said he told her about his faith, plain and simply. I'm sure the Holy Spirit gave him the words to write.
She said she is searching.

I hope she finds Him.

There are some days that make me so very very proud to be a Momma. Today is one of those days.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lovely Autumn Days

Roger and I took a picnic one day last week and the leaves were a beautiful sight to see! They were falling all around the picnic table but it is a little hard to capture with my camera.

Yesterday we had another picnic and then joined son Aaron, his lovely wife, Holly, and their two little boys (Dylan pictured above) and Brody for a walk in the park. Sometimes cellphones should be left in the car....




Roger's birthday cake! He loves chocolate cake with hard caramel icing on top!





This is the view from our bedroom door at our little blue house.


Early morning light streaming through the trees...gorgeous!!


A little gentle stream ran near our picnic site on Friday...Roger's birthday!




The bridge and creek above is in Bloomington, Indiana. It was a nice little picnic spot. We would have loved to have hiked but if we had spent any more time, I would have missed the pumpkin ice cream I just HAD to have in Nashville, Indiana. Have you ever had pumpkin ice cream?? Oh Wow.....yum yum yum!!!


Some of the family decided to cross the little rock path over the creek on our walk on Sunday afternoon. I chose the bridge.....Holly and their dog, Lady, a rescued grey hound, led the pack!


NOW.......tilt your head to the left because I forgot to turn the picture prior to uploading to blogger......


This is my Becca...who is 14 and getting WAY too grown up in her

Momma's opinion. What happened to Baby Becca???
KEEP YOUR HEAD TILTED.......yeah, I did it again......




This is NOT another picture of Becca, this is Jennie, 18 and WAY WAY too grown up!! They do look a lot alike, though. Every day when they are out together, people ask if they are twins!



Here we are with 3/8ths of our kids....not including the one or two God is planning for us in Africa! Beth, Roger, Jennie, Becca and Gideon! We have to send some of these pictures to the government in Africa to let them "have a look" at us for our adoption. Perhaps the government there will say, "NO WAY!!" Haha....

Have a LOVELY fall day...Jennie and Marci, (my oldest daughter, 21) are going out to take Jennie's senior pictures this afternoon and evening. Jennie is the shyest girl ever known so making her get professional pictures done would be worse than pulling teeth. So, big sis is doing it for her! They plan to go to the park that we picnicked at on Sunday. Should be wonderful!

Blessings,

Beth




















Thursday, October 6, 2011

An Evening Away and Laundry Room Drama...

My husband's birthday is October 7th and we are taking a day to just be alone! I can't wait!

We were planning to go to Bloomington, IN to stay but I wasn't happy with "Priceline's" hotel prices...I'm really cheap!

Anyway, we are going to stay in a lesser known town with less expensive hotel prices!
Roger's very elderly aunt is in a nursing home in this town so we are going to go visit her, Lord willing, first thing in the morning and then it is off to antique shops OR Nashville, Indiana!

I'd love to go to Nashville, Indiana! For those who aren't familiar with Indiana, Nashville is in the lower third of the state and the scenery is gorgeous this time of year with the changing leaves. Hotels and campsites are booked solid. Bed and Breakfasts are booked months or even years in advance for the fall season. It is a little town mostly made up of shops, some handmade items, unique items and antiques. SOOO much fun!
Then there is also Brown County State Park just outside of Nashville. It is Indiana's answer to our lack of mountains. There are gorgeous overlooks in the hills. (Indiana is mostly flat, flat, flat...but southern Indiana is more hilly.) I used to live near there and believe it or not, as much as I loved the hills and the trees, I missed seeing the sunset and the sunrise! They were blocked by hills and trees! I'm a true flatlander. There is nothing as pretty as a sunset over a corn or soybean field. Sort of.

Anyway, Brown County State Park is where Roger first told me he loved me. (Well, he actually told me he loved me months earlier but then he took it back. Yep, he did. To Roger, telling a lady that he loved her meant more than a feeling of love. It meant a commitment. He had just given me a kiss in his laundry room and then he said, "I love you." I assume having a lady working in his laundry room was just more than the man's emotions could handle. Soooo... he kinda took it back and said that he loved kissing me. Hmmm...what's not to love? I haven't let him hear the end of it yet. After all, he shouldn't have been kissing me if he didn't love me, right????? And believe me, I wouldn't have been helping him with his laundry if I hadn't loved HIM already!! All's well now, though, because he has told me that he loves me since then and has NOT taken it back!!!!!!!!!!! Usually I do his laundry....Haha....)

Anyway, we aren't sure what we are going to do yet. But it will be nice to just get away for the night!

By the way, our big house is officially on the market!! Open house is set for this Sunday. I bet all the neighbors show up.

Blessings!
Beth

Saturday, October 1, 2011

"Courageous" Movie

My husband and I, along with 4 friends from church, went to see the "Courageous" movie tonight.

I highly recommend it but be aware that you may need LOTS of tissues!

It was extremely well made and very professional. There is a good Salvation message in it but the overwhelming message during the movie is about being a parent with the emphasis being on the father in the family. There is also a LOT of humor thoughout the movie...we laughed and laughed several times. (I love to hear my husband laugh like that.)

Do go and see it...and tell your friends and family that they should join you. You won't be sorry.
By the way, several of the guys around us teared up, too.

But it was really really good.

Blessings,
Beth

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I couldn't believe it yesterday when I walked to the mailbox and my passport had arrived! I had only applied for it 11 days ago and it is here already! Immediately I copied it and mailed the copy to our adoption agency. I THINK we have everything turned in to them now...I HOPE so, anyway!

She told me a few weeks ago what we still needed for our "Dossier" and I quickly gathered the rest and sent it to her.

So hopefully...our application for adopting a little girl...or two little children...will be finalized and sent to the Lesotho Government.

It could still be as long as a year, but Lord willing, it might be sooner than that!

It seems so strange to have this little girl deeply embedded into our hearts yet not really have her at all. We don't have a referral yet...I think I will just go crazy when we do get the referral!! But we refer to her as "Grace" and Becca said the other day, "I put the book on Grace's bed."...
(She will share a room with our little adopted girl and it is already set up for her.
It's like she is here already. She is certainly in our hearts!!!!)

Can you imagine it if God gives us two little children to love and nurture? I've started writing in my journal to include two children, possibly a girl and a boy, or two girls, or just one girl. I don't EVER want the 2nd child, if God gives us a 2nd child, to feel unwanted or left out. I've tried to convince Roger that if God DOES give us two little girls, BOTH of them should have the name Grace as their middle names. I'm not sure that I am convincing him, though. (Hope and Faith are also good names. He suggested Mercy but we already have a "Marci" and I often say, "Mercy, Marci!!")
Depending on the age of the child, we may keep her/his African name. I think it depends much on how cumbersome it sounds to American ears. I'm fairly confident that we will keep the name in some way, though. It will be that child's heritage, after all!

Well, have a lovely day,
Blessings!
Beth

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Misadventures of Soapmaking....

On the few mornings that I stayed home last week while babysitting little Brody, I made soap. It was so much fun and I had really good results...for the most part. The lavender soap is made with a goat's milk base and has lavender scent and seeds within it. The brownish soap is an oatmeal/honey soap made with a glycerin base. I love the oatmeal soap and it makes my skin feel so soft and comfy...especially as the air in our home tends to be dry! I haven't yet used the lavendar soap because it looks too pretty to use!! (And they're supposed to be Christmas presents this year!)


WELL....I didn't say EVERYTHING was a success, did I??? We don't really use our dishwasher because it tends to throw nasty things back on the dishes. However, I decided that it would be a good tool to use to get the excess soap off of my pans, spoons, and soap molds.


Harmony the cat can't figure out exactly what is happening to the kitchen floor...."Since when does soap have tails??" We piled towels up next to the floor to stop the increasing flow of bubbles!


Oh well....it was pretty funny, anyway!

I told Roger that it reminded me of "I love Lucy" and he said it reminded him more of Bobby Brady on the Brady Bunch. I seem to remember an episode about soap but I'm not sure!


Marie....I've been trying to leave comments on your blog but not having much success so I will have to try to have another sign on...hope to talk to you soon!!


Blessings!!!

Beth





Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fun with Homeschooling...making soap!

There's usually not nearly as much time this year as there was in the past years for fun projects in our homeschool day. After all, Becca is now in high school and takes ALL the required classes plus a few more like Logic and art history. She's doing well in Algebra, Biology and Spanish...classes that I would certainly have difficulty handling if she did not go to a "tutorage" two days a week with other Christian families.
Anyway, I drew her away from Literature this morning to help me "make" soap. (This will be little Christmas presents for special people this year.)
It is very easy to do and something I think would be fun for people of all ages!

First, figure out how many ounces you need for your mold and then just cut the purchased base into small pieces. We used Michael's to buy goats milk soap and used a 40% off coupon...of course!! We also bought the oil, molds, color, and seeds there. (Some candle making supplies were on clearance sale...that's a project for another day!!)

The instructions say to use a microwave OR a double boiler...but since we have neither of those right now, we improvised using a big pan and a little pan. (I also use these pans to make "Buckeyes" when I need to melt chocolate and parafin.) A little Yankee ingenuity...also known as ..."Poor folk have poor ways." Yeah, whatever.....



We added color drop by drop until we got a lovely shade of lilac. Becca and I dropped scented oil into the melted mixture until we arrived at the wonderful scent we liked. We used lavender. Then she added lavender seeds to the mixture until she was happy with how it looked.


Three little bars of lovely soap for Christmas gifts...all lined up and waiting to cool!

(I have to go paint woodwork at the house we are going to sell or I would stick around and show you the product out of it's mold...and I'm too anxious to blog about it right now! I know if I waited, it would NOT get posted!!) Hopefully I can finish up some more molds and get a pretty little country stack of soaps to show you later on!


By the way, I am having a terrible time commenting on people's blogs...some of my favorites that I really consider friends. It tells me that I have to log off and log on using another sign on. I use Google. Does anyone know what the problem is?


Blessings!

Beth







Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Living with Boys....

Sometimes I just don't understand the opposite sex-especially when they get together to gang up on a certain female. It makes an otherwise fairly normal 40 something man turn into a 12 year old.
I'd been having a fairly difficult weekend. My black van's gas gauge doesn't work so I have to constantly guess at how much gas I have. Makes for interesting outings.
I ran out of gas a few miles from my house on Thursday and Roger had to come and rescue me.

We have been working sooo hard finishing up the house and I'd ripped up vinyl, carpet, tack strips and staples for days. I will wake up and my hands still hurt.

I'm not asking for any sympathy here...sometimes hard work is a good thing and the accomplishment can be a wonderful feeling. I'm just tryin' to lay the ground work to TRY to explain the dumb boys I live with.

Saturday dear husband Roger killed a snake and draped it on my car side mirror. Nasty.
Sunday I wrecked the car.
Sunday I ran out of gas. Again.
Sunday-immediately after running out of gas, finally driving to the other house to meet said boys (a.k.a. hubby and step son...) WHO, by the way, are fully aware of the kind of day I have been having....and getting back into my van to head to church, I find a NASTY DEAD DRIED OUT SKULL OF SOME LONG DEMISED CRITTER on the dashboard of my van.

WHAT MAKES BOYS/MEN THINK IT'S A FUNNY THING TO DO???? I do believe that they are missing some key ingredients in their DNA and that's why God created women.

I picked up the nasty skull with my bare hands and handed it through the window to my 14 year old step son who was standing there grinning like the cat who swallowed the canary. (Yes, I actually picked the dead thing up, examined it, and handed it back. I WAS NOT GOING TO GIVE THEM THE PLEASURE OF SEEING ME FREAK OUT!!)

"Yuck." I said rather calmly...and might I add...I was rather proud of myself for my composure...

Icky Boys. I am sure they have cooties.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fender bender...

Yep, I did it. After church, I was driving home with just Becca because Roger drove seperately so that he could practice his solo after church. I was driving down a road and decided to show Becca where a little hidden park is near our house. I backed up my van and B A M!!!!! I backed right into the tailgate of a parked Chevy truck. His truck isn't too bad but the tail light and right fender of my van is completely messed up.

I cried. And cried. And cried.

The owner was a nice guy and told me to take a breath and that it would be ok.

Roger was wonderful and told me that now it matched the front of the van where he did the damage a few years ago. (But he did point out that I didn't leave as much paint on the van as he did...yeah, I took it down to the bare bent metal...)

Sigh....

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sneaky Snake and Adoption News...

Yesterday Roger killed a snake while doing some gardening. First, however, he sent me a picture on my phone since I wasn't there. I called him and told him not to kill it but it was too late. So later on, I decided that it would be great fun to coil up an old leather belt and place it in the grass where he was working. I thought it would scare him but it failed miserably. So, in retaliation, he put the nasty dead snake on my side mirror on my van! (One of my daughters warned me so HIS plan failed as well!) Now I have him wondering where the dead snake will turn up....heh heh heh heh...........we'll see, won't we? I really think I need to get rid of the real dead snake and get a fake one...that one was just too yucky.

I received an email yesterday from our adoption agency and it seems that we just need a few more documents to send them to complete our dossier! I am so excited. I know that it will be a while yet before we are placed with a child/children but at least it is really in the works.

We are having a man finish up installing the new flooring in the other house today. Wow does it ever look beautiful. Kind of makes me wish we weren't selling it...but not very much!! It will be so nice not to have a house payment and with this comes the ability to finance our adoption a little bit better. We are also hoping to have some fund raisers to help out with that!

It's a bit nippy here in Indiana today. It is 64 degrees in the house but I don't mind it being chilly. I can always put on a sweater. I'd rather it be chilly than hot. I HATE HOT......

The trees in central Indiana are beginning to turn colors. Daughter Jennie has a very good friend coming from England with his family and I was hoping that the trees would still be in all their glory when they get here. I'm afraid that they will miss it by a few weeks but they will be just in time for the "dreary" weather that comes when the leaves finally fall. We do have some wonderful fall festivals, cook outs, and pumpkin patches that would be so much fun to go to with our guests! We are getting pretty excited about them coming!

Lots to do today! Roger is finishing up decorating a cute "Monster Truck" cake for a set of twin boys whose birthday party is today! He is so talented! And adorable...when he doesn't have a dead snake in tow.......

Blessings!
Beth

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The End is in Sight!!

We are nearing the end of the work on the big house we are readying for sale. We are having a very nice Christian man come to the house tomorrow to start working on the new flooring that we just purchased, repair a bit of shingles that blew off recently and do some other minor repairs that are beyond what we feel comfortable doing. We will be soooo happy JUST to have it listed...and THRILLED when it sells. The realtor assures us that it is a very "sellable" house. We hope so. We have come to the realization that we are losing so much money on it...probably about what our smaller house is worth will have been lost in the sale of the large house. But is is like carrying around a huge backpack full of good but heavy stuff...after a while, you just want the weight of it off your back and you're happy to have less on you.

I am just so grateful that we have this little house and it doesn't belong to the bank! I can look out my windows...old and drafty as some of them are...and see the yard, flowers, and trees that are ours. Out our back windows we can see the beautiful woods behind our house and the soybean fields that connect to the corner of our yard. They are not ours...but it doesn't cost anything to LOOK at them and we don't have to pay taxes on them since they belong to someone else! We now have a little white arched wooden seat, a wishing well and our clothesline here! Can't wait til we get our chickens and chicken coop!

I purchased a beautiful set of curtains for our living room. We like the look of toile fabric but have hesitated to buy the fabric that I would make curtains with because of the cost. We had looked at cream with the blue old fashioned pictures. I almost bought it but decided that it was something we could do without. Then I went to the world's best store-Goodwill-and found cream and burgundy toile full length curtains that exactly match our couch and still look nice with navy walls. They were $4.99 each! Quite a bargain! I was very excited about it!! They are so pretty!
I was just thinking how pretty our Christmas tree and decorations will look with the old fashioned curtains!

I've decided to just hang a rod in the corner of our bedroom so that I can hang up our clothes since we don't yet have a closet. That will be a very good thing and will substitute well until God sells our other house and we can do the things we would like to do to our "cute little blue house in the country!"

Things are looking up!!

Blessings!
Beth

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Did you ever feel like not praying? Confessions of an overwhelmed Mom.

I know, I know, that's a terrible thing to feel like...not feeling like praying. It's not that I am mad at God, it's not that I don't LOVE God!
But the last few weeks I just have felt so defeated and just plain mean inside.
THAT'S A KIND OF AWFUL THING TO ADMIT BUT I AM REALLY FEELING TRANSPARENT TODAY.

Oh, yes, I've prayed at meal times, prayed for someone to get well, prayed for safety on the road...all the things that are fairly easy to pray about.

But when it comes to our "couples" devotions or prayer time, I just haven't felt like praying.
So....I "pass" and let Roger do all the praying. I just felt like I couldn't "really" pray in a personal way. I have felt pretty discouraged and felt like I didn't deserve to pray.

Today, we discovered that I had LOST all the really really really important papers that people have to have...birth certificates, several years' tax statements, ALL OF OUR ADOPTION PAPERWORK AND OUR HOMESTUDY!!! I was just absolutely desperate and literally sick about it.

Since we have moved, we are very disorganized and incredibly overwhelmed. We are finishing up with the work that needs to be done at the other "big" house that we are selling. (Errrggg....the realtor told us to repaint the rooms that I had JUST repainted. I guess lavender is just too bright for it to be attractive for bedrooms. The cutest nursery ever also needed to be repainted and have the wall stickers removed from the walls. That just broke my heart. Even though we are selling the house, I decorated that room for our future adopted child. )

We still don't have a closet in our new/old/little house (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE...but wish it had a closet for us!) Our file cabinets that we usually have kept all the important information in are not moved here yet so I somehow had misplaced all those papers that we sooo badly needed.

Roger told me last night that he really had to have our tax statements TODAY before leaving for work so we went all out looking for the folder in which I had all those things. Finally this morning he left but asked me to continue searching and to bring them to him WHEN I found them.

So all this morning I have spend looking for a little file amongst piles and piles and boxes stacked around our bedroom. I tore the old vans apart looking for it just in case I left it there after a meeting with the adoption agency. No luck.

So....my grumpy old self decided that it was time to PRAY. To pray EARNESTLY....with TEARS!! (The tears were easy in my current mood.)

Then I searched again...no luck.
Finally I cried out to Him...asking why this was such a hard thing to answer for us?? I know, I sounded like a spoiled child, didn't I? But how many times does it feel like it's not too hard for HIM...just a simple request...and "If He LOVED me,.....He would do this for me."

How many times do our children say, "If you loved me, you would do this for me!!" We know WHY we can't do this or that for our kids and that it would be better for them to wait for their request. Maybe they had something to learn??

So, there I was, telling the Lord that He doesn't really love me. After all, He ONLY died on the cross for me, right? Gave me SALVATION, right? That's all......yeah.

But at least I was praying...communicating with my FATHER...even though it wasn't how I should have been doing it.

I continued searching. I moved a huge box of picture frames waiting for a wall that has not yet been built. I knew it wasn't in there. I was sure I wasn't searching in the right spot. There was another box, I went through it, and under that, I found a laundry basket.
"Hmmm....I've been looking for those clean clothes..." I thought....and low and behold, the green folder I had been crying over was at the bottom of the small orange laundry basket.

"THANK YOU LORD, THANK YOU LORD, THANK YOU LORD!" I prayed. I had been ready to give up. He kept me going.
There was NO reason that file should have been in the laundry basket....AND I'M KINDA...NO...REALLY EMBARRASSED TO ADMIT THAT WAS WHERE IT WAS!!

I think that sometimes we just get overwhelmed with THINGS and take our eyes off of God.
The things that we are doing right now in our lives ARE very very important and nothing can be taken off the "to do" list. Roger's illnesses these last few months were unforeseeable. Our adoption process is a very long and drawn out one. Working to sell the big expensive house is absolutely a crushing weight on us. Difficulties in families stress us to the point of breaking.

But nothing is as important as our relationship with God. Even though I haven't felt like praying or having an earnest relationship with my Lord right this very minute, He has not forsaken me! He will never forsake me.

He leads us through things, holding our hands like we would hold the hands of a precious child.

He never lets go.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I BUILT A CLOTHESLINE!!!! (with a little help...)

There it is, amongst the raindrops, in all it's glory stands my long awaited clothesline! Once I set my mind to it, it wasn't very hard to build at all!


I made this "T" thingy with brackets.......




added an adorable and willing toddler....(Not necessary for the completion of this project but it makes it a WHOLE lot more fun....but it just MIGHT take you a little longer to finish....just sayin'....)






and used this handy dandy electric drill/screwdriver....don't try it without it....with those wonderful bracket thingies and some eye screws......


on top of these really MUCH too long posts..........


Throw in a willing husband and step son to dig the holes.....


And there it is....DONE!!!!


Hurray!!!!!!


And today....it rains.......

Monday, August 15, 2011

Indiana State Fair Tragedy

The events of Saturday night at our Indiana State Fair were tragic. Watching the videos left me in tears and thanking the Lord that my family was safe. One of my daughters, had she been at the concert, is just tenacious enough to have made her way down front. I remember years ago when she was only about 11, I received tickets to a concert and decided to take her. When we went to the concert, all of the sudden, she was no longer at my side, she was front and center of the stage. (Not the same stage.)
I've been to the State Fair many times and to that same concert area several times. (Mercy Me was just there last week, I believe.) It is a BIG attraction to the people of Indiana and surrounding areas. I've been there when there was rain, but never when it was like we had it on Saturday night.
My family and I had just gotten home from an 11 mile canoe trip and were exhausted Saturday night. Roger and I decided to "take a nap" which ended up being an "all night" nap. (11 miles in a canoe is longer than it sounds....) Suddenly, the wind picked up and it stormed heavily. The dog, who was outside, started yelping in fear until she was let in.
This was no ordinary rainstorm/wind gust. IT was incredible. It was terrifying.

We didn't hear of the tragedy until the next morning when I was listening to WGNR Moody Radio. There was just a few sentence news report concerning the accident.

What a terrible, unpredictable, heartbreaking thing!

Just that day, while we were canoeing, we had an incident that reminded me that life is very uncertain and that it can be taken away in a blink of an eye.

14 year old Becca had invited two neighbor girls to go on this church canoeing outing with us. We were canoeing down White River on the eastern edge of Indiana a few hours from our home. Most of the time it was a nice current...a few low spots...but pretty easy. In fact, there were a lot of little boy scouts in the canoes around us. Becca was in a canoe with the two neighbors, the youngest was 9.
We had stopped for lunch and the little girl didn't want to put her life jacket back on. I happened to glance over and saw that she hadn't put it on and asked Roger to very firmly tell her she had to wear it.
About an hour later, the three girls got caught in a "rapid" area and were thrown with their canoe into a downed tree. The little girl decided to jump out of the canoe into the water. She started struggling and screaming. Not realizing how deep it was, I calmly said, "Just stand up...put your feet down."
There seemed to be no bottom to the river.
She started swallowing water, even with the life jacket on her little body.
I realized that there was a significant undertow and that she couldn't swim or even dog paddle out of the situation so I jumped in after her.
My feet couldn't touch the bottom....and of course, I had been wayyyyy too cool to wear MY life jacket! I finally reached her and she clung to me and I started trying to swim...all the time we were being swept downstream. I was finally able to reach the bottom of the river and could ALMOST stand up but was having a hard time trying to get BOTH of us to safety.
There was a man who was one of the leaders of the Boy Scouts and I shouted to him. He was already standing in the river and I thrust the little girl to him and he carried her to shore.

I realize that most likely she would have been safe. There weren't THAT many deep places in the river because of the lack of rain lately. But it was absolutely terrifying to us both.
But what if God hadn't caused me to look behind us and realize that she wasn't wearing her life jacket? What if the undertow had trapped her under the tree?
I know that there are freak accidents that occur...such as the tragedy at the Indiana State Fair...and I am so grateful that God protected the little girl and myself during our canoe trip.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those lost and those still clinging to life.

It reminds me to realize that at any moment, our lives could be required of us. It is ONLY through the blood of Christ and His Salvation that we can make it safely to the "Other Shore."

Blessings...
A little sadder, meeker, and yet very grateful, Beth

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

County Fair Results........

You just won't believe this...my little story about adoption won Grand Champion in our county fair! I was sooooo surprised. I'm trying to decide if I want to send it in to have a Christian magazine to look at it. It's kinda scary to put yourself "out there"....
I entered a basket in the "Gifts from the Kitchen" section and got a Champion ribbon. (Actually, it was 3rd or 4th out of all the others...with Grand Champion and Reserve Champion placing higher than me.) It was a lot of fun to do and they usually auction the baskets off to raise money for the Extension Homemakers.
I got a blue ribbon on my oatmeal cookies and on my painted gourd. It was so much fun to just participate in our county fair. LOTS and LOTS of ladies from our little church also entered things. It's neat to be part of a little farming community!

Becca entered her little painting of a bird and received a Reserve Champion ribbon in the open show. She got two blue ribbons on her photos in the Homemakers Junior division.

She got all Blue placings on her projects and an Honor with a Blue Ribbon on one of her photos in the regular 4H fair. Gideon got two blue ribbons on his two projects.

All in all, they were happy with what they got...Becca tends to be hard on herself and works for that "Champion or Reserve or Grand Champion Ribbon." This is the first year she hasn't won one of those enviable ribbons. But she wasn't able to work on them as hard as she has in the past so I'm happy with her efforts.

Roger and I have our big class reunions this year. Since I went to school with Roger for three years, freshman through junior years, I know everyone he graduated with. That reunion is this weekend. I guess most people are apprehensive about those big reunions...I wish I had lost lots more weight......
I don't think I'm going to the class reunion where I actually graduated. I only went there one year and mostly, it's a year that I didn't really enjoy a whole lot...first experience in public high school.............which is why I really am pro homeschool!!

We are also baking another wedding cake...this time for Roger's older brother and his wedding is the same day as our reunion. His sister and her family are coming in first thing tomorrow morning. Busy busy week!!

Have a lovely day...stay cool....if you can!!
Blessings,
Beth

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Do You Remember.....

Oh how LOVELY February was?? It is the beginning of 4H fair week here in our county and it is once again HOT!!!!!!! So, with that in mind, I thought it would be nice to remember what it was just five short months ago here in Indiana......

(Pretty picture, isn't it? I didn't take it, daughter Jennie did it!)



Ice on the side of the house....







Snow up past the windows of our old little church...on Missions Conference weekend.


I actually like the winter time as long as I don't have to drive in the bad conditions, or if my husband and children and loved ones don't have to drive in it...which is rare...especially now that Danny is a policeman and has to be out in it all the time!!!

But those lovely, cozy days of curling up with a wonderful Jane Austen book or movie, or scrapbooking, or sewing, or even tidying up my house seem so wonderful to me right now! A nice cup of "Breakfast" or Lady Grey tea in a beautiful tea cup, a yummy scented candle burning, even the lingering scent of the fabric softener in the laundry room seems nice to me right now...summer is very busy around our house and I really miss the slightly less active time of the winter. The wintertime just seems so very cozy to me when I am at home...KEEPING home. The yellowish light in the window welcoming my husband home to a hot home cooked meal helps create a delightful mood in our home. I am really looking forward to the first real winter we will spend in our new/old house. It is really quite snug. (I have been promising myself that I will never complain about anything in the much more affordable house...but I would REALLY love to have a clothes closet for Roger and myself! I'm trying to talk him into building one soon...very soon, please, oh please????????? Roger Honey.....do you ever read this stuff I write????)


My mother was very very sick this week and continues to feel bad...although better. She was taken to the hospital Saturday night with pneumonia in both lungs and sepsis. She is better now and is home. I was really afraid on Saturday that we would lose her. Becca sat at my feet and just sobbed. However, as I said, she is much improved and even called me and joked around with me. (she overheard another phone conversation I had on the cellphone with my hubby, telling him I loved him, etc....She told me that we were "sick." Yeah, maybe...at least our teenagers think we are!! hehe!!) I am thanking the Lord for His provision for her!


4H is about to start full swing this weekend. Almost all the projects have been turned in with the exception of Becca's Food Preparation. She is making quiche' and it needs to be ready Thursday morning...bright and early! Becca and Gideon both received blue ribbons on their craft projects, blue ribbons on their photography projects, Becca got a blue on a painting, and her "salon" photography was just judged this morning. She got a "Blue" ribbon on a picture of chocolate kisses...with a possible consideration for the honors group...and a blue ribbon with honors on a picture of the woods behind our house with the farmer's yard tractor in the picture. It will be competing for champion, reserve or grand champion. (Not bad, I think!) I LOVE that picture!


I hope that they are learning a lot from 4H and that is isn't all about just winning a ribbon. (I know that that is a big part to them...they each would love to get a champion ribbon but not many kids get to have that. ) I want them to work hard and compete NICELY...not mean spirited. I think that it can easily become that way if we don't watch it. I am also a little bit afraid that PRIDE will get in the way and get ugly.

Becca and Gideon ARE learning about time scheduling, doing your best, talking with judges and explaining their projects. We are really reaping the benefit of Becca learning so much about cooking! She knows much much much more at 14 than I did when I got married!


Well, have a lovely day, try to stay cool...if possible.


Blessings!

Beth





Monday, July 11, 2011

Observations....

My hubby and I went out for a lunch date the other day to Einstein Bagels. Roger loves the Tasty Turkey! Anyway, as I was sitting with him, I noticed an elderly lady and what I assumed to be her preteen or early teen grandson. She was struggling and struggling to open the door to the restaurant. The boy just stood there, waiting for the old lady to open the door. They then proceeded to the counter and placed their order. The boy took his glass and walked to the soda machines and filled his drink up. The old lady joined him a few minutes later with her own glass and filled hers up. Then they sat down to eat.

I don't know why that struck me as significant...I'm sure that kind of thing happens all the time...when a person is completely oblivious to the needs of others. When it happens in MY home, however, it is a little bit different.

When one of my children (or step children) goes in the door in front of me and lets it go without holding it open or in some way being courteous to me, I just stand there on the front porch until he realizes what he did.

It doesn't take long for him to figure out that if Mom (or step mom) doesn't get in the house, food will not be cooked, laundry won't be done and life as he knows it will not go on for long.

When my children were little, I taught them to LOOK for service opportunities. When they were only about three or so, I taught them to hold the door for other people and to pick something up if someone dropped it. Those little fellas just ate that kind of stuff up! It was so cute to see them trying to lean against a big door going into a store just to be polite to someone else!

Becca's homeschooling group is pretty awesome when it comes to service opportunities. Once a month they pick something to do to aid others. It is really nice to see those same junior high and high school students holding the door for people, calling us by Mr. and Mrs., and just simply being polite to people as we come and go in the church building where their classes are held. There are now over 180 students involved in this group and there are a LOT of opportunities to serve! The older ones have been responsible to totally clean the classrooms and the restrooms after their one day a week "school day" is over. I was really impressed when Becca started there last year! Now that she is starting high school (oh dear, where has the time gone??) she will be attending 2 days a week...with LOTS of mom's involvement! Thankfully, she will have an actual teacher to help her with Algebra and Spanish! (not my strengths....)

Two weeks ago, Becca and Gideon's youth group from church went to "The Wilds" in North Carolina for church camp. I guess it was pretty fun! Becca rededicated her life and surrendered to missions if that is what the Lord asks her to do. (or anything else He wants for her life.) Gideon did the same thing with an idea of working with youth. I know that they are young and that may not be what the Lord asks them to do, but it is nice to see that their hearts are open to Him.

The 4H fair is starting up again soon! This has been a pretty hard year with us moving and getting our bigger house ready to sell. It hasn't been easy with my Roger being so sick. The kids weren't able to go to very many workshops and hopefully they will be able to do those things more next year! They each have a few projects, though, and I hope they do well.

Well, we've got to get to the craft store now and then back for their final 4H meeting before the fair. Both Gideon and Becca are officers so they need to be there. (I just want to take a nap...)

By the way, our homestudy is completely done and I talked to the adoption agency on Friday. We need to forward things to them from the other adoption agency. Guess what? We have been approved to adopt 1 or 2 little ones! Wouldn't that be great? Two precious souls? One would be fine with us but two would be an additional blessing. The country that we are adopting from only places siblings and not two unrelated children. I am going to leave that in God's hands.

Since adoption is so near and dear to my heart, I tend to talk about it a lot. I think that it touches people's hearts to hear that people are doing this kind of thing. I try to make it all about the Lord but I also don't want to sound self righteous. Some of you might remember a post that I wrote back in December about walking in the snow and thinking about our little girl waiting for us in Africa. I added to it a little bit to bring in more about Christ's salvation and I entered it today in the open division in our county fair. I told my hubby that at least one or two people will be forced to read it since they are judging it so....who knows if they have ever really heard about God's Adoption of us?
Well, have a lovely day! It is really HOT here in Indiana!
Blessings, Beth