Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ok its commercial time!!

when you have a farm, you have FLIES, lots of flies. I HATE flies! We tried every known chemical to get control of the problem, and spent a lot of money only to see more flies keep coming around...UNTIL..PREDATOR WASPS. These tiny bugs eat the fly larvae: its that simple AND THEY WORK!!! They are not WASPS, as in bite and sting people wasps , but a tiny grain of rice sized little creature who only goes after fly larvae!! For less than the cost of chemicals, we get 10,000 predator wasps delivered from Spalding Labs every month from March to September, and 20,000 in July or August. They arrive in cocoon stage, almost ready to hatch. When they start hatching and getting buzzy in their clear pouch, we take the package out around the pastures, "seeding" as it were, the especially manure-prone areas with the contents of the pouch...that's all there is to it. I knew we saw a definite improvement in the fly situation two years ago when I first ordreed the wasps, but I didn't think they were "all that effective", so I didn't automatically reorder them last year. BIG MISTAKE. It took almost three months to get control of the flies as a result. Those predators WERE "all that effective" and then some!!This year I got my first shipment in late March. I tell you the absolute truth: we have almost NO FLIES anywhere. So I am doing a commercial for Spalding Labs and predator wasps, right here in my blog. You can purchse smaller or larger quantities depending on your personal land/animal/fly problem needs. I am sold on this natural fly-icide method!!!!!
Their ad reads:
Tired of endlessly spraying for flies? Order your Fly Predators™ brand beneficial insects now so you can put them out before the weather turns warm again. Just after the last hard frost is optimum. If you start on time, you can prevent flies from ever starting to build up. Then by releasing additional Fly Predators on a monthly basis throughout the spring and summer months, you can keep the pest fly population suppressed to the point they're never any sort of nuisance.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Decorating a nursery for Daniel Elijah!

I found this set on Ebay and bought it on Monday. It arrived today. TOO cute!! The comforter has appliqued animals on it made of soft fuzzy fabric, the head board cover is so cool!! I will sew curatins for the windows from blue, green, and yellow ginghams to match the fabrics in the comforter and bumper pad , head board pad set, and 'I'll make a diaper stacker as well. I think we've decided to paint the lavendar former Naomi nursery with baby green for Daniel and for his nephew Charlie who will undoubtedly spend a lot of time at Gramma's house!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are ready for you sweet baby boy!!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

A new look at the 23rd Psalm

From , by way of a friend: this is a really encouraging way to read a very familiar and beloved passage of Scripture

A New Look at Psalm 23

The Lord is my Shepherd - That’s Relationship!

I shall not want - That’s Supply!

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures - That’s Rest!

He leadeth me beside the still waters - That’s Refreshment!
He restoreth my soul - That’s Healing!
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness - That’s Guidance!
For His name sake - That’s Purpose!
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death - That’s Tribulations!
I will fear no evil - That’s Protection!
For Thou art with me - That’s Faithfulness!
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me - That’s Discipline!
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies - That’s Hope!
Thou anointest my head with oil - That’s Consecration!
My cup runneth over - That’s Abundance!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life -That’s Blessing!
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord - That’s Security!
Forever - That’s Eternity!

my new rice cooker

I have graduated to the "Big League"...a rice cooker bigger than what one may purchase at Walmart or Target. I found the rice cooker I really liked at Cao Nguyen, my favorite Vietnamese market in Oklahoma City, but the price was just plain scary. Enter GOOGLE ...............ahhhhhhhh, price options for the "Dream machine" ranged from the scary $220 (plus almost 10 % sales tax) down to $156.00, plus shipping. NOT good enough. I kept searching and found my 30 cup rice cooker for $117.00!!!!!!!!!!! We make rice every day, and I don't see that changing any time soon, but the rice consumers are getting bigger and hungrier!When we have company and I serve rice, I have to use the rice cooker which just died of over use and a microwave pot that simply does not make nice rice. When the Sunpentown "Mr Rice" pot arrives we should not run out of rice at any single meal!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fishing after school

or Is fishing part of home economics?

Home schooling on a gorgeous May afternoon

looks like this:


Daniel means "God is my Judge"
Elijah means "The Lord is my God"
After praying and talking about what our new baby son's name should be, we know what his name will be: DANIEL ELIJAH. The "Daniel" part came pretty quickly. The "Elijah" part didn't come right away ,and it came from Naomi, who said that Elijah was an awesome name and that Baby Secret's name SHOULD be Daniel Elijah. We believe that she is correct. With our paperwork in country, now we wait to find out if we will be accepted as his parents. I am thinking that "no news is 'good news' " since we have not heard anything since the DHL tracking told us our paperwork had reached its destination last Friday. I think I like having "something to 'do'" better tahn waiting!! Please join us in praying DANIEL ELIJAH home!!??

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

mini message

Sin will take you further than you ever intended to stray.

Sin will keep you longer than you ever intended to stay.

Sin will cost you more than you dreamed you would ever pay.

The MORE we integrate the world into our lives, the less we care about sin.

My friend Jill's husband Scott is a Bible teacher and the mini-message with which I started this post is a brief quote from his study in I John on Sunday night.
Jill shared this wonderful short set of sentences in a discussion yesterday amongst several of us who are part of an online prayer and fellowship group. No new teachings, no deeper life concepts, no fire and brimstone or greasy grace coated promises: just straight up truth. Jesus said he came that we might have life and have it more abundantly, In chosing sin, we choose to block our own pathways to that abundant life. My prayer is that each of you reading will ask the Lord to draw you as close to Himself as He possibly can and that we ALL take (more) time to grow our relationships with our Heavenly Father so that we will recognize even the most subtle of tempations , the signs and symptoms if you will, of SIN, and care about sin, care about living for Jesus as if this were going to be the last day of our lives!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day for Smith Soup

Well, Memorial Day weekend............
Our missionary friends were visiting for the weekend, which gave the perfect opportunity to make a huge pot of shrimp, chicken and sausage gumbo, and at my friend Rhonda's request, I did make the Pecan Pie Cake, which turned out maybe better than it ever has, or perhaps I had just really missed that incredible recipe and its outcome . I don't know, but Naomi called it "amazing" and she ate a lot of it! EVERYONE ate a lot of it. Its gone now. Our friends are also very interested in goats as a possible source of dairy products, meat, soap and lotion production in Cambodia, where they minister in their Children's Home. We've been teaching them a bit more and more as they have been researching more and more how feasible it would be to actually take on raising some goats as a Home project. That said, they were very interested in what goat meat TASTES LIKE. We had just butchered the last 2 young adult male goats last week, so Charlie grilled some up to go along with the Gumbo and made a big pot of Cajun "dirty Rice" aka rice dressing, with veggies and goat meat in it to show the versatility and flavor of chevron: goat meat.
The thing IS...............last spring when these bucks were born, we named them Liberty and Justice.............Thus, our Memorial Day weekend theme for this year has been "LIBERTY AND JUSTICE..for ALL," as we grilled up goat steaks, made goat jerky, and slow roasted a goat brisket. They really did enjoy it and were further convinced that goats would be a really good investment when they got back to Cambodia.
It was the most perfect day today for a family outing to the lake for swimming, football, badminton, lounging and reading or chatting. Hannah's in laws had rented a lake space to share, so after we'd finished up the farm chores and I'd made big pot of potato salad, we headed out to our lake spot to join the other in laws, Hannah and Jon and a girl friend of Hannah's. The boys and Charlie continued on in our Memorial day theme, having marinated some back strap meat last night, they grilled big chunks of yes, Liberty and Justice over an open fire.....for all!!!!
Since a picnic is not complete without water melon, we had that too. I thought the water might be a bit too cold for me, the original WATER WEENEY, to actually swim in, but the kids all went right in and had a blast! Jael got to goofing around with a small inflatable floaty-ring, and while she WAS asking for help because she'd gotten herself stuck and was slipping through the ring and was truly stuck there, I could NOT in good camera -toting conscience help her out without first taking advantage of the photo op. And yes, I did get in the water after a while, on a big floating arm chair, and I did not have to get totally wet, although I pretty much did. AS I floated around with the kids swimming up to and around me, and Charlie in his own floatie next to me, I was so filled with utter contentment. I had a pretty great praise and worship time in the middle of the lake praising and thanking God for our awesome family life, and singing praise music. Isaiah was heard throughout the afternoon himself, singing " I don't want to gain the whole world and lose my soul".
As we floated, we talked about Baby (Secret) Daniel, Keren Jubilee and Josiah and when they come home...They were not with us physically, but they are always in our thoughts and our prayers....................
Home at 8 to watch the Lakers- Nuggets #4 play off game : of course all of cheering for Chauncey Billups, Carmello Anthony, Chris "Birdman" Andersen of the Nuggets (EXCEPT for Gideon, who added variety and a one man cheer squad for the Lakers.) None of us were disappointed with the game whatsoever. The Denver Nuggets' 19 point victory just made a super family day end on a super family fun night time note.
I know nothing we did or didn't do made us any more or less likely to BE the family that Memorial Day is all about. We could have been just as easily as not, but that it was not God's timing for any of my soldiers to be memorialized quite yet. Humbly I am so grateful for that. My friend Daphne and her sons ARE one of those Memorial Day families for the first time this year , and I was so mindful of them all day. Their church had a cookout today and I hope that she was there. We are not close friends; I emailed her a note to tell her I was praying for her today.
I end my day thankful for everything that God has put into my life, and thankful for some things which HE has not, and I pray for those who celebrated or remembered Memorial Day, but whose hearts may not have been as full of contentment as I felt mine was. Thank You Father for all those soldiers whose very lives helped to insure the freedoms I so thoroughly enjoyed frolicking in today. Pour out comfort on those who are mourning, prepare those who are about to mourn, and may we all seek Your face and know You as You intended us to,walking in Your Truths and sharing them with our needy world!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day and the National Moment of Remembrance

How will you observe the day set aside to honor those United States soldiers who have given the ultimate sacrifice for your country? We know we can not pray for the dead, but we CAN remember with gratitude what each of those sacrifices means to each of us in 2009. We can pray for the families of those who have lost loved ones, especially those who have suffered recent losses. If you don't fly your flag every day, would you fly it tomorrow as a memorial tribute? When he was President, Bill Clinton set into effect a National Moment of Remembrance. I'm sharing his memo here. A moment is more than nothing, but as we celebrate the beginning of summer with a long weekend, maybe this Memorial Day more than any other we need to reflect on what it truly costs to live in the Land of Free and the Home of the Brave. I also posted a little bit of the history of Memorial Day. As Americans, we have so much , and so many, to be so very proud of!!

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release May 2, 2000

Memorandum on the White House Program for the National Moment
of Remembrance

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

Subject: White House Program for the National Moment of Remembrance

As Memorial Day approaches, it is time to pause and consider the
true meaning of this holiday. Memorial Day represents one day of
national awareness and reverence, honoring those Americans who died
while defending our Nation and its values. While we should honor these
heroes every day for the profound contribution they have made to
securing our Nation's freedom, we should honor them especially on
Memorial Day.
In this time of unprecedented success and prosperity throughout our
land, I ask that all Americans come together to recognize how fortunate
we are to live in freedom and to observe a universal ``National Moment
of Remembrance'' on each Memorial Day. This memorial observance
represents a simple and unifying way to commemorate our history and
honor the struggle to protect our freedoms.
Accordingly, I hereby direct all executive departments and agencies,
in consultation with the White House Program for the National Moment of
Remembrance (Program), to promote a ``National Moment of Remembrance''
to occur at 3 p.m. (local time) on each Memorial Day.
Recognizing that Memorial Day is a Federal holiday, all executive
departments and agencies, in coordination with the Program and to the
extent possible and permitted by law, shall promote and provide
resources to support a National Moment of Remembrance, including:
Encouraging individual department and agency personnel, and
Americans everywhere, to pause for one minute at 3:00 p.m.
(local time) on Memorial Day, to remember and reflect on the
sacrifices made by so many to provide freedom for all.
Recognizing, in conjunction with Memorial Day, department
and agency personnel whose family members have made the
ultimate sacrifice for this Nation.
Providing such information and assistance as may be
necessary for the Program to carry out its functions.

William J. Clinton


Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50's on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye's Heights (the Luminaria Program). And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps."

The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.

But what may be needed to return the solemn, and even sacred, spirit back to Memorial Day is for a return to its traditional day of observance. Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day. As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: "Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day."

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Deuteronomy 29:29

My dear friend Jenny was over last night for a while to visit, well to borrow my uber jumbo sized-cake pan, but REALLY to visit................I love my friend so much!!! She was reading in Deuteronomy the other day and found a wonderful gem. She brought the gem to share with me during our visit.
"The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law." Our Secret was revealed to us; He belongs to God, but was revealed to us...................that we may do all the words of this law.
One more precious thing that I want to ponder in my heart...............
We have friends whose baby is now 7 motnhs old. As I was walking the fragrant aisle of laundry detergents at Walmart, I ran into our friends. At that moment Noami called me to ask me 'something" but started talking about Baby Elijah, our friends' baby. This got her sweet mind in motion! Today she announced to Hannah that we should name Secret DANIEL ELIJAH. This is a good name she said, an "awesome name, an 'amazing name". It may just be that DANIEL ELIJAH is the RIGHT NAME too. More on that at a later date.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Old Dog

When the schedule came out earlier this year at the Reserve Center and we knew that Charlie was up for tour #3, to Iraq, we knew that if he did end up going , God would provide for us all and we'd get through it stronger for the experience but we really, I mean REALLY, didn't want to get stronger that way:this time............... IF IF IF we had a choice.............Charlie has given thought to getting out of the Reserves for several months now and after praying about it and talking a lot, we felt like this was the right time to separate from the Army. The higher in rank and responsibility a soldier climbs, the more and more of the soldier's time the military wants to lay claim to and usually finds ways to possess. He really wanted to be able to spend more time with his family. His civilian job keeps him gone a couple nights a week a couple times a month. Add to that the over- nights for the Reserve weekends, the extra nights at the Reserve Center, extra time spent at home on matters military..........its a lot of time. Wanting to go out at the "top of his game" rather than two or three years into other soldiers REMEMBERING "the top of his game," he felt like this was another reason to go now rather than later. He submitted his packet a while ago and on the 18th , this week, his request for change of status was accepted and orders were issued so stating. He's been military for over 34 years...............this was a really big change to contemplate. I don't think it will really sink in until he has NOT gone to several drill weekends or spend several months realizing that he is NOT doing training schedules, evaluating soldiers' performances, grieving over the way things are not being will not feel like a real relevant event or real fact or big change right away
BUT it is a new change and we are all very thankful. I was concerned that he not retire before he was really ready.......and have regrets 10 or 15 years from now, but I think that it will be a good thing for all of us. His guys are really going to miss him; they were planning the next mission with "Old Dog" at the helm. Sorry guys; just take the excellent training and leadership Old Dog gave you, go do an OLD DOG quality mission!!!! Old Dog is staying home with his pups!!!!

4.0, and Dean's List

I have to brag about Jael and Esther............... Jael is a very bright girl and has worked very hard this Sophomore high school year. She has always done well, but this year she earned
a solid 4.0 GPA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Next year she is taking several Advanced Placement courses. She is so solid in math and sciences!!! Her long term plans are for Vet school and to practice large animal vet medicine. She can't spell, so she is of no use to me as a Scrabble partner, bur WOWZA, we are so very proud of her! She had tough courses this year too, but next year she is getting really serious about scholarships. With a 3.8 for her freshman year and this 4.0 to go along with it, she is on her way to matching her sister Esther's recent College Freshman recognition: Deans' List!!!!!
Esther had a rough high school Freshman year start, and it took her a while for her grades to reflect what she really knew, but she has done very well despite that rocky start. Her hopes and dreams of becoming a dentist are well within her grasp as well. GO SMITH GIRLS!!!!!

Signed, sealed, delivered and SIGNED FOR!!!!!

YES our Dossier is in the hands of the RIGHT PEOPLE, and out of the transit system!!!! I have to tell you, I have never used DHL before, they are not a Stillwater based service, but I am IMPRRESSED!!! And to you, Kathy Mc whose DH works for DHL in NY...good company Kathy!!!!

It has arrived!

The DHL email update alert tells me that our Dossier is being delivered right now! i have no idea what that will mean in terms of how and when what happens next, but our part of the paper chase is done. Our prayer part continues, stepped up now, but I can exhale over one more step in the journey! Thank You Heavenly Father that this package didn't get missent or lost in global transit limbo!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Upon This Rock" .just listen!!

As I was praying for a friend this morning, God brought the words to this song to my mind. I have neither sung nor heard this song for many years but God brought it so clearly to me as an encouragment for my friend, that I had to go find it and listen to it....reading the words was NOT ENOUGH!!! Sandi Patti did it originally, but listen to Allison Speers. It is simply beautiful worship ! As I said to my friend, I'll share here...the exhortation is the same: "YOU are part of that ROCK which is the church God is building. The powers, the gates of hell can NOT prevail . God is building a strong and mighty nation which will stand the storms, the tests, of time! "
***You have to go to the bottom of my blog page and turn off the sound for the playlist to listen to this clip!!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

From the Devotional "ABOVE RUBIES" this is indeed a gem!

Joshua 18:3, "How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the Lord God of your fathers hath given you?"

This was a new day for the Israelites. They had subdued the land. And now, because they were settled, they set up the tabernacle in Shiloh. Instead of carrying the tabernacle from place to place, they made it permanent. But, there were still seven tribes who had not received their inheritance.

Joshua therefore commanded them to choose three men from each of the seven tribes to "Go and walk through the land, and describe it." (v.8) These scouts had to survey the land and map the entire territory, listing the towns in each section. They had to bring back a thorough written report to Joshua who would cast sacred lots in the presence of the Lord to determine which tribe would have each section.

This reminds me of a land that we have waiting for us. It is a vast spiritual land that has already been given to us--God's precious Word, filled with promises and principles of God's plan for us and how to walk in victory--and all that has been given to us in Christ.

We can read about these riches in 2 Peter 1:3-4, "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." It is a land that "flows with milk and honey" but we have to go in and take it.

But how can we take it if we don't know what we have?

We have to walk through the land, survey it and find out what belongs to us. We must know what we have to possess before we can possess it! That's why it is important for us to take a walk through the Bible each day.

Psalm 48:12-13 says, "Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell her towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following."

We must know the land well, not only so we can walk in all that we have been given ourselves, but so we can tell it to our children.

We have a responsibility to inform our children. Joshua told the scouts to write down a description of the land as they walked through. That's why I like to write down the most significant Scripture that I read in the Word each day. This way, I don't forget it myself, but I also have it written in my book to be able to share with my family and with others.

As I walk through a new part of the land in my daily reading each day, I receive new revelation. As I receive new revelation I can walk in a little more of the riches I have been given in Christ. I can tell my children about it so they can walk in it too. We must scout the land to bring back news for our children. We can be excited to tell them what we have found and what is available for them.

Proverbs 4:18 says, "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day."
Our walk in Christ is a "more and more" walk. We have a vast land before us. We dare not sit down and think we have it all. We have hardly started. Our minds have not comprehended all that is available to us in Christ. We must search for new territory. Then of course, we must possess it. It's not enough to know, we must possess! I love to think that I can possess a little more every day.

Will you become an adventurer, exploring the land that has been given to you? Bring back the news to your family. "Children, this is what God has given to us. This is how we possess it. Come on. Let's go in and take it!"

"But to act, that each tomorrow
Find us farther than today."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


"Thank you, God, for the vast land of blessings that you have provided for me. Give me a vision to discover them for myself and my family and to possess all my possessions. Amen."

I am setting out an adventure each day in the Word of God.

Tracking our Dossier and other international events

WOWZA! Our dossier is already on its way from New York to Liberia!!!! How exciting to track it and see it actually moving after watching Sopheak's documents sit in Chicago and then sit in San Francisco for almost 3 weeks! God knows what needs to be where and when, that is for sure. HE worked Sopheak's visa without our well-planned documents, and He is working our dossier to Liberia, in His time as well!!THANK YOU FATHER that our faith is in YOU and not documents or airplanes, government officials of any nationality , or in our own efforts, other than to believe You, when You say to knock on a door!!
The plane tickets are purchased for Sopheak's trip; the official email confirmation was waiting for me this morning. WAS MALACHI THRILLED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

On its way to Liberia!!!

Today was a bit busier than we'd hoped, but our dossier and package for our new son are now on their way to Liberia!! DHL said it would only take a few days , probably by the end of the week for our package to get to Monrovia, but we'll see!
ONE MORE STEP IN OUR JOURNEY has been taken! Prayerfully things will move without glitches and Secret/ Daniel will be made ready to come home!!!!!

Pecan Pie Cake ...THE recipe , since you asked!!!!!

This is a more complicated recipe but SO SO SO worth every minute of prep time!!!!! This cake is not only a delicious dessert, it is ART!!!

Pecan Pie Cake
Southern Living October 1999

Preparation time: 35 minutes

3 cups finely chopped pecans, toasted and divided
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
1 recipe Pecan Pie Filling
1 recipe Pastry Garnish (optional)

Sprinkle 2 cups pecans evenly into 2 generously buttered 9-inch (or 2 10 inch) round cakepans; shake to coat bottoms and sides of pans. I USE TWO 10 inch round pans for more servings. Quantities remain the same.

Beat 1/2 cup butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

Add flour and baking soda to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in remaining 1 cup finely chopped pecans.

Beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form; fold one-third of egg whites into batter. Fold in remaining egg whites. (Do not overmix.) Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until done. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. NO MORE THAN!!!!! Invert layers onto wax paper-lined wire racks. Brush tops and sides of layers with corn syrup, and cool completely.

Pecan pie Filling
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup corn starch
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/8 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
WHISK together first 6 ingredients in a 3 QT sauce pan until smooth.
Bring mixture to a boil over med. heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat.
WHISK IN butter and vanilla. Place a sheet of wax paper over filling to prevent skin from forming. Chill for 4 hours
OR PLACE pan of fillling into larger bowl of ice water, Whisk constantly as afilling chills.

1 15 oz pkg refrigerated pie crust (or make your own)
1 large egg
1 tbsp water
24 pecan halves
unroll pie crust or roll scratch crust on pastry cloth; use leaf shaped cookie cutters and cut about a dozen or so crust leaves. Mark veins on leaves using sharp knife. Use scraps of crust dough to wrap pecans , roll pea sized pieces of dough place between pecan halves ...pecans and dough will look like partially shelled pecans. SPRAY cookie sheet with no stick spray. Roll balls of tin foil and spray them. Drape leaves over tin foil balls for baking so as to resemble dried crumbling leaves. Brush pecans wrapped in dough and leaves with egg white and water mixture. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Remove all leave sand pecan pieces from cookie sheet after baking is completed.

Place one layer on cake plate.Spread half of Pecan Pie Filling on 1 layer, pecan side up. Place second layer, pecan side up, on filling; spread with remaining filling. Top with remaining layer, pecan side up.

Arrange Pastry Garnish on and around cake, if desired.
Serve and bow often , accepting the compliments of all your guests for choosing such an awesome recipe !!!!

Dossier docs and plane tickets

ITs notarized, in order, copied so that we have our own copies of everything, as up to date as it can be, and along with two little outfits and a photo of Charlie and me holding Secret, our dossier leaves for Liberia TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT having a DHL office in Stillwater when DHL is the available service for Liberia, made for a delay, but thankfully Charlie 's work is in Tulsa and close to the manned-by-a-human-DHL office! Please Lord, may it not take 1/4 as long as Sopheak's documents took via USPS ...which should have arrived on May 1, but arrived yesterday...not exactly guaranteed in 3-5 business days, that!!
We played cyber -tag last night, the travel agent in Cambodia and I, trying to get necessary docs to her to pay for the plane tickets. I THINK by tonight we should have it all in order. I stayed up as late as I could last night waiting on her to complete the transaction but this morning when I checked for the verification notice, I had a "please send one more thing" email instead. The 12 hour time difference can really create a time drag! AMAZING that the tickets we thought would cost more than $2,000 (ugh!!!) buying them in the States, are $1,300 when purchased in Cambodia!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOW if I can use my FF miles to buy Malachi a ticket to and from LAX to meet Sopheak's plane, he can fly back with her to Oklahoma and drive home from the airport here... a very sweet surprise for her ( she has a very long layover in LAX for anyone, let alone a young woman traveling to the USA alone and for the first time) and a much better deal for ME than meeting them AT the airport in OKC at midnight!!!! It will be very special all the way around !!
Much excitement around here with lots to plan for, AND a dear friend is on furlough from Cambodia and will be visiting with us this weekend as well. I promised her I'd bake her a Pecan Pie cake even if it is MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND and not Thanksgiving, my traditional pecan season. For those of you new to Smithsoup, Pecan Pie Cake is my specialty, discovered years ago in Southern Living Magazine. It is going to be served in Heaven, I assure you!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dossier assembly , after dinner, NEWHART and basketball..........

Sundays ARE my day of rest...I promise!!! Dinner was stuffed bell peppers which I prepared last night so that day I had very little to do for dinner prep.....OK so I made two loaves of home baked bread, but the peppers were done!!! My recipe for "HOW TO FEED A CROWD: STUFFED BELL PEPPERS" is so simple!! Brown 3 # of ground beef and two chopped onions with some salt , cumin, and garlic while 7 cups of dry rice are cooking in your rice steamer with 10 cups of water. Chop the tops off and gut 10 big square- bottomed Bell peppers and place them in a "Pam" sprayed BIG blue speckled enamel (big enough for a 24 pound turkey) roasting pan. Set tops aside, you will use them a bit later.Use the top of the rosting pan for a mixing bowl and put 4 big cans of tomato sauce, 3 big cans of diced tomatoes, 1 big can of tomato paste together with the drained browned ground beef and onions, and the now cooked rice. Add 2 tbsp of sugar to the mix, add garlic, chili powder and cumin to taste for yor preferences (we like our food SPICY, I also add a couple TBSP of Thai hot chili sauce for kick as well) Stir all those ingredients together and pour this over the peppers in the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the tops of the peppers on top of the rice/meat/tomoato mixture for decor'. Bake this whole thing at 200 degrees for 8 hours, (overnight is great!!) IF you need to leave this for a while longer, set oven back to "warm" and you are still great for flavor and texture for another 4 hours or so. Leftovers, if you have any , freeze well, reheat well, or are very tasty even cold!!! I served this to 14 people today and have enough for another dinner . COST??? Meat $6, tomato stuff $6, Peppers $5, rice?? I don't know I buy it 50# at a time and keep it in a big bin to dip into. SO for about $20 I have food for at least 26 servings.
After I had cleaned up the kitchen from all the dishes, processed the goat milk and bottled the baby goats, watched the little girls play doll house, explained Secret to my mom again, watched disc 7 ( of 31 ) from my birthday "NEWHART" tv series set (we laughed SO SO HARD, we were all about rolling on the floor at Larry, Darrel and Darrel, Michael and Stephanie,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, watched baskeball playoffs with the boys (sorry Houston ; HORRAY Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic!!) I finally got to polishing up our dossier docs to send off tomorrow!!!!!!!!! One thing to get a fresh notary stamp on and OFF it goes.....................................PRAYING that we do get a speedy court date and that I didn't mess anything up. I'm continuing to pray that the Liberian government sets the new laws in place soon, so that the many children and adoptive familes who already have court decrees can get those adoptions completed, and that the rest of us can move our referrals to court cases and get those children home too. Trustfully Secret will be home and stabilized from surgery as this legislative process takes place.
I LOVED having Charlie share our adoption news at church this morning! I was so blessed by the excitement of several of the families who I know have been praying with/for us! One of the young moms is already planning a baby shower!!!!!!
How great is our God!!! ????? We sang about that this morning. I had to share some of what God has been showing me and drawing me close to Himself with; praise and worship time was truly pleasing to our Heavenly Father today I believe. I KNOW the scripture message was, and I am quite sure that God ministered to hearts throughout it all. It has been a GOD BLESSED DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Did you catch it for yourself?

Photos from the weekend

We had ordered PRAY FOR ABBY t-shirts recently and they arrived on Saturday. The girls were very happy to try them on and to post for a few photos , even the photo shy Miss Leah!It was Miss Leah's 13th birthday on Friday. Hannah and Jon were over for b-day dinner (Leah's request: pancakes, bacon , eggs and grits, NO CAKE) and we got to feel Baby Charlie kicking. Here is a delighted Auntie Leah feeling her little busy -boy nephew!!!
It was basketball tournament time for Isaac and Noah too. With Malachi as coach, they earned Second place and had a great time doing it! SEA MONKEYS was Malachi's choice of team names, he designed the logo and I drew it on the shirts.
Leah really does NOT like to have her picture taken so this birthday photo is pretty representative of how MOST of her b-day photos turned out...she was hiding behind or under something or another. Good thing I got her playing with Baby Charlie, or I might not have many good shots from the day!!! Jael, who is NOT camera shy at all, but just the opposite, in an effort to earn some pocket cash WHILE catching some very welcome rays of very welcome sun, washed Charlie's truck on Sunday afternoon . Also in Smith family goings- ons, we discovered a nest of baby bunnies this week..........before two of the three espcaped, the kids got some cute photos of the bunnies in the Bingo cage we had to keep them in! And afte rthe b-ball tounament was over , the boys had some pals over for the rest of the day. WHAT FUN those boys had when they played trampoline dodge ball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I am still just about speechless, goose bump covered, shivery and saturated with praise and overwhelmed with what God has done in our family. We are sending our dossier on Monday to adopt Baby Secret, who I "think " is going to be named Daniel.
After almost two months of prayer and talking , and not talking , analyzing and processing, approaching and backing away, being drawn and pulled back.................I was as still be fore the Lord as I have ever been in my life about anything. I have wanted to speak...played with the Queen Esther- risking -her- life- to- talk to -King - Artexerxes idea............... God said "BE STILL" so I did, and I thought it might kill me, but I knew that Secret was someone God had put on my heart and Charlie's too, and God had to lead and guide and influence the decisions, not either one of us individually. But all week I have been praying that IF Charlie really felt that we should not go forward to adopt Secret, that GOD would nip any possible thoughts, waves of emotion, of "justified" or "self-righteous anger" any molecules ... of bitterness before they could find a place to land or root. The enemy would do that; use something wonderful like an adoption, or differing ideas about an adoption, to tear a couple apart...he really wants trashed marriages most of all so he can make a mockery of God's best institution. I was gearing up for however his decision would go, although being the eternal optimist, I knew how I ws "hoping" it would be.......................HOW CRAZY IS IT, that Charlie's question to me was " So do you still want to be the 74 year old mom to a 25 year old in a wheel chair?" and YES !!!!!!!!!!!!! If that is what God has for us, YES!!!! In my heart, I don't think that he will live that long, but if he does, he will be loved by a big family who has been eagerly praying for this YES decision.
I just emailed his agency to tell them the dossier will go out in DHL on Monday!!
Please keep us in your prayers as this all goes forward..... I know that there are some potentially rough days ahead; even getting his visa approved may be another "human biggie" before the surgical evals and all ever start, then the surgery (ies) but I KNOW that if God brings him home, God will order our steps for those days. Back to that "who told the proud waves 'you can come this far, and NO FARTHER'" verse................we will not be overcome when God has ordained our steps!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

prayer time starts this blogging day

A dear friend and her husband just got word that their 4th adoption went through court this week...WONDERFUL NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also this week, the dad who is diabetic had a series of seizures, which is not unheard of, but last night he really seized up and is, as of 3:30 AM, in the hospital after the EMS guys took him in. Theirs is a really awesome story of faith and being open to God when the world stands back, a lot, I suspect, and shakes its not-GOD-OBEDIENCE-oriented head and says things like "crazy" (and in the words of Forrest Gump..." thatis all I am going to say about THAT") I will not give the enemy .0000000000000000000000000001 ounce of acknowledgement here. We serve a mighty God who has called my friends to serve Him in spite of some physical parameters which might simply scare off some other folks.
Please pray with me for a restoring in "his body" and for the doctors to figure out quickly why this seizure activity has kicked up this week, for PEACE: that awesome IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL kind of peace for both he and she, and their children?
These folks are near and dear to my heart as personal friends, brothers and sisters in our Lord ,and as ministers/liv-ers not just hear-ers of the Word. YES Girl Friend, I am talking about YOU. I love you and my prayers are with you throughout today!!
AND for Abby, whom my kids LOVE to pray for daily, and for Cambrie and Lindsey and Baby Secret, and Baby Charlie. My children LOVE to bring other children before the throne!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Baby news

I felt Baby Charlie kicking and moving around in Hannah's womb last night! What an amazing thing that was! As an OB nurse and as a Midwife I have felt a LOT of babies over the years, a LOT of babies. Last night was a first...feeling my own grandbaby as he worked out his muscles and pushed back at my hands, did his flips or whatever all he was up to. I love having my Doppler so that we can listen to Baby Charlie any time we want to, without having to wait for a doctor appointment...we listen to him a lot! "Fearfully and wonderfully made..."
And Baby Secret. I heard from his orphanage yesterday too. My prayers have been that God would sustain him and keep his condition from worsening while he waits for adoption and surgery,even if he has no idea that is what he is doing.............the kids and I have prayed in our daily prayer time for him to not have increased headaches or seizure activity, that his lungs stay clear...........and the report I got yesterday was a clear YES answer to those prayers!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Abba Father...........
Yes he too is "fearfully and wonderfully made." This does not only apply to the healthy, the "cute" or the "smart", the "wanted" or the "planned for" Psalm 139 reminds us that God knows every baby in its mother's womb.............He was not willing for any of them to perish, to be alone, to be just a statistic somewhere...............He loves them.
These two , maybe at opposite ends of some spectrum, are just two that God loves, and has given me the honor of knowing and loving too!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it

and not just because it is a gorgeous rain -free day. It IS the day God has made for each of us to live to its fullest, seeking what He would have us do with this day!
We got an earlier than usual start, the chores were definitely easier without having to don raincoats or other hooded clothing, without having to dodge slimy deep mud puddles and landslides.........all the goats behaved themselves: no kicking at the milk stand, the milkers or the milk pails, the babies all bottled well, and we all enjoyed being in the beautiful sunny WARM morning!! It must have been warm because the Mamma of Calico Acres Farm did NOT have a jacket of any kind on her person!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The peonies are in full big -headed bloom and no longer bent over kissing the ground from the weight of raindrops upon them, the pink Tea rose given us by our former pastor's wife when we brought Naomi ThiRose home from Vietnam 7 years ago is in full bloom, competing for admiration with yellow and peach roses. Tall "Mr Lincoln's" deep red blooms are a few days out from adding to the splashes of blessed color. The geraniums and lamb's ear beneath the rose bushes keep the ground awash in color as well. The purple clematis trimphantly climbing its trellis seems to shout "Notice ME first!" while the new yellow rose bush from Esther has quietly taken to its new spot in the garden opposite the clematis.It is so beautiful! As the tulips and daffodils gave way to geraniums, irises, roses, peonies and the returning perennials the "attitude" of the flower beds seemed to have changed from tentative spring pastels to a boldness of deeper colors and the intention of a longer life span. The vegetables are almost all planted; I got rained out before I could get the squash and zuchinni in but TODAY is their day and the garden will be full. In the world of food, what can compare to fresh picked cucumber, 3 varieties of tomato, 8 varieties of peppers, egg plant, yellow and white kerneled corn, water melon, radishes, beans, green and yellow squashes, and later pumpkins?
We are no closer to sending that package via DHL to Liberia this morning, Gideon hit a glitch with the new job...which is most certainly a bureaucratic typo, but a disturbance in his becoming employed nonetheless, several friends are facing serious decisions concerning cancer treatments, Jon is still not employed, but THIS IS THE DAY THE LORD HAS MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Look around you and see what you can find to remind you of God's awesome creativity and His love for you. Yes you may have speed bumps in your road, you may bridges which seem washed mix my metaphors a bit. I was reading Job with the children the other day and made a really cool "discovery"!! That song I love so much by Nicole C. Mullins..."My Redeemer Lives" whose verse asks...."who told the ocean "you can only come 'this far'"?" is from JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God and Job have an incredible conversation after Elihu speaks for several chapters. God we are told answered Job out of a whirlwind, starting with "I will question YOU and you will answer ME."
"Tell me if you have understanding...who laid the cornerstone when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"..."when I said,'This far you may come, but no farhter, and here your proud waves must STOP"
Chapters 38 and 39 are magnificient as God takes the (unnecessary) time to talk to Job about His ceation and how it works. God sums up by asking, 'Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer (all those "Do you know" questions in the two chapters) and Job;s response is "Behold I am vile. What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth."
What a mighty God we serve!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If that same God who can tell the "proud waves" that they can come this far and no farther is mindful of ME, surely I am not going to tell that God that "my waves" should go anywhere other than where He has directed them. I don't "like" some of the "waves" in the sea of my life, but IF I KNOW I AM TRUSTING GOD then I know those waves are serving a purpose in my life. They may be to stengthen me, or to show me how God will deliver me, to show how I can share weathering a storm with someone else down the way, but regardless..........God said those waves can only come THIS FAR. None of us will be over come by the waves. Job's words to the Lord in 42:2 are "I know that You can do everything and that no purpose of Yours can be with held from You." What a mighty God we serve!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hannah is better. Jon is better. Gideon has a job interview today for a potentially great job, Esther made the Dean's List, Sopheak, in spite of the very limited number of visitor visas granted to young single Cambodians, GOT HERS and my heart is full of praise to our God for these wonderful blessings. My heart is also very heavy for sweet Baby Secret, who still lies waiting for -he-doesn't -know-what, or who, but he lays in his bed in the special needs baby room at his orphanage, while I am still praying fervently here that we will commit, soon, very soon, send our paperwork off, and bring him home. As Gideon said now 5 days ago and Charlie agreed, "Time is NOT Secret's friend." So I continue to pray over Secret, adoption, his ever-increasing need for surgery. My heart is full of love and compassion for Secret, and I keep hearing a message in my heart about him, the he will teach people about love: he will teach them a new way to love that they may not learn in any other way. One of the speakers at the Orphan Summit made the comment that we show the love of Jesus most when we love those who have absolutely nothing to give back. That resonated with me so deeply and thoroughly, because the "Secret and love -teaching" was already firmly in my heart when those Summit words were said. Those same words ministered to my two friends as well, about Secret. We talked about him and the whole adoption situation at great length, we prayed over Secret and things in the future: fervently. The prayer room at Irving Bible Church is an amzingly peaceful room with an open invitation to write ones prayer requests on the walls of the room, to write the names of those being prayed for on stones...and to lay those stones at the foot of a large cross at one end of the room. Does an experienced, older family , adopting a very special needs baby make "sense" in a 401k, surely-its-going-to -be- a downward-spiraling-economy focused.....ya GOTTA have retirement and lots of spare time- oriented society?? Maybe not so much. Does God do what makes sense to the world or does God make sense where He chooses? Does God teach us to "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding In all your ways acknowledge HIM and HE will direct your path. Do not be wise in your own eyes..............Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due WHEN IT IS IN THE POWER OF YOUR HAND TO DO SO....................." ?? Yes He does. So , my stone with Secret's name on it is laid at the foot of that cross, his life is in the hands of the Father, and my prayer continues to be that Secret comes home to his family. Could it be that this is NOT us? It could be, but I believe God brought us to him, and no one else, not yet, not in all his months of being listed as a waiting child, talked about by various internet groups, not by other families who came and adopted their other children. We have seen him, have approval for the right number of children, his needs are listed in our home study as those our social worker felt we could handle. With Isaiah, I am hearing the voice of he Lord saying "Who will I send? Who will go for us?".... and Iam saying "Here (we are) am I. Send (us) me!!!!!!!!!!!!!'" IF Secret has the mission I have seen in my spirit, I don't want him to miss a day ........I don't want to miss another day of ministering to him! I pray that today will be the day of decision to move forward.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Revelation song

I heard this song for the first time at the Orphan Summit and it was so beautiful and powerful to me. If you have heard it already then you recognized it as the lead song when you opened my blog; if you don't know it, please take a moment to listen to it all the way through. It is PURE worship from the book of Revelation !


I had to share my roses and beautiful boots! Memo to self:wear tall socks so the shafts of the boots don't rub big red whelts on the inside of my calves!


Sopheak's visa appointment went very well and she is now the approved owner of a visitor visa so she can come to the USA next month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She called Malachi to mess with him but she could not hold back and told him the REAL story. He texted me "no go" so he could play with me about it too. He could not contain himself very long either and had to tell me that he was SO upset until she laughed . VERY EXCITING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you all for your prayers for this interview. The hard copy documents are still flying over the Pacific Ocean somewhere; therefore we are very grateful for the Senator's email on Sopheak's behalf and I have already emailed him a deep heart felt THANK YOU!!
When Malachi texted me about Sopheak, I was at the hospital with Hannah and Jon. The crud bug had hit Hannah so hard over the weekend that she was extremely the point that her kidneys were hurting and barely able to produce any urine. Her doc admitted her and had the nurses run two bags of IV fluids in with some anti-nausea meds. Once the nausea and vomiting stops , they told her she can take immodium for the "other problem" but until she got that, all the phenergan cream in the world was not helping her keep anything in her system except for what kept on going through. We came home pretty late last night and she was feeling a bit better. I checked on her this moring and she said she is a lot better, still wiped out weak, but much better . ALL systems are not in over drive!!!
thank you Father for Your hand upon both of these situations!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Praying for Sopeak's visa appointment

I am excited and in a mindest of prayer for Sopheak's appointment, which is in just a few hours, since Cambodia is 12 hours ahead of us. She told Malachi she'd call him, and I told him he had BETTER call or text me at Bible study to let us know the answer.
please pray for her to have a total sense of POWER and LOVE and a SOUND MIND as she speaks with the interviewer. A visa appointment is a big deal, she never did get the hard copy documents, has our emailed scanned copies, and is hoping that the Senator's email will be sufficient documentation for an approval. WE ARE TOO!!!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day.WOW!!!!!! WOWZA!

OK I am seldom surprised by anything. IF I am getting a gift I can usually figure out what it is without much "real" thinking. NOT THIS YEAR. Charlie gave me the most beautiful pair of Ariat dress boots! They are incredible! The leather is dark brown, but there is a turquoise sort of "wash" over parts of the shaft of the boot ,and the stitching is turquiose. The tooled leather work is amazing and I was totally surprised by this gift!! Hannah, who I surmise took Charlie shopping at the BEST western store in town: "THE TERRITORY," also bought me a great belt and t-shirt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The belt is so awesome that I had to go look for just the right shirt to pair it with tomorrow for church! Topaz and silver worked into the tooled leather with hearts and crosses..OH MY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hannah and the other girls made me the cutest bird bath for my garden too...flower pots and drainage tray glued together and painted with all the kids' hand prints all over it...SO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so blessed at the thoughtfulness and creativity of my family! I sent my MIL a bouquet of star gazer lilies because I have never sent her lilies before and I hope she likes them. They were the predominant flower at Hannah's wedding last year and certainly are lovely!! I got my mom a turquiose floral shirt with hibiscus all over it and a turquise necklace with a mother of pearl hibiscus flower on it from us and a red rose bush for her room, from the kids. Hope I chose well for both of them. One of the things I gave Hannah was a gag gift: squeeze cheese and crackers: her favorite junk food. She loves Gerbera daisies and I got her a pot of pink ones for her garden,but I got a whole lot of blue flowers which I am planting in a long planter with a card stuck in it like you'd stick in a garden to identify a veggie...but its a Baby card about a boy. Fun stuff. I gave her some money for her camo-baby decor for Baby Charlie's room too.
They came and had supper with us tonight: tomorrow is Jon's family's turn to get them !! Tomorrow is our turn for my mom to be with us and dinner is her favorite pork chops and apple sauce. I prepared everything tonight so tomorrow IS still my day of rest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We butchered a goat today so I have been helping Charlie a bit, the boys have helped A LOT in all that comes after one butchers a goat. It is a lot of on-your -feet HARD WORK to slice and sort and wrap and mark and freeze for later. Noah just looked at the clock, saw that it was Sunday and was the first to wish me Happy Mother's Day officially!!
Maybe it will be sunny for the BBQ after church!!! Maybe it will be a little less muddy before the next May rians come ! I am thankful for the rain, and very happy for how gently it has fallen so far!
HAPPY MOTHER's DAY Y'ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
CLEANED up after a good night's sleep...hope all the awful typos are gone now!!
Esther brought me a yellow rose bush today,my favorite flower, and my mom did like her gifts. Hannah and Jon are both sick sick sick with the bug I had two weeks intestinal challnge of the most unpleasant kind, so they are both home trying to sleep off the much for a special day at their house...........
It has been a very special Mother's Day, made even mroe special by getting a call from Caleb in Iraq, sandwiched in between calls from Joshua and Kari!!!!!
I AM SO BLESSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day TO ME!

a totally un-anticipated gift came my way this morning from my friend Jill. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go to Jills blog, read her wonderful Friday morning post AND about her weekely give away blessing, which this week was poured out on a lady named Debie and upon me! Jill blessed us both with a Spa Day package. HOW COOL IS THAT????????????????????????????????????????????? "VERY WAY COOL", as Naomi would say; that is "how cool"!!! I am thrilled and touched and feeling VERY loved by my friend!!! From the pages of Smithsoup, a very public and boo-hooey "thank you Jill" is the link to Jill's blog:

Happy Mother's Day

This really challenged AND blessed me...I hope it does you! I am having trouble getting the link to go "hyper link" so you will have to copy and paste until I get more "blog saavy"...sorry about that!!

OK post script: I went back after trying about 10 times yeaterday for my "link" function to pick up what I had given it and had no success. This morning I thought , I'd try again, and guess what? Now I have links again. Its not like I have not posted links before.I don't know what yesterday was about. Thankfully, I have deleted my "please copy and paste" instructions from both posts yesterday and the real links are up for you to use!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

National Day of Prayer, a post borrowed from a friend's blog

Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer. I was so saddened to hear that the White House will not be observing it this year.... Wow. That says a lot doesn't? Please be sure to be praying for this country and the direction it's headed. HR 1913 is a huge concern of ours presently. Because of pressure from homosexual groups, Congress has refused to define what is meant by "sexual orientation" in H.R. 1913, the "Hate Crimes" bill. This means that the 30 different sexual orientations will be federally protected classes. Incest would be protected under that provision! Ugh. For the full 30, they are listed here. I pray that children are not put at further danger because of some very selfish adults ... I pray that pastors are able to continue to preach the Bible (what this country was founded on if you recall)... and I pray that we could all just play nicely in the sandbox of this country once again! :)
Thank you Kim for saying what I was mentally composing when I read what you had already written

prayer updates

Lindsey does have Hodgkin's and will receive a bone marrow transplant tomorrow, in hopes of starting chemotherapy next week.The biopsy took longer than anticipated, Lindsey was pretty out of it all when we saw her late in the afternoon.PLEASE continue to pray for her and her mom and dad? Let God through His Holy Spirit guide your prayers?
Our documents for Sopheak's visa appointment spent almost a week in Chicago before going to San Francisco today...pretty sure they will not be in Cambodia for her appointment on Monday, but our wodnerful Senator has not only sent an email confirmation and reaffirmation of their (lost in USPS land) hard copy, but the scanned copies of our letter and the other family who was writing in suport of Sopheak. The Embassy has all the necessary docs, by way of our senator, ready for 7 AM Monday (which is 7 PM Sunday here in Ok...we will know from Sopheak before we got to bed Sunday night what the Embassy decided!!
SECRET: God used Gideon to lead Charlie and me in prayer last night and into a very lengthy conversation, in which Gideon told us that even if Secret's adoption looks VERY LARGE and DIFFICULT, that we need to just trust God to provide. I do not think that I have stopped praying since. Eyes and thoughts fixed on "human limitations" and "simple facts" are big road blocks to operational faith. Can anyone ever have "too much faith" that they "miss God" because they are trusting Him to show the open and closed doors? I don't think so. IF Brother Yun (back to HEAVENLY MAN) had not placed all his faith in the Lord some days moment by moment, he would have died spiritually well before he died physically. Those days his faith seemd to wane, life was much more difficult for him. WHAT A TESTIMONY TO ME, when I read how he needed to repent of bad attitudes and of lack of he was being tortured starved , or CORRIE TEN BOOM who had to repent of bad attitudes she harbored over several of her prison guards at Ravensbruck prison can I NOT trust GOD ALONE for what He puts in front of me? My prayer right now is that I DO trust GOD ALONE for all that is in front of me!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

praying for others

I shared a couple of my own prayer requests, but perhaps you'd like to reach out and pray for others even further outside your own"normal community" is a great opportunity to do just that!

Pray for MeWe participate in "Pray for Me... Pray for Others" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check out their blog to add your prayer request. Join a community of friends who care about you, and hope you will care about them.

prayer requests

WE are so excited about the prospect of our friend Sopheak coming to visit this summer and we have very carefully prepared all our request and supporting documents, enlisted the aid of a US Senator to help with our request, sent it all over in plenty of time for Sopheak's visa interview on Saturday......right? Not quite. While Fed Ex and UPS have never lost a package ever in all the times I have sent things to unique Cambodian addresses, this is the second time I have used USPS to send something and it is the second time they have LOST IT. Some postal person looked at the Cambodian address and decided that I MUST HAVE MEANT an FPO address, which is a military base address in the South Pacific. The name of the community in the dead center of Phnom Penh, and the physical adress of an INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL would seem to indictate this is not so, as would the total absence of an FPO address on the shipping label, but at this moment, the documents which Sopheak needs for her Saturday morning visa appointment ( and Cambodia is 12 hours ahead of my time zone) are being "re-sent" so that they may "arrive as soon as possible". Our Senator had also said he'd send an email to verify the hard copy documents, so I am asking him to send our docs in an attachment with his letter to the Embassy should the physical docs fail to appear on time. I got a response almost immediately to my request that they are very happy to help in any way they can!!! Sopheak is a bit un nerved about this because getting a visa approved for a visit to the US is a rather rare thing anyhow. Will you please pray with me that the docs do arrive to Sopheak by Friday afternoon and that she KNOW and remember that God is keeping her in His perfect peace and she does not need to be afraid over any of this?
our former pastor's daughter is in surgery right now having a biopsy taken for suspected Hodgkin's disease. She has been sick for a month or so, is a college sophomore and this is finals week. Her dad has been out of work for a while, they have no insurance, her mom has Celiac's disease and has a very unstable constitution. L. will be in the hospital probably until tomorrow, they all live in OKC an hour away. Test results will not be known till tomorrow some time as I understand it. Will you please pray for L that God will intervene for her even now while she is in surgery? Pray for her parents, G and G, that God will minister to them as they face this uncertain time with their daughter? My friend Jenny and I wee tlaking and praying about how we can be the body to this family today ...there are a lot of needs!
We really need to be able to know that we know God's leading about Baby Secret this week as well. Our documents are all just about ready to present to the Ministry, I have been asked to email some and DHL the hard copies as soon as possible while the Ministry is still interested in processing Secret's case. The concern is that if we (have) waited too long that the Ministry may begin to lose the sense of urgency to get him processed. This is valid...if a child is really in a life threatening situation, why would a potential /possible/probable adoptive family wait months to say "yes" to bringing him home?
AW Tozer said once that some people say "Oh I have so much to do today I don't think that I have time to pray, but I have found that often I have so much to pray about I on't know how I will get anything else done" Today feels like that kind of day for much to be in prayer for!! Praise God that we can pray as we work, can pray as we walk, can take and MAKE the time to pray, and that HE redeems the time for us when we do!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

a little morsel of food for thought, but you'll be chewing for quite a while

One of the speakers at the Orphan Summit made the statement that "all adoptions are the result of some horror." If we take that approach in praying for orphans, past, present, and future, it surely must change the way we pray for our world!! It is changing the way I am thinking and praying for Junior and Diamoh as we are caught up in the Liberian suspension, and it occured to Charlie and me while we were in Liberia and again later as I was praying before I knew I was even going to the Orphan Summit that perhaps God has a different plan for us in Junior and Diamoh's lives. Could it be that God wants us to help reunite them with their biological parents, through some kind of sponsorship for their family? WHAT horror caused a family with two living parents to bring their children to an orphanage and walk away?
I am sure that poverty is part of the answer, but is that, combined with, or supplemented by, the idea that a family in America could offer the children " a better life" reason enough to relinquish or reason enough for us to pursue this adoption?
I know this happens, in Liberia, and in the USA as well.........I know all too well, but IF THE CHURCH could /would/ will, seek methods of keeping families united, would that not prevent many new horror stories ? Could it be that for these children our part is not adoption but sponsoring? Our big question is of course HOW??????????????????????????????????????????????? with lots of littler sub-questions in the mental outine, but it is very real. Hearing that "horror" statement only served to reinforce the things that God had been stirring earlier. Our other adopted children had very different stories, and none of them had two living parents. We have sponsored World Vision children for years in and through our adoption-changed life now for years. The suspension in Liberia was no accident in the Big Picture, neither was the suspending of adoptions in Cambodia in 2001.God worked a lot of miracles in that long and drawn-out process. Five of them are ours!
AS we continue to pray and receive direction from God about Baby Secret, we seek direction aobut Junior and Diamoh as well. Do I believe that God can use us to be/ am I willing to be the "happy ending " of a horror story? OF COURSE. Am I sure that this is the case for us right now, in this situation? Not so much. Please pray with us that God will shine through the circumstances, the pre-conceived ideas, the fears and uncertainties and the feelings and the logic of human understanding to see God's direction alone? Thank you!!!

I'm recommending a new book

It isn't about adoption advocacy, or anything related to the orphan Summit last week, but its a book I read the first chapter of and I'm into the next chapters now that I have the option. Please go visit this link below ( OK Sidebar note: my blogspot is not allowing me to get the link in this post as a hyperlink...I do not know why.) and check out Brent Riggs' book for yourself.You may purchase a paperback copy if you choose, or you may download it for free, OR you may read it chapter by chapter from the link, also for free. How can you loose??????????????????????? I do believe you'll be blessed!!

Terrorist to Evangelist: The True Story of Kenneth McClinton by Brent Riggs

Born into poverty, an abusive alcoholic father, state-run homes, violence, prison, political turmoil... Ken McClinton was born to lose. But all alone in a prison cell, he found the God who never gives up, and was born again. From childhood to terrorism to murder to prison to salvation, this is the real story of a real terrorist rescued by a real Savior. Please, tell your friends and family about this absolutely FREE story of hope. You may need to copy and paste this link for now, but I would encourage you to !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009


I spent a lot of time praying over Secret too, a LOT of time. The Irving Bible Church has the most amazing prayer room and Tami , Mandy and I got to spend a precious season of prayer together there yesterday morning. People are encouraged to write their prayers on the walls of the room!! The room is divided into many smaller "rooms" with panels of soft tulle fabric, ther are an abundance of cushions about on the floor . I wrote about Secret on a back wall. Ther is also a large cross with piles of stones all around the base of the cross. The stones are for writing names or items lay at the foot of the cross. How I loved to write "SECRET " on a stone and leave it there, at the foot of that cross, loved praying together: bringing SECRET before the Father with MAndy and Kari: face to face, voice to voice. We prayed over a number of things together and that prayer time is a memory I will treasure for a long time to come!

Christian Alliance of Orphans Summit, Dallas Texas

I guess I didn't realize that I would really not be anywhere near a computer all week !! Wednesday at noon time I headed out for Dallas Texas for the 5th CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE for ORPHANS Summit, a two day conference full of wonderful speakers, informative break-out sessions, wonderful praise and worship music and even more superlative fellowship!!!!!!!!!!! is the link for the organization's web site if you'd like to go take a look. This group is one committed to advocating for orphans and for connecting The Church to resources it needs "to care for orphans...through adoption, domestic foster care, and international orphan care" and is comprised of various agencies and foundations all focused on orphans, either by way of making needs known, teaching how to get involved on a number of levels as an advocate, and even as those who help families to finance portions of their adoption costs, as well as "we folks" who have a passion for seeing God "set the solitary in families" as adoptive parents and advocates and sharers of our was an amazing gathering of people from all over the United States and the world!! One of the speakers was a young man who was adopted as a teenager from Liberia. His testimony was such a blessing! Another lay speaker was a young woman who was raised in US foster care and is now active in advocating for Foster care as part of the Foster Care Alumni Association. Pastor Tony Evans was the closing night key note speaker, with a variety of other dynamic speakers in the main sessions and the many break-out sessions offered over the course of the two days . I will be processing for a long time to come, information from my notes and the copies of sessions which I purchased!
In addition to all that wonderful activity and knowledge gathering was the super experience of getting to meet several dear sisters in the Lord whom I've been "internet friends" with for several years as part of an online prayer and praise and fellowship group. What a treat to get to pick up, at the airport, two sisters I had never met face to face until Wednesday night!! (much more about that in another post!!!) Next day I got to meet HollyAnn who is our Addy's Hope agency owner (and her dh, John too) as well as the US staff of Beacon House, whose organization we thought we would be adopting in Ghana from......but not............. I got to see other people meet face to face, those with whom they had only ever communicated by internet or telephone for years as well. There were some extremely precious meetings and reunions which blessed me to just be a bystander to!!! A treat was that Emily Chapman Richards, daughter of Steven Curtis Chapman, was a break-out session speaker and my friends Kari, Mandy and I got to eat lunch with Emily, pray with her and get to know her personally just a bit. (She is also a very good speaker and representative for Show Hope, the Chapmans' fund raiser organization and orphan advocacy group) Because Kari knew Jo Jo, the young woman who spoke about life in Foster Care, we got to know her a bit as well................the stories go on and on!!!!!
What was the ONE thing that impressed me most, that God spoke to me about most deeply? I think it was probably the statement that "the adoption culture is NOT a ministry program but an arena for spiritual warfare" and that we meet Jesus in face of His most desperate disguise when we see the face of the orphan." My favorite session????????????? A theology based session actually; entitled "Orphan Care, Adoption, and God's Story of Redemption" which could also be called Restoring Shalom"... defined as the webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fullfillment and delight ... the way things OUGHT TO BE.
Not feel good stuff to be sure: challenging and convicting, and much to be pondered for a long time!!