Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Monday musings which didn't get completed until Tuesday!

I want to write about fun stuff...Oklahoma Thunder NBA  basketball victories, a totally awesome overnight dinner and basketball game date with my husband on Saturday  after an incredibly full and busy last two weeks , I want to write about new kittens, and singing  "GOD OF WONDERS BEYOND OUR GALAXY" with little Bright when he was still here. I want to, but what smacked me in the face this morning overrides all of that. Our Department of State issued a new Liberia  update today http://adoption.state.gov/news/liberia.html which restates that there will be no  more adoptions processed in Liberia and no visas issued by the USDOS Consulate office in Monrovia. While various agency folks are sending a variety of messages to waiting families, the most honest message being sent is really "If you have been waiting for a referral or have been matched with a child and have been waiting a long time  for good news, it is time for you to contact the home office to discuss 'other plans'  "  The door we have been suspecting for a long time was a closed door no longer is at the end of a dark, winding hallway. We are standing at the door and it is closed. It is  not the answer to our prayers that we wanted, but we prayed for God to show us His path. Junior and Diamoh will forever be the children of our hearts  but not the children of our home. We faced that same heart/home issue with our Cambodian children some years back,  but God moved mountains and they were allowed to come home. The day  that I laid down my MAMMA HEART DESIRES  at Jesus' feet over Cambodia's suspension situation gave me the spiritual resources to once more lay down what God had put in my mamma heart  for Liberia and the children we met and spent time with there as well. There is still  some speculation  and expectation that the Special Needs children of Liberia will be allowed to be adopted, but the DOS  update from the Liberian government does not address the matter. None of the 3 or 4 updates  from Liberia to the US have made any mention of Special Needs exemptions, despite the Liberian president saying in November that she would do so. Not one Special Needs child has come home from Liberia since she made that statement . Will Daniel with untreated hydrocephaly ..........ever come home? Will T. the 7 year old with Cerebral palsy whose family has waited more than 2 years for him, or B, an almost 1 year  old with major cleft palate issues? We have no idea, but we have a  loving God , Who , somehow has a plan that glorifies Himself in this  time which to our human understanding seems  so very tragic. I trust Him,  He has proven to me so many times that it is  "SO SWEET TO TRUST IN JESUS, JUST TO TAKE HIM AT HIS WORD JUST TO REST UPON HIS PROMISE JUST TO KNOW 'THUS SAYETH THE LORD'  " and to go elsewhere in my thinking would be to deny my Lord, and all that I know He has done up to this point. I can't explain the events of the past two years as they relate to Smith Soup, Junior , Diamoh, Daniel , and Liberia. I can only pray that our love of them sticks in their minds somehow as real, that they do not perceive that we abandonded them, that the orphanage staff will simply but honestly explain that the country of Liberia is trying to make better adoption laws and everyone has to wait on those people and those new rules.I want my children to know that a lack of permission is the culprit and that we did NOT quit on them. For anyone to allude to these children or flat out tell any of these children that their American families  decided they didn't "want them any more"  would be one more criminal act. I actually did read  last week the words of someone who did say this and I was so angry at the "spin" of those words.  I pray that perhaps out of this prolonged suspension the birth parents of our children will return for them and make a new start. Adoption is  and can be a wonderful thing, but if children can be reunified with bio families, and encouraged and helped to stay intact, that is a better thing. IF God uses this suspension to renew hope for birth families who gave up children out of desperation or  a thought of a better chance for their child in America over being in their own family, so much the better. I know that is the "ideal" and will not be the case for all of the orphaned children of any country, but it is my prayer nonetheless.  Adoption is a tool of God without a doubt. I pray often that adoption be what God intended it to be and not the ugly, dishonest, divisive mess that it has become in so many places . When a country does not value its children, it is not going to place priority on clean , ethical adoption practices. When that presents as the case, it is not valiant to keep fighting that govenment, it is "beating at windwmills "  and you know what I mean by that if you have ever seen or read "Man of LaMancha". This Liberian suspension has a lot of people blaming other people. All that serves no purpose. New laws need to be written realistically and implemented quickly. There are far too many true orphans in Liberia who need laws which will enable them to be  safely adopted  if there is no other possible  viable option for them. For those of us who are not able to complete adoptions any more and for those children, I grieve. Being the eternal optimist that I am, I have hope for the future that one day adoptions will re-start and many chidlren will be welcomed into loving forever families. Right now I am also sad that for us: the Smiths at Calico Acres and the Coopers who never quite got to become official Smiths. Smith Soup  will forever  have some missing ingredients........... very lightly stated  its like a note on the side of a recipe in a cookbook,,"ingredients unavailable"...........the "recipe" has been forever chaged from what we thought it would be. And the other thing that I see is that we have a prayer committment that can not be allowed to go "out of sight, out of mind" regardless of whom else God may bring into our family. Junior and Diamoh will be the Smiths who are absent; they did not cease to exist. 
The words of the song  "Unfailing Love are flooding my mind....
."Your Unfailing Love "by Reuben Morgan
"When the darkness fills my senses
When my blindness keeps me from your touch
Jesus come
When my burden keeps me doubting
When my memories take the place of you
Jesus come
And I'll follow you there
To the place where we meet
And I'll lay down my pride
As you search me again
Your unfailing love, your unfailing love
Your unfailing love........... over me again."
Praying this  over Junior and Diamoh: God's unfailing love  all around them, in and though them, regardless of what anythng looks like.......singing it to them over the miles. Jesus come!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Quieting us with His love, Rejoicing over us with singing

There is no real news from Liberia whatsoever, but I did receive  a few photos of precious Daniel this week. I love how peaceful he looks as he sleeps. I know his waking hours are not so peaceful.  BUT, unlike the precious little boy named Varney  (also in Liberia) that some of you have heard about  and are praying for, Daniels' head seems to have slowed down in the speed of its hydrocephalic growth. He looks  more "proportional" to me  than he ever has...certainly still in need of his shunt surgery, and much physical therapy to hopefully restore some hand and foot muscle tone so he can one day use his arms and legs,and with occupational therapy too, perhaps a measure of his vision. 
How we are praying that he will indeed be allowed to come home in May! I can't believe I am writing that...we have been hoping  month after month for so many months, and now April is about spent as well.
Perhaps it was that I needed to be available, really available, for these two weeks of April for Anita and Eric's children MORE than I needed to be Daniel's face-to-face , in-my -Mamma-arms-Mamma? That is how it all played out and since we have been praying for God's perfect timing, I know this was just  that.  As I continue to pray over God's perfect will for my life and all of its wonderful facets, I see that God has indeed done some chipping on the facets of His stone: my heart,   over the past two weeks, to make those facets  smoother and shinier. I was reminded afresh this week too that our lives as believers  are  really  about walking on water with Jesus. AND I saw how quickly I can take my eyes off of Jesus by looking at the "water" on which I am walking and start to sink...........and to suck up a lungful of that "water". These two weeks of having four  extra children while my husband was out of town  have gone well, really well. We had two mishaps, in which God was very gracious, but its been good. This morning while trying to clean up the kitchen and other morning chores, awaiting a new goat milk custormer, Jael  had overslept and was late for school, Baby Charlie was cranky, I was staring at and yet another cold half-consumed  cup of coffee,  In a  moment,  I let my "eyes" go to "the water" instead of  them being fixed on Jesus where they have been most of the time over these past two weeks. WOW! I sank so fast  in "oh I am too tired" and  the throes of a pity party for "poor me" ! All of  a sudden, I was coughing and sputtering with a lung full of  "see water" (What I could see, not what God was doing) . Funny because my  Sunday School lesson last Sunday  was about Peter walking on water with Jesus.  I made a big dramatic  deal about his looking around at what he was doing  instead of looking at Jesus and how that's when he sank and  began to cry out frantically  to Jesus for help  to be lifted up out of the waves. That  is exactly where I found myself in my kitchen this morning!  THANKFULLY  God brought my lesson to the young  children into my mind before "both lungs filled up". As I cried out  to Jesus to get me back on the waters and not under them, He so faithfully  lifted me up with those wonderful words "Be of good cheer, don't be afraid!"  Then the  words of Zephaniah 3:14, 16, and 17  came to me "Sing oh daughter of Zion! Shout oh Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart Oh daughter of Jerusalem!.............Do not fear,  Zion do not let your hands be weak, The Lord your God in your midst The Mighty One will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness  He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing!" I'm back up on the "waters" of my life and  MY GOD IS SINGING  OVER  ME!!!!     I am singing to Him, but HE IS SINGING OVER ME!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Boys play date, perfect dental check up and no rain ITS ALL GOOD!

We had a great day today, we really did! Samren has been having such fun with his new pals Josh, Winston and Uriah, that the other moms and I have worked hard to get the guys together  for BOY PLAY.  Last Monday Joshua who usually has Winston and Uriah over to his house for play on Mondays,    made a plan and they all came to our house to play with Samren. Josh met Samren in our Sunday School class, the other boys are here so often I thnk they met almost day 1 of the  G kiddos'  two week stay here. After a couple of afternoons playing here and Sunday night at Bible study at Josh's house, Samren was ready to go to a pal's house to play. Those guys had a blast from all reports I have received. When I asked Samren, he started to tell me details but sighed, gave me a huge smile and said  "We just did GUY STUFF!"  I  loved that from him!!!  He was gone from about 10:15 till 6, had dinner with his pals Winston and Uriah. Their mom brought him back home here : exhilarated an  slightly exhausted. BUT  sweet guy that he is, he had left a bit of school  work incomplete when it was time to leave for GUY  TIME...he had already eaten so when we all sat down to eat, he opened his school books and finished up the days' assignments that were not done when he left!  I love that about home schoolers!!! Our kiddos are the same way. The other day the girls wanted a short day so they stayed at their books a bit longer than normal and worked ahead. No shamming here!  Baby Charlie delights everyone with his personaliy and his dedication to walkingWAY before any of the older people in his life think he should be walking. He  and Kendi play so cute together..except for the "lap jealousy" which is pretty passionately expressed by both children.   It was not raining, the sun was shining  and all the kids took compete advantage of the nice weather today to be out as much as possible. Isaac got to try out his new tennis racket when Malachi took all the older kiddos to the tennis court,  every body else  got good exercise on the trampoline, the swings and in the pastures. Gathering eggs is definitely  a favorite activity. (Eating eggs is another) Today however, my sweet farm girls showed Taevy that farm life is not all fun. The horses got into the barn, ate up a lot of grain they were not supposed to be into, made a huge mess all over the barn and of course, did not clean up after themselves. Naomi and Rachel took Taevy with them and those three young ladies cleaned out the barn.  Jael had her 6 month  dental check up later in the afternoon and was pleased to be told that she had another perfect check up . Makes me happy because she needed braces (not wanted, needed...for a really bad cross bit and jaw malformation) so perfect check ups on those $6000 teeth make me VERY HAPPY. Kendi   was a delight at dinner as she gobbled brocolli like it was M and Ms!!! Bright did the same with his cut up slice of ham. After dinner the girls helped me clean up the kitchen and the boys did the milking and feeding. The girls had already bottled the baby goats. I love how the children all jump in to help with whatever chores need to be done. We talked about that  tonight at dinner when I reminded the whole crew  that I don't ask them to pay bills or figure out how much money we can spend on anything ,don't expect them to run the errands,  or do the shopping  and they should not expect me to do the things at home they  CAN do  while I am doing things I do not expect them to do. That line of logic set to the standard of family team work  serves us  very well. No one has room to complain about anyone else's work load. By bedtime all those busy Calico Acres Farm kiddos,   ALL OF THEM  were ready for showers and sleep!! Before  I share kiddo and kid   photos,
I have to share some photos of this "Stuff". The cedar trees grow this stringy "jello" stuff. I've seen it before but NEVER  in the quantities I am seeing this year. It   is really gooey, and just like Pom poms  made of jello.
Thought I'd let you see it.
The baby goats are growing too!! Here in the hay manger are Lilly and George, staying neatly out of the mud which is everywhere else

Zoom shot of George and Lilly

Lilly and Rose having some Mother -Daughter time a little while later

Isaac gives  Miss K  a tandem bounce as sister K takes a good jump too
Naomi joins the jumping
                                            A School  Day at Calico Acres Farm
Naomi, Rachel Taevy Samren and Kendi all hard at work

And before I forget.Jael got a  really cute scarf at Old Navy the other day. Tonight  we treid it out  as a baby carrier. Here is  Jael carrying Kendi, Ghana-mama style. Kendi LOVED it!!!
Well,  that was our day. Missing Charlie while he's away all week  again, missing DANIEL about whom we've heard nothing what so ever, grieving over what looks clearly to be Liberia closing its doors to adoptions for anyone but "maybe " some special needs children. (yes, maybe)  and praying over Mary in Ghana , or WHO IS IT  that God may have waiting  for us to find?  I am so drawn  in my spirit to a child with HIV+ status...no name, no face yet ,  I "think" its a girl but not sure...................

Sunday, April 18, 2010

WOW Is it Sunday already?

This has been a very long and very full week! Week one of having my 8 at home kiddos, Baby Charlie, a day with  Grand daughter Mady too, and the Gillipsie 4  has come and gone. OBVIOUSLY I was busy and didn't blog a word. This arrangement of Joe's Cups"  on my kitchen island every morning is   my effort to keep the dish-doing under control a  bit : one cup per day per child...with names written on the cups for "inventory"! So far so good!
 I did post a few Face Book posts, but that is quickly stuff. We had  several  after -school hours -play days here so that the kids all got a chance to play with some other children (as if eight or nine Smiths aren't enough company!) and that went very well. Our friends who have Liberian boys close to Samren's age have been over several times, and our friends whose sons are close pals with my older boys have a son Samren's age too.GREAT GUY FUN when these 4 get together!! The girls have just had a great time with all their girl-stuff and some shopping thrown in too,Bright and Kendi have  had their adventures and fun too with Baby Charlie, lots of trampoline play and horse back riding. Sleep seems to come easier when I play Veggie Tales Silly songs or Scriptures set to music cds but they have slept well every night!  Last Tuesday I ventured out with the WHOLE crew to MEXICO JOE'S , where Esther works and where kids eat free on Tuesday nights. Charlie was out of town all week  so holding down the "fort" was on me. I thought taking 12 kids out for dinner sounded easier than cooking for them and cleaning up afterward. since the older kiddos had tennis matches and Jael had youth group.  GOOD CALL!!! Hannah and Baby Charlie joined us and  a good  time was had by all. Kendi was a hoot as she gobbled salsa by the bowlful waiting for her hamburger and fries (which she also gobbled up!) I have to tell you: this was one HUGE table of polite, well behaved children! (Antia yours may come home saying "Ma'am" and "Sir" from Smith Kid exposure!) No spills, no fights, no messes anywhere! Here are a few photos from  our week, trampoline  and horse back riding,  and Isaac's  14th birthday dinner with all 14 children to help celebrate. A few mishaps ,  but we did our school work, kept up with laundry and sweeping floors, cooking,   and of COURSE  all the farm chores! Teavy loves going to the chicken coop to check for eggs several times a day, everyone enjoys helping to bottle feed the baby goats. I get so busy keeping it all flowing  I forget  to grab the camera sometimes. There have been lots of super photo-ops. We've had friends over  and we've gone to several friends' homes too. I think that God has been successful in using us to help nurture our sweet  little visitors and keep the homesickness to a minimum. Anita and Eric ,  please know that we have prayed for you both every single day! I am having an absolute blast playing with Kendi's hair if you can tell from her photos. She may not have a LOT of hair but   I have been able to get  in at least  12 little twists with colorful barrettes. My mom was quite impressed today at how fast I got them all in too.We took ad vantage of every sunny moment earlier in the week with as much outside play as possible. The rains later on kept us inside, but far from sedentary. We stayed busy out  of the rain and cold too. NO ONE has had a second of  insomnia around here, that is for sure!  When I announce bed time, tooth brushing time  and prayer time, the younger contingent is more than ready for sleep. No wake ups in the night, no late night wanderers , just a whole houseful of contented loved-up kiddos and a BLESSED Mamma/Auntie/ Grammy!

Esther  with Samren and Kendi, Bright off to the side, Casey readies Lucky for rides

Kendi and me having some fun together at home and at Mexico Joe's , Casey leads Bright on Lucky

Part of our crew at Joe's for Isaac's birthday. Isaac in the Joe's Birthday Sombrero with  his b-day ice fried ice cream, Samren is next to him

Playing on the trampoline and I made them stop for photos. Charlie is in front Kendi, Isaac, Bright, Isaiah and Samren  are in back. Here's Charlie playng with his first Tonka truck too, complete with "mandatory mouthful of truck dirt "  too!

 Pals Winston and Uriah have a great jump fest too!
Charlie who typically will not eat brocoli  feeds Jael some of what he himself will not eat. "Its GOOD for you!:" he says! Naomi was looking so precious when she and I were talking about something that I had to snap a photo of the moment. And sweet juicy Bright! Here he is with a popcicle and a great smile. Kendi played with Play Do while the other kids did school work.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What spoke to me in a thoroughly powerful way this morning!

"You are a mighty woman of God, and He has a great plan for you - a plan that goes beyond personal comforts and small dreams; a plan to live free and to help secure the freedoms of others. Yours is an important destiny, a life-changing call. God's highest and best will for you involves a plan that will deeply affect your life and the lives of those you are destine to bless. They're hoping you'll have the courage and conviction to step up to all you were created to be and to accomplish. He has anointed and appointed you for such a time as this. " This is from Susie Larson's book - Embracing Freedom.
Thanks to my friend Kari for sharing it with our prayer group this morning. It was exactly what I needed TODAY, just now, a reaffirmation of my yesterday and a promise for my tomorrow.
Eight  children at home, one preparing to leave for Cambodia to bring back his fiance and begin a whole new life as a married man, one a busy high school junior, the other 6 homeschooled active busy and all wonderful  keep life so full and rich! We care for Grand baby Charlie all week, and are very actively involved in the lives of married, working,  daughter Hannah and family as you may know,  working,  pre-dental school college daughter Esther and fiance's Casey too, and Gideon, single working college student, have a small homestead farm which blessed us with 3 baby goats a moth ago and 9 more babies between Friday and yesterday afternoon. Since Saturday  we have been caring for our dear friends Anita and Eric's 4 children while Anita is in Ghana. SO, 12 children at home. What did we do Saturday night? Invite the  basketball team Malachi put together for off season tournaments to have supper with us after their long  day of travel and basketball!  Took them all out for pizza after church and before the next round of the tournament Sunday too. Yesterday was one of those STEP UP kind  of days with one of our older children, the one with whom I have to STEP UP the most often. Its my prayer that very soon Older Child will come and ask forgiveness of all who were certainly  offended yesterday by the ugly nasty outbursts churning from insecuritiy, jealousy and feelings of inadequacy and spewed upon far too many with nothing to do with the CAUSE of the spewing. Let me as a Mamma, never for a second forget that   "He has anointed and appointed you   (me) for such a time as this. " in the lives of even my oldest children. It is a deep truth.
Something that I shared with my mother yesterday after  "The Spewing" was over  was that as parents there comes a day in which we realize that our children are not "just " Ephesians 6:1 creatures, if you will,  but those for whom we also must apply Titus  principles to and respect those principles growing up in them. A big part of parenting older children IS as older more mature believer to younger, possibly less mature. It is ALSO listening to THEIR counsel when they, as maturing believers see a situation  in their parents' lives or home situation, and God puts it on their hearts to address it. A big part of "The Spewing " was a total rejection by one Older Child of  the SOUND, SOUND WISE  counsel of a Younger-Older Child. That's not God's way. And as I have seen so often in my family  "Iron sharpens iron"  so I am  now also awaiting the sure -to-come- sharpening of  my Older Child  "arrow tips" as they are  valueable "arrows of our quiver".  God gave me grace and mercy and "power, love and a sound mind " yesterday and He gave a huge portion to Esther as well, as He also  used her to also be "iron sharpening iron" in helping to diffuse "the Spewing"...........truly  as I have seen God speak over my sweet Esther many times, right from the story of the character she's named after."FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS"!! What a blessing to see the fruits of raising children to walk in the ways of God on their own, and to be able to fellowship with them  and even to take counsel from them!
Our weekend? VERY full, very fun. The basetball team guys who came to dinner were AA boys , some from some pretty broken homes. They told Charlie yesterday after dinner that they really love coming to our house coz even though we have so many kids, there is so much love and kindness, they know they are really welcome and that all of our children are loved and truly happy. They loved playing with all the kiddos  and gave a good big bunch of kindness out themselves!! I wanted Samren 8   and Bright 4  to have friends to play with who were clsoer to their ages (and BOYS) so we invited our friends over who have two Liberian boys GREAT trampoline and baseball fun as had by all! None of the visitors wanted to leave! SO, they are coming back this afternoon and so is dear friend Lynn with her youngest boys Peter ( Noah and Isaac's good pal) and Josh who is 7. Between going to the chicken coop for eggs, seeing the miracles (and gookiness) of babies born on a farm, a treehouse to do school in and hang out, maybe camp out in if the "night noises" don't scare Taevy in again tonight, playing with the ever-busy baby Charlie, and sweet chattery Kendi, there is not a dull moment at Calico Acres Farm!  Samren,,  said yesterday at one point he couldn't think of anything to do, but AMAZINGLY when I suggested that if her were bored he could sweep the dining room for me, he found a whole list of things he could and most certainly WOULD go do!! The boy vanished before my very eyes! Six pounds of spaghetti disappears pretty quickly when you have 8 kids, a basketball team and 4 visitors at dinner, but WHAT  A BLESSING TO BE A PART OF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm sure I 'll be reminding myself of the words with which I started this post often!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

WHY I sing, why anything matters at all.............

The plumbing is essentially completed, the broken propane line is repaired and propane tank refilled, we await news of Daniel, we pray for Junior and Diamoh, and for Mary. We celebrated RESURRECTION SUNDAY with many friends and family members on Sunday.  It is my favorite holiday, Holy Day. Resurrection Day to me is the day most deserving of fire works, pull-out- all- the -stops- parades,  and huge celebrations.       "HE AROSE !!! HE AROSE!! HALLELUJAH  CHRIST AROSE!!!!!!!!!!!!! "                           
 "Alive alive alive forevermore  My Jesus is alive  Alive forevermore!  Alive alive alive forevermore!  MY JESUS IS ALIVE!  Sing 'allelujah '  Sing "allelujah' My Jesus is alive forevermore ! Sing 'allelujah'  Sing 'allelujah"  MY JESUS IS ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  That excites me every day when I wake up : that I serve a Risen Savior, but on the day we commemorate that resurrection? OH  I love this day!!  I love our traditional Resurrection Day greeting  at church : "He is risen!" with the bigger response "HE IS RISEN INDEED!" In those churches we have been where that was tradition, I loved it. When it was not the tradition, being  in praise and worship teams over the years, I helped it to become tradition. I don't reserve this greeting only for Easter Sunday either. Sometimes we need to remind or reaffirm to  each other why we ARE Christian believers!
 It is in my thinking the perfect day for trumpets and all things celebratory.I don't care  very much about new  Easter dresses and such;  we do Easter baskets for the children and we do an egg hunt, but this Mamma/Grammy/Friend CELEBRATES  Resurrection Day!!
  We were in Vietnam completing Naomi's adoption 8 years ago. We celebrated Easter Sunday in Saigon. It is, it was , a Sunday I will never forget as long as I live. On our way to the Catholic church where we worshipped that day, we saw huge crowds gathering at another large building...a concert hall. We could hear strains of absolutely beautiful classical music coming from that direction and I asked our co-ordinator if that was another church celebrating Easter. Her answer caused my blood to freeze in my veins and then caused me to experience mourning in a way I never had before. The government pays the orchestras to play free concerts on Sunday mornings "in competition" with what few churches are open, in hopes of luring, detouring the people away from church, to listen to the orchestral music. The very day we  were celebrating the resurrection from the dead of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and these people were paying others to exploit music I love any other time in my life, and to distract people from going to churches. Obviously they must be seeing some "Fruit" from this effort because I  was told that this happens every Sunday!!! I remember thinking that if Bethoven or Mozart had known that their music would one day be used to steer people AWAY from worshipping Almighty God, that perhaps they would not have  ever written a note. We sang  along with familiar Easter hymns, as they were played in the church we attended. The banners proclaiming "HE IS RISEN" in Vietnamese , the service done in French and Vietnamese are memories of a very different Easter Sunday. The contrast of what was happening up that street will affect the way I worship forever. "He is risen! HE IS RISEN INDEED!!"  As much as I love spring and all the blooming and new life, I know that it is BECAUSE HE LIVES that any of this matters "a fig" . SING ALLELUJAH!!!!!!!

More tulips are blooming every day!                          The peach tree is absolutely burgeoning with blossoms

More new fruit trees are in, most of the garden is planted, the front flower beds are bursting with color, the weather is glorious. Life is BUSY putting in gardens and trees, as  if we were not already busy! Grand  Baby Charlie is crawling for real. "Baby-proofing" the house (OK kids,  Time for doing a better job on that "no more dropped sunflower seed hulls on the carpet, take your glasses and plates TO THE SINK!" routine )  has begun and new adventures  begin! No new does or bucks yet, but I expect the next three does to kid all about the same time, judging from the looks of them, and I also expect the barn cat to give birth about the same time.  Sigh........
 Charlie flashes that "Hey Baby" grin as he takes off in a crawl~
and   shows off his new skill!

Today Jael took Topsy Turvey to school for a Career Day talk on her plans to be a livestock veterinarian.
Topsy goes to school

The Redbud tree in our front yard is a  major "Bee Magnet"

And of course it can't be Easter without an Egg hunt
It can't be a sunny day, or a cloudy day, weekend day or any  week day without  a little FOOTBALL,
unless you are the Daddy/Pappa. Then any day is a good day to hold a Grand Baby, hang out and swing a while!

Friday, April 2, 2010

A little bit of Daniel news!!

From our agency director in Liberia tonight:  "I

was at the orphanage today holding Daniel outside on the porch and he

was smiling like crazy! He even giggled!!!!!!!! It was adorable an

precious. When you talk to him and gently touch his upper lip and

giggle with him he actually giggles! I think his head has stopped

growing not positive but I actually think it has. It is so hot here

but he is in great shape and his skin is solft and silky. The nannies

do such a great job with him."
 NO, it wasn't the good news that our most necessary document was finally signed, but WHAT A WONDERFUL REPORT ABOUT DANIEL HIMSELF!! How I praise God for this wonderful report and truly answered prayers for our sweet baby!! Every day we ask God to sustain Daniel, to do a healing work that will minimize or eliminate  his need for surgery, a protecting work to keep his health optimal even with medical care as limited as it is.  Reading  Patty's words, I just cried. Oh how I long to hear those giggles and stroke his precious face myself............... I can't WAIT  to touch his cheeks, kiss his sweet baby  feet, do the things that cause him to smile  and laugh out loud with joy!.How I hope and pray that after being loved on by his nannies for so long that he will transition  easily to being loved by us without a lot of trauma.  I've long seen that toddlers have a really tough time being adopted.They understand "Something" has happened which  has made everything different, but don't have the comprehension to understand adoption and don't have the vocabulary to ask or verbalize their emotions. For Daniel who has so many other issues, Ive been praying that God be preparing him on every level  for coming home and being our Daniel. I don't want those giggles to stop because he's scared out of his wits. The holidays apparently squashed hopes of any productive meetings last week; the word is again,,,,,,,,,,,,,,"Hope for Tuesday" PLEASE LORD JESUS, may THIS  be  T H E   Tuesday on which we see true forward movement: the signature to move our adotpion to a completed  signed on-the-dotted-ines  adoption decreed  adoption, ready for Visa investigation and issuance!  Thank You so very very much for Your loving hand upon Daniel!

Garden 2010

My goal has been to have our garden in and started in the first week of April but almost every year something or someone (most often related to an adoption or adoption -linked trip) has backed up my plans. Some years it was purely the weather. THIS YEAR, with (sadly)  no adoption trip to prevent gardening and no sloppy flooded garden to grimace over, we are on schedule!!! Charlie got everything tilled up so nicely, and then tilled again for me when rain made mud and the first hot days of spring (high 80's) made brick of the garden spaces  before I could work seeds into the soil. Waving HI at Y'all is my veggie garden. Its about 20x30 and should be ample space for all I hope to produce this year. The fence panels and gate will go back up this week too to keep Aslan  the Golden Retreiver and his many many tennis balls out.

This space below  will be the corn patch. Its about the same size as the other garden plot,
Today I worked on the front flower  beds while the veggie gardens were a bit muddy from a rain last night. Tomorrow I will have the rest of the seed IN the ground and the starter plants in their little seed pods and greenhouse box. .
Excited about what all we can  grow, share, live off of, and put up for later........ The older apple and peach trees are in beautiful bloom, the new trees won't  produce much this year, but we will baby them along, Hopefully no critters will devour the grapes before they ripen , and that  no late fall rains destroy what looks to be a good pecan year. Looking forward to blackberries and mulberries to start showing up soon.  The chickens are back in good egg production  after a typical slow-to-no- production over the winter. We are expecting some more baby goats within the next few weeks. I LOVE spring on a farm!!