Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The un-Missionary Memoirs

Through the months of March and April we are hosting Friday night movies at our house for the neighborhood gang (uh, gang of kids that is -maybe next year we'll start entertaining the other gangs :-/). It's been going great with anywhere from 17 to 22 kids each week crammed into the living room. We watch a fun movie and then have a discussion about biblical principles that can be drawn from the movies. We've covered peer pressure, perseverance, using your talents for God's glory, and obedience thus far.

Our Sunday School class has helped us to provide popcorn and lemonade for the kids. One couple bought us a Whirley Pop (thanks Lesters!!) so we can pop it up in bulk. Bella has become a real pro at finding the leftover popcorn stuffed in the couch and on the floor. Most of the time we catch her before she eats it know. As long as she finds it before Justus does, we're doing okay.

The kids have responded really well to the devotions and several are asking deeper questions about the gospel so that's very cool! This week is Over the Hedge and we'll get to talk about honesty, community, family, and serving others verses using them. Speaking of community and family, we may have emphasized this a little too well...

While Tim and I both feel that our quiver is full and have no intentions of adding to the tribe again (read here for Tim's fool-proof plan); it seems that despite the fact that we are no longer adopting children, children continue to adopt us. I found these written in the fronts of two different bible study books:

Clearly, we need to work with ALL our sons and "derters" on their spelling. Too bad we can't claim them on our taxes. ;-)

Peeps on Parade

Bella Pan (and her shadow)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes

This one is dedicated to all the moms out there!

After a week of extra kids, Tim being gone for two -12 hour days, and a movie night with the neighborhood crew, I decided that we were having leftovers from a sandwich platter for dinner last Saturday night. I pulled out the goods. It was all there -bread, lettuce, meat, onions, cheese, etc. I was exhausted. I started fixing a sandwich. MY sandwich.

Isaiah paused near me while playing with his brother and sister in their wonderful, carefree way and said, "Don't put onions on my sandwich, Mom!"

Time stopped.

I took in a slow, calming breath and replied, "That won't be a problem since I'm not making your sandwich."

He responded with complete incredulity, "Well, who's sandwich are you making?"

You saw Terminator. Remember how we could see the world through his laser eye and all the information was being uploaded into the system to determine who gets, well, terminated? uh-huh. I whipped my head around, pinning Isaiah to the spot with my eyes, and I am almost positive that the words "Target Locked" flashed across the back of my retina. He slowly and sheepishly moved away.

I took MY sandwich, sat on the couch, and commenced to eat. Tim walked in from the bedroom and said, "Does any body else get to eat or just you?" You know what happened next, right?

Previous Target Deleted. New Target Data Uploaded. Target Locked.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Peeps on Parade

It's more like PEEP on parade...Mamma Jamma, that is.

Today was the First in Fitness county wide competition and as I mentioned before, Mamoune was representing her school in the pull-up event. She looked great. She did her best. She pulled with everything she had but came up short in the end. For some reason my computer refuses to rotate video so, here she is in action (albeit sideways):

The girl who won did twenty-six pull-ups. Twenty six?! Yeah, let's just say that if this had been the Olympics, we would've called for an on the spot urine check. That ain't no Flintstone vitamin her mamma's been giving her every morning. Oh, don't worry. We aren't teaching our kids to be sore losers. Suspicious but not sore. ;-)

We are very proud of her for trying and as Tim said, "A yellow ribbon, a red t-shirt, and half a day off from school is not too bad."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I had to take Nathan to the Emergency Room at about 4:30 Monday morning. (He was having stomach pain -x-rays were clear and he's much better now. Apparently it was just an inflammation.)

They gave him an adult sized gown which bothered him greatly because he was not only forced to don the wonderful open back side but the v-neck hung down almost to his naval. He was feeling quite exposed all around. We managed to tie it up as best we could and I assured him that it was what ALL the cool patients were wearing these days.

He looked down at the gown and said, "Mom! There's a pocket!?" It wasn't really a question as much as it was a puzzled statement. I busted out laughing. I don't know how, in all of our trips to the ER/surgery I had missed it. The gown has a pocket. I told him that maybe the pocket was a place to keep your "smokes" while you wait for your test results. He didn't buy it.

In the end, we decided it was some one's idea of making you feel like your wearing a real shirt and not just a square cloth with arm holes. I said, "Nathan, don't you feel better knowing that even though your butt is hanging out the back you have a lovely pocket?" He gave me the one-arched eyebrow look.

Apparently not.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Peeps on Parade

I know it's blurry but I still love this picture of my silly girls.

You just want to bite those cheeks, don't you?

Loving the spring weather! (Grandparents: notice the curls. =))

The kids were racing across the yard. Nathan just couldn't win for two main reasons:

1. He was too busy hamming it up for the camera.
(Very funny picture if you can click on it and blow it up to full size.)

Reason 2. The girl is a machine. Look at that form.
P.S. Mamoune will be representing her grade (girls) in the pull-up event for a county wide fitness competition. She's so excited and we're pretty dang proud of her!

Bella wasn't much for running but she had a seriously determined walk!
Isaiah managed to avoid a picture this go round. But not for long.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Confessions of a non-Scholar

We've been studying Luke in Sunday School for several months now. It's a great time of digging deep into the story of Christ. Today, I decided to transfer my notes into a journal and it's amazing how you can see something new every time you look at the Word.

Here are some of my thoughts about Zacharias and Elizabeth:

Chapter 1, verse 6 says, "And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless."

Righteous. Blameless. This is the way God saw them.

But verse 7 shows us how the world viewed them. "But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years." Old and dried up. It was assumed, back in the day, that childlessness was the result of God's judgement. Clearly, this was not the case. And yet even this blameless, righteous guy, standing face to face with an angel, came up short on faith.

So, Gabriel gives him news about a baby. Zacharias more or less says, "Prove it." Gabriel says, "You asked for it." And Zacharias is silenced until the birth of his son. He finishes up his priestly duties and heads home. Still mute. At some point he has relations with his wife Elizabeth -which as a side note is probably very appealing to most men: sex without the obligation of conversation. ;-) She conceives a child.

Here's the part that jumped off the page to me today (yes, I'm finally getting to the point) -- In verse 25 Elizabeth says, "Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people."

Stage notes: Spotlight opens on Liz at center stage and... cue the music.

"It's all about me: Elizabeth
And all this is for me, to take away my reproach
It's not about God and his desire to save all humanity from their sinful state..."

Yeah, I quit before I had to rhyme something with reproach. Anyway, I really don't think she got it. Okay, I'll cut her some slack -does God ever have multiple purposes? Sure. Does His big picture include smaller, individual blessing? Yeah, yeah. Was her husband in a position to articulate helpful information? Not exactly.

Still, her focus was as narrow as it could possibly be. Oh, one more: Do I do the exact same thing? Absolutely.

Jump ahead to verse 41.

"And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth (important words) was filled with the Holy Spirit."

Thanks to the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth's eyes are opened and she understands that she is part of something much bigger than just public opinion regarding barren women.

And so my personal application is a prayer that when I am tempted to narrow my focus and make it all about me, the Holy Spirit will open my eyes and give me a greater vision and a more clear picture of my part in God's plan.