Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Names?

We had a very encouraging meeting with the birth parents yesterday. God has answered so many specific prayers; we are in awe of how He is showing His hand and sovereignty in all of this. Here is a picture of baby girl. We are now taking suggestions on names that go with Elijah and Levi. Picking a girl names seems so much harder!


Monday, December 15, 2008

It's a GIRL!

We are humbled and amazed at the news that the birthparents still indeed want us to adopt their baby, and they appear to be carrying a healthy baby girl! God answers prayers! Lord willing we can meet with the birthparents next week. Thank you for praying for us.

Monday, December 01, 2008

It's been so fun watching Elijah delight in Christmas. From seeing his nativity set, to wanting to put the star on the tree, to squealing in delight at all the lights, it's been nothing but a delight to Him. For us it's nice that he's beginning to understand that Christmas is when we celebrate Jesus birth (and Levi's...) He carried baby Jesus around all morning and was very careful with him.
Levi is growing like a weed. I can't believe he'll be 1 this month already. He wants so desperately to be big and do everything that Elijah does. I love watching them learn to be brothers. The love each other fiercely, but also can fight like none other!
Elijah actually seems to be enjoying the snow this year. Last year he was afraid to touch it, but now he'll at least stand in it and look at it without crying!


Elijah has also been wanting to pray more, and he ends up thanking God for the funniest things.

This morning after breakfast, Elijah said one of his memory verses by himself for the first time. In case you can't understand his dialect, he's saying Deuteronomy 13:4, "You shall follow the Lord your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him."


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Monday, November 24, 2008

104.5

No, that's not a radio station... it was Levi's temperature when I got him to urgent care last night. Ear infection and a bit of a bronchial infection.

Well, the birthmother's ultrasound was scheduled for Dec. 15th, so we've got three more weeks to wait before we learn much more about baby :-( But, I know waiting is good. It really challenges me to remain dependent upon Christ. I'm thankful that what remains unknown to me is fully known by HIM.

Friday, November 21, 2008

No News...

I wish no news was always good news. We didn't hear anything today about baby. I don't know what that means... except that God is keeping us waiting on HIM!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Big Boy...

Elijah is officially in potty training. He hasn't worn a diaper (during the day) since Sunday! It's amazing what a sticker chart can do towards motivating success! I'm curious to hear from those of you who have already gone through potty training... how do you get them to go #2? He's clearly holding it in... And for those of you who are yet to come down this road, here's the one big lesson I've learned. DO NOT through poopy pants straight into the washer without wrinsing them out first. It smells.. er... spells disaster!

On the less grotesque side of things, Elijah has been so funny with the questions he's asking. He's our family happy-o-meter. Probably 20 times a day he asks each of us, "Are you happy, dad? Are you happy, mom?" He also asks, "Dad, are you home?" every few minutes while Nathan is home. I can tell he's feeling the crunch of the end of seminary for Nathan.

Here's a funny video of Elijah showing off his "big" muscles. I think he might have hurt something :-)

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Prayer

Hi everyone. If you think of us tonight, please pray for opportunities to share with our new friends from Pakist... They are coming over for dinner tonight. We are looking forward to getting to know the husband as this is the first time we'll meet him. Pray that our lives paint a clear picture of Christ.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

God's Ways are not Our Ways

So, we have some big news that we'd ask you all to pray about with us. A couple has asked us to adopt their baby which is due in February. While this may seem sudden, all I can say is, "God's ways are not our ways." And, he definitely has a sense of humor.

Two years ago we decided that we'd add to our family by adopting. We slowly waded through the home study paperwork and got on a waiting list over in Detroit. I desperately didn't want to get pregnant as I wanted to adopt... so we tried to prevent getting pregnant. Three weeks later we found out we were pregnant with Levi.

We stayed on the waiting list for the full year our homestudy was good for, yet no match ever happened. We considered updating our home study this Spring, but we were burried in paperwork trying to get on board with the missions agency, so we never did update. Now that we're looking to move overseas next year, we decided, "let's add to our family one more time by getting pregnant." Well, we haven't been successful, and I began to realize that God doesn't usually do things my way... so I wondered what he'd have happen.

Two weeks ago we found out that a couple from the agency in Detroit had picked us to adopt their baby. We were shocked since we thought we'd been taken off the list (we should have not been an option for them since our home study was expired). Yet, there it was. The birth mom is 24 weeks pregnant, and they don't know what they're having. In two weeks she has her first appointment, so hopefully we'll find out then. After her appointment, the social worker is going to setup a time for us to meet them.

Please be praying for us, as we begin walking through these doors. It's a hard yet good place of dependence as we won't know the outcome until February and all papers are signed. The birthparents could see the baby and change their mind. This also was not at all in our minds, nor anything that we were striving for, so we're thrilled that God so clearly has his hands in this. I could list several things only God could have done and many answers to specific prayers, but I'll save that for another post.

Here are specific prayer requets:
~For God's wisdom and guidance as we pursue this.
~That God would shut the door SOON if this isn't His will.
~That we'd trust him for the finances to adopt (especially as we begin raising support to go overseas too!)
~For the health and safety of this baby, that the birthmom will be making healthy decisions while pregnant.
~For an opportunity to share the gospel with this couple when we meet them.
~For God to be honored every step of the way in this process.

Stay tuned... (and in the mean time, here are some pics of Elijah and Levi)











Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hay Ride

Last Friday night some friends invited us over for their annual hay ride. It was so much fun to be out in the crisp fall air, taking in the brilliant fall colors (pictures of which will follow in a few days). The kids were encouraged to dress up, so it let us get the dust off of their old costumes.

Here are the kiddos... err... the fire-infatuated Pirate and Tigger the Fierce!






Tuesday, October 14, 2008

TEAM and Catch Up


Last week Nathan, the boys, and I were in Wheaton at Candidate School with TEAM. It was a refreshing and full time learning about the ins and outs of missions. It was encouraging being with several people all hoping to be on the field in the next year and hearing what God is doing in their ministry areas. It is becoming more real to us that moving to Tenerife is just around the corner, and our hearts are growing for the church and people that will soon be in our lives. We are now in "Phase 3" of this process... the support raising phase. I must say this is the hardest and most humbling, but I have a feeling it will also be the time that most shows us God's power and provision. We covet your prayers as we move forward. If you'd like to see a powerpoint of what's going on in Tenerife, just send me an email (my first and last name at yahoo).

On the home front, the boys are growing and changing every day. It's such a joy to have them in our lives, and it definately keeps us dependent!

Levi finally sprouted two teeth, and he's busy cruising around the furniture. Elijah has decided his favorite phrase is, "I'm too little!" which he uses in attempts to get out of whatever task he's been asked to accomplish ;-/

Here are pictures from the last week or so. After our week at TEAM, we swung through Chicago and visited Navy Pier, which was a ton of fun.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Lately Elijah has been very curious about Jesus dying on the cross. He talks about it several times a day. It's been so encouraging to my mommy heart that especially after he's disobeyed, he talks about Jesus dying for sins. I wonder just how much a 2 1/2 year old can understand spiritual things. I taught him Romans 3:23, and now when I'm talking to him about what he's done wrong, he says (unprompted) "fell short of the glory of God."

The other night, we came home a little after the boys bedtime on the one night we watch a tv show. We flipped it on and were getting the boys jammies on while watching the beginning "hook". Well, of course something scary had to happen... a woman hallucinated that someone was about to hit her in the head, and Elijah stood up, pointed at the screen, and yelled, "NO! Obey God!" That was the most profound statement he's ever made! I pray that all that he is learning will penetrate his heart.

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In case you can't understand his toddler accent, he's saying Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

Monday, September 22, 2008

This week we spent two days at TEAM headquarters having our "placement consultation" which consisted of nine or so meetings with various ministry area coordinators with TEAM. It was nice to get to know the people there.

We had to take a language acquisition test that determines how well we learn a language and in what way we learn it. I was nervous as I hadn't taken a test since college 6 years ago! Nathan, on the other hand, was very at ease. Well, over the years, he's picked up some German, Pashtun, Swahili, Spanish, Greek, and Hebrew.... so, my competitive self was afraid he'd cream me on the test and that I'd do so poorly that they'd send me to Costa Rica for a year before letting me on the field with Nathan. (Did I mention I must have test anxiety?)

Well, rule #1 is "Get good sleep before a test," right? Well, God apparently had other plans as Levi ended up crying ALL night long. He's never done that before, and he acted like he was on the brink of death. After a 4am drive and hours of rocking, playing, and soothing, he fell asleep at 5am on Nathan's lap. So, at 7am, I was bright-eyed and bushy tailed (NOT!) for our test.

The test covered 5 areas of language: auditory number learning (of the Tajik language), memorization, pronunciation (also Tajik), sentence structuring/parts of speech, and another part I can't describe as it fried too many synapses. It was all timed... and after one brief melt down, a few tears, and a compassionate husband, I finally finished.

Nathan faired better than me in all of the areas, but I managed to score in the 75 percentile (Nathan was in the 97th.) The funny thing is, the test didn't matter that much. It was more of an FYI on how we learn language. It turned out not to be pass or fail. Leave it to me to make a lot out of a little.

Here are a few pictures of the boys enjoying our creek.




Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tenerife Update

For those of you who are wondering where we're at in the process of actually moving to Tenerife, here is where we're at:

We just learned this week that we are officially "Candidates" with The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM). This means that they've reviewed our applications, references, physicals, psychiatric evaluations, and doctrinal beliefs and decided that they would like to partner with our church in sending us overseas. So, the next step is going to Wheaton next week to have our placement interviews. This will be two days of interviewing with various people at TEAM (including a language aptitude test... so pray for my Spanish!) Since I'm nursing, we'll be taking Levi, though they typically ask that no children come. Pray that he is content and flexible.

As far as our church goes, we had a nice dinner and question and answer time last wednesday with the Belches (missionaries) and our elders about the ministry in Tenerife. Our elders our hoping to decide conclusively in the next 6 weeks whether or not to send us.

TEAM has given us the go ahead to start raising funds, but we've not officially began that endeavor.

We'll keep you posted, and we covet your prayers!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

For some reason I woke up in the middle of the night with a fever, so I'm having a slow day with the kiddos today.

Anyway, here are the boys playing in their new favorite toy... a red storage bin. Well, it was their favorite until Elijah fell over in it yesterday and sent his tooth through his lip :-(



Sunday, August 24, 2008

Back in Michigan...

Well, after six long weeks, our family has landed back in our little blue house in Michigan. It was such a joy being able to spend time with family, let the cousins bond, and get to travel to Tenerife. I'm sure many of you are wondering how our time went. It's really hard to actually find words to describe the trip... but suffice it to say, it seems to be a really good fit- both culturally and ministerilly (is that a word?) It is so apparent that God is moving on that island and calling people to Himself. The soil appears fertile, and we feel that God is leading us there to be workers. As far as the timing is concerned, that is entirely in God's hands. At this point though, the doors seem to be opening for us to move in that direction.

For me, the trip was much different than all the other short-term trips I've been. Being a mom now, and also looking at it from the eyes of potentially living there long-term, it brought up a lot more emotions and wrestling matches with the Lord. God showed me how strong my pride and longing for comfort is, but I've been super challenged by 2 Corinthians 4 and 5 which have given me a desire to hope in the eternal and not in the temporal.

So, as always, we appreciate your prayers as we tentatively move forward and as we seek God to work out the details.

Here are some pictures of us on the island and with various people from the church there.








Friday, August 08, 2008

Monday, August 04, 2008

In Tenerife

Sorry for not being able to post since I arrived in Tenerife. Levi and I arrived 4 days ago, and we are finally feeling adjusted to the time difference. I don't have words to describe the beauty of this island. We read Psalm 104 the other day, and it had new meaning as we looked up at the great Teide volcano. We are encouraged by what we see God doing here in the hearts of the Tinerfenos that are coming to la Iglesia Cristiana Fuente de Paz y Esperanza (Fountain of Peace and Hope Christian Church). There were about 50 people at church Sunday (excluding all of the short-term team members). Many new people are coming and showing interest in learning about Christ.

This morning Nathan and I met with our pastor (Todd, who is here also), and the missionaries that are working here. We talked for a few hours about our fit/the need/etc of our possibly moving here. There is definintely a huge need for the gospel to go forth. There are perhaps 2000 people out of 1,000,000 that have a relationship with Jesus Christ on this island. There are many towns that have no Christian church.

So, we continue to pray and seek solutions for the schooling situation for our boys. Here it is mandatory that kids go to school at age 3! There is also a law that teachers cannot correct or repremand students. So, as you can imagine, the classes can be chaotic. So, we have to decide what to do (it is also illegal for Spaniards to home school).

I will try to post some pictures at some point. I don't have any pictures on this computer I'm using. If not now, then when we get back to the states.

Thank you for your prayers!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

video

Tenerife or Bust

And we're off!!!


Ok, well not quite yet... but tomorrow Levi and I take off to join Nathan in Tenerife. We covet your prayers for traveling mercies and opportunities to love those around us as we have 24 hours of travel ahead of us. We will arrive (Lord willing) around 1:30pm PST on Thursday.


Continue to pray for the ministry happening there as the team wraps up their main outreach activities. Many good doors have been opened, and several people seem soft towards the gospel.


Pray also for Nathan and I as we seek God's will for our future ministry. Oh, and since you'll already be praying for so much, you could pray for Elijah as he's without mommy and daddy for two weeks :-(


We had a wonderful time at Christ our Hope Bible Church's family camp last weekend. Here are two pictures of Elijah at camp, and one pic of Nathan in Tenerife (who apparently has shaved off his beard!)


I'll update again from Tenerife as soon as I can!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Two Weeks Down...

As I sit here typing in my parent's computer room, I can see five deer out the window in front of me. There is even a small spotted fawn not 30 yards away. It's so relaxing being out in the country! Elijah has enjoyed taking tractor rides with Grandpa, and I even took him on a walk to the house I grew up in. Everything has changed so much in the canyon where I grew up. It makes me feel old!

Nathan has been in Tenerife now for a week and a half, and we've managed to talk on the phone almost every day. It sounds like they are keeping a very busy schedule, but he's told me of several people he's been able to share the gospel with in the last few days. Be praying for David and Juan Carlos in particular. To read updates on the team, click here and then click on Tenerife, Canary Islands.

Tomorrow the boys and I leave for Christ our Hope Bible Church's family camp. Then, on Wednesday, Levi and I are off to meet daddy. I got teary tonight tucking Elijah into bed and thinking about leaving him. I definitely don't recommend traveling so far without a child :-(

Anyway, here are some pictures from the last week.
















My parents' house

















Elijah and grandpa using the tractor
















The boys wrestling
















The results of leaving a 2 year old with a laptop unattended. Yes...those are KEYS laying on the table.
















The three of us missing daddy.



















Elijah at Sara's birthday party (after having found a pile of dirt...