Sunday, April 26, 2009

Catching Up...

So, with getting ready for our North Carolina trip, having more sickness, and then getting things unpacked and in order after the trip, I'm behind.

Actually, that's nothing new.

Anyway, here are pics from the younger three children dyeing Easter eggs. The little girls did not remember doing this last year, so it was very exciting for them. And Ben always enjoys being creative, so he had a great time thinking of designs and colours.


Coming and stories from our trip. It was hard with sickness and spiritual attack but also had some amazing moments while we were actually in Asheville. We were reminded over and over that God is faithful!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Celebrating Every Day

I've been thinking a lot more during this past Lenten and Easter season. And please do not read any condemnation in this post...I am just sharing what's on my heart, which is probably just for me.

I see the purpose of Lent and the need for us, as believers, to mark a certain day with the celebration of Jesus' resurrection from the dead. I think, though, this year has been more of a turning point, in that I want to celebrate Jesus EVERY DAY, more than ever before. My life in Him is so much more than one Sunday out of the year. He died and was raised for every single day...every single moment. I want to be intentional in celebrating the salvation I have been graciously and freely given each and every day....and I want to teach my children that we have reason to celebrate Jesus 365 days of every year!

I have been remembering my trip to Russia thirteen years ago. We had the joy of worshipping with a protestant church in Moscow, and I was struck then by the fact that they used the greeting *He is risen! He is risen indeed!* in their service. And it was not Easter Sunday.

He has given us life and He is our victory!

Our Easter Sunday was a bit different this year. Since we have mostly university students in our fellowship, we were not meeting together, as most of them went home for the weekend. We have had lots of sickness in our family lately and did not really know what we would feel up to doing. Most of us are better, but we wanted to spend the day as a family, so since a few were still *puny* (as my Grandmother would call it), we had our traditional resurrection roll breakfast, watched the crucifixion and resurrection on The Gospel of John DVD (love that movie!) and then spent the rest of the day playing outside in the sunshine. It was a very focused, relaxed and enjoyable time.

In case you're not familiar with the resurrection rolls, here's the scoop...

The marshmallow represents Jesus' body, the butter and cinnamon sugar are pictures of the oils and spices they put on His body before placing it in the tomb...

The crescent roll represents the tomb...

As they are baking, the marshmallow melts... And then as you open your roll, you cry *Jesus is risen. He is alive!*
We have been doing this on Easter morning for six or seven years now and the older children still ask for it. It was nice for the younger kids to get into it more this year. Ava wanted to say over and over and over *Jesus is risen. Jesus is alive!* So precious.

He is risen! Hallelujah! He is risen indeed!

Father, help me to remember and to celebrate every single day.

1 Peter 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade...


More Birthday Fun!

Light saber battles...
More Lego...

More yummy sugar...
Best friends!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy 9 Years!

Austin turned NINE this week! Wow. Where does the time go? Austin's birth was probably our most memorable, in that Bob thought he would have to deliver the baby on the side of the highway driving to the hospital in Dallas. It was a crazy, SHORT labor. We made it to the hospital with a whole 30 minutes to spare! It's a great memory!

We thank God for you, Buddy! You're so amazing! You are our smart, Lego-loving, kind, bug-encyclopedia, basketball and soccer playing, skate boarding machine. And you make us laugh until we can't breathe!

This is what we awoke to that morning (we hadn't had snow in awhile!)...

Love that smile!

A little Lego happiness...

Next two photos taken by the birthday boy himself...

Apparently when you turn 9, it's cool to light your own candle...(delicious cake made by loving sisters)
Happy Birthday, Dude!
We've had so much sickness this week, but it has been good, in spite of that fact. We plan to celebrate the birthday guy a little more tomorrow with two of his close friends, more cake and hot dogs.

It's good to celebrate!


Friday, April 3, 2009

Shaking Up My Theology

God has been teaching Bob and me so many DIFFERENT things in the past two years. He has shown us more of His power than we have ever known. He is teaching us that we in the West know more of His truth and that some in other parts of the world know more of His Spirit.

We need BOTH.

John 4:23
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

I do want to be more balanced...which for me means learning to walk in more of His Spirit. He has shown us amazing things...providing a banana when there weren't enough for breakfast, healing sicknesses, driving out evil spirits, giving us dreams and visions, bringing people back from the dead.


Bob and I had the joy of meeting a lady here in the Toronto area a year and a half ago who had been pronounced dead at the hospital and then twenty minutes later, after her family and friends were crying out to God for her life, she was brought back. Whoa. Praise God! It was amazing to hear her story.

Most recently, this story has been shaking up my ideas of who God is and how He works...

Our friend, Peb, who has the ministry in Kenya just went there again and had the remarkable experience of meeting a young mom. She had been very sick with TB and HIV and died. Her family wrapped up her body for the mortuary and put her body on her bed for the night. The next day when they went in to get the body to transport it, she was ALIVE! She told Peb that while she was dead, she saw her name as one condemned to hell for her life and deeds. She cried and cried and repented. Our Gracious and Loving Father poured out His mercy on her and brought her back. Whoa. Praise His Name!!!

This lady could use our prayers. She is still ill, although improved, but very, very poor. The day that Peb and our Kenyan friends showed up at her house, the family had no food. They had prayed for a miracle that morning and God provided one...our friends were able to give them money and food.

I am in awe of my Father...His mercy and His care and His goodness.

I want Him to continue to shake things up...for His name and renown and glory!


Fibers and Spinning

We had a neat field trip last week (yep, I'm a little late posting...). My friend, Hannah, has a yarn and knitting business and after a conversation with her recently, I learned that she often orders raw wool or mohair and goes through the whole process of washing, dyeing, carding and spinning the yarn herself. Being the field-trip-hands-on-education-lover that I am, I saw a great opportunity for learning (and it goes along so well with several of our FIAR books)! So the older three children and I went to Hannah's lovely home to learn a little more about fibers and spinning.
Here is the raw wool...

Raw mohair

Washing it out...

Carding dyed mohair...

So soft...

Making a drop spindle...

Modern spinning wheel...

Gorgeous fiber...from silkworms (and dyed)...
This piece is probably from one silkworm...

It was a fun and fascinating time of learning!
Here is Hannah's website, if you are interested in any of her lovely products.
And here is a good source for learning how to hand-spin.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-13
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.