Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

An art project

A couple of weeks ago, instead of doing our young mom's Bible study (we are studying Nancy Guthrie's book "The Promised One"), we surprised the girls. Kendall had shared an idea with us the week before and I asked her if she would help us do this art project. 

Sarah H. summarized the concept that the paintings represent:

An umbrella is designed to provide protection from various elements of nature: rain, hail, snow, wind or sunshine. 

As long as a person is under an umbrella, he or she finds shelter from harsh weather conditions. If he or she steps out from under the umbrella, he or she is exposed to the environment. 

God-given authorities, such as parents, are an umbrella of protection to their children. By honoring and submitting to parents, children receive protection and direction.  

If children step out from under their parents’ umbrella of protection, they forfeit their place of protection and face life’s challenges and temptations on their own. 

The good news is, no matter where we step or what we face, our children (or any of us adults) are never outside of God’s loving heart. “That you…may have the power…to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Ephesians 4:18

Even as a grown up - a grandmother - this painting shows me that God has given me through His Word His guidelines for how I should live.  I can choose to follow Christ, or I can choose my own way.  No matter what, because I am His child, He never will quit loving me.

We were sad that there were 7 girls gone that day - illness and whatnot.  Allison had the best excuse.  She had a sweet little Molly girl!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Japanese meal

Our friends are adopting this little boy from Korea! 

Ben is from the same agency that we adopted Mindy from!
And he arrived to his forever home yesterday!!!

A year ago, there was a fund raiser auction to help with the costs of the adoption.  (costs are 5 times more than when we adopted in 1984!) We auctioned off a Japanese meal.  It has been a long time coming, but finally the people who won the bid for our meal were able to come to our home for sukiyaki!

Allen and I decided to dress up for the part.  The people who came for the dinner came from McPherson.  We did not know them but had kept in touch via e-mail.  The couple also brought along 2 young couples.  One of them is getting married in just a couple of weeks!  

 We got out our low table that my parents brought back with them from Japan.
 Sukiyaki is generally served with several dishes - but we decided against the raw egg (although I love it!!) and it seems like Americans like to just put the rice and toppings all in one dish so we went that way.  Less clean up too.
 After the meal, we went downstairs for some Japanese treats and a short fun quiz on Japan.


How many vending machines are there in Japan?
1) 5,00
2) 10,000
3) 500,000
4) 8,000,000

The answer is over 8,000,000!

How many possible functions are there in the modern Japanese toilet?
1) 3
2) 8
3) 14
4) 20

When I was growing up, there were many of this kind of toilet (picture below)!  Not modern at all!

The anwer is 14.

Anyway, it was a fun evening and we are so happy for Ben's arrival to the United States and to his new family!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Proverbs 31 conference

Last weekend our Women's Ministry at church offered a Proverbs 31 women's conference.  A day for refreshment and renewal in fellowship with other women, getting away from everyday stress and responsibilities.

I debated whether to go or not.  I was having company for dinner that evening, plus hosting overnight guests from Zambia the following night.  It would probably be adding stress to go!!  But it sounded like such a fun get-away day so I just made it a priority to go and was so glad I did!

We began with singing several worship songs.  
(I didn't get a picture so borrowed Kerry's.  Thanks, Kerry!)

There were 6 workshops offered, ways to help us become more like the excellent Proverbs 31 wife.  That lady was over-the-top, wasn't she?  I once heard that this description of her life, not her daily agenda.  

Leaving a Legacy
This session will offer tips on intentionally passing on to your children or grandchildren what God has taught you about life, family traditions, and history.

Stretching Your Dollar
Never have enough paycheck at the end of the month for retail therapy? Suggestions on how to wisely budget your money and get the most bang for your buck with bargain shopping and negotiation for things you want or need will be included in this session.

A Way to Pray
Because of our God given unique design, prayer looks different for each one of us. This session can help you learn a variety of ways and methods for an effective and personal prayer life.

The Circle of Friendship
Friendships can be like the circle of life. They come and go, and change with the seasons of life. This session offers how to deal with seasonal effects and develop the qualities that make up a good friendship.

Color in Your Life - THIS CLASS IS FULL!!
Even if you have never picked up a paintbrush in your life, you can walk away with your very own masterpiece and have a great time! Supplies included.

We could only choose 3 of the workshops.  The first one I did was on leaving a legacy.  Marilyn spoke about writing down stories.  She suggested that when we think of a story of when we were growing up, or a story told us by our parents, to take time to jot it down.  Marilyn's ancestors wrote down many stories, including their journey to America.  

In particular, it is important to write down your spiritual journey for your children and grandchildren to hear.

"...what we have heard and known,
what our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell the next generation the praisworthy deeds of the Lord,
His power, and the wonders He has done."
Psalm 78 - our mandate!

Gail shared about having a Grand Camp with your grandchildren and making memories with your grandchildren.  Great ideas!!
And Lynda shared her story and breaking the cycle of the less-than-ideal home.

Recommended resources were:
Creating a Spiritual Legacy:  How to Share Your Stories, Values, and Wisdom by Daniel Taylor
Your Heritage:  How to Be Intentional About the Legacy You Leave by J. Otis Ledbetter & Kurt Bruner

The next workshop I took was about friendships.
There are various kinds of friends - some are acquaintances, then there are our casual friends, then our close friends and then intimate friends.

We were challenged to build close and intimate friends.
1.  Pray and be content with Whom He has brought to you.
2.  Be faithful and trustworthy in the friendships He has given you.
3.  Show grace and acceptance.
4.  dream dreams for your friends. desire her well-being.
5.  have fun and laughter
6.  love them and be loved
7.  take risks and sacrifices
8.  drive her to God, just as Jonathan helped David find strength in the Lord.

Della also gave steps to the healing and restoration of broken friendships.

And of course, we were reminded that often friends will let us down....because we are all human and we all mess up.  But Jesus is a friend who is always faithful.  He is the friend of sinners.  He is the perfect friend!

Lunch time!

Candy had never met Jan (the 2 girls at our table) but as they were talking, 
Candy found out that Jan is the mother of a good friend of hers!  Small world!

The last workshop I took was a painting class!  
Helen got paint on her hands? 

We followed this instructor step by step.

 It was called one stroke painting, a technique of artist Donna Dewberry.

I only got 2 pumpkins finished and one flower.  
Guess I will need to finish my art work at home.
It was kind of fun!

Such a sweet time with my friends and "sisters" in the Lord!
And not at all stressful to add these few hours away - 
                                                             infact, it was just the boost I needed!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Adam's birthday

Adam had a birthday so we had a party!
Not that we need an excuse to party, mind you!


Last year for Adam's party, after dinner we went downstairs to watch the Packer ball game, just like this year.  But last year, my mother took a tumble all the way down the stairs!
Needless to say, the party ended early for Mom and for Al and me.
We are so grateful that Mom is doing ok.  She did have to have brain surgery for a brain bleed, but amazingly no broken bones and she is here again this year to celebrate Adam's birthday once more!

We had chili for supper.

 This picture cracks me up.  Some of us were attentive and singing "happy birthday" to Adam.  Look at his dad though.  So funny!  And all Claire is thinking about is ice-cream!  Her favorite!

 He's thanking me for my home-made card.  He told me years ago not to bother to spend money on a card.  Cards aren't his love-language.  They ARE mine!  I keep almost all cards sent to me in a special box.

 We all went together for a gift for him.
 Then we went downstairs for the Packer game.  We helped mom down so she wouldn't tumble.

 "I pledge allegience...."
 Mindy and Bryan
who unfortunately left early - Bryan got sick.
Sorry, bud.
You missed a very exciting game!  Not.  
The Packers pretty much trounced the other team.

We were all into the game ---- except Claire.
We heard her singing "toys away, toys away" as she was throwing toys all around the toy room!

Silly girl.

And, HAPPY BIRTHDAY son-in-law!!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Day at the Park

I forgot to post this nice day at the park we had back in September!  I am not real fond of cold weather so it is a reminder of nice warm days such as we are having now!

The girls love to go to parks!

Claire got stuck at the top and was afraid to come down.
Mommy had to rescue her. 

Isaiah 66:13 "As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you."

And Psalm 50:15 says
 "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me."

Can you tell she is in gymnastics?

 Spring is just a few months away.  And in Kansas, usually winters have some warm days that we can get out and enjoy parks too!

Of course, children play in  just about any weather!!  But I'll watch from inside the heated car!!