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

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cora's Playground surfacing

When I went to church yesterday,
the surface material had arrived!
It was fun to watch these workers putting it down.
Today they added
I LOVE it!

I went back to church tonight and noticed that they added blue.
It was too dark to take a picture of it.

Two more colors to go.

The playground isn't the only new thing at church.

This is the former library.
I was asked to be on the building committee
when we built this new addition.
I helped design it.
Now it is being made into 3 offices and Janelle's place to work.
They'll have to remove the word "Library" above the door.

This will be the new library.
Two former Sunday School rooms.
They tore down a wall to make one big room.
And cut out a double door that will open to the atrium.
Can't wait to see how it will be put together!
So exciting!


This morning was a nice cool morning.
A good time to go outside and do some watering and weeding.

There is some sense of satisfaction weeding when I can get the whole weed - root and all.
Feel grouchy - grrr -when only the top comes off because that means the weed will come back.

It made me realize that sin is like that.
Sometimes we don't get to the root of a sin problem.

Surrendering all my ugliness to Him.
Everything that is not like Him.

I had a HUGE bag full of weeds pulled this morning by the time I was done.
And I know I'll have more next week.
Daily I come before Christ. He has to work in me each day.
And He loves me so much - that is what is amazing.
His grace - His love.

"Guard my first springs of thought and will,
And with Thyself my spirit fill.
Direct, control, suggest this day
All I design, or do, or say;
That all my powers with all their might,
in Thy sole glory may unite.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."

-Awake, My Soul, and With the Sun
by Thomas Ken

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Mindy and Dad!

Today Mindy turned 25!
Here she is around age one.

Even before Allen and I were married, we talked about one day adopting. I had begun thinking about this as a child. Our school in Japan had sung at orphanages at times. I can still see all those kids without moms or dads. When I was in 6th grade we went to Korea for a couple of weeks. While we were there, we visited a World Vision orphanage. The children clung onto us and asked (it was translated for us) "are you my mommy? are you my daddy? are you taking us home with you?" It troubled me. In highschool I went home one weekend with my room-mate. Her family lived by an orphanage. Crib after crib of babies. Just a few workers to see to their needs. It just broke my heart. God began laying it on my heart and then on Allen's too, that we should add to our family through adoption.

We first had Josh, then Jill. When Jill was around a year old, we began looking into adoption because we knew that the process would take a long time. First, we checked with Japan, but we were met with many roadblocks. After about a year of getting nowhere with that, we decided to check out other countries. That led us to Grandma Holt and the Holt Adoption Agency. We were privileged to meet Bertha Holt when she visited Wichita. Korea was very open with adoptions at that time and we applied. We were told we would probably have our baby girl in April of 1984. April came and went. With every phone call, my anticipation level rose. It was such a long and difficult wait! In September, Allen had to go to Lawrence to meet with his professors and give his thesis. We decided to make it a family vacation and had given our social worker the number of where we would be (this was the days before cell phones). And would you believe, we got a phone call at our hotel that a folder about our little baby girl had just arrived! So on our way home the next day, we stopped in Wichita at our social worker's home to pick up our packet with the picture of our baby girl and all the information about her. We were thrilled! I couldn't stop looking at her picture. She was 10 days old when it was taken. We had decided to name our girl Mindy Dawn (for a new beginning), but when we found out her Korean name was Me Ok Jo, we also included the name Jo. Mindy Jo Dawn. Again, we waited and waited. On October 31, just as we were stepping out the door to go trick-or-treating with our kids in the neighborhood, we got the phone call that Mindy would be coming to America the following week! On November 7, 1984, Mindy arrived at the Kansas City airport along with 3 other babies. We are so proud of our daughter and what an honor to be her parents!

We LOVE you Mindy!! I love how we can talk on the phone for a long time, how we share what we are learning in our devotions, and mostly, what a privilege as your mom and dad to intercede for you in prayer. May you bring Him glory as you follow Him. So proud of you!

The girls wanted to help blow out Aunt Mindy's candles
on her birthday pie (strawberry, of course!)

My Dad's birthday is next week, but we combined the celebrating.
The girls helped Grandpa Pete blow out the candle on his birthday pie (coconut).

Hannah wanted to eat the coconut meringue pie.
Correction. She wanted to eat the meringue.


Helping Aunt Mindy open her presents.

Sophia got a kick out of this musical card.

Happy Birthday, Mindy
and Dad!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Emeri sings

Just had to share this sweet video of my grand daughter, Emeri


On Friday, the cement truck came in and began pouring the subflooring for Cora's Playground.

Jess and her mom, Kathy, picked out the colors for the flooring and that should go on this coming week! I let my grandkids try out the play equipment when I needed to go to church to do some work. We didn't play very long. It was a little scary because I didn't want them to bonk their little heads on the concrete. But the kids LOVED the equipment and they cannot wait until they can actually REALLY play there!!


Pretty Prairie's First Mennonite Church was celebrating their 125th anniversary this weekend. I decided to go to the festivities. Allen had to work and then was on call so he could not leave town.

Here is Pretty Prairie. A mile long, a mile wide. Around 500 residents. It boasts the largest night rodeo in Kansas. Hometown of my Dad and my husband's family. My Dad lived in town for a couple of years, but mostly lived out on a dairy farm by Castleton. Allen grew up 3 miles outside of town.

This was the parsonage back when our family came to the States in 1971 and my Dad pastored the First Mennonite Church. Lots of memories in that hous! My bedroom was in the upper left corner.

At the church, they showed how wheat was threshed back in the day.

It was around 100 degrees. Plenty hot.
Luckily they had lots of water for us to drink.

I just noticed that the sign says "driven by great-great grandaughter...".
I don't think he looks much like a grandaughter!
It is actually Richard Stucky, or Schnooks.

Richard was my husband's best friend growing up.
Fishing buddy.
Drinking buddy.
Until Al met Christ.
And then met me!
Al replaced Richard for my company!
We joked about that yesterday.

Inside the church were various rooms with displays. This is a black wedding dress worn in 1849.
The note mentions that prior to the 1850's, the wedding dresses were black. The tradition of wearing white wedding dresses started in Europe and then came to America.

I found Allen's grandparents' wedding certificate.

There were a couple of rooms that had displays from the many missionaries that the church has supported over the years. My parent's put one up of Japan. Then I found one from this family who served in Africa.

Some of those who read my blog will recognize Stan Graber and also Jeannette Jantz! You should talk to them sometime about their experiences growing up in the Congo!

After a pulled pork bbq dinner outside under a tent where I enjoyed fellowshiping with lots of old friends (including the couple who caught our garter and bouquet at our wedding - and yes, they were the next couple to get married in the church), there was a program in the church.
There was a DVD that included pictures of the many musical groups from the church over the years, along with the songs that had been taped. Pictures of Al's parents. His brother and wife too. A cousin, Kathy Voran who was killed in a car accident north of Newton. She was a very talented organist.

It was a journey back in time. The story of our forefathers leaving Switzerland in the 1500's because of persecution, going to France and then to Prussia and finally to America in 1874. The people in the skit were historical people who spoke of the days of old and the changes over the years. It spoke of God's faithfulness to His people. The message was "where God leads, follow Him."

"I will sing of the Lord's great love forever; with my mouth I will make Your faithfulness known through all the generations." Psalm 89:1