Eighteen Years

On this day, eighteen years ago, I married my best friend.


Mr. and Mrs. Robert Spurgeon
June 1, 1990

("What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder...")

Happy Anniversary, Rob - I love you.

Shelter - School - Schedules

As you can see by the frequency of my posts - life here has been busy. All good - but very busy.

We have been actively pursuing living accommodations in our new city. It has been tiring, exciting, discouraging - and all of those things in the same afternoon! Changes always bring along uncertainties - and new opportunities for us to trust God and His leading in our lives. Seems prayer makes these times so much easier. I am finding I can leave my concerns with God and He brings peace and shows the way. So, I continue to learn more and more how to trust a God who loves me and cares for me.

This weekend has been busy for the new pastor and his wife that are moving here. They have been down in the area trying to secure housing here too. We were thrilled to find out that they were able to find a home to live in and things are falling into place with their move here. We are now down to just a few weeks before they will be arriving here at Calvary.

The kids all finished school last week. We buckled down and got the school year done a little bit before we had planned. It felt nice to get that last day done and the books put away for the last time this year. We all were very happy to be officially in 'Summer break'. (Which will also be moving break and ministry change break.)

Our new little one is doing great. We have successfully got her onto a schedule. She has adjusted really really well.. She is most definitely a Mommies girl and I am loving it. Seems all the rest of the kids were Daddy's girls or boys - but this one is all mine. She smiles all the time - talks to me all the time and enjoys the company of her new siblings. They all have enjoyed taking her on walks, feeding her and getting her dressed for the day. She is never in need of company!

As much as I love Summer - I am not one fond of having a day that just goes to the wind. I sat down this past week and finally got everyone on a schedule. I love my schedules. I am not a happy person when I do not know what comes next. I find my kids to be quite a challenge when they do not know what comes next too! It felt good to have the days planned out and start implementing the new system of time management for the summer. It also was fun having a whole new section for our little one. It is nice to have the joy of a new added blessing to our home!

Well, I will close. Trust you are staying busy and enjoying the beautiful days of spring. I am hoping to get some laundry hung out tomorrow and get the house ready for Sunday when our realtor is hosting an open house. I am praying for an offer this weekend -- all it takes is one!!



Commitment is not a term endeared to cowards. Commitment requires a passion, a cause and dream that is worth sacrifice. You can not have commitment without a willingness to sacrifice.

This memorial day I want to focus on the commitment of my husband's grandparents. They both understood the word commitment - and they both understood sacrifice. However, because of their passion for commitment - they rarely took note of the sacrifice. For when a cause is so near and dear to your heart- the sacrifice that is needed to be made - is not grievous; because the commitment to the cause is valued more than any sacrifice.

My husband's grandfather fought in World War II. He left World War II alive. He left the war a hero. He left the war altered physically from the wounds suffered in combat. The Battle of the Bulge changed is life forever. For the rest of his life he lived in a wheelchair because of the sacrifice he made for his country. A price he continued to pay for more than forty years after the battle ended.

His young wife - eighteen years old - also sacrificed for her country. The war brought back to her a husband that physically was never the same as the man that left her for war. The war changed her life too. She would spend the rest of their lives together caring for his needs - getting him out of bed, getting him dressed and pushing a wheelchair from place to place. This is a hard lot to hand anyone - but, even harder a young girl. Many young wives walked away from the altered men that were given back to them from a war.

However, just as her husband understood the word commitment to his country - she understood commitment to her vows - taken only months before he was shipped off to war.
Through the years - they loved each other and raised their family together. They understood commitment. They had committed to each other their love - 'for better or worse'... they had committed to their country a vow to honor, defend and protect... no matter what the cost.

For over forty years - both of them continued to pay the price - for both of these commitments. His tired body was laid to rest over 10 years ago. The jets flew over the grave site, the flag was folded pristinely before us and handed to his widow, the guns shouted their salute to the fallen soldier who had given all - and we wept. Tears of grief and tears of thanks. Our freedom came at his expense, and so many others, as well.

This memorial day - I will remember the commitment of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. For some the ultimate sacrifice was their very lives. Yet for others, the ultimate sacrifice was, (and is...) living a life altered physically by the wounds of war; leaving them with limbs that are gone, or do not work properly. Causing each day to have challenges that they never dreamed they would face and pain that they never knew they would have to endure.

This memorial day I will remember them - and be inspired to believe in a cause worthy of the ultimate sacrifice.

For all of those who have given - THANK YOU!!


Family Flicks For Fun

I thought I would share a church activity that most of our family was able to participate in recently. The activity was a picture scavenger hunt - where each family was given a list of things they had to take a picture of within the community. Now, this is the part of the story where I am feeling rather old because, the last time I participated in a picture scavenger hunt it was with a Polaroid camera - - (You remember those - the one's that if your dropped them you broke your foot - and the kind where you watched yourself evolve on the print as you shook it in the wind violently).

I thought I would share a few picture of the activity. You will notice that Rachel and I were not in the photo's - because she was home sick and I was taking care of her - (I may add, that the people in these photo's where having a better time than the two of us!!) Enjoy:
(Under the local 'Family Dollar' Sign)
(At the local Arby's drive though - saying: "I'm thinking Arbys')

(In front of somewhere with their finger's in their noses - (Abbey thinks this is embarrassing!)

(By some water - acting like they are fish)

(In front of the local library - saying "shhh" - Zak got a little confused with this one and the nose one - oh well....)

After the pictures were all taken. The gang headed back to the church where they made cookie images of themselves. I thought they looked pretty good - (Dad is the first - the Abbey - then James - Zak opted to make a cookie pizza - although the image seems fitting of our active five year old - almost a perfect match for him!!)

I am so glad that we can have fun as a family. Even if some of us are not there. These are the things of which memories are made. Trust you are enjoying the blessings that God has given you. There here for us just a little while to mold and shape - for His honor.



To My Eldest Daughter - The Vow

My Dear,

On the day your were born - I held you in my arms amazed at the beauty God had created through love. Though unspoken, and not consciously thought; a vow so sacred was breathed through every part of my body.

A vow to love you, to protect you, to nurture and cherish.

That was many years ago. I have made it through your infant days and colicky nights. I have watched with wonder as your toddling feet maneuvered through uncharted territory as you took your first steps. I made it through the amazement that you were in kindergarten and doing your school work diligently. I have cherished every Mother's Day since you were born; and looked into your dark brown eyes more than once and marveled at the young lady you are becoming.

Through all of these milestones and so many more the sacred vow has continued to beat within my heart. A vow - only a mother can understand. To keep you safe - protected and train you to be ready for a world that at times is much too hard - and full of unguarded places. My responsibility to you is just as sacred now 15 years later as it was the day you were born - perhaps more so.

It is a vow that I honor when we laugh together and have fun enjoying each other's love and friendship. It is a great delight to my soul as I listen to you play the music you have practiced and see the emotion and feeling coming from within you as you play. It is a vow that I do not take lightly when having to make decisions based on your whereabouts. A vow that drives me to ask the hard questions:
"Where will you be?"
"Who will be with you?"
"When will you be home?"

It is a vow that is worth the sacrifice of time to assure that you are safe - even if it means having to drive you somewhere myself. For it is a vow made many years ago - that I still hold in high regard.

Sometimes I have to say no to one of your requests; and see the disappointment in your eyes. It makes me sad to know that my decision has caused you disappointment.

Yet, the vow I made is more important to me than a bit of displeasure on your part for a party missed or a visit not made.

Then, when the time has passed - the air has cleared and further explanation is able to be made it is with a mother's heart that I pray you will understand. Yes...

I want you to understand why I said no - but more so understand the commitment I make to the vow.

So, I talk. You listen. I explain my commitment to you and you begin to understand - not necessarily the answer; but my heart. As we talk - you begin to see it is not for your displeasure but for your protection. I want what is best for you. Oh, the joy that comes to my heart as I see the eyes of your understanding opened. How confusing and troubling these teen years can be; how much Satan wants to convince your heart that I do not understand!!

Yet, when we talk, and when you choose to listen, he looses ground - for we become united in spirit in love.

I am more willing to loose all the money in the world than to place you in a position of danger and vulnerability. You are more valuable to me than all the money this world could give me.

If someones desire is to bring you harm...

if Satan's attacks are aimed at your very soul...

My child, they will have to come through me first before they get to you because...

I made a vow - as real today as it was the day I made it 15 years ago.

With all my heart I love you,

Life with the Newest Addition

I am still among the living here - although quite a bit busier than I am used to. All the added work is such a blessing; for our little one is here - adjusting and bonding to us as a family. There are more snuggle times, more kisses, and a bit more laundry.

I can not tell you how blessed I feel to have our little girl here with us at last. We have to wait for six months for the adoption date to be finalized; but we are settling in to being a family of 7 quite nicely.

I have put our youngest on a schedule and I am finding it to help out a lot! We have time in for each of the older kids to have play time and cuddle time with their new sister. I am still assuming all of the role of feeding and changing - thus helping her with the bonding time with Mommy. Daddy did get in on an early morning feeding time - and Mommy was not in the least disappointed!!

Mother's Day was the happiest I have ever had! It had a bitter sweet note to it though, as a family in our church just said their goodbyes to their daughter two days before the holiday. While my heart was filled with joy and happiness over our newest - their hearts were breaking over their empty arms. It brought back a lot of memories for me of that first Mother's day without our Ally. Life has a way of putting things in perspective for us! Saturday, we will have the memorial service for this little one. My heart goes out to them - for we have been there before and I know the intense pain the death of a child brings.

Well, there is a hungry baby calling for me - I best be getting to her.

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

I remember my first mother's day fourteen years ago. I can not even put into words the feelings in my heart that day. I was so happy to finally be a Mother!

I also can not explain the emotion I felt towards my own Mother on that day. Realizing for the first time just how much sacrifice being a Mother required. I saw my Mother different that first Mother's Day. The view of her changed from that of "my Mom" - to more that of a special person having my respect. I suddenly realized that it was possible to hold a tiny little baby in your arms and feel within you more love than you ever had felt before. I understood that first Mother's day the weight of responsibility that came with that title - Mother.

Through the years I have come to understand my Mom more and more. Not by getting to know her more - but by getting to know me. I understand what it is like as a Mom to have dreams and plans for your children. I understand the feeling of responsibility that at times is overwhelming. I understand what it is like to make mistakes and wish you could go back and do a day over; but having to pick up and go on despite the shortcomings. I understand now how much it hurts to say 'no' to your child when you so desperately want to say 'yes'. I understand the fears that come with being a Mom - when you know that soon they will choose their own path - and you hope and pray that it is a path that will not cause heartache or distress. I understand now that being a Mom is one of the hardest jobs of all.

By being a Mom - I understand the sacrifice that has been made for me; and it is with utmost gratitude that I say to my Mom -

"Thank You - for everything. Happy Mother's Day. I love you."

Cooking & Dreaming

Our little one is due her tomorrow afternoon for her first overnight visit at our house. Today was busy preparing for the hectic week ahead.

I decided that I need to have this week as work free as possible so I am able to spend time with the baby and have her bond with me as her new Mama. It seems that a lot of time goes into planning, preparing and picking up food. So, last night I sat down and made a menu for the week with plans to fix those dishes today and freeze them for the week ahead. That way I would have the planning and preparation done as far as this weeks meals are concerned. (I figure I have 4 children who do wonderful with the pickup - so I will leave that area up to them!)

This afternoon I stayed busy fixing several dishes for the week ahead. Here is what I put together:

Farmhouse Chicken - (A recipe I found at Tammy's Recipes)
Egg Bake
Chicken Wild Rice Soup - (Also known to us as Missionary soup - for it is one often fixed when entertaining missionaries and guest speakers after Sunday evening services ;) .
Taco Bake
Chicken Broccoli Biscuit Bake

I also browned up some sausage for Spaghetti Sauce that I will make tomorrow and enough also for the pizza I am planning on having made for tomorrow's dinner.

This is what my kitchen looked like when I got done with the cooking.

Here is what is left on my menu to make tomorrow morning:
Bean Burritos
Corn Bread
Refrigerator Muffins - (8 Grain Muffins)
Waffles - (I will double my batch - cook them tomorrow and then freeze them for later on this week)
Chicken Noodle Soup
Spaghetti Sauce
4 Loafs of Bread - ( one to go to the foster family when they drop of our new little one in the afternoon)

I am doing laundry this evening while I am blogging and planning on hanging it on the line to dry first thing in the morning. I will try to remember to take pictures of the clothes on the line - for this will be the first time in a long time that I will have little girl baby clothes on the line.

I can not wait to get my little one here tomorrow afternoon. I did go over this evening and did her nightly care with her. I got to feed her cereal and her bottle, give her a bath, get her dressed for bed and rock her to sleep. It was wonderful! It also was neat when I drove up to the house - her foster Mom ( whom we are now calling Grandma) was sitting on the steps with her waiting for me to arrive. When I got out of the van and started walking over to her - she started getting excited and smiling at me. I think we are heading in the right direction for her to be bonding with us as a family. I am still so amazed at God's goodness to us and His blessing to us. I still can not believe that we have her - what a wonderful surprise from God above!

Well, I have a busy day ahead tomorrow - best get to bed and get some sleep. I think I know who I will be dreaming about tonight.


Prayers Answered

Kelli over at "There's No Place Like Home" hosts a show and tell every Friday. Hop on over and see her special treasures along with links from others who participate in this fun little activity!

We have been praying together as a family for a new vehicle. We have made it a matter of praying together as a family for God to provide a new vehicle for us in His time. Our old vehicle was needing some expensive repairs and seemed to be breaking down a lot. We went on a lengthy trip recently, knowing that the vehicle was not as trustworthy as we would like; but we knew God wanted us to go. So as a family we prayed that God would give us journey mercies there and back - and took along the cell phone fully charged in case we needed it for a breakdown emergency. :) Praise the Lord, it made it there and back without any problems. However, three days after we got back - the van broke down and we barely made it home from church. So, the next morning we went van shopping. God provided us with a new (to us) van - that has more room for our new addition, very low mileage, and seems to have been well cared for by the previous owners.

We were so excited to get our new van. It was exciting to me as a Mom to see my kids so excited. Yes, they were excited about the new vehicle; but more than that, they were excited that God had answered our prayers. I am so thankful that we waited. I know God waited in answering our prayers - for my kids were learning to trust Him each time they prayed. He grew their faith through the last several months. It would have been 'easy' to go out an purchase a vehicle the minute that we needed one; but God impressed it upon our hearts to give it time, let Him work and wait patiently. I am so glad we did - for the excitement the kids have about God answering their prayers is worth more to me than the convenience it would have been to have a bit more trustworthy vehicle a few months ago.

What a great God we serve. I stand in awe at His care and love for me.

As for the new van - it is big - but with the children God has blessed us with we needed more room. I am very aware that I am not making a fashion statement driving this van - but I guess I like raising kids better than having people impressed with my overpriced sports car. :0

Thanks for stopping by. If you are ever in the neighborhood - stop by I will take you for a spin in the bread box.




The last few days have gone by in a blur. Our little one has found our hearts and twisted around her little fingers. On Wednesday morning the foster parents brought her to our house to spend her first day here with us. It was a long day - and a bit difficult for her. She cried and fussed a lot. We rocked and cuddled and sang and paced - all a bit wearing on the nerves; but needed - as she bonded with us and grew accustomed to the surroundings here.

Today she came at the same time and spent the day with us also. It was a much better day. There were giggles and smiles and not nearly as many tears. We are making progress. It does not help that she is cutting a tooth at this same time. So, there are a lot of adjustments for this little one.

On Saturday afternoon she will come to stay for the day and spend the night with us. She then will be able to attend church with us on Sunday for the entire day. After church, she will go back and stay at her foster parents house. Then on Monday she will come here to stay.

I am using tonight and tomorrow to get things ready. I am making meals and putting them in the freezer. Seems we have eaten too much fast food in the last couple of days. I figure I can make sure everything is ready and user friendly so we can use the first couple days to get used to her and her to us. I have decided that the nesting instinct that comes right before a baby is born is not hormonal - but emotional - for I am defiantly in nesting mode now!!

We are excited about the next week as we move from visits with our little one to life with her. God is so good and we are rejoicing in His goodness to us.

Gone Shopping

I would like to post picture of our new girl; but since I am waiting on that for a bit - I thought I would show you a few of the outfits I have found for her.

I went to Goodwill and found these. They have all been washed - ironed and are awaiting her arrival. Not sure which one she should wear for Mother's Day this Sunday. Let me know what you all think.

Pink Flowered Dress: $ 2.99

Pink and Blue One Piece Outfit - $1.99

Eyelet One Piece Outfit with Pink Highlights - $2.99

Baby Blue Checkered Dress with Lace - $2.99

White Patten Leather Shoes - $2.99

I am leaning towards the blue outfit - but still not sure. Perhaps we will have to have one for Sunday School and then one for Worship Service. (Don't tell my husband he would think I have finally flipped here!)



Baby Update

We have met her; and she is beautiful. I posted a few pictures and then thought I better ask our social worker if it was OK. So, we will let you see her just as soon as we can!

She is full of life and talks and coos a lot! She has a little bit of hair - but not a lot. She has blue eyes and she melted my heart from the moment we stepped into the house. I just kept telling her I loved her.

We will go tomorrow and visit with her again. Her sisters will get to meet her and help with her care for a few hours tomorrow morning. Needless to say, they are excited!! The whole house is just a buzz with the new little one soon to be coming.

Thanks for all your prayers - God is sooooo good.



A Glimps Into Our Future

Friday felt like it would never come. The nights have seemed to drag by - making Friday seem so very far off in the future. Then...

The meeting time came. I was anxious - not anxious worried - but anxious - excited. Today we would find out about her.

We followed them into the office - they with clipboard and paperwork in hand. Myself, with a big bag filled with toys and snacks for a five year old little boy who accompanied us.

They looked professional - I looked like a Mom. Yet, we were all there for the same purpose. The future of a special child lay in the balance and we were all there for her.

They handed out their business cards - we laughed that I had none to hand out. Then, we came to the business at hand.

A precious little girl. They gave us her weight, her height and explained the risks. Then...
Then they handed us the stack. Papers upon papers. Some about her - some about her family. We tried to look interested in the information. We did not hold out too long with this endeavor. For, we knew the answer they were looking for before we walked into the room.

Sliding the stack of files back - I told them I have a stack like that at home - I've read through them once already. Different time, different child. It's the stack that tells the past. I guess I felt that we were not there to talk about her past - but her future. God knows all of our pasts - but no matter what picture the past paints - God's future print is always more beautiful.

"Our answer", my husband spoke as I passed them back the file, "is yes. We understand the risks." I added to his statement, "If I was sitting here pregnant we could talk about risks." My husband continued, "The bottom line is, we believe that God has opened the doors for us to bring this little one into our home. We will accept the risks as His will, we will accept the future as His plan for us. Our answer, is - YES!"

There was joy, tears and excitement as we talked. As the social worker told how she read our file and could not explain why - but she just *knew' that we were the family for this little one.

My husband and I smiled together. We *knew* why she *knew*. It is God, who has perfectly orchestrated this from the beginning.

Monday, we will meet our daughter. I am having trouble thinking of much else. And just like Friday seemed to never get here - Monday seems worlds away.

I will close now - assuring you that come Monday - I will post again.