Thursday, December 20, 2012

Look who's ONE!

This precious little one had a birthday recently, so now that she is settling in with us, I thought it was high time we take a few pictures.  She is very photogenic, and so fun to hang out with in the front yard. :)

We often call her Amira, an African name meaning princess, so that is what we will call her here.  We are honored to have her in our care right now, and look forward to seeing what the Lord has planned for her life.  She is a little treasure!

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!
We love you more every day....

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Maze

Have I mentioned that we love Montessori learning?

Lucas and a few of his friends create elaborate games during their lunch recess.  Here, they created a maze that literally filled the whole backyard using the leaves that were falling from the shade trees. 

They kept it up for over a week.  I'm glad I took a picture when I did, as there was a wind and rain storm the next day, and it was gone!  No worries -- they were ready to move on to the next project.  Maybe it will be a lunchtime science club, a habitat for the free-ranging chickens, or an olympic team.  The sky's the limit!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hope and Life

One night, after babysitting Isaac (our little friend who lives with us), our new friend Nicole spent over an hour sharing the gospel with our girls using a special story book created for this purpose -- The Way of the Master for Kids.  I don't know anything about these materials in general, but this book explained God's Word, and the Hope we have in Him, beautifully!  I hope I never forget this hour of sweet conversation they had. 

Friday, December 14, 2012


Lucas, Nichole, and Keandre recently completed a 6-week Taekwon-Do trial after a friend invited us to give it a try.  We had a wonderful experience!  The focus on Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control, and Indomitable Spirit blended wonderfully with the spiritual and life skills we work to teach our children on a daily basis. 

Here, Keandre is studying for his test.

Over the course of the classes, their confidence grew and grew!

Keandre runs over for a quick snuggle after his group's testing.

We hope to be able to sign up for additional classes sometime soon.  The middle three kiddos loved their experience there, and the littlest girls enjoyed watching.  In the future, Jasmin even hopes to participate!  Now, to save up, or apply for a scholarship. :)

(Did I mention they started saying 'Yes sir' and 'Yes ma'am' in response to our instructions to help set the table, get homework done, etc.?  Ahhhhh..... I could get used to that. ;)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Christmas Surprise

There's a new little sweetie in our home.

She stole our hearts the minute we met her!

We are her emergency foster placement.

It's been 5 days now, and she is settling in nicely. 
Each family member wants to claim her as their own.
Yes, she is that irresistable. :)

Please pray for her family.  They are struggling deeply, and this is an especially challenging time of year to be digging deep and dealing with big losses.

Friday, November 30, 2012

November in Phoenix

Lest we forget our winter blessings when it's July
and 110 degrees in the shade.

(Yes, the kids are barefoot and wearing short-sleeved
t-shirts. :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A New Thanksgiving Tradition

This year, Andy decided it was high time we start a new Thanksgiving tradition.  On Thanksgiving morning, before heading to Papa and Granny's house for a feast, we loaded up the kids and headed to a nearby mountain to go trail walking.  While hiking, we talked about the many things are are thankful for -- our many blessings given by God.  It was a hit with the whole family!  We'll definitely be keeping up this tradition. 

This was an exciting *first* for Jasmin, who had never been hiking.  Jasmin is 10.5 years old, and she is living with our family for a while.  She and Nichole call each other sister-cousins.

Some people seem to think we have a lot of kids.  We like to think this is normal.  (It is, right?)

Okay, so maybe five is more than some people have.  But we still get to walk alone and hold hands for a few minutes here and there.  So it works.

Today, we were very thankful to live in Phoenix.  The weather is amazing right now!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving at School

The night before the Thanksgiving feast at school, Keandre cried himself to sleep. I may have shed a few tears, too. It's heart-wrenching to watch your friends prepare all week for a special meal, and know you can't participate. Holidays that focus almost exclusively on food are especially hard for those with multiple severe food allergies, or Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disease (EGID), or both. 

Surprising Keandre at the school Thanksgiving feast.

When I shared how broken I felt over my little boy's pain, my lovely sister-in-law, Sarah, suggested a creative new way to prepare his safe foods.  That was just the sort of idea this tired Mama needed! (My creativity is a bit shot at the moment....stress will do that to ya! ;)

Andy stepped up to do the creating, and the end result was a fun surprise for Keandre.  He loved it!  I think he really appreciated the effort Daddy put into making his lunch special.
Can you guess what it is? ;)

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