Friday, July 24, 2009

We're Off!!

This is it - we're flying in just a few hours!! My tummy is filled with butterflies!!! I am most definitely a homebody! I am finding that dreaming of adventure is far more comfortable than actually going on one (much less stressful too - mostly because my dreaming did not involve taking three cranky teens and and infant!!)

Well, God has sent me and the three cranky teens and the infant on this missions trip and we are going to serve Him. That means for me - being Mom to 11 cranky teens and and infant and doing laundry for the team if of 16. I plan on doing this the very best I can - for Him.

I hope we make a difference. I hope we touch some people. Most of all I hope to bring God glory in what every we do!!

Please pray for us!!

P.S. I have no idea if the recent pictures of flowers will be in Hawaii - I took them in the tropical house at the zoo :0)!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day after Tomorrow

Just a quick post:

We are leaving for our missions trip day after tomorrow. Our team had a meeting this evening where we had final assignments given, rules of conduct reinforced and schedules discussed. It was a good meeting and all the teens seemed receptive and excited. There are 16 people going (including the littlest missionary - Esther).

My role will be Mom to all - a job that will be a natural fit, for sure :0)!! I was asked to do a specific job that made me laugh inside - I've been asked to be in charge of... wait for it.... wait for it...the LAUNDRY!!!!!!!!! Hahaha!!!!! Even on a missions trip halfway around the world (Ahem well, maybe not quite that far). I did say I would go with an attitude of service - so there you go - I got a job I know how to do!!!!

A really cool bonus on this trip is that the girls get the use of a beach house for all our needs!!! It's going to be great for all the obvious reasons - BEACH HOUSE - but in reality this is a big answer to prayer as I will be able to meet Esther's needs (nighttime nursings etc.) much easier and with more privacy.

So, off to more packing and repacking. I'm still craving your prayers covering this event.

Monday, July 20, 2009

In a Few Days...

In just a few days I will be starting and adventure that takes me very far outside of my comfort zone. I will be accompanying our church youth group on a missions trip to (of all places) Hawaii!!!

Now I know some may ask why going to Hawaii would be out of my comfort zone and the answer would be that I am a very inexperienced traveler - let alone traveling with a baby and leaving half my family at home!!! Also, this missions trip is one mainly about sharing our faith not building a church (which is the kind of trip I went on as a teen about a thousand years ago!!)

I know I am supposed to be going though - God opened many doors and made it possible when it seemed unlikely. My husband has done many, many trips with our boys with Scouts and church (he and the boys went to Nicaragua and couple of years ago). This time he felt that I should be the one to go - that I need to be a part of the boy's experiences and he needed to be the one to stay home with the littles. Plus this is the perfect trip to take a baby - good water, nothing like malaria etc. So here goes - off on an airplane (only my second time) to an island to share Jesus with others - an adventure to be sure!!!

I suppose another question people may ask is why Hawaii? The answer is simple - Hawaii is one of the least evangelized states in the country. People rarely go there to serve - they go to be served - to vacation and forget their everyday life. So while it is beautiful and exotic - it is a place with much need.

We will be working with a small Baptist church in the community of Anahola, Kauai. It is to me, very exciting to work with this church - our Free Methodist church going over to work with the Baptist church - we have the same desire to see the youth of this community know the saving grace of Jesus Christ. We are hoping to help the church get more interest in the youth outreach and the children's ministries the church provides - kind of a jump start. The church is very tiny so we are helping with providing the resources and man power to do a Vacation Bible School and several fun older youth activities.

We leave on Friday - hearts and flip flops ready for whatever God brings. The rest of this week is going to be a whirlwind of activity getting the last details ready. I covet prayer surrounding this adventure!!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cleaning and Purging

I haven't blogged much this week. My summer to-do list was needing some attention. I try to keep my house tidy (although I know I'm not the best housekeeper in the world :0)!! ) but there are some places in my house that get pretty much no attention (unless I'm throwing something in and slamming the door). One of those places is my closet, I'm ashamed to say. Mom - if you are reading this - please don't look at the next picture - Dad might have to perform CPR!! I was never allowed to keep my closet like this when was young :0) - just so everyone knows I was raised better than this :0)!!!

Pretty terrible huh?
Well - I worked and worked and purged and purged until my closet now looks like this:

Much better!! I would like to do something to make my closet pretty someday - but that involves things like money (for cute containers) or time (to put pretty contact paper on boxes) - both luxuries I don't have with babies and toddlers and tweens and teens all needing me :0). So I'll have to be contented with the good feeling a tidy closet gives me!!!
On a completely unrelated note - someone got a very first pigtail this week:

Isn't she cute?!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Garden Joy

Warning: This post is for people like me who love the feel of dirt under their fingers, who first thing in the morning go outside to see what's going on in their little plot of soil and who dream about fresh picked tomatoes. If you don't think the smell of compost is like perfume you may find this boring :0).

Time for a garden update (this blog also serves as my garden journal :0)!)
My garden is doing so well this year - I'm not having too much bug trouble and the weather is cooperating (unlike last year - it was so cool and damp)

Lettuce is lovely - although it's almost done and I didn't plant new starts soon enough so I probably will not have lettuce when my cukes and tomatoes are ready - Oh well, if the starts I did plant get going I may have lettuce even after our local fruit stand closes in the Fall.
Potatoes going great guns - I'm tempted to dig under there and find some new potatoes but I'm trying to wait a bit longer for when the peas are ready.
Marigolds, carrots and tiny green onions all are happy - the onions are going slow but since I've never done them before I have nothing to compare to - I'm going to start another row this week and as much as I hate doing it I must thin the carrots - maybe there will be some tiny ones to put in a salad.
Basil, swiss chard and cukes. I've already harvested a bunch of basil, the chard is growing lots everyday and the cukes are starting to bloom.

Bush beans - the baby fillets are starting to set fruit - the green bush, yellow wax and purple beans as well as the romano's are all starting to bloom.
Hubby helped me get my bean teepee up - bless him!! They are happy to be climbing up!! Peas - both sugar snap and snow are blooming (and all leaning to the left for some reason - in this home if they are going to lean I would prefer it to be to the right :0)!!)

Winter squash and pumpkins are starting to stretch out and the zucchini's are blooming.

Tomatoes are coming along - blooming - they aren't getting as much sun as I had hoped here but they're doing alright.

This is one reason I love getting my hands in the garden - doesn't it make you happy just looking at these marigolds?!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Birthday Girl!!

My sweet baby girl is twelve years old today!! I can't believe the time has gone so fast! I remember so clearly the day she arrived - a beautiful summer evening - and when my husband - with tears in his eyes told me she was a girl my heart was full!! My Ruthie-girl!!!

Such a beautiful, talented, amazing girl we've been blessed with. And a sweet spirit to go along with the beautiful outside. Ruthie truly cares for all those around her. She is a fabulous sister and such a big helper.

And best of all - Ruthie loves Jesus and truly desires to please Him!! What more could a Mom ask? I am incredibly blessed to be her Mommy!!

Ruthie-girl, Daddy and Mommy are so proud of you!!! Happy Birthday!! You are truly loved!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

It's a Beach Party!!

We have a few extra kids over today and the weather was lovely - so we applied our sunblock, grabbed some cookies and towels and went to the beach.

We live in such a wonderful area!!!

The kids found treasures:

Pee-eew this one is not coming home!!!:

Baby played in the sand (until she got a mouthful that is :0)!!)I enjoyed the view:The girls went off to the ferry dock to find us the clearest water:
And yes - even I got my feet wet in the very cold water of the Puget Sound:
A fun time was had by all!!

The reason we have a few extra kiddies is that my daughter is having a sleepover for her 12th birthday. So three extra tween girls have invaded the house. Oh my!!! The squealing and giggling!!!!
Having raised three boys ahead of her - my husband is in awe of the different kinds of noises girls make. In fact all of the older males have gone into hiding: the 15, 17, 19 and 43 year olds can't be found. The 9 year old and 4 year old males are enjoying themselves by making faces and gross bodily noises in order to increase the squeal factor.
I may be deaf by the time they all return to their rightful owners but my girlie will be contented having giggled her way through the weekend.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Baking Class

Just as I believe there are lots of lessons to be learned in the garden I feel the same about the kitchen. So I started a "Baking Class" with my kids. It's a hit!!! They love it and so do I - although with all the taste testing my diet has been derailed :0)!!

Today was muffins:
Learning to read recipes
Jacob and Abbie shared a mixing bowl and the two bigger kids each got to do their own batch.

Learning to follow directions:
Careful concentration

Oven safety
Taste testing mmm good!!!

And of course every good cook cleans up when they are done (unless you are the Mom of eight - then you make your kids do it :0)!!!)

We all had lots of fun - everyone was cheerful even about the cleaning up. I don't think people will eat much dinner because everyone had to taste each others creations :0). I highly recommend getting in the kitchen with the kids - the mess is so worth it!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Baby's New Entertainment Center!!

What do you do with a fussy baby during dinner making hour? Why, open the dishwasher, of course!!!

I'm just like my big brother on the drums!!
Louder now!!
Mommy's helper - unloading this thing
OO! Who's that cute baby in the mirror?
Look at me, Daddy!!Awww, all the spoons are gone!!!
Why buy toys when the best entertainment is behind the dishwasher door? (I only hope she enjoys unloading the dishwasher as much a few years from now!!!)