Monday, February 27, 2006

White As Snow

The other night when Fabio got home from work, we were talking in the kitchen, when suddenly the kids took off down the hall. I figured they were headed to the study to get some toys, but a few minutes later we hear them laughing hysterically! I told Fabio, "This can't be good news!" So I went looking for them, and found them in the hall bathroom. Apparently, Dominique had pulled the baby powder out of the cabinet and shook it... then Joshua jumped on the bandwagon and started DOUSING Dominique with powder!!! They both thought it was hilarious... Dominique looked like she was wearing a powdered wig, and the bathroom was like one big cloud of powder. I took a second to take it all in, trying to decide what to do, and stifling laughter at the same time. Finally I said in as serious a voice as I could manage, "Joshua, I'm going to take a few pictures, and then you're going to get a spanking." hehe.

These pictures don't *quite* capture it, because I didnt take them in the bathroom, and I had already wiped off her face, but you get the picture. :)

I had had that powder since Joshua was a baby, and pretty much never used it, so it was full. And now it is empty. So, Im sure we wont have this particular thing happen again. :-)~

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Look What I Found!!

Here are some pictures I didnt know I had of Adeline and Dominique, which as you can tell by their size and apparrel are not recent! I think Addy was 5 months, and Dominique was 10 months. It is kind of fun to compare and see how much they have both grown (and their hair!)...

Our video camera has a digital camera feature, but it is not very good, so we hardly ever use it. Apparently I did this day, though! Digital cameras have sure come a long way in five years!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

From the Archive...

Well, we are currently out of a camera, and probably will be for a while, so I pulled this picture out of the archive. :) It is Fabio and his little brother Fernando, and big sister Luciana looking over Fabio's shoulder. This was a life changing day for all of them. It was the day that they moved to Japan, in July of 1996. Fabio was so against the move, that he spent that day with friends instead of packing, and then threw some of his personal things into a suitcase an hour before leaving for the Sao Paulo Airport, where this picture was taken. He was 17 years old.
Anyway, it can make you think, ya know? To him at the time, moving to Japan was the worst possible thing that could happen to him! He had a life in Brazil, friends, a job, lots of fun. In Japan he had nothing, and couldn't even speak the language! The only thing that awaited him was 12 hour days of hard work in a dark factory. Not too exciting.
However, the Lord always has our best interest in mind! The Lord used the move to remove Fabio from the not-so-holy lifestyle he was leading in Brazil, and take him to Japan where he would eventually meet his Savior!! And as if that wasn't good enough, he also got a wife out of the Japan deal! :)
Anyway, just thinking tonight about how God is ALWAYS good, and *everything* he does is good, even if we don't always understand at the time.
PS... tech support please ~~ how come sometimes I can upload a pic that I scanned, and sometimes I cant??? <>

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Building Blocks

Well, folks, it has happened. My little newborn baby girl has turned into a toddler. I am just realizing this now, because I think I have been in denial up until this point!

With my first, I was so anxious for him to do each new thing and reach each new stage... but this time around, I find I want my baby to stay a baby more than I did with Joshua. Not that I want Joshua to "hurry up and grow up", nor that I don't get excited with each new thing Dominique learns to do, but I think you get my feeling.

Anyway, Dominique is fifteen and a half months old now and is doing all sorts of things by herself. She feeds herself, goes down the slide by herself, colors pictures, plays with stickers, and is even learning to help me with household chores, like putting the clean silverware away, or putting the clothes in the dryer.

In these pictures, you can see that she has learned to build towers with megablocks as well. :)

She has been much later at learning to talk than what Joshua was, but that is okay with us, as he keeps our ears busy enough. :) But, her vocabulary is increasing, slowly but surely. She can say
mama, papa, baby, uh-oh, uh-uh (for no), and her new one is "hot". In addition, she does sign language for please, more, water, eat, mama, up, all done and poo-poo. Maybe others too, that I cant think of right now.

But speaking of doing sign language for poo-poo, she has been consistently telling me when she has business to take care of, with enough time for me to get her to the bathroom and do it there! I think she will be an easy one to graduate to potty trained status! yeah! If she has no diaper on, she usually tells me when she has to pee too. So, my plan is to wait until May or so when it is warmer, leave her bottom-less for a couple days and do full-time potty training then. Hopefully all goes according to the plan! :)

Just had to take a post to brag on my little one a little bit, mostly for the grandparent's benefit! Thanks for "bearing with me"!! :-)~

Monday, February 13, 2006

In Loving Memory

Pictured here are our dear friends Hideshi and Penny Nakanishi. We became friends while attending the same church in Moriyama, Shiga, Japan.

Hideshi was a very talented musician who used his giftings for the Lord, leading worship at Moriyama Church, as well as recording and performing several albums of Christian contemporary music that he composed. (If you click on the link, you can listen to some of his music.)
His wife, Penny , is from Australia and she and I became good friends. (The link tells is to an interview that tells a little more about how she ended up in Japan.)

I got a shocking email from Penny on December 28, 2005, that they had taken Hideshi to the doctor to have him checked out for a persistent cough that he had had a couple of months and wouldn't go away. After extensive testing, it was discovered that he had stomach cancer that had spread to his lungs. They let him go home with oxygen and anti-cancer medication, because his condition was too serious for him to undergo more aggressive chemo therapy.

We all prayed for him continually.

Last Wednesday, I received an email from Penny stating that his condition had deteriorated drastically and that he had been hospitalized. We continued to pray fervently.

Friday night, one more email came, this time stating that Hideshi had been received into the arms of his Savior on Saturday morning at 1:05am Japan time. He was 38 years old. Please pray for his young widow and his unsaved family members. It is a sad time, and yet we are comforted to know that Hideshi is rejoicing now in his eternal home.

"So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting?O Hades, where is your victory?”
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:56-58

Friday, February 10, 2006

Rub-a-dub-dub-Two kids in the Tub!

For some reason, ever since she was about 5-6 months old, Dominique has loved to suck on the washcloth! I know, it is kinda gross....

Bath Buds Enjoying the Suds!

Just after bath curls ~ I love it!

Dominique likes bath time more than any other time of the day, I think. :)

While in the pictures, they all look peachy keen, the truth of the matter is that we haven't had the greatest week... Tuesday afternoon Dominique woke up from her nap vomiting and continued to do so for about four hours straight! At least it was fairly short lived.
Then, Wednesday afternoon, Joshua woke up from his nap vomiting! It was the first time he had ever thrown up and he would just as soon missed out on that experience... He then had a fever all night and I was up with him many, many times. By morning, my stomach was churning, and sure enough.... WHAM! I got hit too! This bug had me out of commission from early morning yesterday until early this morning, so I am still kind of on the weak side today, but feeling better anyway. A million thanks to Ruth H. who came over yesterday and took care of the kids, me, the laundry, everything! She was awesome and I couldnt have survived without her! Then Fabio came home early and he was a trooper all the rest of the night, taking care of all of us and the house and all! Thanks, honey!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A Seed Planted

This is a picture of me and my previous neighbor, Sherry. She came to visit me a couple weeks ago and we had a great visit. I was *thrilled* to find out that she has become a Christian!!! Since I was a child when we were neighbors (I used to be her babysitter!), I never knew a lot of things about her life, so she told me her whole testimony and God has done great things in her. It was really encouraging to hear about.
One part of her testimony was about "an 11 year old little neighbor girl" who showed up at her door step one day with a King James Bible, gave it to her and told her to start reading in the book of John! (It was me.) Now, I must truthfully say that I have absolutely no recollection of having done this, but she said that I wrote in the front cover of the Bible a little message to her, so it must have been me...
Anyway, this was really encouraging lesson to me. Almost every day, every where we go, with everyone we see, we plant seeds. Our words are seeds. Are they good ones or bad? Are they more likely to attract people to Jesus, or repel them from Him?
Keep planting the good seed of the Word of God everywhere you go! You never know what fruit it may bear, even ten or twenty years down the road! I feel very privileged to have gotten to know about this particular "fruit", but much we may never see. Still, keep planting in faith! His Word will not return void, but will accomplish the work which it was set out to do.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Some Extended Family News

These pictures are a little better, I think, than the last ones I posted, because you can see each family all together, and all the grandkids together as well.
These pictures were taken at our last family gathering for a while, because Aaron and family left the next morning: Aaron to NC for further Marine training, and Suzy and the kids to her family's in GA. So we ate together, sang some worship songs, and prayed them off. This was all one week ago.
First Picture: My oldest brother, Scott, Amanda, Dillon, Cheyenne, Gabriel

My second brother, Aaron, Suzy, Jessica, AJ, Colton, Levi

The Black Siblings in birth order and height order, with Mom

All nine grandkids: Jessica, Gabriel, Colton, Joshua, Levi, Cheyenne, Dillon, AJ, Dominique

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Joshua is improving in his photo taking expertise! He took this picture of Dominique and I (when Dominique's nose was still scuffed up ~ it's not a new owie.)

This is another birthday picture, a few days after his birthday. Fabio got his dream gift from my family: a Stiletto titanium hammer! He says now he can feel like a REAL carpenter. :)
This one below is a great sibling shot! I caught Joshua and Dominique reading in the living room ~ it was too cute! Joshua was reading a dictionary, and Dominique was reading a book with Bible verses about God's atributes. I think Joshua must be taking after his Grandpa Rex, who used to read the dictionary as a kid "for fun"! Anyway, Joshua was trying to get Dominique to look at the camera for me and smile! He was like "LOOK, Dominique!!!" HAHA ~ she didn't want to! In the next picture, she did finally decide to look, once Joshua got his hand off her neck! You can see what her hair looks like when she has had a piggie on top and takes it out!

They really do love each other, though, in spite of certain sibling moments. Here I caught Dominique giving Joshua a big hug. :) It is not an uncommon sight, and I am grateful for these loving moments.