Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Avianna Marie and Her Siblings











I'm an auntie again! Here is my oldest brother Scott with his brand newest baby girl, Avianna Marie. She was born last Saturday afternoon and I was privileged to be at her birth. :) She weighed 10lbs even, and was 21 inches long.







She looks so much like Cheyenne when she was born!


















Yesterday I had the privilege of having the other four children at my house so their mama could rest up a bit. :)










We had a blast!





















The kids played so well together, and it was nice that it was nice enough to play outside for a good while.









I just had to keep counting heads up to seven to make sure I didnt lose anyone!



















Fabio put this chalkboard on the garage wall last Saturday - it was perfect!











Israel in the playhouse.

They all just ran from one activity to the other the whole time- what a lot of energy!













Cheyenne -6yo























Moriah - almost 2yo and not the baby anymore! And Dominique, whose bangs are trying to grow....













Moriah and Johann













Dillon and Joshua - they got along so well and played lots of games together. How fun!



















Gabe was too fun to take pictures of!













Dillon is so tall. I can't believe he's going to be 9 soon!






















Moriah - what a sweetie!












Gabe and Israel. These two guys remind me so much of each other!











Cheyenne and Dominique - love to play dress-up and get along so well!














Mealtimes were fun! We had, altogether:
an 8yo
2 6yo's
2 4yo's
2 2yo's
a 6mo


:)



Gabe said he wanted to sing us a song:

video


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Johann is 6 months and More Stuff...



This past Wednesday Johann turned SIX months old! Half of a year already!

Remember this bowl? He fills it out nicely now!













He is generally a happy baby, for which I am thankful, although he does have his moments....









He celebrated his six month birthday by getting his THIRD tooth! He was too shy to show them in the pictures, though. :)











































I wasnt able to capture it on film, but he is close to crawling. He gets up on his hands and knees and rocks and rocks, then moves his knees around. Wont be long...






In other news, we had an awesome opportunity this week to meet an "old friend" from Japan! He had a one night layover in Chicago, so we were able to meet for dinner and a brief visit. When I first moved to Japan in 1998, I tutored his then 3 year old daughter every day to prepare her for entrance into an international school. I got to be very good friends with her wonderful family during that time, and here 11 years later, we are still friends! I would have loved to have seen the whole family as well, but it was wonderful to see Hideki for a little visit anyway.
















One more note in the international news department:

A group from our church went to Jordan last summer on a mission trip, to serve in an Iraqi refugee camp. They had an amazing time, and it opened up the opportunity for us, as a church, to become contact people for refugees being accepted into the USA! So, a family came in January - grandparents, their son and his wife and their 2 children, ages 10 and 13. They stayed with a family in our church, a homeschool family with nine children! Talk about a full house! (That is them in the picture, with Mustafa and Nabila.)

Anyway, the son and his wife are believers in Jesus, after having seen a vision of Him! They spent TEN years in the refugee camp in Jordan, waiting a country to accept them. Now they are finally here in America. The grandparents are still Muslim.

BUT, they have been coming to our church, and the church people have been SO awesome - inviting them to dinner, donating things and groceries, befriending them and such.

Last Sat they finally were able to move into their own place, and the church people were AWESOME, donating furniture and stuff. Then Monday night we had a house warming party for them at church, and the turnout was AMAZING and everyone was so generous, giving them much that they need to get started as a household.

I am so excited about the opportunity to show Jesus' love to the parents, who dont know Him yet.

We stopped by their house the other night with a cake and the game "PIT". Have you ever played that? It was awesome! Try explaining the rules to people who don't speak more than a few words of English!!! We did a lot of LOLing! The dad told us the next day that he was dreaming about "two, two, one, one!" LOL!

Anyway, Im blessed to be a part of a body of Christ that so enjoys showing Jesus' love in practical ways and Im thankful for the opportunity to be a part of ministering to this family!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Purim 2009

Before I begin this blog post, if you are reading this from LWC, you may be interested in reading an interview with Sam Prince at www.mamaknowsbest.net !!


Okay, now for this post on Purim 2009!

Well, we went from the last post being a Japanese gathering, to this post celebrating a biblical feast! Purim is the celebration of the salvation of the people of God as recorded in the book of Esther. If you have never read the story, you can read it here.

Traditionally, it is celebrated by dressing as the characters in the story and gathering together to have a feast!

Dominique, as Queen Esther:



Israel, as one of the king's soldiers who carried the message throughout Shushan:




Joshua, as Mordecai:



I was one of the candidates, who didn't get chosen as queen. :)
Fabio was Haman!
Johann was a baby in Shushan. :)














At the feast, the story from the book of Esther is read, and whenever the name "Mordecai" is said, everyone cheers and makes noise with all sorts of noise makers.
Then when the name "Haman" is said, everyone boos and makes noise with the noise makers to drown out his name.


The kids LOVE it - I mean, what child doesn't love permission to make lots of noise??

video
And then we ate. :) This was our first year to celebrate Purim, and we were so excited about it! What a great, hands-on, visual way to teach the Bible! :)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Sushi



Tuesday we had "Japan day". :-D
I went to a Japanese ladies Bible study at a church up north of the city, and afterwards, the pastor's wife had us over to teach us to make sushi!


















Dominique attentively sat with the ladies too.











My new friend, Atsuko-san, making sushi. :)

















My first sushi!!














Ain't that purty??














The kids got in on some culture too - here is Joshua playing "kendama" - a japanese game.

















And Israel brushed up on Japanese geography with this foam puzzle.




It was wonderful and nostalgic! Aaahhhhh........



(sigh)