Two More

We have two foster children that arrived to stay with our family last night.  They are boys, the little one is two and his brother is five years old.  We have been told that his is a temporary placement.

I am excited and busy.  These little guys are needy, but so adorable and lovable.  The five-year old is in school just down the road from our other kids.  I have the two yr. old and Brayden with me during the day.

Please keep us in your thoughts as we take on this adventure.  It is a big deal to be entrusted with such precious children.  We don’t take our responsibility lightly.  May we take one day at a time and remember to laugh, love unconditionally and give as the Lord would want us to.

So thankful . . .

Quote, Book and Radically Following Christ

Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.”
-Bob Pierce

I am reading The Hole In Our Gospel by Richard Stearns.  I have found the quote above several times within the text.  It is a good taste of what this reading is about.  I am reading this book weekly and discussing it with a group at my church on Wednesday nights.  I have found the readings very thought-provoking.  I have felt many nudges throughout the past few weeks.

A summary of the book from website:
This is a story of how a CEO faced his own struggle to obey God, whatever the cost, and his passionate call for Christians to change the world by actively living out their faith. Believing that the “good news” is more than a private transaction between God and us, Stearns challenges readers with this question: What does God expect of us? Two thousand years ago, twelve people changed the world. Stearns believes it can happen again.

I am trying to wrap my mind around the many stories and challenges presented in this book.  I am rereading scripture with different eyes and I am grappling with questions like “what does it REALLY look like to follow Christ.”

I just read a chapter today about the importance of faith and works lived out together.  It is so easy to have one without the other.

Another book review comment:

Rich Stearns calls us to exhilarating obedience to God’s life-altering, world-changing command to reflect his love to our neighbors at home and globally. The Hole in Our Gospel is imbued with the hope of what is possible when God’s people are transformed to live radically in light of his great love.” —-Gary Haugen, President & CEO, International Justice Mission

Retreat in Oak Island

The Blacknall Women’s Retreat was this past weekend.  This was my second time attending.  Last year we went to Black Mountain.  This year we headed the other way and went to Oak Island, NC.

Three days of uninterrupted conversation, laughter, worship, fellowship and fun!  Here are a few pictures from my time away.

This was my absolute favorite part of the weekend.  We did yoga on the beach while watching the sunrise.

Dolphins!

Me with my traveling buddies Alexa, Melissa and Ashley

Thanks Scott for taking care of things back at home so I could slip away for some girl time.

Character Day

Yesterday at Central Park School for Children, the kids were encouraged to dress up as their favorite book character.  Julian decided to be Frodo Baggins from Lord of the Rings written by J.R.R. Tolkien.  Madelyn chose a fun children’s book character named Lola from the Charlie and Lola books by Lauren Child.  Kalen decided to be Jack from the much adorned Magic Tree House series written by Mary Pope Osborne.

Julian

Frodo

Madelyn

Lola

Kalen and his friend, Sam, both dressed up like Jack.

Katherine (Junie B. Jones) and Maddie (Lola)

Surf City

This past weekend we had the amazing opportunity to meet three other families for an extended weekend away in Surf City, NC.  Altogether, there were eighteen of us.  I can’t possibly communicate effectively how wonderful this experience was.  The weather was simply delightful.  The multi-level beach house was super nice and just what we needed to house so many families.  We made all vegan meals and the food was absolutely wonderful!

Our time together was extremely enjoyable.  I love the beach.  It is not difficult for me to have a good time there.  However, our weekend in Surf City was unique.  We had never vacationed with friends in this way.  It was so delightful learning that it is possible, truly doable and something I want to make a habit of doing.  I felt immersed in a community of people living purposefully and totally present within this shared time together.  I loved watching our ten children laugh, play, and live so closely with one another.  I was able to let my hair down and soak up some sun, good conversation and quality time with friends as I kept an eye on our children frolicking with abandon on the beach.  I’m telling you, the richness of this vacation we had is beyond words.

If the pictures seem too good to be true, I promise you I was there and lived this dreamy weekend.  To the Kruidenier, Aardema, and Bulluck families- we are so thankful for each of you!  Thank you for allowing us to share such an amazing time together with you all.  Let’s do this again and again.

Just to clear up any confusion, the boys found these fish on the beach.  They had just washed up and were already dead.  We figure they had been tossed from the pier.  Kind of sad, I think.  Our boys enjoyed holding them and paid attention to all the details of these interesting fish.  Kalen really wanted to bring his home.  Um, I don’t think so.  Oh and yes, we made them wash their hands when they were done.

Kalen found this little guy in the very shallow water.  The fish seemed to be injured and swimming around upside down.  Kalen put water in a bucket and watched him for hours.  He wanted to keep this one as well.  We finally convinced him that this fish needed to go back to his home in the ocean.  Kalen was quite torn up about parting with it.

 

Eno River Moments

Julian, Madelyn and Kalen started back school this week.  Before our break was over, I took the kids to the Eno River.  I was reminded how important it is to take time to just be immersed in nature.  I had a long list of things I wanted to get done that day, but putting it all down to take the kids out to enjoy the Eno was way more important and life-giving.  I need to listen to those nudges more.  You know, the nudges that tell you to savor the moment, be present and life is more than just checking off our to-do list.  Seize the day.

More Color

This weekend, we took to the task of painting Kalen and Brayden’s room as well as Julian’s room. The colors we chose turned out great!

This is Kalen and Brayden’s room painted with Summer Day, a color from Sherwin Williams.

This is Julian’s room which was painted with a green that was concocted from some leftover Funky Yellow from Madelyn’s room.