Friday, January 30, 2009

Update

My friend, passed along this email from her daughter, Ashley today.  Please continue to pray! 


Here's Ashley's update--looks like we really need to pray since she has the abortion scheduled for next week:

Update on Nikki:  Today was her 30th birthday.  Dalton, Nikki, and I went out to Logan’s Roadhouse for dinner.  I think she had a good time.  We all got to know each other a lot better.  Nikki is such a sweet girl and I just feel so badly for her.  She has had a lot of trauma in her life.  So many past hurts; no wonder she is in her current situation. 

Anyway, she was able to be more open and honest with us tonight and told us she has an abortion scheduled for February 3rd.  My heart sank when I found out she actually has an appointment!  That made everything seem so much more real and desperate!

We tried to speak truth to her about the life growing inside of her, how God knew her babies before they were even created, how he has plans for them and for her.  She acknowledged that all those things were true.  She just seems overwhelmed by her problems and can’t see any way out. 

I told her about Crisis Pregnancy Outreach and gave her the phone number and told her to call anytime.  I told Nikki that they could provide her with everything she would need, but she seemed to have an excuse for everything.  Argh!!!!  I hope when she’s at home, she will just call and someone at CPO can talk to her for a bit. 

Please lift up the following things in prayer (and whatever else God lays on your heart!):

that God would protect the lives of Nikki’s babies

that he would reveal himself as a caring Father to Nikki

that Satan’s chains that have bound her life would be broken

that she would be able to break off dysfunctional relationships

that Nikki would have the peace of God in her life

Please be in prayer.  If God gives you any breakthrough ideas or visions, let me know! I’m open to anything and will present any idea to Nikki, no matter how crazy sounding!    If God gives you any special verses or encouragements for her, please let me know and I will pass it on.  Thanks!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Prayer Requests

2 pretty major prayer requests this week, but nothing is major to God right? Please join me and come before our Father on these two gal's behalf:

A girl who was on my floor freshman year of college, Sarah, has been teaching in China this past year. She was on winter break traveling with several friends and has become very ill. I'm not sure of any details except she needs to be flown back to the US and cannot until she is stable enough. You can read more about it here on my friend Kara's blog. (Kara lost her 18 year old sister last April- that is what she refers to.) Please pray for healing in Sarah's body and peace for her family as they are here unable to do much for Sarah physically. 

Another request from a friend at church. Her daughter,  Ashley,  has had the opportunity to minister to a girl named Nikki. Nikki is pregnant with twins, in an unstable/abusive relationship and considering abortion. Please pray Nikki will choose life for her babies. Please pray for a transformation in her life! Please pray for an openess to Crisis Pregnancy Outreach as Ashley ministers to her. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 Random Things

I've seen this "25 Random Things" thing going around Facebook. I've had fun reading them from various people, so I just decided to do me :)

1. I have become quite the tea connoisseur this winter. Anything with caffeine really upsets my tummy, and even a couple cups of decaf coffee will too...so decaf teas have become my warm winter friend! I bought this huge box of various decaf teas at Sam's, some of my favorites are blueberry, mint medley, and ginger snapish. I also like any rooibos tea- vanilla & red spice are my favorite though! 

2. I was upset when the hot water ran out very quickly during my shower today, I barely had enough to get all the shampoo out of my hair! Turns out when you have to "leave your sink running so your pipes don't freeze" it leaves little hot water for showering. Not to mention I can normally drain the hot water heater in one shower anyways...

3. Finnigan likes to play with my long hair

4. I grew up in a home where the cookie jar was rarely empty. Cookies were about the only thing I knew how to make when I met Jason!  

5. I have to have the window shades open during the day when I am home. I need sunlight/natural light to live! However 98% of the tenants in our apartment complex never open their shades?? Do people just like living in a cave? I tell Jason often that when we build our home we are going to have tons of windows!! 

6. When Vanessa & I were little we had pet gerbils. When they had babies and we had too many dad would take the babies to "the pet store to be sold" ....years later they built a Home Depot near our old house and dad remarked, "Hey they are building a Home Depot on the field where the baby gerbils live!" Shame on him. 

7. I have a weakness for cute dishes...just like my mama & sister. Mom has at least 11 sets of dishes. Vanessa & I counted once!

8. Just in the past year or so Vanessa & I have decided we wish we were from a bigger family, more siblings would've been fun. I think we'll both have more than 2 kids. :)

9. One of my favorite books is Your Prayers are Always Answered by Alexander Lake (John G. Lake's son). He made a lifetime hobby of collecting stories of answered prayers. He put some of his favorites in a book. It's a really old book, but I found my copy on half.com for $4. We have a notebook of similar accounts we are keeping for our family records. It's good to be reminded of God working in our lives! 

10. I love cute scrapbook paper...and I don't even really scrapbook anymore, but I love to have a bunch on hand for a cute card or gift (file folders, baby gifts, etc.) if needed. 

11. The guy downstairs (below us) must play the same video game multiple times a day- the only noise we ever hear from them is sounds of things exploding/shooting. It's always the same sounds so I figure it must be a video game and not regular TV.

12. Jason & I don't have a TV.  We don't have time for one, and if we had one we would make time and then there's all the stuff we don't want coming into our home. At some point we'll probably have one for movies as watching them on the laptop gets old, but not for now. 

13. I am thinking about redecorating our bedroom already. We are both ready for something new. 

14. My husband actually has quite the opinion when it comes to decorating tastes- its all the nice homes he's done work in rubbing off on him! Thankfully we have pretty similar tastes. 

15. Excel is probably my favorite "Microsoft Office" program. I keep our lives and business all together based on various lists and spreadsheets! (except I use Quickbooks for our bookkeeping). Several of my lists are "Packing for a trip" "Master Grocery List" "Books I want to/have read".

16. I love step aerobics and pilates classes! 

17. My car is named "Eva" and Jason's truck is named "Wall-E" after the movie. It's probably my favorite Pixar movie!

18. I enjoy spenging time with our grandparents and hearing about their lives and experiences (past & present).

19. Finnigan's full name is Finnigan Earl Grey. (we both love earl grey tea!) Vanessa's kitten (Finn's cousin ) is named Pippy Noel. Mom is thrilled to have two "grand-cats" Dad doesn't care. He's anxious for real grandkids...

20. I own a pair of coveralls thanks to my 14 year old brother-in-law who is now much taller than me! (Kevin has grown over 14 inches in the 2 years since Jason & I got married...I don't even want to try to think about how long it took me to grow 14 inches as a kid!)

21. I really want a Canon EOS 50D digital SLR camera, but they are like $1300. So it might be a while....

22. I started my first sourdough bread starter today based on this recipe. 

23. My favorite pajama's are "old man button-up" style, but made out of fleece! They are SO warm! I had a pair 3-4 years ago from Gap and at some point I finally had to get rid them  of because they were so worn out. I've been looking every winter and I found some on clearance at Walmart this year for $6. I was SO SO excited! They are a little big as the smallest size they had was a women's small, but I still love them!!

24. Tomorrow I am going to attempt making fried rice. I've had a craving for it the past couple days. After looking at a couple recipes online, it looks pretty easy.

25. I am really loving Beth Moore's Bible study on Esther this semester! Plus I'm having fun attending with my mom now that she's at home full time again!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Finnigan

I have a really awesome husband!

Check out my early Valentines Day gift, Finnigan!! He hasn't stopped purring since I brought him home! He's about 4 months old. 


Vanessa & Collin got a kitten a couple weeks ago, it's so tiny & cute! Jason knows how much I love it! When I saw a kitty yesterday along our vending route I stopped to pet it and Jason said out of the blue, " I guess you could get a cat if you'd like." TOTALLY shocked me! We've had an agreement that I can't get a cat until he get's a dog. And there is NO way we can have a dog in our tiny apartment! He said he'd be fine without a dog and I could get a cat! Wahoo!! I wasted no time in looking! The SPCA had kitties at Pet's Mart, already fixed and vacinated, ready to be adopted and taken home today! I had no idea I'd get one this quick! Vanessa & my friend, Tanya went with me. We played with three out of a litter and this little guy just cuddled right up with me!


 AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZAA
(that was him typing...he likes my computer!)
Here he is chasing the mouse on my computer screen!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Very Hearty Vegetable Soup

I'm eating leftover soup tonight. This is quite possibly one of the best batches of soup I've ever made, and I LOVE to make soup often in the winter. 

This was a "whatever I had on hand, need to use some veggies up, combination minestrone and potato soup reciepes" soup, but basically a Vegetable Soup.


2 Qt. chicken broth
1 Qt. water
6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 whole white onion, chopped
1 can kidney beans, undrained
1 c. fresh spinach, finely chopped
20-30 baby carrots, sliced
1 1/2  c. cooked turkey breast, shredded or cubed (could use chicken too)
3/4  c. uncooked brown rice
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. Spike seasoning salt

Mix together in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, simmer for 30 minutes or so. And of course, soup is usually better the next day (or in this case 3 days later!) Enjoy!!

This is "very hearty" meaning it's not a real liquidy soup- which means Jason really likes it. He doesn't like to go fishing for the good stuff in soup!


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Fireproof



We went to see Fireproof tonight at the dollar movies. FANTASTIC movie!!! We both highly recommend seeing it! Curious to read the book (Love Dare) now too!


Friday, January 16, 2009

"Thank You Cupcakes"

Vanessa called me Wednesday night and asked if I'd be home Thursday afternoon~ she had something to give me. I said no, but that I would be close to her work all afternoon, could she come by my friend's house? No, you have to be at home! Ok then?? I was very curious! 

She came over last night with "Thank You Cupcakes"! Each of the little flags had a thank you note written on the back from their wedding and Christmas! What a genius idea! Needless to say, Jason and I were both impressed! What a meaningful way to say thank you!



Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A New Look

This morning I was in the mood for a new blog background. 
I wasn't really into any of the valentines backgrounds at 


so turned to trusty Google and came up with this cute blog 

She has really cute stuff! But no valentines themes yet. 
So snowflakes for now, it's still winter! :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Subject: FW: A HUGE MIRACLE!!!

Have your kleenex ready! This is an email we received this morning from Cheryl Bauman, the CPO director:



It has been my privilege in life to have witnessed hundreds of miracles.  I don't mean the kind of things that someone could chalk up to "fortunate coincidence."  I mean the kind of things that only God could put together.  I am always in awe.  I am always amazed.  I have NEVER been as amazed as I am today.

 

Many of you know that I sent out the following e-mail on Thursday evening:

 

"One of our young birth moms, who placed her baby a year ago, is in need of an Adoptive Home for herself.  She is almost 16, and wants her own "forever family."  She makes all A's and B's and loves school.  She has a very sweet spirit and is not a discipline problem.  Her biological parents have not been interested in parenting her for several years.  She is living in our Transitional Home.  We would, happily, continue to take care of her, but she really wants parents.  There are always new girls coming in and going out of the Transitional Home, and many of them have huge problems.  It is not an ideal long-term situation for a teen-ager.  I think it would be best for her to stay in the Greater Tulsa Area, where she has put down some deep roots at her church.

 

Please pray about being the answer to this dear girl's prayers.  She is so precious and gave her heart to Jesus about a year ago."

 

Later the same evening, I received an e-mail from Jeff and Kim Lee, one of our Adoptive Couples, asking for my permission to forward my e-mail to their church (Liberty Church) e-mail list.  THE NEXT MORNING, I was contacted by a couple from their church who said they were very interested in adopting Rachael.  They told me that they have 4 children, the youngest of whom is 18, and is the only one still living at home.  They have a home with lots of room and are in the Union School District. 

 

Natalie, Patti (both Transitional House administrators) and I met with them and their 18-year-old Rachael at 4:00 today.  Ohmygosh, I do not have adequate words to describe how perfect this family is for Rachael, but I will try: 

 

  • They have already parented 4 teenagers.  J
  • They are, totally, comfortable with Rachael remaining a part of the Youth Group at  our church and only live 3 miles from the church.
  • They support Rachael saying connected to the many of us who have been connected to her for the last year, including the House Mom, with whom she has a very strong relationship.
  • They loved knowing that she has a very open relationship with her Birth Son's Adoptive Parents, and ongoing contact with them and little Tyler.
  • Rachael is very artistic and so are the Adoptive Mom and Adoptive Sister.
  • Not only did they want to meet Rachael, immediately, and take her home, but so did her new Sister, Rachael, who is just the sweetest girl.
  • She will be going to the Intermediate High School in the Union district and already has friends there (including Patti's daughter, Amanda) from Youth Group
  • The school district that Rachael had longed to be in was—Union!!
  • The Adoptive Family likes "adventuresome" things—like sky-diving—which is something Rachael had always dreamed of doing. 
  • They are "rock solid" Christians.
  • They had been longing to adopt a teen-aged girl, but really did not want to go through the craziness of DHS.
  • Tuesday is Rachael's 16th Birthday.  She said that this would be her best birthday gift—ever.  J
  • Tomorrow is the FIRST day of the second semester at Union.

 

We all went to the TH for them to meet Rachael, and she is in their home tonight.  I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled that our Rachael is.  When we dropped her off, so that she could go to Youth Group and tell everyone that her prayers had been answered, she said "Thanks so much," to Natalie and me.  We have been crying since 5:00—tears of joy!

 

I am so grateful that Rachael pulled Natalie aside this past Tuesday evening, and told her that she was really feeling desperate to be adopted.  I am so grateful that Natalie told me.  I am so grateful to Jeff and Kim Lee for forwarding my e-mail.  Most of all, I am grateful to God for orchestrating this amazing miracle and allowing Patti, Natalie and me to watch it unfold.

 

Thank you for praying.  I wish that all of you could have been there to see Rachael's sweet face.  She is so happy.  God is so faithful.

 

Much love,

 

Cheryl

 

Crisis Pregnancy Outreach

Cheryl J. Bauman, Director

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Twice

That is the number of times this girl has made me cry today! (ok, three times as I sit here and type this!)

This is Rachael (and her son, TJ). She is in our 10th grade small group at our church.


First time was this morning at church, I heard she had some "big news" so I ran right over to ask her before church started.  She smiled real big and told me, "I'm getting adopted today!!!!"

Second time was this evening in our small group, she came in a little late just shaking with excitement! She had just met the family who was going to adopt her and was going right after church tonight to spend her first night with her new family! No school tomorrow either, just bonding she said! 

Rachael will be 16 on Tuesday this week, what a birthday present! A family!!

Rachael is a part of our church's Crisis Pregnancy Outreach (CPO). She had her baby at age 14, and eventually decided she was too young to be a parent and gave him up for adoption through CPO when he was 6 months old. Her family life was not very great, so she came to live in our church's CPO Transitional Home. She has wanted a real family for some time now.  Jason & I and several other in our church have been praying for one to come. Today was that day! The couple has one daughter still at home whose name is also Rachel! That will be fun! Our Rachael told us this family is into art just like she is!  I cannot express how excited Jason & I are for her! Yay Rachael!!!


P.S. Here is a news article about the family that adopted Rachael's little boy. 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Highlights from Our Vacation

Jason: The Captain


Grandpa: The Navigator


Grandma: The Comedian


Andrea: The Reader


Beautiful sunset our second night traveling. It was about 1,200 miles, Jason & I did all the driving. We made it there by 8pm the second day. 


We took lots of naps each day


The book I am currently reading~ almost done!


toes in the surf


The weather was wonderful!


Hanging out on the beach with my sweetheart. 


We played lots of dominoes with Grandma & Grandpa. 


One evening a storm came in. 


We went to Naples one night to visit my Aunt & Uncle and their two boys. 
Jack & me


Jason giving Jack a hard time. 


Philip's turn!

Grandpa & Grandma


One last look at the ocean before heading home


Seen in a parkinglot down by the beach...??


Sunset from the airplane! This one turned out really cool!

A Great Surprise!

Right before we left for Florida my dishwasher quit working. It was packed full as I had just finished making like 10 freezer meals....there were a TON of dishes. I eneded up having to wash them all by hand as the maintenance man told me the part he had to order would be here the following week. 
I'm not kidding when I said I had a ton of dishes to wash!

So we came home from Florida and Jason came in the door first. His ornery self came around to the front door where I was and said, "They didn't get our dishwasher fixed while we were gone." 

My face drooped a little, then he said, "They just replaced it instead!" Wahoo! A new dishwasher! I sure can't complain, our apartments have been good us this year! 

Friday, January 9, 2009

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Dad being silly with a lobster claw, NYC May 2005

Happy Birthday, Daddy! (# 49)


Dad & Grandpa, summer 2008


Dad & my cousin, David, June 2008


Dad making his famous salsa


Daddy has such stretchy cheeks...December 2007


Daddy loves his girls! December 2007


Dad loves to fish at the lake- summer 2007


Dad's new boat, February 2007


Dad & me on my wedding day, October 2006


Dad with his girls in NYC, May 2005