Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Blogging

It has been a long long while since I lasted blogged. I was thinking about it last night and decided it would be good for me to blog about my life again.

Life has been pretty good over the last year or so, but we find ourselves in a new phase of "partenthood" and frankly....I'm not thrilled. We now have a teenager in our house and she knows how to push the limits.

I would say that both Nathan and I have felt like ducks out of water more now then even when we were brand new parents. And while I do find some peace in the wise words of others, the fact that I feel out-of-control really doesn't help much. ;)

A very quick update since the last time I posted..... I now have a 13 yr old, 11 yr old, 9 yr old, and 4 yr old. I just turned 36 and not much is new with Nate. I am working full time for the ambulance district, although it is not a paid position. I do love being at a job every day though. It makes me feel good about life. I am looking into going to paramedic school in the fall, but for some reason have some hesitation about it. I think it is probably the responsibility. LOL Although not much would change from what I'm currently responsible for. So I think it is a mental thing with me.

Ok, had planned on sharing more, but it is time to get to work. I have committed to having a training video done by this afternoon with test included. I better get busy or I won't be done in time.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wed. & Thurs.

We had such a busy day Wed. I didn't even get a chance to write. Yesterday was our last day of bible club. It was bitter sweet as everything around here is. It was great to know that the stress and business of teaching were done, but sad to know that we wouldn't be with the kids again.

We had a break through with many of the kids. We had a blast just playing with each of them, and really focused on just fun and loving each one. We shared God's message, but it was less about the bible story and more about each kid.

After VBS we packed up our props and got everything cleaned up and decorated for the ladies tea we were having a few hours later. We also finished working on our costumes! :) Wait until you see the pictures!

Our tea went well with 24 ladies plus bunch of kids. It was such a great time of just loving these women. We served pasta and salad. They had all they could drink. We had a youth skit, a fashion show, and a bible study. We gave them gifts and then ended the evening with chocolate fondue. Our youth helped watch the little ones. And it was a gift for the ladies to be able to just enjoy an evening without having much to do.

We ended the evening with laughter and spirits were high. We tried to get into bed early, but that is a plan that hasn't worked at all!

Today- we woke up and and split into groups after breakfast. The young youth went to the playground to play and meet with kids. The older youth went to the community center to play basketball with the teens, and 4 of us adults went to the pastors house to paint a large bathroom!

After we spent the morning working apart from each other, we came together after lunch for some prayer time. It was amazing for most! I actually spent time in another room working through some problems that Kayla was experiencing.

After prayer everyone went out to do home visits, or try to follow through with a mission they thought God had place them on. Kayla and I stayed back to continue to work through some things.

Once everyone had come back (and shared some amazing stories), we packed up and went out the pastors home for dinner (and to get prepared for the youth night there).

I'll have to finish the rest of the story later.....I can hardly stay awake! :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday

Today has been a very busy day. It came off the heals of a very late night last night. It was a little frustrating to sit and have a prayer and worship session so late when we had girls falling asleep as we went on and on. It had really become an issue to allow God to move at that point.

We woke up early this morning and there again was a strain and frustration. No one could really pinpoint one thing.....but you could feel it. Even after prayer and devotions this morning. We went and ate breakfast and then had a group session. And shortly after that we were supposed to go on a hike with the boys and girls club.

There were several of us that didn't really want to go....but it was more because we felt that today was going to be a big day at Bible club and we didn't feel prepared. More frustration built when we sat at the club for over 30 minutes waiting for someone to show up so we could begin the hike.

Finally a number of us decided we really needed to NOT go, and instead come and pray before getting ready for bible club. It didn't seem like a positive choice from the group, but we decided to do it any way. We opened in prayer and it became the most amazing prayer time. We came together confessing our issues and sins before each other and before God. We shared, we cried, we prayed, we listened. God was certainly in our little room. And we all agreed that the peace we felt afterward was exactly what we were supposed to feel! Satan had plans for the whole day to be nothing but problems and issues. God had other plans, and when we got right with Him....amazing things were going to happen!

Bible Club had another 34 kids. 16 from the previous day were unable to make it.....so we had another new bunch of kids. Our small class of 4 doubled to 8. It was, in some ways, frustrating since we had such a quiet bunch the day before. Now it was rowdy, but God still moved. Afterward, we told some of the kids we would do some home visits. We went and saw all but one of the kids in our class. We invited them back for an evening worship session, and more importantly shared the plan of salvation with 4 of them. 1 accepted Christ, and the other 3 are searching. We will continue to pray for them.

At worship we had all of those kids come and hang out with us. Relationships are being built, and you just know that if we are faithful, God will bless this time! Some of these kids just need a friend! And some of them just need an adult that will love them. One story of one girl just brought me to tears. We have no idea what they face day in and out! You have no idea the darkness that hangs over this town.

During worship tonight another 2 children came to Christ! It was unexpected, but amazing! What a night! We were able to head home early tonight for some good rest. Tomorrow is our last day of VBS. We need to make sure we are prepared and ready for some follow-up. We have pushed these kids....and they have done well. Tonight it will be nice to be in bed "early"!

Until tomorrow!

Monday, July 20, 2009

End of the day

We went to the church after naps, and prepared for our bible club. Some of the team went and picked up kids, some walked and picked up kids, and the rest just stayed at the church getting ready for each child.

We had 34 children. It was a great day! :) I was surprised at how many knew many of the stories we were sharing with them. It was great fun to watch each kid share. These kids seem so hungry for something.....but none of them seem to know what it is.

After we finished our 1 1/2 hours with the kids we took them home in the same fashion they arrived. After each kid was gone, we came back and shared our experience. We decided that we would tweak our program just a bit for the next two days, so it better fits our space (and the kids). We shared the exciting stories, and the frustrating areas. I see our group growing closer in these times.

We had supper afterward. It was great....and we were all hungry! We had yummy ice cream for dessert and then got ready for a prayer walk. The men were doing a bible study this evening (we get our chance on Wed. night). All the ladies (and young ladies) gathered up and split into two groups. We walked around the neighborhood and prayed. It was great, but I think the youth didn't find this to be one of the more enjoyable exercises. We spent over an hour walking and praying.

The youth girls saw a girl out playing basketball and joined in for a game. A few injuries (mainly to my two children) later and we were heading back to the church. We were supposed to have our debriefing period.

The men didn't finish their study until after 10pm, so we didn't start our session until they were done. It was a great meeting, but by the time we finished (not only sharing, but doing some worship as well) it was about 11:15. We had kids falling asleep in the car.

So we are home, and all is quiet. I really need to get to bed since tomorrow morning will come quickly! Until then........

Mission Trip

I'm a few days behind, but internet and time has been limited! Cell service is even more limited!

We left Friday morning early from the church. 15 total, 6 adults and 9 youth. We headed out in my van, and two other vehicles (including a very nice horse trailer with all our stuff stashed inside). We had a safe trip, but certainly saw God's hand protecting us as we drove along. At one point, we had stopped for a quick bathroom break, but Natalie kept saying she was hungry so we decided to have a lunch at the rest stop. We watched the cars and trucks pass as we ate in the bright sunshine. A short time later we were back on the road. Not more than 10 miles later we saw a horrible accident, and we had just watched that van pass shortly before we ate. It is very possible we would have been right at the accident! We had numerous other close calls, but God is good! :)

We stayed our first night in Spearfish, SD. We got in early enough we were able to eat supper and spend a few hours in the pool and hot tub. It was a well needed break from the car. Saturday morning we got up and had breakfast at the hotel. After we ate, we all prayed and shared a devotion. It was awesome to sit in the breakfast room, and for everyone to respect our prayer time by getting quiet. And not one kid seemed bothered that we weren't in private! In fact, afterward one of the leaders went back in for some directions and heard another large group talking and asking where our church group was from, and wondering where we were going. :)

Saturday around 3:30 we pulled into Mandaree ND. We got unloaded and went up to the church for a quick overview of our mission for the week. Then we were sent with some cash, and went to an Indian Pow Wow! It was truly amazing to watch the native dancers. I will post some pictures when I get some free time! We had to leave before really any of us wanted, but we knew our group was exhausted!

Sunday we were up for devotions and prayer and then to the church for breakfast. We had church (and that was really exciting) and then a pot luck dinner afterward. We got to spend some time talking and sharing with some people in the community. We had to unload the trailer full of our VBS props, and then we were able to just spend some "free" time with the community. The kids decided to head to the park and play. One of our youth (the only boy) decided to play basketball. After a couple hours, we were all tired, and sharing our experiences. The kids flocked to the girls on the playground! And Toby had a court full of young men playing basketball with him! Being the EMT, I was fixing scrapes from the Native children. I think some of them literally picked scabs so they could come get a band aid!

After playing and a quick supper, we had another meeting about the activites of the week. We were reminded that our main mission is building relationships! :) Then we went off for another evening at the Pow Wow. The kids took flier to hand out about several events happening this week. My two girls (a proud mommy moment) continued the whole evening handing out fliers and talking to children and women! I coudln't have been more proud! :) They have been an inspiration to watch.

We came home after 10pm and had our bible studay and debriefing period. It has been fun to share what God has done throughout the day. I've been very proud of our youth! They have really been willing to step out and build relationships with any/all the people! We were in bed around 11:30.

Today was another early morning (it will be this way all week). You could see that the last few days have been slowly catching up on everyone! It was a slow start today. Once at the church for breakfast, everyone slowly started to wake up. After we ate, we sat around as a big group (we have some people from Tx here as well- all adult) and share in devotion/ and prayer time. We sat around and sang some praise songs and then did some awesome focused prayer time! I think we might have been there for an hour or more!

After prayer we did some cleaning at the church, and then we had planned on playing baseball with some local kids at the boys & girls club, but there was a sign saying they were closed and cleaning up the grounds where the Pow-Wow had been. We grabbed some gloves and trash sacks and went to help clean up. As a side note- I have never seen so much trash thrown all over the place. It was really really bad! It was a fun time, even though it was picking up trash. We were happy to help, and I think the locals were pleased to see us.

We had lunch and now we are "home" for a quick rest time. In just a few minutes we'll go get the kids up and head back to the church for our first session of VBS (although we are calling it Bible Camp since school is a negative thing for these kids)! :)

I'll try to update tonight and each night the rest of the week! Please keep praying for the team and this community!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Well.....here goes nothing!

After much prayer and thought, Nathan and I have decided to enter the foster care system. It hasn't been an easy choice, and we know that many bumps lie ahead!

I made the official call today, and will wait 1-2 day until the packet of information arrives. We will have an orientation and then we'll be given the paper work. I haven't seen the packet of information....but I've heard it is HUGE! ;) Nathan and I will have to have finger prints and background checks done (again- we have done this for EMT). Our whole family will have to have physicals (not sure why the whole family) and then we'll have to take a weekend class. She told me that it can take 1-2 months to get into the system depending on how quickly we do our stuff.

I am so excited! Of course, my prayer is that by the time we are "official" that Tyler will be allowed to come back into the system. I am going to call his social worker tomorrow and see what information she will share. I will also call his group home again and see if they will let me talk to him. If they won't, I'll see if I can send a letter! I spent some time today writing one!

I will update frequently on the process for entering the system and all that we experience! Above all, we will be asking for prayer for the situation for us entering quickly and for Tyler!

WoooHoooo!!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Update on Tyler

I've been praying daily for this young man. I know that my life would be simpler if I could "just forget", but God places him on my heart several times a day.

We sat down and talked with the kids, since I feel that no matter what, this needs to be a family decision! They are all very excited about the possibilities. I have tried to explain that IF things were to work out....and IF Tyler is even adoptable it wouldn't be this immediate "happy family." It would take time. They don't see anything but the positive (and I do love that) and can't wait to have a new brother! I know that if this is truly a God thing, our children will grow through this and will be on board with even the difficult aspects!

So I have been trying to get some information on this little boy. It has been discouraging to "break" into the system. I have asked people I know for information and hope they can send me in the right direction. I'm not even sure how hard it will be to enter foster care in this county. I've heard that many counties require a lengthy class (12 weeks or so). That is a LONG time in many ways.

After a few phone calls and several messages, here is what I've found out.

1- Tyler is NOT adoptable. What little I've been told is that he has a parent still out there. Tyler's case worker is going to talk with her supervisor as soon as he returns from vacation (should hear something early next week). It is hard for me to understand why there are still parent rights......since I do know that Tyler has been in the system for YEARS!

2- Tyler is in a group home because of behavior. In order to get back into traditional foster care, he will have to be on good behavior so they can give him lower doses of medications.

Even with that news yesterday was a good day for me with the Tyler situation. The pastor and his wife from the youth camp came by our home for some help with a web site. We started talking about foster care (they are getting in the system) and they had once mentioned to us that they were interested in Tyler (this was the week of the camp). I was nervous at first to bring it up, but then decided that God has put this little boy on my heart (and the hearts of my family) for a reason......so I asked them if they had done any follow-up with his case. They told me "no". They also both said that Tyler had a bond with me that they just never had. They said they "saw" something and both felt that our home would be a good place for Tyler. I quickly updated them with what little I knew.

The pastor then told me he knows the group home parents and shared some information, in general, about the situation of the home. It sounds like these people really have no bond with most of these boys.....and if a foster family came along that wanted one of them they would have no issues with it! So that was a blessing! It was also a blessing to hear that the pastor really thought that I could call them and talk with them about having contact with Tyler!

Now I have to check with the case worker and find out what I can and can't do....according to the law. BUT, if I can have a relationship with this boy NOW....we can hopefully move forward and get him into our home?!

Until God closes the door.....I'm going to keep praying and moving forward with getting Tyler into our home. If the time comes when parent rights are finally severed, we will be there. If not, at least he will be in a home that will love him! I also think that with the proper care, his anger issues can be resolved instead of being masked with high dose drugs (I'm talking counseling- but I would hope he could get of medications that sedate him)!

Nathan and I will be moving forward this next week (God willing) to get into the foster care system. We will have to have our finger prints done (again- we did them for EMS), background checks (AGAIN), and lots and lots and lots of paper work. I've been told Pueblo county only requires a weekend class and then plenty of follow-up classes throughout the year. We will have to have a home inspection. I hope that everything will be able to move forward at a fairly decent pace so IF this all can happen, we can have Tyler in our home by the time school starts (or at least shortly after).