Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween

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This year we have a Strawberry Shortcake -- or Strawberry Tallcake -- as her friends may say.

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Anakin Skywalker.

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And two cute little fairies...

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We have Luke Skywalker.

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And some creepy underwear man. Who I will not be posting pictures of. It was just weird.

We carved pumpkins.

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We hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

November is Adoption Awareness Month

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Is everyone here?

by Charlotte Riegel

In 2007, a girl was born in a country that did not value girls. Being unable to access necessary medical attention for her daughter, the mother chose to abandon her child on the steps of a busy library knowing she would be given the chance at life she could not provide. The baby was taken to a medical facility and later placed into a foster home as an orphan.

Halfway around the world, a couple with four children of their own, began the arduous task of completing a mound of paperwork for adopting a girl, on the very day this orphan was born. The wait for a placement was agony.

After many months without the girl they were praying for, the hopeful parents amended their application to include a child with minor disability. Soon after, they were contacted about this little girl who was born with a craniofacial cleft. They eagerly accepted the challenge.

Lilah did not choose the life she was born into nor the family she was placed with shortly after birth. Neither did she choose the lifestyle and love of family she now enjoys in a Canadian home. Adoption is God’s plan and it is not a new concept.

Moses, Esther, and Jesus were all adopted. They were nurtured and educated by someone who had not given them physical life. The Egyptian Princess, Mordecai, and Joseph had no idea of the role they were playing in God’s bigger picture, but they were willing to love a child that was not born of their flesh and blood. Are you?

November is Adoption Awareness Month. There are millions of children around the world, including some living in Canada, who need what most of us take for granted – the love and nurture of a parent.

Wendy Robinson of Christian Adoption Services says, “Every child we parent provides one more space in an orphanage for a child in need of a safe place. In many countries the orphanages are full and regularly turn away infants and children, only to find them abandoned on the steps of the orphanage. Mothers, who are starving, know their child will die and the only hope they have is placing them in orphanage care.”

If children are not adopted and grow up in an orphanage, during their teen years they are forced to leave and survive on their own in whatever way they are able. Many become trapped in the sex trade or illegal drug industry.

Though not everyone can adopt internationally, some can help locally by caring for a child needing temporary care. If the child is unable to return to their birth family, foster parents may choose to adopt him or her. Many of the adoptions in this province are by foster families adopting the child in their care.

Look around your dinner table, asking yourself and God, “Is everyone here?”

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans...in their distress...” – James 1:27

Christian Adoption Services (http://www.christianadoption.ab.ca/) would be happy to answer your questions and help guide you through this God honouring journey.

Charlotte Riegel is a Calgary based freelance writer with two internationally adopted grand- children.

This article was published in City Light Magazine. It can be found here.

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I am joining in on Sunday Snapshot.

Sunday Snapshot

Friday, October 28, 2011

The end of a week

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This week has been one of those weeks. Full of stress. No down time. Too much to do. And feeling overwhelmed by it all.

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Tim is stressed. He is heading to China for two weeks for his annual medical mission and the paperwork has been a little slow going and I haven't had the time to help him with it. I am excited that he gets to go and do this trip again. He loves it! But it means me and SIX kids... I am trying to mentally prepare myself for two weeks of busy and that it just might be okay to skip some activities if need be... to keep my sanity.

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Lilah is still having some issues and at some point hopefully I will be able to share more in depth what these are and how we dealt with them, but it is wearing me down emotionally.

Trying to look at the positive side of things... this week is finally over and everything got done that needed to get done. We are looking forward to some Halloween activities this weekend. Our community has some fun stuff going on, the kids have their costumes ready to go and parties to prepare for.

I found these skirts (with leggings underneath) while in Phoenix and the girls love them. Zoe repeats over and over "I am so pretty!" Yes, she is. Despite the stress sometimes... I would change nothing about my life. I have been given more than I ever asked for.

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Some difficulties teach patience
Some difficulties teach us to have compassion
Some difficulties teach gratitude
Some difficulties teach us to die to self
Some difficulties build character

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. -- Proverbs 3: 5-6

Monday, October 24, 2011

I heart faces: {let them be little}

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This photo of our two littlest ones exudes such joy... it makes us smile to see these two girls so happy and full of life. I do wish they could stay little... at least for a while longer.

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Check out more "let them be little" entries at I heart faces.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Caramel Apples

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I bought the caramel apple kit from Costco. Actually, I bought two... and it is a good thing! These were easy, fun to make and delicious.

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apples

Ours may not be as pretty as the ones on the box.

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But I may have to go back to the store and stock up on these.

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This week I am joining in on Sunday Snapshot.

Sunday Snapshot

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Phoenix

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This is where I spent my weekend.

We recently bought a house (together with my sister and her husband) down in Phoenix. The house will be our vacation home. A place to escape the harsh and long winters that we have here. A place for our entire family to go together and be together.

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My mom, sister and I went up to shop and decorate the house and to get it ready for Christmas holidays, when we will all be there together. It was a lot of shopping, but the house is ready and we did also get to enjoy some down time by the pool.

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It was so strange to us to see the landscapers out planting pansies and petunias. This is their planting season as the weather is starting to cool off for the winter. Which really means it is the same as our summer. Our landscaping was just completed and everything is starting to bloom.

One night we headed out to Scottsdale to the ipic luxury theater to watch Footloose. Which was awesome. I am addicted to this theater. Sitting in recliners with blankets and pillows. Drinking wine and eating while watching the movie. Amazing.

I had to bring some treats back for the kids.

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And Josiah did break his arm while I was gone. Skateboarding. It was bound to happen. They didn't tell me until I got home, as they didn't want me to worry!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

A new Do

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This is the much improved Lilah.

I have so much trouble with her hair. I want to grow it out, but it is so fine and she only grows little wisps for bangs... it ends up looking like a fly away mullet...

See before.

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Beaners finally opened up a store in our city. We thought we would check it out. It gave Zoe a place to play while Lilah had her haircut in the BMW mini.

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Lilah wasn't too sure she wanted her hair cut. Like every little girl she wants it long. But once we ranted and raved about how pretty she looked, she was beaming. Once they put the heart shaped sparkles in, it was even more okay.

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Somehow, this style just suits her.

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So pretty.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Anderson's

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Who are these fabulous children? They are my nephews and my niece. I have to admit that I don't always like other people's kids! But there is something special about a sisters children.

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I have a great family. My sister and I are very close, we may not always agree on some things, but there is nothing like having a sister to turn to and know that she will always be there.

"It's a fine thing when sisters love each other."-- Lorna Landvik

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"If you don't understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child."-- Linda Sunshine