Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rosebud

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This past weekend we headed south to the small hamlet of Rosebud, Alberta. Tim's parents recently moved to this charming little town that has converted to a school of the arts.

My creation

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Rosebud sits in a pretty little valley and all the old buildings have been converted to theatre's, art galleries, music/video studios and little gift shops. There is a little ice cream shop set up in a covered wagon, with many old tractors for kids to play on.

Josiah got to see a film makers studio and show off some of his films. Eli got to visit a local guitar maker, to see how he makes custom acoustic guitars. And I found a beautiful piece of art by an artist from Elk Island.

Tim's parents want to set up a miniature train display, his Dad has always loved trains and has been involved in train shows for years.

My creation

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Tim's entire family came out and so there were lots of little cousins for the kids to play with. The weather was beautiful and so we pulled our trailer out and camped with my parents, who also decided to join us.

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We saw the play Anne of Green Gables and it was awesome. I must say, that Anne, reminds me just a little of Zoe! I loved these books as a little girl and I can hardly wait to read them to Lilah and Zoe in a couple of years.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Oh, the things they say!

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Zoe recently decided to rename herself Molly and rename Eli Jake. We spent an entire weekend of Zoe not answering to Zoe, only to Molly and her calling Jake! Jake! over and over, when she wanted Eli's attention... only he usually forgot his name was Jake!

Getting ready to go to the Calgary Zoo with my sister and her kids...
Auntie Kelsey: Zoe there are three baby tigers at the zoo to see.
Zoe: No, there is only one.
Auntie Kelsey: I am pretty sure there are three.
Zoe: No, I am pretty sure there is only one.

Zoe: When I grow up, I want to be a mermaid... without floaties!

At the Edmonton Zoo, watching the seals swim and jump...
Zoe: (sighing) Oh, I wish I could be him.

Zoe: Mom, I would love to be your puppy, so you could take me in the yard and play with me! Oh, how I wish I was a puppy!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Spirit of Adoption Alberta

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So things are getting off the ground with Spirit of Adoption Alberta! You will notice I added a button on my sidebar that you can click to connect to our new website. The website explains everything that we are about. But I will explain it here as well.

Our charitable organization has teamed up with Abba Canada. Our guidelines and focus are the same, but we are our own branch underneath this much larger organization. All donations made to Spirit of Adoption Alberta will go through Abba Canada and everything is tax deductible. 100% of the money that is given goes directly towards the adoption grants. Those who wish to support Spirit of Adoption Alberta, can donate online through our website or mail a cheque to the address listed.

If anyone has any questions or is wondering how to apply for a grant, you can check on the website under links, where you can download the application and instructions. The applications will be reviewed by Susan and myself first and then will be submitted to Abba Canada for approval. The grants will be given out to those families most in need of financial support and the amount of the grant will be determined by need and how much Spirit of Adoption Alberta has available to give.

We do require that families work with an adoption agency that is registered as an Alberta charitable organization. Although, Abba Canada will except applications from families across Canada, Spirit of Adoption Alberta, will only accept applications from Alberta residents. One of our goals is to help support Christian Adoption Services in Calgary financially, as we know that it can be very difficult to keep adoption agency doors open. We are hoping to host a couple of big fundraising galas soon in order to do this.

When allocating funds for the grants, factors that we will be looking at are: (a) spiritual maturity; (b) worldview; (c) the length and stability of the applicants’ marriage; (d) church involvement; (e) philosophy of education; (f) how much of their own money the applicants are putting into the adoption.

We want to raise awareness in Churches across Alberta about the orphan crisis and encourage them to be involved in some way... whether that is supporting their families who feel called to adopt, starting a church adoption fund or just encouraging individuals to support this need financially and prayerfully.

James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Since joining with Abba Canada, they have decided to try to branch out to all provinces in this way. If you are interested in starting a similar organization in your province, they would be happy to hear from you. If you go to their website and click on Advocates and Churches and then Advocates, you can look at what is available in your province at this time. I have already seen some response in this area... and that is exciting!

If you would like us to do a short presentation in your church, we would love to hear from you!

If you have any questions, we would love to hear from you!

If you would like to apply for a grant, we would love to hear from you!

If you would like to give to our cause, we would love to hear from you!

Please pray for us as we get this organization off the ground. That God's hand will be upon us and those that we reach out to. That families will be able to answer God's call to adopt.

There are those who will say " you can't save the world". And they are right. If only one child can be saved...that one child has eternal value. In the end only God has the ability to find what was lost and heal what was broken. -- Susan St. Martin

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Big Sister

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Abby has had a very busy summer. She has been working three different jobs and hasn't taken any time off yet.

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She got a "job" as a swim instructor/lifeguard at a local pool, but had to take a course first and then do many practicum hours, so she basically worked for free in July. She now needs to take one more course and then will actually start making some money. This course isn't available until September though, so she won't be working at the pool during August.

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Abby also works for College Pro Painters. She does the cold calling for them and sets up appointments for the painters. So she spends many of her evenings doing this job.

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She asked Tim if she could job shadow him at work. He set it up and she has been going and working with him at the hospital. Mostly, she just gets to watch and help out with what Tim or the other staff needs. Her first day on the job, she joined him in an eight hour burn OR, and she actually got to staple skin on the patient. Tim and the other staff were very impressed, that this seventeen year old girl, just jumped right in and did what they asked... they often get medical students and residents, who aren't that confident.

Burn OR's are very exhausting and messy and hot. A lot of students can't handle the heat or the gore, but Abby handled it all like a pro.

My creation

Next week, we are headed out for one last summer holiday and Abby has decided to come with us and I am looking forward to spending some time with my girl!

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Silas comes Home movie

Josiah has now completed our Welcome Home Silas movie. You will need to turn off the music at the bottom of this page to hear the song on the movie.

Silas from Paige Riegel on Vimeo.

Friday, August 10, 2012

21 Years

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21 years ago, it was 42 degrees Celcius and windy. Our cake melted, the candles melted, there was no air conditioning in the church.

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But we didn't care. We got married. And the rest of our lives began...

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Never in million years, did we expect to have all that we do today. We are blessed beyond belief.

I'm betting the next 21 years will be even better.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Updated Family Photos

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Well, it was time we updated our family photo. Our first post placement is done and we needed to send in a family photo, with all of us in it! With this many, busy kids, that is easier said then done.

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While in Medicine Hat this past weekend, we decided to head to the river to try to capture at least one decent photo. We got a couple.

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Now it is time to do the second post placement report!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Spirit of Adoption Alberta

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I am so excited to be working with a friend on a new endeavour. God's hand was on this project long before we ever even knew where it would go.

I am not going to say too much about Spirit of Adoption Alberta yet, as it is not quite off the ground and won't be for a few more months. I will have much more information soon...

I have learned that God's plans are sometimes much bigger than ours and when He has his hand on something, everything will fall into place in amazing ways. We are excited to see where all of this will lead and how it will branch out in many different ways.

Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.


I called Christian Adoption Services (in Alberta) a couple of months ago to ask how I could set up an adoption grant for those who feel led to adopt, but can't afford the cost. Wendy told me that she had received a call from another woman in Edmonton the week before with the same question, a woman who already had some ideas on how to go about doing this. Wendy suggested that we meet and possibly work together to set up an organization to raise funds for adoption grants as well as financially supporting Christian Adoption Services, so that, like many other adoption agencies, their doors will not have to close.

I met with Susan and we were shocked how our visions aligned, as well as our personal lives. We have many things in common. We are both married to surgeons. We both have biological children. We both have adopted children. We are both Christians. We both have a passion for orphans. We both love adoption. And we both just want to do more...

As soon as our website is up I will post more about what we will be offering and how others can help out. I will also post about how those that feel God's call to adopt, CAN, if financial support is needed and what that process will entail.

Meanwhile, you can pray that the rest of our plans will fall into place and that throughout this process we will hear God's voice clearly and obey what he asks of us.

Philippians 4:19
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Walking the wall

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One of the very favorite things for the littles to do on our holiday in Hawaii, was to walk along this wall built from volcanic rock.

I was waiting to try to get some sunset photos, when I saw Lilah walking on the wall... I love the photo and wish I could've snapped more before she caught me.

I can't decide if I like the out of focus shot, or if it would've have been better in focus... but this is what I got!

I am joining in on Favorite Photo Friday. Check out The Long Road to China for some amazing photography.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

One Less

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Today, there is one less orphan. My friends Darren and Denise now have their precious daughter Giselle in their arms forever. After two and half years, it is hard to believe this day is finally here!

The following is what Denise said on Facebook...

"We have arrived! Safe and sound, miraculously on time... and I don't look tired at all, right? I guess it's the best that could be done on 2 hours sleep in 36 hours... Giselle gave us the best greeting ever!! Walked right into my arms with big hugs, and that's where she stayed :)" -- Denise