Snippets from our recent life

~Has it only been 5 weeks since we arrived here in Texas? We feel like it's home. The routine is in place and life is being lived. Everything's unpacked and the everyday messes are being made.
~We are absolutely blessed by the Lord through Calvary Chapel Lake Cities!! On our way home from church last night Adam and I both said we've been moved to tears by the Lord every service so far. (Well, technically Adam said almost to tears, but I think that's a guy thing.)
~We're speaking with a southern accent a lot lately. And not because we now live in Texas, but because our current bedtime read is "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer".
~I think I've become a thrift store junkie. The Lord has blessed us with some incredible "finds" to replace our "losts". (Is that a word?)
~Music lessons began yesterday. My kids have been wanting to learn the keyboard and guitar for awhile now. I decided to teach them. Ok, it's been a while, and I've lost a lot of my hearing since then, but after a little piano, clarinet, saxophone, and guitar, I think I still remember the basics. We'll see. And we can always search for a new teacher as they surpass me.
~This morning they wanted to practice, and keep practicing, and keep practicing. Two hours later they were playing a song, taking video, and sending it to Nana. I might be seeking a new teacher sooner than I thought.

~When did my children become old enough to add "mow the lawn" to their chore list? And why does Mom still have some fear about that? They are old enough!! Stop stressing Stacy!
~My reader (Nate) checked out 3, quite thick, books from the library last week. I told him, we have to return them in two weeks, Are you sure you'll finish them all? He was sure. One week later he wants to know if we can go back to the library to get more books.



~White carpet is not a wise choice for a family with 4 boys and 2 dogs.



~With Daddy's encouragement, Teddy pulled two of his loose teeth out the other night. Daddy brought home a new movie... Madagascar... to say "good job". Endy has been trying like crazy to pull some teeth out ever since then.

~Community Bible Study has been a blessing for us in multiple states!! Nevada, California, and now Texas!

~Dry erase markers + a big white board = hours of entertainment.

~We had a fun time trying to think of as many things as we could to describe the "reason" for the brilliant lightening and crashing thunder that was keeping us awake the other night. Oh not the boring scientific explanation... the fun stuff... like the angels are rearranging their furniture. (Ok, mom stuck a few scientific and spiritual lessons in there too. I take my opportunities.)

~Nick decided fractions were a lot more fun when you get to eat the results.... We multiplied the recipe to make... way too many cookies.

~The $1.00 movie theatre is our new friend. Adam can take all of the boys for $5.00 plus some popcorn, and I get a little time to myself. Aaahhhh.

~Endy has not gotten car sick since we've been here. There are some advantages to a big, flat state with straight, open roads.

~Of couse, Texas also has it's disadvantages... such as red ant hills lining the sidewalks and a gecko on my bedroom wall. (I don't care how small it is honey, it still does not belong on my bedroom wall!)

~Is it really time to make dinner already? Didn't I just do that last night?

~Yep, It's just an ordinary life.... blessed to be in the hands of an extraordinary God!

True Love


Yesterday was my husband's and my 13th anniversary. We're in a really good place in our marriage and I feel compelled to share with you how thankful I am. Like most marriages we've had our moments of ups and downs. Our struggles to overcome. Our lessons to learn.
Praise God for His grace and His love which enables us to overcome the difficult moments and persevere through to better times. And Praise God that He uses those moments to teach us and mold us to be more like Him. Often when people enter into marriage it is at a moment when we are completely happy with one another and we have yet to experience the moments when the words we spoke on our wedding day really need to be put into practice. You know what I'm talking about... they are said in different forms, but the vow is the same.... I promise to love. This was the day I promised to love; October 19, 1996. But love is not something that comes naturally for us. Not true love. We often confuse real love with feelings of satisfaction and happiness. A selfish love. 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that love is not self-seeking. And love is not puffed up. In other words... love doesn't say "My way is best and you need to change in order to accomodate my happiness." But it is patient, or in other versions... long-suffering, it bears all things, and it perseveres, all for the sake of the other.
 Another often overlooked necessity of true love is from verse 5... love keeps no record of wrongs. In other words... it forgives. Not one of us is perfect, which means that in a marriage, there are many things to forgive... as well as many things in need of forgiveness! Daily. Some things seem harder to forgive than others... but as a wise woman once shared with me... forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. Sometimes we don't feel like forgiving, but when we choose forgiveness in obedience to the Lord who calls us to forgive, then He is faithful to provide the means of forgiveness (His Holy Spirit) who will bring about the feelings in time. I've found that He is also faithful to reveal to us the many areas in which we also need forgiveness. (You know that picture too... remove the plank from your own eye before you point out the splinter in someone else's.) But Thank God that His love is wide enough, long enough, high enough and deep enough (Eph. 3:18) to cover every sin in need of forgiveness... no matter how big or small they seem in our own eyes. And the result of that Spirit is true love...

Only by the power of God's Holy Spirit are we able to impart such a holy thing as true love... in good times and in bad, rich or poor, in sickness and in health... In other words unconditionally. He is the only one who loves perfectly, and we, who are naturally selfish, are only able to walk in unconditional love when we walk in His Spirit. Surrendered to His will. His will is always that we love others in the way that we naturally love ourselves. (Matthew 22:39) To always want the best for them. I am praising God for teaching me, sharing with me, and continueing to perfect in me, true love.....
His love.

Mirror Image




I have two sons who people say are the mirror image of their dad. Do they really look physically identical? No. They have some resemblance, but certainly not identical as looking in a mirror would portray. So why do people call them the mirror image of their Dad? Well, they stand the same, walk the same, and often act the same. My sons portray to others many of the same attributes that their dad does. If someone wanted to know what my husbands’ personality and character were like, they could probably watch my sons for a while and have a pretty good idea. Children often do reflect different aspects of their parents’ personalities and character in their own. I had a fun lively and talkative young girl in my preschool class one day. One of the other teachers mentioned… “You must have a really fun dad.” The little girl started cracking up and said… “Ya, he’s pretty silly.” We imagined that he had to be, just by watching her fun personality. She was like a mirror of her dad. Her fathers’ image.

Colossians 1:15 tells us that Jesus is "the image of the invisible God" and Hebrews 1:3 says "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being,"

So, if we want to see God... we just look at Jesus, for Jesus was filled with His glory.

I also have two sons who we recently adopted from Ethiopia. There is certainly no physical resemblance between them and their new dad. But I continually see them watching my husband and my older sons, and copying their actions, just like a mirror. At the same time, my husband is giving them his character by the things he teaches them. They are soaking up all that they can learn from their new daddy and big brothers, and becoming another mirror image… reflecting their daddy’s personality in their own.

Ephesians 1:5 says that we have been "adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ".

So, we also, as adopted children of God, have been called to represent Him, to mirror His image. He has given us the example of Jesus to imitate, And He has also given us His character in the form of the Holy Spirit who teaches and guides us.

2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us that we "beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image..."

It is the glory, the Spirit of God in us, that we reflect. The more we are surrendered to His Spirit in our lives, the more we will be able to reflect His image.

So, just as people can look at my boys and see their father, can people look at us and see our heavenly Father? What do we need to surrender to His Spirit right now in order to be a better mirror image?

Our Journey to Texas

I have finally had time to get my pictures together and I want to share just a few of them that were taken along the way as we traveled to Texas. Our first stop was to visit family in Genoa, Nv. and Lee Vining, Ca. and the next few pictures were taken there, on a fun fishing day with Nana and Papa. The boys went home with 19 fish for a delicious dinner!! Nana and Nate

Nick


Endy and Papa



Teddy holding one of his fish




Teddy and Endy


After a few more stops in California, we finally began the journey.....

Loaded down and heading through the desert of Southern California.
(Proof that California is NOT ALL beautiful.)





Arizona




While we were in Arizona we stopped in Tuscon to visit the Peyton family. We met the Peytons in Ethiopia when we were all there to finalize adoptions and bring our kids home. Teddy and Endy were so happy to see their friends Isaiah and his little sister Makada. And we were thoroughly blessed by Melanie who prepared a delicious, traditional Ethiopian meal for all of us to share together!

Endy, Isaiah, and Teddy




Peyton and Pelzl kids




On the road again.




New Mexico






And finally... we arrived at our new home in Texas!


The time since our arrival has flown by! Our house is becoming "homey", :) Our homeschool is finally becoming a routine again, And our new church home and church family have been an absolute blessing!!