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Friday, April 19, 2013

Hope and a Future

With all of the insanity happening in the world around, sometimes I feel that the importance of this blog pales in comparison. Yet, deep down I know, it is this life, our life, that pleases the Lord. A quiet life. A peaceful life. One that does good to our enemies. One that is faithful to teach His ways to the next generation. This life, this way- the Christ-filled, will be the only thing left in the end. So, I now delve into what our everyday hoping-in-His-plans life has been like the past month or so.

Happy happy happy Africaaaah, a zinga zanga zinga zanooooh, ooooh (any Louis Armstrong fans?)! (Of course, Corwin doesn't look too thrilled; ah, the joys of a family with 3 kids). Upon Alden's request, we studied Africa. This was totally fun. They made a salt-dough map, made lots of spicy African food, went to the Africa side of the Asheboro zoo, and we read and talked and talked about Africa. We also wrote to our Ethiopian friend whom we support through MTW One Child. Rhianwen had been saying how she so badly wished that we supported someone in Addis Ababa, and the same week we studied Africa, we received a letter from our friend who for the first time said she lives in Addis Ababa! Total "God wink".  Rhianwen was overjoyed.

In the deep jungle of Africa/Asheboro zoo.

We also later found out that the family whom we'd be welcoming to the States through World Relief was from Africa as well!  And I mean we as being a small part of our entire Shepherding Group of 7 families who have worked as a team to warmly welcome and instruct and provide for this family. They speak very little English, but we have had an awesome time furnishing an apartment for them prior to their arrival (we had only one week to do it) and getting to know them. They are eager and grateful and smart and hopeful. I only pray that they will learn to live here, work here, belong here, and most importantly come out of darkness and into His glorious light. They are Muslim and adhere to it, so please pray for our efforts!

On another note, we will be homeschooling next year! I know this is what the Lord wants for us. He has shown us clearly in small and obvious ways that this is the plan He has for us. He has provided free books and enrichment in timely ways which nonbelievers would call fate. We know a better story!

We had a worshipful Easter. For the first year we did the Easter Road:

There is a Scripture reading to go with each picture which reminds us of the events of Jesus' death and resurrection for us. The kids loved it. We also again did Benjamin's box, another favorite for Easter.

Corwin jumping like a bunny.

In yet another "God-wink", Rhianwen requested that we study Russia the week leading up to Easter. And we came to find out the Russia is known for their ornate Easter eggs. We tried out their method using crayons and dyes, instead of bees-wax and dyes, and it came out pretty well!

Now, I do understand this egg looks nothing like the Russian eggs, but, hey, we used their method without all of the ornateness.

Normal dyeing. Corwin could have done this ALL day long. He was very upset when there were no more eggs to dye.

For that matter, my other kids couldn't get enough dyeing either. They ended up drawing on the eggs when the got to the end.

We also went on an Easter treasure hunt where we hid items related to the Lord's death such as thorns, perfume, dice etc. The kids had a blast finding each item and explaining how it was related.

And, of course, the requisite Easter egg hunt.


Can you tell Corwin has gotten to the say cheese, don't know how to smile, phase?

Then it was off to Mawee-Woof's (Mary Ruth's) baptism. She is such a little honey.

Mary Ruth with Grandmama Ruth.

The cousins all had a fantastic time afterwards at the nice picnic. Corwin and Benjamin are always so entertaining when they are together. Here they are yelling into the drain.

And back home, Alden learning how to ride a bike without training wheels! We've been waiting for someone  to decide they could do this since we knew from the Strider bikes that they were perfectly capable of it. Alden, predictably, was the one to do it. Of course, he was spurred on by the fact that the neighbor kids were riding without training wheels.

More fun spring activities: making HUGE bubbles!

His shirt says it all.

Aw, Corwee. He's talking up a storm and even learning colloquialisms.

Story time with Daddy.

And, our cautious one decided she didn't want to miss out on all of the fun. She took off without her training wheels today, no sweat. Just like we've been trying to convince her she could do. We knew it would take Alden doing it first :)

Other cuteness that has been going on:

Rhianwen crying after reading sad stories such as an African folk tale about a frog and a snake whose mommies said they could no longer be best friends.

Rhianwen drawing pictures for Alden to color.

Rhianwen describing her loose tooth as "Wigular", meaning it's more wiggly than it was the other day.

Corwin says names like this: for Rhianwen, "Ronwen", for Alden, "Alna", for Corwin, "Cornee". I have to smile every time he does this.

Corwin fake fussing and then running to the Kleenex box to blow his nose.

Alden saying, "Sometimes I smell what I think."

Getting ready for a casting call to How to Train Your Dragon...at least, that is my excuse.

We are singing the following verses in choir. How fitting for this week. Where is the Lord in all of this? Seek Him with all of my heart and I will find Him. He has shown me His grace in small ways in our daily life to remind me of His big plan for me and for my family and for this world, salvation and restoration.

Jeremiah 29:11&13 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." 

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