Babe of my Heart » Our Family's Journey

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Give Us Eyes to See…

Lately…as I watch these loves…{and chase the loves…and scratch my head at all the laundry these loves bring…and everything else that comes with lots and lots of loves like these…}

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I can’t help but think—we aren’t done.

Growing…I mean.

I know most would scratch their heads at our even saying that…BUT. This. Children. Parenting. No matter how hard it can be…it’s our heart.

There are hard days. Homeschooling these little bugs–and most nights we crash. BUT. I know the numbers.

I know the numbers of precious ones in foster care. I know the numbers of ones waiting across the world. And at the same time…I hear those voices too…{no not real voices–don’t close me out just yet;}

You know the other practical…reasonable…ones.

How would you afford college?

I can barely take care of my three and myself…I don’t know why you’d want more than five.

You can only do so much, and your hands are full.

Laundry. Can you imagine doing just the laundry for more…

When would you rest? That’s just not for me.

Really. That dialogue can go on and on. But here’s the thing. God’s ways are not our ways. And the way the world thinks…might be absolutely opposite of how we think once we have been transformed by Him.

Romans 12:2 (ESV Translation) “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

1 Corinthians 2:15-16 (Living Translation) “But the spiritual man has insight into everything, and that bothers and baffles the man of the world, who can’t understand him at all. How could he? For certainly he has never been one to know the Lord’s thoughts, or to discuss them with him, or to move the hands of God by prayer. But, strange as it seems, we Christians actually do have within us a portion of the very thoughts and mind of Christ.”

As I was typing those “world” responses up there–I had this clear thought come to my mind. Go back and say them as if you were saying them to someone who had God with him/her–God going before him/her…and if God is before her–you might as well say that to God if He is the one leading…

How would you afford this with God?

How would  you want to love more with God?

You can only do so much with God?

Aren’t your hands full God?

God–with so many who may never know family…their’s laundry God. Please–consider the laundry.

God when would you rest. When would she rest with you God?

Sounds pretty silly to ask these questions to someone who has God with them doesn’t it?

Do we really live and believe as if God is with those He is calling?

Do we really live and believe as if God is really WITH us?

If God is who He says He is…If God really is God…then why in the world would we spend our lives focusing more on the things of this world than providing for the most basic needs of so many without when He has given us plenty? For the sake of laundry…or what we think we can handle? Because it’s not about US handling anything–but more about what His power can do through us. He will always give us more than we we can handle when we trust Him so His power is made great and seen clearly in our weakness.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:31 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

So with that…and with our longings…and with our prayers…I’m certain. We are not done. I don’t know what He has for us–or when or how. But it’s wonderful and freeing to be in a place where you don’t have to know…and you are just waiting on Him with your spouse and family with open arms. We have started praying together for whatever…for whenever and however…and I love being on this journey with them. Because His ways are far better than ours.

And just so I remember later–here are some of the sweet moments of our January…

God has been SO GOOD to let us continue to have a sweet relationship with Tetiana and her family! How hosting changed our lives! How precious are these pics…

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Not a day goes by that I’m not in AWE of all that God has done!

How IS she doing you ask?? You wouldn’t BELIEVE what a ROCK star this girl is! She is doing amazing in school! She loves attending CRU events and is part of a sweet small group. She is thriving with  her parents…and their dogs…she loves her dogs! God is SO GOOD!

And we rang in the new year with friends from our new church (we’ve been going to a small church this past year that is so sweet and so about community–hard to find in our bigger area)…and our sweet friends grabbed these pics of our fam as we rang in the new year…

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I had this GREAT idea to start a book club in the Fall..and this is our January meeting. Um. We don’t read books. Because we keep it real. None of us really have time to read books. And we just want to do life together. So…we are a group of foster and adoption moms…who make up a really cook UnBook Club. This is truly my most favorite club I’ve ever been in. We do nothing but laugh and listen to each other…and it’s fabulous.

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I’m far from a perfect mom and certainly NOT a helicopter parent. In fact, Parker and Frank decided to take the limbs off the Christmas tree with goat hoof trimmers. UM. Not good. See Frank’s middle finger there? Stitches. Praise God the finger didn’t come completely off. SO THANKFUL.

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The little boys sported their first bow ties…I think I need to make a lot of these. How precious are these?

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They are pretty cute without the boy ties too:)

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My mommy moment of January happened one morning during my coffee when this one pulled at my scarf and asked me if I’d hold him like he was a baby. Oh love. When you meet your son at 2 1/2…why yes–I missed this…and you did too…so yes–I’ll hold you all morning just like this. He stayed here forever. And I wanted a picture to remember it.

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And homeschooling…getting back in our groove in January. Let it be known that we take field trips EVERY week…and I just hope they are learning on these trips–because I need them!! Last week we did a little of this…

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And finally..this past week the most AWESOME birth mom ever was in town. I haven’t shared to much about our Holly…but God brought Holly into our life 5 years ago when she was expecting. What happened…was beautiful. And we got the chance to tell our story this week–documented into a little short film that we will share at Created for Care this February and March. We adore this girl to the moon and back…

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Now she is one of my dearest friends in this world and I’m so thankful I get to walk it with her.

And LAST BUT NOT LEAST. I trade in my mini-van this week. NO MORE MINI-VAN! Instead…we have room…for…

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MORE!

My first 12 seater baby!! The kids have NEVER had a new car in their lifetime because we got our first van 10 years ago!! So…it was time!! We figure with this–we will be set for the next 10 years too;) At least we have room for our 5 kids to each have a friend!

Hope you all have a great weekend! Stay well. We are down with strep over here:(

xoxo!

Andrea

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Here lately…

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Here lately? We’ve just been piling on layers to keep WARM because no one here (except Richard) does the cold:) The Christmas has all been put away (that took a few weeks…and the wreaths on the fence–I confess–still haven’t come down!)

IMG_6087Donkey Ho-te is still trying to get the chicken wire off the goats house because he wants to bite them. Ole Donkey is a biter and really wants to bite just about anything within reach. (Working on that.)

The kids get up every morning and layer up to the feed the animals. And…the LOVE IT!! In between homeschool lessons we play outside and with the animals–and it’s truly been our best school year yet…much of it I think has to do with just moving out here and being forced to really slow down.

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We are getting rid of our old faithful mini-van this week of 10..yes TEN years…and we are getting a bran new…no not a Suburban or anything normal families drive…a…PASSENGER VAN!! With 5 kids that are social bugs–there are many days when each little one has a friend over. Getting everyone home is impossible…even if it’s just another family that also a big family–so we decided to bite the bullet and buy a 12 seater:) FUN!! In other news I’ll also be getting lots of exercise as I’m guessing I’ll be parking at the end of every store because I’ll take up two spaces:).

I’ve been busy planning with my 2 sidekicks Christy Elphick and Angie Carley our next Created for Care. It’s just 4 weeks away and planning events in between homeschooling and being a wife and mommy…it’s truly a miracle it all falls into place. Thankful it’s nothing of me, and it’s HIM working out the details!! For the most part I spend all my days with this being one of my view…

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And I’m so thankful for where we are and for this sweet slice of peace. Hopefully it will be much bigger than just a slice;). If you would have told me 10 years ago–Andrea…you are going to move to a farm and homeschool–it would have given me a good laugh!! I’m praying about starting a co-op next year so we can simply do this with more families right where we are…and do simple together.

I really need to blog more often just so I can go back and remember our crazy…or maybe not so crazy after all:)

Hope you all are staying warm and enjoying this winter season. I say hurry up spring!! We are ready to bring home about 20 more chickens but we aren’t going to bring home more animals until the winter passes!! I really sound like Little House on the Prairie now don’t I;)?!

Blessings!

Andrea

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Jesus is here! {a 2 week devotional following Christmas}

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Truly…this is my MOST favorite time of the year!! The days that follow His birth…celebrating His birth…such hope–such excitement…such wonder. Our gift to you…a free 2 week devotional for you and your sweet family. Don’t pack up those wisemen or baby Jesus from the Nativity just yet!! Print this off and journey to Jesus together: http://www.babeofmyheart.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/The-Journey-of-the-Magi.pdf

It’s such a sweet tradition moving the wisemen through your home closer to Jesus.

But the best of all–is coming together each night and sharing with your little ones how each of you saw Jesus that day. I love entering into the new year with this habit of looking for Jesus throughout the day! And starting the new year like this–it seems to overflow into our entire year! We even keep our little treasure box in our living room to add to it throughout the year when we see Jesus in different ways through answered prayer, through random people and through times with Him in very real ways!!

I hope you each had a beautiful blessed Christmas!!!

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Merry Christmas,

Andrea

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Donkey Ho-te {our daily farm funny}

I can’t make this stuff up:) A funny for your day…phone all to vet…

Me: Um–yes ma’am–we’d love to have our donkey…fixed…I mean castrated…I mean gelded.

(Disclaimer: Y’all–I’m so uncomfortable with this farm animal talk that it’s funny!)

Vet: (snickering at my discomfort): Well–we can do that! Okay–let’s get some details in our system–does your donkey…have a name?

Me: Why yes he does! (laughing) I’m almost embarrassed to say. It’s Don Quixote. Or Donkey Ho-te. However you like to say it or spell it…it’s fine. Funny right?

Vet: Um. I don’t understand. Can you just spell it please?

Me: DON QUIXOTE!!! You remember–it’s classic literature…Spanish literature that you learned in school…get it? Don Quixote!!!! ????

Vet: Um–I don’t know what you are talking about. Please just spell it.

HILARRRRRious.

My funny TOTALLY bombed.

Y’all. It’s funny!!!

Know your classic literature. Y’all–my barn school will soon be open for all y’all;).

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