26 December 2009

African Peanut Stew



We've only ever posted one other East African recipe here, so we thought it was about time to try something again.  The recipes are very similar in their ingredients and spices, which isn't surprising.  We liked this one quite a bit.  I'm not sure how authentic using the food processor is, but it sure makes it nice and smooth!  So here's the recipe... give it a try!

African Tomato and Peanut Soup
 
1 T oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 t minced ginger
1 ½ t cumin
1 ½ t coriander
½ t cinnamon
1 pinch cloves
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 ½ lb sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
4 ½ c water
1 t salt
1 pinch cayenne
1 c unsalted peanuts, chopped
2 T peanut butter
1 T cilantro
 
Heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and cook 10 minutes until browned.  Add garlic, ginger, and spices, and cook for 3 more minutes.
 
Add tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrot.  Cook 5 minutes.  Add water and salt.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 30 minutes.  
 
With processor or blender, blend in batches almost to a puree.  Taste, and add cayenne if desired.  Add peanut butter and half of the peanuts and whisk.  Top with cilantro and extra peanuts.
 
Serves 6

23 December 2009

Christmas

It's a fact. Christmas next year will look very different for our family. No white Christmas, no need for hot cocoa after cutting down the tree, no big family dinner.  In a way, we are excited. Christmas doesn't exist based on these things that make it seem familiar and "right". Yet we do treasure these things in our hearts and they will be missed.

In light of this, and the desire to well root our children in their home culture, we had a blast this month creating Christmas memories for them and enjoying our last cold Christmas for a while. Take last week for instance.

Sunday night we took the kids along to the student council Christmas party. No one does a white elephant party like a group of high schoolers! Among the creative gifts was a fire alarm, all ready to be plugged in and flipped on! We're waiting to see who is missing the alarm, however...

Tuesday we took the kids to a surprise dinner at Wendy's to use some certificates we had.  After filling them up on french fries and chicken nuggets, we spent an hour driving around town looking at Christmas lights. There are a few houses here that were so much fun for the kids.  One is done by a former teacher at the high school, and they open up their driveway so you can drive through. We saved this one for last... and drove through twice!

Then on Wednesday, the day I've been trying to keep just for the kids, I had a cookie decorating party for them. We had nine moms and nineteen kids come through to have some Christmas fun with us. The kids had a blast, the floor didn't collapse, and everyone left loaded with sugar. It was a wonderful time to spend with friends that we cherish and will miss next year.


On Friday night we had dinner with the Corman's, our missionary friends that have been amazing mentors and encouragers while we are in this stage of preparation.  We always have a time before we travel to other family to celebrate Christmas as our own family of four together, and we often have someone over on our "Christmas Eve".  So we had some African Peanut Soup (I'll blog that recipe soon), some chocolate pudding sundaes (had to do something with the leftover sprinkles from the cookie party!) and had a little time under the tree and exchanged presents.

Kaeden and his chocolate pudding sundae


Here are the five kids!  What a happy bunch!


Joel and his special new scooter... what a treat!


Merry Christmas from our family to yours, whether it is cold or not, whether your house smells of fresh tree or the box it came it, whether you are surrounded by many or few.  We hope you find meaning in Christmas despite all these things, and that your new year is blessed.

16 December 2009

Our little Christmas caroler

At MOPS yesterday the older kids entertained us at the end of the meeting with a few songs. So of course I, the proud momma, was right there with the camera. Faith had been practicing all week and was very excited. So without further ado...
video
Here's their second song, Jingle Bells. As you can see, Faith is very serious about her bell ringing!
video

07 December 2009

Being "Good"

Me:  "Faith, you are my favorite girl.  I love love love you!"
Faith:  "No, Daddy is my favorite.  More than you."

Ouch.  I have to say I kind of earned that one though.  Our Monday didn't start off too well.  Life here in the Frazier house during the day has probably been more correction that approval lately while I am home with the kids.  It is hard to teach patience when I seem to have so little, and it's hard to teach the kids to play nicely with each other when I choose the to-do list over them.  

It hasn't just been another school year this fall.  Kenya is looming before us.  Faith has noticed... she asks some nights who is coming for dinner, and is disappointed when it is just us.  She asks about what she can bring, what Kindergarten will be like, and who will be there.

But I am also very aware of the importance of a little bit of normalcy in my kids' lives this year.  It seems like a fleeting year to us, but I know it is not to them.  Joel is learning an incredible number of concepts as he grows from 2 to 3, and Faith's character is being molded as she grows from 4 to 5.  I don't want the kids to remember this as the year that mommy was too busy to play, too busy to teach, and too busy to have fun.

There isn't going to be any settling into routine this year for Jim and I, as our preparatory focus is constantly changing.  I realized the other day, however, if I didn't claim a little routine for Faith and Joel, that May would come all too quickly and I would have some ground to make up with them.  Last week, I made Wednesday their day.  We stocked up on library books and spent the morning reading all sorts of fun stories.  This Wednesday will be their day too.  I don't check email, I may not answer the phone, I don't check anything off my list, and we talk, play, and go on adventures together.  It is my hope that my actions and choices as a mom will be shaped by this practice to make our other days better too.

It is hard to be "good" in all the relationships in our lives all at once: with God, our spouses, our children, friends...  I think something or someone always seems to be in need of some "catch up" at one time or another.  But I do know if we strive to honor the Lord in these relationships, his grace is so much bigger than the mistakes we make.  

"The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." (1 Peter 5:10)

A festive weekend!



This first picture is a good summation of our Saturday.  It started out with our yearly Chrismas tree cutting.  We are lucky enough to live somewhere that we can buy our permit for $10 and go into the national forest (a designated area, of course) and choose our own tree.  It ended with the Woodland Park Christmas parade.  Jim is in the parade with the student council kids from the high school, so our kids are lucky enough to have never attended a Christmas parade, but to always be in it!  Faith has been in three and Joel in two now.  This is the first year they dressed up as boxes along with daddy and walked the whole time!  (Last year, the double stroller was decorated.)  Sadly, there are no pictures from the event, but they gladly dressed up later to pose with the tree!

We spent Sunday putting up the rest of our decorations on the tree.  Faith and Joel loved it even more this year, and it was an absolute delight to watch them remember the ornaments and tell stories and bask in the glow of the tree.

I think the kids hung up more than half of the ornaments, while mommy and daddy repaired some old ones and took pictures.

Here's their finished product!

This is their early Christmas present.  My (Heather's) Grandmother paints china.  I have more than twenty china ornaments... one for each year of my growing up and a few there afterward.  The kids are starting their own collection now, which we will treasure for a long time.  This year she painted trains, much to Joel's delight!


01 December 2009

Uncles

This Thanksgiving we got to spend time with my (Heather's) brother Andrew. One of the things that I love to watch in my children is how they take to their extended family. We don't get to see many of our family members very often, but the kids seem to just pick up where things left off, even if it was a year since they last saw someone... a trait that is comforting to me as we approach living at an even greater distance from family.

I especially love to watch Faith and Joel with their Uncles. The kids are blessed to have three (crazy-but-not-too-crazy!) uncles that love to spend time with them and love to have fun with them. The picture above is just a small snapshot of that. Andrew rode around the backyard on a bicycle with Faith on his shoulders for almost a whole afternoon! The delight on Faith's face was just priceless. What a blessing our family is for our children!

19 November 2009

A Good Day

The kids woke up happy after their FIRST sleepover last night! We decided it was the easiest arrangement to get me to the airport early in the morning. Joel and Kaeden wore their matching pajamas... even if they are two sizes different!
Here in Utah, we had a good day. The future for little Samantha Joy is still unclear. She's now been in the hospital for two weeks, and spent the last few days in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) where the care is especially attentive. Samantha's room is peaceful and calm, just like she is. While she sleeps most of the day away with her little body working hard, Jennifer had a wonderful moment with her while saying goodnight this evening. Sweet smiles, cute expressions and even a little smack! So sweet. This picture says it all!
Thank you for your continued prayer for this wonderful family.

17 November 2009

An Unexpected November

You may remember reading about this family back in May. Our good friends, Benjer and Jennifer, have been settled now in Utah for over four months. On October 26th, they welcomed their second daughter, Samantha Joy, into the world, happy and seemingly healthy. While Jim was hunting the following week, we received an unexpected call from Benjer, letting us know that the night before, at only ten days old, Samantha was rushed to the children's hospital in Salt Lake City with fluid in her lungs. After many tests and doctors, it has been discovered that there is a lymphatic duct leaking fluid into her lungs, a condition called chylothorax. The hope was that it would heal on its own, but after two weeks, it seems like that may not happen very soon. So surgery is now on the horizon.

Needless to say, Benjer and Jennifer are living a very hectic life. They have a 22 month old daughter, Bethany, who cannot be in the hospital with her sister, so the whole family has only been together one time in the last two weeks. They are anxious to get back home and live a "normal" life, but are grateful for the excellent care Samantha is receiving.

I (Heather) have been blessed with the opportunity to go and visit Benjer, Jennifer, and Samantha this Thursday for a few days. Thanks to generous help holding the fort down here, Jim and the kids should survive while I am with the McVeighs. When Samantha was born, I wanted so badly to be able to visit (they used to live in Denver) but I sure didn't expect to visit in such hard circumstances. Needless to say, I am looking forward to good conversations, some baby snuggling, and walking alongside these dear friends.

If you would like to hear more about the latest events for this family, you can visit their blog at mcveighs.blogspot.com. Please keep them in your prayers, and if you would like to do something more for them, let us know.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

15 November 2009

A confession...

Today is a beautiful, snowy wonderland here in Woodland Park, and I must admit, the inside of the house looks a bit like Christmas too. Last year, I (Heather) got sick at the beginning of December, and I never got the house decorated quite as much as I wanted. Knowing we still had one more Christmas here in Woodland Park, I was relieved... and vowed to decorate immediately following Halloween! Our decorations are something we will take very little of, if any, to Kenya with us. We surely won't have any white Christmases either. So we are going to have one good long snowy Christmas here in Colorado this year!

Here's a little something to get you in the spirit too... even if you are rolling your eyes!



31 October 2009

God's gentle provision

'And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.' Philippians 4:19

Something that has really been impressed on my (Heather's) heart this month is provision. Jim and I sometimes look back to three and four years ago and remember the smaller paychecks and we are reminded of God's perfect provision. We remember the car we were still paying off, the portion of the house we were paying off, the school loans, and the higher insurance premiums we paid during pregnancies. And we can say wow... God just made it work and provided for us.

That sort of hindsight perspective is one thing, but day to day abundance right before us is another.

This month has been one of building up my faith in God's provision. A very good thing as we prepare to be fully supported by the generosity of others! I don't believe that we are lucky, or just know the right people, or that we are in the right place at the right time, but God KNEW what we needed this month and made the way clear for us.

We were almost out of bread early in the month, and I received an email from another MOPS mom that she had about 60 loaves of bread that a grocery store didn't have room for and she was offering them to families in the community. We were able to get two loaves, along with some English muffins. One of Jim's favorite treats are English muffins! God not only provided for something practical, but he knows Jim's heart... er, stomach... and comforted that as well.

When the seasons changed this month, I looked in Joel's closet and realized I wasn't as prepared as I thought with warmer clothing for the winter for him. A wonderful family we have known for the past year moved out of town somewhat quickly this month, and amidst all the busyness in their lives, they gave us a large bag full of clothes for that their little boy had grown out of. The pajamas and jackets along with shirts and pants were exactly what we needed for Joel, and will take care of him for quite a bit longer... we'll be using many of the things in Kenya. A quiet, perfect provision for a mother's heart and for a little boy.

And then just today, Jim left for hunting with his dad (the provision of an elk to be determined...) and so Grandma, the kids and I were enjoying a morning in the kitchen making cupcakes and having a good time. Faith slipped off her chair and hit her chin on the counter. The resulting cut sent us to the local clinic where the doctor had to be called in from his weekend with his family to help us. Faith needed five stitches to close the cut, she did very well, and is mending fine. We happen to be in between insurance coverage right now, and while that was not the thought in the forefront of my mind (Faith was hurt!), it was back there, lurking with the dread of another bill arriving in the mail. The doctor on call happened to be a member of Jim's parent's church, someone who is missions-minded, and is aware of our big move next summer and just said "Hey- you've got a lot going on right now. Don't worry about it." Talk about PROVISION. In a place away from home, on a weekend, with a hurt little girl, God was ALL AROUND us, making every step clear.

I am grateful that aside from the reading, bible classes, and practical preparations for the mission field, God uses my everyday life to prepare and teach me as well. I don't have to fit it into my schedule, I just have to see it.

13 October 2009

Maasai Jim


It's homecoming week at Woodland Park High School. Like many schools, they have "spirit week" complete with a dress-up theme each day. This is our fourth homecoming with Jim as a sponsor, and keeping with tradition, we figured out a last-minute way to get Jim dressed up for "International Day".

All the fabric I bought in Kenya six years ago came in handy! Jim is wearing a Maasai "shuka" (aka. our picnic blanket) like a Maasai warrior or elder would wear. He is wearing a t-shirt and jeans underneath, which is not authentic, but fulfills the high school dress code! Here's a picture I took six years ago: we'll have to collect some accessories for Jim on this next trip!

10 October 2009

What We've Gotten Used To

On one of our family fishing trips last month, I (Heather) took along the book Revolution in World Missions that we received from the mission organization Gospel for Asia. In it the founder of GFA, K. P. Yohannan, tells his story and of his call to missions.

K. P. was born and raised in India, traveled around Asia and even to Germany in his young adult years, but nothing prepared him for coming to the United States for school in the 70's. Chapter four is entitled "I Walked in a Daze", and tells of his first impressions of our country.
"Americans are more than just unaware of their affluence-- they almost seem to despise it at times... I stared in amazement at how they treated their beautiful clothes and shoes. The richness of the fabrics and colors was beyond anything I had ever seen.

As I would do many times-- almost daily-- in the weeks ahead, I compared their clothing to that of the native missionary evangelists whom I had left only a few weeks before. Many of them walk barefoot between villages or work in flimsy sandals. Their threadbare cotton garments would not be acceptable as cleaning rags in the United States. Then I discovered most Americans have closets full of clothing they wear only occasionally-- and I remembered the years I traveled and worked with only the clothes on my back. And I had lived the normal lifestyle of most village evangelists."

Then K.P. quotes economist Robert Heilbroner's stunning description of what we as Americans would relinquish if we were to live like the poor in developing countries. As ONE BILLION hungry people do on this earth.

"We begin by invading the house of our imaginary American family to strip it of its furniture. Everything goes: beds, chairs, tables, television sets, lamps. We will leave the family with a few old blankets, a kitchen table, a wooden chair. Along with the bureaus go the clothes. Each member of the family may keep in his wardrobe his oldest suit or dress, a shirt or blouse. We will permit a pair of shoes for the head of the family, but none for the wife or children.

We move to the kitchen. The appliances have already been taken out, so we turn to the cupboards... The box of matches may stay, a small bag of flour, some sugar and salt. A few moldy potatoes, already in the garbage can, must be rescued, for they will provide much of tonight's meal. We will leave a handful of onions and a dish of dried beans. All The rest we take away: the meat, the fresh vegetables, the canned goods, the crackers, the candy.

Now we have stripped the house: the bathroom has been dismantled the running water shut off, the electric wires taken out. Next we take away the house. The family can move to the tool shed... Communications must go next. No more newspapers, magazines, books-- not that they are missed, since we must take away out family's literacy as well. Instead, in our shantytown we will allow one radio..."

Every time I read something like this, I don't really feel guilty, but I feel sad, I feel lost, I feel far from my identity as a child of God. I feel worldly. I have bought the lies that come with our affluence. We need this, that would make life easier, those things would no doubt bring happiness. Sometimes I make excuses: We bought the cheapest house on the market in Woodland Park five years ago, most people we know have more square footage, more furniture, better windows, more gadgets. Hey... we just gave away our TV and DVD player. That means we are living simply and remembering the rest of the world, right? Not really. I find myself thinking of what we need to buy before we leave for Kenya. We always can think of a home improvement project to do. There's always a good reason it seems like to put our money toward improving our image.

I don't think that moving to the shed is what these words are telling us to do (we'd like to keep our kids in our custody) but maybe re-evaluating our definition of NEED is a good place to start.


21 September 2009

The last day of summer?!

Around nine o'clock this morning, winter officially came to Woodland Park. We typically have two seasons here... summer and winter! Last year was an exception to that, we only omitted spring and had a decent fall, but it appears this year we may just dive right into the cold season! The kids enjoyed watching the snow fall out the window, and after his nap, Joel played outside some.

Getting Joel ready was a bit dramatic, however! He wanted to wear his Crocs, so I explained to a very tearful boy that his feet would get cold and wet, and I put his boots on as quickly as possible. And then I brought out a nice warm winter hat, and he asserted that he would choose his OWN hat, and got a sun hat out of the basket. I guess he's not quite ready to give up the warmer weather either! He also wanted to eat all of the snow... he had quite an icy mouthful when I caught him. We only got a inch or two of snow, so he got a healthy amount of dirt out of the flower pots along with his handfuls of snow! Yum!
Oh boy, winter, here we come!

20 September 2009

Busy Weekend

Greetings... after a very busy weekend! Really ran the gamut of activities for me, and as soon as this is published, I (Jim) think I'm going to bed! Friday night, I spent the night at the high school with Student Council. We had a lock-in... four adults, 30 students for a night full of volleyball, sardines and team-builders. I finally crawled into a sleeping back at 5:00 am and then back out again at 7:00 to clear out. That was followed by some house cleaning and then grilling hot dogs and hamburgers for the MOPS family barbecue. There was a great turnout with about 100 moms, dads and toddlers in the park.

This afternoon after church, Faith and I got to get out and go fishing. The scenery was beautiful - the air cool and refreshing.

Back now to the daily grind. Please pray for endurance for our entire family as we continue to seek prayer and financial support, as we prepare to serve with AIM and as we prepare to travel to Minnesota to visit family next week.

18 September 2009

Family Hike

Yesterday afternoon, Jim was able to come home early from school, and we headed out for a hike before supper to enjoy the aspens that are already changing colors. Most afternoons we have had thunderstorms, however, yesterday and today have been wonderful and sunny. Helps it feel like winter is not quite here yet in the mountains.
It was wonderful to step away from our obligations at home and take time to enjoy each other, enjoy creation, and even to add to our trout stash in the freezer!

08 September 2009

Metamorphosis

While in Paonia last month, I (Jim) spent a lot of time helping Grandpa on the farm. In the down-times I pulled poison milkweed along the head ditches. In the milkweed I found a Monarch caterpillar for the kids. I brought it home and we checked it daily. Faith dutifully fed it each day until it made its chrysalis. It was a beautiful chrysalis; green with iridescent gold spots in places. For almost two weeks it looked virtually unchanged, but one evening, we noticed the chrysalis beginning to darken, and within could see the faint outline of orange and black wings. The next afternoon it hatched and we let it go in the backyard.

video

The transformation from caterpillar to chrysalis to adult butterfly is incredible to watch... hard to even imagine how it's possible in such a short time. Heather says I could talk about all kinds of cheesy examples of Christian metamorphosis - and it IS a good illustration, but I'm going to leave it at this:

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
(Matt. 6:28-29)

02 September 2009

The swing of things

Well, here we go! Jim is now on his sixth day of his sixth school year, I have begun my new MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) year, and we are already in September. Here's what this year looks like for us so far:

Jim is continuing to sponsor both the student council and the environmental club at Woodland Park High School. This is his fourth year of "STUCO" and third for the environmental club. There are quite a few extra-curricular activities that occur between these organizations, but it is also my fourth and third year of learning to adapt around those! When it is appropriate, the kids and I tag along for various activities. It is fun to be a part of Jim's job in that way.

I started my fourth year in MOPS yesterday. MOPS is a program that meets in a church, provides childcare and breakfast (and coffee!) to moms of kids kindergarten-age and younger, teaches them relevant, practical things, and gives them time to connect with other moms in the community. It changed my life three years ago, and I have been on the leadership team for the last two years. This year I started a new "job" in MOPS. I am the prayer and care coordinator, so I make sure the needs of our 60-some moms are being met. The last two years, I coordinated the creative activities, which is a little more of a practical job, so I am excited to have a relational role this year.

We are continuing a small group of four couples from last year, this year breaking into guys/girls small groups as well. I am excited to deepen these relationships together. We were never a part of a small group when we attended First Presbyterian in Colorado Springs, so this has been a fun new aspect of fellowship to participate in.

We just completed our fourth Bible course, which covered early church history. Only six left. We will complete about one a month, so hopefully we will finish up in March. I am taking classes while the kids nap in the afternoon (pray for long naps!) and Jim takes them after the kids go to bed in the evening. We completed our fourth course in just two weeks' time to catch up which was a little hectic, but now we should be able to fall into a comfortable schedule to finish the others.

We are starting a new training program developed by Africa Inland Mission, called "Timothy in Training". It looks at the Biblical model of Timothy, so we pair up with some mentors, and go through a workbook that gives us assigned reading, discussion topics and other things to think about to better prepare us for our move to Kenya. We asked our friends the Cormans to be our mentors. Chad and Nicole spent many years in Malaysia as missionaries, have two beautiful little children, and we are just so excited to have their wisdom and guidance in this stage of our lives.

Africa Inland Mission has created an online checklist for outgoing missionaries to keep our to-dos organized. Between communication, computer/email/website set-up, travel documents, support raising, and other logistics, it helps us complete all necessary tasks on time. Saves a lot of headaches all around I imagine! We keep up on that list every week.

So there's a rather mundane overview of our lives at the present moment, but now you'll know what we're doing if we don't blog for a week again!

27 August 2009

Back to School

This week Jim has returned to school, and we even started a little pre-school with Faith! We're working on following directions and learning Bible verses, and later will get more into letters and numbers. I acquired a set of alphabet flash cards quite a while ago, but never looked at them. They are... um... a little confusing when it comes to "c".
Ten points of extra credit to whoever can come up with a clever way to dispel Faith's confusion!

22 August 2009

Remembering Grandma

It's been a while since we posted here... sorry! Seems that time has gotten away from us. I (Jim) would like to share a few thoughts from Grandma's memorial service about a week ago. Her 4 children wrote a "Tribute to Mama" which I was honored to read part of, along with my cousins Rob and Lisa. I'd like to share a couple excerpts:

"Of course no tribute would be complete without mention of Daddy. He and Mama were a team not only in the rearing of children, but in the way they tackled the issues of life. They were, in fact 'one flesh' as described in scripture... ... Mama and Daddy met in Paonia and dated for about two years; they were married on June 12, 1946, the day after she graduated from the University of Denver with a bachelor's degree in library science... ...For the past 63 years they have lived in the home they first moved into though it has been enlarged and updated.

Six days a week Mama and Daddy worked very hard on the farm. Although Mama's first responsibility was homemaking, she often helped Daddy when called upon - like when the tractor got stuck and it took two to pull it out. In fact, last fall the two of them hauled third cutting hay by themselves.

She taught her girls how to be proper wives to their husbands, and her boys how to treat their wives. And her instruction was always laced with concern for others even to the end of her life when she was more concerned about how Gary, Judy, Wayne, Debbie and Doyle were doing (all with surgeries pending at the time) than she was about herself

When Mama had pushed to the limit of a young girl's [or grandson's] frustration, she would say, 'It'll never be seen from a galloping horse.'

Mama also knew how to salvage her children's self-esteem. During a Frazier family trip to Beaver reservoir, Stina [my mom] and her kids picked chokecherries to make jelly. They were lush a plentiful, so they picked several buckets full. When Stina took them to Mama to get her help making chokecherry jelly, Mama got a funny look on her face. They had picked sarvis berries - not chokecherries! Stina was ready to throw them out, but Mama assured her they could make something out of them, tasteless though they were. And so they made sarvis berry jelly. No one knows if it was ever eaten, but Mama was more than willing to put forth the effort to preserve her little girl's dignity.

Both grandchildren and great-grandchildren have enjoyed hours spent on Grandma's lap having stories read to them... ...she loved to hike and seemed to know the name of every wildflower encountered along the way. her curiosity was contagious and gave permission to explore what was over the next hill or around the next bend...

As children we often took our mother for granted, but as adults we see in her the model of a servant's heart... ...We, and our children, have been the beneficiaries of her selflessness. She has set the bar high - incredibly high, for all of us.

We will miss her terribly until we meet again on that heavenly shore when Mama will no doubt have things to show us and to tell us about her latest adventure. Mama's life is summed up in Hebrews 12:1-2a:

'Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith...'

We love you, Mama, and we WILL finish the race well knowing nothing would please you more."

A particularly poignant moment was a hymn Grandpa requested his children sing during the service. The title was "Never Give Up" the refrain is below:

"Never give up, never give up,
Never give up to thy sorrows,
Jesus will bid them depart.
Trust in the Lord, trust in the Lord,
Sing when your trials are greatest,
Trust in the Lord and take heart."

Something I'll never forget is at the end of the hymn, Grandpa shouted, "Amen!" I am honored and incredibly grateful to be following such a godly example. I really enjoyed my time with Grandpa last week, making hay, fixing farm equipment, and just sitting listening to his stories. Thank you all for praying! Praise God for Grandpa's wonderful attitude, despite the difficult circumstances.

10 August 2009

Faith's first fish!

If you remember back to April, Faith got this fishing pole for her birthday and has been practicing diligently! She's gone fishing a few times since then, but wasn't able to catch anything.
On our short stint back at home last week, Faith and Jim went fishing on a Sunday afternoon for a special trip together. They had a wonderful time together and Faith got to finally catch her first fish!
A picture of a very excited little girl:
Proud little girl
Faith's catch of the day. She's pretty quick to tell you that "I caught TWO! But daddy only caught one."
Here's the video of her second catch. What Jim didn't get on video earlier: "Oh, I caught my first fish! Oh, I love it! Oh my first fish!" Evidently everyone else at the lake was able to hear her excitement too! Faith sure is a keeper!

video