Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Sunday night Lael and I took Tori to Paw and Precious' house. Tori spent the night there so that she could leave on the early flight to Washington DC with my mom. They have gone to spend the week with Uncle Sam and Aunt Emille and 2 of our all time favorite girls Bailey and Brylee. Lucky girls!! We all wish we were able to join them for this trip!
Tonight we did the prep work on Lael's hair for a new do tomorrow!! This took a full tedious hour of work unbraiding each braid! In her amazing way, she sat patiently while I removed each one. I am not kidding! This is an amazing little girl!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
With my job I am blessed to have a Flex-schedule. I have a job to do and I get it done around the needs of my family. Most of the time it works out that way. I am with them and get them where they need to be in between appointments or writing reports. A lot of work takes place as soon as they are in bed each night! When it doesn't work out that way, I am so thankful for the flexibility of others that are able to step in to help my family. I have said a lot, all leading to my original point that I have off today and tomorrow!! And I love some catch up quality time with my children! Last night I was able to meet up with my mom and sister, with Tori and we all had a blast getting pedicures! Thank you Mom!!! And we had some great relaxed conversation afterwards at Starbucks sitting outside! Today, with the help of Savannah and her brother Scott, we (me and 4 sweet kids) went to a local water park and met up with Becky and her boys! It was SO much fun! You can see by the picture below that it was even relaxing for Jonathan. This picture was taken as we were preparing to go and I had been in the midst of changing him into some dry clothes. I got distracted with something else and he decided to grab my diet coke and wait patiently for me! Tomorrow morning we are going to Pate and Benj's birthday party and then who knows what? I have the day off! There is no telling what we will do but we will be enjoying each other!
Savannah with J and L
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
We are sure beginning to anticipate our next visit.
We have been receiving checks daily and are close to our goal.
Would you consider participating in this time of blessing for these children?
Here's a 2nd slide show with more recent pictures sent to us by the Director of VOH himself this summer! Hover over each picture to see the caption.
Look here to see a video of our last days in Benin with the people we love!
Thank you to the many who are giving generously! May the Lord return the blessing and fill your heart with joy! Expect his blessing! We will have a great testimony to share when we return!
Monday, July 21, 2008
Our sweet dog Noel, has been at Man's Best Friend for the past 3 weeks. We picked her up this afternoon. They did amazing work with our dog. We have really enjoyed being with her this evening. She is calm and responds to commands. She lets us love on her and she doesn't jump like crazy. Before she went to doggy camp, 2 and sometimes 3 of our kids were afraid of her because she liked to jump on them, knock them down and lick them like crazy. I'm not sure why they didn't like that!!! We needed some help and we got it. All 6 of us played with our dog tonight and took her for a walk...and WE were in charge. Now, that is nice feeling!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
For decades Dr. Gary Chapman’s best-selling books have shown readers how to speak the “love language” of those they care about. Now he digs even deeper to uncover the foundations of what it means to cultivate a lifestyle of love and how doing so leads to satisfaction and success in every area of life.
Drawing fresh insights from timeless biblical principles, Chapman presents poignant stories of real people who have discovered the joys of living out the seven characteristics of authentic love: kindness, patience, forgiveness, humility, courtesy, generosity, and honesty. Enhanced with eye-opening self tests, practical ideas for building daily habits of love, and inspiring examples of love’s power to change lives, this book guides readers in putting love to work in all of their interpersonal relationships.
Convinced that in a world of constant conflict people desperately need authentic love, Chapman paints a compelling vision of how life can be richer and relationships more satisfying for anyone who practices Love As a Way of Life.
Gary Chapman points out how the development of the following traits will enhance our lives and also allow us to bring value to the lives of others, at home, at work, in our neighborhoods...basically anywhere we find ourselves. I LOVE that! I want to be the best I can be wherever I am and I definitely want to know how to be a blessing and add value to the lives of others. Gary Chapman expounds on the following 7 characteristics:
Kindness: discovering the joy of helping others
Patience: accepting the imperfections of others
Forgiveness: finding freedom from the grip of anger
Courtesy: treating others as friends
Humility: stepping down so someone else can step up
Generosity: giving your time, money, and abilities to others
Honesty: caring enough to tell the truth
Go here and order this book right now! You will be glad you did!!
and while I have your attention don't forget to go here and donate to Village of Hope!!! Participate in blessing children.
James 1:27 says that "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this, to look after orphans and widows in their distress" Participate in the blessing and you will be blessed!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
During the last 18 months that we were in Benin we discovered a wonderful place where God is at work. We discovered an orphanage where around 75 children are cared for. These children have lost their parents due to the HIV AIDS virus and others have been rescued from child traffickers. These children are lovingly cared for and blessed by adults who have sacrificed a great deal to protect them, feed and educate them. Recently we received a letter from the director there describing the present needs of the orphanage. The Lord has put it on our heart to raise what money we can to take and bless these children and their caregivers. Randy has created 2 web pages where you can learn more about this special place. (Click on the green sentences below and they will lead you to these pages.)
Saturday, July 12, 2008
This morning I took 6 kids (4 Vaughns and 2 Brooks) to a very fun birthday party for a friend. Before we got out of the car, we went over a few rules about how we were going to get out of the car and into the building. This is proof they were listening!!
From that birthday party we went to another! We went to the home of Paw and Precious to celebrate Benjamin, Payton and Lael's Birthdays!
We closed our evening riding and wrestling!
Monday, July 07, 2008
After the parade, we went to Whataburger and got some cool drinks! Then my parents took our 3 little ones and Tori went with us to the hospital to see our dear friends and former team mates in Benin, Greg and Melanie Bailey. Melanie gave birth to their 4th child, a son, James Gregory on July 3rd. It was such a blessing to be close enough to share the joy of this moment with them! Tori was especially happy to see their girls, Jessica, Faith and Hope!
Then it was back to the ranch for SO much fun!
We made homemade ice cream with the ice cream maker that Sam and Emille gave us a couple of years ago. You put all of the ingredients in the maker that is kind of like a ball and then roll it back and forth for about 30 minutes. That was fun for the big and little kids!
Notice Lael and Jessica in the same shirt! Lael thought that was so cool!
That evening we drove back into Abilene and found the perfect spot to watch the fireworks!
Saturday night we had fun with some sparklers after dark and Sunday we had more fun riding 4 wheelers, eating watermelon and being in the sun!
It was a great time!
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Words are not enough to describe how sweet this reunion of sisters!