Lindsay's pledge - "I pledge to be loyal to my friends. I will be honest and will encourage them. I won't put them down with my words. I pledge to be obedient and submissive to my parents. They have always been willing to do things for me and I will be willing to do things for them. I pledge to God, that I will be faithful to Him even when my life seems completely turned around. I will put my life completely in His hands and trust Him."
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Go grap a cup of coffee & enjoy!
This first video is of the 5th grade choir (which Katie is part of).
This next video is of the 8th grade choir and band conert.
Note: the second selection of music is because of the band at our school in California and a very influentual band director. He picked the song every year, so this year Lindsay suggested this song to her band teacher and it was approved and enjoyed by each student.
The next video is the Open House festivities. Open House was held on a Sunday, and is a big deal. Katie did perform with the 5th grade choir with the songs in the first video. Katie also had an elective class in music. You will see her perform with other students on the xylophones. Then they move to a percussion piece using cups. It was quite fun. Lindsay also performed in the band - and this will probably be the only footage you will ever see of her in it (she is always in the back row, in the middle..wher we can never see her)! She played the bass clarinet this year. Courtney was part of the 4th grade wax museum - being Emily Dickenson.
This last video is of the talent shows the girls performed in at their school. It is a tradtion the school recognizes the kid's abilities. The first dance is of Lindsay, Katie and Courtney. This was a dance they performed for Mother's Day to me, and then they brought it to the stage. The second dance is Katie with her classmates, and some 1st graders - fun and silly. Finally, Lindsay performed in the junior high talent show with her piano.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Tomorrow (Friday the 23rd is the last day of school, so today was many classes on field trips. Duane took the day off to take the 5th graders on a hike in the Rockies. I went with the 4th graders taking them to the park. Today when we awoke it was dark and cloudy...not your picnic kind of day.
The 5th grade drivers went to the mountains, worse came to worse they were going to a museum and/or the YVCS camp. All was well. The 4th grade drivers arrived to the park, hearing rumbling in the sky and 5 minutes after we arrived the clouds down poured with huge drops of rain, causing us all to run to the cars. We went back to the school and went to plan B - movie in the sanctuary, and some play activities. After we were set, we had word that we were under a tornado watch - so we went back to the classrooms. When we arrived to the classrooms, the watch went to a warning - so we all went to the basement. We were under tornado watch, in the basement for 2 hours (with no electricity) - 4th graders, junior highers, some teachers and church staff and members. It was quite the party...except no one brought the food! :)
We have found out that we have had six tornadoes that have touched down, one just a few miles away from our school that was a mile long. We experienced marble size hail...but where the tornado hit they experienced baseball hail.
Duane and the 5th graders experienced hail, rain, sunny skies and even snow! They were in the safest place in the area.
This is a quick posting...but I just want to let you all know in case you have heard the news...WE ARE ALL OK!
Monday, May 19, 2008
I hear so many comments of how Duane and I are doing a great thing, how impressed people are of how we have a heart for orphans that shows. We have experienced people's admiration and praise. We try to humbly deny our doing and recognize God in it, but it hasn't been loud enough. Today I am convicted to share how Elijah came to be, and share also the answer to our immediate prayer request (the last post).
I would be lying to you if I told you that the move to Colorado was an easy one. I knew God moved us, and saw how He interacted in that process so I knew we were suppose to be here. But truthfully I was so alone in the transition and I was having many difficulties connecting with people (I need socialization and connection or I just don't thrive). I believed that God favored Duane, so I began to resent Duane and acted accordingly.
One evening early in August, I had a dream. When I awoke I knew it was God speaking to me...the details were great, and I remembered having the sense I had to remember this particular dream. So I did. I was standing in Africa, holding a little boy's hand. I experienced feelings of strife and commitment of love as I saw Duane approach through the grass as this boy and I stood watching. I leaned over to the boy and told him "I have to choose him". The heartache I experienced as I let the boy's hand go, and went to Duane, was great. I told Duane "I choose you", we embraced and Duane said "You can choose one". I went to the boy, swung him up in my arms and said "I choose this one." Yes, it could sound corny to you as you read it but I knew what God was saying in it all. Well, at least the message I thought He was saying and that was to choose Duane, everyday and always. It wasn't easy but with God's help and out of obedience I turned my resentment to a commitment of love and God has built our marriage stronger.
As many of you know, and as you read the beginning posts on this blog I went to Uganda, Africa. It was only because of much prayer and this dream that Duane and I knew I was to go - and by myself.
Many of you who know us too know we have always had a heart for adoption. Many doors have been closed as we pursued other paths in this journey. What you do not know is I had given up in adoption. God kept closing the doors each time, and I couldn't go through the disappointment again. Duane on the other hand was more convicted than ever that we were to adopt - and from Africa. We had been looking at agency's, one of them being Addy's Hope. We were 95% sure that we were to pursue through them, but that 5% stopped us from signing the papers and letting go of more money. August 29th I was on their website again and stopped to look at their "waiting angels". Low and behold I saw the little boy that was in my dream! I knew he was suppose to be with us, and knew I was looking at the face of our son. Because of our activities Duane and I were unable to talk that day and I had to wait until first thing on August 30th. He told me to call.
I called the agency, and told of our interest in the little boy named Elijah. And found that there were two other people considering him, but they would put us on the "list". I was disappointed and thought how wrong I was when I saw this little boy. Thanks to the godly man I am married to, he reminded me that if it is true God will prevail...two people in line is nothing to Him! We were told we wouldn't know anything until Tuesday of the following week. The NEXT day I received a call, asking if we still wanted Elijah, and was given permission to talk to my husband about it and then give them a call. I told them, I didn't need to. Duane and I were together on this and know God's plan is to have Elijah in our home.
This last Saturday we received a phone call from Addy's Hope stating that Elijah's birth mother was heading to the judge's office as she was going to sign the papers relinquishing her rights. A block away from the office, she pulled the cab over and went home, for she just couldn't sign the papers. Our hearts were torn. Torn because we were fearful that Elijah's birth mother had changed her mind, but also torn because the pain this mother is experiencing to have to give her child up - a pure act of love. We prayed and also asked so many of you to pray with us.
Today we received another call. Elijah's paperwork was signed by his mother, the judge was signing this afternoon (which should be done now) and the lawyer was picking up all the paperwork either tomorrow or Wednesday. What does this mean? We are parents to a 3 year old Liberian boy! We give all the praise and thanksgiving to God...who has orchestrated this and will finish what He has started.
We still need prayer. We still have a big obstacle ahead of us. This obstacle is part of the Liberian government who wants to revisit and change the adoption procedure. Please pray that all details are worked out for God's glory and that God will break down all strongholds and our son, as well as many other orphans will be able to come home.
God, I am so sorry I didn't have the boldness and courage needed to tell of the great things you have done and continue to do. Help me to be more bold for you. You get all the praise and honor that you so richly deserve. Thank you, God for hearing our prayers, take joy my King of the praises and thanksgivings from your children.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
As you may know we have been pursuing the adoption of Elijah (a three year old boy from Liberia).
We came very close to getting the court decree yesterday but there was a complication. They will try again on Monday and we pray things go in our favor. More importantly we pray that God's will is done and that the power of His love is manifested in the situation.
While it would take some time to explain the details, we are requesting that you would pray for this situation.
Please pray for Liberian orphans and that God would continue to meet their needs through the love of His people.
Please pray for the Liberian government as they continue to redefine the adoption process in their country.
Please pray for peace of mind for us and for patience during this journey.
We do thank God for each of you and appreciate your involvement in our lives over the years. The prayer support you have demonstrated in the past has touched us greatly.
Duane and Karen
Saturday, May 3, 2008
I of course crashed before the girls. I heard they fell asleep sometime after 1:00 in the morning. I was disappointed having to wake up at 6:45...didn't they read the invitation right....this was to be a SLEEPover! I made homemade cinnamin rolls, bacon and melon from breakfast. As Duane and I were organizing breakfast, saw that parents were coming in about a hour...we high fived each other, and recognized we have accomplished our last big sleepover!
Crazy Fourth Graders!!!