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Friday, May 30, 2008

Memory book---

I 've just started my first memory book, inspired by my lovely pastor's wife! This is a binder that contains things that I want to commit to scripture, football facts(haven't added any yet), and more. Mrs. G taught on this topic at a ladies Bible Study and told us how we need to purposely fill our minds with the right kind of thoughts. Have you ever been somewhere and you have nothing to do--waiting for an appointment or waiting for a game to begin...well, pull out the trusty binder and put your time to good use!! I put mine together today!!

First, you need a cute binder (one that you will want to bring with you!) then be creative with the inside...I have some very cute file dividers! My binder is red--one of my very favorite colors! I am thinking that this would be a great thing for our Russian friends that live with us over in St. Peter some day!

One major thing that I have learned from my paster Mr. G is that you never never waste your time thinking about things like---what you could have said in a discussion or arguement---I know I have had conversations like this in my head---for example---I should have said this "...." and that would have really won my side of the battle. Well, that is just wasted time---I have learned to stop those conversations and now I have some idea what I will change my thoughts to!
So, do you have a plan for your thoughts? Romans 12:1-2

Thursday, May 29, 2008

VISA status

Just a little note on where we are: still trusting, trying, praying...
These are the options that we are trying some avenues and throwing out some lines to see what God would do:
job--we actually have a relative that has contacts in St. Peter for a possible job opportunity---didn't find this out til after student visas were denied. John has sent his resume in to our relative.
different school--there are other language schools and you can reapply...possible option...have contacted school, but they have not replied back from our email Monday night.
apply for a year visa knowing that with the Lord---NOTHING is impossible...we plan to do this with the Russian consulate in about two weeks.

We still believe that this is what the Lord has for us to we are not giving up. We know that our timing is not always the same as the Lord's...we are open to His will...but are still thinking this summer is when He wants us to go.

I was told last night that I had a positive attitude---I laughed...this is a week after all this happened. Last week was not so fun for us!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Subway update

This is from Subway from the AFA latest email...funny how fast this apology came---please email Subway and thank them for the explanation. Email:
Regarding your concerns about the Subway contest that excludes home schools from contest eligibility, Scholastic and Subway apologize to all individuals who have taken offense at this. Our intention was never to make independent schooled children feel discriminated against or excluded from this specific promotion.

Throughout the course of the year Scholastic runs a number of contests and sweepstakes that are open to all teachers and students. The eligibility of this contest in particular was solely put in place to award a large group of children with the grand prize of $5,000 worth of athletic equipment. We do however understand how home- schooled children could benefit from this type of prizing and will make sure eligibility is open to everyone in future promotions.

We appreciate your feedback and will make sure a similar situation does not happen in the future.

Subway--mis-communication or anti hs??

I have been told before that I am much like a politician in my writing--saying not so much meaningful things on both sides of the arguement or issue. Ok, so--after this one person stated this, I do find it funny that it might seem this way when I do try to see the meaning behind things and not just the appearance that seems obvious. I don't think that is what politicians do; they might candy coat somethings to change the harshness or importance of the issue they are writing/talking about. THIS IS NOT MY PURPOSE:). The above comment was meant as a slam to me, so don't think that it didn't affect me, but I have not changed how I look at both sides because of the statement. So, here I go, with the "other side of the story" view.

First, let me say, it gets my goat(click the link to see the origin of this statement) when I see people just looking for things to go against---it's definitely not my personality to do this, so, of course, it bothers me:) where it might not bother anyone else!

I don't know if you know it, but the AFA(American Fam. Association--that I agree with most of the time) has sent out some info about Subway having a contest and it being anti-home schooling. Perhaps, just perhaps...Subway is limiting their contest because they would like the grand prize of $5000 of p.e. equipment to go to a larger group than a family(although some families might be very large!). The only way they might have seen to limit this is by saying that home schoolers' applications would not be accepted.

Why not write or contact your local Subway and inquire about their reasoning, rather than blast them without thinking through things? I am a home school mom, but I put a lot of heart/thought into something before boycotting. BUT, even if I boycott, I do write the companies first-- the ones that I am not frequenting(like McDonald's for their gay-rights support, and Walmart when they were proclaiming the gay rights openly by joining certain organizations--Walmart did back down after the boycott---although McD's has written me back and told me that they want to be diverse--well, it doesn't help their arguement when the Vice-pres. is Gay! and okayed the donation of $20000 to a gay rights organization---okay okay, I do go on!!!!)

So, what am I saying?---be wise in your words--don't just be mean:). Ask Subway to open up their contest, if you want them to--even if the grand prize might not be for a family--the rest of the awards could be.

For everyone's curiousity, I am not boycotting Subway, I just wrote them about maybe re-wording the contest and opening up some of it for all schoolers.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

yo-yo and more

The life of the yo-yo! I feel that describes my emotions from day to day.

Last week, I couldn't really talk about the whole visa thing. This week I can talk, but how much to say is the question. When walking by faith, sometimes our words need to have limits, right? Well, I think mine do. If I say all that I am thinking, I am just vocalizing the bad and the good...what good does it do to vocalize the bad. I know I need to do it some, just so I can be wise, but it is limited for sure.

We have some avenues that we are people have said to us in counsel...throw out the lines and see what bites. If you don't throw out any lines, then you might be saying "No, God, I am only knocking on one door. The rest is your job." I can't say that is what the Lord wants us to do. I know that God is all-powerful and can do anything...but He did give us the will and the desires and all kinds of stuff so that we can do something, rather than just "nothing" and say that is what trusting looks like.

As much as I would like to think I would do anything for the Lord, I have my nervous times too...I might not share these very detailed though--b/c I don't think this helps me trust and really give all to the Lord. I think that I keep coming round and round the mountain of continuing to take up my cross and to be willing to do whatever the Lord asks of me and my family.

To answer some questions:

Yes, you can reapply for student visas and it may work, but again, you receive no answers.

We are praying and really appreciate you all praying for us to know what lines the "throw" out reality, God's reality, it only takes one line! It just needs to be the right line.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Profound Word

My dad sent this to me in the early hours of this morning...I thought it was very appropriate to share. I can't say as I feel as desperate as verse 8-9(although some moments I have), but the rest is, as a friend in college used to say, "rockin." I think this is something I might add to my commit to memory book! Thanks for sharing Dad! My parents have been very prayerful through this process---I so appreciate them!
Job 23
8 “Look, I go forward, but He is not there,
And backward, but I cannot perceive Him;

9 When He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him;
When He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him.

10 But He knows the way that I take;
When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.

11 My foot has held fast to His steps;
I have kept His way and not turned aside.

12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips;
I have treasured the words of His mouth
More than my necessary food.

13 “But He is unique, and who can make Him change?
And whatever His soul desires, that He does.

14 For He performs what is appointed for me,
And many such things are with Him.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Speak to the Rock or Strike it???

What is God calling us to do? What about You--what is God calling you to do? John has been reading about Moses and how the Lord spoke to him. One time when the Isrealites were grumbling about water...God told Moses to strike the rock--the next time he was told to speak to the rock. Both times, he struck it. Sometimes, we think--well probably more often than others---we will just try what we did last time when God spoke to us. When Moses did that, he was uninvited to the Promised Land. Repitition is not worth that for me or John! So, right now, as we wait on God and how He will move in this whole Russia thing...we need patience in trusting Him. We both believe that the Lord has told us to trust Him. Vague? Well, even if it seems like it is not something "to do", we will be obedient and trust.

Right now, our student visas(all of them--it appears) have been denied---our friends on the Russian side have never heard of this happening before. So, we know that the tightening of walls in Russia is occurring. We don't know what we will "do" next, but we were told to trust. God knows what needs to happen for us to go, now or later, so it really is in His hands. We are praying for our steps to be ordered by the Lord and for Him to open the doors He has for us. If we have any ideas or Godly inspirations...we will see what those hold...but for now, we pray.

This is not so easy to do with all the questions of ...what do we do with the house(but for now, we haven't sold it--so we don't really have to think about that till something happens)? What about John's job? I don't have all the answers, but that's ok for now. All I can say is---God, You do Your thing in us and through us, where ever that is!

One thought that I have had lately with the Russia calling---I hear the words a lot---"Well, you are called..." It feels a bit funny to be seen as different now that we are called away to Russia...WELL, we are not the only ones called, All God's children are "different" and CALLED--it's just a difference of where and with whom! So, that is one of my deep thoughts lately. It's really freeing actually to know that we all are called. Now, the question would be to all of us is how are you obeying your "call."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Russia Updates--why I blog and don't call!

Please keep reading the side bar for continuous updates! It's funny, well--not really, we sent out our first letter on Monday and met with our "board" Tuesday and the date of leaving has changed last week, the visas for 5 out of 6 have been denied today--Wednesday. We have some ideas for our house--if it didn't sell---. Life in this season is not easy to live except by trusting Him! It's a reminding effort that is actually physically tiring!

If you are reading the blog and wondering---why didn't she call or email me about these things--they are important! I need to know!---well, it's really hard for me to talk about this without having some sort of struggle within--emotionally. So, please understand, I will post on here the things that are neccessary, maybe not everything(if that is what the Lord asks of me)...but we would really appreciate your prayers for all of these things!

Amy, this is where your email has helped!! Thanks!!

Prayer Prayer Prayer is what we really desire!

Some will say--maybe this is not God b/c of the denied visas--the door has closed, Some will say---keep trying--those doors will open...but we will, no matter what, keep trusting and follow hard after the Lord. It might not be easy, it might be very frustrating--not knowing how, when, why and all those lovely questions, but God is faithful and we know this and sometimes, we are asked to walk according to what we really know, deep down! Well, in this we now walk!

We will keep you posted.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Finally--Disney Pics

Katie, Melissa and I flew down to Orlando, FL for my cousin Kristen's wedding in April! (Kyra, if you are reading this---I thought so many times in my 24 hours there about calling, but couldn't find the appropriate time between wedding and night and Disney---but I thought of you!!) It was a whirlwind of a trip for me, but my parents asked if they could keep the girls and drive them back and visit my other cousin and his family in Tallahassee and my aunt/uncle/cousin in Baton Rouge...a week off of school for me:)!!! NICE!!! The girls had a blast---I keep hearing stories!! Thanks Mom and Dad!!! My brother and his family were also down for Disney and the wedding so it was great to see so much of my family!!! We missed you--Stephen and Cristina!! Their faces seeing the park of Disneyworld!!
On the Monorail--my parents had a hotelroom at the first stop on the monorail--it was awesome!!!
In the Swiss Famiy Robinson Tree house at Disney
The Russian part of It's a Small World ride!
Waiting for the parade--it was really pretty--they told me it was even better at night!

d t

Friday, May 16, 2008

On the Cycle!

Go Boys!!
What a family!!!! minus me of course!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The kids memory verse this week in school!

Does anyone out there paint? With Acrylic Paint

I am getting rid of more stuff---it's amazing how much stuff I have accumulated!!! So, does anyone out there share my love for painting? I have a some paint, a painting instruction book, a video and some other painting paraphenalia(sp?)...let me know if you are interested in this? If you live near me, you could just pick this stuff up. If you live far away...we could arrange shipment...if you would be willing to pay $5 in shipping to paypal. If it's more, I 'll cover the extra. It's not in perfect condition and the paints are used, but they are there!! I love painting on canvases...I'll try to put some pictures of some of my art on here sometime soon. It's not for sale, unless of course you want to offer a price! HAHA!

I also love love love to if you like Christian fiction and you like a certain author, don't hesitate to ask if I have them. I am a member of where you trade books in the mail---I love it!! You could go on there and check out my books. I have a link on my facebook account if you are interested.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Matthew...on spolight!

These are not the most professional videos...but we are having fun with them! Notice...he says...I don't want to say Hello Blog!!! See other video to understand why he even said that.

More about me....

What I was doing 10 yrs ago:

May 1998 - We just ended our service in the Extreme Singles group(John and I felt our season had ended) took off after that!! Hmmm...God or what? Just finished my second year teaching...May was the month before I was pregnant for the first time.

Five things on my to do list for today:

Call Roofer for completed roof receipt for insurance
Call Mimi
Empty Dishwasher(I do this almost everyday, sometimes twice, but I listed it!)
Print labels for our first newsletter--if you want a copy--let me know:)

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Go to Russia and pay for my family to come visit. Fund fund fund a lot more freer with my "grocery" budget.

Three of my bad habits:

Just three! Ha!
Saying too much
Acting off of my emotions
Picking at hang nails when I have them and the skin around them.

Five jobs I have had:

Chiropractic Assistant--thanks Arthur--ahem--Dr. Cornett for my first real job!
Clerk at Things Remembered
Junior High Teacher for four years
Florist--owned my own business called Lily of the Valley and I made floral arrangements
Pampered Chef Lady:)

Now it's your turn!!! Ali and Jenny, Lauren, Tori, Kay, Lori, Hannah and Jessica! If I missed anyone...just leave a comment and I will have to add you to my "favorites" list of blogs to check during the week.

A present realized!!

Matthew has underwear on--nope he is not in the el natural state!! This is how we are potty training!
I can't believe I am just finding out our camera can take little videos!!! How awesome is this--I've had this camera for a few years too! So, we are taking an experimental video here and you get to watch it while we learn a new skill!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Cat is out of the Bag!?

Do you know this expression? Do you know what it means? Well, here is your lesson:Meaning

Disclose a secret.


There are two commonly heard suggested origins of this phrase. One relates to the supposed fraud of substituting a cat for a piglet at markets. If you let the cat out of the bag you disclosed the trick - and avoided buying a pig in a poke (bag). This form of trickery is long alluded to in the language and 'pigs in a poke' are referred to as early as 1530.

I love learning the origins of things!! So, John emailed me today and put the line: the cat is out of the bag...well, what secret do or did we have???? (To family and non-work people---this is not new...) We are moving to Russia for at least a year this summer---we are planning to leave at the end of July maybe August. Our house is still for sale and we need that to be taken care of first---so if you want to pray for us, pray that God's doors be opened and the wrong doors be shut! If you want to read more about us and our decision, you can always go to this link---at Zoya Ministries.

So, now that John's work is starting to hear this info, I can blog about it:). Keep coming and ask all you want and I will try to answer.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A tribute to my mom--who did it all!!! and we had no idea how much that was until we were old!!!

This was sent to me by my friend Amanda...not a mom yet, but a smart young lady!! I'm going to highlight in green the things my mom did all the time!!!

Mom and Dad were watching TV when Mom said,
'I'm tired, and it's getting late.
I think I'll go to bed'

She went to the kitchen to make sandwiches for the
next day's lunches(my mom did this every day--thanks MOM!).
Rinsed out the popcorn bowls, took meat out of the
freezer for supper the following evening
checked the cereal box levels,
filled the sugar container,
put spoons and bowls on the table and
started the coffee pot for
brewing the next morning
She then put some wet clothes in the dryer,
put a load of clothes into the washer,
ironed a shirt and secured a loose button

She picked up the game pieces left on the table,
put the phone back on the
and put the telephone book into the drawer.
She watered the plants, emptied a wastebasket and
hung up a towel to dry.

She yawned and stretched and headed for the bedroom.
She stopped by the desk
and wrote a note to the teacher,
counted out some cash for the field trip,
and pulled a text book out from hiding under the chair.

She signed a birthday card for a friend,
addressed and stamped the envelope

and wrote a quick note for the grocery store.
She put both near her purse.

Mom then washed her face with 3 in 1 cleanser, put
on her Night solution & age fighting moisturizer,
brushed and flossed her teeth
and filed her nails.

Dad called out, 'I thought you were going to bed.'

'I'm on my way,' she said.

She put some water into the dog's dish and put the
cat outside, then made sure the doors were locked
and the patio light was on.

She looked in on each of the kids and turned out
their bedside lamps and TV's, hung up a shirt,
threw some dirty socks into the hamper,
and had a brief conversation with the one up still doing
homework--that would have only been me--since my bro's were naturally super smart!!
In her own room, she set the alarm;
laid out clothing for the next day,
straightened up the shoe rack.
She added three things to her 6 most
important things to do list. She said her prayers,
and visualized the accomplishment of her goals.

About that time, Dad turned off the TV and announced
to no one in particular. 'I'm going to bed.' This didn't happen this way, b/c my dad always went to bed before her!!

And he did...without another thought.

Passing the baton?

I have to say that my favorite day of the entire year is Mother's Day! John is the absolute best at making me feel that it is my special Day! He even gets the kids to sing a revised Dora song(we don't do Dora , but it's an applicable song)...It's Mom's Special Day, un dia especial!!!--They tell me all day long...we hope you are having a great Mother's day and John doesn't have me do any work at all, unless I choose to , of course!

This year I received my favorite bath and body works honey suckle lotion/spray/wash (Thanks to Diana Smith for helping me discover this scent!!)and a tote(I've secretly wanted a new tote---didn't even have to tell my honey!!) and chocolate and my European wedding band---did you know that in Europe and Russia and many countries surrounding these, the men and women wear their rings on their right hand and they are simple gold or silver diamonds? So, I have one of their type of rings now---I love it!!! It's even comfort fit!!

Ever since Katie was born, Mother's Day is such a special day for me(selfishly). Of course, growing up and before kids, I honored my mother and mother in law only, but now, I am added to the mix:). I was thinking yesterday, my mom and my mother in law celebrate differently now that all the kids have left the nest. They might have one or none or some of us come in town for the weekend, but mostly they celebrate with their hubbies and phone calls. So, I am reminded to enjoy the days now, b/c when my girls marry and become moms and my boys marry and become dads...then, the mother's day and father's day batons are passed down and I will celebrate my kids as the moms and dads!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Our Favorite Things!!

My friend Julie, who is about to become a mother of six--adding three to her current three, tagged me and others to do a list---so you get to learn more about us now. Katie went with her type of favorite's...b/c oh, the list, if you had to pick three from everything! The other kiddos picked out of everything, not prompted at all--well, maybe Matthew was a little!!

My favorite things:
1. Favorite color: RED---the deeper apple red!!
2. Favorite past times: reading and cooking--nope, couldn't pick just one!
3. Favorite place to relax: Outside alone!!!

Hubba's list:
1. Favorite food: Beans (whole or any variation). They are like a mullet, all business in the front and all party in the back.
2. Favorite vacation spot: Cold and in the mountains. With fair skin, I've not really gotten into looking like a lobster on the beach.
3. Favorite sport: Aggie Football. I will go out of my way to watch every game I can.

Katie's list
1. Favorite color: "I only have two" baby blue and pink
2. Favorite animal: dog (we don't care if they are not so smart:) )
3. Favorite time of day: evening--"I get to play with my neighbor."

Melissa's list
1. Favorite food: Pizza--mind you, we don't have this a lot!
2. Favorite animal: kitten
3. Favorite thing about school is: MATH--boy, is she my daughter or what(I didn't even put her up to the topic!!)

Mark's list
1. pets
2. favorite toy: "pet toys"
3. cheese

Matthew's list
1. pets---pronounced "pettus"
2. God
3. Bob the builder

So, now you all are tagged if you so choose to follow our example! Ali and Jenny, Lauren, Tori, Kay, Lori(although your daughter in law has already tagged you...I will put this link, Ginger--you have already done the list, but I will include a link just for fun, Hannah and Jessica! If I missed anyone...just leave a comment and I will have to add you to my "favorites" list of blogs to check during the week.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Palace made from Corn...

Isn't this amazing...made from corn!!! We are studying South Dakota today and the Black Hills and the Corn Palace!! Have you ever been there? I haven't but would love to someday!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Monday, May 5, 2008

Use those Stamps!!!

Did you know this??? If you just bought a 100 roll and couldn't get the Forever stamps--start writing or buy the 1 cent stamps now!! Can anyone remember when stamps cost 23 cents!!!??? I do!

This is just a reminder that the cost to mail a letter will increase on Monday, May 12, 2008. The current cost is 41¢ for a regular letter and the new cost will increase to 42¢. The Forever stamps are good for the current price of postage, so you will not have to add the additional 1¢ postage to the letter