Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer Camp

Earlier this month, the boys had the opportunity to go to a Christian summer camp in our area that they have attended since they were in kindergarten. They started out in the day camp program and the last 2 years have participated in the overnight camp for one week each summer. They thoroughly enjoy the camp. They stay in cabins with 2 counselors who are Godly young men and 8-10 other boys their age. They participate in daily bible study, worship, games, sports, swimming in the lake and pool , etc.

At the end of the week, they have a closing ceremony which the families are invited to attend. This year at the closing , both of the boys were recognized for their efforts throughout the year to complete monthly bible studies which they submitted back to the camp each month. They each had completed ALL their lessons and had submitted them on time and were recognized with a trophy for their accomplishments.

I know that God's Word says It will never return void, so I know that the seeds of His Word planted in their hearts through these lessons will grow and develop in the months and years to come and provide wisdom and guidance as they grow and mature.

After all the awards were given out at the closing ceremony, the camp director said they had one last award to be given. He said he saved this one until the last because it was given to the one camper at camp who had demonstrated Christ like character throughout the week and who the staff felt would go home and without doubt continue to exhibit this kind of character in their daily life. My eyes filled with tears as they called out our son Graham's name to come and receive the award. They said he had gone out of his way during the week to look after the younger children at camp and make sure everyone was having a good time. They said he had exhibited the 3D lifestyle they had talked about throughout the week and wanted to present Graham with the 3D character award. It was quite an honor and Graham humbly walked up to the front to receive his award.

We could not hope for more than having children who love the Lord and seek to live their lives for Him on a daily basis.

Our prayer is that they will continue to walk in His ways, trusting in Him throughout all the journeys life may take them.

Here are our 4 blessings........reunited after a week of camp for the boys.....


Monday, July 19, 2010

First Steps

You may have noticed in all the pictures of Corrie to this point ,she has been sitting, or carried, or holding on to furniture. That is because she had not yet started walking independently when we met her in Ethiopia.

Our first update on her back in December ,after the director of our agency visited with her, said she was a very happy and content baby ,but she did want us to be aware that she was delayed in her ability to walk. Other children in the orphanage her same age were walking just fine and yet she was not even crawling or pulling to stand at that point. We assured her that we understood the situation, but that YES we were certain that SHE was our daughter ,as God had confirmed that over and over in so many ways. We, in every way , wished to move forward with completing whatever was necessary to call this little orphan girl....OUR daughter. The director assured us then that they would be moving her to their home in Adama where Tezera would work with her, giving her massage and attention as well as pray for her along with the widows in their weekly prayer meetings. I must admit that first week , I wondered what our life would look like if she was not able to walk for some reason. Even as a physical therapist, I knew that the inability to walk would make life complicated. But any concerns I had quickly faded with the total peace I had that I knew that I knew that I knew God had planned for this little girl to be in OUR family. We also began praying, along with our other three at home each night , that God would strengthen her legs as well as prepare her heart in the days that we waited to bring her home.

We received updates as we waited that told us she was happy and social, as well as beginning to crawl with one leg , pull to stand and walk with assistance. When we met her in June, she had progressed to crawling normally, and she could cruise along the furniture, and take somewhat unsteady steps with assistance. Of course , with her in our arms, we had never been more SURE that she was OURS.... matter if she EVER took a step on her own.

On June 12th, 2010, any concern over her inability to walk was gone, as Corrie Sifan Rose took her first independent steps!!! Praise God for the answered prayers of many!!! She took 3-4 steps to me in the kitchen that afternoon, with Battle watching near by . Later that evening she walked down the hall and she has not looked back!! She is walking anywhere she wants to go!!!

And believe me, she is going LOTS of places!! She is into EVERYTHING!!!

Don't you love the concentration with the tongue sticking out!!! It must help with balance!! Before I know it, I will be running to keep up with her!!

I am oh so grateful that she is walking on her own, AND that God allowed me to see those first steps!! So very precious!! One of these pictures will go in our memorial box to REMEMBER God's goodness!!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

God Bless The USA!

We enjoyed celebrating our country's birth on July 3rd this year with family and friends. We gathered at a local park to hear the symphony play patriotic songs and then as darkness fell we enjoyed a spectacular fireworks display!! This has been our tradition for the last several years and is quite fun! Earlier in the day we enjoyed a carnival and cookout at our neighborhood pool.

Corrie enjoyed her celebration of her new homeland . She was tuckered out at the end of the day, after playing, swimming, eating, and dancing. She so enjoyed the music! She would bob her head and shake her hips and swing her arms to the beat! So very cute!! She enjoyed the fireworks and was not scared!

We also squeezed in a birthday celebration for Battle's mother in the afternoon. We had pizza and an M&M icecream cake before heading to the park!

Yes, it was a full day! What fun to celebrate this great country we live in and to honor those that have gone before us making incredible sacrifices to give us the freedoms we so enjoy!

Yes, God Bless The USA!!!