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We have lived in Romania for 11 years now. We have 6 kids. The twins adoptions were finalized January 2011 and they are official Howertons.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Zach had to write a three-dimensional piece. He received an A+++ (By the way, I don't grade his papers, his Aunt Wanda who is a high school English teacher grades them.) I may be a bit biased but I'd say this is a really good three-dimensional realism paper describing our house!!

   As I open the age-old door leading to my home, a sense of security and contentment washes over me. As warmth slaps me in the face, I am met by the tantalizing redolence of freshly baked cookies which floats through the air and as it lingers around me, I can taste the melting chocolate already on my tongue. The counters are littered with supplies that have been prepared for the coterminous meal. The cupboards' delicious snacks have been ransacked, but the vegetable area has been mercifully left untouched.

   Pushing open a squat, run-down door to my right, I come across a friendly room. This room has seen visitors from all corners of the globe. An experienced armchair rests elegantly in one corner, overseeing a carpeted sitting area, complete with a large, blue couch. A scarred table stands off to the side, surrounded by ligneous chairs. Three doors regally guard their dominions, one is behind me, one is in the near corner, leading to a restroom, and the other is in the center of the opposite wall.

   The tall, time-honored, and ugly door swings open to reveal an energetic room. Raucous children spring from beds, crawl under chairs, and laugh. The laughter is contagious, as is the vivacity. In this lively place, the furniture struggles to keep up. They have survived many days with countless wrestling matches, races, and ball games. The television has been crammed into a corner to the left of the door I had just entered. A room divider splits up a small couch and a table, patiently waiting in front of the television, and the rest of the room. Along the walls are three large shelves, of various sizes. The largest of the three is situated alongside the television, in the front half of the room. The other is much smaller, sitting in a corner along the wall in between the two divided rooms. The third is the smallest, and happily holds its supply of children's books in the farthest point of the room.

   Two very old doors are on the right wall. The nearest one leads to a restroom, and past that a smaller-scale version of the room I was just in. This one is pink, filled with dolls, tea sets, and books. The farthest door leads to a suffocated room. Books, notebooks, computers, pencils, paper, and other items have buried the room. Four desks stretch across the room, and an eccentric and curious staircase piles upward. This staircase is nothing more than a large, cement block, with rickety, shaky, and winding steps lead up.

   Traveling up the stairs, I enter a cluttered office space. An L-shaped desk takes up space in one corner, with books, paper, commentaries, a printer, copier, laptop, and monitor clog up the space on the desk. The adjoining room has no doorway to separate itself from the office, rather a shorter section of wall caves in and allows me to enter a cozy bedroom. a large bed demands my attention, at its two sides are two tables. One table is filled with magazines, yarn, and knitting material. The other contains candy wrappers and bowls from last night's snack.

   As I make my way back to the office, I see two familiar doors. The nearest one leads to a bathroom. The farther one enters into a short hallway with a bookshelf overfilled with books, and at the right yet another door.

   As I reach the end of the short hall, I turn left and see a very long hallway. This one extends much farther. It is so covered in boxes I can hardly walk. Boxes of clothes, boxes of shoes, boxes of books, boxes of toys, boxes of old gadgets. Wilted flowers, fans, boards, dress shirts, plastic, and many other outmoded objects have taken refuge in this dreary hallway.

   After I have taken in the hallway, I enter the door by the bookshelf. A small, cozy room introduces itself. Shelves laden with books and clothes take up all the wall space, as well as an ugly wooden desk and a bunk bed. This room may seem messy and ugly to most, but to me, this room is home. This is where I am content and happy.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


It is Advent season, it has finally arrived. I wait every year with such anticipation for this time of year and it seems that every year I plan on really understanding the meaning of Christmas and every year it hurries by and I seem to have forgotten to take the time to sit and be still and know that he is God. I want to share what has touched me this morning from the little book called, "The Dawning of Indestructible Joy" by John Piper. I am praying for the fullness of Christ this Advent season.

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth...For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
John 1:14-16

Reasons why we can experience the "fullness of Christ":

~the one from whose fullness I am being drenched with grace is the Word that was with God and was God (John 1:1-2), so that his fullness is the fullness of God--a divine fullness, an infinite fullness;
~this Word became flesh and so was one of us and was pursuing us with his fullness--so it is an accessible fullness;
~when this Word appeared in human form, his glory was seen--his is a glorious fullness;
~this Word was "the only Son from the Father" so that the divine fullness was being mediated to me not just from God but through God--God did not send an angel but his only Son to deliver his fullness;
~the fullness of the Son is a fullness of grace--I will not drown in this fullness but be blessed in every way by this fullness;
~this fullness is not only a fullness of grace but also of truth--I am not being graced with truth-ignoring flattery; this grace is rooted in rock-solid reality.

I am praying that I will experience Christ's fullness, not just know about it. I feel a little ADD, I don't like to sit still and be quiet, when I sit still, I think of a million things I should be doing, but this Advent season I am choosing to give myself time and quietness to seek the fullness of Christ. If I am busy running around I will never experience this fullness, it takes time, it takes time meditating on his Word, pondering truth, and contemplating these things as Mary did in her heart. My prayer this season is Paul's prayer in Ephesians 3:14-19, "that I may be filled with all the fullness of God"--that I may have power "to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge."

I want to be intentional this season and take time to see Christ, to see the reason for this season that is such a happy time. I want to soak in this indestructible joy that the world cannot give, only Jesus can give this kind of joy!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


It seems as though I blinked my eyes and summer was over! Why is it that summer always seems to come and go like a whirlwind? Oh what a summer we had! We finished school then Spencer and I were off to America for 2 fun filled weeks. I was able to go to Orlando, Florida to the Gospel Coalition Women's Conference. I was greatly blessed by the teaching and fellowship. I spent time with family and friends and got reacquainted with some old friends. It was such a blessed time. We got back and just a few days later Z and S were off to camp. Then we had a team of 10 Americans come from North Hills Community Church in Greenville, S.C. come and we held our 2nd annual English Summer Camp at School #6 in Lugoj. The team left Saturday and I packed up 5 out of 6 children to go to camp for a week. The 4 youngers were campers and our eldest was a volunteer. I used that week to plan out the school year. The kids came home with every piece of clothing they own dirty as dirty can be. They arrived Saturday afternoon and I had to do their laundry and get them re packed and ready to go Monday morning to Germany for the Biblical Ministries Worldwide European missionaries conference. We got off to a rough start but we got on the road finally Monday a little later then planned. We got a ticket in Austria and in Germany were pulled over by customs officials but we finally made it to our final destination on Tuesday afternoon! What a fun week of encouragement and fellowship and being challenged by fellow laborers. Our kids love this week and enjoy seeing their fellow MK friends and meeting other kids from all over Europe. This week makes them realize what a special treat it is to grow up overseas. What a community of friends our children have. We have found so much wonderful fellowship and friendship in the BMW community and feel like we are already part of their family. This was our third year attending and we have already started saving up for next year's trip! We spent an extra day coming home and planned to visit Eagle's Nest but due to the rain we went and visited a salt mine instead. We drove through the beautiful Austrian Alps and enjoyed the scenery of God's beautiful creation. We enjoyed some beautiful cool weather on our trip and now are back in hot Romania. It makes me so thankful that the summer heat is temporary and thankful that fall is just around the corner.
It really has been an action packed and fun summer. There hasn't been a dull moment. I think the only sad part is all the good byes we've had to say but it makes us thankful for all the sweet times of fellowship we can have with friends from all over! Looking forward to the day  we all get to see Jesus and spend eternity with him and never ever have to say good bye again! Until that day, we'll keep pressing forward and serving Him and following Him.

Friday, June 13, 2014


I have Sonlight grade 2 curriculum for sale. I will bring it with me to Greenville in another week. I have the teachers schedule/manual which has check marks on all the days as we have gone through this curriculum twice now. I have the Science: Animals, Astronomy, and Physics course and books. The only thing missing in the course is some of the major history books. I would love to sell them for $150. Here is the list of books:
The Usborne World of Animals
Night Animals
The Usborne Book of Science Activities, Volume 1
Discover and Do Level 1 DVD
See How It's Made
The Magic School Bus: At the Waterworks
The Usborne Internet-Linked First Encyclopedia of the Human body
What Makes You Ill?
Why Do People Eat?
Pasteur's Fight Against Microbes

Read Alouds:
The Aesop for children
The Apprentice
Castle Diary
Cornstalks: A Bushel of Poems
The Cricket in Times Square
The Door in the Wall
Ginger Pye
Kildee House
A Little Princess
The Little Riders
The Minstrel in the Tower
A Poke in the I
Red Sails to Capri
The School Story
Strawberry Girl
Tales of Robin Hood
The Twenty-One Balloons
White Stallion of Lipizza
And the Word Came with Power

Reading with Easy Readers:
The Beginner's Bible
Pompeii: Buried Alive!
Owl at Home
Frog and Toad are Friends
Mouse Tales
Greg's Microscope
Hill of Fire
Frog and Toad All Year
Daniel's Duck
Amelia Bedelia
Nate the Great
Frog and Toad Together
The Big Balloon Race
The Fire Cat
The Sword in the Tree
Wagon Wheels
The Titanic: Lost...And Found

World History (only a partial list)
Eric The red and Leif The Lucky
Explorer's News
Gladys Aylward
Good Queen Bess
Maps and globes
Peter the Great
Window on the world
(Do not have: The Usborne Book of World History, Time Traveler: Vikings, Time Traveler: Knights and Castles, A Child's History of the World)

I have the  Awesome Book of Bible Facts that goes with the Bible readings but many of the pages have torn apart from the binding, I have all pages in the book but the book is not in great condition)
I also have the Horizons math grade 2 teachers guide.
Contact me if interested. I am willing to ship it but would prefer someone in the Greenville area and we can arrange a pick up.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Letter to an Angel

Sometimes as a mother, you have to brag on your children a little bit. I take no credit whatsoever for my oldest son's writing skills. I am no writer. He has had a love of books since he was a toddler and would sit looking at books as a two year old for hours at a time, yes I said hours and I am not exaggerating. Well, his love of reading and books has given him quite the creative mind. Aunt Wanda, a high school English teacher grades his papers and she gave him an A on this paper. He has finished reading the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis and then he was assigned to write his own letter but instead of a head demon writing to a lower class demon he had to write a letter  from a head angel to a lower class angel informing how to influence "his Christian." So, without further adieu here is the letter.

Dear Clarence (Angel Second Class),
 Our King has assigned to you an American Christian male to guard. Because he is a novice to his new found faith in the King, he is unstable and quick to falter. I wish you luck in keeping him safe for the King to use. Remember Clarence, do everything you do for God's glory!

Your Christian, as all young Christians are, is unsure of his priorities. Before coming to know the King, he was a sports addict. The king does not forbid sports, but the Prince told them, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other." Whenever he begins his day listening to game recaps or spends Sunday evening watching games, remind him of Jesus' words in Matthew 6:19-24. He must be convinced that only God can change Him. Not even you, Clarence, can completely change him.

In your Christian's beginning weeks, he struggled to spend time with God before going to work. He places his job higher than he does God. He does not yet realize that God will take care of him! Somehow he manages to watch pointless TV shows at night, but he convinces himself he doesn't have the time necessary to give God the time He deserves. Remind him that he needs to spend time in God's Word in order to grow. As always, give him a Bible passage to read, try these verses: I Corinthians 3:2-3.

Many times, your Christian will not understand what he is reading in God's Word. You will have to help him many times understand passages. help him to realize the importance of meditation. There are many Bible passages teaching meditation. For instance, show him Psalms 1:1-2. Once he realizes the true value of meditation, he will fully understand what God wants for him in his Christian walk of faith. With God at his side, anything is possible in this man's life.

We are praying for you and your Christian,

Michael the Archangel

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Little Trip

I guess you can assume since I haven't posted much that life has been rather quiet. Sometimes I feel like I just don't have anything important to say so why say anything! I still don't have anything greatly important to say just letting all 3 of my followers know I'm alive and well!
I have been convicted greatly in the area of impacting others lives. We have a group of girls over every Saturday from the children's home. I hesitate to call them orphans because technically they aren't. They have been abandoned for various reasons, some still have contact with their parents others not so much. I have realized that a few hours each Saturday isn't really doing much for them and although not all of them will be able to, we want to let those who can, stay the weekend with us. Thanks to generous people we will be able to buy a bunk bed this week and then we will start having some girls and take it from there. Some of them desperately want a family and have told us they wished we could be their parents (none of them are adoptable). Others in the group have verbalized they are content with the freedom they have at the orphanage and would not want a family. All I can ask is that you be in prayer that we can impact these girls for Christ, that they will know the love the Father has for them, and that we can impact them to not make the same mistake their parents made and leave them without a family.

My next bit of news is exciting for me...I am visiting my family in Greenville for 2 weeks this summer. I am taking Spencer with me. It all came about over a silly little chat with a friend on Facebook and it turned into a trip! My wonderful husband agreed to it and I will be going to a Ladies' Bible conference in Florida for a few days with my friend. I look forward to being refreshed and a small break from normal life. I'm also glad I don't have to make the flight alone, my big teenager, Spencer will be accompanying me (he will be 14 by then). We just hope he doesn't get travel sickness like the last time we went!!

Thank you for reading my ramblings and for being interested in our life here in Romania! Maybe I'll write again in another 3 or 4 months!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Searching for Pumpkins

I decided I wanted to have some pumpkins for decorations this year. We are going to have a fall carnival for the girls from the children's home and the kids from church and I wanted some for my photo booth. Driving to Timisoara, there is a village where people sell goods from the gardens by the road side. I stopped and the little old man had 2 white pumpkins. I asked if they had any more and his wife brought out 2 more. He was surprised I wanted so many and then he asked me if I wanted to have pumpkins to last the whole winter. I told him no, they were for decorations. I'm sure he thought I was crazy....using food for decorations. Then I left the van parked there on the side of the road and ran across the street to look at another big pumpkin. The man came out and asked what I wanted and I told him I was looking for a pretty pumpkin. He looked troubled and asked if his 2 pumpkins by the road weren't pretty. I asked him if he had any orange pumpkins (so far I have only found white ones) and again, he looked like he had never before heard of orange pumpkins, but he did invite me to come look in his garden to see if I saw any pretty ones I liked! Well, I had people in the car so I didn't take the time to do that, but I got 4 white pretty pumpkins and I bought some orange spray paint :-).
I went on to do my errands with 4 pumpkins in the back of the van and I went to get the van washed inside and out and thy guy looked at my pumpkins and laughed and said I would have plenty of pies for the winter! I decided not to tell him they were for decorations. I have just kind of gotten used to being known as the crazy American lady. I'll post pictures of the final products...if they turn out nice that is!!