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We have lived in Romania for 16 years now. We have 6 kids.

Friday, November 30, 2007

An Italian dinner. Gnocchi Di Zucca

We had an Italian man come over and cook us dinner last night. I was a little worried when he described it, it sounded like it would be pumpkin balls (like meatballs). I couldn't imagine how pumpkin would be good with butter and cheese. Angelo is from Italy and is a devout Catholic. We met him through another aquaintance. He has been coming to our church and Bible studies on a regular basis for the past year now. He is searching the Scriptures. Baron is going to start a one on one Bible study with him. He has had some problems with renting out his building...the tenants haven't paid etc. So, Baron has helped him out and he wanted to "pay him back" so he came over to fix us dinner. His girlfriend also came, Marcela. She was orphaned at the age of 3 but somehow even though most orphans in her day were in instituations that were terrible, she was in a girls home and well cared for. She works with handicapped children. Anyway, he starts out by boiling the chunks of pumpkin like you do to make mashed potatoes. Then, when they are soft he mixes them with flour so they are puree. In another pan in the oven he has the herb salvia and a whole cup of butter melting in the oven. Then he took the pumpkin and spooned it out into boiling water and when it is done it floats to the top and he takes it and puts it in a bowl of cold water. Then he takes it from the cold water and mixes it in with the melted butter and salvea. Then he puts grated mozarella and cascaval on top and bakes it just until the cheese melts. He said his mom always made this during the holidays. He had not made it in a long time but says it is a traditional northern Italy meal. I was surprised at how tasty it was. It was called Gnocchi Di Zucca (nioke di zuka).



The finished product.





This is Angelo and Marcela.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Vienna Pictures

Nate ready to go home!



The Christmas market...a really fun place to eat and shop!



Handmade Christmas tree ornaments at the Christmas Market.





A self potrait of Baron and I on Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving

We had a great Thanksgiving in Vienna! We arrived Wedensday evening and had dinner with the family that we were staying with, the Shelton's and their 4 sons, Caleb almost 8, Lukas 5, Micah 3, and James 14 months. Dr. Bob and Beneth also came to dinner at their house that night. They were very down to earth and sincere and real people. I never got that impression when I was at school that they were like that. They were easy to talk to.

Then Thursday, the boys played all morning in the play room and Grace and I made rolls for Thanksgiving dinner. Grace and I were in school the same years but I didn't know her then. We got a long great though. We hope to plan a trip to the Budapest zoo next summer with all our boys. We had dinner at 3 at the Hudson's church and then fellowshipped the rest of the afternoon. We met 2 Romanian families and a Romanian unsaved lady in the course of our 2 days in Vienna. Friday we went to a super fine store called IKEA. Oh my word, I was coveting their furniture and storage solutions! WE found out there is one in Budapest so when it comes time to buying more furniture for more kids we will go to IKEA in Budapest with an empty van so we can bring stuff back. There stuff is very affordable (compared to here), they are like Targe prices. I had fun roaming through the store while the boys played at the free daycare for people who are shopping! Then we found a Toys R Us and the boys loved that! Later in the afternoon Baron and I got to go down to the Christmas Market in downtown Vienna which was great fun. We had a delicious chocolate filled donut and a hotdog. We did a lot of walking so hopefully we walked off most the calories! The lights were so pretty and we bought a snow globe. Snow globes were first made in Vienna. I have always wanted a snow globe. I remember one year when my dad came home with a big snow globe from the Disney Store and I always loved it when he pulled it out every Christmas!
Our trip was home was less then desirable! Spencer woke up at 6 am Saturday throwing up. Fortunately before it was time to leave he got all the food contents out of his stomach so when he had to throw up on the drip home it was pretty much dry heaves. Then when we stopped for gas and lunch in Hungary he was throwing up again and in all the hustle and bustle we locked the keys in the van. We had to pay $200 to get them out...there is no arguing or shopping around when you are in another country and don't know the language...there was nothing we could do but pay the money so we could get back on the road!
We were happy to get home and happy that we went. We really had a great time visiting with some other Americans.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thankful

I am thankful for so many things! Here are some of the more material things I am thankful for: I am thankful for the fresh supply of brown sugar and chocolate chips I received this morning...little things mean a lot when you are far from "home".
I am thankful that the boys got a surprise pack of pop tarts. What fun to hear them screech and hollar this morning when they found out they were going to eat a pop tart for breakfast! I am thankful for the pretty snow that fell this morning...it is so much nicer then a cold rain.
I am thankful for the fun time I have with my family. I enjoy being around my kids (most of the time).

I enjoyed seeing them watch the snow fall from their window this morning. I am thankful that we get to go to Vienna for Thanksgiving. It will be a nice little break.
Now for some of the spiritual things I am thankful for. I am thankful for how God is working in Isabela's heart. She is growing so much in her love for the Lord. I am

thankful that the Lord has put it on Catalin and Nadia's heart to adopt or become foster parents...we have been praying that some people in our church would be burdened for this ministry. I am thankful for the peace that God is giving through the adoption process. I am so thankful to know that He is in charge of the children we are to raise for Him and I don't have to worry about the laws or the children. I can just pray and leave it in His hands and expect Him to show us the way since He gave us this burden. I am thankful to have family coming for Christmas this year. I am so thankful for how much our family has been able to come visit us since we moved over here 6 years ago.
There is so much to be thankful for...the very breath that I breathe is a gift from God. His grace that He pours out on me that is so undeserved. His mercies are new every morning. The strength He gives to live a victorious life. The joy He gives.
So, this holiday season I say, "Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Adoption Laws

How do I try to explain the laws? Where do I begin? Well lets start with what we learned in our class last Monday...how detrimental it is for the first few months of these babies lives to be in an institution...passing their babyhood by in a crib with little stimulation and little love and little touch...how bad this is. Ok we have established the fact that everyone realizes that this is very bad BUT...does the law protect the child from being in an institution and try and make it possible for these babies to go directly into loving homes...NO! In trying to cut down on the selling of babies they have made laws that make it impossible for adoption early in life. A mom, gives a false name and address at the hospital so that when she leaves the baby there no one can find her...to me this is evidance enough that she doesn't want the baby and you put the baby up for adoption but not here...the biological mom might change her mind and come back for her baby so leave it in the crib a while and see what happens....ok several months later no mom...baby still lying in a crib lets try and track down the mom...ok can't track down the mom by this time baby is past a year old and made adoptable but most Romanian couples waiting to adopt of course want a newborn...they have never had children and want a baby. Babies who have no parent listed on their birth certificate b/c mom took off that fast...you have to investigate and try and find mom so by the time he is declared adoptable he is older. The governement here is against teaching moms with unwanted pregnancies about adoption...why change the law in a small way and make the first signiture of a mom the one that says "my baby is up for adoption" many moms sign off on their babies in the hospital but this is not an signature for adoption this only leaves the child in the care of the department of child protection.
Pray with us...we are contemplating the need for a crisis pregnancy center. Teaching mom the option of adoption and giving them the name of the one lady in our county to contact saying they want their baby to be put up for adoption.
I don't know if all this makes sense...it is hard to put into writing the laws that so don't make sense. IN trying to cut back on child trafficking they have just done more to stop innocent children from being put in loving families. Those who want to sell their babies are still succeeding in doing so...it is very easy with the EU now to pass through borders so parents can easily take their baby to another country and sell him if they like.
The country is in denial that their is still an orphan problem...no, it is not like it was 17 years ago when communism fell as far as the horrid institutions...those are fewer in number now but there are still many orphans who are being denied the right to a loving family.
Pray for us as we will probably have to be pro active in picking out our children if we are to ever get them. This I think will be very hard.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Revelations

I am usually kind of afraid to read the book of Revelation. I just have always found it difficult and quite frankly a little scary so I usually skim through it or avoid it all together. My husband brought me a few NT survey books down because of a question I asked him last night (nothing to do with Revelation) and as I was looking at the book I thought maybe this could help me a little with the book of Revelation so I looked at it and it gave several ideas for studying the book. One of the suggestions was to look at the Songs of the Redeemed and I was amazed at all the wonderful songs of Praise that I read. Here are a few of my favorites:

5:12 "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!"

7:10-12 "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" Then everyone around the Throne of God falls on their faces and worships Him saying:
"Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen."

15:3-4 "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgements have been manifested."

I love beautiful and grand music that worships God. I can't even begin to imagine what singing with a choir of millions upon millions in heaven will be like! Until that day I will continue singing to Him here on earth with my feeble voice but singing with a heart full of love and joy knowing that I am redeemed and have been given something I could never earn!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Friday, November 2, 2007

Fall

My little men....this is the most "fallish" looking spot in my yard :)





A cookie makes everything seem brigher!