About Me

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

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Time is Here!

We have had a white Christmas before but it has never snowed this much a week before Christmas! It has been snowing since Monday night. It makes it hard to complete the last week of school before Christmas break when all the kids want to do is go out and play! We are enjoying it though.







Thursday, December 3, 2009

Poof...it's gone!

One minute you have a old van that works just fine transporting people to and from church then the next minute...POOF, it's gone! Ole Bessie, we bought her from another missionary a little over 8 years ago. I think we were the third or fourth missionary family to own it. It was an 87 Ford Transit that served us well until that fateful Wednesday evening when it went up in smoke...poof. Baron drove it to men's Bible study and a lady comes into the church and told him his van was on fire. He went running out and sure enough it was in flames, all the way into the front seat. The fire department was called by someone but Baron dove into action, grabbing a bucket of water, he began dousing the flames. In Romania the law requires you have a fire extinguisher in your vehicle but he couldn't get to his...his vehicle was on fire :). Two other cars stopped though and jumped out with their fire extinguishers plus several neighbors of the church came out with hoses and buckets. I really wish we had a video of it, Baron said it was quite a sight! The fire department came after the fire was out but gave it a good dousing for good measure.
Thankfully even though it has caused a bit of a dilema for church transportation, no one was hurt and Baron came home chuckling about the scene instead of fuming about it and worrying. We think that Bessie is pretty much toast and not worth saving.
Baron is pricing 97 Ford transits. Please pray that God will provide the funds needed for a new vehicle for our church needs. We are so thankful no one was in the van when it caught fire and no one was injured.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is here. I love this time of year. It comes and goes so fast. I hope to just slow down and enjoy the gift of Jesus this next month! We are in Vienna, Austria for a nice little break from the normal routine. This is the twins first time out of Romania and they are loving it. Everything is so great. We were just sitting at the Hungarian border in the fog and Joey thought Hungary was such a cool place. We went to Toys R Us today with 6 kids. They each drew a siblings name and bought a gift for that person. We had to keep reminding the twins that they were picking out a gift for someone else but they did really well! I had Joey, Nate, and Spencer with me. We'll see if Joey and Gina can keep a secret what they got for the person they shopped for! This is their first year to celebrate Thanksigiving with us. I don't remember why but we didn't have them last year. We are so THANKFUL to have our whole family together this year! So, glad after the holiday's we don't have to make the drive back to the children's home with them. So glad the sentence on the paper says it's irrivocable, they are ours. Praying for an final adoption court date soon after the holidays.
We have so much to be thankful for. God's amazing grace to us. We get a gift we don't deserve! How marvelous, how wonderful is our Savior's love for us! We have a network of family and friends who pray for us and support us and love us! Through all the economic difficulties in America people have continued to give and our support level has not dropped at all. We have seen many people suffer in Romania through this crisis and thanks to you and your faithful giving we have been able to pass on the blessing of helping them with their needs.
We have God's peace that he gives to us when our hearts are fixed on Him. Through all the pain and trials we can know He cares for us and the trying of our faith produces patience. Pray for us this holiday season as we reach out to those in need. This time of year seems to open more doors for ministry. We pray that we will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading. Everything we do in Lugoj, Romania is His work. Anything accomplished is because of Him alone. He alone is worthy of our love and praise. We are so thankful and pray that you all have a blessed time with your family and friends. We pray mostly that each of you will experience a closer walk with our Lord and allow Him to control and guide you!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Christmas Again.

So, I was sitting in church this morning looking at all my needy kids wondering how in the world can I just do something special for 6 of them. So, I posted a message on facebook about wanting to get 25 kids books for Christmas and already have gotten a great response! I'm so excited to see God move hearts to help those in need. Our kids will be so excited. Most of these kids don't get gifts at Christmas. They are poor kids in difficult situations. We are so thrilled to bring a little joy to them all. God bless you all. We serve a great God who meets our needs always!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Christmas

So Christmas will be here before we know it. I have 6 kids in particular I want to bring Christmas too. We have about 25 kids in Sunday School and we will get them all a little something but there are 6 kids I want to do something special for. Two of them have just started coming to church with their foster mom. The boys are 8 and 5. They are in their third foster home. This lady that has them now seems to really care for them. Their previous foster moms were disasterous. The two girls are 9 and
4, they live down the street from us. Their dad left and their mom doesn't have a job so they are living off of about $100 a month. The other two come to our church. The brother is 8 and the sister is almost 6. If anyone is interested in helping me do this I would love to get some color wonders from the states (I brought back a bunch this summer and the kids here were mesmorized by them and loved them) and Christmas Candy. We are helping all the older siblings with homework and noticed reading is a real problem. They have no books to read at home and so they don't get much practice. I buy a book every couple of weeks to build up my Romanian book library so they have something to read when they come here. Obviously you can't buy Romanian books and send but if any book lovers out there wanted to buy these kids some books they could donate the money and we could buy them some over here.
If you are interested in helping and want more information please contact me. Remember, for the stuff to get here in time you should send it by the end of November at the latest. God bless you this holiday season.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday

We had another packed out Sunday. I brought my camera to take some pictures but was too busy to take any pictures :). The challenge is teaching parents how to keep their little ones quiet in church and if they get too loud to take them out. We know that little ones will make some noise but letting your little one run up and down the aisle and talk just is a bit too much of a distraction. Parents seem to have a hands off approach. Tonight went pretty well though after Baron made an announcement. We are thankful for all the little ones and pray their parents continue coming so they can learn about God's love and their little ones can get an early start on learning about God. We continue to pray that God's Spirit will work. We are not capable of so great a task as shepherding so many hurting and needy people but He is capable...with God all things are possible!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sunday School



A quick note about Sunday School. My little class is packed out. The piture is when the weather was still nice and we could all take our chairs outside but we can't do that anymore! Pray that God will provide the funds needed to make a run down room into our new Sunday school room and connect it to the church.


.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Papaw Joe

I wanted to write about Baron's Papaw Joe who passed away at the age of 95 yesterday morning. I hope that I have all my facts correct but if I don't Mom Howie you can correct me. Papaw Joe was Baron's great-great uncle on his dad's side. Dad H's parents were separated when he was born and his mom went to look for work so he and his older sister went to live with his grandparents. When Dad H was 3 and his sister 4 their grandma died and their grandpa's brother, Papaw Joe, who was much younger told his brother to let him take care of the kids. Papaw Joe was not saved at the time and his brother said he just couldn't in good conscious let him have the kids because he wasn't living for the Lord. As the story goes, Papaw Joe went to church and accepted Christ and this new love for Christ deepend his desire to help the hurting kids around him. He and his girlfriend, Granny Bill, got married and they gained custody of Ken and his sister Carolyn. He had compassion on those who were down and out and always was willing to give people a chance. Most people would have shut the door in the face of people that he ministered too. He was always more then willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt and give them a job and try to help them out.
They went on to take in two sisters from a local orphanage. Their father had passed away and their mother was unable to care for them. They raised them and actually raised 3 children of one of those girls. He also temporarily housed many people who needed a place to stay.
Papaw Joe was more like Baron's grandpa then great great uncle. He raised his father and because of this Baron's dad, Dad H. had a heart for orphans. He always had a desire in his heart to work with orphans and needy kids in some way but it just never happened. His heart was passed on to his son though. When we moved to Romania we received an opportunity that Dad H. never had, we were surrounded by abandoned kids. God gave us the desire to adopt and when we finally met our kids, we knew we wanted them to feel part of the family and have family names. So, we kept the first name just making it American...George Joseph will be on his birth certificate when the adoption is final and we call him Joey for Papaw Joe. The transition to calling him Joey came quickly and was not difficult although I know people at Casa Alba will always consider him Gheorghe, he is Joey Howerton to us and the name fits him so well. He is full of spunk and joy and we hope and pray he lives up to his name and grows to be a kind and compassionate man who loves the Lord with all his heart.
In loving memory of Joe Riddle 1914-2009.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Trip to Budapest

We took a quick trip to Budapest yesterday and today. We took the two older boys and left the 4 younger kids with some missionary friends. We are moving the two older boys into their own room (they get their dad's office) and needed a bunk bed. The bunk beds we checked out in Romania were very expensive and we found one at IKEA in Budapest that was sturdier and much much cheaper so we decided to go there and get it plus we always enjoy eating at TGIFriday's while there. We also got Baron a much needed filing cabinet which is hard to come by in Romania too. So, we literally stuffed our boxes in the van and headed home today. Everything was fine and dandy until we noticed at the Hungarian border it was taking quite a long time for the customs man to give us our passports back. The Romanian customs man asked us to move our car out of the way and park, finally he came and asked about a ticket I had recieved when in Hungary way back in March. Yes, I said I got a ticket for not having my lights on (law says lights on at all times and I forget to do that in the day). So, in the police officers best Romanian he told me 3 ways I could pay for the ticket and me being without Baron didn't really want to try to figure out where a post office was to pay my ticket at and I didn't have money on me to pay the officer so I chose option 3...pay at a bank in Romania. Baron paid the $50 ticket for me plus a $20 wiring fee way back in March. But since we paid it at a bank in Romania it wasn't showing up as paid in their computers. So, the customs officer asked for the receipt...um Mr. custom's officer I don't know about you but we don't keep receipts in our wallets for 8 months! No one had bothered to tell us that the next time I tried to exit their country (entering wasn't a problem) I would need proof that I had paid it b/c since it wasn't paid in country it doesn't show up and the money just goes to one big account in Budapest and so they had no record of what the $50 was for that was sent to them. So, the only way they were going to let us out of the country was if I sat at the border while Baron went to the first village in Hungary and found a post office and paid the bill AGAIN!! So, he left the boys with me for safety reasons (I felt so safe having my 9 and 10 year there with me :)) and he took off for the village to pay it. Two hours later and after paying my ticket for the SECOND time we finally were allowed to leave Hungary. We had to pick up our little ones at the Tyler's church since we were running late they had to take them to church with them. We stuffed 4 more children in the already stuffed van and drove one more hour home...yes I still love going to Budapest and enjoyed myself (except for those two hours). I even understand them not letting us out with an unpaid ticket. What I don't understand is why not tell the police officers to #1 have mercy on a foreign women alone in a different country and #2 when you give option 3 to pay in your own country why not let the foreigner know that you must bring back proof you paid the ticket even if it is 8 months later!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Passports

We were happy at how easy it was to apply for the twins Romanian passports. They should be ready in 20 days. We are planning on going to Vienna, Austria for Thanksgiving. It's always nice to be able to get away for a few days and Vienna is such a beautiful place and we have friends there that we enjoy getting together with.
Our long term houseguest is leaving. She has been helping me greatly. I have been able to get school done before noon with the three older boys thanks to her doing pre school with my three younger ones. She is now leaving so I am in the process of making a detailed schedule so we can get in everything that we need to. It will be a challenge but we will just take it one day at a time and go from there.
Just wanted to put a little up date on here. Nothing worse then someone who has a blog but never blogs :).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

VBS

We had a wonderful week of VBS! We are so thankful for all the church volunteers and the team from America who helped make it a success. We decided this year to go big and have a carnival on Friday since we knew we would have 8 Americans here to help out. On Thursday we had 62 children at VBS and that is quite a high number for us. It feels a little overwhelming with that many kids.


We were praying that God would send just the right amount on Friday for the carnival so it could be a success without becoming a disaster because of too many kids. We had right at 60 kids and we had 10 stations so we broke the kids up into groups of 6.


We had clowns from Timisoara. We had face painting, balloon animals, games, snacks, and lots of prizes. I thought the children did rather well at turning in their tickets for prizes. I was a little worried there would be a lot of yelling and complaining about "hey , he got something I didn't, that's not fair" but there was very little of that.


Our team of 8 Americans must take credit for the success of the carnival. Baron and I would have never attempted something like that on our own. The director and regional director of Biblical Ministries Worldwide, Paul and his wife Joan, and Dale and his wife Avril were with us for a few days. They jumped in and helped us with the carnival. The other team members were Joshua Louk, he and his wife are making plans to move over here next summer and be part of our team. He brought with him 3 others, Brittney, Hailey, and Paul Michael. We are so thankful they came and helped us with VBS.


There were many new kids this year and many moms came and stayed during the week. We pray that the Word that was preached even to these young hearts will not return void.
We look forward to seeing what team God puts together to work in our community through Berea Baptist Church.



During the team's visit, Baron has taken them to a day center for street kids, the children's hospital, the day center for gypsy kids, an after school center in Timisoara to help with school work, a crisis pregnancy center in Timisoara, and another large childrens ministry about 4 hours from us. We would appreciate your prayers as God directs us and gives wisdom to what ministries he has for us in the future.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Blog

So, why have a blog if you aren't going to post on it? Well, I haven't been posting as often because there just isn't much to say. I am not a creative writer that can just make up something to write about. The purpose of my blog is to write about what is going on in my family here in Romania. The big news is we have a new trampoline...yes see how boring, not even worth writing about! We are having VBS this week every evening. Last night was our first night and we had 42 kids. Lots of moms came with them. I thought it went really well. We were strict with the age limit of 12 and it went very smooth without any 13 and 14 year olds there. We anticipate maybe 15 more tonight. They earn tickets for the prize box on Friday for bringing visitors so we'll see if that motivates them!
We start school next week, at least that is the plan. I may be blogging even less then!
Please continue to pray for the ministry over here. Pray especially for wisdom for Baron and pray that God will help us to be patient and loving yet confront when necessary. Pray that God will lead a Romanian family to our church who desires to serve God full time.
We should find out the first of September the next step in the adoption. We are happy at this point to have them in our home all the time. The adjustment period is interesting but mostly smooth with only a few bumps along the way so far. Pray for all our kids to see Jesus in Baron and I and that they will desire a personal relationship with Him.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Good Bye Children's Home...Hello Family!



We received the phone call this week...the papers are finished, the final proclamation is done...come Friday to get the papers and for a good bye part at Casa Alba. I wondered after being in our home for 2 1/2 months how the twins would do going back there. CA has been their home for their whole lives...they have been waiting for a whole year to move in with their family. They have been loved and well cared for but they have never known what it was like to have a family. I wondered if they would jump back into feeling "at home" at CA and if they would run wild and cling to others or stay close to us. We discussed with them ahead of time how they were to act but still you wonder what will happen. I am pleased to say they did very well. Gina in times past when back at CA after a visit with us would run up to the workers and hang with them but today she would give out a hug then come back and sit in her daddy's lap content. Joey would run around a bit but come back to us...he didn't fight or show aggression with his old buddies. The twins had told us they wanted to say good bye to Cera and Alex, I think they were the four youngest and spent a lot of time together. Alex and the twins were with each other from babyhood. It was an emotional day. I was so touched to see kids having pictures made with their new families...it really brought tears to my eyes seeing kids receive a family...all children deserve a family to love and nuture them.
Over all it was a very happy day for us. We have their birth certificates and medical records and they are ours. Hopefully in three months we can open the adoption file for them.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Adoption

Adoption is a long and bumpy road and you never know what is going to happen. It took over a year to just get the twins into our custody. We are waiting to find out when to go up for their good bye part at their former children's home and to receive all their files and paperwork we need.



Our social worker came today with the psychologist for a visit. Our "atestare" for adoption ran out in April so they had to re do some of the papers and make a couple more visits. I think they were impressed with the twins. So, I asked them could they give me a round about figure of how long now it would take. It depends on the judge here in our county. This county goes with the new law and does placement then adoption...like foster to adopt. The county the twins came from said we had to apply for "tutela" or custody/guardianship is the best word. So, if the judge here accepts our guardianship and lets us declare them adoptable and adopt them we can start the process in 3 months. We have to wait until we have had them in our custody for 3 months plus had all their papers. If that happens we should start the 3 month count down in a few weeks. If the judge doesn't accept that then we would have to apply to be their foster parents and then wait another 3 months and then start the adoption process...either way the social worker told us the court houses are busy but she thinks we could be done with it all in under a year.

It will be interesting to see how the kids react when they go back to Casa Alba for a party. Continue to pray for their transition into our family. They are precious children and we are privileged to be chosen as their parents.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Adjustments

I have been telling myself it is time to write an entry on my blog for sometime now and just couldn't bring myself to do so. When I get back from a trip to America I am always a little depressed and it takes a couple of weeks to work my way out of that and get back to normal. I am almost back to normal. I meditate on God's Word, specifically: "you will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." Isaiah 26:3-4.
I am thankful I could be at my Grandma's 90th birthday. She still lives on her own and drives. Her name is Marvelous Marv.


The twins have been with us for about 6 weeks now. The longest they had ever stayed with us was 2 weeks. The 2 week visits usually went well and we didn't have any major issues. I anticipated these visits were kind of like the honeymoon period. Once they moved in and stayed with us long term I was sure the rules would become an issue and they have, but only for one of them really. I thought for sure that Joey would be the difficult one because he is aggressive. But he longs to please and is quick to receive correction. He is speaking short phrases in English and asks me everything in English. I really didn't think he would be the one speaking so much English this early on! He still gets angry and lashes out in the heat of the moment but is always sorry and receives correction. Gina on the other hand still wants to rule the roost. She does not comply with the rules very often and pouts and stomps her feet when told to do something. We remind them of certain rules everyday so they realize they are the same today as they were yesterday. Every day you can be sure if no one is in the room Gina will touch or do whatever it is she isn't supposed to, she hasn't learned yet that moms have eyes in the back of their heads and see and know all :). Hopefully she will learn that soon so her life will be much easier. She craves attention and will act like a baby if she thinks it will bring her the attention she wants. She is a tough little princess but we love her and hope and pray we can guide her strong will to be a strong will for the things of God! She is actually speaking very little English and seems to be struggling a bit more then Joey with this time of transition.

We hope to receive all the final papers soon for custody so we can proceed to have them declared adoptable. We will go in the next few weeks for a final trip to Casa Alba for a goodbye party and to get what paper work we need.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

America

I am finally in America! It's good to be here. As we were leaving for the airport yesterday it hadn't dawned on me that me leaving might be difficult on anyone other then Baron. Well, all the way to the airport Georgie was very loud about the fact that mommy should not be going to get Zach, daddy needs to go and mommy needs to stay. I didn't realize how much this change of primary care givers would throw him off. He kept clinging to me, I told him I would bring them back surprises and I would be back in a week. Gina on the other hand was very excited, with mom gone she thought she would be ruling the roost...Baron had to quickly put her in her proper place of little daughter instead of little mother :). I have already purchased several little dresses for Gina (I told her I would bring her back 2 dresses but the OshKosh outlet was having such great sales I got a few more...she'll be thriled). I have to figure out how to get all my stuff back...I have lots of heavy school books to bring back.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Little Things

We recently celebrated two birthdays. Spencer turned 9 on June 6 and Nate turned 3 on June 12th! It felt weird celebrating their birthday's without Zach. It feels weird that I don't have a baby anymore (although don't tell him he's not the baby anymore). We really need to work on getting rid of the pacifier (for those of you who are appalled that we still have a paci, he only uses it at night).



We are now starting our third week of having the twins. The longest we have ever had them was 2 weeks so we hope that things start to settle into a routine and we get the court paper we need next week and we don't have to take them back in July!


I am taking my first ever overseas trip all alone. I wonder if I'll sleep. Usually I can't sleep because I have to keep checking to make sure my kids aren't falling out of the seat or that their had hasn't fallen into some strangers lap. I did take one trip 3 years ago when I was pregnant with Nate to Amman Jordan for my brother's wedding. I wondered if I could possibly have fun without my husband and kids...I learned very quickly, I could have a lot of fun without them :) so I anticipate I will miss them terribly and be ready to get back to Romania but I also anticipate I will greatly enjoy a little quiet R & R in America.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Good News!!!!!!!!!!

Something in our favor happened, finally!!! Praise God! Ok, so if you read the last entry you know we were supposed to pick them up for a two week visit and it was looking like we were going to have to take them back again...we were hoping the paper work would be finished and we souldn't have to take them back but paper work is moving slow! Well, the good news is, that the director of the children's home decided it was close enough to the end and it was far better for the twins not to return to Casa Alba that she let us sign them out for 4 weeks, until the 4th of July and then we SHOULD just have to go back for a good bye part! So PLEASE pray that in the next 4 weeks it is resolved! So, it looks like for now, that the twins are moving in with us!!!!!!!!!! WOO HOO. I'm making cookies!!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Twins Saga

Our court date was April 21 and by May 21 we should have received the official paper and then the 15 day waiting period begins before we bring them home...so techinically we should be nearing the end of the 15 day waiting period but we haven't received the paper yet!! So, the twins social worker went to the court house today and the man told her the judges assistant should have sent that out within 30 days...well, it has now been like 47 days. So, he called her and she said she was waiting for the final proclamation from the judge still before she could send it out...come on, how long does it take to write a proclamation to put two kids into a home!!! Supposedly by the end of next week we should receive it BUT I am not sure who is going to make the judge write that proclamation. Our hope was, today we are picking them up for a two week visit and we were hoping not to have to take them back...but it looks like we will probably have to take them back just 4 days before I go to the states which means we won't get them until July...nothing makes sense...I know I have said this before but I never dreamed that it would take over a year for two children living in a children's home to be placed with a family...that should be a priority.
Pray for this frustrated mom...she just wants her family to be all together once and for all!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Twins Update

So, as you know we had our court date on April 21 and were awarded custody of our twins (this is only custody we still have to go through the adoption process). This did not mean we could just take the twins home, end of story. We did take them home that day for two weeks but had to take them back. By law the court has 30 days to send out the official paper of the order given to give us custody...it has now been 38 days and we still have not received our paper. After 30 days there is a 15 day waiting period where anyone can come contest the decision...what we don't know is if the 15 days begins right after it has been 30 days since the court decision or if starts when the official court paper is sent. We called someone today to check on things for us. He called the court house and basically couldn't get any information over the phone. He said if we haven't gotten the paper by Monday he will drive from Oradea to the Marghita court house and check on it. They said they only gave out information to people who came in person.
The other development (maybe this really isn't a development...we hope not anyway) is a couple came to Casa Alba last week inquiring about the twins. No one knows who they were. They only know it wasn't the aunt who came last year expressing interest in them. I don't understand why no one there questioned them and tried to find out who they were...just another factor I have to throw out to God and trust Him and not mull over and worry about.
So, that is where we are at. We are picking the twins up this Thursday for two weeks but are hoping that the only reason we have to go back to Marghita is for a going away party. Keep Praying.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Zachary.


Ok, all you mothers, every now and then we just can't keep silent and we have to mention our kids :-).My oldest, Zachary, who is 10 is in the states with grandma and grandpa right now and I have gotten a few emails and things about his trip.
My mom wrote this:
"last evening Pastor Peter had all the people stand whose jobs were in jepardy or who were out of work. Wow! I was surprised at how many people stood So then Peter had people go and suround the different people and pray for them. Dad went and Zack follow him and went and put his hand on their shoulder as they prayed. I thought it was so sweet. "
That one brought tears to my eyes.

Next is a list of funny things that my sister, Aunt Gigi, sent me.
1. On Zach's first trip to Red Robin I was showing him all the cool drinks he could order. He asks the waitress, "Do you have pear juice?"
1a. During trip to Red Robin, asked Zach what he thought of having a sister.
Response: "It is okay. She is a little bossy."
Aunt Gigi told him he should give in to her every once in a while.
Response: "No. We tried that, and it just made it worse."
2. When meeting Fluffy for the first time, "She is so cute. You should get a male dog and mate them and they could have puppies."
3. When running through my house for the first time, "Why do you have three toilets when there are only two of you?"
4. When he saw Al's car collection, "Who plays with all the cars?"
5. When Uncle Al took him to McDonald's this morning for breakfast and Al asks him what he wants, Zach says, "What can I have?" Al says, "Anything." Zach: "Anything?" Al says yes. Zach: "I'd like two sausages and a medium milkshake. I love sausage." Yes, that's plain sausage.
6. When I took him to Old Navy to get needed items and Nana calls and says that he needs two pairs of shorts as well Zach says, "Does that mean we have to go back to the fitting room?" Aunt Gigi: "Yes." Zach: "Oh, I'm getting bored with the fitting room. Do we get charged every time we go into the fitting room?"
7. Still at Old Navy Zach says, "I don't like these jeans, they stink. I want the jeans I have in Romania." I told him they just smell new and that smell will go away once we wash them.

Kids make us laugh, keep our hearts light, and sometimes they even show us what it truly means to follow Christ!

Monday, May 18, 2009

When things seem impossible!

I am not sure where to start on this story. I'll do my best to make it concise but not leave out any details because God needs to be praised for all the details that were accomplished today! We needed to leave for the airport at 11:30 a.m. My parents and Zach's plane was to leave at 1:55. Around 10:30 a.m. my mom said, "oh, don't forget to give me Zach's passport." So, I stopped to go and get it right away. I looked in Baron's desk drawer and found 3 boys' passports...but not Zach's, I looked in our other hiding place for passports, no passport for Zach. I went and asked Baron if he knew where Zach's passport was...he asked me if it wasn't in his desk with all the kids passports. No one was panicking at this point...we had an hour before we needed to leave and we have never lost a passport before so we were sure we would find it before 11:30. We thought back to the last time we used his passport, it was to make a copy of his and Spencer's passport for fighting class. We took Baron's office apart. He knew he had made the copies on his printer and we had Spencer's passport. He was sure it was in his office but after tearing his office apart (and realizing we need to invest in filing cabinets which we will do right away) and it wasn't there our fear was that he had accidentally picked it up and put it in his pocket and lost it. We called the embassy, our only option they said was to bring Zach to Bucharest (a very long trip on the train all night) and get him a new passport, that is the only way he can get out of the country. So, we start looking at train tickets and thinking we could change the plane tickets until Wednesday. Baron also called the boys fighting teacher to see if we accidentally gave him the passport instead of the copy...he came right over and took Baron over to the gym to hunt for it and he felt so bad but there was nothing he could do....of course in the midst of all this we are all praying for a miracle. It is 11:30 now and we should be leaving. Zach is calm through it all, he says: "mom, maybe this is God's way of showing us that I am not supposed to go to America this summer." I wanted to cry at his level of thinking. We really started taking the house apart at this time...no passport. I get on the phone to see about changing plane tickets...just for my parents to change it is going to be $250 per ticket then she says but there are no seats in business class on Wed. or Thurs and the only way to switch is to do an upgrade and she put me on hold to figure out the price. While I am on hold I told my dad to go put their luggage in the car that I think they are going to have to go without Zach because it is going to be too expensive to change their tickets. I am sitting at Baron's desk and realize at this point that Zach is not going to America and we are going to loose all this money on his ticket and I started to cry. We were at the end of our rope and exasperated. It is around 12:15 or so and I told Baron you just need to get my parents to the airport (I kept telling myself during all this that I would praise God even if my plans didn't work out, that God has a reason and this is His plan). I was still on hold with the airline and Baron sees me crying and in his exasperation starts pulling out boxes from behind his desk, behind where the printer is and he yells: "I FOUND IT!!" We all go tearing out of the house, grabbing boys and shoes, and suitcases and praising God...shouting and crying. My dad couldn't believe it...when he was loading up the luggage he thought for sure that was it, there was no way Zach was coming with them. It was 12:30 when we left. There are two ways to Timisoara, the road directly to the airport is full of construction and stop lights b/c of the construction so we dared not go that way. We went the other way and had to drive all the way through Timisoara to get to the airport. We were praying and my dad was holding on to the dashboard the whole way and Baron was literally flying! It usually takes about an hour to get to Timisoara and depending on traffic through Timisoara can take quite a while...we made it to the airport in 50 minutes...record time! After several scary passes on the road and everyones heart rate really high, we get them checked in, hug them, breath a sigh of relief. We put them in the passport line, their flight is boarding. The passport man then asks my parents who Zach is and they say he's our grandson, Baron goes over and the man asks when Zach was out of the country last and we say in December and then Baron shows him his permanent residency card and says he is my son and I live in Romania. The man proceeds to tell him that if Zach leaves the country without one of these cards he will not be allowed back in the country! When we went and got our cards for permanent residency we asked at the police station about our kids and they told us for now not to worry about our kids they were fine under us. We explained this to him but he said, no he must have a card. Baron pleaded with them and explained to them we will get him a card but we can't get one now. By this time someone from the plane came looking for the last three passengers for the plane. Baron and the passport control man are speaking Romanian so my poor parents have no idea what is going on...FINALLY the Lord had mercy and about 5 minutes before the plane was supposed to take off, they got on the plane!!
We went straight to the police station to see what we needed to do to get him a card and the man there rolled his eyes and told Baron they had no right to do what they did. He said, yes you should have a card for your kids but it is not a big deal and that they should not have given us a hastle...oh the inconsistancies, that is what drives me nuts! This man at the police station gave Baron his name and number and told him if they give us any problems getting back in the country to call him. He told us to come get the cards for the kids when Zach comes back in the country!
We felt emotionally drained by the time we walked away from the airport. We were so happy and tired and flabbergasted (is that a word??)...we have never lost a passport before, why now. God has a reason...we may never now that reason but we praise Him that he chose to allow Zach to go to America!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Updates




It has been 3 1/2 weeks since we were granted custody of the twins and we still haven't gotten our official declaration in the mail. They supposedly have 30 days from the court date to send it so Lord willing maybe we will receive it sometime next week. After that there is the 15 day waiting period and as as far as I know after that they are free to come home with us. Please continue to pray for them and us as we wait to bring them home then all the fun of the adoption process begins!


It is almost time for summer camp again. We are excited to be taking about 40 kids to camp this summer and 16 of them or orphans from a private children's home near by. We pray that once again we will receive gifts to sponser these 40 kids to go to camp. The cost is about $40 per camper for one week of camp. If you are interested in helping send a child to camp you can send a check to Tri City Ministries, 4500 Little Blue Parkway, Independence, MO 64057 and mark it specifically for Howerton campers in Romania.

My parents have been here for almost 3 weeks now. The time always goes by so fast! They leave on Monday and take our oldest son with them. I am glad he gets to go but am kind of regretting sending him now :). It will be a good time for him. He is going to the Wilds for a week. He will also get to spend a week in Kansas City with Grandma and Grandpa Howie and his cousins.

I am so grateful to have a space problem in Sunday School. My little class has grown from 9 kids to well over 16 kids. Many of these kids are needy, several of them are foster kids, and some are learning disabled. Please pray for us as we love these kids and minister to them. We hope to have them come two days a week this summer to our home to play games and do crafts with them. They enoy the stimulation. Many of these kids just sit in front of the television for fun.

We have finished up our year of school. It was a challenging year as it was my first year in two years to have to teach the boys. I learned a lot this year. We are switching to a new curriculum, Sonlight. It is a literature based curriculum and I think it will be a good switch for us. Zach will be in 5th grade next year, Spencer in 3rd grade, and Drew in 1st grade. The twins will be learning English and doing K5 work.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Good News!


I want to share the good news with everyone...we were granted custody of the twins today! We are so excited. We brought them home with us today and tomorrow is their
5th birthday. We still have to take them back in a couple of weeks for them to stay for a waiting period where any family member has the right to come in and protest the decision. We don't expect any protest since no family member has been in their lives for all 5 years but be in prayer that everything goes through smoothly.
We are so thankful. The picture was taken at McDonalds after we picked them up today. We met an American family there and they took a picture for us. Thank you all for praying.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Easter

These pictures were taken by our neighbors. Each year for Easter they borrow some bunnies from a friend of theirs for the day so the boys went to pet them and visit with the cute little bunnies.







We celebrated Easter yesterday. It was a wonderful day. I love the resurrection songs and really want to incoporate them into our times of worship more often then just Easter! We had a full house, 19 kids...that is a lot for my little Sunday School room. Quite a few of those kids are from a tough backgrounds, they have been known to beg on the streets and several of them go to a special school because they have some form of mental handicapped although not severe. We fought hard to keep things under control...as it got closer to the Easter hunt though it got harder and harder. I got a group shot of the kids and will post it after I down load it.
After church Sunday evening, we invited those in attendance to our house for food and fellowship. It was a relaxing and fun time. I always feel I get to fellowship with the people when we are at our house in a more relaxed setting. Sunday's are so busy for me I feel like I barely say hello to people. Most everyone left around 9 p.m. but several stayed on for a round of Settlers.

Today is a relaxed day. Everything is closed so we are just hanging out and relaxing too. The boys are currently on a treasure hunt. We will leave this afternoon for Marghita. The boys will stay with some friends of ours. We will go to the court house first thing tomorrow morning. We have no idea what kind of a wait we will have. It is a small town so hopefully there won't be a long wait.
I'll be updating you all as soon as I can on the result. Keep praying!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Court Date

Our Court Date is April 21!!!

Modesty

I know I normally just write about what is going on in my family life but this topic has been on my heart lately...modesty in the 21st century...does it exist? I have no idea really who reads this blog or if this entry will turn you off but I am struck lately by just how immodest women dress...including women who call themselves followers of Christ. My sons turn away in embarassement when they see a women in revealing clothes...I pray this heart remains in them as they get older. I notice that many people either harp on womens dress and give a specific list of what they can and can't wear or they steer completely clear of this subject.

I just wonder, as the mother of boys, will they be able to find a women of character who cares enough about them and other Christian brothers who is willing to not dress in a way that provokes sensual thoughts...I sure hope so! So, what exactly does modesty mean? I found a good definition by C.J. Mahaney in his 7 part series called, "God, My Heart, and Clothes." He says, "Modesty means propriety. It means avoiding clothes and adornment that are extravagant or sexually enticing. Modesty is humility expressed in dress. It’s a desire to serve others, particularly men, by not promoting or provoking sensuality.

Immodesty, then, is much more than wearing a short skirt or low-cut top; it’s the act of drawing undue attention to yourself. It’s pride, on display by what you wear.

Self-control is, in a word, restraint. Restraint for the purpose of purity; restraint for the purpose of exalting God and not ourselves. Together, these attitudes of modesty and self-control should be the hallmark of the godly woman’s dress."

I guess what disturbs me most is that Christian women don't even seem to want to discuss modesty or hear any type of teaching on this. When they hear someone start to speak on this they yell, "Legalist! Don't you know I am free from a list of rules!" I was one of these women when I first finished college. My parents had never been overly strict with me but when I got married and left home and left the Christian college I attended I was shouting, "hey no rules, I can wear what I want!" I think what started me thinking about this modesty subject again is the fact that I am trying to raise 5 sons to be lovers of God and to keep their minds pure. We live in a day where a man must choose where to turn his eyes for fear of seeing pornography right on the street. When all we can do is think about our freedom to dress as we want instead of realizing that how I dress is an outward expression of what is in my heart then that is when Christian women stop thinking about their Christian brothers and start dressing because we are "free".

"A woman who focuses on worshiping God will consider carefully how she is dressed, because her heart will dictate her wardrobe and appearance."(John MaCarthur)

I'll close with this quote from C.J. Mahaney's article on modesty and hope that you prayerfully consider whether this is an area you as a women need to work on or you as a man need to be more attentive to when it comes to your wife and daughters:

"There’s an inseparable link between your heart and your clothes. Your clothes say something about your attitude. If they don’t express a heart that is humble, that desires to please God, that longs to serve others, that’s modest, that exercises self-control, then change must begin in the heart.

For modesty is humility expressed in dress."

Monday, March 16, 2009

Finally.

Here is our new school room.

I know it has been a while since I blogged. I've been busy getting my house out of a chaotic state. To try and make a long story short. We put stairs inside the house so we could utilize our space in the attic. The stairs are in our old bedroom and we moved upstairs. Then we moved all the family room stuff into our old bedroom and had the ceiling lowered in our family room and put in new windows and re plastered the walls (they are cement and we never did them right so they were cracking and the paint was peeling off). Then we painted in there and moved our stuff back in then painted the school room and moved that stuff in and now the boys dorm room has more space. We had orignally separated their room with a big wardrobe or dulop as we call them and had school on one side and the boys slept in two bunk beds on the other side. I am very thankful for a school room.
In the middle of all this, Kendra left. She left last Wednesday...sigh. She WILL BE BACK though in July. She left me with a craft notebook all planned out for the next three months at the center for handicapped children.

I have a project for the handicapped kids we work with and I need some sponsers. I have found what is called a "band in a box". It has different little instruments the kids could bang on. They love music and love to strum on my guitar and sing. I thought they would enjoy banging the tamborines and other instruments while we are singing. I would like 3 of them. If anyone wants to get one to send for these kids let me know and I can tell you where I found them or you can find your own. I can also give you the info of where to send it.

I am quite discouraged with the whole adoption process. It seems as everyone here is too busy to take the time to put two children in a home. I will give you more news when I have it but it looks like we may not have a court date until the end of May...one year after we put in our request to be their guardians...unreasonable, unthinkable, and un, well I can't think of another word but I never imagined we would be facing the twins 5th birthday and they would still be at the orphanage. The orphanage by the way is closing down in six months and our twins were expected to be the first to go. Looks like now they will be the last to go. It just seems that every time we get news it is a little bit of bad news, never any good and each time it knocks a little more hope and spirit out of me. I feel like the twins are going to quit believing that we are ever going to bring them home forever.

My wonderful blessed husband is allowing me a reprieve this summer for 9 days. For nine glorious days I get to be with my family in the states. I am looking forward to the break. I am going to pick up our son Zach. He is leaving in May with my parents. We are excited that he will get to see his cousins in Kansas City and he will spend a week at the Wilds. I will be in Greenville for my grandma's 90th birthday!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Snow, snow, snow...


Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....it has been snowing almost daily since last Thursday. We haven't had this much snow in many years, I think since our first winter here. We have about a foot of snow on the ground and it is snowing again today!


The kids have loved playing in the snow. We actually had 60 degree weather last week so when the wood stock was low we weren't too worried. When it got colder and started snowing we became a little worried we were going to run out of wood before our next load came yesterday but we cut out one fire and shut the room off and saved wood. We have been living with 8 people in two rooms. It is a challenge and I admire many Romanian families who live in a room all winter to save on heat! In such cramped quarters I feel like the old woman in the shoe who had so many children she didn't know what to do!! We will plan a little better for next winter. We have already ordered our wood to all be here by July so we don't run out!


I am thankful for all those who are praying for our situation to be resolved. We trust and are confident in God's love and protection for us and our family. He holds the twins future in His hands and we are confident that future is with our family, we just don't know when exactly that will be.
We are happy to know that our file has been sent to Marghita and we are awaiting word on our new court date.



On a lighter note. I hear the most interesting conversations in my house. All six kids are mixing their languages. So, I hear things like: "esti done", "eu am slept aici", "Iubesc pe dog", now if you don't know Romanian I know these sayings will not be so amusing to you but it is very amusing to hear.
My next favorite thing is to hear Nate whine in Romanian. He is usually whining at Georgie. Nate thinks that all 54 Hot Wheels cars should be his alone and he always chases after Georgie saying "vreau aia", I have to remember that even though it sounds funny to hear him whining in Romanian that I must discipline him when I hear it.
My oven has been broken for two months now. Thank the Lord for Kendra who makes lots of good soups! I really don't want to buy a new oven here because it will be a down grade...meaning I would get a much smaller oven and I think I would really regret that so I am trying to be patient while waiting to find the alusive part we need.
Meanwhile I received a counter top mini oven from a friend. I have made mini pizza's in it and mini cookies and Kendra is trying muffins tonight!
I will be driving the twins back to Marghita tomorrow. Yes, I know scary thinking of a girl from South Carolina driving in the snow but our van is really good in the snow so I am not worried. Then on Thursday I will go visit a day center that ministers to 7 children. I'll tell you all about it when I return...just pray I don't get lost and I don't get a flat tire (I did on Sunday) and that I don't run into really bad roads...yes mom I will drive slowly :).

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Life

We have lots of different things going on so this will be a conglomeration of different stories.
First of all, the twins saga continues. I found out the other day that whenever we do get our court date...could be up to two months, that even if we are granted custody we will have to wait 45 more days to bring them home. So, we quite possibly are looking at not until after their 5th birthday! For those of you who wonder why we told them so soon that we wanted to be their parents, this was supposed to be a quick and easy case but the child protective services in Oradea turned it into something complicated. If we had known it would be this long of a wait just to get them in our home we would have never told them so soon! Baron has no doubts that we will get them but the waiting is hard. These are such important moments of their life. We wanted to get them before scars were too deep routed to heal but God can heal all hearts and wounds and we have faith that He will guide us in helping our twins heal as we show them that God loves them unconditionally and that we love them too!
One of the hardest things was the day we went to court I got a phone call from my friend who was staying with the boys. She told me Zach was leaping and dancing through the house shouting out, "this is the day the twins become ours!" She wasn't sure what to tell him so I gave him the news over the phone. This is hard on our kids too. Even Nate asks where they are from time to time.

Those of you who homeschool your kids know how I feel...I feel like the boys need someone besides me in their lives to teach them something, to influence them. I don't want them to be "momma boys". So, I had been wondering what in the world we could do for them. We went to a gym to check on gymnastics for JaneBatson, Kendra's little girl. It turns out there are no gymnastics teachers for girls but they do have Greco-Roman fighting for boys. So, we signed Zach and Spence up for lessons! They went Friday for the first time and loved it. The teacher, Avraam (Abraham), is so nice and friendly. I felt so comfortable leaving them there. They will go Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings. I am trying to feed them lots of protein. He was a little worried about how skinny Zach is. It will be a good outlet for them to meet other Romanian boys their age and beef up on their language skills.

We have a mess on our hands! Our attic has been finished for 5 years now but the stairs are outside the house. Now that we will have 5 boys in one room we felt we needed to expand a little. The boys room now is used partly for school so we are putting stairs inside the house so that Baron and I can move upstairs and our room can become the school room and the boys can have a bigger room. They should complete the job on Monday. The stairs will look a little abnormal, we bought a pre-fabricated spiral staircase but it wasn't tall enough to reach so they had to build a platform with two steps going up to it and then the spiral stairs.

I am excited that we get to send our oldest, Zach, to America this summer for about a month. We decided it would be good for him to get away from home for a little while and go to camp. He will go back with my parents the end of May. He will go to camp at the Wilds the second week of June and then hopefully out to Missouri for a week to see his other grandparents. We will miss him terribly but we pray it will be a good thing for him.

Last but definately not least...the angels are rejoicing in heaven due to a new believer! A friend of Dorina's has come on and off over the past few years but everytime we talked with her something was keeping her from a real relationship with God. She, just like many others here, had alot of religious baggage she was carrying and was having a hard time releasing it and accepting the truth. The past few months she has been coming to church faithfully and we visited her again recently and we could sense a change in her. We noticed she was singing so happily and loudly at church, and she told us she had been reading her Bible and studying and that she wanted to be baptized. So, Baron gave her a Bible study to do and she came over last week and shared just a wonderful testimony of the grace of God. It was so clear she was believing in Christ alone now! I wish I could share the whole conversation with you all, it was such a blessing for me to just hear her talk about the religious baggage she released and that the truth had set her free. She told me that the book of John really opened her eyes...it is all about faith she told me. It is always so encouraging to see someone changed by Christ. She is telling everyone she knows about the change Christ as made in her! Praise God!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Grateful Heart

I have a grateful heart this morning. I am encouraged by your words and prayers. I am encouraged that God does care about me. I am encouraged by all the music of praise I have been listening to. O, Lord, you give and you take away, blessed be your name. How dare I say to God when everything is going well, "I Praise you God, you are good." Then when the storms come along we are always tempted to First say to God, "what in the world are you doing...this isn't right, you aren't doing what I wanted." Instead of, First praising Him and being anxious for NOTHING, but in everything by prayer and supplication WITH thanksgiving let my request be made known to God and then the peace of God will overwhelm me. It doesn't mean I have to understand or like what is going on but it does mean I can't dwell on it and let my thoughts revolve around it and sit around sad and depressed. I will rest in Him. He does work everything out for good for those who love God and we love God so we have faith that this will work out for good.
My prayer is that someone one who loves the Lord will raise up in this country and really fight for all of these children. When the laws of adoption were written by the lawmakers none of them went and asked the children what they wanted. They just did what the EU wanted them to do because they so desperately wanted in the EU and thought the EU was the answer to all their problems, which of course it isn't.
Thank you all for caring about our twins enough to pray for them!

Waiting...Again

I don't really know where to start with this story. Today was our court date to receive custody of the twins. We put in our first request for this last May and just now got our court date. The twins have been waiting and waiting to come to their new family for all this time. We were finally assigned our court date last October and as we got closer to this day I didn't allow myself to think about the bad things that may happen. I really tried to remain hopeful and think that there was nothing to stop this from going through today but I think somewhere in me also said, this is Romania ANYTHING can happen.
We showed up at court and our case was #39 so we thought we were in for a long long wait. The social worker that works for the private foundation the twins are under was there. She went into the little court room and came out and called us in. she told us they were on case #29. Then we realized that they weren't going in order. As a lawyer walked in the room he or she would call out the case number they were there for and then the judge would call that case number. Well, the twins social worker was expecting a guy she knows from child protection to show up to present the case when all of the sudden our case is called and some lawyer stands up and says that our twins are from Marghita and therefore the case should be sent to the small court in Marghita and decided there. The judge said ok and that was that and we walked out of the room! The twins social worker was just as shocked as us. Quite frankly I didn't have feelings of love toward the whole system of people in Romania who don't seem to think about the children...I reacted with ranting and raving and tears (just being honest). I had actually told God before all this, "God no matter what I WILL still praise you." So, in the car on the way home we kept music playing and I kept saying the words over in my head and telling myself that God is good and He does care about our case. He has his reasons for allowing this and He can see the end of the story!
We went and spoke with a jurist about all this and told him we understood that it was going to be in Marghita now and didn't want to try and change that but we were interested in our file getting sent to Marghita as soon as possible so we can get a new court date as soon as possible. He is going to press them to get our file out as quick as possible. Our last file sat in Oradea for 6 months before we were given a court date.
So, what did we hear in the court room while waiting...a case of "My neighbor's dog killed my cow and 10 goats." yes, I'm telling the truth.
So, how am I feeling right now...I am just a little numb right now. Feeling especially bad for our twins who were so estatic about this possibly being the last time we had to drive them back to Casa Alba. I will continue to tell myself that God cares and that He is Sovereign and in control even though it doesn't feel like it. I will praise because He IS GOOD. He gave His life for mine..I have no right to complain.
Please pray specifically for the twins, for our file to move quickly to Marghita and for us to be assigned a new court date quickly.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Life

It's January...winter blahs therefore I don't write much because there is little to write about and I don't want to complain. Thankfully, it has warmed up a little tiny bit. When it is right at freezing and above it feels like a heat wave to me...remember I'm from South Carolina so me and cold don't mix well! When the temperature is below freezing the house never quite warms up but at freezing and above we can keep it toasty warm. Today it is about 32 degrees and snowing so the house is fairly warm.
Baron and I have been talking for many months about sending our eldest son, Zach to the states this summer for a month. He is 10 years old and I think it would be good for him to be away from home a little bit and under the influence of other godly people. I am his Bible teacher, his music teacher, his Sunday School teacher and sometimes a boy needs to get away from mom and be taught by someone else. So, when my parents come in May he will fly back with them. We have registered him to go to the first week of jr. camp at the Wilds and he will be back in time to go to Romanian camp. We still aren't 100% sure how we will get him back but we have a little idea up our sleeve that makes me very happy. We just informed Zach today of his little trip he will be taking and there was a lot of jumping and he pretty much danced a jig! I think he is a little excited. The other boys took it well too. There didn't seem to be any jealousy. I have told them often that just because one brother experiences something doesn't mean that all the brothers have to do the exact same thing. I have tried to teach them to be happy for one another when something good happens instead of being jealous.

We are getting closer to our court date. The day that felt like it would never arrive is close at hand. The aunt has not been back again. We anticipate being granted custody of the twins in two more weeks. I don't know that we will be able to bring them home that day but pray for a miracle. I'm clinging to my little mustard seed of faith that we can bring them home. If we can't bring them home that day it will be around the end of February. We will have a big party at Casa Alba to bring closer for all the kids who have grown up with the twins. It will be a day of joyous tears for many and some sad tears as the other kids are happy for their friends to get a family but also wishing for a family of their own. Pray for all the kids.

Pray for us. We have several things that we are looking into and we will keep you informed. We are hoping to start a Saturday club for foster kids. We are hoping to reach out to the kids of an orphanage near by here. Someday we want to start a Crisis Pregnancy Center. It will take a lot of planning and wisdom. We were encouraged when we talked to an official at the city hall about a pregnancy center he seemed very enthusiatic about it and thought it was greatly needed. Pray for our co-workers the Louks. They need to raise the rest of the needed money so they can come help us. We really need their help with all these projects!

As the winter blahs hit us, let's try to wake up each morning with this verse in our hearts, "this is the day the Lord has made, I WILL rejoice and be glad in it!" I want to be thankful for each day the Lord gives me to live and breathe and serve Him instead of complaining about circumstances and weather and whatever else I find to complain about. Living here I realize every day how blessed and spoiled I am as an American. If you are ever in such a pit that you are having a pity party for yourself, go visit a poor country and it will quickly help you get out of your pit! We are so blessed. Use all that God has given you to help someone else see the greatness and goodness of God.

Monday, January 5, 2009

An opportunity for someone!

I just wanted to put the word out for some people we met here in Romania a few years ago. They have a children's home about 20 minutes from where we live in a village called Jdoara. I believe they have about 19 kids in their home with very little help. I think a few of them are teenagers now and gone off to high school and I believe the youngest children are around 5. They have recently lost a lot of their paid workers and are in desperate need of help. There is also a 5 year old autistic girl who needs to go to a special school here in town every day and needs someone to care for her here in town so she can go to school, right now she is staying out at the home and not going to school because there isn't anyone who can do it. If anyone reads this and is interested in this opportunity, long term or short term please contact me and I will put you in touch with them.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hard good bye's.

We have had a wonderful time with the twins here. Today was entertainment day. The kids stayed in their pajamas all day and played games, watched movies, and ate junk. This evening the twins began to realize they were going back to Casa Alba tomorrow. We try not to discuss it too much but as I was putting them to bed tonight Georgie started crying...not crying, bawling and saying, "I don't want to go back to Casa Alba, I want to stay here." How do you comfort a four year old and explain to him why he can't stay at home. I know I ask that question all the time but I am at a loss for words. I just hold him and cry with him and wish it weren't so and pray God's peace and love and protection over him. He is just broken hearted...so am I. He responds at Casa Alba with sadness and tears, Gina responds with outbursts and temper tantrums. Please pray for them. Please pray that our court date by some miracle someone will say on that day that there is no reason to wait for the paperwork, these kids just need to go home! If that doesn't happen it will still be another month before we can bring them home around the end of February...pray for a miracle. I am starting to believe that miracles don't happen in Romania but holding out for one still!