Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Emergency prayer warriors needed!!!

Okay folks...we need some serious prayers and I am turning to you all for help. I cannot go into great detail about the situation, but we really need prayer!

I am nearing the end of my rope and my husband is farther down than I am at the moment. We are up against a huge wall right now and we just can see no way out. There is not even any light!! There are no cracks, no holes, and apparently no top sides or bottom to it!! Apparently God has us here and has kept us here for the last 18 or so months for some purpose of His. But it is getting really bad and the next few days/weeks are going to be tough to say the very least.

As specific as I can get:
~ pray for widsom for David as he tries to resolve this
~pray for calm and peace for David as he tries to figure out what to do about the current situation
~pray for his health as he tries to keep the ulcer calm and not have a heart attack or a stroke at the same time from all the stress.
~pray for me as I try to keep it all together between us, the girls and my father. Pray that I can keep things on an even keel so that the girls don't have to go through any more and so that the tension in our house doesn't get any worse.
~pray for an end to the valley we have been in for over a year just keeps getting worse and we are at our wits end.
~pray for God to send some relief, some answers, some relief, some blessings, some relief, and that he will show us out the way to get out of the pit that we are in. David and I both feel like we have been trudging in a mud swamp for so long now.
~pray for Godly friends for both David and I. We desperately need friends in our lives right now.
Especially David. When we moved from Johnson City, David lost two of his dear friends and he really needs someone in his life!

I'm sorry this is so cryptic. I wish I could say more, but I cannot. Please lift us up in prayer.

In HIS Mighty Grip~

Thursday, April 24, 2008 or die!!

David and I decided a long long time ago...long before we had children, that we would be homeschooling whatever children God gave us. We both feel very strongly about this and we both believe that God has called us to this task for our family. gone is the dream of dropping the kids off at school while I hurry to meet up with other Moms for coffee or shopping. Or run to the gym or to some other ME project is Alyson and then Lili is right behind her. My job for the next 17 or so years will be to raise two wonderful women of God who will be productive members of society...ready to meet the task that God has waiting for them. I have no idea what God had planned for our two little miracles, but I want to be a part of it!!!
So, how do I accomplish it without burning them or me out??EASY...I don't!!! God will be in charge of this Little School House in the Sunshine State! I have prayed for God to show me, teach me, guide me, drag me, kick me...whatever he has to do to make sure these girls get what HE wants them to have from their education!!
God has shown me and continues to show me all the details a little bit along, but suffice it to say that we will not be "officially" starting until the fall. Aly will still be four and the state of Florida says that she doesn't have to be in school until she is 6, but she is more than ready. We are going to be spending the next few months getting everything ready to start. That includes gathering materials & curriculum, setting up our schooling area, and spending time one on one with Aly getting to know her learning style so we don't kill each mean so we can get the most out our learning experience!! :-)
It was good that God layed that little gem on my heart, because I would have already lost my mind had we jumped on in like I orginally thought we would do!!
If you know anything about me, you know that I am quite the stubborn, hardheaded one. Well, Miss Alyson pulls out all the stops when it comes to being hardheaded...she is worse than me if that is possible!
I have learned something very interesting about how her little mind works...if she is working on something that she doesn't feel confident about or doesn't want to do, then she has this little game she plays. For instance, she is not very good at writing her "s's" or her "5's" yet. Well, she is better than she thinks, but she doesn't feel like she can do it well yet. So, when she is working on her own and she WANTS to write either an S or a 5, then she does it and that is the end of it. It isn't perfect, but it is darn good for a 4 year old!!! But, when WE are working on our "s's" or our "5's", then the game starts. "Mom, I'm not good at writing my s's yet." I tell her that she is getting better every day and that it takes practice and that I think she is doing a fine job!!! Well, she tries that one a few times and if I still make her do it, then we move on to the fun part. She suddenly, without warning is attacked by an Alien that makes her take all leave of her senses and she is utterly unable to hold a pencil in any remote way resembling a human who has any ability to write...whatsoever!!! It is hysterical!!! At first it threw me and I got very impatient with her and I kept persisting and drove myself nuts and got more impatient with her and ...well...David had to call me in the other room and rake me over the coals!!! "Um...dear...she is only can't act like that!!!" I was reminded of the scene in Night at the Museum when Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams) is talking to Larry (Ben Stiller...the nightwatchman) about the Monkey who is driving him crazy. Teddy says to him, "Who's evolved?! Who's evolved?!" Larry finally realizes that he is indeed the one in charge, not the monkey and he has to act like it.
So....I am the Mommy and the teacher...Aly is the one who is learning. I don't get to lose it, I don't get to act like an idiot...I get the honor of teaching my daughter and helping her to learn how to not be manipulative when she comes up against something she doesn't want to do...or doesn't understand ...or isn't good at yet. I get to teach her so many many life lessons through all of this...and learn a lot myself!!!
David and I get to raise more than just two well-trained minds, we get to raise two well-trained souls who are committed to the eternal work of their Heavenly Father!!
I have begun to understand it is not just about the facts and figures that I can pour into my children's brain, but it is about teaching them, daily, about how to worship their Heavenly Father!!
English is important, but the language of God is more important.
Communication is important, but communion with God is more important.
Life skills are important, but Eternal Life with Jesus is MUCH more important.
History is important, but their future in Christ is more important.
Math is important, but ...anyway! Oh yeah...a cubit is 18 inches. I'm glad Noah knew math!!
I could go on, but suffice it to say that Homeschooling is taking a very important turn for us here at the Swindler household!!!
I am excited to see how God will lead us. As Aly and I sat and worked on her reading a little while ago, I was starting to dance in my seat thinking about how wonderful it will be for her to be able to sit and read her own bible and discover more of Jesus on her own!!! I want to look at everything subject we tackle that way!!!
~Father we go through the next few months getting our homeschooling feet wet, please show us how to turn it all back around to how it effects our relationship to you!!!!! Show us how to make an investment in our children that will count for more than a college degree or a good job, but for a divine appointment with you in their life. So that they will be ready to meet the challenge you have set in motion for their lives!!! -Amen
Thank you God for the blessings that we WILL ALL get out of this experience!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

An Aly Story...

please check out my blessings blog (link on the right sidbar...Wild Blessings)to read about my beautiful Aly and why I am so thankful for her this day!!!

Indeed these are the mere edges of HIS ways, and how small
a whisper we hear of HIM! But the
thunder of HIS power who can understand? ~Job 26:14

Friday, April 18, 2008

Scary stuff...

Okay...I have been seeing this video plastered all over for about a week now. I started not to blog about it,but the Holy Spirit would not let me rest about it, so here goes nothing.
This is some scary stuff people!!!

The bible is very clear about it and now I am going to be blunt about it. Someone else recently commented that they didn't have anything against Oprah. That she was a good person, who does a lot of good things in this world. HELLO...she may be doing some great things, but she is not doing any of it in the name of Jesus Christ. She is effectively leading people off the edge of a cliff into an eternity away from our Savior!!! NOT COOL FOLKS!!!!

Too many "christians" have come forward in the middle of this trying to reconcile what she is saying to their beliefs in Jesus Christ. They don't know what they believe enough to stand up against this. I urge you to KNOW!

The bible says...

I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause
divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about
what is evil.
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. -Romans 16:17-20 is the link to the video...I can't get it to upload to blogger. Imagine that!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The North Face of God

Ken Gire, in his book The North Face of God, says, “When suffering shatters the carefully kept vase that is our lives, God stoops to pick up the pieces. But he doesn’t put them back together as a restoration project patterned after our former selves. Instead, he sifts through the rubble and selects some of the shards as raw material for another project—a mosaic that tells the story of redemption.”

I don't know what is happening, but I feel like God is beginning to move. At least he is beginning to move in me. It is small, tiny the beginning of a glacier melting. At first I was not even sure of the movement at all. But it is there. I can't describe it accurately. I really can't put it into words as I don't really understand it myself. But I feel it...somewhere down deep...somewhere only God and I go...somewhere I haven't been in a long time.

"For there is hope for a tree,
When it is cut down,
that it will sprout again,
And its shoots will not fail.
Though its roots grow old in the ground And its stump dies in the dry soil,
At the scent of water it will flourish
And put forth sprigs like a plant."~Job 14:7-9

I think I am beginning to smell water!!!


Hello????? Are you gonnna tell us what happened????

Yes...I'm sorry...I will tell you what happened to the orange clothes!!!!
Most all of the crayon did indeed come out! A few small faded spots here and there, but mainly just on the play clothes. The newer stuff looks GREAT!!! A couple of outfits (unfortunately ones that I loved!!)were ruined, but they will work for play clothes. It completely came out of all the denim shorts and overalls. One new shirt has a few spots, but the shirt is red anyway and it just looks like some color variation. Praise God...all's well that ends well!!
Would you believe that after ALL of that I actually found the girls under the kitchen table yesterday with a crayon coloring on one of the kitchen cabinets???? ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thankfully it came right off with a spray of Goo-Gone.
I will certainly be checking pockets even more carefully from now on...lesson learned thank you!!!

In HIS Mighty Grip

Monday, April 14, 2008 glad I told you???

If you look closely at the photo above you can kind of see that the pile of clothes are spotted with lovely little orange spots. Those lovely spots would be ORANGE CRAYON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ah hem...MELTED INTO THE CLOTHES!!!!! BY MY DRYER...WHICH WAS ALSO COVERED IN ORANGE MELTED CRAYON!!!!!!!!! Someone just shoot me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I put a large load of the girls clothes, some NEW, into the washer last night and then transfered them to the dryer this morning. Before you ask...YES...I checked pockets, etc...for stuff, but apparently I either didn't check them well enough or "someone" wandering around the house with an orange crayon, dropped one off into my dryer!!! Anyway...after spending 70 minutes on HIGH HEAT, I took them out of the dryer only to find the girls clothes looking like they had the Orange chicken pox!!
After I composed myself, I called several friends to find out what on earth to do. After finally coming up with a plan, I cleared all the counters in the kitchen and started spotting the clothes. Mind you...they were COVERED in orange crayon so this was no small task. My dad walked into the kitchen to find me slumped over the sink on the verge of tears at the task ahead. He patted me on the shoulder and said, "Well, you have two can sit here with your bottle of stain stuff and spot each and ever spot until the deed is done, or you can call it a wash (no pun intended) and throw them all away...either way, you better get going and do whatever you are going to do" Thanks Dad!! The thought of throwing that whole pile of clothes away just wasn't an option, so I began spotting them. It took me several hours, but i finally did it.
My friend, Mariya, helped me by cleaning the dryer of all residual melted orange crayon and then checked the washer for me. So I put the spotted clothes in to wash on Hot with oxyclean on the super long cycle. I did it twice. I am now getting ready to go check them and see if the girls now have a rather large pile of play clothes or not!!! Wish me luck
Lesson for the day: check, check and double check pockets for Rogue Orange Crayons trying to excape!!!!! They are ruthless!!!
In HIS Mighty Grip

Friday, April 11, 2008

Sizzling in the Wok...the need for peace...

I have started a second blog. Not to replace this one, but to compliment it. It is called "Blessings in the Wok" (click here) and it is in response to my hearts desperate need for some relief!!

Please stop by and check it out...maybe you will be inspired!

In HIS Mighty Grip


Fruit basket turnover...

I need a new look!!!!!
Bear with me over the next few days as I redo the Wok.
It has been rather interesting learning about Widgets and layouts. My head started spinning when I got to html vs xml and then my head came off when I started getting error messages dealing with expanded widget code and duplicate sidebar values!

ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I finally just decided that it would take less time to just to it the long/hard way. So I am going to be adding back in all of my links individually over the next day or so. WHEW!!!
Maybe one day I will understand all of is NOT that day!!!
Anyway, enjoy the renovations...
In HIS Mighty Grip

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A look back...

After our multiple computer crashes over the last year I am finally getting around to uploading some of our older pictures onto my current computer. I, of course got sucked into sitting and looking through all 9 million of them and came across some fun memories. So, I thought I would go back and share a few pictures with you from the early days...pre blog.
In the months before we went to China to get Liliana, I began to try my best to prepare Aly for the trip. We were advised by several people not to take her, but that was not even an option. I knew she would be a good traveler and besides not even being able to comprehend being seperated from her for three weeks, neither David nor I wanted her to miss this moment in our family...becoming a family of four.
First official "Big Sister Kiss" by Aly
First moments as a Family of Four!! Priceless

Adoption complete...she is officially ours!! I can't imagine not having these pictures!!
Anyway, back to preparation...Aly does really really well in most any situation as long as you give her information about what is going to happen. So, I thought that we should check out the airport since we would be seeing lots and lots of them on the trip. These few pictures are of the two of us on a rainy day at TriCities Regional Airport in Blountville TN. (This is the airport we flew out of and came home to on trip #2.)

checking out the runway
checking out the planes
Is there where I take my luggage Mom?
uh...has anyone seen a large Pink suitcase with polka dots all over it?? I've been waiting here forever!!
I still can't believe how little Alyson is in these pictures...this was just a month or so before we went to get Lili. How time flies!!!! She had a ball at the airport even though we did run into "Grumpy Gus" at the entrance to the security gate. We just wanted to stand there and watch (DUH...I knew we couldn't go THROUGH security!) But he wouldn't even let us stand there and watch!! Bear in mind that there was NOBODY at the airport that afternoon...and the two people who were there had already boarded their planes!!! I know, I know...those Chinese two year olds pose such security risks!!! Oh well...I would post a picture of our buddy Gus, but he was so hateful that the picture didn't even take!! :-)

Little Miss Sunshine!

I hope you enjoyed my quick trip down memory lane. :-)
More later...
In HIS Mighty Grip

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

We interrupt our regular blogcasting for a shameless plug... everyone loves EBay don't they??? Well stop by HERE and see if you find anything you can't live without!! David finally has our EBay business up and running and if the amount of stuff on our back porch is any indication...we will be at it for many many months to come.

For those of you who have no clue what I am talking is a quick recap...

When we moved in with my Dad last fall (after my mother died), we were faced with the daunting challenge of going through all of her stuff. She was a pack rat of the first order, but as I have come to find out (always knew, but I see it more with each box of stuff) she had some REALLY COOL stuff!!! That being said, we have moved all of our stuff in this house and so some of it...well MOST of her stuff just has to go. We have had two yard sales and we are still over run. We decided that there was a good amount of stuff that didn't just need to go for a quarter at a yard sale and so we held back the things that we thought would sell better on EBay. So, we set up shelves and tables on the back porch and started moving it all out there. David has been trying to organize it all and slowly start putting items up for auction and now is your chance!!

As difficult as it is sometimes to watch my Mother's things go to the highest bidder...I truly know that she would be eating this all up!!! So, please stop by David's store, save it as a favorite place on EBay, and come visit often as there is much more to come. You never know what you might find!!!!

My mother and I along with Miss Aly a few years ago.