Tuesday, January 22, 2013

boy, it has been a long time since i have been on here! do you ever just get so carried away with life and time seems to go by so fast before you realize it. that might be why i havent blogged in awhile. or it could be that i forgot how to get here and it took me 2 tries just to get my password right! but im here. since ive last blogged kids have grown, schedules have grown and life has changed ( as it does on a daily basis around here). the end of 2012 was a neat time as ive seen my older kids spread their wings a bit through volunteer work and earning money on their own. we have also been able to get involved in volunteer work as a family. looking back i should have been blogging about this in more detail...too much to catch up on now! my baby got his first haircut by his sister who youtubed instructions (and also gave herself a nice cut!). everyone is growing physically and spiritually. i told someone the other day that one of the things i love most about having a large family is being in almost every season of life at once. from teens (that are NOT scary) to toddlers and everything in between. i never get bored of one stage. i love every stage and could not pick a favorite, as im often asked what age i like best. as we head into 2013 i look forward to growing more in the Lord, individually and as a family. i look forward to finding more ways to serve and outreach in the community as a family. i look forward to making a difference for Christ. and i look forward to more growing and changing in our home!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

the ball is rolling!!!

i am so excited to update everyone on our adoption journey. this past week has been alot of fun and progress. monday was our first adoption prep class and we enjoyed it so much. we met in a couples home that has adopted through our agency. there were 2 other couples besides us. we played an ice breaker game and talked about the pros and cons of different aspects of adoption. then we went over all of the paperwork we will be filling out over the next couple of weeks. we left that meeting feeling excited and encouraged!
last nights meeting was called panel. there were 2 families there to share their adoption stories. we were also able to ask them any questions we wanted. that was very helpful and encouraging. we met a man that we really related to and it was encouraging to hear his story. we also made our appointment for our intake meeting. at this meeting we will go over what our goal is, what we are looking for and how the agency can help us do these things.
i feel like we are really starting to pick up speed and im no longer a hamster running in circles. i know we have a long road ahead of us. but we are excited about this new adventure we are on!
dont forget we are still doing 2 fundraisers. one is selling scentsy and the other is the family closet. both links are on my facebook page and on the side of my blog. we also are taking donations for our next big garage sale! our garage is getting very full! thank you to everyone for your prayers and support.

Monday, February 6, 2012

fundraiser updates

i mentioned in yesterdays blog that i had 2 ladies coming alongside me to help with some fundraising. the first one is called the family closet and she sells new and gently used items on a facebook page. it is the safer than craigslist and cheaper than ebay. i added her link on the side of my blog under home grown businesses. check out her stuff!!!! the other fundraiser is scentsy candles. i will be recieving catalogs and order forms in the mail soon for anyone local that would like to order. she also has a website you can go to and order. click on my party name! her link is also on my blog. thank you ladies and thank you to everyone that is buying!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

moving right along

with all of the craziness in the past week it was such a blessing to wrap up our sewsewsewyourboat fundraiser and do so well. we are so thankful to anna cross for helping us along. and we are very thankful to have 2 other ladies come along side us and want to help with fundraising! i will get those links up on my blog soon as well. we have also been collecting alot of garage sale items. when the weather warms up for good we will have another big garage sale/bake sale. im very excited to have all of these fundraisers coming together right now as we head into our home study. our adoption prep classes are scheduled for the 13th and 16th of this month. we cant wait to get the ball rolling!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

at least it is not raining

most people know about the rough week we have had here at the van clan house. monday our van broke down. tuesday my brother thought he got it fixed but it broke down again on us yesterday. im so relieved i had my brother with me. monday i was in a panic because i was on the freeway with all 9 kids when it broke down. yesterday i was laughing because my brother was with me and that made me feel safer. and by then what else could i do but laugh at the adventure he got to go on with us. i mean, how much fun is that!!! at one point during the day when a friend was trying to get the battery charged for us i looked at my bother and said "at least its not raining too." isnt that how we need to look at things? the thought of being broke down with 9 kids in the rain and trying to fix the car in the freezing cold made me shiver! of course not having our van is very inconvenient. first of all it is our only vehicle. that makes us very dependant on others right now. and i really dont like depending on others. but i am thankful for those in our life that are so willing to help. and second not many people have a vehicle big enough to shuttle our family around. last night we had to make 2 trips to get us all home. but again im thankful to have family willing to do that. we must remember God is sovereign. nothing happens that surprises Him. we may not understand why these trials come into our lives but God sees the big picture. and that is something to marvel at. so sometimes we just have to sit back, chuckle and say "at least it is not raining."

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

breakfast pizza

sometimes i get creative and try to come up with a new dinner creation. last night we made breakfast pizza. and i say we because after the day we had it was really a team effort!!! the pizza crust i made in my bread machine. that was great! i could make up the dough in the morning and stick it in the fridge to cook later. i cooked up lots of yummy toppings. turkey bacon, chicken sausage, scrambled eggs, chopped green pepper, chopped onions, and shredded cheese. the great thing about this dinner is if you are having a busy night you can pre cook all of these earlier in the day and then throw it all together in the evening. this also is a great leftover recipe. next time you make any of these for breakfast save the leftovers and throw it all together as a pizza. not only were they beautiful and colorful they had so much flavor! we made without the bell pepper and onions for the children. but they were missing out! the onions gave it so much flavor. this is definatly getting a permanent spot on our menu!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

family worship

deuteronomy 6:6-7 " and these words which i command you today shall be in your heart. you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up."
ephesians 6:4 " and you, fathers , do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord."
proverbs 6:20 " my son, keep your fathers command and, and do not forsake the law of your mother."
wow! i think the bible has alot to say about families. and more importantly the bible has alot to say about mothers and father teaching their children Gods word. and these are just a few verses. there are many more that speak of fathers teaching their children. and the terms in these verses seem serious to me.
can we teach our children about Gods word too much? no, deuteronomy 6 says to teach them diligently! you shall teach them when you sit, when you walk, when you lie down, and rise up. i think this covers the whole day. Gods word should be so normal in your home. we want it to be normal for them to go to Gods word for every area of their lives.
a great way to go about this is to get on a regular family worship schedule. our family struggled in this area for quite awhile. by the grace of God we have gotten down a good routine. and as you grow in Gods word you will be amazed at how much your desire grows for more. we started by implementing a bed time bible study routine. but then we were convicted that we were not doing it as a whole family so we added a before dinner routine. we started out by daddy reading a passage of scripture each night before dinner. and it has grown from there. we added a study of the westminster shorter catechism. this is a great way to teach the children why they believe what they believe. the children love it. they look foward to it each night.
because there is so much to learn from Gods word i wanted to bring more of it into our daily routine. the proverbs are so full of wisdom for every aspect of life. now we read one proverb each morning before breakfast.
proverbs 1:7 " the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." when i read this word i was convicted to start our school day off with Gods word. i didnt feel right jumping into a day of school without putting Gods word first. this is the time of day that i give the children a memory verse and commit to memorizing it. this sounds like alot in one day but like i said before once you make Gods word a priority in your home you will crave more! matthew 6:33 " but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and these things shall be added to you." this verse reminds me that when i put His word first instead of squeezing it in at the end of the day IF im not too tired He will be faithful to help me to have time for all the other things i "need" to get done.
i know this model will not work the same for everyone. but its just an encouragement for someone that maybe has not made family worship a priority to start.