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"God gives us dreams a size too big so that we can grow into them."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

We will never be able to retire...

...if...
...all of our children's teeth...
...come in like this.
Good luck to the rest of you, we are all swimming in the same gene pool :)

UUgggggggg...

stress...i hate it!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shelly, you should watch this

Click here


watch the videos of the little girl speaking chinese.  it make me think of your boys and what your house will sound like :)

Wow, God is amazing!


I am sure you guys have noticed this button on the side of my blog.  If you have never clicked on it let me tell you why I have it.  Kayleigh Anne Freeman was born 3 months early and weighed 1 lb and 1 ounce.  She has a mom, dad, and other older siblings.  As you can imagine there was not much hope that she would make it, but she did.  She is now 10 months old, has been in the hospital for most if not all of her life and has gone through so much more than any of of us could imagine.
I have only been following her story for a few months now, but from what I know, right around the time she was born her family's real estate business tanked and they have been struggling ever since.
If all this wasn't enough, a week or so ago Kayleigh needed another surgery.  Everything seemed to be fine...until the Doctor came in after the surgery and said that it seems there is no brain activity in Kayleigh.
Things are not looking too hopeful, obviously if God wants to let her stay here on earth He will, but this poor family now has to make decisions that we all hope we will Never have to make.  Eventually they will have to decide whether to take her off life support or not.

My reason for blogging about this little girl is to encourage you to go see what God is doing.  Reading the posts that her parents have written are just amazing.  Their faith in God is the ONLY thing getting them through right now.
If you click on the button and go to her blog the first post you will see is from a friend of the family who begged the family to let him post about their financial needs and if you take a minute to look through the comments you will see God bringing together HIS people, and other people who are no Christians, to take care of this family in their lowest hour.  It is such an amazing thing to see so many believers band together to take care of one of there own.  It really has blessed my heart and encouraged me to help to.

I wrote earlier about "getting it".  I think that this is a major part of "getting it."  Not just monetarily but just praying for people that are in a struggle we could never imagine.  Doing what we can when we can.  I think it is time we all learned to come together and help people who NEED it.  

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hmmmmmmmmmm.

Can you tell I don't always know what to use as a "Title" for my posts :)

We had such a great weekend, the weather was warm, sometimes wet, but I loved it.  We had time to mess around with out website (www.dmweddingvideo.com coming soon) and Ben got the Dixon working.

We got to go over my my mom's house and my grandparent's house so that was nice too.

I just love the warm weather....


Obviously we didn't take too many pictures, but if you would like to read about the good deals I have been getting you can check it out here!

Oh, and I have been deep cleaning and organizing the house and that is making me VERY happy too :)


*update*

I called the agency that we are being licensed through for Foster care because I was wondering why it was taking so long for us to hear anything.  We have finished everything and it has just been up to the state of MI to read out home study and approve it.

I talked to Shannon (the first time I called I was put right through to her, praise God!) and she said that they sent out our home study in mid March and (along with 7 others) and it is sitting in Lansing waiting to be read and approved.  She said they also are confused about what is taking so long, not specifically with ours, but with ALL of the home studies they sent and said they "check online daily to see if the homes have been officially open".  She said that is could be days of weeks, there is no way to really know.  I asked her if there was any reason ours wouldn't be approved and she said that there was no reason why it would not be approved and that she had recommend up for exactly what we wanted because our situation was more than appropriate.

So, that is all I know.  I know it will be done when it needs to be done.  And that is good enough for today.

Friday, April 24, 2009

What Happens When You Ask God and HE Answers

January 28, 2009

 

Friday Buddy was scheduled to move.  In the days before hand I had been struggling to find the right words to pray, the right hopes to hope for, I guess just struggling to know if it was ok for me to want him. 

I was laying in bed one night and started talking to Ben about it.  I have tried to keep my hopes for Buddy to myself because I get scared people are going to look at my hopes and judge me for them.  Assume that I get attached way to quickly and that I am not cut out for the foster world.  The funny thing is that is my biggest fear.  Regardless, I finally opened up to Ben about my struggle to know what and how to pray.  I told him I felt like I couldn’t ask for Buddy, I never really ask God for anything.  Often the only thing I can bring myself to do it pray for God’s will to be done and I leave it there.

Ben then told me something that had never occurred to me.  He said that when we pray we are really talking to Jesus, who then goes before the Father and brings him our cares and prayers.  Ben then went on to say, “Do you think God ever wants to tell His son no?” and that was so eye opening to me because anyone who has a child knows the answer is no.  We all always want to give our kids what will make them happy. 

That night was the first time I was able to tell Jesus that I wanted Buddy.  That is if God saw fit to put him in our family that I would be a good mom to him and we would love him like our own.

God then laid upon my heart to write the most uncomfortable letter I have ever written.  He told me to write a letter to the lady who Buddy was going to live with.  I included some pictures of Ben, I & Kobe in an envelope with this letter:

 

 

 

My name is Leah Wentzel.  I have been married to my husband Ben for close to 8 years now.  We have a beautiful son named Kobe who will turn 7 in May.  We are a wonderfully normal family with a wonderfully normal life.  My husband goes to work 5, sometimes 6 days a week and I work from home part time so I can be Mom 24/7 to our son.

In May of last year, right before our son turned 6, Ben and I sat down and talked about how we wanted to add more kids to our family.  I am not a fan of being pregnant and have never felt the need to get pregnant since giving birth to our son, but I have always wanted more kids.  Ever since our son was over one year old the thought of adoption has popped in and out of our lives but the timing wasn’t right to pursue anything.

Then, in May of 2008 we got serious and decided to adopt.  We didn’t know how we wanted to go about it, but we decided that is what we were going to do.

Over the next month I looked into all the avenues of adoption and eliminated foreign adoption and even regular domestic adoption in the form of being a name on a list with 100’s of other names waiting for a birth parent to choose us.  There are so many couples that can’t get pregnant on their own waiting for a birth mom to choose them; I didn’t see a need there that I could fill.

Then I saw Sherry with Buddy at church, and I knew that the right thing for us was to adopt through foster care.  The idea was so scary and exciting, but we decided that there were kids that needed a wonderfully normal family to love them, even if it was just for a short time.  So, we have done the classes, completed the paper work and will do our home study very soon.  We are excited to complete our license and hopefully adopt through foster care as well as maybe help some other kids along the way.

About a month ago I found out that Sherry & her husband had officially decided not to adopt Buddy.  I cried, I cried for Buddy, I cried for Sherry.  My heart just sunk because Buddy has called Sherry “Mom” for months now, and it isn’t fair for a three year old to have to go through all this.

I am so thankful that Buddy has someone like you to take care of him.  He knows you and I can tell from the little bit I know about you that you love him.  To be willing to give him a home is such a wonderful gift and I am so glad that he has you.

Now, after all that, I want to tell you my reason for writing this letter.  When I heard that Sherry wouldn’t be able to adopt Buddy, my heart sunk, but I also had other thoughts go through my head.  I knew if the option came up, my husband and I would happily take Buddy and add him to our family, permanently.  When I look at Buddy he makes me smile.  He is the first child that I have ever looked at and thought that he is as beautiful as my own son.  I know that I could be a good Mom to Buddy, I know we could give him a wonderfully normal life with a Mom & a Dad and an older brother – and hopefully younger siblings too some day.  I am just saying this to let you know that if you would rather be a Grandmother figure to him than a Mom we would happily become Buddy’s family.  If something changes and you can’t care for him, Buddy will always have a place in our home, no matter what, no matter how much time passes; he will always have a place with us.  He is amazing, I know you know that because you love him enough to care for him and I think that is amazing.  So, regardless of what happens I want you to know how thankful I am that he has you.  I just wanted you to know my heart, so now you do.

 

If anything changes, if you ever need anything, even just a babysitter, my phone number is (xxx) xxx-xxxx.

 

Thanks for reading a letter from a stranger.


So, Friday I typed up this letter, went and got some pictures printed off and went over to Sherry’s house to give it to her and ask her to give it to the lady who was taking Buddy.

 

I went up to the door and no one was home.  I went to my car to write a note on the envelope and leave the letter there when I heard a honk.  It was Sherry in her big white van with Buddy in the back seat.  God’s timing is amazing. 

Sherry got out of the car and hugged me, thanked me for being there, and asked me to go out with her and Buddy for their “special lunch”.  I gave her the letter to give the lady and we went out to McDonalds.  It was hilarious to watch Buddy and his little 3 year old self.  When an adult walks into McDonalds we see…well, something we have probably seem 100 times.  A 3 year old sees colors and food and play places and just the sheer fact that it is different than home gets them all excited.  Sherry ordered his food and we went and sat down.  Buddy, took off his coat somehow by flinging and flailing around in the typical excited 3 year old way.  He hopped up in the seat and Sherry asked him to pray.  He folded his little hands and said 3 lines of jibberish that had me laughing by the time he was done.  I had to have Sherry interpret the prayer for me.  It was so funny.  As we sat there Buddy ate and Sherry & I chatted about this and that. Then someone did something and Buddy said “Dee Choo”.  For those of you who don’t know what that could possibly mean that was a “thank you” exactly the way Kobe said it when he was little.  Funny how the tiniest words can make you want to cry and run out the door all at the same time.  I cannot tell you how in that moment I wanted to scoop him up and take him HOME, to our home.  I felt like screaming, “See!  He’s mine, only my child would say that!”  Oh it hurt and was beautiful all at the same time.  I haven’t heard those little sounds come from a little mouth in so long,  If I wasn’t head over heels in love before I was now.

Regardless of my “moment” I was having, time marched on and it was time to take him in the play place.  He ran through the tunnels a few times stopping to ask Sherry to “take a picture of me” followed up with “let me see it”.  There were no other kids in the play place so I went through it once with him to make him laugh, which he did.  I could tell that gave Sherry permission to act like a kid as well and she hopped in there with him too.  Finally, it was time to go, we hopped into the car and went back to Sherry’s house.  I had to leave to pick up Kobe from school so I said I quick good bye and left.

That night the lady came to get Buddy.  She stayed for dinner and she and Sherry talked about Buddy coming over to visit Sherry after he was settled in and also about Sherry babysitting him if it was needed.  I guess there was a few things that were talked about during dinner that bothered Sherry, about who would be coming and going at the house Buddy was going to.

 

I saw Sherry on Saturday, she is basically walking around like a shell of her normal self.  She loves that little boy so much.  She has said a couple times that she doesn’t see where God is in all of this, I am confident we will see, we just haven’t yet.  She said she read the letter I wrote and was glad I wrote it. 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

wow

Sometimes you just have one of those weeks where nothing is really wrong, but life just seems hard. I have always had to fight my negative "glass half empty" personality. I struggle with bouts of depression that have no basis and I have to constantly remind myself that there really is NOTHING WRONG. It is just a mood. Just hormonal. Just me.

And then I look around. I see families going through so much more than I ever dream I could bare if it happened to me and I think, wow, am I selfish. Wow, am I confused about what is worth getting upset about.

I don't have a child that CAN'T EVEN WEAR CLOTHES because they will rub his skin and give him terrible blisters.

I don't have a child who just had surgery on his heart.


I didn't just have a doctor tell me they think my baby's brain dead post surgery.

I have never had to bury one of my kids.

I'm not a confused little boy that wants to go home to his "mom" and keeps getting told he can't.


And the list goes on and on and on.


I think that part of my discontentment is from a lack of "getting it."  Not understanding exactly what I was made to do.  All I can do is fight, try my best and try to remember that there is more to life than a job, a nice house and a "perfect" looking family...it is supposed to be about this:

I often say that I hope some day I really get it.  That I will see this world through the eyes of Jesus instead of my own that are blinded my my humanity.  I really hope some day I get it.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Field Trip to the MSU Dairy Farm

Dairy Farms are not my thing.  Lets just start out by saying that.  I don't like the smell, I don't like seeing animals in their "pens", I'm just not into it.  But, I am sure the kids enjoyed a day outside the school room walls so at least that was a good thing.

Immediately I was a little nervous when they broke out these blue things to put on our feet. I kept thinking "What exactly are we going to be walking thru?"

They showed the kids how to mix up a batch of Cow feed...

...and showed them the baby cows.  They were at least cute.  Did you know that they name the girl baby cows and not the boy baby cows?  I shutter to think why that is.




They then showed the kids where the cows get milked.  



And then let them milk one.
Kobe was very excited about this.  
The kids seemed to have lots of fun petting the animals, milking a cow, eating ice cream and being out doors.  I love that they loved it, but if they ever do this field trip again it is Ben's turn to go!  :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Grandparents Day!

Kobe's school had grandparents day last Friday!  The kids did a great job singing and all 4 of Kobe's grandparents were able to come this year, what a neat thing!
Afterwards we took the kids to McDonalds for lunch.
After that Shelly & I took the kids to a park.  It was so beautiful outside, we needed to be outdoors!!!

We had a great Grandparents day, thank you all for coming!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Now, I know most of you make this all the time yourself BUT this is the first time I made it ALL BY MYSELF.  So I guess you are stuck watching me do it :)

Strawberry Jam:

4 C. smashed up Strawberrys
3 C. Sugar (healthy right?)
1 pkg. of Sure Jell
1 C. of Water
You know what I really love about this, the recipe comes right in the Sure Jell pkg.  You never need to hunt around for your own copy or call someone to get it, you have it, plus lots of other recipes.  You will want to follow the direction to make FREEZER JAM.  It's the best!  Just like House of Flavors up in Ludington!
You can use frozen or fresh...I used both!  It look just a little over 2 bags of frozen strawberries so I added in a few fresh ones.  It is such a good time to make it too, strawberries are $1.23 a pkg at Walmart right now or, if you have a $.75 off Dole Frozen Fruit coupon, you can get a bag of frozen for $1.58.

I will tell you, the frozen (after thawed) were WAY easier to mash up!
On the stove you are going to first add the pkg of sure jell to your 3 C. of sugar.  Mix them together, then add 1 C. of water and bring it up to a boil (stirring constantly).  Let boil for one minute, while stirring and then remove from heat.
Then add your 4 C. smashed strawberries to the hot mixtures.  Stir one minute until everything is combine.
Then pour Jam into your containers, cover and let sit 24 hours on your counter and then store in the freezer!
Mmmm, smells like summer!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

You know...

...I had just gotten rid of all the Halloween candy and now this.  :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

As if you hadn't seen enough of our vacation...


Here is a video!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Easter Egg Hunt at Grandma & Grandpa Wentzel's

Well, I mentioned that the Easter bunny spent all his $ in Florida, well, apparently he didn't need to worry about it because Grandma Wentzel can ALWAYS be counted on to spoil the Grand kids.  It isn't hard to figure out why the love her so much!







"A WONDER WEINER!"  that didn't stand a chance with Kobe, he managed to make it leak within 15 of finding it.
HHHHHmmmmmmmmm, what is this?
Yep, Ben caught Mark in his own Easter Egg hunt.

He must have really wanted that sparkly baton.


lol, Ben was so annoyed that the ONLY PERSON in this picture with their eyes closed was our kid.  I told him that the sun was too bright!  :)
We really had a great Easter!  Thank you to all of you we got to spend the day with!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Codie's 7 1/2 Month Photos

Codie is sitting up & crawling!  I cannot believe that little girl is getting around already!  She is such a smiley little thing and will let anybody hold her, I love that part :)

Here are a couple of my favorite shots.

*This is Ben's cousin's little girl*


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Brunch at my Mom & Dad's

Easter seemed to sneak up on my whole family this year!  My side didn't really plan anything besides just going over to my mom's.  We weren't even sure whether we were eating together or not!  At the last minute Mom and Dad decided to make us a great breakfast and the weather was nice so we took the kids outside.