Sunday, August 30, 2009

Headed to Burkina Faso, Africa

I think most people have a written or unwritten list of things they plan to accomplish before leaving this life. My list has things on it that range from losing weight to visiting foreign countries. About 4 years ago I added "make a difference in the lives of others through a missions trip to Africa and Nicaragua." I thought it would be years before I would have the right opportunity come along, but God has orchestrated an awesome opportunity now. I sit in awe as a I watch something that started as a small thought grow and mature into a strong desire. Its so amazing how God always does the things he promises. This opportunity is a true desire of my heart.
On Monday, November 30, 2009, I will leave on a 10-day journey to Burkina Faso, West Africa with Koinonia Christian Center Church Missions Team. Burkina Faso is the third poorest country in the World. We will be setting up medical clinics, working with children, hosting a vacation bible school, providing spiritual guidance and knowledge to the people living in the areas we will visit. We will return on Wednesday, December 9, 2009.

The total cost of mission trip $3,005.00 per person, which includes $2,005.00 for airfare, $600.00 for lodging, $200.00 for transportation, and $200 for food. We are not all able to travel abroad for various reasons, but we can all help by contributing financially and offering up continuous prayers. I solicit your prayers and any financial assistance you are able to provide—no donation is too small.

For those of you who may be wondering about Koinonia’s ministry here, please take a few moments to view our website at Back to School Rallies, Family and Friends Weekend, local missions ministries, senior health fairs, and Harvest Fest are all examples of the community outreach activities we sponsor. As a church, we are building into the lives of individuals here and abroad and I solicit your support as we seek to empower individuals.

Please help me make a difference in the life of others in Burkina Faso. No Donation is too big or too small. I thank you for helping make my dream a reality.

Again, thank you for your prayers and support.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

All is Well!

Tuesday morning brings much anticipation of well needed and desired sleep. Over the past couple of days I think I experienced every emotion conceivable. From extreme happiness and excitement as I watch yet another little one prepare to enter kindergarten to sheer exhaustion from days that brought things I never planned for. It all started Wed. night. Just as I was beginning to unwind and relax for the night I realized that my wonderful hubby would be leaving for an awesome men's retreat with our church on Thur. morning. While it was a great opportunity for him, I had not begun to prepare myself mentally to be home with his little clones for several days with no relief or backup adult (have I ever mentioned that my wonderful hubby is also wonderfully loud and active?) and I had not washed or packed clothing for him. Yes, my dear hubby is fully capable of washing and packing his own clothing, and he will gladly do it several moments before he is scheduled to leave but thats something I enjoy doing. Its a labor of love. I enjoy helping him prepare and letting him know just how important he is by doing little things that I know he appreciates, little things that say "You're on my mind, I enjoy this love thing we share..." So anyway, after helping him prepare, lets skip through a very hectic, chaotic but normal Thur. and Fri.and arrive at Sat. I had promised the "schoolers" that we would drive 30 min. to the clothing outlets and do a little last minute school shopping. Thankfully my lovely sis. agreed to keep the the "non-schoolers." "Non-schoolers" and shopping do not make for a happy mommy...After hours of grueling shopping, we get home only to have Lil Ike try some new flips, turns, and somersaults that result in a broken hand...and every mommy knows that broken bones do not come without many tears of pain from the child and tears of pain from the parent after an extended wait to see a Dr. Sometimes I think the wait at the ER or Urgent Care is punishment for somehow "allowing" your overly active child to figure out the best way to break a bone.....yeah, just what I needed. Oh, did I mention that awesome hubby didn't return til Sun. night? So needless to say, I approached Mon. morning tired, sleepy, grumpy, nervous, hungry (eating goes with every emotion) and prayerful. After hours of sitting in the hospital waiting on Drew to come out of surgery, expecting the best scenario but emotionally prepared for any of the many avenues that Drew's healing and recovery would take, I was overwhelmed to hear the surgeon say that Drew's surgery was a complete success! There were no remnants or return of the cholesteatoma, and he was able to place in the delicate ear prosthesis. Over the next couple of weeks my precious Drew will develop "perfect" hearing. He will be able to hear all the beautiful sounds that our creative God designed, with clarity. So now my prayers have switched to hopes that he will turn down his volume a notch!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Little Drew Drew

Its been awhile since I posted pictures,
but as my family and I prepare for Drew's
surgery on Monday I thought it
was only fitting that I post pictures of
my precious Drew.
Thank everyone for your thoughts and prayers.
I'll update after his surgery.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

First Kiss

During the month of July, the supertwins (Leah-an old 5, and Ike- a young 5; they are 11 months apart) attended a wonderful summer camp at an awesome church just around the corner. They learned so much about God, friendships, and life, and the cost was only $25/per child for the entire month. I learned how quiet and calm my house is when they are gone. Well, everyday they came home with new stories of things they had learned. Its been a little over a week since camp ended, so the stories have been gradually slacking off, until last night. My hubby and I were relaxing and enjoying a quiet night watching "The Soloist." Every member of the Artis 6 should have been in the bed, but as you know, bed time is not a great time in our house. So being true to who they are, Leah and Ike burst into our bedroom overflowing with words. They were talking so fast and their voices were filled with emotion. In Leah's voice I hear concern, anger, a tinge of "hate". But Ike's voice is filled with opposite emotions. I hear supposed dislike and happiness, excitement.
Leah blurts out her version of the story first. "Ike kissed a girl!"
My hubby pauses the movie and I sit straight up in the bed, "What? When! Who?!?!?!"
I see a grin cross Ike's face as he hurries to defend himself, "Well, No, She kissed me, I mean she tried to kiss me but I stopped it, I told her no, don't kiss me, I just put my hands up like this, and then I told her, I'm not your friend." The entire time he's talking he's putting his words to motion with hand movements motioning how she leaned in to kiss him but he crossed his arms in front of his face to tell her no, but she still somehow managed to kiss him, or did she just try? Who knows? Ike's story is a little confusing.
By this time, I am attempting to look serious and hold back laughter as my husband questions Ike about the situation.
It is obvious that Leah doesn't care for this young lady who apparently attempted, and succeeding at kissing her younger brother, but who also hit, pushed, or possibly punched Leah. Ike claims to never have seen the passing of licks between the little girl and his sister. He knows he daddy doesn't allow for the hitting of his girls. But Ike really didn't want to discuss the passing of licks, he wanted to explain and replay over and over how the little girl sat down beside him in the cafeteria while he was supposed to be looking for his sister, and the little girl just kissed him. He "said" that he told her he wasn't her friend anymore, but his grin and his eyes said, he never really meant that. He was definitely her friend. She gave him his first little smooch on the lips, and he didn't even have to work for it. He said she is a bad girl in camp and she was often sent to the Principal's office. My hubby continued to question him to get more details. "Well, did she kiss anyone else? Why do you think she kissed you? "
Ike responded with "NO! She didn't kiss anyone else. Just me. She always got in trouble so she never got any stickers at the end of the day. I got all the stickers and I got to move from here to here (motioning to us how his popular sanguine personality wooed the teachers and thrust him to the front of the room)." He was voted Camper of the Week twice by teachers and students and Best Camper at the end of the camp. So in other words I guess he was saying he's just got it like that!
At some point during his explanation I looked at the anger building up in Leah's face and the excitement overflowing from Ike's face and I could hold it no longer. I ruined the entire parental conversation by bursting into laughter. I never expected Ike's first smooch to come at 5, and I'm not sure how I would feel if this was one of my little ladies handing out smooches to the little boy with the most stickers but I do know that Ike was very happy that it happened.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Artis 6 Update

I miss the days of early morning inspirations, and long blog writing, but that was all before summer school. Now-a-days, the minute I have something to blog about, I also have something to study or some paper to write. Since I only have a few minutes to happily tap away at my keyboard for my own selfish pleasures I will attempt to quickly update everyone on the adventures of the Artis 6.

Drew is headed back to surgery at the end of the month. The doctors are hoping not to find any remnants of the cholesteatoma they removed in the earlier surgery. The plan is to reconstruct his ear bones with titanium. As the Dr. explained all of this to me, I'm thinking, ok, well at least he won't be able to tear that up and then the Dr. actually said, "For the four weeks immediately following surgery we will need you to keep him calm."
I respond with "Well what do you mean?" In my mind I'm thinking we are talking about Drew Drew, the three year old that climbs and jumps or falls, and flips off of anything. The Dr. then proceeds to explain to me that there is a possibility that the titanium ear bones will tilt over if Drew has a hard bump or fall. So I told them to go ahead and plan the surgery to sit the ear bones back up, unless they plan to sedate the little rascal for the 4 weeks. While I've been on my blogging diet, Drew has climbed up the shelves in the pantry several times to obtain whatever snack is on the top shelf. I tried to prevent the climbs and jumping down by moving the snacks to the bottom shelves and moving cooking items to the top shelf. Who would have thought that he would need the cooking items too? Just the other week he climbed up to get the corn meal off the top shelf. Apparently he and his twin sister wanted to create a beach in the middle of my den floor using corn meal for the sand and bowls and spoons for the shovel and pail......they get their creativity from me.