Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My BEST gift!

On this rare moment that I have alone time, sitting in a Starbucks trying to get much  needed work done, The Lord is beckoning me to Him. I love that! I love that He is always drawing us to Him.

One thing that I have been shown this past year is that I quickly settle for good, or "So-so" When God clearly has a "better"for me. Thinking about in Hebrews when  Abraham, Moses, and others walked by faith. not looking back knowing that God had a better for them (Hebrews 11:40)

As I take that into account regarding Christmas and how God literally gave US His best! His son, Jesus. He gave us life, He rescued us, He sees all that we are and yet, loves us anyway. So much so that He allowed His son to die for it. Not just a quick death where He knew He would see Him again, but a long, drawn out, painful, death. For people that would not even see it as a gift. He took the burdens and sins off of me and put it on Him. I can't even comprehend the depths of that.

Because He has given more to me then I can count, I want to give  my best in return. We do not have the authority to give life, but we do have the authority to share His truth.

In 1Samuel when the people were begging for a King to rule over them, much as we all do today, they wanted what the rest of the world had. They wanted a "so-so" not a "Better" When Samuel pleaded to the Lord on their behalf He says to him," Only you shall solemnly warn them the ways of the King who shall reign over them." You see, the people had rejected God. They were not going to hear from Him, but they did not reject Samuel. Not yet anyways, So he could still speak truth into them. He could still tell them that their desire to be like the rest of the world was wrong and that a True King, something better then you could ever fathom was right there. Though the people still refused to listen, Samuel did as he was told. He walked in obedience proclaiming Christ.

I want to love the people in my life enough to do that. I want to show them, tell them that their is a "better" for them. That there is Hope. So many people have rejected the Lord, but they have not rejected me..yet. With His Spirit in us we can proclaim the good news to everyone we meet without fear. We know where we are going. We know that death has lost it sting thanks to His gift. Others do not. They need to know. We need to stand firm in faith knowing that God has a plan for those He puts in our path. We need to speak boldly, with love, sharing the best gift.

"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness on them light has shined."

"For to US a child is born;
to US a child is given;
and the government shall e upon His shoulders, and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Of the increase of His government and of peace THERE WILL BE NO END."

Father, help me to speak your truth even when its uncomfortable. Help me to speak to those that think they know you. Help me to speak to those that could care less. Help me to love like you. Open my eyes to the people around me who desperately need you and help me to remember that I desperately need you. Like the manna that rots when the suns sets, help me to go to you everyday. Pour into me King Jesus, so that I may pour out.

Monday, August 27, 2012

My two year old

Caleb's birthday is tomorrow, but with all the craziness going on in our lives the only day we could have  a mini celebration was on Friday. I may or may not have cried several times throughout the day.

Last year on Caleb's birthday I really thought that we would be in Ethiopia ready to take him home. That was not the case and on his first birthday I was a mess. I am his mommy and I was not there to celebrate my baby! It was hard. Really hard, but then the Lord in all His goodness and faithfulness gave me a sweet present. In the late afternoon of his first birthday I received an email from my agency with a "Please keep a secret" in the email. When I opened it, there was my baby with a birthday hat on his little bald head, icing on his chubby cheeks and all his friends around him. The nannies loved our sweet boy so much and knew that I could not be there, decided to throw him a first birthday party. I can't even explain to you how unheard of this was and how much this meant to me. 

I have a lot more pictures with  more kiddos, but unfortunately some of them still do not have families, so I am unable to post them. BUT I will forever cherish the HUGE blessing that the Lord did and I know that Caleb will as well.

Birthdays have always meant a lot to me. Not because of presents or making sure my kids feel spoiled, but I love having a day where we can thank the Lord for their lives and to reminiscence about all the God has done. Yes, I do this with all my kids. We are thankful to be each one of their parents and God has done a work in each of our kids. We love to be able to look back and praise Him for them. God allowed me to not miss one of those opportunities with Caleb.

My two year old!

Caleb had a ball on his birthday. He was running all over the place. He really only opened one present because he just wanted to play with it. That is huge as well. When he got home, it took him about two months to even know how to play. We had to teach him to play with toys. He had never seen them before and had no clue. Now, he is obsessed with cars and trucks. He has a beloved police car that he says is "Daddy's car!"  For his birthday my mom got him a bigger one that lights up. He was in heaven! He even sleeps with it.

 He hears music and he must shake his booty (just like his momma) so he thought it was hilarious that we all sang to him!

Unfortunately I did not get a single family picture. :(   I guess it is a good thing, since I was crying most of the time :)

Thank You Jesus for allowing me to be his mom.  How blessed am I that even in the midst of sorrow you bring joy! More than I could ever hope for or imagine.  I am excited to watch Caleb grow into the man that you want him to be.


After much prayer and clear direction form the Lord, I unfortunately am not going to be able to go on the mission trip to Ethiopia. My heart hurts just to write that and I really am upset, but God has His reasons and I need to obey. Thank you all so much for donating and sacrificing for the trip. Your money is going to the team. Some people still have money to raise and what I was given will go to them. Thank you all again for blessing me and now to bless others.

Monday, August 13, 2012

They keep you humble!

"Mom, You are soooooooooo pretty!!!!" 

                                 Me~ "Awwww thanks sweetie!"

"Mom, Can women have mustaches??"

                                 Me~ "Well, kind of... not really.."

"Oh....then what do you call the hair right there." (Pointing to my upper lip)


Friday, July 27, 2012

A year ago

It was a year ago on Sunday when we held our precious Caleb Leykun for the first time.

                          I remember the anticipation and wondering what it would be like.

It was more joyful then I could have ever imagined and it was more painful then I ever could have imagine.

There were a group of us in a room waiting for the nannies to bring us our kiddos. One of the men was peeking out the window and yelled that  a little baby was coming. We didn't think it was ours, because from all the pictures Caleb was huge. So when Hermela walked in with him we were not prepared. I saw the baby in her arms and yelled, "He's ours, that's our boy!"  What an amazing feeling. To finally hug and kiss your child that God has placed on your heart, the child you have been praying over for over a year. It was our boy and we could not be more ecstatic!

One thing that I really wanted to bring was an album for Caleb to keep with him while we were gone. I knew he was young, but it meant so much to me for him to see that he had a family waiting desperately for him to come home.

                     Look at the bald head!!!  This is Caleb looking at the album we left with him.

Caleb still loves that album. He grabs it all the time when I am going to read to him and he tells me who everyone is in the pictures. He points out hubby and I and his brothers and sisters. It melts my heart.

He loves to pose for the camera.. haha!!

I remember leaving him. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. On the last day of being with him there was a group of us and only a small few could fit into the van and we thankfully got to leave last. It was just hubby and I and all the kiddos. I cried my eyes out and didn't stop that whole day. Having to lay him in the crib and walk away tore my heart out. 

I have a lot of friends who are going through that now. I know that pain. It is indescribable and the not knowing of when you can go get him is the worst, BUT going through that experience has caused me to trust the Lord in a whole new way. I got to see God first hand do mighty things and I honestly wouldn't change it for anything. Even though it took 4 very long months after this point to get him here. I still would not change it. God's timing is/was perfect! I could not say that during it, but I can look back and see His hand in every single thing we went through.

For this child I prayed and the Lord has granted me

                           Oh my sweet boy!!! He can suck you in with that cuteness!!!


Don't forget about my mission trip fundraiser. We are slowly getting there, but I need your help!!!!  God has so much planned for us and I can not wait!

Pray!!   Pray!!   Buy a T-Shirt!!   Donate!!  Pray!!

Blessed beyond measure,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


What a crazy month it has been! I can't believe July is almost over. This weekend we just moved our family of seven. Now I really know what stress is ;)

As you all know my heart is in Ethiopia. My mission trip is fast approaching and I  am way behind in funds. I have managed to sell some things to add little by little to my total, but I really need to get these funds in. Our group leader has come up with a way for us all to sell shirts. I am so excited about these and can not wait to wear mine!

The wording on the shirt says "Fiker" in Amharic. It means love! How awesome is that!?! What a conversation started.  "Love the Lord your God with all your heart!" "Love your neighbor"  "I love Ethiopia" "Whatever you do, do it in Love" "Go and Be Love!"
Love, Love, Love! I think your getting my point!    :D

All you have to do is use my paypal to the right. Shirts are $20 plus $5 shipping. If I can hand deliver it to you, I would LOVE to do it!

The shirts sizes are as follows:

Unisex = typical mens sizing (true to size for men, a size big for women)
Women's Fitted = Fitted womens T (runs a size small, order a size up from what you normally wear)

    Kids = XS (2-4), S (4-6), M (6-8), L (8-10)

When you Paypal me. Make sure you put in the special instructions: Shirt color, (Red, Green, or Yellow) and which size. Please email me if you have any questions!!

These are a PRE ORDER. So you have only 2 WEEKS to order and then the shirts will ship in 4 weeks!

Thank you so much for helping me go on my mission trip to Ethiopia!

Would you help me spread my blog? You never know who may be interested!


**If you don't want a shirt and would like to donate to my mission trip. You can also do that through the paypal as well. $5 adds up quick and I would be so grateful!**


Monday, July 2, 2012

Set Apart?

Last weekend a group of ladies and I went to the Gospel Coalition in Orlando. I can't even begin to explain how that weekend and being immersed in Gods word non stop affected me in a good painful way.

I had the pleasure of hearing so many wonderful speakers. One of whom was Elyse Fitzpatrick. I have read her book "Give them Grace" which is amazing and I agreed with so much of what it said, but after putting down the book nothing changed.
 Don't you hate that!?! When you read an incredible book by someone who loves the Lord more then you can comprehend and you tell people how it "wrecked you" and how it "changed you." Really?? How did it change you? Did it change you just until you picked up another book or maybe it changed you just long enough to write a cool FB status. I'm not bashing anyone, in fact I am talking about myself.  Change has to come from within. We Christians know that right?? Or do we?

 Elyse posed this question at the beginning of her talk.... "Is there any difference by the way you parent verses those that don't have the Gospel? and would your own children even be able to see the difference?"

That question wrecked me.. I had to truly ask myself if my kids think that outwardly obedience means that God loves them. Am I parenting that way? The question would be yes, I am.

Everyone raises their kids to be moral and good.(well, most people)  The problem with that is we can't do anything good. Not one thing. I know that, I even disciple adults and tell them that and point to how Jesus says that and yet, I don't tell my kids that.  I tell them to use manners and share your toys and don't fight with your brother. We should give things and money away, we need to help those that can't help themselves...........

  Let me just stop there because WE can't help ourselves.

That is why Jesus had to die. We need Him!!!

I want my kids hearts to change! I pray for it daily. I pray that the Lord would grab a hold of them and truly break them. Let them see Him, let them taste Him and know that He is good. But my prayers are not matching up to how I am parenting.  I am not taking what they are throwing at me or taking what I am seeing them do and bring it back to the cross.

God spoke to me so clearly about this issue. I can't bring them back to the cross... But He can! Am I diving into His word?  Am I allowing it to change me to overflow to those around me?, because you can't spend time with Jesus and not be changed. Not books about Jesus, but His word! His living powerful word!

When I came home and had time to allow some of the many things I wrote down to sink in, I began to share with my hubby and then I had a talk with my kids. All of them, even Caleb (though he was playing with his car) I apologized to them for teaching them to think that if you are good (or at least look like you are good) on the outside that Jesus would love you. Or "That makes Jesus happy."  I explained all that I was feeling. I didn't care if they only understood half. I wanted to not water down the Gospel because they are kids.  (We don't give them enough credit.)  We all had a great talk and my oldest said they knew that apart from Jesus nothing mattered. I believe that was the Lord reminding me that He has this! I just get in the way;)

I can't dish out what I don't do myself. So many times I think "If I just do this" "if I can just keep my mouth shut" If..... I am His daughter, whom He chose before the creation of the world. He has redeemed me and sees me as if I all ready obeyed..... How encouraging is that? If you are His, HE SEES YOU AS IF YOU ALL READY OBEYED!  Thank you Jesus.

"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" Hebrews4:16

Draw from the living waters, drink and never thirst again. He died so we could!!

Thankful for Grace, upon Grace, Upon Grace,

Thursday, June 14, 2012

6 months errrrrr 7 months home!!!

Caleb 22months

 Caleb has been home for almost 7 months!!! It is so strange to say that because it feels like he has always been here and 7 months doesn't seem like a long time. I get tons of questions when people ask me about how Caleb is doing and I will try to answer some of them now, keeping in mind that I don't spill any personal information about my other kids so I will not be spilling that about Caleb either.

When he first got home I was just so happy that I was in the honey moon phase. It was a difficult time because everything changed but I didn't care. I just wanted him home so bad. After that phase wore off I realized that I was having a hard time having patience with certain tantrums that he would have. After much prayer God was showing me that I wasn't raising him the way that God has asked me to raise all the children He has given me. When you are adopting you immerse yourself into every book you can get your hands on because with adoption comes trauma and I wanted to have some knowledge about what to expect. My advice to anyone adopting is to read those books BUT every child is different and just because the kids are adopted doesn't mean that every single thing they do is related to trauma. They are still sinners and still testing the limits just like any other child. I will say that my  child was young so I realize that if you adopted older you do have to do everything completely different. I am only commenting on my son. Not judging or making assumptions on anyone else.

One thing that he does have that is adoption related is his issues with food. I was actually very surprised at this.  I have read about this and have taken some great advice about how to best handle this situation. As months have gone on we have a better handle on this and know how to read him, but he still has a full on anxiety about food. If he gets hungry, he loses it. Not in a tantrum "I'm being a bratty kid" kind of way, but a full on anxiety and it takes a lot to calm him down. It breaks my heart!!! He acts this way because at one point he did starve and he knows and remembers that feeling. He will sometimes just want a cracker in his hand. He wont even eat it, but just knowing that it is there calms his nerves. On the wonderful bright side. He LOVES his mommas cooking. He joyfully eats anything I serve him!

Caleb is a crazy happy smart little man. He loves music, cars, water, sticks, and balls. He is obsessed with the park and strollers. He loves to hold my finger when I am holding him on my hip. (that may seem random, but it just melts me) He loves to sleep and will actually ask to go night night if we are out late. He has a temper, but he also has a caring heart and will hug any kid that he sees crying.  I am so thankful that the Lord has chosen to knit all of our hearts together.  All those emotions of feeling like I missed so much of his life has been healed. God has given me such peace over it all. I feel like I gave birth to him. Even with that being said there are days where I weep and pray for his first momma. I so badly wish that I could talk with her and tell her all about her incredible boy and the family that adores him. 

All of my kiddos get along great and I love watching all of their relationships bloom. They play well, they fight well, they annoy well, and the love each other well. I am so thankful!! They love to take care of Caleb and they ask us all the time if we can adopt again because they want a little sister.

Now time for some pictures!!!!!!

He loves the water! A little to much, he has no fear!

You mean you don't wear a Storm Trooper mask and dance around in your diaper??
You are sooooo missing out!

He still lets me rock him to sleep
My little goofball
Just like his daddy

Thank you Jesus!!!
Finally having my boy home and praying over him as I rock him to sleep is a feeling like no other. Beyond thankful that the Lord directs our steps and opens our hearts to things bigger then ourselves.


My mission trip is coming along nicely. God provided the $100 that I needed the next day and I was able to officially sign up to be apart of the team. I am excited to see how God will use our team to encourage and help those ministries all ready on the ground. Oh and I can't wait to love on some beautiful children.  I still have a long way to go and $500 of it is due July 1st. I still need $330 to reach the second goal. Any amount would help greatly. Could you please pray and see if the Lord would have you help? You can send me a check or you can always paypal me. Thank you!!

Resting in the arms of my redeemer,

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

An Opportunity

My heart has been hurting to go back to Ethiopia since we left last November. When our church sent a team there in February I was crushed that I could not go. (Caleb was just home) When a dear friend of mine told me about a mission trip she was planning for October I knew I had to go, but fear crept in. " No money, No childcare," So I briefly brought it up to hubby and then I let it go, but I never stopped thinking about it. After praying for the last few days hubby said that I should go. If God wanted me to go then He would provide the money and He would provide the childcare. (Hubby has to work and has no days off)

There is so much about Ethiopia that I love. It's not just about children hurting and no families and lack of...everything! There are amazing Jesus filled ministries that are all ready there. Being able to go there and help out different ministries in anyway God sees fit would be incredible!!

Before I tell you the costs, let me tell you all the wonderful things we will be doing. (taken from my friend's blog)
 Our approach will be to support existing sustainable ministries making a lasting impact in Ethiopia both now and for the future.

We will be working with several different grass roots, sustainable, gospel centered ministries in Addis and the surrounding area. We will visit a womens beading project, a day care, an HIV community, a leper hospital, a family based orphan and widow ministry, and much more! 

There is even more that God will have planned, as He always does.  

The total cost of the trip will be $1975. 

The break down is this:

$100 due June1st ( in two days)

$500 due July 1st

$975 due August 1st

$400 due Sept. 1st

Instead of my normal freak out about how I am going to raise these funds. I will be praying and will just take one thing at a time. 

I need to raise $100 by June 1st to be put on the list to go. Talk about waiting til last minute.  I want the Lords will and I am praying that He does want me to go and love on some wonderful babies and families and to help in different ministries for His Glory. 

Please pray and see if God would have you help me go!  Even $5 can add up! You can donate to my paypal on the right of my blog. Feel free to also email me for my address.

 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27


Thursday, May 24, 2012


Exactly one year ago today, we received the call that we had a boy waiting for us.

                                                            The Call

On a Monday we were watching our friends daughter Karis. Karis was about 8 months old and the kids were so excited to have a baby in the house that they all got up early just so they could play with her. My hubby had off that day and we spent the whole day loving on this sweet girl. As the day went on our hearts started hurting for our boy. We all were so ready to have a little one in our home. Hubby thought we should just pray since we all were feeling this longing. We sat in a circle with Karis on my lap and one by one we all cried out to the Lord. It was beautiful and I had a wonderful peace come over me.

On Tuesday we were watching baby Karis again and hubby was also off again so we decided to run some errands.

I dropped my hubby off to get his hair cut and I took the kids to Target. As I walked in the store my phone rang. I looked at it with disbelief seeing that the number was from my agency in St. Louis. I answered the phone with a Heeelllllooooooo?? ( Picture me talking as if you know someone is going to tell you something and they are just not getting it out) " Hi, Melissa it's Angie (acting like its just a random call) How are you guys doing?" Me- " I'm ggggoooooodddddd." (still anticipating) Then she screams " We have a referral for you!!!!" Me- Screaming and crying hysterically. My kids look at me and ask if it was the call and I said yes and they start screaming. Karis is screaming but hers is more of a " I have no idea whats going on and these crazy people are scaring me" kind of cry.  I was shaking so bad I could barely stand and people in Target were concerned. I reassured them that it was all good news as I'm running out the door crying and shoving all the kids back in the car. I called hubby to get out of the hair cutting place. Let me back up.... So in my mind I calmly call my hubby and tell him we got a referral and  that he needs to leave now so we can go home and see his picture. Apparently that's not what happened because He keeps saying " What?? What happened?? Who got hurt??? Then I screamed at the top of my lungs in a not so nice voice to get his butt outside NOW!!!!  (later he told me that I was so hysterical that he had no idea what I was saying)

Moving on!

We all went home and recorded ourselves looking at our sweet boys face for the first time.

Here are the pictures that we saw.

 Sorry they are turned. For some reason it won't let me fix it.

Awwwww look at those precious eyes <3

For those that don't know. In your referral packet you get a picture and all the information or lack of that they have on the child and then you can say yes or no. No was never an option for us and we knew whomever the Lord gave us was suppose to be a Maser.

Here is the video:

One thing that I wish I would have done differently was to just enjoy this moment. But shortly after all the excitement I started to worry about the money that we needed to even say Yes to him. I should have known that God had it all under control. Through all of you He brought our referral money in 4 days. 4 looonnngggg days ;) but He did it! And I should have known that He would. For those of you in the wait and still need to raise money. GOD WILL PROVIDE!!! I have countless stories of how God provided at each and every need. I really didn't want to be that person that didn't have it ready when needed and I was, every time. Believe it or not, I was thankful. I got to see God move in the hearts of people in such a mighty way.

Thank you Jesus for our sweet Caleb! We could not imagine our lives with out him.

Also, today is exactly 6 months since he has been home. I will write a blog tomorrow about all the ups and downs and ups :) with lots of pictures!

To God be the Glory,

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Walk for Life GIVEAWAY!!!!

Last year my family and I participated in the Walk for Life 2 mile walk.  This year when we registered my kids wanted to know "Why we were not going to try and raise fund to help the babies?" So after talking with them they decided they wanted to try and help raise $100 each.  $500 total. 

The Kimberly Home and The Pregnancy center are special to me. They are PROLIFE. We have several very close friends that either work with them or volunteer there time with them. We donate baby food and anything we may have lying around to help them in anyway. 

All money that is raised goes directly to helping mommas and babies stay healthy and together. They provide counseling, food, clothes, shelter if needed, and they also will help with adoption if that is the route the mother wants to go.

This past week (April 19th) my sister in law went into early labor and gave birth to my nephew Kevin Jr. at 21 weeks and 4 days. He was so precious and perfect, but unfortunately he was to small to breathe on his own and he is now with Jesus. I am thankful for the very short time that we had with him and we  want to dedicate these funds in his honor.

ALL money that is raised goes directly to them. Even if we don't get to $500 it doesn't matter. Every little bit helps the Kimberly Home help others. Though we would LOVE to be able to bless them with the $500.

We only have less then 14 days to raise the funds. So my dear friend Rachel has so graciously given me a MudLove band that reads "Love with Abandon" ( how perfect is that!?!) to give away.  For every $5 you donate you will be entered to win a MudLove band. 

I will also be giving away Jen Hatmaker's book Seven.  I have not read this book yet, but I love Jen's blog and I have heard nothing but great things about the book.

So...... for every $5 you donate you will be entered into BOTH drawings.  The more you donate, the better your chances. :)

This giveaway will end Tuesday May 8th at noon.  Your donation goes directly to the Kimberly Home and you will also get a tax deduction.Just click on the link at the top to learn more about the Kimberly home and to donate!!!

Thank you so much for helping us raise funds for a great cause!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Last year of single digits!

This Easter was my eldest, the boy that  made me a mother, 9th birthday. I can't believe this will be his last year of single digits.

All I ever wanted to be was a mother. When he was born, I would not let anyone else touch him. I wanted this child so bad that I wanted to be the one to do everything.  I didn't want to miss anything. I had to protect him. Just as my "mine" mentality grew. God was starting to break my heart and show me that this child was His first.

My little blue eyed boy

Elijah is a momma's boy and  I have always said that God made him to be a big brother. He loves it! and asks me all the time when he can have another sibling. ( I like to remind him that he hates when any of them touch his legos and yet, he wants more in this house) He loves to fish all the time and He goes hunting every year with his dad. He shot his first gun at 4.

Elijah looks and acts exactly like his daddy. Which is probably why we have a close relationship. I get him and his quirks. It also means he will make a great hubby one day :)

On his actual birthday I attempted to make a Lego cake. It seemed so easy. I ended up being rushed and not only did it fall apart it also started to melt. Elijah put his arm on me and says " Don't worry mom, I am sure it will taste better then it looks."

It's a good thing my kids expectations are not high :)

As each birthday passes with my kiddos, I am even more thankful to the Lord that He has called us to home school. I would miss so many precious times with my kids and as we always say "it goes by to fast."  The conversations that we have, the relationships that are growing stronger, the foundation that Christ is building... I would not change it for anything. 

Elijah gave his life over to the Lord when he was 7 and was baptized shortly after.  His tender heart, his gift of patience, his love for people. I am excited to see what God has planned for his life.  Praying daily that the word of Christ will dwell richly in his life. That he will have a firm foundation to draw from to overcome all that this world will throw at him.

                                              Thank you Jesus for allowing me to be his mother.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Beyond Thankful

My heart is hurting and yet rejoicing at the same time.

I lack the words to express what today means to me.

I was once that girl who cut herself. Who had no hope and turned to drugs. Who thought that this life was all there was. Who thought "This is as good as it gets."

But God had other plans. He saw me, His precious daughter refusing to look up and see Truth.

"Melissa, I created you! I formed you! 
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; 
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you go through rivers, fires, I am with you. 
They will not overwhelm you or burn you. 
For I am the Lord; Your Savior.
You are precious in my eyes and honored, and I love you."
                    Isaiah 43:1-4

The wrath that was poured out on my Savior was meant for me. I will never have to know or feel what even a tiny part of that would feel like. There are no words. Me, a broken vessel where nothing good dwells. who every time will choose my own way first.

Thankfully He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him, as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us. (Pslam103:10-12)

"It was the will of the Father to crush Him;
He bore the sins of many; and makes intercession for the transgressors."

Shout for joy!! Proclaim it!!! Send it to the ends of the Earth!!! For the Lord has redeemed His children!

For His glory,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Budgeting at any age.

When I worked at Block Buster many,  many, many, many years ago we had a power outage. When the lights came back on the registers were not working. So we had to add all the movies and candy, Add the tax and then give them change all without using a calculator. Mind you, this is when Block Buster was crazy busy, so it needed to be done efficiently.  Sounds easy right? Actually for most of the employees including the manager on duty, it was tough. They were having a hard time figuring it out. I loved it and was having fun. Not because I am so smart, but because that is how I was taught. To not use the calculator. I loved Chemistry and Algebra as a kid. It was so fun to have to write everything out and figure out the answer.

I am well aware that my kids are young and would not use a calculator anyway, but I want them to really get the basics down. It's easier to move forward when you all ready know what you are doing without having to think about it.

So my point to all this is when I do math with my kids we play a game called "Shop". I know.... it's a very clever name.

What we do is we lay out toys and I randomly put price tags on them.

One person is the shopper. I will give them a set amount of money. They have to go through the "store" and buy what they can and get as close to their budget without going over.

Brianna adding up what she wants to buy to see if she has enough.

Once they figure out what they are able to buy. The shopper then takes their purchases to the owner and he must add up the total and figure out the change that needs to come back.

Adding up what the customer owes.

Giving back change.
This works both ways. The person playing the customer needs to also know what they will be getting back. So they too must calculate their total, how much they owe, and what change they should get back.

We do this several times and then switch.

They are learning to budget, add, and subtract. And also the value of money. My oldest is in third grade so I do make it more challenging for him.

As they get older I will start to add tax and sale prices. Meaning using percentages off and coupons.

They always have fun playing this game. 

My youngest will either play in their rooms or join their siblings with writing things down.

What learning games do you do with your kids? I would love to steal ideas :) No really, I would. As you can see "shop" is not that clever. The easy fun ideas usually escape me, So comment please!!