Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Protest Planned Parenthood



I did something a little bit out of the ordinary on Saturday. I joined the Protest Planned Parenthood movement! I am still processing why I did it since I've never been overly vocal about being pro-life before.........

All my life I've been pro-life. I believe that God's Word is clear regarding the issue of abortion. Life begins at conception and God has knitted and formed that baby from the very beginning. Abortion is not an option under any circumstance. I've just never really done anything extraordinary about it. 

Have you seen the videos? I've only seen 3. The last video literally made me sick. Seeing the little babies being dissected was repulsive. I started sharing all the videos and different links to conservative bloggers on the issue on social media and using the hashtag defund planned parenthood. I don't really know what good that did, aside from the fact of probably annoying all my unbelieving friends who are more concerned with the rain forest and Cecil the lion.

So when I heard there was going to be a protest and that there's a Planned Parenthood clinic only 15 miles from where we now live, I thought I could at least check it out. I went Saturday morning with my sign that I did not put much thought into. I stood side by side other professing Christians, many who attend conservative churches in the surrounding area, and held my sign. The majority of people driving by didn't react, many honked and cheered us on, and we only got a handful of middle fingers in the air. That day, the clinic cancelled all their appointments. 

I asked some of the protesters why they were there. Many said to bring awareness to this issue, others said maybe by standing here we can change the mind of one woman, and others said it's the right thing to do. 

Will I do it again? I don't know. I read John Piper's post below on Saturday's protest and he had some great thoughts. I don't know that I can totally agree with his first point but I can definitely relate to the rest of his points, particularly the one on Freedom on Public Property. No chance in Russia this could ever happen.......you'd need a permit from the government and I doubt it would ever be given.

 I don't know how much will change regarding the abortion issue in this country. Our leaders are immoral and have no regard for God or life. The United States is not the promised land and there are no promises in scripture held for America. I know that as a Christian I have a responsibility to vote, and most of all the biggest responsibility to pray for our leaders that God has put over us!

Psalm 139:14a For I am fearfully and wonderfully made.....

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Homeless

Due to the extreme winters you really don't see homeless people in Samara. One year though we spent a whole summer in Samara (we usually didn't because we would return to the States to renew our visas). It was then that we began to notice homeless people. There was an open field near to where we lived and some homeless camped out there. It seemed so hopeless for them because they were all so drunk and drugged. The majority of Russians just turn a blind eye to these people. I found the following article online: Russia's Invisible Children  The statistics for homeless children are staggering and the pictures are devastating. The article is 3 pages long so if you read it make sure you click all the way through.
Homeless woman but notice her cup of beer.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Back To School: Homeschool Style

There have been some amazing posts these last two weeks regarding getting back to school for us homeschoolers. I thought I'd round up some of my favorites here on the blog for others to enjoy!

This one is probably my favorite link...Pray Over Your Homeschool
Scroll all the way down on that post to find a link to the calendar version of this prayer plan. I have printed out the calendar version and I keep it with my devotional things.

I love hearing about and reading how other people get organized for their school year. This blogger has 5 Steps to Getting Organized for the New School Year

I make my own "First Day of School" signs but this blogger has some free printables for some real cute  First Day of School Signs

Did you know I'm a supply hoarder! I love buying all kinds of things that help me organize my life! I also love reading what other important supplies people use for homeschooling. 10 Homeschool Essentials  or 10 Must Have Back to Homeschool Supplies for Elementary Age

I do all my planning on my iPad with an app called Homeschool Helper but I know a lot of moms like to physically write their plans down. This blogger has a link list of 30 Free Homeschooling Planning Printables 
This was a real good read The 10 best things you're NOT doing for your homeschool!

Monday, August 17, 2015


My very first experience with a babushka (Russian for grandma) was Baba Zhenya. When we moved to Novosibirsk we needed someone to watch Josiah while Jon and I did our language lessons. She was a sweet little lady who loved the Lord. She lived a hard life and between her broken English and my very limited Russian we got along real well.

Baba Zhenya had grown children but they didn't visit her often enough. She was also very poor and living off a small pension. She taught me one of the greatest lessons on contentment. One day I was doing laundry and complaining to her how in Russia I had to hang my clothes to dry and how much work that was. She told me I should be thankful that I had a washing machine and so many clothes.........she washed the little clothes she had by hand. We paid her for the hour or two she took care of Josiah and often times I would sneak in more money or a bag of produce, food, and toiletries.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Return to Russia

Lately I have been thinking a lot about our time in Russia. Often times I think of everything I experienced and saw and how those images are engraved in my memory. I thought it would be fun to weekly share a picture with you of our adventures in Novosibirsk and Samara. I'll label them Return to Russia but the post title will reflect the theme of the particular picture. I also haven't been blogging very much at all and today the boys made a remark how I haven't been scrapbooking either. The last 2 years have been quite an adjustment for our family but now that we're finally in our own place, Jon has a steady job, and we are doing our best to be settled it's time to get back to doing the things I love the most.

The picture for our very first prayer card!

When we would return to the States on furlough we would visit the homes of many of our friends and supporters and it was always so encouraging to see our prayer cards on their refrigerators! Often times people would notice me checking out their refrigerator and let me know that they were frequently praying for us!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Summer Time = Beach

Some nice man had kites and was teaching the boys how to fly them.

When I was single, my goal every summer was to get the best tan I could! I had big dreams back then, didn't I? Once you have a family though your priorities begin to change a little......ok a lot! Your goals aren't as superficial anymore. This summer I've tried to ensure that we have a relaxing and fun summer and the beach is a big part of it. Now that we are living in Moorpark, the beach is a lot closer. Our first two beach outings were to Zuma Beach with some friends from our PSP. I love Zuma! It was always my beach of choice growing up.

Overcast even in July.

There's one thing about Zuma I don't like though. The rip tide there can be vicious. I remember having to be rescued when I was younger. An experience like that leaves quite a fear and respect for those waves. Last summer Jon was boogie boarding and got caught in a wide and awful rip tide.

He had to get rescued by a life boat.

A few weeks ago I started researching some beaches in Ventura since we are only 25 miles from there. I found one that a ton of people gave high reviews for..........Harbor Cove Beach.

Watching the sailboats.

Since it's a cove there are no waves! Yay! Since there are no waves, it's a family beach. Lots of kids, plus mommies who aren't dressed in tiny bikinis. Across the street from the beach is a visitor center with lots of info. There's also a tower that has some great views of the surrounding harbor and beaches.

There are big rocks on each side of the beach and one of the sides has great tide pools.

The boys spend a lot of time digging in the sand.

Last week Jon joined us for a couple of days!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Minecraft Party

Did you know that Minecraft doesn't give their license for party supplies or decoration? I didn't know that either and I found out two days before Nathan's party. Not only that, Nathan didn't decide on a Minecraft party until 4 days before his party! Fun times!!

Obviously, I could only do so much in regards to decor. Nonetheless, at the end it really doesn't matter how much you decorate a party because little 8 year old boys don't even pay too much attention to these things.

I made a huge Creeper from a green tablecloth and black napkins.

Some outdoor fun with water balloons, water guns, and slip n' slide.

I handmade this Creeper pinata and it was really so fun to make. 

Plus the pinata was so hard to break. At the end we let the kids hit without blindfolds.

Time for cake......we bought an Enderman toy and just put it on top of the cake. 

I just have to post about something funny one of Nathan's friends said about the cake. He exclaimed how he could tell this wasn't a Costco cake because the frosting was so much better!! Hilarious! He told Nathan his mom always buys Costco cakes!!!

Nathan was one happy kid with all his presents!

Good news is his brother will have a party this month and he's thinking he wants a Minecraft party too!!!