Sunday, August 26, 2012

Why I'm missing right now...

I am in Rochester, MN cuddling with this precious girl...I love you so, Moriah!! She is such a gift from God and I feel so blessed every time I get to hold her.

It also feels so good just to be back in seems like everywhere we go I have more memories recalled!!

So we will be rehatching our old memories as we meet with precious friends, and making new ones with my precious new cousin. So if you'll excuse me, I have a baby to love on...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things!!

Dear Readers,

I love my Mom. 
And I try to be like her in all things.
Once upon a time I longed to wear glasses so I could be like her.
And I ended up needing glasses because my left eye wasn't was just letting my right eye do all the work. 

I watched "Sound of Music" because it was her favorite movie.
And ended up loving it.

I read the Mitford books because she loved them...
And they are now my favorites! I'm on my second round, I bake recipes from the books, and I try to make my neighborhood more like Mitford. I'm not obsessed or anything....alright, I wish Father Tim was my grandfather! There. I've said it. ha

So, I've decided that this blog post is going to be a list
of a few of my favorite things...
because "When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad...I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don't feeeeel so bad!!" ~Sound of Music. 

1.) My family.
they are my life!

2.)Anything and everything old fashioned.

3.) the Mitford books.

4.) The Little House books

5.) Janette Oke books

6.) Maybe we should just go ahead and put books in a category of its own before this gets to be a million books long...hehe

7.) Scottsdale Bible Church's Special Ministries. My time there is so refreshing, and challenging, and full of love. I thank God for opening the door to this ministry for me! It's such a blessing.

8.) My Bible. My big, light tan, ESV Bible that I got for Christmas...I love it and couldn't live without it.

9.) Argentina and all of my loved ones which it holds. Te Amo!!

10.) Scrapbooking, stamping, cross stitching, sewing, plastic canvas stitching, and quilting--even though I don't know how to quilt.yet. These are all more things I took up because of my Mom...and fell in love with!

11.) Music. I came up with this one on my own, haha! I joined two different choruses while in public school, played Alto Saxophone in band and violin in strings, and today play violin and piano. I love music. As my old band teacher said, music is a gift that can never be taken away. It truly is a gift...

12.) Journaling! I call my journals my own Psalms because they mimic David's so much... "God, I need your help so much...what will I do? Ahhh!!!" to "Oh, Jesus, you are so amazing!!" to "this world disgusts me!" to "I can't believe You created such beauty." yeah.

13.) Special times with just the girls. As in me, my precious siter, and my mom.

14.) My sweet sissy! What would I do without her?!?!

15.) Sunsets.

16.) Chai tea lattes...especially if I drink them early in the morning, while basking in the cool fall breeze, reading my Bible after a workout with my mom.

17.) Running with my sweet encourager--my mom!!

18.) The children of the world. 

It may sound silly, but my
dream would be to wake up every day surrounded by children...
children the rest of the world has thrown away...
children who don't know what it's like to be loved...
who rarely feel a love-filled hug...
children who others turn their eyes away from because it hurts too much to look...
"Kisses from Katie" set in me a desire to be called mommy by these precious kids around the world..someday...

19.) Blogging. That's a given! But I love writing out my thoughts like this.

20.) God's plans. 'Nuff said. 

21.) The color yellow. And pink.

22.) Listening to Cate do school.

23.) Being homeschooled...

24.) Small towns.

25.) My town.

26.) Volunteering!

27.) Baking...anything!

28.) advocating for my heart children!

29.) School


31.) Watching old musicals with my family

32.) Staying in a hotel with that family of mine! Always an adventure and so much fun.


34.) playing the four favorite things game

35.) Memories

36.) Riding horses

37.) playing with my dog

38.) taking quizzes

39.) making/eating homemade bread. That's the only time I'll ever eat a PB&J.

40.) Fried chicken. It's my weakness...

41.) Mississippi State. My second home...

42.) Any place we have vacationed and have good memories at makes me smile.

43.) Sign language.

44.) Teaching sign language.

45.) Spreading Deaf awareness and information on sign language.

46.) Interpreting!! Best job EVER.

47.) Being in Moezart with my brothers and sissy.

48.) Our weekly dates after Moezart/before High School Ministry.

49.) Reading blogs

50.) Staying up late..and getting up early! 

51.) MATE!!

52.) Chinese food

53.) Facebook (most of the time!)

54.) checking the mail! It brings me joy. And if you write me a handwritten letter, it makes my day. Come on guys...if Paul could do it while in prison, you can spare the time to jot a quick note to show you care! 

55.) Prison ministry. and orphan ministry. and disability ministry. there are so many great ministries out there...

56.) Macaroni and Cheese. (even though I don't like cheese!)

57.) Reading a book at the same time as someone else in my family so we can discuss it. Because I can't read a good book without discussing it. I just can't.

58.)Good book clubs that challenge you to broaden your horizons and pick up books you would normally not look at. 

59.) Purses! I used to hate them and never carry one, but when we went to Hawaii two years ago my mom bought me a big calico bag for me to carry my books and coverup and such around in. I have used one ever since and never looked back! 

60.) Taking pictures. Especially of my parents! haha

61.) Going on vacations with my family!

62.) Dreams....

63.) may seem strange but I have a love for them!!

64.) Aprons...

65.) Quilts...

66.) Rocking chairs..

67.) The name Jubal. It means "father of the flutes", as Jubal in the Old Testament was father to all who played the flutes. I want to  name one of my children that. haha! 

68.) Christmas decorations!!

69.) FALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

70.) Easter. Jesus gave us such a huge gift...

71.) Celebrating Christ's birth!

72.) Talking. Big surprise, right? 

73.) But I also love listening. People often come to my mom with their big things they need to talk about, and I often pray that someday people will feel comfortable talking to me like that. I love hearing about peoples' lives and learning how I can pray for them.

74.) Writing out long lists like this...

75.) Having goofy Halloween parties!

76.) I love old people, I really do, and have so many wonderful memories at nursing homes from when I was in that sign language group. 

77.) Writing current events

78.) The adorable decorations that adorn small towns at Christmas time.

79.) Christmas movies...we have a tradition that we watch all our favorites that we can before Christmas eve. It is one of my favorite traditions! 

80.) Another tradition I love is baking sugar cookies at Christmas time...and decorating them!!

81.) Anything from the 1800s...or the 1940s-50s.

82.) I love doing spontaneous things! (like our last flagstaff visit)

83.) I love listening to music from the 50's on our Sirius radio...

84.) I love going in Walgreens near any holiday!

85.) I also love going in Ace HardWare..

86.) Eating lunch in an airport

87.) Accompanying my dad on his weekend rounds. I love going to work with him!!

88.) My "A Vintage Christmas" book...and planning how to make our Christmas more old-fashioned with my mom!!

89.) long car rides!

90.) Taking Pluto on car rides with us

91.) DisneyWorld/Land/Cruise!!

92.) Just BEING!!

93.) The ocean...although sand in my swimsuit annoys me, I love love love the ocean.

94.) Looking at scrapbooks of my parents'

95.) Spanish!!

96.)Braids (although I'm horrible at them!)

97.) Being a sister

98.) Old quilts

99.) Birthdays!!

100.) The fact that I got to 100! I'm grateful for having so many gifts in my life!!

I am sure I have many more to share...but for now I'm stopping at 100! I challenge you all to think of at least five things you're grateful for/or one of your favorite things.
Buenos Noches! 
Your tired blogger,

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Wednesday! Feliz MiƩrcoles!

   Dear Readers,
  Happy Wednesday! 
Okay, so I know not a lot of people get very excited about's kind of that point of the week where you're just ready for it to be the weekend, right? But actually, having an "oh my goodness I can't believe it's Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Friday!!!" attitude is Biblical. 

                     "This is the day the Lord has made;
                       We will rejoice and be glad in it."  ~Psalm 118:24

We should not only rejoice when it's Friday, but everyday, because, after all, the Lord did make this day. And He has a perfect plan for you for today! 

  So any way, I hope you all are having a wonderful week. It was the start of school for us, and we have had a really fun time getting back into our routine. We're reading some great books and  learning Spanish has been a blast! It's amazing how traveling to the other side of the Equator gives you such a strong motivation to learn Spanish. 
   I find myself worrying about when we're a couple more months into this, though, because I know our schoolwork will get progressively harder. However--my prayer is that I will be able to rejoice and marvel in my studies not just the first week of school but for the whole year! 
   If you are already feeling discouraged about this new season, I encourage you to pray to God every morning as soon as you open your eyes asking for Him to give you the strength you need for today. My mom reminded us of this at the beginning of the week. We don't need the strength for tomorrow today, or for next semester today, just enough strength for the day. 
  So if you are just starting back to school, or embarking on the new journey of college education, or in the throes of a busy or hard season, take courage in the fact that God will give you strength for each day. Not only will He give you the strength to survive each day, but He will give you the strength to rejoice and be glad in it. 
  Your Blogger, 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ramblings of Claire...

  It's amazing how the smallest things instantly take me back to Argentina...
My Mom, Benjamin, Mason, and their host family
A bumper sticker that said "Dios Te Bendiga" made me remember a fun memory with my mom and brothers' host family. Leda and Jairo, their hosts, were so kind to me...I loved   them as if I, too, had stayed in their home!

As the girl who taught herself sign language to communicate with one person, I clearly don't like communication barriers.  In fact, they drive me batty.
   And when the power was out in my home in Argentina, I had no way to communicate with my precious host family. It killed me. So I asked Leda to write down a few simple phrases in Spanish. "Dios Te Bendiga" (God bless you) was one I really wanted! "Te extrano" (I miss you) was another one I really wanted to know how to say. After all, we were leaving for Colon, and I needed to communicate to my family how much I would miss them the following three days. (this coming from the girl who says "I love you!" about a hundred times before my mom can hang up the phone :) )
     And finally, I wanted to know how to say "Podria Banarme?" Because before I had had to move my hands over my head, indicating I wanted a shower. And then one day my host dad started telling me (I thought) how to say it in Spanish. But as I stood there, repeating him in my horrible accent, Emily realized what I was saying and laughingly shouted for me to stop! Wonderingly, I looked around at the red faces around me. What had I just said??? Reynaldo had had me say something like "I need a shower because my armpits smell bad". Hahaha! No one could stop laughing. So, I finally asked Leda how to say it, confidant that she would give me the right words. hehe
     And that one bumper sticker on a car in Arizona took me back to that moment immidiately.....
    Another time Mom, Cate, and I were walking in "Claire's" to pick up a sleep mask for Cate. While we were waiting for the cashier to ring us up, my mom let out a gasp. She pointed to a bin on the checkout counter. It was filled to the brim of bracelets with little icons of Mary, Jesus, and the Apostles on it. I picked one up and knew my mom and I were both remembering our day at the prison. She had comforted one of the prisoners, who, as a token of her love and thanks, gave my Mom her own little bracelet with icons  on it.  It touched my mom's heart that this woman gave to her out of her heart. And just the sight of those was enough to almost bring us both to tears.

   After that visit to Claire's we stopped at Carter's (aka the Baby Store :) )  for my adorable new cousin.  There I was, surrounded by Baby clothes and baby shoes and baby hair bows and baby lotion and baby onesies and baby shampoo...and I missed my little baby brother and sister in Argentina.
       I know you all probably think I'm pretty weird, haha! My little pile of gifts to send to Argentina grows by the day...
  On another note, school is about to start!
 I'm  pretty excited, but I'm also kind of nervous.
  This summer has been amazing...we have been blessed by the opportunity to travel, and then after that Mom made sure that everyday was fun. I will miss being able to read all day!
  We will be in tenth grade, and although I know I have time, I'm getting very anxious about college. I recently checked out a HUGE book at the library titled "2012 College Majors"...and then a cookbook because we all know looking at that book is going to stress me out and I am going to need to bake! :) I have no idea what to major in or where to go to college. I just want to HELP...and as there isn't a major for that, I'm stuck! Honestly, I do know what I want to do. Kind of.
    I want to help people with special needs and their families, especially those who aren't getting the care they need, like those in Africa or orphanages around the world. My question then, is how best to serve them? I've been thinking I'd love to do Occupational Therapy, but I would also love to do Deaf Education so I bring language (and there forth God's Word) to those who currently don't have any. I would love to become a professional sign language interpreter, but also think Bible Translation would be really cool. Oh, and I want to be an adoptive mom. :) short, I have a lot I would love to do, but the question is, what is God telling me to do? I have no idea. So I would very much appreciate your prayers as Benjamin and Mason and I start this new school year....that God will grow us and teach us and open doors to reveal His ultimate plan for us! I'm hopeful that it will be a good year. I'm grateful to be taking my memories of Argentina into this school year, and although I really miss everything and everyone there, I know that right now God's plan is for me to be in Arizona. And I am excited for that!!
   Thank you for listening to my ramblings!! Much love and Dios Te Bendiga,
Your Blogger


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Her life is no mistake.

"The other side of the world....she's just a few days old...a helpless little girl, with no family of her own. She is not to blame for the journey she is on. Her life is no mistake.
                                                Won't you lead her to my cross?

  Won't you be my voice calling?....won't you be my hands healing?...won't you be my feet walking, into a broken world?... Won't you be my chain breaker?... Won't you be my peacemaker?... Won't you be my hope and joy?
                                                         Won't you be my love?"
 ~Mercy Me's Won't You Be My Love

Dear Readers,
  Above are two pictures of Marla, a five year old listed on Reece's Rainbow. She has Cerebral Palsy and faces imminent transfer to a mental institution.  I can't even write I'm just staring at her picture wishing I could scoop her up and hold her close.  My arms are getting that achy feeling I get so often when I look at these kids' profiles...tears are blurring my vision and going to stop before I just burst into tears.  It's not fair that she is lying there alone, about to go to a mental institution where she will probably die. It's just not fair. We aren't allowed to say that phrase in my house, but there is nothing else TO say as I look at her picture...This child deserves so much more than this. So much more.
    Won't you be Christ's love and commit to pray for sweet Marla?
There are so many orphans around the world...and yet even though this earth and its people have failed them, God hasn't. He cares deeply about each of these I feel it is important to pray not just a blessing over "all the orphans of the world", but to pray for individuals, also. Let Marla's story hurt your heart. Cry over her. Don't just generalize this group of children and not let your heart be touched. They are real, they are living. Show them someone still cares.
Your Blogger,
Dear Marla.
  Please know that your life is not a mistake. There is One who loves you so much...He loves you more than anything else in the world! He cares for you so much He was even willing to die for you. And even though you may feel alone right now, I need you to know that you are not. Your Heavenly Father is with you always...He's there when you hurt, and He's holding your hand as you cry. He cheers for you  when you experience joy, and waits for the day when you will be back in His Arms again. He's using you, even now as you lay in that crib, for His Glory. You are touching the hearts of those around you and those around the world who see your picture. Don't lose hope, precious girl, and remember that you are a treasured child of the King! You are important and you are loved.
Much love,

One more note... here is a devotion from Joni and Friends that I felt related to Marla and all the other children listed on Reece's Rainbow...


Ryan Leads the Way
Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends! Philippians 4:1
Ryan Mazza is a profoundly disabled man who lives in a care center. He was born with Crouzon's syndrome and has endured countless setbacks which have left him blind, mentally disabled, paralyzed, and unable to feed himself. But he can hear. He loves the sound of his father's voice - especially when his dad reads to him from the Bible. In fact, his father used to work as senior American executive for the Suzuki Motor Company located near Ryan's care center - many times the nurse would call Doug Mazza out of a meeting: "We are having trouble getting Ryan to eat his lunch... would you please come over? He'll respond to you!" No matter if it was a top management meeting or a marketing presentation, Doug was out-the-door to go help his son. To this day, Doug reflects, "No one has impacted me more for Christ than Ryan." This young man inspires not only Doug, but thousands who hear his story.
Does this make Ryan nothing more than an audio-visual aid in the hands of a utilitarian God who only uses him for inspiring others? Are Ryan's severe hardships merely "object lessons" from which we can learn? What does Ryan stand to gain? Plenty! What others gain from observing Ryan's sweet attitude gets credited to his eternal account (Philippians 1:25).
Almighty God notices when Ryan's life encourages others - if they profit, Ryan gains. If his dad is rewarded, Ryan reaps. Ryan's "joy and crown" are people who are blessed by his example. Think of the crowns being reserved for Ryan Mazza! By the way, his father left Suzuki years ago... N. Douglas Mazza serves as our President at the Joni and Friends International Disability Center. And, yes, Ryan keeps leading the way.
Lord Jesus, I need this perspective in my life. I pray for all the "Ryans" who are persevering through pain - thank you for the rewards they'll receive in heaven for inspiring people like me.