Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Ranch

I recently returned to my Southern homeland earlier this month. Unfortunately, I was sick the entire time and got Mountain Man sick too, but we made the most of it.
Dad & Kathymom
It was great to see my dad & Kathymom and spend some time with them. Two and a half years is just too long for a daddy's girl not to see her daddy!
Home on the range (for now)
In the last 2 1/2 years, they have bought a small ranch,
The Ranch
added some egg-layers and a rooster (that incessantly peck at you),

added some miniature donkeys (who are very sweet),

and even bought some calves (10 months old) while we were visiting.

I'm such an animal lover, so I enjoyed every minute of it!

I'll post about some of our activities a little later, but for now I'll leave you with a glimpse of what we saw every evening, right outside our little RV door!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Reformation Day / Halloween

Technically we celebrated both!

Reformation Day celebration included a soup dinner, singing, Scriptures, and stories (about reformers). We also played pin-the-theses-on-the-door and had & pumpkin piñata. The fair maidens had a fun time and we enjoyed giggling with them!
We ended the day at the M's, where we happened upon the cutest little ladybug that I've ever laid my eyes upon! (Okay, maybe I'm a little biased.) 
Super Bex enjoyed playing with Max while we handed out candy, snacked, and played foosball & Settlers of Catan. It was a fun day!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Enjoying Fall

The rain is falling,

the leaves are changing,

the harvest is ready,

the flowers are gorgeous,

And the coffee cup is staying full!
Life is good.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Conversing with Father

One of the joys of painting is the opportunity to listen to wonderful sermons! It's the one time that I'd rather listen and think than jam out to tunes. While painting the living room, I went through Beth Moore's "Believing God" series. While painting the dining room, I was a pleasure to listen to sermons on the Gospel by Paul Washer .

Today, while painting the bathroom, I listened to Paul Washer's "Importunity in Prayer." I was very convicted on my lack of prayer. Most of my prayer is interceding for others, but I was really convicted today of how I should just praise God for who He is and all of the small things that I take for granted each day. One of the interesting tidbits I came away with was that God doesn't say "no" to prayers. In His sovereignty, He may answer differently than requested; however, He always rewards the faith. I encourage you to take some time and blast this from your speakers while you fold or iron clothes, wash the dishes, or paint a room!

This really made me question how much time I take to converse with the Father. How often do you pray? Do you only bring petitions before Him? Do you pray deliberately and come before Him humbly? Going now to converse with the Father!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Psalm 8

O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, who have set Your glory above the heavens!

Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor.

You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen-even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Isn't she the cutest tiger you've ever seen?!

G is ever bit as fun as she looks! She is one of my favorite people and is just as pretty on the inside as she is outside. She's encouraging, giggly, fun, and sweet as pie!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Defend the fatherless

"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow." Isaiah 1:16-17

The Lord stirred in our hearts and developed a passion for missions and kids. Together, that makes caring for His orphans! We have complete our adoption training and are beginning our foster care training. We look forward to serving the Lord in this way.

What can you do for the orphans? Pray that families who love the Lord will step up and take care of them, financially support an organization(s) you believe to truly be helping, encourage those who have adopted and/or foster parent, provide items (i.e. clothing, furniture, etc.), provide babysitting (or respite) services so parents can rejuvenate, provide a meal when parents feel overwhelmed, communicate with families and most importantly with the Father. There are so many ways people can help; this is not an exhaustive list!

The local agencies we're working with are Antioch Adoptions (adoption) and Olive Crest (foster/adopt). Please join with me in praying for them, the sustenance of their ministries, the social workers who tirelessly and selflessly give of themselves, and that they would not lose sight of their missions.

Thank you to our friends and family who have prayed for us, sent kind words of support, consistently ask of our status, and just love on us. We love you and appreciate your friendship!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The way

I'm broken.
I've been touched by His grace.
I have been on a journey. A heart journey. With Ann and Jesus.
It's painful yet necessary.
I am not the same.
I hope to remember this moment.
My heart is broken.
The dam has flooded.
Now for action.
Sacrifice and service.
Walking in the way.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it." Isaiah 30:21

Monday, September 13, 2010

Book worm

I never imagined myself as a book worm, but sometimes I just can't get my nose out of one! I LOVE reading! There aren't many {indoor} places that are better than a library or book store! Walking into one gives me such a happy feeling. Maybe it's the anticipation of the places I'll go or the new things I'll learn.

I didn't love it so much as a child, as I was always outdoors and on the move. In reality, my love for reading didn't come until I was an adult and had been married for 3 years. We didn't have a television set in the house and my interest in computer games had waned. Mountain Man was my cattle prod, and once I discovered Christian fiction, I didn't look back! Since about 2001, I have read more books than I read in the previous 26 years of my life! Some of my favorite authors are Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury and Nancy Moser. I also enjoy books on specific topics, such as: Bible studies (especially Beth Moore), parenting (in preparation), photography, weight loss (too numerous to count), and DIY. Oh, and I can't forget my large cookbook collection, of which I've been forbidden to increase!

Mountain Man and I feel the necessity of teaching our children the joy and love of reading.
We recently had the opportunity for a little practice with this little cutie the other night when we offered to babysit for some friends. I have started collecting a few children's books, but it dawned on me that I need some help!

Anybody have any favorite children's books (titles/authors)? Any favorite adult books (fiction or non)? Thank you for any suggestions!

Crack a book open today....Oh, the places we'll go!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:13 NIV

1. Give support, confidence, or hope to (someone)
2. Give support and advice to (someone) to do or continue something

Part of being a good friend is encouraging one another. In fact, the scripture in Hebrews commands us to encourage. We all need some sweet encouragement and a reminder of our hope in the Lord. It's also nice to know that we've got a friend when we feel distant and down, cold and abandoned. So, when presented with an opportunity for some free DaySpring greeting cards through (in)courage, I jumped on it! I personally LOVE happy mail and enjoy sending it, too! 

Meet Rochelle
She is truly an incredible lady and she's my dearest girlfriend. She's full of grace and love. She's thoughtful and selfless, optimistic and uplifting. She's wise and fears the Lord. She's makes me want to be a better friend, wife, and disciple. She leads by example, and that's easier said than done! Recently, her first-born went to college and she's really feeling his absence. I thought she could use some encouragement, so this card went to her.

It reads:
Thank you for sharing God's love, not only with your words but also with your life.
In today's world, that's not always easy to do - but you do it with kindness and consistency.
That's what makes you different, and it's the reason you make a difference.

Thanks for being who you are and doing what you do - you're appreciated more than you know.

God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God's many kinds of blessings. 1 Peter 4:10 TLB

Meet Jan
Jan is my mother-in-law. She is sweet, loving, and an encourager. She loves her grandbabies and is a giver.  She has been through a lot, especially this past year, and has experienced a roller coaster of emotions. I know she could use some encouragement. I sent this card to her.
It reads:
I wish I had a big yellow umbrella that would keep away all the rain in your life. I would hold it over your head, and the drops would splash, and you would never even feel it.

But I don't have a big yellow umbrella- so I'll walk through the rain with you.
Love one another. John 13:34 The Message

Many thanks to DaySpring for sending me some of their newest cards made specifically for encouraging girlfriends! I was blown away by the messages in the cards and hope the friends that I sent them to will be encouraged!

Happy Encouragement Day!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Happy Mail from Wendy

Thank you, Wendy!
My sweet friend recently surprised me with some happy mail. I was so excited to find a large envelope from her in the mail! She shocked the pants off of me when I discovered it was full of pre-cut cardstock and instructions for making some cards. This was just the little kick-in-the-pants I needed to create something! Thank  you, sweet friend.
I messed this one up and forgot to round the left-most corners of the sentiment panel before attaching it with dimensionals. :(

Posted by Picasa
Wendy is a fabulous Stampin' Up Demonstrator! If you're looking for a demonstrator to purchase supplies or have a party, she's your gal. She's wonderful at demonstrating SU! products, thinking creatively, hosting parties, and making sure you have a ball in the process! Thank you, kind friend!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A dream

Freed Farm is an oasis! Although we were on only a few acres and completely surrounded by the hustle and bustle of city life, I drifted off into dreamland and didn't want to wake up.

As I was galloping through the meadows on my adventurous steed, I happened upon the quaintest little gazebo near a pond. I couldn't physically pass it. It was as if it was beckoning me. My horse grazed on the soft lush grass as its blades tickled my body. My skin warmed as the sun smiled down upon me and my eyelids curtsied as I searched for recognizable shapes in the clouds.

And then I woke up and I was standing there with digital camera in hand, wishing I was in a different century.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Olive Crest

The past two days have been paperwork days, but today begins an entirely new set of paperwork. Our foster care application came in the mail today! For the next couple of months we'll be treading through licensing paperwork and making our house safe and kid-friendly. Please pray for us during this process; we're both to love on some children!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Alki Beach

  Alki Beach in West Seattle is one my favorite places here! My niece and nephew and I went with some of my friends for a fun day on the beach. It turned out that this day was the hottest day we have had this year and I got the sunburn to prove it!

Alki Beach, July 2010

Jumping rope with bull kelp

Puget Sound is freezing!
Lily the dolphin

That was a fun day at the beach! The water was freezing, but B stayed in it most of the 4 hours we were there. I'm convinced he's a polar bear! The girls played on the beach most of the time; apparently they don't have any polar bear DNA.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Work, not just a 4-letter word

What's a camp without chores? In most vocabularies, "work" is a bad, 4-letter word, but not at the Bell house!

Work is good and it has nice rewards!

Like getting to go on the roof...
Gathering nails and trash
Or finding a baby slug (that you just studied about)!

With the adoption paperwork complete, Mountain Man and I have been reading a few parenting books. One of my favorites has been Created for Work: Practical Insights for Young Men by Bob Schultz. It's not just for young men; in fact, it has impacted my life! I've always had a very negative view of work, which has resulted in laziness! This book has changed my perception of work, which has given me a new attitude and hopefully a brand new work ethic. Parenting is more about modeling than speaking, so it's important that I change now! I've really been convicted of this sin in my life, and praise God He has been kind to show it to me so I can repent and change. Bookworms: add this to your book list - you won't regret it!

Now, I'm off to work! {Smile}