Friday, November 29, 2013

A Thanksgiving Celebration!

We went to Dad's sister's home for Thanksgiving this year, and we had such a fun time!!
 Some of the yummy food!

 Fun conversations!

With my cousin Kendra.

 Dad and his brothers. =)

Children playing
 Aunt Mary and Nora.


 Washing dishes!

We had a great time playing games!

Aunt Kathy's quilt project!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

They Are Engaged!

My sister Ana got engaged this past Sunday to Caleb!!!!!  
It was a very happy evening for them, and us!!  =)
I am so thankful for Caleb and excited to have him for a brother someday soon!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cooking Shows!

Our family has been enjoying watching episodes of Cooks Country online together. They are really good!

Me and Amy, keeping warm while watching!  (Picture taken by Mom.) 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Her Own

By Yitta Halberstam and Judith Leventhal

Editor’s note: Some of the names of the characters in this true-life story have been changed to protect their privacy.

Even before war clouds thickened over Eastern Europe in the pre-Nazi years, it became common for Jews in the besieged countries—tired of pogroms, poverty and despair—to send children to the United States, where opportunities for a better life beckoned.

From the early 1900s on, parents scrimped their rubles to pay for the long and arduous voyage of their sons and daughters, who traveled alone aboard unseaworthy vessels that offered inhuman conditions and an uncertain fate. Since tickets for each treacherous journey cost a small fortune and exacted a heavy toll on the destitute families, parents often chose to ship their children to America one by one rather than sending them all at once. But it was always their hope and dream that all the children would eventually reach the American haven, where they would be joined later by their parents. In the interim, they would stay with relatives who would care for them and help them wait, sometimes for months or years. And sometimes the longed-for reunions never took place at all.

Anya Gold was the chosen one in her family. She was the eldest of eight, and in 1930 her Polish parents told her it was time to go. They had saved just enough money for one ticket, and had decided that Anya would be the first child to leave. They would all soon join her, they said.

Growing up in Baltimore under the sheltering wing of an affectionate aunt, Anya waited for her family to arrive. But they never did.

It took years for the family to accumulate enough money for another fare, and by then they had been caught in Hitler’s web. In Baltimore, over the years, Anya had received the occasional letter from Poland recounting family news and milestones—her siblings’ bar mitzvahs, their marriages, the births of grandchildren. She awaited these letters eagerly and savored each one. And then the letters came no more.

Anya feared the worst, but it was only after the war that she was able to conclusively determine her family’s fate. A few stray survivors from her hometown in Poland who trickled into Baltimore in the late 1940s brought the news she had both known and dreaded to hear: Her entire family had been wiped out. They had all perished in the camps.

It was hard to go on afterwards, but even the survivors began to rebuild their lives. Her family’s memory burned in her mind, heart and soul, but Anya knew that the best way for her to commemorate their legacy was by creating one herself. She would marry and have many children, she vowed. And each would carry one of her siblings’ names.

Anya did indeed marry a wonderful man named Sol, and their life together was almost idyllic. They were truly soulmates, and their love ran deep. They longed for children—flesh of their flesh, blood of their blood—but in this one area they were thwarted. It was the only thorn in their otherwise perfect union. They were childless.

After many years of trying, of seeking help from specialists the world over, Anya and Sol confronted the reality of their situation. “Would you want to adopt?” Anya asked Sol one day in a tentative voice.

Anya had considered this option for a long time, but inwardly she had rebelled. She didn’t want to raise someone else’s children. She wanted to cradle her own newborn in her arms. She couldn’t imagine that she would feel the same way about an adopted child. Still, there seemed no other recourse. They were never going to have children of their own, the doctors had pronounced—a death knell to their hopes and dreams.

Her husband was more certain. “Yes, let’s adopt,” he urged.

They contacted a Jewish agency in New York, and were told that an infant had just been given up for adoption by its teenage mother. They traveled to New York with growing excitement, but when they arrived, their hopes were dashed. The flustered agency official stammered an apology. “I’m so sorry,” she said, “but the grandmother has decided to raise the baby after all.”

Had their trip to New York been a total waste? “You know,” the agency official remarked, “I do have a wonderful little girl named Miriam who is in desperate need of a home.”

Miriam was adorable and endearing, but she was already eight years old. Although Anya and Sol reluctantly agreed to meet the child, and were captivated by her sweet appeal, they couldn’t quite come to terms with her age. “I really wanted a child young enough to know me as its only mother,” Anya explained. “I want a newborn to cradle in my arms.”

“I understand,” the agency official said. “But Miriam has really been through a lot in her short lifetime, and could really use a loving home.”

“Sorry, but no,” Anya said, with regret.

A year passed with no prospects. Anya had contacted many agencies across the United States, but an infant was increasingly difficult to find. All the while, Anya’s intense longing for a child consumed her being—a hungry and hollow ache.

“You know,” she mused to her husband one day, “maybe we were too quick to dismiss adopting Miriam. She was really an exceptionally appealing child. Something about her actually tugged at my heartstrings in a special way.”

Sol looked at her thoughtfully. “It’s been a full year,” he said. “Do you think she’s still available?”

She was, the agency official told them over the phone. “Not too many people want a nine-year-old,” she explained mournfully, “So, yes, she’s still available . . .

“But there’s a complication,” she added. “Her little brother has been found in Europe and has joined her in our home for war orphans. The siblings are inseparable, and we’ve promised them that they’ll be adopted together. Would you consider two?”

Back in New York, Anya and Sol met the siblings, and once again Anya felt drawn to Miriam’s sweet demeanor. Her six-year-old brother Moishe was adorable, too.

Anya and Sol looked at each other silently, telegraphing their mental agreement. Let’s do it! their eyes said.

Back in Baltimore, Anya shepherded the two children across the threshold into their new home, and they glanced at the furnishings with eyes of wonder. Little Moishe was shy and restrained, but Miriam was adventurous and curious, and she moved around the living room excitedly, touching the knickknacks and curios that adorned the mantels and tables. Suddenly, she stopped short in front of the piano, and her face went white. She pointed to a photograph. In a tight and strained voice, Miriam asked, “Why do you have a picture of my bubbe (grandmother) on your piano?”

“What?” Anya asked, confused.

“My bubbe. Why is my bubbe’s picture on your piano?”

Anya stared at the portrait of her deceased mother. What in heaven’s name was the little girl talking about?

Miriam ran to the lone piece of luggage she had brought with her from the orphanage. From a battered pouch, she retrieved a faded photo and brought it to Anya’s side. “See,” she said, pointing. “I have the same picture, too. My bubbe.”

“My mother,” Anya whispered almost inaudibly.

“Do you want to see a picture of my mommy?” Miriam asked. She raced to the luggage to retrieve another photograph. “Do you want to see what she looked like?” She handed Anya a picture of someone she knew very well.

“Sarah!” Anya screamed, as her knees buckled beneath her.

“How do you know my mother’s name?” the child asked in confusion.

Unknowingly, Anya had adopted the two orphaned children of her dead sister Sarah.

They were flesh of her flesh, blood of her blood. They were . . . her own.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Amish Potato Salad

Amy and I enjoyed making this new recipe for supper last night.  =) 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Quotable Bear....

“I'm not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.”  
- A.A. Milne

“Organization is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it’s not all mixed up.” 
- A.A. Milne

“My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.”  
- A.A. Milne

“What day is it?", asked Winnie the Pooh
"It's today," squeaked Piglet
"My favorite day," said Pooh”
- A.A. Milne

Saturday, November 16, 2013

November Christian Woman's Club Meeting

This month at CWC a lady showed her Hardanger embroidery work - so beautiful!!  I took a couple of pictures quick before we headed of to watch the children. =)

Amy and I had 6 children to watch this time - 4 girls and 2 boys...
....although one little guy slept almost the entire time.  (The other one thought he'd try resting for a few minutes too!)


Toward the end little Anna started getting sleepy. =)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sunday Evening Fellowship

 Sunday evening several people from church went to Sunday Evening Fellowship at Mrs. M's home.  She lives in a lovely old house and does adult foster care.
Our hostess.

Dessert time - Mr. L's favorite.  The guys were teasing him about all the cake he had on his plate and said they would sit and watch  him eat! ;-)

Mom and Mrs. T watching them!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dear Freinds

Our Aunt and Uncle from church moved out of state and our church gave them this clock as a going away gift.  We will miss them!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

~ When God Makes You Wait ~

By Anna Bachinsky

Jesus could have come and healed Lazarus when he was still alive.
Instead, He waited to raise him from the dead when he was already in his grave.

God could have made David become king the day after he was anointed.
Instead, He waited 15 years to rise to the throne, many of those years spent fearing for his life, hiding out and running away from his own father-in-law.

God could have spoken to Moses in the desert about sending him to help free His people from slavery 40 days after he ran away from Egypt.
Instead, He made him wait for 40 long years.

God could have gotten Joseph out of prison one year after he was sentenced there.
Instead, he was stuck in that dungeon for 10 years before he was finally set free.

God could have given Abraham the son He promised him when he was still a young man.
Instead, He waited until he was 100 years old and because of physical reasons would have a more difficult time conceiving at that age.

God could have answered prayers and met the needs of these men of God much quicker, but He didn’t.
He made them wait instead.
And He often makes us do the same.
He makes us wait for healing to come after we’ve been praying for years and there is no sign of recovery.
He makes us wait to fulfill His call in our lives after He puts the desire and passion in our hearts to serve Him in a certain way.
He makes us wait to give us the desires of our hearts, whether it’s a baby, a spouse, or a new job.
He makes us wait for direction when we are stuck at a dead end and we don’t know where to go or what to do.
He could answer that same prayer that you’ve been praying for years every night in a millisecond.
That same prayer that has been bringing you to tears.
That same prayer that the longer that it goes unanswered, the more it makes you question whether He even hears.
But He doesn’t.
He kept Moses in a desert for 40 years.
Joseph in a prison cell for 10 years.
Abraham without a child for 100 years.
David on the run for 15 years.
And maybe He is keeping you right where you’re at for the same reason He kept these men for so many years: to build your faith.
To build your faith in a dungeon cell, during the valley in your life where it’s too dark to see and too hard to believe.
To build your dependence on Him when you are barren and empty to see if He is truly all you desire and all you need.
To see how well you will trust and serve Him when you are still stuck in the background somewhere, doing seemingly nothing too significant for Him.
To build your trust in Him when the storm keeps raging, the battle keeps going and breakthrough and victory doesn’t seem near.
See… sometimes the waiting period of our lives is the most important time in our life.
It is during this period when nothing seems to be happening, when prayers seem to go unanswered, when God seems so far away that the most spiritual growth takes place in our lives. That we learn to become more like Him.
It is during this time that we build spiritual “muscle”.
That we grow in faith.
That we learn to only depend on Him.
What are you waiting for today?
What longing do you have that seems so far from ever being fulfilled?
What prayer do you keep on praying that seems to never reach God’s ears?
I want to remind you that God is not deaf to your prayers.
He is not blind to your constant tears, to your desires, and to your needs.
If He is making you wait, there is a very good reason for it.
If He is telling you “no” today, maybe it’s because He has a better “yes” waiting for you tomorrow.
If He is keeping you in the same place you’ve always been today, maybe it’s because He’s helping build your faith before you enter your promised land tomorrow.
If He is not healing you or bringing you victory today, maybe it’s because you will have a greater testimony when He waits to help you be an overcomer tomorrow.
Wherever you are at today know that God is right beside you and that there is a purpose for you. Even if that purpose is to wait.
Don’t give up just because you don’t see anything happening today.
Maybe there is nothing physically happening that your eyes can see but there is definitely something happening in the spiritual realm as you learn to rely on Christ.
Don’t allow your waiting period to make you hopeless about what tomorrow will bring.
Instead, let it build your faith and give you even greater hope for what God has prepared for you.
He made some of the greatest men of faith wait.
Don’t be discouraged if He makes you wait as well.
He will come through for you, just like He came through for them.
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage , and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait , I say, on the LORD. - Psalm 27:14

Monday, November 11, 2013

Craft Fair With Friends

 Saturday I went to a craft fair with my dear friend Moya and her daughter Mercedes and her mother.  (They sell Jordan Essentials and had a booth there.)  Mercedes likes to point at people instead of waving, so Mrs. K. was imitating her when I took this picture!  We had fun together!!

 Moya <3

Moya's mom was making us laugh!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ladies CWC Brunch

 Yesterday morning we had the planning/prayer meeting for the Christian Woman's Connection at our home. It was fun having a houseful of ladies talking, laughing, planning, and praying together!! It was a good morning!