What a Savior

"Even though it was midday, a dreadful darkness covered the face of the world.  The sun could not shine.  The earth trembled and quaked.  The great mountains shook.  Rocks split in two.  Until it seemed that the whole world would break.  That creation itself would tear apart.

The full force of the storm of God's fierce anger at sin was coming down.  On his own Son.  Instead of his people.  It was the only way God could destroy sin, and not destroy his children whose hearts were filled with sin.
Then Jesus shouted out in a loud voice, "It is finished!"  (Jesus Story book Bible - The Sun stops Shining)

As I read through the Easter story with my Little's curled up around me, I came to this part and the tears started to flow.  The depth of response caught me off guard.   I wasn't in an emotionally charged service listening to powerful preachers...just simple words of profound theology from a children's book piercing my heart.  I forced myself to regain composure so I could finish the story, and get to to the good part.  The resurrection.  I was reminded again though, that this...although heavy, and somber is also the good part.   Words that make me want to weep and sing at the same time.

The FULL cup of wrath was taken.
There is none left for me.
There is none left for those who are in Christ.

God doesn't forgive me, and recreate my sin twisted heart, based merely on sympathy or my potential "goodness"....justice was filled, wrath was absorbed, my sin was atoned for...completely.
I am justified by HIS righteousness alone.

When I look at the wickedness, the atrocities, the depravity of our idol making, glory thieving race...I can't even imagine how God just didn't flick us out of his universe like we deserve ...but INSTEAD came in the flesh and was himself crushed for our iniquities.

Jesus in my place.
What can I do with a love like that other than surrender to it completely.  A rebel laying down her arms.

In Christ, there is nothing I could do that could make God love me more; nothing I could do, or have done that makes him love me less.

"For those in Christ, this is the confidence we have before God. 
We don't hope we're forgiven, we know it, because our standing before God has nothing to do with our worthiness, but the worthiness of the Advocate who now stands in our place."  (J.D Greear "Stop asking Jesus into your heart")

The gospel tears me all apart again.

"Could my zeal no respite know, could my tears forever flow, all for sin could not atone.
Thou must save, and Thou alone...
Rock of ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee!"

Hallelujah, what a Savior!


From orphan to son

Two months ago today I pressed my thumb down into red ink and forever sealed the document saying we take full responsibility for this child as our son.  The fees had been paid, the qualifications had been met,  the requirements had been accomplished.  
Before he even knew who we were, we pursued him.  
Before he loved us, we loved him. 
... and now it was finished.  

 Elijah's hand was pressed into that same red ink staining his hand and sleeve with the proof of his adoption.  From orphan to son in an instant.  Chosen.

Two thousand years ago another Son's hand was stained red as an adoption was sealed.  My own adoption required payment for a debt I couldn't pay, and it required sacrificial love that I have no way to earn.  It required Jesus who lived for eternity past in perfect community within the Trinity, who is worshiped continuously by Angels crying "holy holy holy" leaving the throne to enter into our mess.  He lived the perfect life I couldn't live, and died the death I deserved to die...the qualifications were met.  
On the cross the payment was made.  

Before I even knew him, he sought me. 
Before I loved Him, He loved me.

Good Friday is good because that's when my Jesus cried "It is finished"
He accomplished what he came for. 
Repentance is a beautifully merciful word....
it beckons us to leave behind the orphanage bars, and come.  
Come home.  

"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.  In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. " 
 Eph. 1: 4-9


Play Day at the Science Center and a new ride.

Last week we spent a few days with family in Calgary.  We hadn't really planned on going to the new Children's Science Center (kind of pricey) but since we ended up being storm stuck there an extra day we decided to go for it.   Yes, we're still getting brutal winter storms out here on the Canadian Prairie. 

Silas was mesmerized by the water exhibits.  
Everything was hands on and available for them to touch, try, experiment and play with. 

Roman dug the giant magnet.

There was one section that was meant specifically for young children.  We spent a lot of time there just letting the little ones dig in and play.   Elijah has such perseverance. 

One of the new exhibits was making movie monsters.  Learning about the robotics, costuming and art work involved. 

The "take it apart" section kept these guys busy for a very long time.  I guess I know what to do with broken  old VCR's now.

Aili loved all the technological creative stuff.  Here she is making a stop motion movie.

Elijah was entertained for ages fiddling with all the little pieces.  I know he was building something very important. 

I'm convinced I need a large bin of pvc pipes now. 

Some fun geometry lessons.

We were there from the time the doors opened in the morning until almost supper time.   It was a really fun day, and relaxing to just let the kids be kids while they satisfied their natural curiosity and love for learning.  

We also got a new Convaid Cruiser push chair just in time for our little family vacation.  It is SO great...days like this are so much easier and doable with proper equipment.  It pushes like a dream, even with one hand.  I'm so happy to have him out of the umbrella stroller.  Not only is it immensely more practical, fitted for him, and easier to get around with (umbrella strollers and snowy parking lots do not mix) it seems to give him a measure of dignity I think.  He sits up so much higher in it, and he's given the respect of a child with a disability rather than the awkward stares/ glares/ eye rolls of a 6 yr old in a toddler stroller (which just looks really strange to people).  We were so thankful that it arrived just before we left for Calgary. 

We didn't expect it to come with the sweet removable tray.  He's a tiny bit short for it but I'm sure he'll grow fast, better than being too big for it.   This is nice for him to be sitting somewhere that maintains proper posture and supports him well while doing table work, puzzles, coloring etc.  

It required a bit of tweaking and adjusting.  We had taken it to with us to his PT appointment and they helped us know what needed to be done.  We removed the five point harness and attached the lap belt instead.  It fastens just like a car seat belt and it super easy and fast to pop him in and out of.  The 5 pt harness is really nice, but he didn't really need the support and it was much more tedious to get his arms through and find the buckles.  I think we're going to order the basket for underneath because...well, a family of 7 always always comes "stuff".  

All the kids wanted to "help".  They think they're brothers ride is pretty sweet.   Elijah really likes it. ..and he has some pretty strong opinions of what he likes and doesn't these days.  It passed the cool test for him I guess.  He knows it's his, and gets irritated if the other kids start messing with his new ride.  It's only fair since they're all going to be bombing around on their bikes in a couple months....whenever all this snow melts. 


Happy 3rd Birthday Sweet Cece

My beautiful little girl is three years old! 

I feel so unbelievably blessed to get to be her mommy.   
This is her first birthday as our forever daughter.
No more wondering if I'll she'll be celebrating her next birthday somewhere other than our home.

We typically keep birthday's pretty simple in our family.
Mostly because I'm not a big party planner.

My goal is to celebrate the day they were born by making them feel loved and appreciated.  

Sometimes all that takes is a table cloth, grilled cheese sandwiches,  and some fancy tea cups borrowed from Great Grandma's house. 

...and a scrumptious cheese cake made by big sister. 

A couple gifts, some yummy cake

...and tea.

I won't even apologize for the mess behind the party.  Laundry strewn about...toys scattered...such is life with five kids and a busy week.

But even on a busy week we can take time to celebrate our little princess and the day this sweet girl came into the world.  


Happy 3rd Birthday my Lovie.
I'm so incredibly thankful for you. 



New hair and teeth

My handsome little man had a few more "firsts" here in Canada.  
His first haircut since being home. 

His first lost tooth...since being home.  It really does feel special to get to witness little milestones such as lost baby teeth.  

He's so dreamy.   I have a total crush on him. 
Speaking of dreamy...

This is how my "twins" have been sleeping all this week.  
They curl up like little pups and go right to sleep.  I think God knew Silas and Elijah needed each other. This is just one example, both of these boys have anxiety issues and hate sleeping alone.  Silas is loving having a new brother.  They have such a sweet relationship.  

Yesterday I took Elijah in to get a start on his dental work.  This is what the highway looked like going to town.  When I left home the road was perfectly clear, or I probably would have cancelled.  It was even worse going home...a sheet of white ice. The warmer temps. and wind cause the snow to stick on the highway worse that usual.   I'm very much looking forward to Spring. 

It was so slippery my van felt like I was sailing it down the highway rather than driving it.  I think my knuckles were as white as the ice. 

We made it to the dentist though.  Eli was a trouper.  He cooperated and didn't fuss at all.  I made sure to stay in his line of sight.  Pain he can stoically tolerate, but Mama leaving not so much.   I suspect his coping skill of choice "dissociation" had a bit to do with his ability to lay perfectly still.  He didn't hardly flinch but his muscles were  tight as it gets.  It's maybe good that we're getting this over with before the fight starts to come out of him.  

{Aili came along for her orthodontist appointment, while she was waiting she snapped some pics}

It went so much better than we had anticipated.  The teeth that they thought would need to either be pulled or need a root canal were fixable with just a filling.  We got one side of his mouth done, which included the worst of the black holes.  We'll go back in a couple weeks for the smaller cavities and other side.  I really like that they used white fillings too.  His smile looks so great without the grey and black spots....or a mouth full of metal. 

They were so good with him.  So kind , encouraging and gentle.  
I was so happy with the how easily it went....I was kind of dreading this appointment. 
The coolest part was when I went to the front desk to pay.  I had started worrying that I left my credit card at home.  I hoped I could find it in my wallet, or that I could stop by the next day to pay (they're really great that way) since I knew I didn't have enough in my bank account.   I stepped up to the receptionist, began to unzip my purse and she said "the dentist isn't charging you for today".  I was stunned....and so thankful.  We had started to worry when we found out that Elijah wouldn't be covered by our insurance for several months.    We just kept walking ahead trusting that God will keep us all fed.  Our good Shepherd keep showing us that he has this little lamb in his care.  

Once we got home the stress of the day hit him kind of hard.  He was very concerned about his numb/ tingly cheeks that evening.  Poor guy had no way of knowing that they would ever get better.  I think he was kind of ticked that we had gone and wrecked his mouth...he looked so betrayed and discouraged.  Eating is one of his favorite things...and we ruined it for him.  He was quite thrilled the next morning when we woke up to a fully functioning face to eat breakfast with.