Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A sweet reminder.

I tell the boys I love them a lot. I just want to make sure they hear it and know it and know that even when I'm mad I still love them. Well last night I was taking care of the little boys all by myself for the first time. I was getting the last ones bathed and cleaning up the bathroom when I heard them whispering and plotting in the living room. As I made my way out to the living room to see what they were up to, I was tackled and told I was not allowed to see yet because they were making a surprise. After about 30 minutes of being banished to the bathroom I was led to the living room with my eyes covered. On the count of three I was allowed to open my eyes and found this lovely sight at my feet...

Translation: Te quiero Sammy, Courtney, Caroline .... I love you Sammy, Courtney, Caroline

It was such a sweet reminder to me of the way they Lord is working in my relationships with the boys... he's building love and trust and friendship and all these hours I spend trying to pour just a little bit of Christ's love into their lives isn't in vain.

I do love them... so very much.... and it is wonderful to have a reminder that the feeling is mutual :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Learning to Pray.

I've said before that my favorite part of a day spent taking care of the boys is the chance to pray with each one as I tuck them into bed. I get to rub their backs or their heads as I use my broken spanish to pray truth into their lives and their hearts. We always pray for dreams that are good and sweet and pray for every member of their family wherever they may be. We thank God for his love and that he made us princes and princesses of God. I've lived here almost 5 months now so this is been a habit that we've been building for awhile. Now as they jump into bed I get to hear "Sammy pray with me!". I've always thought this is good for me... I'm learning to pray in Spanish... but what I've realized lately is that they too are learning to pray.

I recently heard a sermon that said the way to teach a child to pray, is to pray for them. So I figured well, they've been prayed for, it's about time they start praying. One night I just tried saying, I'll go first and then you go next. At first they seemed unsure and we had a few giggles, but now... their prayers knock my socks off. I've heard prayers of repentance, prayers of thanks, prayers that glorify and prayers that praise. We're learning to pray together.

Some of them have caught on to the fact that if they just pray and pray and pray and pray it will keep me sitting on their bed. Sometimes it goes on so long that I have to just say amen  because it really is way past bedtime. But the point is they are legitimately talking to their heavenly father. And I just love love love that I can be there to hear it.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Got Milk??

A few weeks ago while we were taking care of the little boys, our friends Courtney and Michael came over with a veeerrry fun surprise. On their most recent trip to Texas they found pretty much the coolest straws ever for drinking milk. They were plastic and filled with little flavor beads so that when you suck the milk up through the straw it becomes that flavor.

Courtney and Michael brought each boy a big glass of milk and a fun straw to drink it with. Needless to say, the boys loooooved it and loved cheesing it up for the camera while they were drinking :)

I know I have said it a million times... but they aren't they just so darn cute??

Thursday, February 2, 2012


I've been on a bit of a creative learning kick recently with our preschool/kindergarteners. As I realize that two of these boys will be in first grade next year I can't help but feel like they need some serious enrichment activities in their lives. So... we have been doing puzzles, cutting, sorting, painting, building, imagining and it has been so much fun. I love when I can literally see their little brains getting a work out. Activities like this don't normally happen in an orphanage. When it's one worker to ten kids, there is no way they have time to stop and paint with three four and five year old's.

They have been loving their activities and have noooo idea they are actually learning in the process :)

we jump like different animals on the trampoline ... this is a bunny.

we paint with watercolors

we build puzzles 

we cut stuff

and we always always put it on display when we're done :) 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Mom Moment.

Yesterday I had a mom moment. After hours of begging me I finally gave in and took two boys to the pharmacy on the corner as a prize for finishing all their homework. One of them actually had pesos to spend and therefore picked out two bags of chips. I watched him check out and then paid for the two Cokes I was buying. When it was time to leave they both jumped in the back seat ... I thought that was a bit strange but whatever. They giggled and whispered all the way home... again... strange. I was already suspicious when I found them in the bathroom... again giggling. It was then that I looked at the bag holding the chips and noticed a pack of gum. We definitely didn't pay for that.

They had stolen the pack of gum! To say I was a little upset would be an understatement. Almost immediately they folded and admitted to stealing the gum. "But it's just a pack of gum" they whined. Well you know what I did?? With all the Spanish skills I could muster I marched them right back out the car. All the way to the pharmacy they argued and whined about how it wasn't a big deal. One of them literally opened the door while I was driving and yelled "I'm going to escape!". He made it about 5 steps before I managed to get out enough angry words to get him back in the car. When we parked at the pharmacy he got out of the car and ran down the street the opposite way. But I stood my ground and we finally walked back into the pharmacy.

"I'm sorry. Will you please forgive me?" They each said as they passed the gum to the cashier. She smiled and tried to hold in a laugh before assuming a very serious face and saying "yes, thank you".

We got back in the car and on the short drive home processed how that felt and talked aaalllllll about how they are prince's of the Lord and that is not how prince's of the Lord act. I think I even used the line... "I'm mad... but even more than that.. I'm really disappointed. That isn't who you are, you're better than that."

I felt like such a mom!

At the end of the day, I pray they heard what I was trying to say. Yes I was mad at them, but I still love them even when I'm mad. Yes they did something wrong... but that isn't who they are. My goal is always to separate the action from their identity. I know that's how God deals with us. He doesn't see me as my actions, but instead sees me as the pure and holy identity he gave me when Christ died on the cross for my sins. When I sin, it's because I have acted outside of that identity that God has given me. Instead of tearing us down and viewing us as our mess ups he shows us our identity and calls us into that. This is what I hope those sweet boys learned today. Even with my broken Spanish and slightly raised voice, I hope they still heard and felt the love that came with the correction.

And let's be honest... I also hope they have learned to never ever steal anything ever again :)