Friday, November 8, 2013


It has been awhile since I posted. Life gets busy you know. As I look back at the last year and as grateful as I am for every day God gives me I honestly can't wait for 2013 to go away. If it hadn't been for the birth of our youngest grandson and our oldest daughter graduating from High School, this year would have been a total wash out. Life is always full of peaks and valleys but this year had way to many valley's.
But I always give God the glory for getting me through tough times. He will lift you out of the valleys if you allow Him too and turn ashes into beauty.
So, back to the newest grandson. His name is Bostyn and I'm sure he doesn't realize it but he will be a Boston Red Sox fan like his daddy and uncles.
He had a rough start. He was born a little over 6 weeks early but he is doing great and is such a joy! God is good!

The binky is my friend

Cutest pumpkin ever!

Bostyn and Grammpy rooting for the Red Sox. Or maybe it was the Oregon Ducks. Who knows.

First Halloween!

Peek a Boo!

He is beautiful!

They were not buddies at first but Max was jealous, but now he
watches over Bostyn.

You have come a long way baby!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Lessons Learned

What doesn't  kill you will make you stronger. True or False? True! The last year has been for lack of a better word, AWFUL for our family. Honestly, that is a nice word to describe the year we have had. At times it seems like we have a huge target on us and if something bad was out there we got it  bulls eye and all.
 One of my favorite scriptures is Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. So when things are not going the way I planned or dreams seem to be "broken", when I don't think/believe I can do this anymore I remember this scripture. I also remember that God can take ashes and make them more beautiful than you ever imagined, IF we keep on keeping on and keeping our hope and faith alive.

We are coming up on a couple of dates that I would just soon forget but the fact is that these dates will always remind me what I don't want to remember. Make sense? I don't want to remember the sadness, the brokenness, the heart ache, the not knowing. But ironically through this journey it's the brokenness and everything that went with it that brought me closer to God. I was totally dependent on Him.
Life will always be full of peaks and valleys. The peaks are those wonderful times in life that we never want to end. The valleys are those times we usually are thinking "Why?" But if it wasn't for the journeys we take through the valley's I don't believe we could ever truly appreciate our peaks in life.

.  I thought I would share some of the things God showed me this past year.
  1. God first in all things!
  2. Pray!
  3. Love!
  4. Forgive!
  5. Never take those we love for granted
  6. Don't let the busyness of life take you away from what is important...your family.
  7. Work as a team not against one another
  8. Think about what your actions and words before you do or say anything. 
  9. Don't judge
  10. Don't believe everything you hear. There are always two sides to the story
  11. Have a safe person you can share everything with
  12. Seek wise council
  13. Remember Satan will always attack your weakest link. Be prepared! Go back to 1-4
  14. Don't give up
  15. Don't sweat the small stuff
  16. Share your fears, concerns, worries with those it concerns. Be honest!
  17. Confront kindly
  18. Listen
  19. Tell your spouse and kids you love them everyday
  20. Make those you love feel valued.
  21. Honor and respect those you love
  22. Remember to forget the things that really don't matter
  23. Talk about it. Don't ignore that BIG elephant in the room
  24. Fight the good fight
  25. Appreciate the lessons you learned.
I hope this helps anyone who may be going through a valley right now. If you need prayer let me know!

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Today someone I love very much was beat up at school. Their OK. It was caught on camera. ---will survive the punches but the emotional scars are going to be hard to forget. There was no reason for this. Why? Because --- is fun, smart, kind? Because --- would help anyone, anytime anywhere? Not very good reasons to hurt someone.

Everyone one knows bullies are weak, that is why they choose someone like this person that I love more than life itself to attack. Bullies are sometimes molded by what they see at home. Maybe they are be bullied by someone in their family. There are no excuse to hurt someone. I would love to meet them and say all of this to their faces. But since I can't I have a written a letter to these bullies.

" I have a lot of questions for you. Why this person? What did --- do to you? Did it make you feel good to hit ---? Did you feel tough when you choked ---? Did you feel cool, think you were impressing someone?

For whatever you think ---'s weakness is, it makes you look weaker.  ---'s kindness makes you look like the jerks you are.  ---'s goodness makes you look like the pitiful. And ---'s intelligence's makes you look like the sad fools you are.

See --- will go on to do great things, while if you keep this up this will be your life except you'll either be behind bars or dead because no matter where you go there will always be someone bigger, meaner and stronger than you. Remember that. Your a bully. You only pick on those who pose no threat to you. I've been around a long time and I've never heard of bullies picking on those who are bigger and stronger than them.

Some day, if you have conscience, you will think back to this day and all the kids you hurt for no reason. You will feel shame, regret and remorse. And what if you have kids and someone does this to them? You will feel like me and our family feels right now. Angry beyond words. Wishing you could go and embarrass and humiliate those who did this to your child.

But this never solves anything. My prayer is that you will choose to break this chain. Choose to make a positive difference. Tell --- your sorry. See sadly you've won this battle because --- isn't going back to school. That breaks my heart. ---- is kind, extremely smart and would have made a good friend if given a chance. To bad for you. He would have helped you with your homework and from where I stand, you need all the help you can get.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tim Be Told - Lament (Studio Version)

My daughter loves this song and asked me to listen to it. It is now one of my favorite! It speaks a powerful truth that to many of us want to ignore.

Monday, August 19, 2013


See that little post on the right that says "gofundme"? We are raising money to build a kitchen at our school in Ethiopia. I am asking anyone and everyone who feels lead to make a donation and help us spread the word.
We have a little over 200 children at the school and Adanech the founder and another lady cook the food at Adanech's house and walk in back. It's equivalent to 6 city blocks but it is very rocky.
Our hope is to add a small kitchen with a stove and sink and possibly a little cafeteria. It will make life much easier on these women and the quality of food would be better.
Please help us help them.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

And Then There Was Four

Today my husband and I took our oldest daughter, Jordan to her new She is was so excited and the truth be known she probably didn't sleep much last night. Her daddy packed our van and her car last night so we could just get up and go. Yeah right. We packed a "few" more things she just had to have, looked for this and that and finally we were on the road. Mike, me and Kennedy in the van and Jordan and Cameron following us in her car.

It's rush week and that adds to the excitement! I know without a doubt Jordan will enjoy every single second of college. Well maybe not every second but most of them!

It was hard to say good bye. This is our fourth child but our first girl to leave the nest. True she has her daddy and three older brothers just in case, and we have prepared her well but I hadn't prepared myself to let go.

The strangest thing was to come home and realize there is now only four of us here. This house has always been packed from top to bottom for most of our married life and to have only two kids in the house well, it's like several parts of you are missing. But life goes on and the parts do come back home and some point!

There are two lasting bequests we can give our children.  One is roots.  The other is wings.  ~Hodding Carter, Jr.

We are pretty sure she plans on coming back!

And the wait begins.

He's got it!


There are two lasting bequests we can give our children.  One is roots.  The other is wings.  ~Hodding Carter, Jr.

Friday, July 19, 2013


My husband Mike and I took the girls to Chicago for a few days and had a great time! Our son Cody joined us for a day so he could go to a Cubs game with his dad. Sometimes you just need to get away and enjoy!









Sunday, June 23, 2013

IT WAS ....

 In Charles Dickens "The Tale of Two Cities" he quotes "It was the best of times, it was the worse of times...
In the book of James he says " Consider it pure joy my brother and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds."
Seriously? Let's face it, as humans it is either good times or bad times and I don't know many of us who are joyful when bad times come around. But as a Christians, we know...yes we do.
I would say this past year has been "the worse of times" for my family. And I can honestly say if it hadn't been for God I don't know how I would have got up each day. But I did because of Him. At the end of the day I would say "I made it. I'm still here. The world is still going on." But to be totally honest the "pure joy and trials" well... let's just say I wasn't feeling it. As far as I was concerned the trials could go away. I wasn't feeling the joy. Nope! Not this girl.

Thankfully, each day I read a word from God and if it was a bad day(and most of them were) He got me through it. If it was a good day I thanked Him. Hmmm... I was beginning to get it. Bad day...made it. Good day...thankful. Bad day... grateful I made it. Good day...grateful for it. It's not like my emotions are a switch you can turn off and on. I was choosing to find joy, gratefulness and love. I could either waddle in a pool of self pity or get up each day, lean on God and persevere.

Yesterday was a very good day and it was so easy to find the joy and be happy. Today not so much. It would have been much easier to just sit around and be upset. But I choose to be joyful. I choose to love and I also choose to forgive. It's true if you don't forgive you are the prisoner not the other person. They go on with their life not giving a care what they did to you. Forgiveness doesn't mean you condone the actions of the other person or you have to like them and be their best buddy. Forgiveness is releasing you to move on. It is one of the most powerful things you can do.

Like I said, today wasn't a very good day. I am concerned about our foundation and not having enough sponsors, donors and as for me enough time to work on this blessing God has trust me with. My desire is that I can work for our foundation. I never wanted to receive a paycheck doing this but in order to make this everything God desires it to be I need to work at it full time. Often our passions don't pay very well monetary but they do pay our heart abundantly!

I cried out to God and said "please Lord, show me what you want me to do."

Can I be honest here? I don't gamble but I was kind of hoping His answer would be "here is some numbers go down and buy a lottery ticket and your prayers will be answered!" Ahh yes. The easy way. I took some quiet time and waited for that still small voice. Sure enough I hear "reach for your bible." I have a small bible in our office. So I reached for it expecting some amazing scripture to jump out at me. Nope. Out slips a devotion card I had put in there a few years ago. One side had this quote from Washington Irving "There is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly love, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity." Wow...that spoke to me. On the other side was a scripture Hebrews 10:36 "You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of  God, you will receive what He has promised." At that moment I found pure joy in my trial. I knew I would find peace because God gave me the answer...PERSEVERE!

You see I may have my trials, we all do but I personally know of a couple of hundred precious children that God has placed in my life that have no food, no clean water, no education, some one parent or no parents. They have trials but whenever I am blessed to go to Ethiopia and visit them they are smiling  and hopeful because they know that myself and others who go with me are there because we care about them. They are not forgotten. We are going to make a difference. We tell them God loves them and He sent us to them and we share about the one true King. And the smiles get bigger.
Do I know what is going to happen with the foundation? No. What I do know is that God always finishes what He starts and on that word alone I will trust Him. He will provide a away for me and others to feed, cloth, educate, love and teach these little ones. They will learn that God provides. That God is always faithful and with God ALL things are possible!
Be joyful in all trials. To say that doesn't mean your not going to cry or hurt or be angry it means you will learn from these trails to trust Him. And once you put that trust in Him, that my friends is pure joy!
                                                    My Ethiopian Babies!

Our daughter Jordan with her new friend

She lost her family to AIDS.

This is Berharu. He was my sponsor son. He died last August. M
Heart broke like I never could have imagined. But I know he is in
heaven because he was sponsored and learned about Jesus and became
quite the little evangelist!

Monday, June 17, 2013


18 years ago today this beautiful princess came home to her family. She has grown into an amazing young woman and we are so proud of her! Love you to the moon and back princess!

Sunday, June 9, 2013


We are studying Job in our Lifegroup Class. Most people know Jobs story. If you don't may I suggest you read it. It pretty much explains why bad things happen in the world. What I took from it was bad things are going to happen but He never promised us a rose garden. Job was a Godly man. He honored God in everything he did. So why do bad things happen to good people? Read the story.
Job lost everything, was in pain, cursed his birth and asked God what did he do to deserve this. Sounds like his faith in God was gone doesn't it? Not so much. We are humans with human thoughts, human question and we want answers. God never said that was wrong. What times of trouble do is test us. It is during the worst times in our lives we will make one of two choices. We will either walk away from God or we will persevere and draw closer to God. And when you choose the to draw closer that is when you have the Good Life! God blesses those who hang in there with Him. For whatever Job lost in the end God gave him more than he had before.
Now that isn't why we should draw closer to God. We should do that out of our love and obedience for Him. The blessing area perk!
My prayer for you is if your going through a rough time in your life that you will hang in there with God. In the end you'll be glad you did!

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Redemption is a beautiful thing. Hanging on to your faith when all else seems lost is a beautiful thing. Watching in awe as our God who is just rewards your faith and redeems...well there are no words to describe it!

I love the fact that we serve a God who is just. This means no matter what others say about you, think about you, how they act towards you or lie about you as long as your faith is strong God will take care of them for you. Oh, trust me it isn't easy to sit and wait on God. We are a "now" society! We want to see others suffer the consequences of their actions. But in the long run you have to keep your eyes on the goal and allow God to take care of you "problem." After all in the end He alone will judge all of us.

Those who know me well know that this past year has sucked for my family and that's a nice word. We've been lied to, lied about, treated like crap, talked about and some have turned their back on us. Those guilty of this are people we loved and thought loved us. But sometimes God allows these things to happen to bring us closer to Him. We had a choice and we chose to grow closer to God and let Him work in our lives.

Now if you are not a believer or if you view God as this tyrant, rigid King who sits on His throne and demands this and that you couldn't be more wrong. He is good and kind. He loves us with agape love and He cares for us. I also believe He has a since of humor. He knows my heart and how I was raised and sometimes my "old street school" comes out. I told someone the other day that I will fight for my family spiritually, emotionally, mentally and yes physically! When that last word came out I thought "oh oh that isn't right. I waited for my conscience to begin working on me but all I had was peace. A beautiful, serene peace. It was like God was saying "only if you had to Elaine." Yes, only if I had to. So just because I am a christian doesn't mean when I turn the other cheek I will allow you to attack my life and family.We can't make choices for others but we do have full responsibility for our choices. As for me and my house we choose to remain strong in our faith, our love for one another and mostly our love for God.
As my husband held my hand in church this morning and our children sat next to us and we prayed I thanked God for all He has given me. He chose this man for me. He blessed us with 6 amazing children and 5 soon to be 6 amazing grandest children and a beautiful daughter in love. Yes Redemption is a beautiful thing.
The last month has been crazy with proms, graduation, birthdays and Mother Day. So to my sisters, friends and anyone else...enjoy!
I love this crew!

Mothers Day

I think they are making a statement. Don't mess with our little sister!

Proud of our girl!

Celebrating Dustin's 24th birthday


Tuesday, April 16, 2013


One of the most important truths I have learned the past few months is that love is a choice and we must teach our mind to lead our hearts. A year ago I would have said "bull". Even as a Christian I thought you followed your heart because that is where you felt everything...right? After all when we are happy our heart jumps for joy. When we are sad it breaks. When we are angry, well my heart can go all over the map. But think about it. We see or hear, process then we "choose" how we are going to react and that is when our heart goes to work. It all begins in our mind. There are scriptures that prove this. I am learning to allow my mind to lead my heart. 
I just finished doing the LOVE DARE from the movie Fireproof. It was not always easy but I did it! I highly suggest it. I also read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. That book changed how I view my love for everyone! One of the very best books I have ever read. This is all part of the learning process.
It wasn't easy for me to grasp all of this new knowledge because my spiritual gifts are mercy and compassion. These two gifts can make your heart break more than you think you can handle and your mind go mach 10 all at once! Putting my mind in charge of my heart has helped me set pretty healthy boundaries. So when my heart wants to help all the orphans in this world my mind will say "really Elaine?

Grammy and Jameson, just because!
As I learn to love even when it doesn't feel right to or learn to forgive when it doesn't seem fair or hang in there when I don't think I can, I know I am growing the way God desires for me to grow. That makes it all worth it.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


After my last post about marriage I received a lot of private emails agreeing with what I said and I was also asked a few questions. Like what happened? What happened doesn't matter. What matters is my husband and I had choices to make. We chose to fight the good fight we always have.  What doesn't destroy you makes you stronger. We are stronger!
Satan sends many things to destroy marriages. Alcohol, pornography, drugs, women, men, work, hobbies, money. The list goes on and on. All of these things are Satan's tools to seek and destroy. But as Christians we know that marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman. A plan God Himself designed. A Holy union. And if God is for us then who can stand against us? The answer? No one...absolutely no one! 
Those things listed above may win the battle for a little while but love and I am not talking the first two years your married " in love" I am talking agape love that comes only through Jesus Christ, that love will always win. That is a promise. 
It's all about choices my friends. All of us will make bad choices at one time or another, that's a given. What is important is what we choose to learn from those bad choices.
You shouldn't forget the past but never focus on it. Move forward with confidence and faith. I have learned love is a choice. We choose to love through the hurts,the tears and the doubt. That is true love!

Love is not something you feel. It's something you do.
~David Wilkerson 

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Today my husband Mike and I celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary. All anniversaries are special but this one was special in a different way. The last few months have been hard. Every marriage goes through hard times. Some of those times are harder than others. It's what you learn during those times that will decide if you are going to make it or not.
 One of the many things I have learned is that you can choose to love. That doesn't mean you don't feel love. Choosing to love your spouse or anyone for that matter means your not giving up.
This day and age people throw marriage away. The world makes it to easy. Marriage is work. Hard work. But the work is worth it. 
Sadly after a while life gets in the way. Work, family, people. Satan uses many things to distract us from what is most important to us. Thankfully Mike and I have a lot of faith in God and we listen to Him instead of paying attention to what Satan sends our way.
The odds were against Mike and I to make it. Some said it would last a year...maybe. But we made a choice and 26 years later we are still choosing to make our marriage work.
This morning when this man that I have spent over 26 years with walked into the room I thanked God that He gave me a husband who in spite of both of us chooses us!!
I have always told our kids that for your marriage to work you must love your spouse more than you hate what they said or did to you. I have a Love Dare Reminder app I read every day and the other day this was the reminder.
                                       Love Fights Fare
Love reminds you that your marriage is to valuable to allow it to self-destruct, and that your love for your spouse is more important than whatever your fighting about.

Will your marriage always be AMAZING? Good grief no! Will you always like your spouse? No. But you should always choose to love your spouse in the good and bad times and even when you don't like them.

                                                         MIKE& ELAINE
                                       26 YEARS, 6 KIDS, 5 GRANDESTKIDS (AND 1 ON THE WAY!)
                                      GOD KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING WHEN HE BROUGHT THESE
                                      TWO HEARTS TOGETHER!