Mexico 2014

Words kind of escape me when it comes to our trip to Mexico.  How do you put words to so many mixed emotions?  The joy of living simply.  The heartache of kids without parents.  The tenderness of your own kids experiencing a different  culture.  The tastiness of fresh tacos and pineapple juice.  The presence of the Holy Spirit tugging at your heart.  The urgency to spread the gospel and care for the needy.  The smiling faces of new friends.  It feels good to feel!

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Our trip was with a group from our church to an orphanage just across the border near Arizona.  It is run by an amazing couple who have such servant hearts.  My camera died half way through the trip, so my pictures don’t cover it all.

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It is such a huge transition for the little ones, and yet it went so smoothly.  Despite very little sleep, they were thrilled to be there.  The plethora of animals certainly helped!  They were naturally shy to begin with, but I was so proud of how quickly they warmed-up and took everything in stride.

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Our trip was short.  Our main purpose was to bless the kids with a carnival.  My kids had been so excited all week that they could hardly wait until after lunch to get things started.

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Whenever a break was needed, they jumped from bed to bed in our female sleeping quarters.

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Natalie was in charge of face painting.  She did incredibly well.  Sometimes I forget she’s only 7 years old.

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Sierra chased down that cat the entire weekend.  Poor cat.  There was also a teeny little pup, just days old.

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This trip was invaluable to our family.  I’ve talked with others who commented how great it is to take our kids to Mexico so they can see how blessed they are.  I’ll admit, that was in the back of my mind.  But, there is so much more than that.  Lots of good people all over the world do good work.  I want my kids to know how important it is to obey God’s command of taking care of orphans.  I want them to see people who pour their hearts out and live sacrificially for others; all to the glory of God and for the salvation of souls.  I want them to know that these little ones are as special to God as they are, and to appreciate new cultures.  Most of all, I want to plant seeds that the Holy Spirit can use to grow my kids into who He created them to be.

Magnolia Seeds

One of the signs that fall has arrived at the Yeh house is the falling of the magnolia pods in our front yard.  Tuesday we celebrated the first day of fall with a homemade apple pie and pulling out all our fall decorations.  It was awesome, and pie pictures are coming!  But, the kids got equally excited tonight when I showed them the first magnolia pod on the ground with bright red seeds spilling out.  Sierra ran into the house to tell her sisters, who were back before I could say “Magnolia tree.”

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A lot has happened this past week.  Just one week ago today I was packing for our first mission trip as a family.  It was incredible, and I can’t wait to share more pictures!

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In the last week, we have journeyed to an orphanage in Mexico, where we left part of our hearts.  We returned home and were given a tiny kitten that needed a family, (as well as bottle feedings and care).  That night a wild animal got into our chicken coop that was accidentally left open.  Thankfully, I arrived with my flashlight before more chickens were taken, but we lost two chickens that night.  Laundry came out of the wash with a pink stain on most of the clothes.  ** sigh **  Back to laundry, school, soccer, piano, life.  Yes, it was a tiring week.  But, oh such a blessing!

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It is amazing to me how much I needed that mission trip.  It refreshed my spirit.  One night in particular, a little girl fell down and was crying.  As I picked her up, she wrapped her arms around my neck and buried her face in my shoulder.  She was about 9 or 10.  All I wanted to do was cry with her… she needs a mommy and daddy.  Feeling that sadness and empathy was good for my soul.

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The kids played with their seeds until the sun was gone.

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An evening outside with my kids… cooler air… the “tradition” of playing with Magnolia seeds… reflecting on our time in Mexico… it all did my heart good!  Hope you had a wonderful start to fall!

Oak Glen 2014

Soccer.  AWANA.   Back-to-school.  Firefighter picnic.  LA County Fair.  Piano.  And, of course… Oak Glen.  September is always a busy month, and yet I’m never willing to give up any of these September activities — especially apple picking!  Yesterday we ventured up the hill, and were relieved to discover that after 7 straight days of 100 + temperatures, it was a mere 82 degrees with a beautiful mix of clouds and sun in Oak Glen.  We were also pleasantly surprised that we were the only ones who thought to go apple picking that day, and had the whole place to ourselves!  As it turns out, this year they have a bumper crop of apples; score, again!

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We met up with 3 sweet friends and all of our kiddos.  I wouldn’t be friends with any of these ladies, had we not met through a common friend who since moved to Texas.  (We all miss her dearly!)

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Oh, these two… check out their boots!  I’ll warn you, I took a lot of pictures of them!  (And I didn’t even include all of them!)

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As I mentioned, it was absolutely gorgeous.  What you can’t see in this still picture is the breeze blowing yellow leaves to the ground.  Yes, we DO have fall in California!

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The apples are so incredibly delicious.  We came home with a bag heavy for even Daniel!

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After picking apples, we hit the park… but not before hitting this rattle snake!  It still had a little life in it, as Daniel discovered while poking at it with a stick.  Dare I tell you we came home with the rattle?  Let’s just say it was not my idea.

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Our last stop was Los Rios Ranch, where we usually have lunch, taste apples, and buy our gallon of cider in a large glass jug.  This year, we also walked through their nature conservancy trail.  Beautiful!  New tradition, for sure.

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The kids discovered cat tails for the first time, and had fun blowing them everywhere.

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I think this picture belongs on our wall!

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My bird lover.  :)

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Another favorite picture.  Happy apple season!

Crazy Sock Day

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Mondays are a bit nuts… (Classical Conversations all day, and then 3 soccer practices in the evening.)  We were running out the door, when the kids showed me their silly socks for silly sock day.  SMILE.  My kids absolutely love their classical conversations classes.  They have been a blessing in so many ways.  Community.  Accountability.  Confidence.  Friendships.  Content… It’s all excellent and just what we needed.  I’ll admit, I thought we were doing fine before.  And, we have a little bit less time for crafts and things during the week.  But, the benefits far outweigh the negatives.  I heard about this program right when we started homeschooling, but I was a skeptic and hesitant because of the financial commitment.  I now see it in our homeschooling future, and gladly sing its praises to anyone interested.

Needing Turtles

Yesterday was Sunday.  We had gone to church Saturday night, and had absolutely nothing on the calendar for the day.  Not a thing.  It was glorious!  We all needed a day like that.  I had an extra cup of coffee with the air conditioning blasting so I could pretend it was cold outside and watched my boy play while I worked on my own project.  We stayed in jammies until lunch, and then went right into swimsuits.  (Of course, we didn’t swim until thoroughly searching the pool for possums!)  Allison wanted to do a craft, so she busted out the craft books and came up with one all on her own.  (I love my growing kiddos!)  She decided on turtles.  I watched and smiled… I needed a day of turtles!

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