S and A

All my children love animals.  They all seem especially fond of kittens.  But this one… Sierra… I would have to say she seems to be the most attached to our newest little addition, Angel Catniss.  (Natalie came up with Angel, and the people who gave him to us had named him Catniss.)

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In the 3 weeks we’ve had him, he has more than doubled in size.  I have to start taking more pictures!

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I did run and grab the camera when I saw this: Sierra “reading” her Halloween books to Angel.  Precious.  It’s fun to have a kitten around, again!  (Though I am reminded, they can be quite the time wasters!)

A Waterfall, a Friend, and some Thoughts

Sometimes my words escape me.  And, sometimes I feel there are just too many for this here little blog.  I just spent 20 minutes typing away, and then hitting delete.  It was more of a prayer than a blog entry, anyway.  I’m pretty sure God read it before I hit delete. :)

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All that to say, I’m a bit tired and worn.  But I am reminded that it takes these times to really get me back to my knees.  And, on my knees is where I need to be right now — so it’s a good thing!

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Last week my college roommate came for a visit and we enjoyed a sea salt coffee, pastries, and a hike.  (She and I spent 6 months in Germany enjoying coffee and pastries in college, and there is no one I enjoy sharing sweets and coffee with more!)  Her timing was perfect, as she is a vet and got to check out our little Angel.  (I can’t believe I haven’t posted pictures, yet — that has to be next!)  In reality, I wish I was the one visiting her in Minnesota in October.  Oh, the fall leaves!  But, our hike was rather beautiful; even if it was 90 degrees.  (Poor girl; I forgot that’s a hot summer day for her, whereas that’s a normal fall day for us!)

October Clay Craft

Sierra asked for a craft the other day, and my heart sank a little.  We have been so busy this fall that we haven’t really done as many crafts as I did when Allison or Natalie were Sierra’s age.

“What do you want to do?”

“Paint clay,” she responded.  I tried to see if paper would suffice — or wood — or rocks.  Nope.  So, we made clay.  Then we baked clay.

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And, we painted clay… all while eating the fall mix.  And Sierra was happy.  The End.

Apples.

Today I got a phone call from a dear friend who lives states away just to tell me she pulled out her fall decor.  It may sound funny, but it’s not at all unusual…. my friends know how near and dear fall is to my heart.  And, typically they think of all things pumpkin.  Would you believe it’s October 1, and I have yet to make anything pumpkin?  Somehow apples have stolen my heart this year.

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Apple dutch baby, apple pie, apple muffins, and apple pancakes have all been made multiple times.  Apples with peanut butter, apples with honey, apples with nutella… the possibilities are endless!  Sadly, we ran out of our fresh picked apples this week.  I am debating going a second time.  We have certainly been loving on some apples this year!

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!