Monday, April 29, 2013

A Glimpse into Ben's Life

A glimpse into Ben's life lately.

This. A trombone. He wants to be in band. At least try it out. He is the kid I would have voted least likely to be in band. I'm totally happy.

This. Calvin and Hobbes comic books. Along with breakfast. He laughs out loud. Calvin never gets old. The books are a gift from his Uncle Winston. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Passing of an Age

These are the last pictures I have of my Grandma. They were taken last July. 
She passed away early Monday morning. She was 94. 

It's really hard to think about her being gone. I don't have any more grandmas. My kids don't have anymore great-grandmas. The passing of an age.

I wrote about her a long time ago. You can go here to read it because it's exactly what I would have written today about her.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Van Loo Adoption Garage Sale

We are very humbled with the amount of donations for our garage sale! Little did we know a few years ago what God had in store for our family...we thought we were good with Steven and Samantha, then God has brought us Kiana from the Rosebud Indian Reservation through our church ministry, and now He is directing us towards two little ones in Ghana! 
Thank you to all who are supporting us through this journey, whether it is giving stuff for garage sale, sending us a random check, shopping at the garage sale, or simply prayer, we are very encouraged and humbled! 
We look forward to seeing everyone at the garage sale...there are so many things to buy!!!! Come check it out and THANK YOU for helping us!!!

This is from my friend's Facebook page for the garage sale. Tim and Amber have given God their yes over and over as he has placed different kids in their home over the last few years. Now they are giving Him their yes again. This time to adoption in Ghana! 
If you're not busy this weekend, bring some cash and stop by the sale. They'd love to see you.

207 Northpark Blvd, Huxley
Fri. April 19 10-6
Sat. April 20 8-12 

Friday, April 12, 2013

There Is Hope

"It is not how we are created that gives us worth. It is that we are created in God's image that gives us worth." Kathy Bunting, director of Birthright, Ames
You, my friend, are worthy. God has deemed it so because he has created you.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. Psalm 139:13
Informed Choices of Iowa has two clinics- one in Ames and one in Iowa City. They offer pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, other testings, advice and encouragement. It is a medical clinic. They are not an abortion clinic.

Birthright of Ames, is part of Birthright International. They offer pregnancy testing, council, maternity clothing, infant clothing and nursery items, and other services.

Both of these places are free. If you know of, or are yourself pregnant- you are loved. You are wanted. You and your child are deemed worthy. Please consider using these excellent places to help you. 

It's not so much about the clothes as it is about the love
 I took B to Birthright where they were kind, caring and hooked her up with many items she needed for baby K. I left with a more hopeful girl. That means everything to her.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Every Tuesday

I'm not sure how to tell this story. It's one of those kind of stories that are big on the amazing side and even bigger on the humbling side- not that those two are different sides. What I do want you to know is that this story is not about glory for myself. It is because of Christ- his great love, his great sacrifice, his great mercy- that I am able to take part in this story. It is to His glory that I work and labor. Getting myself out of the way to let this story unfold as it should, has been my challenge.

How did I meet this girl? By way of the orange lockers! After getting them hauled to the basement and cleaned out, they sat there waiting to be filled with craft supplies. I've collected quite a stash in the years of stamping and crafting and decided to give them a good purge. I knew what I was using and what I wasn't. My friend, Angie, was doing the same thing (except she has red lockers). We discussed how we could off-load our extras and she decided to give one of the teachers at the high school a call to see if there were any girls that might like to stamp or scrapbook. "Sure!", the teacher replied. 

So, on afternoon, armed with our surplus we walked into the classroom to find sitting there four girls: one girl with a lot of trouble with the law, two with infants at home, and one with a babe on the way. We were going to make baby scrapbooks! Angie and I kicked it into gear, working with two girls each. Hah! Such a laughable thing as I look back. One girl stamped out a card or two for her mom and was done. One girl went through quite a bit of supplies but didn't really want to be there and ended up throwing her project away (which we promptly rescued from the garbage can because nothing was the matter with it) and never came back. One girl put more than everything on her page- hah! She literally wanted everything on her page. And one girl wanted a nice, clean layout, not too frou frou, wanted it to be matchy and simple and was very open to direction. Aha! Here was my girl! We worked very good together and apart from lacking just a few things to actually complete the page, we had made progress and started a friendship. Her baby was due the middle of April and she was taking online classes at the school to complete her high school degree.

I was thrilled to be in that classroom. I told Angie that I would go back every Tuesday at to make sure the teacher knew that. Sure, it was a touch and go kind of start- we walked in unsure of who would be waiting for us but I left knowing this was where I wanted to be. 

We went back, every week completely more pages, getting to know each other better. At one point, we stopped scrapbooking and she spilled out her story. It's a heart-breaker. Tears streamed down my face as I slipped her my number on a scrap of paper. We were six hours into knowing each other. What was the protocol for such things as this? Was that ok or not? I didn't know but I didn't let that stop me. I wanted her to know I cared and that if she would, she could trust me. 

I called the teacher that night and told her I would do anything to help this girl out. I wasn't above scrapbooking with her, but I knew there was more and I wanted it.

That's the beginning of this chapter in my life right now. Like I said, there's a big side of amazing. But there is also a humbler side. I see one of the girls almost every week, but she doesn't come back- crafting with us is a privilege- they have to earn it. But I wave to her because who waves to the troublemakers? The toss-it-away girl has never come back. There's a whole backstory- she isn't a stranger to us and wants no part of us. So we are down to two regulars and every week we get a new face for a brief time. It's not glamorous. We don't come in to sweep them away and rescue them and be their savior. We come to offer friendship, love, worth...and craft supplies. 

The girl with everything on it works much better with expanded mediums. She made the hearts with Angie, then went home and put together this mobile for above her son's crib!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Why It's Been So Quiet On Here

You've probably noticed but I haven't been posting here lately. There just hasn't been energy left to do so. I've been getting ready for this little one to arrive. She's not mine. Someday I will find time to share with you more of her story.