Monday, December 15, 2008

SOS from Zimbabwe

I am DEEPLY moved by what is going on in Zimbabwe, Africa, at the moment. This is not the first report and SOS we have received and I feel to pass it on.

I remember feeling like this years ago during the genocide in Rwanda (we were in Europe at the time, too). We have GOT TO do something, even if it is "just" pray!!!

Please read and do what you can...

Letter from Zimbabwe sent in by John Winter:

I reckon that these are the last days of TKM and ZPF... The darkest hour is always before dawn.We are all terrified at what they are going to destroy next........I mean they are actually ploughing down brick and mortar houses and one family with twin boys of 10 had no chance of salvaging anything when 100 riot police came in with AK47's and bulldozers and demolished their beautiful house - 5 bedrooms and pine ceilings - because it was 'too close to the airport', so we are feeling extremely insecure right now.

You know - I am aware that this does not help you sleep at night, but if you do not know - how can you help? Even if you put us in your own mental ring of light and send your guardian angels to be with us - that is a help -but I feel so cut off from you all knowing I cannot tell you what's going on here simply because you will feel uncomfortable.

There is no ways we can leave here so that is not an option. I ask that you all pray for us in the way that you know how, and let me know that you are thinking of us and sending out positive vibes... that's all. You can't just be in denial and pretend/believe it's not going on.

To be frank with you, it's genocide in the making and if you do not believe me, read the Genocide Report by Amnesty International which says we are - IN level 7 - (level 8 is after it's happened and everyone is in denial). If you don't want me to tell you these things - how bad it is - then it means you have not dealt with your own fear, but it does not help me to think you are turning your back on our situation.

We need you, please, to get the news OUT that we are all in a fearfully dangerous situation here. Too many people turn their backs and say - oh well, that's what happens in Africa This Government has GONE MAD and you need to help us publicize our plight---or how can we be rescued? It's a reality!

The petrol queues are a reality, the pall of smoke all around our city is a reality, the thousands of homeless people sleeping outside in 0 Celsius with no food, water, shelter and bedding are a reality... Today a family approached me, brother of the gardener's wife with two small children. Their home was trashed and they will have to sleep outside. We already support 8 adult people and a child on this property, and electricity is going up next month by 250% as is water.How can I take on another family of 4 -----and yet how can I turn them away to sleep out in the open?

I am not asking you for money or a ticket out of here - I am asking you to FACE the fact that we are in deep and terrible danger and want you please to pass on our news and pictures. So PLEASE don't just press the delete button! Help best in the way that you know how. Do face the reality of what is going on here and help us SEND OUT THE WORD. The more people who know about it, the more chance we have of the United Nations coming to our aid.

Please don't ignore or deny what's happening. Some would like to be protected from the truth BUT then, if we are eliminated, how would you feel? 'If only we knew how bad it really was we could have helped in some way'.

[I know we chose to stay here and that some feel we deserve what's coming to us]For now,--- we ourselves have food, shelter, a little fuel and a bit of money for the next meal - but what is going to happen next? Will they start on our houses? All property is going to belong to the State now. I want to send out my Title Deeds to one of you because if they get a hold of those, I can't fight for my rights. Censorship!----We no longer have SW radio [which told us everything that was happening] because the Government jammed it out of existence - we don't have any reporters, and no one is allowed to photograph. If we had reporters here, they would have an absolute field day. Even the pro-Government Herald has written that people are shocked, stunned, bewildered and blown mindless by the wanton destruction of many folks homes, which are supposed to be 'illegal' but for which a huge percentage actually do have licenses.

Please! - do have some compassion and HELP by sending out the articles and personal reports so that something can/may be done.'I am one. I cannot do everything, ---but I can do something.. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do.'

Edward Everett Hale

Friday, December 5, 2008

Up North

This week, Rich, Shayden and I traveled about 4-5 hours north - to participate at a missionaries get-together and visit friends on the way. Rich and Shayden just stayed one night and then went back south to be with the other kids, whereas I am staying the rest of the week.
The organization that handles all of our administration from Germany, Globe Europe, requires missionaries to report back at least every 3 years (it´s actually been 4 for us).

I am enjoying some free time - when else can I get to spend 2 hours in the morning fellowshipping with God?!!!

One of the great things about being a missionary is that you get to rub shoulders with some extraordinary people! I´ve thought this many times and this week is no different.

What a caliber of people, many of them young families, who work in very difficult circumstances!!!

I am sharing a room with 4 ladies, all single. One working in Romania, one in Albania, one getting ready to go to Central Asia and one that JUST arrived back from Mozambique!
Amazing ladies, giving up their lives to LOVE - in Jesus´name!

After spending every free minute catching up on sleep (I was sooo tired!) the first couple of days, I am now enjoying socializing with the others.

I even got to play a game of "Fussball" (Tischfussball) yesterday with 2 of our missionaries from Africa. One of them is African, married to a German, the other one is German. Both have young children. Incredible people!

So as you can see, I´m having a bit of fun here - also got to play some ping-pong with the African brother. The only down-side is that I MISS MY FAMILY!!! Wish they could be here, too!!!
(because of space restrictions, nobody was allowed to bring children.)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

First Photos from Germany

We had barely arrived when Jeremie took this photo of snow falling just outside his window
one of the views from the house

The family home - with part of my mom's, my brother's, my sister's and the guest appartments showing - can you see the little man sitting in the snow?

This family home is well over 100 years old and was used as an orphanage during WWII, run by my mother's aunt.
Yet another view - can you see Jeremie looking out of his room?
You could think I"m trying to sell the house - with all those photos - - - lol
My mom actually does want to sell it - so it may be our last time in it :(

Kylie getting "loaded" for her first snow ball fight

Some Travel Photos

brother and sister "chilling" while we check in (Tokyo)
Crazy girls in "Pajan" (Kylie's version of Japan)

one happy camper - no traveller

on the plane - watching one movie after the other and eating chocolate (given to her before we left) - can life get any better?

Even the smallest family member enjoys the inflight entertainment - headphones and all

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

You know that you are in Germany when...

... the car ride from the airport to home that usually takes 2 hours, only takes 1 1/2 hours - courtesy of the Autobahn without speed-limit and a fast driver:)

... you and your husband sleep in two separate twin beds next to each other with a small space in between...

... you walk down the street, smiling at people, and they don't smile back. (Mostly true - and sad - but my people really can be very friendly and warm, but not easily to strangers... sorry, my island boy!)

... you get told to be at the post office no later than 3pm to send off a package on your first day back (for Nathalie's birthday, which is tomorrow!) and when you get there you find out that it is closed from 12pm-3pm. You go back home and come back just before 3pm. Several people are outside the post office in the cold waiting for it to open up. The church bell rings and at that exact second, the key turns and IT OPENS! Are we on time or what?!

... when you drive into the small town and you read a sign that says they are celebrating 750 years as a town!!!

Traveling observations

  • The second we board the plane in New Zealand, Shayden spontaneously claps his hands. He does the same thing just as we leave that same plane (in Tokyo).
  • As Shayden watches the clouds underneath us through the airplane window, he keeps doing his "bah"-sound for sheep, convinced he is seeing thousands of sheep for miles upon miles. He's happy as...:)


  • Nobody at the New Zealand or Japan immigration raises one question why this family with 2 different passports (US and German) also has with them a toddler with yet another passport (NZ) and a different last name - and if they possibly kidnapped him... The first question comes in Germany and all is fine when we show the letter we have from social services.
  • How easy Germany is when it comes to immigration checks! In Japan, we had to get fingerprinted, photo taken, papers filled out. In Germany? Nothing but showing a passport for everyone - not even a single paper to fill out.
  • Staying with our Samoan friends in Auckland and feeling like you're in Tahiti - the church youth choir practicing the most beautiful songs in the garage half way through the night - awesome singing - oh, those island voices!
  • Being brought to the airport by the pastor (our friend) and him insisting to buy our whole family breakfast at McDonald - staying with us until we have to board, even though it costs him a small fortune to stay in the airport parking lot for so long. But he won't have it any other way!
  • Another islander joining us for breakfast (he will use our van during our absence) - and just "hanging out" island style:) - talking, laughing
  • Being ushered to the business class check-in at Tokyo airport and getting VERY FRIENDLY service - no long queue - and we don't know why...
  • We're all pretty much healthy again- except for my occasional coughing fits


  • The airport hotel in Tokyo...
  • Lufthansa - (on our flight from Japan to Germany) served the worst food (I am NOT picky) and had no individual entertainment systems - to Kylie's GREAT sorrow - she had SO enjoyed Air New Zealand and the wonderful distraction the entertainment system offered her hour after hour after hour after hour:)


  • I realize HOW MUCH New Zealand has become HOME in the last 4 years. As I was packing up and getting ready to leave I was already very much looking forward to coming back!
  • Rich has the "revelation" that he prefers to travel alone as compared to with the family in tow - I wonder why??? LOL (it was quite a hassle, although overall the trip went well)


  • After only expecting my one brother to pick us up in Frankfurt with the rented van, he brings along his daugther and another nephew, plus my other brother drives from his home (over an hour or so drive, not sure exactly) with his whole family to the airport, just to welcome us -and then drive back home!
  • Being welcomed "home" so warmly with balloons in several places, nice welcome signs, treats on everybody's pillow, the kitchen full of food (we are staying in a separate appartment at my Mom's house) - and some yummy fruit salad and pretzels...


  • Being welcomed by SNOW!!! During our last visit 4 years ago, Jeremie prayed so much for snow and there was hardly any until the end of Dec. (when we left). This time, we didn't dare hope for snow, and there it is waiting for us!


  • Getting up this morning to a fresh blanket of snow and going outside as a family for the first snow ball fight ever with Kylie!


  • Thinking of Nathalie and missing her sharing this fun time with us - knowing she'd LOVE to be with us!


  • When you jet lag so badly that you toss and turn in bed without being able to sleep for 5 hours of the 8-hour-night 3 nights in a row and then feel like a zombie all day.
  • When your husband next to you has no jet lag and just sleeps through the night (except last night, when the bed collapsed in the middle of the night, but that's another story...)


  • When you quickly rush out of bed in the middle of the night because you hear the door open and you're afraid Kylie's on her way outside to visit the rabbits. And when you come back inside you fumble through the dark room, think you've found your bed, plop down to get back to your sleep, only to find yourself hugging the rather hard floor with a huge "clunk" that shakes the house. Oops, missed the bed - ouch! (and it wasn't me - I was being compassionate while trying hard to hold back my laughter)


  • To stay in the same appartment that my parents moved into when they got married 52 years ago (of course, renovated). Yep, my mother has never moved houses!!!
  • To have Kylie use the same silverwear and placemat that I used at her age, play with some of the same toys that my siblings and I played with!


  • Only my french-speaking readers will understand this one: On our second evening in Germany, we had "pate" (or liverwurst) on the table for dinner (with bread). Leilani couldn't remember the name for it very well and asked, "Is that pete"?

'nough said. Photos to come soon.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Last minute update

We are leaving in just a few hours...

Just letting you know that we were definitely able to see the effect of your prayers!
ThANK YOU SO MUCH for praying!!!

In spite of more sickness (1-day stomach flu) for me - and Rich a little - WE ARE JUST ABOUT READY. Exhausted, but ready.

Just have to do last minute packing, washing of sheets etc, then clean the whole house and mow the lawn.
Oh - and Rich has one last breakfast with his small group from the DTS...

Thank God for different help he sent this week - especially with babysitting!!!

In the midst of all the craziness - including getting a short DVD made up, yes, I know, last minute... we've been trying to do it for weeks but it just wasn't possible - Shayden gave me a special gift: he said "Mamma" for the very first time!!!! Isn't that sweet?!!!!

I've been trying to teach it to him for well over a year now...
It sure made this Mommy's heart melt... He's so cute!!!

Until last week, he hasn't been able to say the sound "m" - even after lots of practicing with speech therapist and all. Then, his first word was "more", as I was feeding him some yummy pear that he wanted more and more of...

Anyways, thanks again for praying - and please keep it up! We need all the help we can get to arrive in Germany in one piece - oops, I mean 6 pieces - haha - besides the 9 pieces of luggage - 4 of them for Shayden:) - plus handluggage

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


... and needing PRAYER!

"Bless the Lord, o my soul .... who heals all of my diseases."

That's what I was reading this morning and claiming for myself.

YET - I feel I that we need some BIG TIME help in prayer to make it.

Went to the doctors - again - this morning because Kylie had become REALLY hard of hearing over the week-end. She was diagnosed with ear infections in both ears and put on a a second round of antibiotics in 3 weeks (she just finished the first round for her cough last week!)

She hasn't had an ear infection in MONTHS - - -

The doctor doesn't seem to be able to figure out what my problem is. Thought I had asthma, which I have never had and don't think I have. Gave stronger antibiotics and steroids.

Side effect of steroids - all kinds of miserable stuff, also insomnia - so that's why I am writing this in the middle of the night - can't sleep - not good!

I think I'm not going to keep taking the steroids.

Hard call, since i do need to get better.

I haven't been sick like this in YEARS - - - it's coming up to 4 weeks!

And we're leaving in 3 days.

Lord, have mercy on us - WE NEED TO BE WELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Invisible Mother...

It all began to make sense,
the blank stares,
the lack of response,
the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask me a question.

Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously, not.

No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated sum a cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She's going; she's going; she is gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England ..

Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in.
I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well.
It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself.
I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe.
I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.

These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place.

It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me,

'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over.
You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction.
But it is not a disease that is erasing my life.
It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness.
It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'you're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Great Job, MOM! Share this with all the Invisible Moms you know...I just did.

I just read this and loved it. Thought that you moms out there reading this might enjoy it, too =)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Another beauty

Even though I'm still VERY weak and hardly able to do any work, I CAN sit at the computer and type - - - and I've just GOT to boast a little more about another beauty that Jeremie brought home from school. Have a look - this was this morning as he was putting on the finishing touches to this gorgeous coffee-table!

By the way, he got 2 prizes on Wednesday - one for wood-work and one for automotive(mechanics) - yep, he's a hands-on, practical kind of guy - definitely coming after his Dad in that respect :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Today, I spent doing - - - pretty much NOTHING.

That is, besides going to the doctor, getting antibiotics, taking Shayden to get babysat, picking him up an hour later cuz he kept screaming (didn't want to be babysat), booking a couple of train tickets for Germany, talking to the airlines and lounging around in different parts of the house while Kylie and Shayden were playing.

Enough of this sickness already!!!

Leilani's home schooling consisted of her playing teacher for Kylie most of the day. She figured that Kylie has missed so much school (almost 3 weeks) that she had to intervene and do something about it. Good on ya, girl! You did well, too!

I wasn't sure how Rich would respond when he came home at 5:30pm. Normally, he finds the table set and a meal ready.
Not today. The breakfast dishes were still not washed up and no dinner was ready, the house a mess.

To give credit where it is due - he came with a bouquet of flowers for me (!!!), cleaned up the breakfast dishes, heated up leftovers and prepared some raw stuff - all the while happily singing - then put Kylie to bed before he even had his own dinner (cold by then).

Thanks, Honey, you are an awesome gift to me and I love you!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A new era has dawned...

... at the Betts house!


Now for you in the US, this is nothing spectacular, since every teenager gets to drive at 16!

For you in Germany and Tahiti, it is pretty special to have a barely 17-year-old in possession of a drivers licence.

Here in NZ, it is - well - quite common, although many don't have their full licence at 17.

Jeremie passed his test with flying colours and can now take passengers with him and also drive after 10pm! In the past year and a half, he was able to drive, but without passengers (unless they had a licence themselves) and not at night.

We are so proud of Jeremie and also happy that he can finally take Leilani with him to youth group etc.
He already helped me out a couple of times today taking Leilani to where I would have normally had to drive her. YAY!!!

Tomorrow is his last day at school, the day after is the "Prizegiving Ceremony" (he will get a prize, we don't know yet in what subject), next week, he has one more exam and then - he has graduated from High School! (no graduation ceremony in NZ)

Well done, son!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Shayden adopting us?

A while ago, I mentioned that we "might" keep Shayden now, after all. I thought, I'd better follow up on that and let y'all know that YES, we will be keeping him (permanent foster care, adoption isn't possible)!!!
The story on how it all came about is waaaayyy to long to blog about.
All I can say is that I am in awe of God and HOW he orchestrated the whole journey up to today.
If you are interested to read the full account, leave me a comment with your email address, and I will send you a Word document that I wrote up with all that led up to our decision (beware - 6 pages!) :)
Anyways, I feel so blessed that God is entrusting us with Shayden's precious life!
I have loved the little man from before I even laid eyes on him - just after I heard about him.
I have loved him like my own child not long after he arrived with us (almost 16 mths ago!).
I love him every day and enjoy him soooo much - - - even though he can be most annoying at times, especially when he refuses to eat time and again --- grrrr... =)

This past week, Rich came home one evening after he'd been with the DTS - looked at Shayden with "those lovin' eyes" and asked him: "Shayden, do you want to adopt us?"
When the rest of the family (including Shayden) looked at Rich funny - (we were all sitting around the dinner-table, ready to start dinner) - he explained:
The DTS had had a Kiwi church historian speak about NZ church history and the relationship between the Maori and the European missionaries. It was quite fascinating and moving.

Rich came out of this time feeling that what was happening with us taking on Shayden as part of our family was actually just as much about him, a Maori, taking us on into his country/people - "adopting" us into New Zealand. WOW!!!

We can't see all the ramifications of what this means quite yet, but it does seem profound . . .
and we feel honoured!

By the way, speaking of getting "adopted" into NZ - Rich and I both voted today at the New Zealand elections! YEP, we get to vote, too!!! It was pretty exciting - as simple as it was:)
This was the first time we both voted, believe it or not!!!

We've both been gone from our home-countries since we were able to vote and never felt well enough informed to vote by mail.

We did feel well enough informed for these elections and GLADLY did our part in the decision that is still to be announced - later tonight.

I'd better head off direction bed and not take advantage of my returning strength and health - and get some sleeeep.

Shayden playing "Yatzee"

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Rich was not even home one day - - - and he came down sick.

Something totally different than what Kylie and I have, but still sick.

Kylie is getting worse and started antibiotics.

Leilani had bad dreams and bad pains.

I was feeling worse, too.

Rich and I got so fed up and mad this morning and had a "violent" time of prayer to rebuke this attack of sickness on our family.

At the same time, we prayed for other things, including provision of finances for some urgent needs.

A few hours later, we get a phone call from a friend. He asks for our account number because he wants to give us a financial gift - a VERY generous gift. We are overjoyed and thank God!

Not long after that, we get another phone call from the same friend. He took the money he was going to put on our account out of the bank (plus more for himself) and before he could deposit the money, he got robbed! His whole wallet, all the money, all his cards...

I AM MAD!!! Mad at the enemy - - - what a thief!

I hate it when people that are so generous - and those who support us - get attacked in their finances!!! It is just not right, and we will intensify our prayers, that's for sure!

If it is the backlash from Rich's time of ministry in New Caledonia or what, I don't really care.

We have GOT to see healing in this family - and provision - and the restoration of what was stolen from our friend.

And we WILL see them!


In closing, a little quote from one of our YWAM-teachers that I was thinking of today:

"You have either just come out of a trial,

ARE in a trial, or

are just about to enter a trial."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


There are moments in parenting when you take a deep, grateful breath and your heart cries out "YES!!!"

Like when your 13-year-old, full-fledged, people-pleaser, non-confrontational teenager goes to see a movie with friends.

They are supposed to watch a certain movie.

They change movies in the last minute without knowing much about the other movie.

She starts watching it, realizes it's not appropriate and

walks out,

goes to the front desk,

asks to use a phone,

calls home and asks to get picked up,

waits for 15 minutes by herself in front of the movie theatre until I show up.

Now that is impressive!
I am soooo proud of the courage you showed there, Leilani, and the right choice you made even when it was VERY difficult and may have cost you those friendships! Well done!

OR - - -

When your 17-year-old son takes his little 5-year-old sister to bed when he sees Mom busy with the baby (Dad overseas), tells her a nice good-night story, prays with her and lovingly tucks her into bed! All that more than once and without being asked!!!
(I won't write a message to Jeremie. He doesn't read my blog)

And, of course, I am very proud of you, too, Nathalie, and what you are doing!!!

I AM BLESSED!!! And even more so now - Rich came back home!!! Yuppiee!!! His time in New Caledonia went very well and he feels like he accomplished his "mission". Thanks for your prayers!!!
Now we "just" need to see HEALTH in the family as we are getting ready for our big trip to Germany and the US in just over 2 weeks!!! Kylie and I especially.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Guess who turned 17???

J e r e m i e !!!

On Monday was the big day! We celebrated - with a very small family - just 5 of us - with meat fondue - yumm- yumm! Miss you, Nathalie and Rich :(

That bottle you see is sparkling cider - in case you were wondering =)

Just when we were bringing out the cake, Rich called from New Caledonia - - -

A few minutes later, while we were consuming the scrumptious carrot cake - note the strawberries (leftovers from our breakfast - strawberry season has just started!), we were on a conference call with Rich in New Caledonia (4:30pm) and Nathalie in Germany (6:30am - had just woken up) - it was 6:30pm for us.

It was AMAZING to be able to all talk together - Rich and Nathalie were on loud-speaker!!!

What a time we live in - - - gotta love that technology - WOW!!!

Anyways, Jeremie, you are the greatest son parents could have! We are proud of you and who you have become and privileged to be your parents! Keep going hard after God - and your future will be B-R-I-G-H-T - yeah!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Before I go to bed...

... I would like to share with you this post in a blog I enjoy reading.
I am not into politics and didn't even listen to the first video about Obama.

What gripped my heart was the speech of the lady that survived abortion!
Very moving! Just scroll down a bit and you'll see it.

Another video that touched me deeply a couple of days ago is the one on this post.

Until I know how to get those videos on my own blog, I'll have to refer you =)

Prayers appreciated for Rich

This will have to be short, since Jeremie needs the computer for homework - and he also still needs his deep wound on the bottom of his foot treated - our drama of the day...
After a night filled with coughing Mommy and sick-to-her-stomach-throwing up-Kylie.
Hmmm - at least there was nothing pressing during the day. We took it easy and things are looking pretty good tonight.
Even had a young girl come for an 1 1/2 to babysit Shayden this afternoon!
Shayden had never seen her before and went playing outside with her without any problems - boy, what a change in him! He's gotten so good with strangers. Thank you, Jesus!

Anyway, just talked to Rich via skype (what a blessing! YWAM New Caledonia JUST got broadband internet before Rich got there!!!). His teaching on the "Father Heart of God" is going well - - - he's started the ministry time today and will continue tomorrow morning.

We would appreciate your prayers - if you read this soon - for God to move mightily in the students' lives - for God to use Rich creatively and powerfully.
None of the 4 (yep, only!) students has known a father's love - and not a mother's love either...

SAD - - -

GOD, would you REDEEM them and give them a supernatural revelation of your heart of LOVE for them!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


... every time when Rich goes on a trip overseas, STUFF happens?!!

There hadn't been sickness in the Betts house since Rich's last trip, and sure enough, the day before his departure, it hit. Yikes!!!

I'm still not all the way better and spend a lot of time at night coughing - and being tired at day. I guess it's because I wasn't able to rest the first day or two...

Kylie was almost healed from her cold, when she came home yesterday from school not looking good. By the way, she had brought a dead bird (!) home in her school bag. She'd found it on the school grounds. This girl won't even pass by a worm that she finds on the street without rescuing it.
When she came down with a fever, I wasn't so sure what to think - - - hope it's not anything to do with this dead bird (that got buried VERY soon by Jeremie and her!).
She's been sick all day and threw up tonight. Poor thing.
I don't think it's anything serious, though.

Anyways, besides the sickness, the internet being down, we almost lost one of Kylie's guinea pigs today. It had escaped from the cage when I must have moved it into a new position (for them to eat the grass). The ground was a bit uneven and she took advantag of a little opening.

THANK GOD, our neighbour just happened to see Rosebud running around free and quickly looked up her cat, came over and told us. AMAZING Leilani was able to find Rosebud, luring her with a piece of carrot! That was a feat!
It is one miracle that this guinea pig is alive and back in the cage tonight! There are at least a handful of cats that keep coming and sitting around the cage, waiting for an opportune time to express their hunting skills! Not today, cats!

Am I ever glad!!!

And even in the sickness, there is grace - - - Kylie has been easier to deal with sick than healthy... Go figure... and the timing of her vomiting tonight was "perfect"! We had just come home from taking Jeremie and Leilani to church when she was just about to slip into my bed (she's taking Rich's place while he's gone) to go to sleep. All of a sudden, she starts running - - - straight for the bathroom - and she made it to the toilet - just barely - only a little mess in a very easily cleanable place!

Thank you, God, for watching over all of us. 'night!

Last Friday

There's so much to blog about - - - too bad our internet has been down for a few days - - -
So here's just a little:

I've never liked McDonald better than last Friday! We went to Starship Children's Hospital in Auckland with everybody except Jeremie (who went to school that day). Shayden had an appointment with NZ's top orthopedic surgeon because of his club hand(s) (one is very mild). Anyways, I had come down with a bad cold the day before (Shayden and Kylie, too) and was feeling most miserable that day. Also had hardly slept after 2:45am. By lunchtime, I knew that there was no way I would be able to drive the 2 1/2 hours back home without taking a nap. (We were leaving Rich in Auckland because he was taking a flight to New Caledonia the next morning).

I had seen a sign in the hospital about a "Ronald McDonald Family Room" that you could visit. When Shayden needed yet another x-ray (that Rich could take him to) and the girls were glued in front of a TV, I knew my chance had come. I headed to that family room, not sure what to expect, and found out - - - they had small rooms with beds that they make available for people to use for free! And they just happened to have one free! So - I was able to lay down for 1/2 hour and doze off - perfect! Excactly what I needed to tie me over and help me get home - (it took more than 3 hours.)

This was such a HUGE RELIEF and answer to prayer - God knew what I needed and made provision - as usual:)

Not only was I able to rest, but after that our whole family was treated to some free lunch!!! Doesn't get much better than that! What a blessing! THANK YOU, RONALD MC DONALD!

When I got home, after dropping Leilani off at youthgroup (Jeremie was there already), I was surprised by a beautifully cleaned kitchen and dining room!!! Jeremie had been at work - without having been asked, I may add - and did an amazing cleaning job (as he does), including vaccuming the floors! I was soooo blessed!!!

Just before getting Kylie to bed right after coming home, I needed to eat something and heated up some leftovers. Kylie noticed how tired I was and commented, "I'm concerned about you, Mom. You're so tired". When I was finished eating, she took my plate without me saying anything, and brought it in the kitchen! How sweet is that?!!

She even told me stories while I was eating (she wasn't hungry, had eaten on the way). One was about a girl called Kylie having a special day with her mother Isabel. The two had a lot of fun that day and even went to see a movie (she's never been to the movie theatre). It was a scary movie.

When I interjected that maybe a little girl shouldn't be watching a scary movie, she quickly answered: "No, Kylie wasn't a little girl, she was 7. And Mom was 81!"

There, you have it! Nice story!!! I had a good laugh at the end of a very tiring, but good day!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Our Week-end in Pictures

Saturday was the famous "Calf Club" at Kylie's - and formerly Leilani's - school. It's a yearly fun fair/fundraiser - with calves, lambs, goats and chicken that have been raised by (some of) the children, face-painting, bouncy castle, food and LOTS more.

Kylie took this lamb for a VERY LONG walk around the field. She's such an animal-lover!!!
And Shayden finally got to see some sheep and calves from close-up and heard their real-life-sounds that he's only heard from us so far:)
He was pretty impressed - but also a bit scared of the lamb - - -

Yesterday, Rich went fishing for a bit with the girls...

Watch the BIG FISH - SEAMONSTER - coming

Here's the BIG CATCH!

Haha! Nothing but seaweed!

Leilani did catch a real fish later =)

A very patient Kylie enjoying the experience...

In the meantime, I went to the nearby playground with Shayden, where he got to pretend driving a real tractor - YAY!!! We all had a lot of fun - enjoying the spring weather and being together

This Friday, Rich will take off to New Caledonia for 12 days...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Kylie's first sleep-over

I know, I know - - - it's been a while - - -
We've had a couple of weeks of school vacation - a great time to take things just a bit slower and have some good times - mostly with Kylie - and visitors. It seems like there's a constant stream of visitors =)

With Nathalie gone and Jeremie and Leilani working at kids camps, it sure was much quieter (and cleaner, I may add) around the house.

Everybody always blames Kylie and Shayden for the mess in the house (toys and food crumbs everywhere), but let me tell ya, it's not just them - - - haha!!!

Kylie had her first sleep-over EVER! Her friend Sarah from the neighbourhood insisted she was ready for it and Kylie kept bugging me, so it was a done deal. Oh, maybe not all that done...

After some fun playing, dinner, a movie with popcorn, a looooong bubble-bath,a story and a prayer, the drama started when I left the room. At first, I heard some quarelling I tried to ignore while working on the dishes, then the volume got more and more intense, including crying, and when I checked, sure enough, Sarah was in tears.

Kylie always wants to sleep in the pitch-dark, and Sarah needs to have some light. AHA - there was the problem.

By the time I arrived, Sarah had made up her mind that she wanted to go home to her Mommy!

Well - that was too much of a disappointment for Kylie and before I knew it, she was now in tears. With both girls crying, between sobs, Kylie suggested to Sarah that she would surely be able to find a spot in the room that was dark (she proposed to sleep underneath her bed!), while leaving the door open with light coming in for Sarah. What a compromise!

But Sarah REALLY wanted her Mommy and there was no changing her mind.

So, with Kylie bawling, I had to try to get ahold of Sarah's mom (which didn't prove an easy task for some time).

Sarah got picked up and Kylie DID go to sleep eventually.

What a flop of a first sleep-over... I felt so bad for Kylie... she had SOOOO been looking forward to it for a very long time =(

Oh well, I'm sure it won't be the last one =)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

How GREAT is our God!

Even though I am not directly involved in the iDTS, besides hosting the weekly staff meeting and meeting the students occasionally, my heart is involved in prayer and I love hearing from Rich at the end of the week what God has been doing.

Yesterday, Rich's small group had a special breakfast at our house.
There were 3 Americans, 1 Korean, 1 Fin (from Finland) and a Maori from Tauranga! It was great hearing a bit more about their families and seeing pictures. I also learned that the word for "Thank YOU" in Korean depends on who you're saying it to - - - hmmm, interesting!

AND - that in Korean culture, you don't ever consider people that are of a different age than you, friends - - - hmmmm again...

Everybody is learning heaps - not just about culture - and seems to be enjoying the school a lot.

This week, the speaker was Frank Naea, former president of YWAM. He's the funniest teacher/preacher ever and makes everybody laugh all the while passing on incredible gems of understanding about God the Father. The ministry time yesterday was AWESOME - - - lots of tears... good tears!

Just to give you a taste: one of the students wasn't even a Christian when he came. He was mostly interested in the cute girls. He has since been born again and baptized. Yesterday, he yelled out, "This has been the best day of my life!" - and it wasn't because of the cute girls but because of GOD touching his life very deeply!!!

Rich says that he can already see incredible change in each of the students! WOW!!!

Bring it on, God!!!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Modern day Heroes of the Faith!

These people are my heroes! I stumbled onto their blog a couple of years ago, listening to Kelsey's message on adoption while I was looking for something else online. I have followed their journey to first adopt one little girl and just now twin girls. These guys rock, including their children! They live on the cutting edge - involved in IHOP and THE CALL, living by faith and making history (I believe).

When I read about their absolutely incredible story about adopting the twins, I was so touched - even felt a little "jealous", if you can use that word.

My heart was screaming out - I WAS MADE FOR THIS, TOO! I WANT TO DO THIS, TOO!

Anyways, have a look - and PRAY for them! They need all the help they can get these days! If there is any way you can, GIVE to them, too! Money you give to them is well invested, for sure!!!

For us to have (and keep) Shayden, we don't have to put out a dollar. For them, this adoption is costing them US$15,000! (and this is "cheap" compared to "normal" adoptions)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cat in the Hat and more

For the last day of school before the 2-week break, Kylie's class had a special Dr.Seuss day and everybody had to dress up as a Dr.Seuss character. Here she is - our CAT IN THE HAT:Practicing reading before going off to school

kitten in the hat =)

As sweet as Kylie looks (and is), she's got her moments, like all kids. A couple of days ago, she was very defiant and disrespectful to Rich. When he threatened her with a spanking, she replied, even more defiantly: "Then I'll tell my prinicipal!"

Can you believe this?!!

Spanking, or smacking, as they call it in New Zealand, is against the law here. In her 1 month at school, Kylie has obviously been told that if she got smacked by her parents, she could/should tell her principal. Whew!!!

Both Rich and I were taken aback by her comment.
We yet have to decide our plan of action for the future - good thing we've got 2 weeks =)
We don't spank a lot, but there are times when it's necessary.

With elections coming up in NZ, the only way this law will get changed is if the Kiwi Party gets into Parliament. We know who we will vote for!
Larry Baldock, the Party's founder, is a former YWAM leader - we stayed at his house when we first arrived in NZ - a GREAT guy!!!

Nice work

Jeremie has a passion for working with wood. He is in his last couple of months of school and has just about only the end of year exams left. When we get back from our trip to Germany and the US, he is planning on starting an apprenticeship in woodworks (still has to find a suitable place).

It's a bit of a challenge, since there are not many options in Tauranga, and Jeremie feels to stick around for a bit :)

These two projects are what he's been working on in the last months. Well done, Jeremie!!!

The fur reflected in the mirror is from a rabbit he hunted a little while ago

He doesn't like the shade so much, but it was all he could find (it can always be changed)

Yesterday was the last day of school before a 2-week break. Jeremie will be gone to help with kids camps for most of the 2 weeks - something he enjoys doing just about every vacation.

Jeremie's a great big brother!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Shayden update

I will keep this short for today - just letting you know that the second family that came to meet Shayden and talk with me about what it means to take care of him, has decided against having him.

I already felt in my heart they were going to decline right after the visit (although they had left it open) and their decision didn't take me by surprise at all.

Since last week-end, LOTS has happened - - - way too much to tell you the whole story. Suffice to say that Rich and I are in the process of seriously reconsidering keeping Shayden after all - against all the odds and seeming impossibilities. And not because there is no one out there any more that may be interested (there are a couple of families that are possibly interested).

The conviction is growing in our hearts that it is God's will for Shayden to be part of our family - - - we think.
We are still not 100% sure - - - but need to make a decision very soon.

If we are keeping him, we will also take him with us on our trip. God will have to help BIG TIME, but if he is placing Shayden into our family, he will!

Toffee is gone

Our beautiful Golden Retriever Toffee has left our family... :(

We decided - some of us with heavier hearts than others - that Toffee needed to find a new family.

Since we moved into our new rental a couple of months ago, we have been having recurring problems with her wandering off. A few times she was brought back by not so happy neighbours with sheep. And a couple of times we had to pick her up at the pound :(

Since our new home - or better, garden - isn't fenced in, the only alternative would have been to attach her all the time, which isn't a great life for a dog.

She is now staying with friends who are PERFECT for her - and she for them! We are thrilled for her and them, but we do miss her around here.

A month or so ago we already had to give the cat away, that we had "inherited" with our new home, because he was NOT GOOD with Kylie and Shayden - and outright dangerous.
Kylie had a hard cry for a few minutes when Toffee left, but then she was fine. She definitely wants another cat and/or dog.
We'll see - - - I'm not so sure about that.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another one of Kylie's sayings

We've been having lots of guests since we've moved to our new home. When Kylie met our new guest from Finland this week (she's come from Sydney to spend some time at the House of Prayer), Kylie asked her, "Did you come to learn how to do meetings?"
She sure makes us laugh - she's got her own perspective on things!

Tomorrow morning, I will have the visit of 2 social workers plus a woman that wants to meet Shayden and find out from me what it takes to take care of him. She and her husband are SERIOUSLY interested in having him! The whole thing will be video-taped by one of the social-workers, so that her husband, who won't be able to come, will be able to get a feel "first-hand". Then they will hopefully make a decision by early next week...

Sounds promising - yay!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I was getting really desperate last week, since still no family had been found for Shayden - and time is ticking away...
Even tried to re-consider taking him with us on our big trip - - - but it REALLY isn't possible.

My heart just about in anguish - - - holding on tight to God - praying...
Got an email from social services on Thursday. They have now put the plea of little Shayden out to all the offices in NZ. Seems that 2 families are interested in having him - permanently ...

Don't know any more details for now. Hopefully more next week.

Watch this space!

Little man has become a "climber" - spent the better part of Friday on one of our chairs - up and down and up and down. Will conquer our dining room table in a matter of seconds. All chairs need to be far removed from the table at the moment. He hasn't figured out yet how to push them closer - I'm sure it won't be long.

I love him so much and can't bear the thought of what will happen to his little heart that has already been through so much.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Check this out

If you want to see a photo of the DTS crew, have a look at this blog!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Discipleship Training School

Rich LOVES working with the DTS! There are 16 students from 6 nations (NZ, Australia, USA, Canada, Korea, Paraguay) and staff from NZ, USA, Switzerland, Finland.

Here's a photo of a recent staff meeting at our house (some of them are only part-time).

Rich says working with the DTS makes him feel young:) - YAY!!!

Most of the students are 18-20. One American student is 72 (!), doing the school with her 2 granddaughters that are 18 and 19. How 'bout that?!!!

Another student who got saved at one of the IWT evangelistic campaigns in NZ (that we were involved with 4 years ago), was going to cancel in the last minute because of lack of finances.

Encouraged by a staff member to press on, come anyways and trust God for the finances, he saw a huge breakthrough later that day and got his whole school payed for!

This week, they are learning about the character and nature of God from Aaron Walsh from the Tauranga House of Prayer. FANTASTIC stuff, from what I'm hearing!
The DTS is spending a fair amount of time at the "House of Prayer" - what a blessing!!!

AND - did you ever wonder what DTS leaders do on their day off??? Wonder no more - last Saturday morning, these three went off to a nearby lake with Kayaks and brought these beauties - trout - home!

Great times!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Quote of the day

... by Kylie:

Somebody in the family: "What is temptation?"

Kylie, without hesitation, blurting out: "Chocolate!"

Out of the mouth of babes - - - hihi!

Monday, September 8, 2008

First bird leaving the nest

As I'm writing, Nathalie is sitting in the airport in Tahiti in transit, waiting for her flight to Los Angeles. It was a bit emotional for me to see her leave this morning, but I'm alright now - and I really am excited for her and all that's ahead for her in the next 7 months!

Comforting, too, that we'll see her again in Germany on Dec.20th for my nephew's wedding - for a week - including Christmas - before she'll take off on outreach (to who knows where).
She has another 20 hours of traveling until she'll be with her grandparents in Washington.
Love you, sweetpea!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Full day - good day

Now that I've FINALLY learned how to do links, I've got to try one. Thanks Tracie!
Rich is working here tonight (from 7pm to 7am) - one of the volunteers :)
He started doing 12-hour shifts after his training with Rescue-net in Australia last month - to keep his skills sharp. He LOVES it!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hopefully there won't be too many calls tonight and he'll get some sleep, because tomorrow is promising to be another full day with the DTS.

How 'bout that for links - yay!

I've had a fabulous day catching up with a friend from Tahiti who came to visit just for a day (!) with her son - hadn't seen them in almost 3 years! It was a nice day and we spent some time outside - eating oranges straight from the tree. Spring is on the way!!! I am so excited!!! Had enough of winter for while!

Monday, September 1, 2008

"Mom, I made some piles"

On Saturday I was looking through this site (sorry, I don't know how to make it work as just a simple link - help anyone?).

I wanted to find a good short video from the YWAM base where Nathalie is going to do her DTS to show at the farewell party. Kylie was standing next to me and as she was watching the footage that included poor children in developing nations, she kept saying, quite passionately, "I will feed them! I will give them clothes! I will take care of them!". I didn't pay much attention to her, since I was really busy, and didn't say anything in answer of what she kept repeating.

We chose a totally different video from another site and didn't mention the poor children anymore.

This morning (Monday) at breakfast, she said, "Mommy, do you want to look in my bedroom? I chose some of my things that I want to give to the poor children. I made some piles. Do you want to have a look?"

This is what I found:

This girl means business! She even reminded me late this afternoon, that we need to give those piles to the poor children (she's been at school all day).

And I hadn't even told her about this:

The silent killers are poverty, hunger, easily preventable diseases and illnesses, and other related causes. In spite of the scale of this daily/ongoing catastrophe, it rarely manages to achieve, much less sustain, prime-time, headline coverage.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Nathalie's leaving soon...

There's nothing like sitting down on the computer with a piece of black forest cake on a Sunday night after what seems like a whirlwind of a week (another week)!

Shhhh - - - don't tell the kids I'm breaking my own rules and eating next to the computer :)

The two little ones just went to bed, Rich took off to a meeting with the DTS leaders and the teenagers left for Sunday night church. Before I crash into bed (VERY soon!), a little update for you blogging friends...

Nathalie is leaving for the US and the Germany a week from tomorrow (for 7 months!) and we put on a farewell/fundraiser party for her this afternoon. She will first visit her grandparents in the US, then her family in Germany and after that she'll be off to Herrnhut (Germany, birthplace of the Moravian missions movement) where her "Discipleship Training School" with YWAM will start on October 4th.

We had the party at the children's ministry venue of our church and I decided to treat about 40-50 people to German baking - hence the leftover black forest cake I'm munching on right now.

As you can imagine, this was a LOT of work - but worth it all!

It didn't help to have 2 almost sleepless nights leading up to today. I spare you the details...

Suffice to say I am absolutely exhausted - just the right mood for blogging:) (I do it when I'm not up for doing anything else, it's relaxing).

We had a good time of fellowship, eating and drinking, watching a movie clip about the YWAM base in Herrnhut, some fun with giving Nathalie a few (more or less) useful gifts, some questions and answers and a special time of prayer. She is also a little over NZ$300 closer to her goal of about NZ$4,000 needed funds for her outreach fees (don't know where to yet).

It is quite incredible how the Lord has already provided for her flight to Germany and the lecture phase of the school through many generous donors!!! She has been volunteering at our church since January and not been able to earn money for it, so this has been an extra-special blessing!!!
Some of the food and some of the guests

Guess who this crazy young lady is? No, it's not Nathalie! Did we have fun or what?!!

As we are about to send Nathalie across the oceans, others are arriving in Tauranga to do the exact school she'll be doing in Germany. A couple of the new students actually joined us this afternoon. One of them is from Paraguay and just arrived today for the DTS that will start tomorrow!

Rich wasn't supposed to work with the school (run by Impact World Tour), but was asked a couple of weeks ago to be involved, since they needed more staff. So here he goes, the next 3 months are going to be very intense. What's new?! It'll be good! Expectations are high - - - more soon...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Feeling comforted and reassured

Even though I still have crying "spells" that overcome me by the thought of Shayden leaving us soon, they are not so often anymore - and not so intense - although I'm sure there'll be LOTS of ups and downs in the next little while. THANK YOU, if you have been praying!!!

After the last post, I took some time really pouring out my heart to God, crying before him in my own pain, crying out to him for Shayden, and felt to read Psalms 145 and the following Psalms. What a GOOOOOOD time!!!

I felt comforted and reassured that GOD WILL FIND A GOOD FAMILY for Shayden and take care of him!

"The Lord is good to ALL, and His tender mercies are over ALL his works" Ps.145,9 - this includes Shayden!

"The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him sincerely and in truth.
He will fulfill the desires of those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them." Ps.145:18-19
That's me and my desire is for the best possible family for Shayden!

"The Lord upholds the fatherless." Ps.146:9

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds - curing their pains and their sorrows." Ps. 147:3

Also, for a while now, I have felt to sing Psalm 23 (by Keith Green) over Shayden every evening when I feed him his bottle and he is looking intently into my eyes - kind of as a declaration over his life. This is what I sing:

The Lord is your sheperd, you shall not want!
He makes you lie down in green pastures.
He leads you besides the still waters.
He restores your soul, and guides your paths in righteousness for his names' sake.

(forgot the middle part of the song and don't sing it)

Surely, goodness and loving kindness shall follow you all the days of your life.
And you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever and ever and ever.

AMEN!!! And good night - Shayden has been sleeping quite badly this whole week (is he sensing something? He's so sensitive) and I have been exhausted - and even started to drink coffee, which I never do, just so that I can make it through the days. Night!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Check this out

I thought you might like to check out Nathalie's blog -
She's preaching her first message TONIGHT!
Go, girl, go!

Starting to grieve

Pretty soon, this room will be empty... sighAs you know, it has become clear that we are not to be Shayden's permanent foster family.

YET, deep down inside of me, I was still secretly HOPING that somehow it would work out and we could keep him after all - at least for another year or so...???

Well, this past week-end, it has become VERY clear that he will need to be in another family before we go on our trip to Germany and the US in November.

There is still NO family out there for him, though, which makes it so much harder! It was so difficult telling the social worker on Monday that he will have to move on in November, no matter what.

We cannot take him with us on our trip, and I definitely cannot perceive taking him back after he's been separated from us for a couple of months!!! I would feel like such a traitor and not ever worthy of his trust again!

Soooo, this is IT! I feel like my heart is going to be ripped out - - - and I've already started grieving... told the family not to be surprised and not to ask me any questions when they see me crying or with red eyes in the next couple of months. It is going to be so very very very hard!!!

I think I will only be able to handle this by hanging on to GOD for dear life!!! And remember what he spoke to me a year ago about Shayden, "Don't be afraid of pain."

There has been plenty of pain already in the past year - it has been the hardest, yet most rewarding thing for me to care for Shayden - and even though there were many times when I thought I couldn't make it through, I did LOVE caring for him - so much - and I love him like my own child!!! He is such a delight!!!

Arrgghhh! I don't like pain!!! But I will go through it - with HIS GRACE!!!

How much more than I will Shayden need God's grace!!!

Could you PLEASE join me in praying fervently for a good permanent foster family to be found - NOW!!! The transition needs to be very gentle for the wee chap, since he is SO sensitive!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

First days of school

Kylie has had her first two days of school. YAY!!!

She did really well, although it REALLY tires her out to be there for 6 hours!
When I picked her up after the first day, I was greeted with a very excited, "I can read!"
She brought home a little book, which she had pretty much "memorized". Too cute!!!

The next morning, she didn't want to go any more. She wanted to go back to kindi :(

As great as the school is - very relaxed, nice teacher, only 14 kids, lots of fun, play and art - it will need some getting used to for her.

I think she'll love school before long! I saw a poster there saying, "School is the best party in town!" How 'bout that?!

Here she is on her first day, just before getting into the classroom, about to hang up coat and backpack - everything pink, of course:)

Watching some boys play with dinosaurs - see the expression on her face? A bit sad...

Making playdough letters with her friend Meesha, the only child in the class she knew from her kindi - Shayden is trying to decide if he likes the taste of playdough
Note: the super-dooper doll-house on the right! A favourite of Kylie's!

Most of her classmates with her teacher at "mat-time"

Friday, August 15, 2008

Last day of kindergarten

Kylie's 5th birthday also marked the end of her kindergarten days. She had a special "ceremony" at the end of the session where she got to sit in "the special chair", wear the special hat she had made that morning, share her favourite memory from kindi, sing a song, answer 3 questions from the other children (like what her new school is, what her teacher's name is, etc), receive a card and give a gift and card to the kindergarten.
At the end, she stood at the gate as the children were leaving, giving them each a home-made gingerbread man as a good-bye gift.

She'd had a fantastic time at the kindergarten and was sad to leave - - -
One of her teachers reading the card they'd made for Kylie - and then:
Kylie choosing her favourite memory of her time at kindi - by looking at her folder - and then sharing with the class
Offering ginger-bread men to all her friends
... helped by her sisters who had come along... (brother was at school)

Bye Maungatapu Kindergarten (morning sessions)

Kylie will miss you