Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas photos


Our babies have special circus baby skills - Noah has finally mastered the standing-on-the-hand trick (and loves it!). Ana did this as a baby too, and we got great reactions about it from Kenyan moms when we were there with her as a baby!




Equipment for Uganda


We're greatly satisfied to have loaded up our friends' trailer with all the special needs equipment that has been donated for Uganda. Wheelchairs, standers, gait trainers, AmTryke bikes, a fleet of tumbleforms, various seats, trays for wheelchairs, crutches, gloves, chuxs, etc.

We installed a hitch on Josh's dad's SUV. We borrowed our friend's flatbed utility trailer. We were to leave today to start our journey down to VA to put it on a shipment that is going out to Uganda. Thanks to the blizzard, our journey was delayed a day, giving me a chance to catch up on email and even blog for the first time in a crazy month.

Pray for us during this month of travels: Christmas with my family in PA, visits with many friends and churches along the way, taking us all the way down to VA Beach and back! As always, on these trips, I'll be doing all of Gracie's therapies and schooling. Something I enjoy but also find very challenging with the two other precious ones also wanting my full attention!

Pray for us that we would be able to take time together as a family and specifically as a couple to work on our relationships and grow in Christ during this month.

We are in need for funds to complete this project of getting the equipment in Uganda - around $4000 in total. If you would like to contribute to this project, please send your donations through www.actioninternational.org/rattin.

Amanda did so much to gather, deliver, and help to prepare all the equipment for shipment. Thank you!


It all looks much less impressive from this point of view... But it's all on there!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas shopping for mommies

I've done A LOT of Christmas shopping online this year with the three kids since it's nearly impossible to push a wheelchair, carry the baby, manage Ana, AND shop for anything more than a bottle of shampoo without one of the four of us getting injured in the process!

I've signed up with Ebates which gives cash back for shopping at sites you would shop at anyway. It's free, so give it a try! (And if you click my link then I might get a reward for referral too!) And today is free shipping at a lot of sites.

Christmas projects

To make home-made gift tags this year, Gracie colored and squirted paint onto brown paper bag (hand over hand). We cut some short pieces of thin red ribbon and sprinkled the red ribbon on top of the paint. Then we squished tracing paper on top and let them dry. (no glue, just paint) Several hours later, they were dry enough to cut up into rectangles.

Then I punched holes in them and Ana was able to thread ribbon through the holes. It's a neat sort of 3-D effect with the tracing paper over the colors (not well represented by these photos). I recommend using very bright colors (we tried glitter paint but it doesn't show through well at all). Gold paint looks neat smeared ON TOP of the tracing paper but again doesn't show through the tracing paper well on its own.




In class field trip. Anyone who knows Gracie can guess what is going on right now in the classroom that captivates her attention so thoroughly - YES, singing Christmas Carols!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Movie coming out in January


There's a movie coming out in January that looks very interesting, especially for those of us with a heart for adoption! Here's a synopsis written by Christian Alliance for Orphans:


New Movie Coming: Change of Plans

A new made-for-TV movie slated for showing on January 8 explores adoption, sacrifice and life priorities in a way very few films today do. “Change of Plans” tells the story of a young, jet-set couple whose all-too-perfect lives may be irreparably altered by four orphaned children. I had the chance to preview the director’s cut this week and came away inspired and thoughtfully challenged.

When Sally Danville’s (Brooke White of American Idol) best friend from college dies in tragic accident in Africa, she leaves behind four children—three of them adopted from countries around the world. Sally and husband Jason must now grapple with choices that will shape the rest of their lives. Step by step, the couple realizes that for every inch they open their hearts and home to the children, the plans they’ve mapped out for themselves will likely be lost forever.

The film gets its strength from the underlying story and real-world decisions it represents for each of us. The acting, music and script are not Oscar quality, but still solid. Many adoptive families and others involved with kids in the foster system will likely see parallels with their own stories as well. The widows the story offers into the potential challenges of adoption and foster care are perhaps understated, but not absent: it’s clear that to welcome a child into our home is not a cost-free choice.

Refreshingly, this movie earns its “family friendly” identity not merely by cutting out sex and violence, but by delivering a thoughtful challenge to some of the great lies of our era. Most narratives today, from commercials to movies, implicitly argue that fulfillment is found in getting what we want. “Change of Plans” points in the opposite direction, helping us see that real life is only found by embracing the inspiring-but-costly invitations God puts before us.

If your evening January 8 is not already booked, I’d encourage you to spend it enjoying “Change of Plans” with your kids or a few friends. Doing so sends a message to TV producers and advertisers that there is, after all, a market for quality programs. More importantly, the story just may provoke a change in your plans as well.


Happy 3rd Birthday Ana!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Happy 7th Birthday Gracie!


Catching our breath

We have had one of our most stressful weeks ever with Josh's mom suffering a minor heart attack followed by a most incredible situation in our church family as a teenager that we are quite close to ran away from home... to Egypt! We have spent the week running around to and camping out at airports, trying to serve the family, and show our friend that we love her no matter what happens. In the midst of incredible challenges, we are so grateful that God is in control and caring for His children. We had to remind ourselves that normal life carries on while the rest of life came to a stand-still - so here are some updates on family life as we also continue to prepare to leave for the mission field. Holiday cooking has become more of a challenge as many of our household items are packed away or given away!

Gracie made a lovely centerpiece for our Thanksgiving table - we celebrated Thanksgiving with Josh's parents and Grandparents. It was quiet and a nice relaxing day!

Noah adores his big sisters and is growing up so fast - already ready for his exersaucer! Here he is gazing with expectation and a ready smile at Ana who loves to entertain him.

The girls helped me make pumpkin pies today to give to some people in our church.
Finished product!

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