26 October 2012

Friday's Funny-a nature walk

Wednesday was a near 80 degree day here in Central IL and a beautiful day for Arlan to join us at Parklands Nature Preserve.  Haven loves the woods [see here] and is always hopeful to spot some amazing wildlife-on the way to Parklands she was hoping to spot a panda bear :)

 she actually fell asleep on way to Parklands so it took a bit to warm up :)




 someone let Haven get a little far ahead of him...spot Haven?

 every good hiker needs a walking stick :)

 busted Daddy...checking your phone!

great lighting

and the only wildlife we saw that afternoon!

22 October 2012

no lions, no tigers, no bears...oh my!

One of the many fond memories of my childhood is when my parents took me to the circus...I remember the animals, the lights, the neon toys & swords lighting up the dark when the lights went down, fun music, and thinking I loved those acrobats and sparkly dressed women!

Well, a "few" years later, Haven got to experience her first circus at the Peoria Civic Center....the Ringling Brothers & Barnum Bailey!  It was what we expected: lights, expensive toys, expensive popcorn & soda, wonderful acrobats & elephants, camels, horses, and dogs.

However, maybe it's because of the risk...or maybe it's because of insurance liability...or maybe because it's difficult to transport tigers, lions, & bears...but oh, wouldn't it be great to see them again do tricks at the circus?!  Regardless, here are a few memories from our afternoon at the circus.

 the first animal act were the camels & horses

 the sideshow of the Mighty Dimitre...

...he was quite strong!  In fact, the end act was a Jeep Wrangler driving OVER this Ukrainian!
[I guess I was so in awe, I forgot to get a picture :]

 the dog show...besides the "sparkly dresses", Haven probably liked the dogs best!
 quite an incredible acrobat duo
 and then the elephants!  this was my favorite act!
 interestingly enough, the same lady trainer trained the camels, horses, dogs & elephants-incredible!

leaving the circus with a very expensive souvenir popcorn box :)

16 October 2012

Jr. High Camp

The first weekend in October found us heading to East Bay Camp at Lake Bloomington to help host our church's Jr. High Boys & Girls Camp.  The weekend, while chilly, was a huge success.  The ISU college kids came out roaring with energy, music & love to shower on the 48 campers!  And of course, as with any social interaction, Haven loved the food, music & attention she was given!
Our theme was Micah 6:8 ~ Do Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly and each cabin got to chose one Bible character they felt illustrated that verse.

 Haven's friend, Sheryl, spoiled her most of the 2 days!

 Haven loved playing Duck-Duck-Goose :)

singing songs of praise!

 our speaker on Friday night was David Ringger

 some great ISU staff ~ Lynnae, Tess, Lindsey

 the campers painted pumpkins for the elderly for their service project...the kids did a great job!

 some Morton campers: Halley & Macy

Jodi Slagel did a great job sharing her testimony with the campers.

12 October 2012

Friday's Funny-is RED ugly?!

I'll let each of YOU decide?
[note: I did NOT prompt her...honestly!!!]


08 October 2012

harvest time

An afternoon ride in the combine with Daddy was a highlight at the end of September for Haven and I...even if the combine was, well, ya know...uh-hem, not the RIGHT color :)


03 October 2012

would you consider?

Travel has been on both of our hearts for a long time...both of us aren't sure how this happened as my parents didn't enjoy or take part in much travel when I was a kid and while Arlan' parent's did travel, it usually involved some sort of cow show destination...with that being said, part of what is neat about the Lord bringing us together is not only has our love of travel expanded but we've been able to use that love for God's purposes...namely to travel to orphanages and help support, encourage, play and pray for many of the fatherless in our world.

As orphan advocates, Arlan and I have been given an opportunity to bring orphan awareness to another level by helping a specific Lifesong for Orphan site in Ukraine.  I've traveled to Loubetin orphanage three times & Arlan twice...thus it definitely has a special spot in our heart.  While it's been several years since either of us have been there, it never ceases to amaze me how those beautiful Ukrainian smiles still are close to our lives.

And since it has been a few years since we've visited, it is amazing to see how over time & prayer God is using the Lifesong staff at Loubetin to mentor, mold & show those orphans Christ.  Folks, God is at work in their hearts!  Young boys & girls who took part in their VBS programs, schooling opportunities, & mentorship years ago have now become Believers...are giving back their time & talents to other younger orphans...are marrying & breaking the cycle of orphans producing orphans...creating their own businesses and producing sustainable income for the orphanage...amazing work is happening!!

Much like Compassion International or AC World Relief, child sponsorship offers an intimate way where you can not only provide for basic food, clothing & education to a fatherless child with your monthly donation but you will also offer encouragement to confused hearts, traumatized lives, and brilliant minds left asking questions about their value....

So my question to you is: would you consider sponsoring a child through the Lifesong Ukraine Child Sponsorship Program?  It is a great way to teach your own children, church, family or friends about fulfilling a Biblical commandment to care for the fatherless (James 1:27).

Below is a video I put together of our travels to Ukraine from 2005-2007~please pray...not only for your opportunity to be a part of this great blessing but for these children to find stable encouragement throughout life.  If you are interested, please email me at arlanandkatie@gmail.com and I'll send the information to you.

Thank you for your prayers & blessings in advance....after all, we are ALL adopted!

fall fun

Last week was a busy but fun week!  It was the beginning of leaves changing, a few outings with friends & fall activities.  On Friday we went to Radar Family Farms with some friends from Champaign-it was a beautiful day to be outside & it was fun to be with our Moser friends...thanks again for coming!

 Joah, Crew & Haven loved the Corney Bins...

 ...and the caterpillar ride...

 ...and the hay jump [I love these pics!]...


...and the see-saw!  Haven and Crew were the perfect sizes to evenly go up & down.

 Joah, Gretch, Oakley, Haven and Joah...thanks for a fun day!

Friday night we had dinner with friends, the Sauders, in Peoria...it was great catching up & seeing how their beautiful children have grown; unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the evening...however, Jody was kind enough to send home some fun dress up peices for our princess to play with & by 8:00am the next morning, Haven had transformed herself into Belle :)  Thanks again friends!

Saturday morning we headed to the ISU Horticultural Center for the Worldwide Day of Play.  They had fun fall activities with a corn maze, scavenger hunt, pumpkin donuts [Haven's favorite], scarecrows, arts & crafts [Haven's second favorite] and hayrides.  

And then Saturday night, after several big days and no nap, we decided to try camping...again.  This was our second attempt to spend a night outdoors, behind our house, to hopefully one day take Haven camping elsewhere.  Before subjecting the general public to our 2.5 year old, we thought a successful trial run in our backyard might boost our confidence...

 we roasted marshmallows...

Haven wasn't so sure about the whole marshmallow + chocolate + graham cracker concept...she just wanted the chocolate!

we told stories & sang songs...we watched the beautiful Harvest moon rise...


...and finally after about 9:00pm, she finally calmed down & fell asleep...all night...in the tent!