Matthew 22:37-39

Matthew 22:37-39

Sunday, December 26, 2010

We had Christmas Eve Service together with our church family. It was a great service and it was beautiful seeing this gorgeous chapel decorated and the body of Christ coming together for one purpose; for worshipping the One True King! Lyndlee and Gavin had a hard time sitting still through the service. They were loud, saying funny things, Lyndlee tried eating the candle they handed out, etc. After this adventure, we ended up at Denny's with a few families from church for a late supper.
Christmas morning serving at our church went great. We had a great turn out and made some new friends! What a blessing it was to our family, to serve and give to others instead of focusing on ourselves, on gifts and other things. Really put some things into perspective. We were able to help some poor families pick out a coats, hats, gloves. Some families picked out extra winter clothes and blankets. One girl chose to Christmas shop for her mom. I watched as our music minister took his shoes off and gave them to a man who wasn't wearing shoes. I watched some of our youth girls walk up to total strangers to talk to them and make them feel loved. I saw some men go out of their way so they could know as many people as possible at this breakfast. I saw them reach into their own pockets to give this sweet girl some money so she could buy a Christmas gift. I saw numerous people that didn't even attend our church come to help serve because they wanted to do something different at Christmas. I saw groups of people that came to serve others and not themselves. I saw a group of people come together to be "Jesus" to our brothers and sisters that needed it the most. And isn't this what every Christmas, what everyday should be about. Shouldn't we always be striving to serve and love others? After all, our perfect example Jesus did not come to be served but came to serve others and give his life as a ransom for many people! (Mark 10:45)
Wishing everyone a Wonderful New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas in Joplin

We had a great time visiting both families for Christmas. This year we are having Christmas at home. But we are having a busy day. We are starting the morning off early, serving the homeless in our area. Our church is serving breakfast Christmas morning and handing out coats, gloves, winter wear to those that need it. What a great time this will be, just showing love to those that truly need it on Christmas. And then at 2pm we are having a few friends come over that are staying put for Christmas and we are cooking up a feast. Brennan is excited as he is going to deep fry the turkey. What a great day it will be.
Was sad not to get a family picture of my brother Jeremi, his wife Jenni and sweet baby girl Ellie. She was napping when all the pictures were getting taken! So I had to sneak in a picture of her with my sister Joy because she is the sweetest little baby!
We are headed back to Joplin on Sunday to see my brother Josh. So I will have to sneak a picture of him too!
Merry Christmas!

Christmas in Joplin

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


We were once like children, slaves to the useless rules of this world. But when the right time came, God sent His Son who was born of a woman and lived under the law. God did this so he could buy freedom for those who were under the law and so we could become His children! Since you are God's children, God sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, and the Spirit cries out "Father." So now you are not a slave; you are God's child, and God will give you the blessing he promised, because you are His child! Galatians 4:3-7
Adoption is not Plan B!
Thank you Lord for adopting me as your child!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas in Columbia

We had an early Christmas in Columbia. The kids loved being around family, especially Hayley and Brett! They enjoyed making cookies with Granny, Gavin ate about 3 cookies in one setting. Lyndlee and her cousin Hayley played the piano together. Well Hayley played, Lyndlee just hit the keys but it was still cute. Gavin loves watching football so the guys watched a game or two. I love the picture with the kids by the tree, they didn't want to hold still at all. Next Christmas will be this weekend in Joplin. Christmas morning we actually get to stay at home in Branson. Christmas morning at our church, they are serving breakfast for homeless people around Branson. Our church does such a tremendous job reaching out to the community, letting them know we all love them and are there for them. We have a great woman of the Lord over all of that outreach, her name is Sarah and she is always doing things for others. What an example she is of Jesus' love. We can't wait to be apart of this Christmas morning, to give joy, food, encouragement to others and have our family serve together.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Eric Ludy - Depraved Indifference

Is it really December?

I can't believe how time flies and that my last post was in October.
I have done awful at getting any recent pictures of the kids too.
We are trying to live differently each day. We learned so many things while we lived in Haiti. We learned so many things from our students, our friends and neighbors. We miss them all dearly. They are such happy content people, many have nothing. Many have only 4 walls surrounding them for their house and that is it. No painted walls, no decor, no furniture, no material things. No car, no toys, no closets full of clothes. Many don't have food to eat each day. Many don't have presents to give their kids for birthdays and holidays. My mind constantly journeys back to the poor we saw day after day, to stories our students would tell us of things going on in their family and household. And yet through all of their hardships and trials, they were/are so happy and content. The students would come to school, dressed in their best clothes, ready to learn and to hear about Jesus. What examples they were and still are for our family and so many more. And how silly my problems seem in comparison to their struggles day after day.
We are trying to live simple here in America, and that is a challenge everyday. We are all surrounded by so many things, so many material things, so much excess. And in this world, they tell you to want more, to buy more, to get more, etc. When it comes down to it, none of those things matter! Who cares what clothes you have, what your house looks like, what kind of car you drive, etc. We have fallen so many times into these lies and I get so frustrated about it at times.
Right now we are trying to get out of debt completely. Can't wait for that glorious day, let me tell you, there will be a big party at our house! We are in the process of trying to sell our car so we don't have a car loan. At times I get selfish and don't want to sell it. But I have to keep remembering, it is just a thing of this world and we don't need it! We are also working hard on paying off school debt. Through all of this, God is faithful and provides for our everyday needs. We are so very blessed.
I continue to watch kids at home, today I have 5 little ones under the age of 3. Nap time is a glorious thing! Really I am so blessed and have such great kids to watch. And Lyndlee and Gavin love having friends over each day!
Lyndlee is doing great, learning her letters and sounds. She is my little helper, she loves to clean. Right now we are working on Christmas ornaments to send to other adoptive families. She is so cute and creative! She is talking and using so many sentences. I know I always comment on that but she didn't used to talk really at all and I was worried about that.
Gavin is doing great, growing and eating like crazy. Seriously my boy can put away food like no one else! He is almost bigger than his sister, by weight and height. It brings us so much joy to watch him grow because he had such a rough start. You can't tell that now though!
Brennan continues to keep busy with work and youth things. He is great at his work and the kids really respect him and look up to him. He is a great daddy, provider and best friend.
We have a few more trips coming up to see friends and family along with youth trips on the weekends. And then we will rest at home and take it easy for a bit. March is our next big trip. We are taking a vacation with our dear friends who we ministered with in Haiti. We are meeting at Santo Domingo and spending a week together. Can't wait, it has been too long since we have seen them. And we love traveling internationally. Just nervous imagining Gavin on a plane, he doesn't like to sit for a long time!
Hope you have a blessed Christmas.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Here are a few pictures, so much has happened this month! We have had lots of friends/family visiting: Eddie, Jared, Carrie and their sweet kids Brett and Hayley. And also my mom and three sisters are coming this weekend.
The kids I watch have been keeping me plenty busy during the day and I am also trying to do a little school with Lyndlee each morning. It is awesome watching her soak everything up and she is learning so much. Her talking is improving each day!
Gavin has had yet another ear infection but the Lord has blessed us with great doctor friends that have helped us get some medicine for him! He is cute when I am teaching Lyndlee, he is starting to make letter sounds too! He still is go go go and most every day wears me out!
Brennan is keeping busy with work, planning youth events, etc. Our Wednesday nights with the youth are the best. The kids are great and Brennan does such a great job speaking and helping them in their lives.
This Sunday we are having a youth halloween party so we will see who comes dressed up!
Enjoy the pictures, my kids are the sweetest and such blessings!
The other picture is such a great picture! While Gavin was in Taiwan and in hospital for his heart surgery, there was a missionary there by the name of Craig Thompson that went to pray with Gavin and take pictures for us. He heard via email through one of our aunts that Gavin would be there. And he is now the missionary on campus at OCC. So Brennan's mom got this special picture for us and I was able to put it in Gavin's scrapbook! God's blessings are always pouring out! So many people loved, prayed and took such great care of Gavin in Taiwan!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Haircut anyone?

So this past week was the week of haircuts for my family. We took the kids to this really fun place in Springfield. It is kid friendly and the kids had a blast. Brennan also got his hair cut (a lot!) by our neighbor friend. It was so funny, she just kept cutting and cutting. And Lyndlee kept saying, wow dad, hair gone! And Lyndlee still talks about it today.
We are busy getting everything planned for fall activities at church. Church starts back up soon and we are so ready to be back seeing our youth each week! This semester will bring a lot of changes to the program and we are really excited to seeing God work in everyone's lives. We start our new parenting small group on Sunday night at our house. If everyone comes, there will be 14 parents and 9 kids under the age of 5! Pray for us now! We are hoping to get a couple of our sweet youth kids to watch all the kids. Did I mention 2 of the 9 kids are babies only a few months old, and plus 2 of the mommies are expecting their second ones in a few months?! So that will make 11 kids soon! Full house and I love it!
Here are some pictures, Brennan didn't really care for me to take a picture of his new hair cut. So you have to imagine. Just think you couldn't really see his ears for oh about a year and now you can see them.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

No More Painting Please

So we are moved into our new house. The move went really great, our youth kids helped a ton! We have such a great group of kids. We had been storing our stuff in our neighbor's garage at the time. The day of our move, the moving truck was at our apartment so we could load all the big pieces. Instead of waiting for the truck, our youth kids decided to walk boxes, tubs, toys, etc down to our house, 2 houses down. It was right in the heat of the day so they were all dripping sweat and were so tired. But what servant's hearts they have!
We had a great week with them, worshipping the Lord together at the "Event" in Branson. About 2,000 teens came to worship the one true God! David Nasser spoke to us about God's teachings, and Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman led us in worship. What a great week!
We missed Lyndlee and Gavin but they had a great time at grandma and grandpa's house. In fact, Gavin became known as the "button boy" because whenever my mom would try to work on the computer, he would go and turn it off. He didn't want to share her with anyone and demanded to be held the whole time. My poor sweet mom's arms had to be aching all week long! Lyndlee loved being at my parent's house with all the different animals they have.
This past few weeks we have had numerous family & friends helping unpack, clean and paint. We are so blessed.
The house looks great! We kept the kids in the same room, they just really enjoy being together at night, and I think it helps them both with their nightmares and waking up. Mama Bev said, "that is great, after all they were used to 20 brothers and sisters at the home" The other room we turned into a playroom which is so handy with all the extra kids I watch during the week too.

Update on our family:

Brennan- What an awesome hubby I have, such a servant. He has been keeping busy getting youth stuff together for the fall start up. Also getting things together for our new small group we will be leading starting end of August on parenting. He is such a great daddy and I love watching him with Lyndlee and Gavin!

Janna- Busy with keeping the house in order with Gavin taking everything apart! hehe. I love him and can't imagine my life without him, he keeps me so busy though. Loving being at home with my Lyndlee and Gavin and loving being able to watch some other sweet babies to help pay some bills and contribute to our family! Really enjoying watching Lyndlee learn everyday and talk more and more.

Lyndlee- Talking so much now, I talk my mom's ears off she says! Just got a train table for the playroom so I am loving that. And I am loving horses and talk about them all the time!

Gavin- Busy getting into everything. I wake up at 6am smiling, giggling and ready for the day and don't stop until my nap! I love my sister Lyndlee and just want to always be next to her.

Here are a few pictures!
God bless!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

We are crazy!

We had a great time visiting out friends in Pittsburg, Kansas. We didn't last long at the Home of God's Love picnic. Gavin was getting way too hot so we stayed for a few minutes. He looked like a tomato when we got into the car. We always manage to get tons of pictures of the kids together, but none of the adults. I love watching our kids play with Ava and Hudson. How awesome that Ava and Lyndlee were in Taiwan together, and Hudson and Gavin were too. They will always have such a strong friendship and connection and I love that.
So about this time last year after moving from Haiti in June, we lived with my parents till July, and then moved into our apartment in Branson. And now this time this year, we are moving to our new home. So boxes are every where! We close July 27th but did I tell you next week is our big youth event too. Lyndlee and Gavin get to go spend the week with their grandparents. So sometime in between the sessions with our youth, we have to go sign papers to close on the house, and than I have to find time to clean the house. Thursday we are moving everything in and having the youth kids help us! And then Brennan leaves for his Chicago trip on Saturday. So much going on right now. But we are so blessed with our wonderful children, with daily provisions and with our new home.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I love God's timing. This was a verse our pastor went over on Sunday morning.
But our homeland is in heaven, and we are waiting for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, to come from heaven. By his power to rule all things, he will change our humble bodies and make them like his own glorious body.
Philippians 3:10

House stuff continues to drag on, still praying we can close July 27th. We are so blessed in finding this foreclosure house and getting such a great deal on it. But I am not going to lie, I never want to buy a house again, let alone a foreclosure one. But I can't wait to show the kids their new home, especially to let them see the yard they can run around in. They are going to be so very excited. My sweet babies get so excited to be outdoors, Gavin even laughs if you are holding him and are walking anywhere near the front door.
This weekend we are going to our friends house in Pittsburg, Ks. to celebrate our precious kids with other adoptive parents around the area. There is nothing sweeter than going to a get together where there are 50 precious Chinese children running all around. God is great!
Here is a picture of our new home, hope to get more taken soon.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Glorious Day

As I write, Lyndlee is busy pretending to be a cat, Gavin is walking around everywhere/getting into everything, and Brennan is busy making dinner. I am blessed beyond words. I love my family.
This past week:

Brennan: has been busy with the youth and planning our big youth trip at the end of july. have i mentioned i have a great husband. he took the youth boys on a float trip. i loved hearing all about it when we got home and all the funny things the youth boys did too. he loves pouring his life into the lives of these great kids and i love serving alongside him.

Janna: this week has been crazy, consisting of mostly packing any spare time i get. i love being a wife and mommy.

Lyndlee: is talking like crazy in sentences and she is learning so much. she loves to pretend to be animals and loves to go swimming. she is very excited about her new house and all the boxes in the apartment right now.

Gavin: he is all boy. he tackles anyone that is sitting on the floor, i mean tackles them to the ground and laughs. he is walking everywhere now, but when he falls, he makes this funny sound like he is so disappointed he fell. he says "thank you" now and trying to say "please" what a sweet baby boy.

My family is so good at changes. Lyndlee has had a lot of changes in her young life from living in Taiwan, Haiti, Columbia, Mo. Joplin and now Branson. We do love to say how she is only 3 years old and has already lived in 3 different countries and has heard 3 different languages! She did great when we brought Gavin home in January and Gavin has done great with all the changes of living in America. Our family is such a perfect fit, a forever family, brought together by God! And now we are packing up again and moving to our new house, only a few minutes away from our apartment though. and my kids do not mind changes and that is such a blessing. I thank God for all these changes, for all the things we have learned along the way, for all the blessings, for all the trials, for the changes that are still to come because changes always come my friends and i get excited for them! I can't wait to see how He works in our lives and how He uses us!
In all of these changes, I have learned I very much dislike clutter and having too many things because honestly it creates too much to pack but also, those are just things of this world and they do not really matter in the end. Honestly, I never really have felt at home, really have felt settled. This is something that my best friend and I talk about so much. And sometimes I think, you know just maybe we aren't supposed to feel settled and to have this earth feel as our home ever. After all, this is not our home, and this is not where we will be spending the rest of our life. Oh how I can't wait for that day, to be with our Lord and not have any of this material stuff of the world, just being with the one True King Jesus! What a glorious day!

One day when heaven
Is filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as it could be
Jesus came forth to
Be born of a virgin
Dwelt among man my example is He

Living He loves me
Dying He saves me
Buried He carry my sin far away
Rising He justify
We live forever
One day He's coming
Oh, Glorious Day
Oh, Glorious Day

One day they lead Him
Up calvaries mountain
One day they nailed Him
To die on a tree
Suffering anguish
Despised and rejected
Bearing my sins my redeemer is He

One day the grave could sealed Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He a rose over Death He had conquered
Now is ascended
My lord forever more

One day the trumpet will
Sound for His coming
One day the sky with His
Glories will shine
Wonderful day
My beloved once bring
Glorious Savior is Jesus is mine.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Boxes here we come!

Well it has been a crazy few weeks with lots of people visiting and fun events with our youth.
Our big news is that we are now home owners! We have been looking at and praying for this specific house since Feb and can't believe it is ours! It was a long weekend after placing an offer on it Friday night but we finally found out at 8pm!
It will be perfect for the kids with a nice yard and more space, and even the neighborhood park is right behind our house.
Perfect for my very active kids.
So now to packing and cleaning amongst the already crazy summer schedule. We have family coming in this weekend and we are very much looking forward to that. Next weekend we have a float trip with our youth, followed by Chinese get together with other adoptive families, followed by moving day and than our big youth event for the summer. Wow. It is going to be crazy but I love it.
We appreciate all the prayers we can get these next few weeks. Thanks for being apart of our lives. We are thankful for you!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Conklin Family Visit

These past few weeks we have had family in. Eddie came one weekend followed by the Conklin Families. It has been a great time hanging out with everyone. Gavin has started walking now, he is taking up to 4 steps. And Lyndlee is talking more and more each day! She is learning so many new things to say! This week we are by ourselves as Brennan is at camp. We are ready for Daddy to be home!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

We had Brice, Amanda, Naiyah and Beckett come visit us for a few days. Oh how we love them and miss them so much. I am praying for the day when we can be in ministry again and live close to each other! Not for sure if that will happen again but a girl can pray! We are so proud of them and all the work they are doing for the Lord in Haiti. Keep praying for them, as they travel this summer and return back home to Haiti in Aug. Also keep praying for all the students/families at Sonlight and all the wonderful people in Haiti.