Our Blessed Chaos

My hubby + a 1st grader + twins in kindergarten + 4 critters..... Yeah it is chaos, but we are blessed!

Today's Verse

Everyone was so excited to get to Gramma SisSue and Grampa Mr.Bill's house.  But it was quite late when we arrived and of course dark.  But once we got up in the morning the first thing we did was go out in the back to meet some pretty special critters...

Meeting Sholley

Feeding Abby.  The joy on her face is priceless!

Ben feeding Crystal

And of course a little ride!


Making Mice with Grandma SisSue!

Introducing the Huge Ball to Fortune & Pirate

They didn't know what to think!

The trip home next....

It had been far too long since we had visited hubby's family in Phoenix, so this year we decided to go spend Christmas there.  As we discussed this we thought we should drive, a cross country trip would be a fun adventure. 

Then we wondered what to do about the dogs - well we would take them with us of course.

Then we wondered if it would be too cramped in the back with three kids, three dogs (including a large lab mix) and all our luggage. 

Then one day hubby said..."too bad we don't have a motorhome"  Well long story short - we rented an RV and away we went!

Hubby drove, I worked at the table and the kids played had a great time.  When we were hungry we stopped to eat and walked the dogs. When it was bedtime we put the kids in jammies and put them to bed, yep, while we continued down the highway.  When hubby got tired he stopped at a rest stop and slept as long as he needed to.  It worked quite well.

On our way we found out about a large storm that we were heading straight into, so we hanged direction and avoided the storm.    This change of plans took us right past Carlsbad Caverns.  We had to stop!

Our detour also took us through Tombstone.  Of course we had to stop!!  Not sure why I didn't take more pictures that day??  This is about it!

More posts from Christmas in Phoenix to come....

Our elf Max is very mischievous and does many silly things such as move ornaments, hide shoes, turn the milk green, have a snowball fight with marshmallows, leave trails in chocolate chips or M&Ms, write on the mirror in toothpaste, leave funny messages on the windows, make snow angels in flour on the counter and many other mischievous acts. He also has a different hiding spot each morning and it is fun to try to find him.

This year Rudolf sent Max to our house with a message and with one of the most mischievous acts of all.  Max painted their noses red while they slept!!!

Sam and Carlee were thrilled with the joke.  You can see the excitement in their faces.

Ben...not so much.  I think he was truly offended that Max had the nerve to do that while he was sleeping!

Carlee asked for a sewing machine
Sam asked for a remote control police helicopter

Ben didn't say a word.  Maybe Santa will bring him a remote control helicopter too.

When Santa comes to visit in our town he arrives on one of the local fire trucks with ALL the lights flashing.  How cool is that!

A few days before my mom had to go back to Canada (and the cold and all the snow) we woke up to an absolutely beautiful day so we jumped in the van and took Mimi to the beach.

After Thanksgiving our elf Max came back.  One morning we woke up and instead of finding a silly prank or a messy mess we discovered that Max left a note saying that it would be great idea for us to go to ChristmasTown so that we could have some Christmas fun.


I missed the Mother's day questionairre thisyear so I thought Iwould do another quick survey, just for fun....
I asked Sam these questions

1. What is your favorite color?
hmmm black

2. What is your favorite animal?

3. What is your favorite snack?
animal cookies

4. What is your favorite toy?
my police truck gramma su-su gave me

5. What is your favortite thing to do?
hmmmm my favorite thing to do, my FAVORITE thing to do is play vampires at school, at recess.

6. Where is your favorite place to eat?
mcdonalds in suffolk

7. What is your favorite TV show?
8. Where do you want to go on an adventure?
hmmm where do I want to go.  The fire department

9. What is Daddy's job?
he is a coast guard military

10. What is Mama's job?

11. What do you want to be when you grow up?
a police

And here are Carlee's answers.

1. What is your favorite color?

2. What is your favorite animal?

3. What is your favorite snack?

4. What is your favorite toy?

5. What is your favortite thing to do?
cook with mommy

6. Where is your favorite place to eat?

7. What is your favorite TV show?
umm little house on the prairie

8. Where do you want to go on an adventure?
the playground (giggles) ummm  ummmm (whispers) the beach

9. What is Daddy's job?
Coast Guard and the military

10. What is Mama's job?
(whispers) what is your job again? 
I say "haha no,you have to tell me"

working at the house

11. What do you want to be when you grow up?
a cooker!

And for your entertainment here are Ben's answers!  By the way, there are no typos in this section. I typed exactly what he said LOL

1. What is your favorite color?
ummm mmmm umm dark green dark purple and dark black

2. What is your favorite animal?
can it be um a regular kitty a jaguar a lion and ah and ah and ah um is a shark a animal?
I say "yes"
a turtle.  Those three

3. What is your favorite snack?
ummm um i want a snack.
I say "no we are going to have supper soon" then he throws a quick fit.

I like a juicebox and some crackers and cookies.

4. What is your favorite toy?
that is a very hard one to guess.  its very hard. um my favorite toy is stuff umm ummm my kitty

5. What is your favortite thing to do?
i don't know alot of things sleep um eat and playing and going to cities and watching tvs and playing abc mouse and all those things

6. Where is your favorite place to eat?

7. What is your favorite TV show?

8. Where do you want to go on an adventure?
ummm baaaa did you spell what I like? ummmmm go to a place that alot of military vehicles

9. What is Daddy's job?
ummm go to work and um make sure and is his job to umm make sure that they have the right weapons right?

10. What is Mama's job?
discovery toys

11. What do you want to be when you grow up?
i want to be a police and um a rescuer a search and rescuer. boff of those things.
Mama what are you doing this for?
I say "just for fun."

Is it going to go to any place?
I say "on my blog."

What is a blog?
he runs out of the room before I can answer...whew got them all asked and answered.


The ministry of the Hills is truly remarkable and God's loving touch can be seen and felt throughout this inspiring story.  I was deeply touched by this inredible story, and for that reason alone I highly recommend this book.  This story has insopired and challenged me to think of ways I can step out of my comfort zone and be more compassionate to those in need of simple acts of kindness and love,.

However, I do have a couple of complaints with the book itself. I found the structure to be confusing and I was often lost in trying to figure out what part of the story we had jumped to or gone back to - or to try to remember the details of a specific child's case from several chapters back. There were also pieces of information, sometimes important life events, that seemed to be thrown in at the end of a chapter, almost as an after thought. It seemed to mix chronological writing and topical writing styles and it really didn't flow well. Perhaps if it had been written as a diary or by devoting a chapter to a specific child or event it would have been easier to follow. But what annoyed me the most were spelling errors!

Blog reviews are all about honest opinions - so here is mine. Awesome, fantastic, inspiring story that has truly blessed me just to have read it, but the story is somewhat downplayed by mediocre writing and poor editing.

Disclosure: Litfuse Publicity Group provided me with a complimentary copy of this book as part of their blog tours program. 
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About The House of Hope: One couple’s powerful ministry to some of China’s most vulnerable children
Robin and Joyce Hill lived in a gated community in Beijing. Their family’s life was marked by luxury and the security of Robin's job as an engineer. Then one day, as members of their church, they had a chance to tour a state-run orphanage. Haunted by the needs of the children they saw there, for the next four years they tried to help the institute in meaningful ways.
 In 1998 the Hills planned to leave China, but instead felt a sudden call from God on their lives. They left their gated community--reserved for only non-Chinese residents--moved their family into a small apartment miles outside of Beijing and immediately began to take in foster children.

They took in any child, but especially those that needed extra care—terminally ill children that couldn't receive care elsewhere, and those that needed complicated and expensive surgeries that the Hills soon began to coordinate and sometimes pay for out of their own savings.
 What began as Hope Foster Home is now New Hope Foundation. As they continue their work, the Hills enjoy support from major corporations and high-profile philanthropists as well as the trust of the Chinese authorities. The Hills' story is an inspiring example of God's care and provision for those whom society does not value. Learn more about Hope Foster Homes here: http://www.hopefosterhome.com/.

 "I strongly support Robin and Joyce Hill's New Hope Foundation which is saving so many orphan lives in China. Read this amazing story of God's grace and accept the challenge to make a difference!"
--Steven Curtis Chapman

"I had the privilege of going to China and witnessing the work that God is doing through Robin and Joyce Hill. They are wonderful servants of God who lovingly care for the 'least of these.' I hope that many will read this book and consider their example."
--Francis Chan, author of Crazy Love

Link to buy the book

About Elisabeth Gifford: Elisabeth Gifford is a journalist who has written for the London Times and the Independent Newspapers. She lives in Kingston, England, and teaches children with dyslexia.