Archive for the ‘Family News’ Category

Rise up men !

December 17th, 2013 by Jill

12.17.13

We know that in America it’s called a “women’s issue” or a “personal choice”, but in our family it’s a question of creation, the Creator and our responsibility to it.

Below you will find a link to a recent article about this and it’s impact on marriages.  Thank you Jeff and Tricia for sharing your testimony!!!!

Read it here

So many families and their children are blessed because of your witness and commitment!!!!

Thank you Jeff and Tricia! It’s always great to read some good news.

Our new home

August 30th, 2013 by Jill

08.30.13

We moved in last November. We intended to write all these fabulous blog posts on life and happenings around here…but we all know where the road of good intentions leads :)

SO here’s a recap/ overview of life thus far in Martin Land.

We’ve had multiple visits from the cutest cousin on earth, Hudson, who was kind to bring along our Aunt and Uncle too :) We enjoyed teaching him how to feed the animals.

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Sophie bought a new puppy, Angel, who was part border collie.  As time went on it became clear that Angel’s daddy was a dachshund!!! Yes, she never really grew legs but did get much longer :) She is now full grown and plays frisbee like a camp (even though she’s just 3 inches off the ground).

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Then we thought, why not just get more dogs. ha ha.  But yes we did, for the farm of course.  Two Great Pyranese puppies to join our already full grown Grt. Pyr..  Our full grown one is named, Bagel, of course.  And the other two new puppies (now 7 months old) are Chai & Benedict (as in eggs). And we HAD to include a “rear view” because great pyranese puppies have the cutest fluffy butts ever!

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The kids have built mobil chicken coops, put up fencing, built barn stalls, planted fields of sunflowers, built raised garden beds for our veggies (raised high for all kids to reach and no dogs to sleep in), built many bee hives (Jacob has 8 now), and so much more.

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The sun rises every morning in our back yard and shimmers through our farm like gold dust.  It’s just awesome.

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Sophie’s new cow gave birth to a sweet baby boy, and our hay guy brought us a baby jersey bull that someone had dumped on the side of the high way!!! So now Sophie milks the momma, loves on the baby, and bottle feeds the other baby!!!

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The little girls are hatching baby chicks- such a joy!

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The kids bought out the paint section entitled “bold, not boring”, and repainted our playset and added pavers and balance beams too!  It was such a fun project, and a great time spent with our new friends the Giblins.

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And that is just the beginning of it all………….

 

Perfect Timing

August 27th, 2013 by Jill

08.27.13

Well I had been having some of those days.  You know, THOSE kind of days.  Days when you think you are not doing the best job you could. Days when you’re tired and blah and just don’t feel like it.  Days when go through the motions waiting for nap time to come, but it doesn’t.  Sure we would all like to have “awesome mom” days everyday, but lets face it.  There are days that aren’t always awesome. Well, I was having some of those days and they were starting to stack up on each other causing me to have not the most stellar attitude around :)

Oh sure, I could post all the days that are AWESOME, full of laughs, giggles, and grins.  We have lots of those days.  They’re great.  But frankly, when you’re a parent there are going to be days that have more discipline in them than you’d like.

So, knowing life wasn’t going to fix itself, I got up early one morning, Sean was away on a business trip, the kids were all in bed, and I was trying to read my Bible to set my mind on things greater than myself….. when the sun interrupted me!  It was a rainy gloomy morning to start.  Perfect for enjoying hot coffee and a little scripture reading before kiddos run wild through the house.  I sat next to this rainy window and BAM the sun seemed to jump out of the clouds.  It was sparkling off of all the rain still falling.  So, I ran outside and this is what I saw at 6:00 am………….

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God makes many promises to us in Scripture.  The rainbow is a reminder of that.

He will never leave us.  He will always give us what we need. He will always give us strength and wisdom when we ask for it.  He will teach us His ways so that we won’t stumble.  He will set us in a wide and spacious place because He delights in us.  He will give us the desires of our hearts when we commit our ways to Him. and so much more.

I love how perfect God’s timing is.  I love that on THAT day I got to wake up with a electric rainbow to energize my day.  Not yesterday. Not the day after.  THAT day- perfect timing.

As always.

 

CELEBRATE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 2nd, 2013 by Jill

05.02.13

Families have traditions.

Big ones and little ones.  Sometimes you even make new ones.  Since living in Texas we have stumbled upon a new tradition in our family.  It happens every night at dinner, the kids ask Sean “Daddy, how many babies were saved today?”  and he always has an answer.

Today OFL reached 800 babies saved!!!!!!!!! Over 100 of those babies were just this past month in April :) If they keep it up at this rate with out any growth they will save 800 more this year….but if they grow every month :)  Man, we love math like that!!!

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Now we know that the ministry at Online For Life is much more than that and it runs deeper in the lives of individuals they reach out to, but for our littlest kiddos, they don’t get counseling women in crisis, marketing, development/training of pregnancy centers, or national strategies to blanket cities in godly pregnancy centers and wipe out abortion city by city….

….they get babies.  Cute, adorable bundles of life that grow up to be brothers and sisters.  So that is what they ask Daddy-  how many babies Daddy how many today?

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Good Clean Fun

April 21st, 2013 by Jill

04.21.13

The Color Run is a short 5k run/ fund raiser that travels from city to city.  It’s an absolute BLAST!!!! They douce powdered color on you throughout the run.  It’s really more of a walk than a run- surely a family and friends type event. So Jill’s sister, nephew and friend came into town to join all of us Martins at the Dallas Color Run.  If you are curious you can check out their website at www.thecolorrun.com

So we set out for a good time, family bonding, opportunity to encourage and be silly as a family!!! We started clean, all white, but with each turn in the run came another color station.  The stations have color dust everywhere, as well as workers showering you with color at every moment!  We took the opportunity at a few stations to make a few “snow angels” in the dust.  Hey why not?  We HIGHLY recommend this event to every family.  It may be in a city near you soon.

The pictures tell the story best….

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color run

 

12 Baskets Full

April 19th, 2013 by Jill

04.19.13

Sometimes God has a special gift for us.  Waiting.  We don’t even know it’s there.  Then one day, when we least expect it.  We are asking God for our daily bread, and He gives us more than we can ask or imagine.  A little bit like the fish and loaves story in scripture.

 

At the beginning of March we brought a special therapist to our home, Nancy Thomas.  She came here for 5 full days, 6:00 am until 10:00 pm, WOW long days!!! Nancy Thomas specializes in helping children with attachment issues and conscious development.  So most of her work is with adoptive children from challenging pasts.  Even though our children were adopted at young ages, many of our children still struggled with things.  We’ve spent their entire lives helping shape their character, bond as a family, and work hard to be overcomers in all areas of life.  No matter how much we prayed, worked, encouraged, taught, disciplined, encouraged more, taught more, etc there still seemed to be a piece of the puzzle missing. So we brought Nancy to our home to help us identify the missing pieces, see what we needed to do differently or keep the same, and most importantly- how could we help ALL of our children become God’s best in each of their lives.

Well it was a tall order in this unique house, but not for Nancy!  She has spent years rehabilitating children from extremely abusive pasts.  Helping them overcome horrific things such as childhood molestation, neglect, trauma, and more.  She helped us see that even though our kids came to us young, their long lists of infant surgeries, PICU life, foster care, and drug exposure added up to a lot.

We had spent years parenting the “fetal alcohol” and “disability” side of our kids.  She helped us turn our eyes to the heart of the matter…. attachment.  It is something that we take for granted as we parent our kids, snuggling them, kissing them, telling them stories.  But when kids spend countless days in hospitals, 9 months in the womb cringing from burning alcohol and drugs, and more— it causes ones brain to develop different.  The part of the brain that we use in bonding with others (the cause and effect part of the frontal lobe and temporal lobes) is atrophied. Brain scans show those parts of the brain look like swiss cheese.  So even though we loved on our kiddos day and night, it wasn’t enough. Even though we teach them character, it’s not enough.  There are parts of their brains that “need an extra workout” to help them attach appropriately to people and in turn, care about themselves and others. Learning how to love, really love, not just enjoy others.

Here’s how it usually works:

1) RESPECT (wow- my parents are all powerful and they meet my needs when I cry)

2) TRUST (wow- they keep meeting my needs, now I know if I cry they will help me)

3) LOVE (I bond to my parents BECAUSE I first respected then trusted them.  That bond is love)

4) CARE ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE AND THINGS (I care about things because I am cared for)

You see this developmental cycle doesn’t develop correctly in lots of adoptive children as well as children with disabilities.  We try so hard to fill them with #3, that #4 doesn’t happen. They learn to enjoy things and learn to manipulate others.  They learn how to reflect character qualities that we teach them to get what they want.  But there’s something missing.  So we start at square one.  Even though some of our kids are 10 years old, they need to start from the beginning. RESPECT 1st above all in every little thing.  Love is 3rd.  I’m sure part of you is thinking- that’s a bit extreme- shouldn’t it be a balance? OK OK it’s not that we are not loving them- of course we are still loving them!! Remember first that their brains are already out of balance- so we need to rebuild the brain and the heart.  Just imagine if you broke your leg.  When you got the cast off you would have to work extra hard to rebuild it.  It’s not that you are neglecting the rest of your body.  You are focusing hard and deep on your leg SO THAT your WHOLE body can work together BALANCED in a healthy way.  … and THAT is what are now purposing to do.  Rebuild our children’s hearts and brains in a HEALTHY way.  The end goal- that they can truly be TRANSFORMED by the Word of God in all areas of their lives, not just mimic the Word of God.

So this Daily Bread turned into overflowing baskets of fish and loaves.  More than we could ask or imagine.  It’s a lot of work when God gives you more than you can imagine. A lot of work.  But sometimes that is part of the deal.  Surely when all those people got tons of fish and loaves on the hillside there with Jesus, they had to pass it out, clean it up, and cook it before they could enjoy it.  Part of the deal.  So right now we feel like we are holding 12 baskets full.  Full of more than we could imagine.  Everyday we ask for grace and wisdom to parent God’s children well.  God, in His sovereignty, knew that some of our kids would have these obstacles in their past, and He knew this day, Today, would come too.

We share this with you so you can SEE God at work in the lives of children with broken pasts.  So that you will SEE that God can do more than man can imagine.  Sometimes, people are afraid to adopt.  They hear stories or hard times and struggles with kids.  Yes that is true sometimes.  But NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING is impossible for God!!!! Adopting an older kid with a broken past-  HA! God says- HA!  I’ve totally got that covered! Stop fearing and start believing— It’s the same with our relationship with God…

1) Respect

2) Trust

3) Love

4) Care- that transformational work in and through us.

 

One last food for thought…. over 400,00 children are in Foster Case in the United States alone.  Over 53,000 are already legally freed for adoption and just waiting for homes.

53,000

53,000

53,000 !!!