Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I wish you all a very Blessed Christmas season, celebrating Christ's Birthday and a very Happy new 2011.
If you want to get in contact with me, please just email- thanks
Saturday, November 27, 2010
16 and 9 wow-
And both of their names mean Grace in their native country.
We love you both so much!
We have a wonderful dinner and 2 kinds of cake!
Both of you make your dad and I very proud. And best of all, you both know Jesus.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
November brings birthdays- JJ yesterday, Ana and Davis share a birthday on the 29th (and they share that with my sister too) Heather's birthday was in November too- the 18th, that day will be hard for me. November is a busy month.
Friday, October 22, 2010
I remember being a teenager actually trying to imagine what the year 2000 would be like. I tried to imagine what I would look like or be like when I turned 40. I had never tried to imagine being 50.
Now...I am still enjoying excellent health,
I have the best wife in the world,
I have a house full of 7 beautiful kids,
I have a job I love.
And best of all....I have Jesus!
- John F Kennedy won election for president against Richard Nixon (by only 113,000 votes)
- The first 3500 soldiers were sent to Viet Nam
- Unemployment was 5.5%
- The first working laser was built
- The first communication satellite was launched
- Cassius Clay (later known as Mohammad Ali) won his first pro fight.
- Pittsburgh Pirates won the World Series
- Philadelphia Eagles win the Super Bowl.
- Average yearly income was $5,260
- Average new home cost $12,700
- US population was 180,671,158
- The birth control pill was made available to the public
- Ray Charles won 4 Grammy awards
- "Ben-Hur" won the Oscar for Best Picture
- Domino Pizza was founded
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Tonight we were talking about how this January is our 10th anniversary, and how we expect a huge shindig for our 25th (Lord's return, not withstanding) because we don't want to wait for our 50th (I'd be 90); we might not make it that long.
We try to come up with jobs that the kids could do outside of their normal chores, so they could make a little cash on the side. We're not in the Rockefeller's strata, so $4-5 is about all we can afford for each. We don't do allowance.
I still love my job, and it's has been over a year. That and I work an 8 hour day with all the holidays on top of it.
Our dog Daisy is growing and maturing (not always a lot of the latter, but a lot of the former).
Well, I have to go cut the boys' hair.
This normal life is definitely all that it's cracked up to be. I like it.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
The Johnson Family - In more ways than one!!
Today, we drove down to the Outer Banks and went to our old church (Nags Head Church). We saw our friends and invited anyone who could come to go with us to the Sound after the gathering. Our good friends, Brenda, Pat, Linda, Gary, Nate, Trish, Gwyneth, and Sam joined us. We had almost postponed the baptism, because it was supposed to rain on and off all day. But the Lord held off the rain until we were on our way home this afternoon. Then in came down in buckets!!
Did you catch the huge smile on Dad's face with each one? It doesn't EVER get any better than this. To see your child begin his/her journey with Jesus is the greatest thrill in my life. That is what the parenthood is all about, as far as I'm concerned. I can read all the parenting books, watch all the videos, go to all the seminars, and cry all my tears...but until they come to know the Lord for their own, I've accomplished nothing. They may become successful, and useful citizens along the way, but if they don't have Jesus, they don't have anything. I can adopt 25 kids, give them every opportunity available to them, and love them to spoildem, but if I don't make the salvation of their souls my #1 priority, I'm wasting my time, energy, money, and efforts. I have done nothing for them. I might as well leave them where they are.
Thank you Jesus for putting us where you did and for putting us where we are. We aren't anywhere near successful by the world's standard, but you have blessed us beyond measure. I am the richest man on this planet. And because I know the hereafter and know that You will be there in heaven and that Pam and our children will be there to meet me some day - I have no fear of death.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Tonight I talked with them again, and this time I included Davis in the conversation because he wasn't with them last night. I felt comfortable with their level of maturity, their understanding and heard their confessions of faith. I then lead them in the sinner's prayer for their salvation.
Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus!
Davis then asked me, "Dad can we get baptized now?" Reminded me of the Ethiopian who met Philip along the road. Interesting - mine are Ethiopian! I guess that make me a Philip, of sorts.
The Lord has smiled on this family. We were given seven little souls to care for. We wanted to be a blessing to them and they bless us continually. Pam and I had at one time prepared to be missionaries - yet the Lord brought these souls to us and has drawn ALL of them unto Himself.
Can a parent ask for anything more? Not on this planet!
Lord Jesus I bless your name! Lord I love your wisdom and strength! Lord you are power and majesty beyond the sun, moon and the multitude of stars. I can not fathom your love and patience. You have lifted my head and called me blessed. Help me to know how to disciple your children that you have put in my care. Give me strength to be who you want me to be for them.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Dylan is Welsh for God of the Sea. Okay, definitely not your typical "Bible" name. When we brought home our last three, he decided he'd liked to be called Joey. Joey was a nick name that Pam wanted to call him from his middle name Joseph. He was aware of this so I think this was Joey's way of being closer to Mom.
Leah is Hebrew for weary. This is name of the first wife of Jacob in Genesis. Recently Leah has requested that we call her Mimi. I like that, it's kind of hard to switch names, but I'm getting used to it. Mimi was a nickname that she had in Ethiopia, so I think it's her way of reaching back to something familiar.
Analyse is a combination of Hannah and Elizabeth. Hannah means Grace in Hebrew and Elizabeth is Hebrew for My God is a vow. Coincidentally, Analyse's birth name, Tseganesh is Amharic for Grace. She wants us to call her Anna. I'm not sure why other than it make her feel more informal.
Justin is Latin for righteous or just. We now call him JJ, because there is another kid on his soccer team called Justin and it cuts down confusion on the field.
Zoe is Greek for Life, and it's also a Greek letter. No nick name yet.
Jaden is Hebrew for God has heard. No nick name yet.
Davis is a form of David, which is Hebrew for Beloved. I love that! No nick name yet.
Occasionally they try out new nick names and see if they stick. I'm normally the one that bursts their bubbles on one that I don't like. Nick names tend to be earned for whatever reason, so some of them may be a long time coming. We'll see.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Having 7 kids in 3 different schools ALL with the "meet and greet" on the SAME night- I am not sure who thinks these things up- and I know that I am not the only parent with more than 1 kid in more than 1 school- what a nightmare! The schools are not right next door to each other either! We did it and all of the kids met their teachers and all seem to be happy about going back to school tomorrow.
Soccer started for 2 of the kids a few weeks ago and starts tomorrow for 3 more of them- 5 kids in 4 different age and teams. ;) (did I say that Leah (a.k.a. Mimi) will be getting her drivers license in the next week or so- yea!!)
We have turned the corner with several of our kids this summer- the break through has been just a miracle- Only God- and we are so thankful- It is definitely easier and a lot more fun being a parent when the child wants to be here and be part of the family!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
My grand kids came for a few weeks.
We spent time at the ocean- both Virgina Beach and the Outer Banks- (Thank you Brenda and Linda!!!)
Saw grandparents and helped celebrate their special day.
Daddy had another out of state 3 week class and we survived with no daddy!
Summer is winding down....
Blessings to all
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
We just got back from Maryland. Our family got together to celebrate my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. What a legacy. As usual, it 2nds as a short family reunion where we get to see cousins and other family members we haven't seen in years/decades. The celebration was held and my sister, Tammy's house and we had 80 some people come to it and it was absolutely beautiful.
My parents have 5 children, 25 grand-children, and 5 great-grand-children. Here are some pictures (forgive the amateur quality). I'll add more if I get any from anyone else.
Monday, June 21, 2010
I think that raising a pure child is the hardest calling on parents today. Not only are our little boys bombarded with s*x and lust, but our girls are being bombarded with the "I need to look this way" so boys will like me messages.
But. There is hope.
No. Real fathers.
Fathers that lead, guide, sacrfice, love, teach and discipline. They have a HUGE weight on them when it comes to how their son or daughter views the opposite s*x. The sad thing is that most don't even realize it - or care.
The importance of a father has somehow gotten lost in our nation.
Furthermore, it was reported that, "between 90 and 95 percent of those in prison have never known the love of a father, and he referred simply to prisoners as 'the fatherless'."...
More recent surveys reveal that fatherless children are five times more likely to commit suicide, thirty-two times more likely to run away, twenty time more likely to have behaviorial disorders, fourteen times more likely to commit rape, nine times more likely to drop out of school, ten times more likely to abuse chemical substances, nine times more likely to end up in a state-operated instituation, and twenty times more likely to end up in prison." It says that today, 24 million ... or 34 % of American children ... are being raised without fathers.
The highest in the world.
So, on this 2010 Father's Day ...
I also challenge all of you dads reading this. I challenge you to start speaking words of blessings over your children - frequently- and watch what God does! Bring life to your kids. Bless them. Be there for them. Lead them. Put aside your selfish ambitions. And be a dad.
My child, I love you! You are special. You are a gift from God. I thank God for allowing me to be a father to you. I bless you with the healing of all wounds of rejection, neglect and abuse that you have suffered. I bless you with overflowing peace, the peace that only the Prince of Peace can give, a peace beyond comprehension. I bless your life with fruitfulness—good fruit, much fruit and fruit that remains. I bless you with success. You are the head and not the tail; you are above and not beneath. I bless you with health and strength of body, soul and spirit. I bless you with overflowing prosperity, enabling you to be a blessing to others. I bless you with spiritual influence, for you are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. You are like a tree planted by rivers of water. You will prosper in all your ways. I bless you with a depth of spiritual understanding and a close walk with your Lord. You will not stumble or falter, for the Word of God will be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path. I bless you with pure and edifying relationships in life. You have favor with God and man. I bless you with abounding love. You will minister God’s comforting grace to others. You are blessed, my child! You are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus.
Let's be the Fathers and Mothers that God wants us to be- WE have a lot of little people watching and waiting for us to lead them..................
Blessings, Pamela Dawn
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
1)Run as hard as you can into the arms of Jesus and stare Grief down. LIVE
2)Dig a hole, crawl into it and cover yourself up. DIE
There is no second option for me.
The love I had for Heather as my daughter is irreplaceable. But now I must go on living. And I must learn how to live well. Yes, there is a time for grief and I know mine is not over. But everyday I walk in victory is one less day I fall in emotional defeat.
Grief is real and He has visited my house and will continue to periodically. However, I refuse to allow him to throw his black cape around me causing my world to darken with hopelessness. No, isn't this one of the main reasons our precious Lord came? Didn't He come to overcome Death and Grief? Then why should I allow them to permeate and dictate my quality of life? But I must choose Life.
I will never completely get over my young daughter dying, But I will learn to be victorious over the sting of such. I will live, love, and laugh. And I plan to view this horrible ordeal as a training ground to learn more of HIM. His Grace is taking many forms these days and currently He is expediting time for my deeply wounded soul to fully recuperate. Whatever tomorrow holds, I plan to hold tightly to His hand. And no, "I'm not merely trying to be "strong" for everyone else. This is really how I feel. I have decided to no longer lock Grief out of my life nor to dread His uninvited visitation. I open the door and welcome Him inside. His bite is not as bad as his bark, although it can be extremely painful. Each time He comes for a visit, he wields less and less power over me. This can only be because Christ has already visited with me before Grief gets there. And that is the key to healing. When Christ carries you, there is nothing you cannot face nor overcome. Oh, how I love Life. It is still good. :)
Heather--- Immediately all kinds of memories and emotions flood the minds of those who knew her well. To craft in words a fully composite picture of who she was would be nearly impossible. Just as impossible is grasping how many lives she affected and touched throughout her own. I will always remember my daughter as a woman who loved life. Her energy was infectious and it was hard for anyone to be around her for very long without being encouraged and uplifted. Her laugh, her smile, and her love for everyone around her is unforgettable and inspiring.
My daughter was one of the most generous and giving individuals I have ever known. Her love for others, her zeal for life, and her determination to drink it all in was founded on her love for others. What a Great example she set in life and love!
She taught me so much about life and how to live well. She taught me about inner strength, boldness, how to think critically,and how to love others.
I miss you Heather.
Love, your Mom
Thursday, June 10, 2010
And I made her little party dress! She had a great time at the dance. Lots of girls dancing!
This gal amazes me- I love it and Her! She won the Presidents award this year. That means that she was on the honor roll all of 6th grade, all of 7th grade and the first 2 marking periods of the 8th grade- which that is an achievement- but she came to the US in 5th grade not speaking a word of English and made all A's the following year- We are so proud of her and so happy that she is so well adjusted. ;)
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
WE HAVE BEEN A FAMILY OF 9 NOW FOR 1 FULL YEAR! WOW-
This is our first breakfast as a whole family at home. My daughter and her husband and my beautiful grand kids were here to meet us and to have the long weekend at the beach! It was so much fun having them get to see first hand the first few days being home with kids that did not speak a word of English! This was the best! Some of our friends drove in from the beach to pick us up at the airport and take us home- The new kids got to meet the old kids! We were all so tired at this point- I will have to say- the kids did great on the trip home- Little Zoe' was so afraid of the airplanes. Daddy did a lot of holding her.
This is just a view on one of our little trips around the city of Adis.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
We have definitely have had our ups and downs this year. Each of the adoptions have had their own different struggles.
Zoe and Davis's English is really good for a year home. Justin is struggling with his. Justin's soccer has been his saving point. And he is good at it.
Juan and I are going to put Zoe and Davis into the 3rd grade next year. We put them in 1st as they had really never been to school and could not read or write. As they were so small, it worked out OK- However they have grown this year- so, we are putting them in grades for they age. (Zoe should be rising 4th but that is just too big of a leap- we may jump her another grade next year) Justin will be going into the 6th grade- Middle school will be so hard for him- we are really praying on what to do.
Juan and I had our date night last Friday night and after a wonderful dinner, we went to Barnes and Noble- my favorite place! We found some wonderful math and reading work books for each of the kids to work on this summer.
In just over a month, the middle adopted kids will be home for 4 years! And Joey in Sept will be home for 8 years.
Each of our children have a wonderful story to tell. ;)
Blessings, Pamela Dawn
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Risk is the substance of our faith because it requires us to take Step 1 before we see Step 2.
Risk means we’re compelled to action, even when there seems to be no guarantee of what will be on the other side of our choice of faith.
But it’s risks, large and small, that God uses to stretch us from living by sight into living by faith.
The irony is, as we concentrate on the risks associated with faith, we fail to understand we’re taking a greater risk by remaining independent of God.
If we believe what we say we believe, then, regardless of what we see on the other side of faithful risk, the reality is God is there.
What seems to be a no-guarantee situation actually comes with the greatest guarantee of all—a God-guarantee—that he’s working it all out (Romans 8:28; Jeremiah 29:11).
With a God-guarantee, you can enter into the risky obedience of attempting things that are impossible unless God gives you his strength to do them.
With a God-guarantee, you can enter into the risky obedience of loving other believers so deeply and so richly that you prove to the world you are a Jesus-one bearing God’s fathomless love.
With a God-guarantee, you can enter into the risky obedience of loving your unlovable neighbors just as you love the unlovable you.
With a God-guarantee, you can enter into the risky obedience of changing your priorities to match God’s priorities, sacrificing, in faith, what you cannot keep for the things that can never be taken away.
With a God-guarantee, you can enter into the risky obedience of going to make disciples of all peoples, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them the risky obedience of following what Jesus commands (Matthew 28:19–20 NIV).
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
In talking to the reporter after seeing what was printed, she did say that the editor cut all of the story about Me, Juan andthe other 6 kids..... again, issues sell!
I am disappointed because we wanted the world to see a great adoption with lots of kids and for the most part life working well--
Please take my word- we are an everyday, run-of-the-mill adoptive family with all of the ups and downs that go alone with it. What we wanted to see in the story, was the strength we draw from each other, the closeness we've developed over the years, the hurdles we've crossed so far and the faith we have that our Lord will get us over the hurdles we well come to in the future. There are many, many families out there with similar circumstances, but not all have been able to see their blessings yet.
Please continue to pray for any adoptive family that your know. They need strength, faith, peace, wisdom, and joy.
Monday, April 19, 2010
The children’s mother was supposed to be dead, or at least on her deathbed
Pam and Juan Johnson had traveled more than 7,000 miles to Ethiopia to adopt her three children, to give them new parents and a new family.
Yet the couple was in Addis Ababa, staring at a recent picture of their new children’s mother. She didn’t look sick; she looked young and healthy.
The adoption had already gone through. The Johnsons were free to take the children home to the United States.
“We’re sitting, looking at each other,” Pam Johnson said. “What do you do?”
The Chesapeake couple knows they’re not the first people to run into problems with Ethiopian adoptions – the country is the second most-popular foreign destination for adoptive American families, behind China.
International adoption can be a murky world. Periodically, the State Department will issue warnings about adopting from certain countries – Nepal and Guatemala were recently put on the list. While Ethiopia is not, the licenses of several Ethiopian orphanages were recently revoked, and the U.S. Embassy there just put in place stricter visa processing requirements.
Some Americans who have adopted from Ethiopia say they’ve been given the wrong baby. Some mothers expecting healthy children have wound up with very ill ones.
Still – a healthy mother giving away her healthy children was something the Johnsons weren’t prepared for.
Justin, Zoë and Davis were the Johnsons’ third set of adoptions. They adopted three siblings from Ethiopia in 2006 and a boy from China in 2002 . The new additions also were siblings, ages 11, 8 and 7 at the time. It was May 2009.
The Johnsons had been sitting in the courtyard of the halfway house, where children go from the orphanage to wait for their new parents to arrive. They were signing papers when a worker, flipping through the children’s files, came across a picture.
Who’s that? Juan asked.
Their mother, Pam remembers the worker saying casually . Justin jumped up and pointed out his mom, along with several other relatives in the picture. The Johnsons asked for a copy , as their hearts sank. They still keep two copies in their files, with each relative labeled in pen on the back.
Once back home, Leah, the Johnsons’ oldest adopted daughter from Ethiopia, would sometimes mention strange things Justin had said to her in Amharic , their native language. He’d talk about being able to go back to Ethiopia any time, and say that he was just in America for school.
“Oh, he couldn’t think that,” Pam would tell her.
“Well, mom, that’s what he said,” Leah would reply. Then, shortly after Christmas, they were sitting around the dining table when Justin mentioned he thought he’d be going home for the holiday. He asked to call his mother.
Pam remembers him saying: “ Mom wanted me to call . We haven’t talked to my mom. ”
Pam shooed the other children out of the room, as Justin told her about his concept of adoption. He was coming to America only for school, to get a good job, he said. He would be able to see his mother on vacations, and talk to her regularly. There was no mention of having new parents, joining a new family. Soon both of them were crying.
He went up to his room and lay on his bed, sobbing, while Pam sat with him, not knowing what to say.
All those times he’d been talking to Leah, “we’d thought he just didn’t understand,” she said. “But in reality, we didn’t understand.”
The Johnsons’ Dominion Lakes home feels like a busy and happy place. On Fridays after school, when there’s no soccer practice, seven children romp around the backyard on skateboards and bikes, sometimes so loudly that it draws over other children to investigate.
Joey, 10, practices his skateboard tricks on a plastic ramp. He was a tiny, 24-pound 3- year-old from Hunan Province in China who could barely walk when his parents adopted him. Now, he comes home bragging about how many push-ups he did that day.
Jaden, 8, can be found in a massive tree in the back yard, with Zoë, now 9, scampering up after him.
Davis, now 8, and Justin, now 12, might be playing soccer with other kids from the neighborhood, while the two oldest girls, Leah, 17, and Analyse, 15, chat on the phone, or take a walk.
Pam and Juan say they’re still very pro-adoption. Joey, for instance, is a happy kid. They do feel a little uneasy about their first Ethiopian adoption, when they got Leah, Analyse and Jaden. They said they were told the children were very poor, were headed for lives in prostitution and that they ate only one meal a day.
Turns out, none of that was true, the children would later tell them. Their parents were dead, but they had wealthy relatives who could have cared for them. But the girls and their brother have happily settled in with their new family.
Even with their third set, it’s not so much Zoë and Davis that the Johnsons are worried about – at 9 and 8, they seem young enough to take this in stride.
But Justin …
The issues in his adoption have made them question his littlest gestures.
Is he just naturally shy? Or is his shyness a sign he can’t bond with his new family? Are his downcast eyes just how he’s used to interacting with adults? Or do they indicate an unhappiness his limited English can’t give voice to?
And they can’t stop worrying: What does his mother know?
“You feel like unintentional kidnappers,” Juan said.
They’ve put their second set of children into group therapy, which they think has helped them open up . They encourage talk about Ethiopia at dinner. They’re trying to address the issue head-on, they say.
“We don’t want to pretend none of this happened,” Juan said. “But we don’t want any child to feel like we don’t want them, or that they shouldn’t be here.”
“They’re here,” Pam said. “And we will take very, very good care of them.”
A lawyer for the Johnsons’ adoption agency, Curtis Bostic, said it is the Ethiopian government that deems a child an orphan and adoptable – not the adoption agencies – and the agencies have almost no contact with biological parents. The government provides information about the child’s background, he said, which agencies then provide to potential adopters.
When parents adopt through Christian World Adoption, he said, they sign a form at the start that says the information they’re provided about the child that’s going to join their home may not be true.
“We know that sometimes it’s inaccurate. You need to investigate within yourself as to whether you’re willing to continue with an adoption knowing that you may not have” correct information, he said. “If you’re an adoption agency you have to trust that a parent will take this seriously, wouldn’t you think?”
Yes, he says, there is risk in these adoptions. “You either accept the fact that on occasion you’re not going to have entirely accurate information, or you leave children to die in Ethiopia,” he said. “Those are the two choices.” As far as Justin not understanding that he was being adopted, Bostic said he can’t speak to how that would happen – if, indeed, it’s true.
It’s not easy to talk to Justin about his experience. He’s quiet to start with, and can get quieter when the subject of Ethiopia comes up. His English isn’t great yet, and it can be hard to tell how much he understands. Still, he doesn’t seem angry – he seems resigned. He was upset after that first conversation , but after that “I just stopped thinking about it,” he said.
He believes his mother is expecting to hear from him. He knows the number, he said. He could call. But he isn’t planning to.
The Johnsons say they have no intention of contacting her either. They think the worst thing that could happen is that they call her, and she demands her children be sent home right away – what would they do then? There are no procedures for sending a child back to Ethiopia.
You don’t give back your biological children when they’re not what you expected, Pam said. They’re trying to think of this the same way. “No matter what dishonest things were done … these kids are here for a reason,” she said. “I’m going to hold on to that.”
Alicia Wittmeyer, (757) 222-5216, email@example.com
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Now I don't know if it's a tendency for unforgiving people to post comments more than those who are forgiving, or that there are less forgiving people in the world. Now I'm not advocating that we just forgive and forget for everything, but sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that we don't know about as readers of news articles. There are past wrongs, social pressures, financial pressures, psychological pressures, timing issues, or whatever that drive people to do some things that others would not imagine themselves doing...until they have walked in that person's shoes. Do these things make the "perpetrators" innocent or right? No, but our Lord is compassionate even unto those that have gravely sinned against Him...you know, like me!
In my own humble opinion, I don't think the Lord would be so harsh if He were sitting in the judgement seats of our courts (or if He were asked to comment on a news article). At least not as harsh as some of these commenters are. I see people talking about how they would kill the perpetrators (or at least how they should die), how they should spend the rest of their lives in jail or how they should be physically punished for their crimes. I rarely if ever hear anyone suggesting teaching, mentoring, possibilities of redemption or forgiveness. I don't see anyone admitting to their own faults (ye rock throwers of olde).
Maybe it's just me, but it saddens me on the one hand, and on the other hand, I am so glad that the Lord God is my judge. He is a just God, and a forgiving and compassionate God.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
I've seen a daddy that has sacrificed for a greater purpose.
I've seen a daddy that has put aside his wants for his children's needs and desires.
I've seen a daddy drive a 15 passenger van and no longer look "cool".
I've seen a daddy sell his own things in order to provide for his family.
I've seen a daddy go to work every day - even when he doesn't want to.
I've seen a daddy tuck his kids in bed every night and pray for angels to guard them.
I've seen a daddy discipline his children in love, firmness and grace.
I've seen a daddy on his knees in prayer every night.
I've seen a daddy cry over his children.
I've seen a daddy play soccer with his kids and encourage them from the sidelines.
I've seen a daddy teach his kids how to ride a bike.
I've seen a daddy read books and make up the words so it has more humor.
I've seen a daddy teach his kids how to work hard .
I've seen a daddy lead his family in devotions every night.
I've seen a daddy encourage his kids in their schooling.
I've seen a daddy speak into his kid's destinies.
I've seen a daddy set an example on how to love his wife.
I've seen a daddy model repentance and forgiveness, mercy and grace.
I've seen a daddy who is always home for dinner.
I've seen a daddy say "yes" when his wife says "this one is ours too".
I've seen a man who has fathered his children -
who has cultivated the seed that was sown in his field.
I've seen a man who will open his heart and home up to who ever the Lord sends his way. This man is living the Bible verse that talks about caring for the widow and the orphan. I love this man.
Blessings, Pamela Dawn
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Well, today Jaden was trying to throw a strap up into a tree. It was a cargo strap, with a heavy metal "S" hook on one end. The tree is in the front yard. Well, up went the strap, but not toward the tree, it went over the house and on to the windshield of Mom's car!
I came home and the boys were all sitting quietly on the floor in the family room. Curious. When I asked what was going on, Mom just told me to go out and look at the car.
This is what I came home to:
(The dusty dirt is actually pollen just one day after rinsing... welcome Spring!)
Jaden gets a lesson in economics. I'll take it to be fixed tomorrow. Needless to say, Moms don't normally get the boy need for throwing things, but she's forgiving (as long as I get this fixed soon).
Sunday, April 4, 2010
After church we went to our good friend Brenda's house for lunch and talk time. We spent about an hour at the beach enjoying the sun and taking some pictures. Joey said he would love to move back to the beach because his sinuses almost instantly cleared up after spending time at the beach. Then it was the long ride back home.
Even with all of this...this evening was the best time. We ordered Chinese from our local place and ate dinner together. We always try to have "Family Time" after dinner. It consists of trying to get the children engaged in conversation. It will tend to be mostly the older children, but the little ones will add in at times. Today was especially special to me because the girls were talking about how they missed their mom. They shared about her last days, her inability to speak or get out of bed, and seeing her tears as she lay there (contemplating her death, I'm sure). I can't begin to imagine the agony in her heart knowing that they would soon be orphans; the youngest was only about 3 then. They talked about the differences between our cultures. In Ethiopia children and parents almost never tell each other "I love you", or hug, or kiss. Leah can actually remember the last time she hugged her mom not too long before she died. They talked about how Jaden would hide and when he thought no one was looking, he'd go hold his mom's hand as she lay helpless in her bed. They shared about their extended family and about their relationships with them (not good). They shared about their anxiety and anticipation of coming to America, especially after receiving our pictures.
We shared deep deep love tonight, deeper than anything else I can think of. It is times like these that I don't doubt that we did the right thing. It gives me strength and courage. It makes my heart swell to see the love they still have for their mom and dad. It is a love that they are not ashamed of and are willing to share. This tells me (in a strange way I guess), that they love and trust me and Pam, their new mom and dad.
My Jesus loves me, this I know; because my Jesus show's so!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
On the beach, I see God's hand so much clearer than here in the house! (duh!!) Just sitting and watching- maybe I'll see some dolphins !! It clears the mind and calms the soul.
Monday, March 29, 2010
I am really tired of the "are you OK's" no, I am not, but what do you say? There are only so many ways you can say, I am really hurting and I just want to hit someone or something.
I do not want to say good by to Heather. She is my first born, mother to my beautiful granddaughter. She was beautiful, smart and brave. I miss you Heather.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
One vivid memory I have helps me to understand how children can be playing so hard, that they completely miss what's going on around them...like darkness falling upon them. When I was about 7 years old, we lived in Landover MD. My dad was active duty Army during the Vietnam conflict and at the time he was in-patient at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He had cancer in the femur of one of his legs. I don't recall which leg (that's a good thing, I think) He and his legs survived the ordeal and they are all still here to tell the story; though at 71, I'm sure his legs argue with him at times on the points of survival.
My dad, like many other dads had a few rules we were diligently taught to obey. The following were some of the key rules: 1) be in the house by the time the street lights come on. 2.) Tell them (our parents) where we were going before we left. & 3.) If we left the first place, we were to come back and notify said parents about the change in location.
Summer time was a time that these three rules would come into play daily. On one such day, my brother and I decided to go catch tadpoles and frogs. My brother is only one year older than I am. He and I were joining a bunch of friends on "a frog hunt." The usual place to go was in front of this large rain pipe thingy that water from the various street drains lead into and deposited out and developed a stream (river during heavy rains). The pipe was large enough for a small child to walk in it standing up. I don't know how I knew that, because no one was allowed to go into it, and besides it had a large grate in front of it that was designed to keep kids out of it. Yeah right! Anyway, we (a group of about 6-8 boys) were catching frogs and tadpoles, but there weren't enough to go around. So we decided to go elsewhere. Now, we did follow rule number 2, but for the life of me, I don't know why we forgot rule number 3.
We decided that a great place to go for frogs would be in the water hazards at the nearby golf course. (Now that I think about it, that probably was a very stupid idea all by itself...imagine 1967, and a bunch of "Negro" boys sneaking out on the country club golf course to catch frogs). So, we were having a great time, playing in the water, catching frogs, getting each other wet and muddy, etc. At some point one of us happens to look up at the sky. "Uh, oh!" It was pitch black dark. None of us had even noticed it because we were having so much fun, and our eyes were becoming slowly adjusted to the dark, I guess. Well, there went rule number 1. So if your kid comes home late, and gives something of this type of excuse think about it first.
Anyway, we started back home with all of us trying to get a good lie straight between us. I don't even remember what it was. It didn't matter anyway... As we were getting close to home we had to pass that place we went to originally. You know, the place with the kid sized pipe that we're not supposed to go in, but kids do anyway. As we approached the place we see LOTS of flashing red lights. Yup! Fire fighters, search and rescue, ambulance, police and a street full of parents, family and lookers on! The men were in the pipe looking for us lost kids! Whatever lie we were going to try had just lost its strength by 100%. We all meandered through the crowd looking for our respective parents. I found my dad and quietly tugged on his pant leg. My dad is an imposing man of 6'4", with keen features, a river deep voice, and a steely stare. He looked down at me and my brother and silently pointed in the direction of our house. Needless to say, even though we tried to get a good cry going before we got home, it didn't stop him from whipping us both at the same time!
Ah, fond memories! Don't you love 'em? They make us who were are, and hopefully make us better parents. (most of the time).
Care to share one of your growth memories?
Friday, March 19, 2010
Well done Joey!
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
At night, I lie in bed, staring at the ceiling. My thoughts are incoherent pieces of a puzzle that I have grown really tired of. My heartache will not go away. Or the guilt. Or the regret. I am out of tears, out of prayers and wonder in silence. Is God up there, beyond the ceiling? I know that God is there, but at this point today, I can not feel Him.
I feel like I am in the ocean, with the waves crashing over me. the waves just keep coming at the weirdest times. Some are big and some are just small baby waves. I know that the waves will become farther apart as time goes by, but that does not help right now.
I know all of this is "normal"- but it is hard. I can be just fine and then not remember anything- like my brain is fried. And the tears at the craziest times- Just sitting reading a book-(same page over and over) I start to cry.
I miss H. I miss B. This just should not have happened.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Joey, formally know as Dylan had a cleft pallet team doctor visit this week on Tues. These are all day events, as he sees a group of doctors on this team. His jaw is so out of alignment that he is beginning to be really hard to understand. The next major surgery is to brake his jaw and wire it shut in the correct position. He can not have this done until he is done growing-- 7,8 maybe 9 more years- We are so blessed to have Dr McGee as Joey's team doctor. That was a whole big God thing to get him on the team! another story.. Anyway, Dr McGee has started to do a new surgery to help kids like Joe. So Joey will be going in to have surgery in the next few weeks. As soon as they can have hospital time. Dr McGee is putting plates into Joey's mouth, screwing them into the jaw bones. Then they put heavy rubber bands on the plates. ,moving the jaw into the correct position. (Hopefully, this works some of the time as it is moving bones).
We are praying that this will work for Joey. Joey is one of the bravest boys I know. And he has the sweetest spirit about him. This will be his 6th surgery in the just under 7 years he has lived with us. Really a remarkable kid. God's kid
I have some issues with my legs. (ever since the plane trip around the world and the trip down to TX was just as bad) Anyway, I see the doctor for the results of the blood work ups tomorrow. I am hopeful that there is an easy answer for this. Very painful.
Thank you all for the phone calls, visits, meals, funds(to help with all of the out of pocket expenses) and help that lots of you have been. Our family and I really appreciate it all- Thank you for your prayers and please continue to pray. I do feel your prayers and they are much needed. The Lord has blessed me with wonderful friends.
Blessings, Pamela Dawn
Monday, March 8, 2010
Thank you all for your prayers, calls, help to Juan and the kids. I SO appreciated everything. Thank you all.
I am home, really tired, but home!
My daughter" L" and I still need your prayers as we now try to take care of the things that get left ed behind. Please pray for my beautiful granddaughter "C". She is precious. Please pray for "L" whole family as they all go thru so many changes in their lives.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Thank you all again for your prayers. May the Lord bless each of you with peace, strength and wisdom.
My two oldest daughters made me so proud. They stepped in for Mom without hesitation. Cooking, doing laundry, and getting the "little ones" off to school. All the kids worked together as Team Johnson. Mom didn't have to come home to a disaster. (A sure sign of great mom)
Love from a greatful husband and father
For some reason, I always find it a blessing when I meet a practicing Jew and a double blessing when I meet a Messianic Jew. I guess it's a triple blessing when I get to sit and listen to one tell of how the they love the Lord Jesus and how they are being lead to lead other's to His salvation.
It reminds me to pray for salvation for "The Branch" that was taken out so that we could be grafted in.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
She was absolutely spent. Her good good girlfriends from OBX came and got her this afternoon to go spend the weekend in decompression. A few days of nothing to do, no where to go, and all day to get it done is what this doctor (Dr. J) ordered. The OBX is the best place...surrounded by loving friends, a calm environment a peaceful ocean and sandy beaches. I'll go get her Saturday after soccer practices.
Thank you to all of you for all of your prayers and all of your kind words of encouragement.
Without a Christian family, this would be maddening.
God bless all of you.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Sunday, February 28, 2010
(L) is to take custody of (C), this was in Heather's will, so it wasn't a decision they needed to make. Thankfully, (C) is in agreement with this as well. For some reason she didn't want to be swallowed up in the Johnson Clan to be one of 8 kids. Can you imagine that? (C) & (L) are fairly close as aunt and niece already, so the transition should be "relatively smooth" over the course of time.
They will be using Heather's car and will driving back, so please pray for traveling mercies for them. I'll probably have to meet them somewhere to pick up Pam. I'll let you all know when that is to be.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Please continue to pray for Pam as she is on her way to Dallas. Pray also for our granddaughter and our other daughter (L) who is also on her way to Dallas.
Our oldest adult daughter is in the hospital and on life support at this very second. The doctors are doing everything they can to keep her alive.
Please pray for
Mercy, Peace, Wisdom and Strength.
Traveling mercies for Pam and our other adult daughter (L) as they travel to Dallas this morning.
The doctors, nurses, and techs at the hospital in Dallas Texas
Our granddaughter who is with a neighbor friend right now.
Bless this neighbor friend for being there and stepping in for us.
Thank you for praying with and for us.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
And it is easy to make:
BAKED CHICKEN AND ZUCCHINI
1 Tbs water
3/4 teas salt
1/8 teas pepper
1 cup dry bread crumbs
4 boneless skinless chicken breast
4 Tbs olive oil
5 med zucchini - sliced
4 med tomatoes -- sliced
1 cup mozzarella cheese
2 teas minced fresh basil
In small bowl, beat egg, water and 1/2 teas salt and pepper. Set aside 2 Tbs bread crumbs. Place the remaining bread crumbs in a large resealable plastic bag. Dip chicken in the egg mixture, then place in bag and shake to coat. In skillet cook chicken in 2 Tbs oil for 2 to 3 minutes on each side (or until golden brown ) Remove from skillet and set aside. In the same skillet saute the zucchini in the remaining oil until crisp, tender; drain. Transfer the zucchini into a greased 13x9x2 baking dish. Sprinkle the reserved bread crumbs on top of the zucchini, top with the tomatoes slices; Sprinkle 2/3 cup of the mozzarella cheese and the basil and remaining salt. Top with the chicken. Cover and bake at 400 for 25 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle the remaining cheese on chicken and bake for 10 minutes longer (or until cheese is melted.
Yield- 4 servings.
First time I made this, I did just what it calls for here-- the 2 time, I added yellow squash to the zucchini and I used a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes instead of the fresh tomatoes. For my family, I double this recipe and use the amount of chicken to feed 9 of us-- I also use the frozen chicken tender- instead of the whole breast. (that works well for my smaller kids.)
Another recipe that we like and is easy to do--
ASIAN CHICKEN AND NOODLES
2 cups water
1 pkg chicken flavor Ramen noodles (3 oz side)
1 pkg ( 16 oz ) frozen broccoli, carrots, and water chestnuts
1 Tbs oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast--cut into strips
1/4 cup prepared stir fry cooking sauce
Bring water to a boil in large saucepan. Add noodles and frozen veggies, reserving the seasoning packet from the noodles. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally; drain. Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet, add chicken; cook and stir until lightly browned; about 8 minutes. Stir in noodles, veggies, stir fry sauce and the seasoning packet; heat trough.
Yield- 4 servings
I doubled this and made 4 packs of the romen noodles. Again, I used chicken tenders instead of breasts- have to cut in strips anyway!!
Kids love both of these.
Hey girlfriends- sorry you forgot these yesterday!! but here they are! love you both!
Thank you for the girls day shopping!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I actually drove to Kings Daughter for the appointment and home with out getting lost! It seems like the downtown area is always under some kind of construction!
Miss Z and I had a nice morning together and taking her back to school, I met up with her ESL teacher and had a good update from her. YEA!
Sunday, February 21, 2010
The music/song worship time was fantastic as always! Rick Lawrenson, the senior pastor is on sabbatical, so the other elders are filling in in his absence. The sermon series is on the 7 signs of a healthy church (I think I have that right) and today's sermon was on a praying church. Of course praying and faith could be the only 2 signs really needed, when you think about it. Nags Head Church is a praying, giving, and loving church. This church family is huge on local outreach and huge on missions works. They are also huge on being connected in and they make great efforts in making sure people are connected to small group involvement. I especially miss Saturday morning men's group meetings. These are a great bunch of real men. Real - as in open, supportive and praying Christian men.
We took a walk out on the beach for a little while before heading home. The beach was almost deserted, the wind and waves were calm - BEAUTIFUL!!. Then back to the land of reality. What a great way to spend the Lord's day!