If you have visited here before, you can probably see that I have changed the name of the blog again. I started blogging at 4URuthie to tell the story of our journey to adopt our 1st daughter. I changed it to Mountains for Maggie when we were praying for God to move mountains on behalf of our 2nd daughter. Well now it is no longer just Ruthie’s or Maggie’s stories. It is now our family's story, and the stories of those we share life with, as we Conquer Mountains together. Both ConqueringMountains.net and 4URuthie.blogspot will lead here.

About Me

My photo
I am a pastor's wife, mother of 4 kids (2 adopted and 3 with special needs), physical therapist, and photography junky. This is where it all comes together for me. Feel free to join along as I process life out loud.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Star Wars Pajamas

I am not a poet, but this came to me the other day. Sam has spent much of the summer in his Star Wars pajamas.

For my Sam. Love Mom

I love your never-ending questions
when we are driving in the car
I love the way you talk about the things of God
like they are obvious fact
I love your fearless sense of adventure
And I love the way you look
in your Star Wars Pajamas

I love the way you tell me “it was an accident”
when your sister is in trouble
I love that you can’t bear to see her sad
I love that you don’t mind stopping
to have a tea party
And I love the way you smile when you are wearing
your Star Wars Pajamas

I love that you like to play all kinds of games
I love the way you cheer for the other person when they win
I love your constant questions about math problems
And I love how much you love
your Star Wars Pajamas

I love that you want to always live with me
I love to listen to you sing and play the drums
I love how proud you were to get your very own Bible
And I love how you always ask for
your Star Wars Pajamas

I love that you still sleep
with all of your stuffed animals
I love that you walk around curled up in a blanket like me
I love that you could care less
that most of your clothes are hand me downs
And I love that your favorite stuffed animal also
wears Star Wars Pajamas

I love how you encourage your brother
by telling him the good in the situation
I love that you are constantly telling me
how much you love me
I love that you think girls are boring
but somehow Ruthie and I don’t qualify
And son, I love how big you feel when you are wearing
your Star Wars Pajamas

For soon the day will come when those pjs will be too small,
Your stuffed animals will be in the corner,
Tea parties will be a thing of the past,
And you won’t have as much interest in your mother

So before it’s too late and these days are behind us
I will stop what I am doing and take the time
To walk to the drawer with you my son
And celebrate as we pull out
your Star Wars Pajamas

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ten Questions Parents Should Ask Their Children

I mentioned the other day that Trent and I take time each June to come up with values that we want to pray over each of our kids for the next year. Another thing we are going to start doing soon is having an "evaluation" each year with each individual child. This will be a time to praise what we see in them and provide direction for what we see needs to happen in the next year. This will also be a time for them to share their hearts with us.

Tom and Jeannie Eliff spoke on "Family Life Today" and offered 10 questions you should ask your kids annually. I thought they were worth sharing for anyone else who wants to do something similar.

1. Do you feel that we are getting along together?

2. What are some things you think we could do to improve our relationship?

3. Do you believe that I really care about who you are as an individual...or just how you behave?

4. Have I ever made a promise to you that I didn't keep?

5. Do you feel that I respect you? Do you respect me?

6. Is there something you would enjoy doing together with me? What would keep us from doing this?

7. Is there some secret you are keeping from me out of fear that I would love you less?

8. What can I do to show you that I want to be more like Christ?

9. Is there something I do that annoys you...or embarrasses you?

10. How could I best express to you just how much I love you, and how honored I feel to be your parent?

Optional- Have I overlooked any questions you would like for me to ask?

My 2 cents- Trent and I believe that one of the key things to our children having a healthy childhood and then surviving the teen years is for them to feel like they are a part something. We often call our family "Team Henderson" for that reason and this annual meeting is just one more way we will communicate to our kids that they are part of the unit and not just products of it.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Another Cool Experience with Kinesio Tape

For those of you just tuning in, I am a pretty big fan of Kinesio Tape. It doesn't replace what we do in the clinic, but is a good adjunct to what we know is already effective. I have used it off and on with Jack and Ruthie and had pretty good results.

Well yesterday I was sitting through an imaging class taught by Dr. Joseph Chorley who is a Sports Medicine doctor for Texas Children's. He was emphasizing something all PTs know but sometimes forget and that is the inter-relationship between what happens at the elbow to what is going on at the shoulder and scapula.

So I took that very good reminder and went home and taped Ruthie's shoulder blades into a better position. I expected her to look better and hoped it would make her somewhat more functional. I was overjoyed when I broke out the M&Ms and fruit chews and started our routine of self feeding and watched her bring her hands to her mouth with less difficulty than before. Usually she leans her body back to get the assistance of gravity and then brings her arm to her hand to her mouth with her arm shaking with fatigue. Yesterday she did very little bending back and had no shaking. This really encourages me that we may be able to avoid elbow surgery and gives me more direction for her therapy.

For those of you with kids with Arthrogryposis, feel free to share this with your PTs and OTs. They are also welcome to contact me with any questions.

SIDENOTE: One of our favorite activities at Pine Cove is horseback riding. Here are some pics from those adventures.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Praying for Character

Last year at Family Camp, Trent and I started an annual tradition of sitting down and talking about what we see God doing in our family. We then determine what character qualities we want to take the year and pray over each person and we write that those qualities down on a plate in our kitchen. This plate stays on our island as a reminder to pray and actively encourage that character development.

I don't know about you, but I have found that the pressure of the world is for us to set goals for our kids to be things like the most athletic or smartest kid in their class. I see this all around me and I have certainly struggled with it myself. Can you imagine how this world would be if parents pursued their children's character like they do their performance?

Last year we asked God for Boldness for Trent, Peace for me, Godly Confidence for Jack (and we have so seen that develop this year), Security for Sam, and Joy for Ruthie (also very evident now). It is so great to look back and see where God has brought each of us in these areas. We are still shaping out this year's for me and Trent, but I am pretty sure about Service for Jack, Discipline for Sam, and Security for Ruthie. This has been a great practice for us that I would encourage you to try with your family.

Grandparents, we would love for you to join us in praying that over the kids.

SIDENOTE: I find it hard to get a good whole family picture during the year because someone is always gone or someone is not cooperating in the 1 hour that you scheduled for picture taking. Luckily at Family Camp, we are always together so we get a few good family pictures in.

OK so maybe some are better than others. Oh and that was western night. We don't normally dress like that. :)

This bottom one was 10 months ago in those same shirts as above

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Celebrating His Faithfulness

While we were at Family Camp, some of the kids in the church were at Pre-teen Camp. One of those kids was a boy from our neighborhood that Trent has been reaching out to. We have invited him to church many times but he has not made it and then we invited him to camp probably 10 times before he finally said "yes" at the last minute.

I walked outside yesterday and saw him playing in my yard and I asked him how camp was. He said, "My favorite part was joining God's army. I accepted Jesus!". Of course I gave him a great big hug and I am pretty sure did a little dance. :) The other really cool part was what he said next. He told me, "My grandfather is going to be so happy. He has been praying for me for a long time."

How cool is that!

I love the picture of this child's grandparents praying for their lost grandson and then God in his incredible faithfulness allows us to move down the street and then places him on our hearts. There are a lot of kids in our neighborhood, but this one is special and he really grabbed the heart of my husband who has been praying for him and trying to model for him what a Godly man looks like. So we are rejoicing today (with Cameron's grandfather) that we serve a faithful God.

You want to know the final cool part? We told Cameron that if he wanted to go to church with us to be at our house by 9:00 to go with Trent or by 10:00 to go with me. He knocked on our door at 8:30 ready to go. He even ate breakfast at my house because he forgot to before leaving home. Oh to be so excited about meeting with Jesus that we forget to eat and arrive 30 minutes early. LOVE THAT!

Here are some of the many pictures we took while at camp. Do you remember me saying a few weeks ago that I was in Hobby Lobby looking for stuff to make "Thing" shirts? Well here they are! The first theme night was Dr. Seuss. Introducing my "Things".

Saturday, June 19, 2010

He Did It! Yeah Jack!

We just got back from our annual trip to Pine Cove Family Camp and as always it was a WONDERFUL week! I so wanted to tell you that we were going, but unfortunately we live in a sad world where it is not smart for me to advertise an empty house.

It was a great week and I can't wait to share with you all the parenting tips we learned and all the things God taught us, but first I want to brag on my oldest. This is our 4th year to go to Family Camp and in the past 3 years, Jack has been very afraid to try all the things that camp had to offer. Last year he walked up the zip line and back down 4 times and was never able to take that step and try it. He also declined to take the swim test so he would not have to wear a life jacket and he was always nervous about leaving us to go with his group.

This year we prayed diligently for courage for him to take the swim test and maybe even try the zip line. Monday at lunch a counselor found us and said that not only did he pass his swim test, but he jumped off the diving board, went down the big slide (Slidasaurus), and did the zip line twice! We were so excited for him. He was like a different kid all week. He walked around camp with a confidence that we have not seen previously in this child. His new found courage was definitely one of the highlights of our week.

Here are a few pictures of our boy and some of his adventures. I will post more of the rest of the fam later this week!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Legacy of an Adopted Child

I saw this poem the other day and loved it!

Legacy of an Adopted Child
Once there were two women, neither knew the other
One you do not remember, the other you call mother.

One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name
One gave you the seed of talent, the other gave you an aim.

Two very different lives shaped yours into one
One became your guiding star, the other was your sun.

One gave you emotions, and one calmed your fears
One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried your tears.

The first gave you life, the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love, the second was there to give it.

One gave you up—it was all that she could do,
The other prayed for a child—God led her straight to you.

And now you ask me through your tears,
The age-old question of all the years,
Heredity or Environment, which are you a product of?

Neither darling, neither ... just two different kinds of Love.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

It All Started With a TuTu and Some Good Intentions

One of Ruthie's friends had a tutu party today. I got the bright idea to sponge roll her hair for the event and so I called my wonderfully girly friend Paige and yep she had sponge rollers. Ruthie was so tough she didn't even complain about sleeping in the darn things.

I left them in until 30 minutes before the party because I know how poorly Ruthie's hair holds curls. I was shocked when I took them out and it was THIS CURLY!

I tried to separate the curls and quickly created an Afro

After a hairdryer, some help from my neighbor Amy, and much combing, I decided to settle for a poodle and headed to the party

My friend Elita made outfits for the kids to have their pictures taken in. Is that a bow or what!?! I never considered that a black background might not be good for Ruthie since her hair is black. Now I know. :)

My curly girly was exhausted and slept all the way home at 12:30 and is still napping now at 3:30. I guess maybe she didn't sleep so well in those sponge rollers after all!

Thanks for being such a trooper Ruthie and to all my friends who helped make this such a memorable day!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Flashback Almost Friday

I was moving video from my laptop to our external hard drive the other day and I came across some old movie clips there. I thought some of you would enjoy this one that made me smile. 2 things- 1. listen to Jack's accent- do I sound like that? 2. ZYXs were taught to him by his grandfather, Doc. Great memories!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Part 2- Why is Ministry Hard in Suburbia

Our church occasionally does an outreach where we walk one of the neighborhoods around us. We set out in teams with our packets of information and a few talking points. Our charge is to pray, knock on doors, and hopefully minister to the people. Can I be honest here and tell you that I always feel real awkward on those walks.

Compare that to my 1st full day in Haiti. It was Saturday and we were staying on base to treat the others there who had been injured or gotten sick. We were done by 1:00 but didn't have plans for the rest of the day. I was going crazy with desire to get off the base and into the streets. So Lori and I grabbed a translator and another male and headed out. I walked down the streets, completely uninhibited, and prayed over the "homes", people, and city. I even sang a song OUT LOUD that I felt like God had placed on my heart. I don't think I could have kept quiet if I wanted to. :)

So what is the difference between walking the streets in suburbia and walking the streets in Haiti? My friend Julie helped me process this out loud and come up with 2 theories:

1. In America we are way too concerned about what others think about us and that inhibits our ability to be affective in ministry.

2. We don't appreciate the cost of our sin or the significance of salvation. Here is what I mean by that- If I think it is a bigger deal for someone in Haiti to be in pain than it is for my friend to be separated from Christ, then I have missed it. The suffering of this world is temporary but a life lived apart from Christ has eternal consequences.
*I think when we truly get that into our hearts, we will all be knocking on doors.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Why is Ministry in Suburbia So Hard? Part 1

Revelation 2:4 “Yet I hold this against you. You have forsaken your first love”

I have spent the last 2 weeks trying to figure out why ministry in the suburbs is so much more difficult than ministry in Haiti. In Haiti, I felt this freedom to pray with people and speak of Jesus that I don’t feel back home. Then last night, God helped me understand.

I was reading about Christ’s letter to the first lampstand (church) that is found in the second chapter of Revelation. In the letter Christ tells them that they have forsaken their first love.

Can I illustrate something for you that I feel like God illustrated for me this week?

I love matchmaking. I love helping connect 2 people and then walking through the next several months with them as I see how much happiness they bring each other. Those who know me really well know this about me. But you know what I am not so good at? I have a hard time sitting in a room with a couple I don’t know well where one has decided to be done with the marriage and it is my job to convince them to fight it out. That is usually the time when one or both partners has “forsaken their first love” and decided to chase other interests like money, comfort, peace, lust, etc. I find it really difficult to convince that person to forsake all else and pursue their spouse again. Oh they usually say they will but follow through is another thing.

Here is where I am going with this…

Mission work is like match making. You have this incredible freedom to introduce someone who has never known Jesus to the mate their soul was made for! Then you get to rejoice with them as they walk in this new relationship. It is wonderful to be a part of.

Suburbia ministry is more like marriage counseling. I am not talking about the people who have never heard of Jesus or those who are currently in the church as much as the ones who are familiar with church, have participated at some time, and have now decided that Jesus is no longer as exciting for them as the other things they would rather chase after. They have “forsaken their first love”. It is like the story of the rich young ruler. Jesus doesn’t want to share you with other “girlfriends”. I find it really hard to bring those people back in.

I have more thoughts on this that I will most likely share later this week, I just want to ponder them a little longer. Feel free to chime in.

SIDE NOTE- A Picture from our weekend

Sometimes the middle child gets even!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Look What She Can Do!

Yep that's my girl! She learned to swim today and could go up to 20ft. Fearless!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Exciting New Find!

The last several months, I have seen these knit headbands and caps (for little girls) around with big flowers on them. The boutiques are selling them for $20 and I have seen them online for $12-15 + shipping. I thought they were so cute but I was too cheap to pay that much for something that goes in a 3 year old's hair.

Well, the other day I was walking through Hobby Lobby getting stuff to make Thing 1, Thing 2, and Thing 3 shirts (because I am too cheap to buy them) when I stumbled on the flowers and headband pieces that I have been coveting. The headbands were $1 and the flowers were $3.99. I was so excited that I bought several.

Today I decided to take pictures of my girl in her new head pieces (because I am too cheap to have someone else take them) and I think they turned out GREAT! I was so pleased. Hope you enjoy the pics and my new find. You can get them at Hobby Lobby for $5! Woohoo!

Here is the link to order them online from Hobby Lobby in case you don't have one in your area: http://shop.hobbylobby.com/wearables/baby/baby-hats-and-hair-decor/

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