Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Day my Chaotic Life Became More So....

Found this old picture of some of Caleb's first steps back in Jan 08. Now I just want to get him off the table or off the step stool and out of the freezer....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

County Fair!

Once again we enjoyed an absolutely beautiful weekend at the county fair. Usually there is rain of some sort but nowhere to be found this year! The kids had a blast on Friday with rides and friends and Anna danced yesterday. Jacob was a huge help at the Chick-fil-A booth and Nathan spent the day hanging out with friends. A great way to spend a weekend!

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Family Reunited

For those of you who have been in the AWAA community for awhile, you probably know of Julia Norris and her adopted son Christian. I just received this from another AWAA family this week. They were able to track Christian's biological family in China and just a couple of weeks ago he was reunited with them in China. There are some very emotional CNN reports on this blog following their journey. I was in tears by the end.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Caleb turns 4!

Celebrated with a Spiderman birthday party and cupcakes with his friends at school. Can't believe our little guy is 4 already!

Nathan's big night

Six years after his decision to follow Christ, Nathan made the decision to be baptized. We are so proud of him and his spiritual growth this year. God has big things in store for our son!

Pictures at last

Or so I thought. Caleb has decided to not take a nap today so this post will be short but I'll at least get a couple of pictures of the kids in. School is going well and we are settling in to our new schedule. I am amazed at how much I get done during the day without my "helpers" but I do miss them. This move has been a good one all around though!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Back in 2000, we had a year that I thought would top all years. I won't bore you with the details, just suffice it to say that it was full of lots of firsts, big decisions and things that have changed the landscape of our family today. Evidently these big years tend to cycle through and we are finishing yet another one of those years. I know that many of you have been saddened by my lack of blogging (ok, maybe that is an exaggeration but you couple of people can stop bugging me about it...)but I am hopeful that I will be doing a better job soon. After 7 years of homeschooling some or all of my kids, I sent the oldest 4 off to school today and Caleb will be following them in a few days. Our family has been stretched quite thin with commitments that were not always ours to make (yes, some were) but have all piled onto us in a pretty dramatic way. Ken and I are praying that we will, in the next few months, see some sense of normalcy come back to our chaos (as normal as a family of 7 can be :) ) I am realistic that my time will continue to not always be my own but that the expectations of it will be a bit more realistic. Feel free to pray for us as we make another transition year and I will do my best to get pictures up soon!

Monday, May 18, 2009

He's home!

Ken made it home safely this afternoon. Other than some jet lag, he is doing very well and we are happy to have him back.
More posts and photos to follow :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

In the Air!

Ken is on his first flight from Nairobi to London and will return home tomorrow afternoon our time. He had an amazing trip but we are all ready for him to be home. The kids and I had melt down Friday night - fishing a dead bunny out of the pool skimmer didn't help much (no it wasn't one of ours - one of the wild bunnies in the yard). My appreciation for those of you whose husbands are deployed has grown tremendously!! Hopefully in the next few days we'll be able to download Ken's pictures and he can add a few posts along the way (shock, gasp!).
Thanks again for all the prayers. We have survived :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

From Ken

Good morning! It is Friday morning and we are in our 5th day of our History Makers conference. It has been an incredible experience this week having this opportunity to teach, mentor and share with many people. Yesterday morning, we taught on evangelism. In the afternoon, we travelled to Kibera, the largest slum in Africa with an estimated 1 million people living there. I had done some research on Kibera but was not quite prepared for what I experienced. Kibera is located on the outskirts of Nairobi and is a poverty striken place. In the US, we would not want our family pets to live in the kind of conditions we saw. We walked through many alleys, down old rail tracks and even had the opportunity to go to a small church located toward the center of the slum. The church is an outreach of Global Outreach Assembly. There were a number of children there. We sang songs with them (in Swahili), prayed and I had an opportunity to give them some Chick-fil-A mini plush cows; if you could have seen their shining faces. We went to a "park" which was a large open area in the middle of the park. Just over 1 year ago, just after the Kenyan elections, there was much violence in Kibera and a massive blood shed and killings that occured in the very place where we were standing; an experience that I will never forget. We conducted a short worship service. In addition, many of the History Makers (the participants in the conference) went around the perimeter of the park and shared with many many people. Many of the people that we spoke with are orphans and many of them have been born in Kibera and have never lived in any other place. Some played football (soccer) with the children and youth, some just held young children and we ALL prayed!!! God answered your prayers and ours and we saw a total of 53 come to Christ! We will all need to continue to pray for them as they have much to overcome. I had a bag full of Chick-fil-A cows and cow pez dispensers and tried to hand them out selectively in the park. The word got out very quickly that there was a white man with gifts and I was completely swarmed by too many children to count. All the gifts were handed out (so to speak) and someone even took the plastic shopping bag that I had brought them in. The mini-cows were in plastic bags with a Chick-fil-A advertisement inside. At one point, I saw 2 small boys fighting over one of these advertisements; this moved me greatly that this would be so important to them.
I hope as time allows, I will have an opportunity to share with each of you about more of my experiences here this week.
I came here to teach and mentor but I will certainly not be coming home the same man that arrived here just 5 days ago.
Please continue to pray for our next few days. We will have graduation for the History Makers tomorrow/Saturday, going to church on Sunday (I will be preaching or giving my testimony which they consider preaching), going to Nairobi Game Park for a safari and leaving at 11:10 PM to head home.
Thank you for your prayer support!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Thanks to all who prayed for Caleb today. They did not have to do 2 of the crowns so he ended up with 2 crowns and 5 fillings. While it took most of the day for him to get over the IV sedation, he is eating again tonight and is being his cute and ornery self. We got everywhere on time and all went well on the home front, thanks to my wonderful parents who took the day off and transported kids all over. Mom even got to do some homeschooling with the girls and I rushed through Target and the grocery store ALL ALONE!!:)

Ken did call briefly this afternoon. They visited Kabera, the largest slum in Africa today. The team on the ground estimated the population has grown to almost 2 million people. He said that pictures and words do not even begin to describe what he experienced today. Children as young as 2 or 3 wandering around without the watchful eye of an adult. Kids calling him "Daddy". 53 people accepting Christ as their saviour! The juxtaposition of hopelessness and the true hope that only God can bring all at one time. I can't wait to hear his individual stories. The 15 minute conversations are more than I counted on but just not enough when I can tell he is just brimming with emotions and sensory overload. The cell service is sporatic at best - it took him almost 1/2 hour to get a signal just to call me today to check on Caleb. Probably won't hear from him tomorrow but perhaps one more time before he leaves Sunday night their time (Sunday afternoon our time est).

We continue to plug along on the homefront - I appreciate all the prayers that have been sent our way. The week has been mercifully noneventful other than the usual chaos, Caleb's stuff today and Nathan home sick with a bad cold. All things that are not out of the realm of doable! We are anxious for Daddy to be home though and can't wait to see him on Monday.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A post from Ken

Here is an email we got from Ken yesterday while my internet was down.

Greetings from Kenya! I arrived here safely on Sunday night after 24 hours of travel. We are now in our 2nd day of our History Makers Leadership Conference. We are in Limuru Kenya which is located in highlands 1.5 hours NW of Nairobi. We have 26 young men and women that we are teaching; they have come from as far as Ethiopia. They are very open and receptive to our teaching and I have enjoyed getting to know them, learning more about their personal lives, their nation, culture and our differences. The one thing that we share is our belief in Jesus! Their faith and strength is VERY humbling. We are incredibly blessed in the USA and take much for granted like safety, running water, electricity, food and the many resources that God provides. Please keep our team in prayer for teaching, mentoring, health and safety. Remember us on Thursday as we travel to Kibera, the largest slum in Africa with over 550,000 people living there.
Thank you for your prayer support for myself and for my family back home.
God Bless You in work today as we all seek to serve!
Ken Weikel

I did get to talk to him today and he said that the need is so great there and that people there are so hungry for the Gospel and discipling but that the funds and financial support have been growing short. I am sure that when Ken returns this will continue to be something on his heart! He is already talking about going back and he isn't even home yet :)

On the home front, Caleb has his dental procedures tomorrow so an extra prayer sent this way would be appreciated. He is in pain most days from his teeth so we are anxious to get this all done!

Monday, May 11, 2009

News from Kenya

Ken called this afternoon and although our conversations are short, I can tell he is having an amazing trip. He said that he is humbled by the stories that the Christian young men who are at this conference have shared about their faith. One young man was raised in a home of devil worship and black magic. When he became a believer, his family tried to have him killed. Another young man runs an orphanage of young boys. Many of them are alcohol and drug addicts as young as 6 or 8. As I understand it, most of the attendees of this leadership conference are in their early 20's and already have such amazing testimonies of what God has done in their lives.
The monastary where he is staying is self sufficient. They raise cattle and there is VERY fresh milk at every meal and Ken came upon a dead cow hanging yesterday. They had beef for dinner :) He says the food is simple but he hasn't starved yet so that is good.
We are surviving on the homefront, thanks in no small part to my dad who has/will take the boys to school everyday. I am VERY thankful for that favor!!!
I will post more when I hear from Ken. The calls are expensive and there is no internet that I'm aware of so we get a few precious moments each day. It makes me so appreciate the ability to pick up the phone and call him!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!

This amazing rainbow (it is actually a double if you look closely) on Friday was a reminder to us that God always keeps his promises!!

Just a note to all those moms out there who kiss booboos, listen to stories and drive the family "bus" - You are GREAT!!!! I am so blessed to have a wonderful godly mom and mother-in-law. I know it is no small thing in these days to be able to make that boast and I appreciate all that they do to show love to our family and others. They are the best Grandma and Mamaw in the world!

Ken is safely in Kenya and has a jammed packed schedule for the week. He will try to call us daily (but with a 7 hour time difference it might be a bit challenging) so I hope to update the blog with prayers and praises for his week. Thanks to all who are already lifting him and the team in prayer.

We celebrated Mother's Day at church and home. The kids actually got in the pool today (74 degree water!!!!!) and are excited about summer being around the corner. That water is going to have to get a lot warmer before this mom joins the fun!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

sorry about the technical difficulties...

Yeah, I know some of these pics are sideways but I keep "rotating" them and they won't so you'll just have to turn your head when you look at them. Not sure what was up with the non posting thing - maybe it has been too long :)


I posted this long post with pics and it won't publish. Still working on it here....

A lot can happen in 4 months....

I hear you. The growing chorus of faithful readers who wonder out loud why I haven't posted in so long. I could give you a creative laundry list of reasons but alas, I just don't have the time. You see, we are still only working on one computer in our house. There are 6 of us who use this one computer. This means that updating the blog gets low priority. When I do get the chance, like now, I have a whining toddler hanging on me, messing with the printer, another child begging for paper, other kids who are supposed to be doing homework but I'm not upstairs to check to make sure it is happening - well you get the picture.
Anyway, here is a quick synopsis of the Weikel house in the last few months....
-Sarah had a wonderful teaparty birthday to celebrate turning 5 - very girly, very fun
-Ken and I got to spend a week in California for Chick-fil-A seminar in Long Beach and then explored the coast BY OURSELVES!!!!!
-Finally had a big snow and dug out of 10 inches of wet white stuff
-Visited family for a few days in VA Beach
-Celebrated Easter - He is risen indeed!!!
-Anna turned 8 and celebrated with a bunch of her friends seeing the Hannah Montana movie - not a bad movie
-Got 2 new critters - very cute bunnies named Sparkles and Rainbow
-Ken suprised me (he tried reallllly hard!) with a birthday party for my (gulp) 40th birthday. It was a wonderful evening surrounded by lots of friends
-Nathan is 14!! Yikes-when did than happen?
-They opened our pool today - for real?! It is pouring down rain and 56 degrees. Hard to believe that the kids only have 3.5 weeks of school left.
-Ken is leaving for Kenya Saturday - keep you posted on his big trip next week (at least I'm going to try!)
-Caleb has some major dental work next Thursday - he'll be under for about 2 hours - prayers would be appreciated.

Caleb is now on a growth chart - 10th percentile for height and 3rd percentile for weight. I hope to do a separate post on our miracle kid (you know, the one who is whining and pulling on me and acting like a 3 year old....)

In between all those big events are lots of everyday smiles, tears, tantrums and God moments. He has blessed us with this crazy life - most nights we fall into bed exhausted. But as nuts as it all is we are blessed beyond measure and I'm humbled by God's mercy and faithfulness through it all!

Would love to post more but I've hit my limit of whining and hanging (and drumming!).
Hope to post more soon....

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

It's a Guy Thing!

Have I mentioned that Caleb is obsessed with vehicles? Here he is driving a "train" with Sarah and playing crash derby with Anna. He is always making a car noise!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year!

Still dealing with computer issues - the reality is that my laptop is dying. Which means we really have one working computer for 6 users. And it is in the basement. And I rarely go to the basement. Enough explanation for my dull and dry blog....
Here are a few pics from Christmas. The kids actually held out until 7am!! and were wonderfully cooperative and appreciative all day. We had a relaxing day and celebrated with a Happy Birthday Jesus carrot cake ;)
Since then I have been trying to take advantage of having a dumpster in the driveway and have been sortin and pitchin. I know that sounds soooo redneck but at least we aren't dumpster diving!
Everyone headed back to school today and although 6:15 was awfully early this morning, it is nice to back into the schedule. We've been struggling through nasty colds but looks like most of us are on the mend. So we are ready to start our new year, looking forward to what God has in store for us!