Saturday, December 25, 2010


We were blessed to be with some family for Christmas. And for all the family we didn't get to see ~ merry Christmas to YOU!

We enjoyed a pizza party with the Q side after Christmas (which I failed to capture any photos of ... gets harder when they get older!) and Christmas Eve on the Kuipers side was busy with lots of cousin time!
Here are some photos of that:
Cousin pictures, its hard to get a smile on a bakers dozen :)
Daryn (my youngest brother) and Kira with Emmry
Mike and Jill (my younger sister), Brinley, Molly and SadieJames (my brother) and Carrie, Raleigh, Syndey and Greyson
+ 2 in heaven (check out their blog)

And our family, Steve and Amy with children
My Dad and Mom ~ thanks so much for welcoming in a family of 8 to overrun your house for 10 days!!! We are so thankful for your love and support, going up north with the whole family was a special treat too THANKS so much!
More posts to come of friends and fun over the holidays!
This Christmas we are thankful for the gift that brought us ALL into God's family!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hands and Feet

We desire to serve God where-ever he sends us -- but its tempting to say "He hasn't sent me yet (or I am not old enough, or I am not a missionary, etc!) so I don't need to serve" My thoughts ~that is WRONG! He wants to use you right where you are, at any age! So this season of giving allow God to use your hands and feet to serve those you come to meet! May you be willing to say I'll go where you send me even its its just down the street.
The lyrics of a song by Audio Adrenaline have been going through my head lately.... so though I'd post them here!

An image flashed across my TV screen another broken heart comes in to view
I saw the pain and I turned my back why can't I do the things I want to?
I'm willing yet I'm so afraid You give me strength When I say
I want to be your hands

I want to be your feet

I'll go where you send me
We'II go where you send us

And I try to touch the world like you touched my life And I find my way to be your hands
I've abandoned every selfish thought I've surrendered every thing I've got
You can have everything I am and perfect everything I'm not
I'm willing, I'm not afraid you give me strength When I say [CHORUS]
This is the lifetime I turned my back on you
From now on, I'll go so send me where You want me to
I finally have a mission I promise I'll complete
I don't need excuses when I am your hands and feet Quak Flock 10/10
if you want to see a video of the whole song click here
(they also have information about their hand and feet orphanages in Haiti and Central America on the video)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The season of waiting...

Well, I had excellent intentions of getting some lovely advent posts up... its just not going to happen, so here are some ramblings.

As we prepare to celebrate Christ's birth I am thankful to savor a few slow mornings or early evenings when I cuddle up with a blanket, my hot tea and quiet time with the Lord. Savoring his faithfulness, leading and hope. Tonight, I thought I would share a few thoughts on my heart. The advent season is a season of reflecting, waiting, anticipation, hope and finally JOY:
  • Reflecting on God's faithfulness, or maybe reflecting on the distance you are from the Lord and pondering how to draw close again.
  • Waiting for God's leading in a job, for a spouse, or where to go next in life.
  • Anticipation of a move or of other momentous events in your life,
  • and Hope for peace, a better economy, for healing, for the orphans, widows and poor.

Reflecting or pondering often reminds me of the passage about Mary after Jesus was born "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Luke 2:19. As a mom my mind is soaking up information and somehow it seems to thicken up as it gets to my heart (if that even makes sense). Hindsight is 20/20 and there are so many times I am thankful to look back and see God's hand working in our parenting and in our children's lives. However there are still MANY times where my heart breaks for my frequent human shortcomings: the temper that is too quick to jump out, the lack of communication leading to quarrels, and the under-abundance of grace which is not poured out. Reflecting on how evident it is when my walk with the Lord is, well, more of a gallop (which is just ridiculous I know) how I get lost, off track or hurt. But thankfully He's slowing me down and teaching me to WALK with Him! I am so thankful that this year He is growing a in me a deep longing to slow down and just BE with Him.

Waiting on God's leading, this is an area that is NOT easy! Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. Ps 143:10
Especially with my "like to know the plan" nature. I am learning that I crave structure and order, letting go and being willing to lean on God as an act of trust.... well, still working in this area! We were so blessed to follow his leading in our family mission trip last month and God is reminding me that He does want good things to grow and mature our family if we are willing to follow Him!

Watching children anticipate something special is a reminder of the eagerness with which we should be awaiting the return of Jesus. Are we more excited about the Christmas parties? Getting new clothes? the pretty packages under the tree? I am sure you heard the song this year "Where's the Line to See Jesus?" As I anticipate another year of homeschooling, travel, conventions and speaking I pray that all those things are in the shadow of my eagerness for the Lords return. Its hard to for me to think of expectancy and not think of "expecting". Many have asked us how we foster, well is only by God's grace and let me tell you there are some days (like today) that I wish I could adjust the spigot! We had eagerly anticipated knowing more after the court date today however we are still left waiting. As hard as it is to explain, we do long for families to be reunified if at all possible, however we also long for children to have belonging, and permanency and fighting the battle of red tape is oh so frustrating! We cling to the anticipation in God's perfect plan for her life that none of us can even fathom at this point! Jer. 29:11 is such a meaningful verse for our family and we claim it again for her. "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Hope in the best Christmas gift ever! We can hope in earthly things all our lives and not find fulfillment, but the one that provides true hope is Jesus Christ. We hope for peace to rule in our home, our country and our world. Hoping for Godly love to be shown to many who are broken and alone. Hope for our light to shine brightly to all who can see.
"The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.” May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:12-13

May you take time to ponder the gift of Jesus, sent from heaven above just for YOU! We pray you are filled with JOY in the gift of Jesus this Christmas. Amidst the busy time of year may you take time to be filled by Him so you may overflow with the hope he gives!
Blessing to your family this Christmas!
Amy Q

Monday, December 6, 2010

A few of our favorite things....

Once again advent season is here! I love this time of year! Maybe because it starts right around my birthday :) or maybe because its the anticipation of the best gift of all time!

Either way thought I would share a few of our Christmas traditions:
  • each of the 25 days until Christmas we put an ornament on our Jesse Tree to and read a short scripture, telling of the journey to Jesus. (this year we are a bit behind but I hope to share some of the stories with you as we go along)
  • opening a new window each day on our Advent calendars
  • lighting the advent candles
  • Reading about Jotham, Bartholomew and Tabitha in an EXCELLENT advent series
  • wrapping up Christmas story books and each day getting to open a gift of a special story to read! Some of our favorites: Crippled Lamb, Mary's First Christmas, Who is coming to our House?, The Christmas Tapestry and for adults Skipping Christmas, Unafraid
  • staging the happy family Christmas picture (I just cant give it up!)
  • delighting in opening cards from far away family and friends with pictures and updates
  • putting candles in each of our windows
  • making gingerbread houses ( fun for both the big and little kids)
  • hanging stockings by the chimney (this year we may put out our wooden shoes :))
  • Getting together with family!
  • setting out our manger (instead of a big tree) and placing gifts all around - helping to keep us focused on real meaning of CHRISTmas!
  • Having warm cozy fires snuggled up together
  • of course making cookies, decorating them AND eating them!
  • and Christmas music ~ especially hearing the kids play it!
  • Mary Did You Know that song is one that always touches my heart!
  • Making family memories we will treasure for years!
This season may God be near to you may you receive His wonderful gift, the gift of his son Jesus. More Christmas ponderings soon!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

And the winner is....

Finally the book giveaway: The winner is Lori O and family,
CONGRATULATIONS May you be blessed by Mission As Life!

We are excited that some of you are interested in joining us for a FAMILY MISSION TRIP in the fall of 2011. Let us know if you'd like to be added to our update list!

If you would like a copy of the book we do have a few more copies let me know, or they can be purchased at

Blessings on your week ~ may you share the love of Christ with those you meet wherever God has you right now!
The Quakflock

Saturday, November 27, 2010

One more day....

OK we've been BUSY with the holidays and forgot to have the kids draw the winner tonight.... so you have one more day to enter :)

If you want a FREE copy of the book Mission As Life
(we will mail it so feel free to enter even if you don't live nearby!)
just comment on the original post (click here) by 8pm Sunday CST

May God give you an opportunity to minister to someone today ~ and may you TAKE IT!
Amy and the Quakflock

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hiking the appalachian trail

While on our mission trip we were able to take a little side trip to visit some old friends who we used to live down the street from, they now live in Virginia. It was about the end of the fall colors we were so awed to see the beauty God has decorated this earth with! We we so blessed to catch up with them as well as get a hike in on the Appalachian trail.

Deb and I talking and walking
Steve with the baby snug as a bug!
Kids lead the way
signing into the log book
the whole crew yes its a full dozen with only 2 families!!!
THANKS Maynards for blessing us with wonderful fellowship, comfy beds (even welcoming late arrivals!) and yummy food! We are so thankful for good friends and look forward to someday worshiping the Lord together!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Family Service highlights + BOOK GIVEAWAY

One of our goals for the week was to help figure out what it takes to make a family mission trip work with The Community Crossings; finding the right balance between work, fun, and making sure the family has time to grow together and deepen their walk with the Lord. Serving as a family has lots of benefits one that we felt is you all come home with a shared experience, able to spur one another on when you return to the hum drum of daily life back home. Also time away from typical schedule of life allows you to have time together that often is not taken when at home.

The above picture is of the Community Crossing facility ~ the old high school was given to them! Its a wonderful place where lots of ministry happens. (I am still bewildered at how school buses ever got close, the streets are SO steep!)

We are considering going back and would like to take a crew of families with us .... so if you are interested let us know... it would be fun to serve with a bunch of families! We would likely go again fall of 2011. If you are interested in going sooner or helping with donations please contact Community Crossing ph 304-436-8300 or let me know and we can connect you!

Daily we met with Randy Wallace from Mustard Seeds & Mountains ministry,another local ministry. He is the author of Mission As Life a great book which we highly recommend all families read! Especially if your family is looking for a jump start to service or ministry. We enjoyed spending some time with him and being encouraged to not leave serving in West Virginia but to take it home and continue on in our hometown. A few highlights:
  • Commune with God ~ spend time listening to His word and what he wants us to do
  • Community ~ we can serve right were we are, it takes time, make sure to schedule it in!
  • Compassion ~ it takes a heart that is willing to put others first and self last then DO IT
We want to bless someone with the book MISSION AS LIFE-- so if you want to win a FREE copy:
  • Post a comment (make sure your email is in your comment so we can contact you if you win).
  • If you want to get entered twice post a link to this on your blog and comment here that you linked it.
  • If you really want the book you can comment again for a third opportunity to win, with a story about a mission/service project you have done or one you hope to do!
We will draw the winner the 27th. Best wishes!
Thanks for all your support while we were off on this adventure! We pray that God continues to mold us into the servants HE wants us to be!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Supporting others - DAY 5

Final day to finish a few little week long projects:
#1 Final coat of paint in bathroom at clubhouse (where we stayed)
  • WORKERS: Steve and Amy (a little)
This is the bathroom we worked on at the clubhouse done!

#2 Paint trim and install into bedroom and bathroom at the clubhouse
  • WORKERS: Steve and all the kids
Looks very nice!

We were blessed with wonderful weather while we were there. The boys enjoyed playing outside and even enjoyed some young playmates throughout the week who were kind in sharing their bikes :)
Then we were able to connect with 5 homeschooling families for gym time this afternoon. They loved Steve playing with them ~ helping them shoot hoops :) And we had a great game of kickball too :) Here Freddie is going to throw someone out at third! The enjoyed riding bikes inside as the roads are way to hilly outside! Bernie helps Eric go faster! Getting ready for a 4-square game...
Was that really out? are you sure???
We enjoyed a meeting this wonderful crew who has such an amazing heart to help this community. THANKS Wilson family for welcoming us and for blessing the many families you minister too!

We almost had a mix up... Ellie snuck into our car seat... since our little one gets car sick on the hills we were tempted to go with the switch! but decided we would both miss them too much!This was our helper all week - Kyler helped get us to our projects and made sure we had all we need -- THANKS for all you do for the ministry! You are an amazing young man!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thanking Others - DAY 4

Today is Veterans Day. Small towns seem to appreciate our veterans more -- maybe its the closeness or the family ties, either way I like it!
The town about shuts down, so we joined the festivities attending the parade in the morning. Enjoyed some bands, some cool old cars, and of course candy which the kids enjoyed! (ok I did as well)
Here they are taking the flag down to present to the veterans.
Freedom isn't free. We are thankful for the many who have fought so we can have the many freedoms we do today. May we not forgot them or their families!

After lunch we were able to get a bit of the local history going to Coal Camp Creations which had a small display of the history of coal mining in the area. As well as a shop which makes creations out of - you guessed it COAL! We were able to watch them mix the dust, pour it into molds, and pop it out, the boys were pretty intrigued. They really like this mold of the Veteran.

This is what we enjoyed each day -- lots of coal trucks zooming by. Some of the roads don't seem wide enough to fit both the truck and a car - but they can. There is always a film of black dust on everything. We learned they are required to wash the road down after so many loads and daily a sweeper truck goes through too. Here is an old coal chute sending the coal down to trucks which haul it to the train yards. We learned alot about the reason so many moved to this area years ago, to work in the coal mines. We were amazed to see an area that at one time over 160,000 residents now only has between 20,000 and 25,000. There is your history for the day :)
We are thankful for the people who are working with the many needy people here, and thankful we were able to join and encourage them this week!
One more day....