Sunday, December 4, 2011


...means "Hello" in Swahili~ its amazing hearing little children talk in different languages!  Maggie was able to join me on the journey to Africa in order to assist with missionary kids so that the parents could fully concentrate on the training.  She was able to work in the nursery with 2 other wonderful gals, Sarah and Amy (not her mom!)
They had a great ratio 1-2 with 6 children between the ages of 1 and 2 years in their room.  However when all of them are new to you, the new environment, the noise of crying echoing off all the walls... well then it seems like alot!
the playroom with creative soft flooring, tents, and toys!
Maggie was thankful we had brought some little things we could share with the kids during the 4 1/2  hours of daily meeting times.  They were also very creative and made forts from sheets and chairs!  the older kids were able to enjoy a VBS program with more helpers they had lots of fun too!
even worked on geography lessons :)
Sarah and Hannah playing
Joseph is such a sweetie!
The children warmed up to them and after a few rough spots the first day, it got much better for all involved!  These children are so sweet!  Maggie enjoyed hearing them talk, many of them already are speaking in different languages which is just amazing!  One of the little girls would say JAMBO to anyone who walked by :)

Hannah admiring Maggies necklace at dinner
 "It was really neat to hear the stories of the missionaries and get to know them better -- they are still just like us -- just working for Christ in a different place!  I often thought of missionaries as perfect Christians who go to share the gospel, well they are just like us - they like to have fun, joke around, even do silly things!  But its neat to see they are willing to be used by God where he sends them.  And it was a good lesson that God can use my imperfect self too!" Maggie.
there was some play time with the bigger "kids" too!  volleyball on the ocean!
 Yes there was work but there was fun play too!  More on that next!

Let us encourage one another...

I have always had a longing in my heart to head to Africa on a mission trip, picturing the lovely people, the children, the grass huts, being able to shower them all with God's love in a far away land.....  Well that isn't exactly what God called us to!

When I talked with Juli about going to Africa to speak to missionaries who homeschool, my first thought was this will never happen!  2nd thought was that isn't really  a "mission" trip! Having just returned home from almost 2 weeks in Kenya, I am thrilled that God worked it out! Thanks to all of you who prayed for our travels and donated fund to make it possible!

   I am honored to have been sent to share with missionary families, my heart is overflowing with respect and love for these families who sacrifice to much to serve the Lord!  The role I played was to be a homeschool "specialist" (I am still trying to figure out how I fit that title!) sharing ideas on  HOW TO's, providing some resources which are easily available in the US, and just encourage them in their journey.   I speak at many homeschool conventions around the US and love the opportunity to encourage families in this journey however, this challenge was one that really humbled me!  The challenges these families face are so diverse and unique for many trying to find the right curriculum fit for their family  (user friendly in locations where there are not any other resources available) is only a minor challenge!  Add in living in a very different culture, speaking different languages, building relationships with the locals, and being far from family and friends and try juggling all that with homeschooling! 

I am humbled to have been used to encourage these families! Some of the families were homeschooling in the states before going to the field and some  are homeschooling in light of the fact that the only real other option for education of their children would be a boarding school far away.  Homeschooling has as many different looks as there are families!   We covered lots of topics from homeschooling teens to toddlers, keeping Christ central in our schools, as well as things like how to do art and pe on the mission field!  It was such a ministry to me to be involved in the forum times when they shared the blessings and challenges of homeschooling while being in full time ministry. 

Some of the homeschooling moms from different parts of Africa

We have returned home many new friends! As often happens when we step out to bless others the blessings God showers on us are as much or even more of a treasure!
 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. 2 Thes. 2:16-17
I am thrilled that God opened this door for Maggie and I to serve. 
More posts on Maggies adventures next :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 1st

This is my Mom :)
She went to Africa with Tutu, and they spent a LOT of time on planes.

Another trip, this ones in a bus!

They loved the beach B-)

Guess what? another plane! We are so proud of them, taking a step out in faith, getting funds, and going to Africa to serve others. BUT we are even more thankful that she is back home! ;)

So beautiful.

She is always there to encourage us and push us to do better, we are so thankful that God blessed us with you mom! 


She says she will be posting about Africa soon!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Our adoption journey...

If you watched our last post (the smile box video) you heard the great news.... 11/1/11 was our Gotcha Day!  We  have been blessed to be able to raise this sweet little girl from the time she was just a week old.    There were times when it wasn't easy, but as with all of our children there are days both good and bad!   Thankfully God is gracious and never gives us more than we can handle!
  And wonderfully God's grace is sufficient for all! 
  I want to share a few photos and stories with you....the day we took her home from the hospital one of our children, having just had a foster placement abruptly end, said they would help care for this child but could not commit to LOVING her.After about 6 weeks the child said "Mom, I am starting to fall in love with her".  This was true of all of our hearts, you love knowing that it may hurt if the child is reunified or placed elsewhere. We pondered the truth, that really each of our children is not our own but God's whom HE loves and desires the best for even more than we do!   (Jer 29:11)    
As sweet as that is, the journey of fostering has reminded us so often of God's love for us, no matter what.  He loves us no matter where we are.  He is always there waiting for us whatever choices we or others make.   He calls us to love even if its not easy!  That is a hard thing to allow your children to learn~ our instinct is to protect them from hurt, but in doing so we often prevent them from the deeper love that God desires to pour out!

 We are reminded that all of us have been adopted, into Christ's family! (Rom 8:15)  We are his children whom he loves very much!  People have asked us how can you love a child that isn't your "own" (meaning biological)  well since this is our first adoption, our other 5 children are biological, so I didn't know.  God has poured such peace (I Tim 1:14) over my heart this week and we prayed during this journey that God would grow children he desired to be in our family in our hearts (instead of my womb) and we truly feel that  this little one is loved just as much as all of our other children.
When asked if we were willing to adopt her at one of the meetings last year, one of our children with great concern worried it would be too expensive.  The child firmly stated that all the money the children had been saving to purchase a wii should be spent on Grace instead!  WOW what a blessing to know the children love this little one so much they are willing to put aside their own desires!  She has a special place in each of our hearts.  As thrilled as we are to know she is now ours, we know that her biological family misses her and loves her and we pray that God will pour out his compassion on them.  We are so thankful for her mom's gift of life for this precious child. The whole family (including both sets of grandparents) were able to be in court and witness the welcoming of this child into our forever family!
 Each of the children have grown to love her and are wonderful big brothers and sisters! They each got a sibling bracelet to commemorate this special day of welcoming their little sister :)
We were honored to have our adoption on the first day of November, 
   we were even more honored to have good friends the Quittshcreibers join us as they celebrated their one year anniversary that day of being in a Russian court for the adoption of 2 of their children!   A special day indeed!

 Grandma K "Gigi" was a huge help being here for this busy weekend!
 And Grandpa K "Papa" too!  What a blessing to have them be a part of this special day!

 Grandpa and Grandma Q (who were foster parents while Steve was growing up) were here too (it worked out great that they are staying in the area so they could be here!)  God is so good to work out even those details!
 Sisters are special, as her 2 older sisters help love, train, and care for her she is very blessed to have such wonderful role models to look up too! 
We are so thrilled that we are able to officially welcome the "little sister" into our family!!!

Thanks for all your prayers and support through the last 2 years!   If you have any questions on fostering or adoption we would LOVE to talk to you!  please pass this information onto anyone who maybe interested along with our email and we look forward to helping the 140,000,000 orphans of of the world find forever families too! (James 1:27)

As the starfish story goes ~ we can't take care of all of them by ourselves ~ but we can take care of this one, with God's love and pray others will answer his call too!  
Steve and Amy Q and family

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Practicing unbelief?

As we shared yesterday we are planning to go to Africa.  With that comes planning.... as I was going over some of my favorite devotions from this year this one jumped out at me.  

I wanted to share  it with you, it's from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young:
"You will not find my PEACE by engaging in excessive planning; attempting to control what will happen to you in the future.  That is a commonly practiced form of unbelief.  When your mind spins with multiple plans, PEACE may sometimes seem to be within your grasp; yet it always eludes you. Just when you think you have prepared for all possibilities, something unexpected pops up and throws things into confusion.  
I did not design the human mind to figure out the future.  That is beyond your capability.  I crated your mind for continual communication with me.  Bring Me all your needs,  your hopes and fears.  commit everything into My care. Turn from the path of planning to the path of PEACE.  

1 Pet 5:6-7 ~ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Prov 16:9 ~ In their hearts humans plan their course,
   but the LORD establishes their steps.

Ps 37:5 ~ Commit your way to the LORD;
   trust in him and he will do this: 

Posted by PicasaI desire to be filled with God's peace - so I surrender my plans to His care!!!  This year more than ever I have tried to let go of my plans and do what God's puts before me on a daily basis.  Don't get me wrong, we still have a plan! We just aren't clinging to it as if its a lifesaver... Jesus is and if He brings someone to our door or nudges our hearts to just spend time in his word and prayer... then books can be picked up again later!   
Steve shared this picture and it made me think of how peaceful God designed our lives to be... we are the ones who invite the chaos in!   May you find PEACE in following HIS plan today!   

Monday, October 10, 2011

Heading to AFRICA

We are so excited!  In case you haven't heard Maggie and I (Amy) are going to Kenya Africa for a missionary conference.  Why you ask?  We are blessed to have been asked to help encourage these families who give so much full time!  I will be sharing with the homeschool families ideas, tips and encouragement while Maggie will be helping run a childrens program for the young ones -- 
so they don't get eaten by lions as the coordinator says! 

So we would appreciate your prayers for us as we  prepare to travel out of the country next month!  If you are interested in more information send us an email and we will put you on our email list.  We hope to post updates here about how God works in our lives, we are trusting as much as we desire to go and bless these families that He will pour blessings on us as well!
THANKS in advance for your support!
Amy and Maggie

Patriot's Day Rally

She loves her big brothers!  and they pretty much adore her too :)

We got to go on a wagon ride watching the beautiful horses was fun too!

We enjoyed the evening with "Mr. James Madison" (aka DAD)
Deep in thought ~ must be preparing an amazing speech to share with the people :)

Mr Madison and Mr Samuel Adams

We enjoyed a wonderful Patriots Day Rally celebrating our countries freedom!  Click here if you'd like to see some amazing videos reminding us to appreciate our freedom.  Great to thank those who have served and be reminded of where we started from!  With speeches from Madison, Henry, Franklin and Adams (well actually a few good actors who did a great job looking the part and sounding it too!!!)  Finishing the night with a fireworks show to be enjoyed by all.  Thanks to the many who have served our country to give us the freedoms we enjoy today! 

A day in our Homeschool

Sorry its been so LONG since posting!  Hopefully we'll get back to updating more regularly!

So we did the homeschool thing, an equation
Seeds+Dirt+Water+Tools+Time+Sweat=Our garden :D

So we found about a dozen Sweet potatoes that were trying to grow in a plastic bag in our pantry......

We also found some pumpkin seeds in the garage, soooooo.....

 We cleared an area in our field and pulled out the grass (well, we tried to ;) sweated, then we dug some holes, and sweated some more, and then we put in the sweet potatoes and pumpkin seeds, covered them with soil, and watered them. Now, we see what happens!!!