Harder Family

Harder Family

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Fall Catch Up

Psalm 34:8 "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him."

I cannot believe that it is already November!! I feel like time is just speeding by on a bullet train. I decided it was time to sit down and post a few more pictures from our month. Between church, school, doctor appointments, swim team, and just life...we are always busy. Since adding the boys, I feel like I am always forgetting things. So, if I don't text you back, or email you back, or forget to do something I told you I would do...it isn't on purpose, I literally just can't remember anything or keep track like I used to. I have about 5 to-do lists going right now. 

Putting the kids to work matching socks - guess how many didn't have a match?? Too many to count. We found a cute craft to make for the holidays with lonely socks.

The girls introduced their brothers to bingo at our library. During the summer, they go once a week to play Bingo. You know your kids are always at the library when the librarians know your kid's name by memory. 

We made mosaics for school. We have been learning about Roman history. The kids had a blast with this craft, although I regretted the choice as we were trying to make all these individual clay pieces.

Our completed mosaics.

One of our favorite monthly activities is helping pack boxes for the military. We found a local organization that has a packing party once a month to mail out packages to our military. The kids love it and ask me when the next event is. I love being able to show a little love to those serving our country in the military.

Shan Chen, aka Urkel. He needed to try on his leg, but his pants wouldn't roll up enough, so they grabbed him some of these cute shorts. He had a blast being silly in them. I am excited to say, we finally have his leg!!

We found a local Chinese class for the kids to take. They do a craft and learn some Chinese. An extra blessing, they found us a student from Beijing who is willing to help tutor Shan Chen and DJ so they can maintain their Chinese!! That is a huge answer to prayer. 

Our origami pumpkin.

Last night we served at Feed My Starving Children, as a whole family! It was a great way to spend the night together serving Jesus. It was the first time for Shan Chen, DJ and Joella! They all did well. It took us about 20 minutes to find our rhythm and know where to put everyone to make it the most efficient. 

We are so thankful for all that God is doing in our lives. Wayne and I were just talking the other night about what a miracle he is. I constantly hear about other people with brain cancer who have not made it, or are in a bad place. We are so thankful to God for His decision to keep Wayne with us. It is our prayer that every day God gives us here on this earth, that we give Him all the glory!! He is good, faithful, and true.

Would you join me in praying for a few things? First, please pray for my friends in the last stages of their adoptions (Eng and Li family). Secondly, pray for my friend Anne as her brother is dying from brain cancer. Finally, will you pray for all of those in CA who lost their homes in the fires? Pray that those in the church would be the hands and feet of Jesus to these hurting people.

Monday, October 23, 2017

MRI Results: 10-23-17

Psalm 66:19 "But truly God has listened; He has attended to the voice of my prayer."

Wayne just called me from the hospital and said his scan came back clear. We are praising the Lord for yet another clear scan. We do not know why God has chosen to answer this way, but we are so thankful for every day God gives our family with Wayne. This scan in particular meant a lot to me because I have received so much bad news lately. One of the brain cancer warriors we have been praying for passed away a few weeks ago. My heart breaks for his family, but we rejoice that he is now in heaven and is no longer suffering here on this earth. Yesterday I heard about a friend who is flying to visit her brother who is now on hospice for brain cancer. So much death and loss around us...brain cancer, fires in CA, violence in Chicago, etc. It is a constant reminder that this home is not our own. I'm thankful that God is good, no matter how awful life seems around us. We may never understand this side of heaven, but I am thankful for serving a God that is good and in control, despite all the chaos around us.

Wayne and I had the opportunity to attend a hospital gala for one of his clients. I always enjoy these events because it gives me a chance to dress up and play "Cinderella". We had a fabulous meal at the Palmer House. There is something amazing about hot food that you didn't prepare and that you don't have to clean up! 

Here are some pictures from Saturday, as well as pictures from our canoe trip when we went camping, and pictures of the boys at a Bulls game (free tickets are always a great way to have fun!).

Bulls Game

At the end of our 5 mile hike!

Canoeing is fun!!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

God Giveth More Grace

Philippians 4:19 "And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches glory in Christ Jesus." 

Since adopting the boys, I have noticed that God gives me just enough grace each day. Some days it feels like I'm not getting enough grace and I wish God gave me a little more grace. But, I know that He knows exactly what I need. God has been stretching me to depend upon Him more and more each day. There are too many days that I am not extending enough grace to my children. I've yelled too much, said unkind words out of anger or just being exhausted and stretched thin, etc. Yet, God has used those weak moments to teach me so many things. I have had to learn from my errors and I have had to apologize many times to my children. Although I do not like doing this, I know that it teaches my kids the value of an apology and it also reminds them that mom is human, and I make mistakes. I am far from perfect, and that is why I'm so thankful for the Holy Spirit and the work He does in me every day. I'm so thankful that His mercies are new each day!

As I sat down to finally update my blog, I realized how long it had been. I was trying to figure out why I have been so exhausted lately. I then looked at my calendar. Just being a mom to 8 kids keeps me busy. Then you add on homeschooling those 8 children and my weeks get insane. If that wasn't enough, we have had a lot of doctors appointments, especially the last three weeks. I sat down and figured out that since adopting the boys in March, I have been to 43 doctor appointments, 2 ER visits, and we had Shan Chen's surgery in July!!! That is a lot of time sitting in doctor's offices and in the car, since at least half of these appointments have been downtown. As of right now, we still have at least 10 more doctor appointments and 2 surgeries, before the end of the year!! I'm thankful that Matthew 6:34 reminds us not to worry about tomorrow. I cannot even think about all the appointments we have left. It seems like every appointment I go to, it gets replaced with 1-2 more. 

In all the busyness, I have learned to have to rely on God each day. God has also been working on my heart through scripture memory work. It has been a desire of mine to work harder on memorizing God's word. I remember hearing someone talk about how they memorized a whole book of the Bible. I remember thinking to myself, "How in the world does someone do that?" I realized that if you take a few verses at a time, it actually isn't too bad. This summer I challenged the kids to memorize Matthew 6. I decided to do it with them. I found it so enjoyable, and something I can work on at the doctor appointments, that I decided to memorize the Sermon on the Mount. Not only does this allow me to meditate on God's Word, God has used the verses to challenge and encourage my heart. 

Please be praying for us as we navigate all these doctor appointments and that God gives us wisdom on how to proceed with a few medical issues that have arisen. Also, Monday is Wayne's next MRI. Please pray that it comes back clear and that God continues to get the glory for the healing that He has done in Wayne's life.

The following are catch up pictures from the last month. The first few are when Wayne's mom came to visit us a for a few days. 

In Michigan, on our way to pick apples.

I went back into the orchard to fill up the rest of a bag (since it was cheaper). The lady at the orchard decided to give me a ride back. 

Playing games with Grandma.

Our sweet Sophia turned 10! These are the pictures from her date with her dad.

We visited Cantigny Park with Grandma. The kids had a blast playing on the tanks. Unfortunately, we went on a Monday and the museum was closed.

Saying good-bye is always hard.

After Grandma went back to WA, we went on our first tent camping trip as a family. It was wonderful to get away from the hustle and bustle of life. Sitting around the campfire talking and playing games was so refreshing. I see more camping trips in our future!!


We went on a family canoe trip. I will have to post pictures from Wayne's phone of our actual canoe trip in another post.

The older kids went on a 5.2 mile hike with me while Wayne stayed back with Micaela, Joella, and Shan Chen. We had a blast. Later that day, Wayne and I did the hike together.

 Please remember to pray for Santa Rosa (Sonoma County) as they recover from the awful fires. Thank you for all of your prayers!! We appreciate all of them and are so thankful for all of you.