Thursday, March 21, 2013

Matching Grant!!!!

We woke up this morning to 4 inches of snow.  Uh what?  Yesterday it was 53 degrees and sunny.  The kids and I studied and played out on the porch after school soaking up the vitamin D.  Needless to say, I was a little bummed that the first days of spring are now full of the white stuff.  However, after everyone left for school and work this morning, the first phone call of the day was from Marla at Lifesong for Orphans.  Her words were beautiful sunshine on this, so far, snowy day.

"Good morning Heidi.  Congratulations, Lifesong has awarded you a $2500 matching grant for your adoption."

Uh what? Oh my, oh my, oh my!  AWESOME, totally awesome, cool baby, right on, heck yeah, saaweeeeeet, PRAISE GOD!!!!!  This means that we may not have to dig into that adoption loan after all (you never know though).  I seriously cannot quit jumping up and down giggling!  That means there is a chance that $5000 could go towards our double adoption!

Stop the presses, wait a minute.  That means we actually have to let a need be known and ask for help? Yikes!  Didn't I just write a post about how asking for help is difficult because of pride but we need to GET OVER IT?

Our adoption is something that has been life changing for all of us and the kiddos aren't even home yet!  I feel overwhelmed with joy...most of the time and closer in my walk with the Lord all the time lately.  For any of you  who are following our journey and feel moved to help, I would like to ask for your support in two ways.

1. Prayer – Please pray God would tenderly care for "M" and "J" until we are able to bring him home, that God would prepare Emma and Corbin for the upcoming changes to our family, and that God will give us wisdom, discernment, and insight as we raise our children to know Jesus Christ. 

2. Financial support - Will you please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us pay the remaining chunk of adoption expenses, to bring the twins home? 

Lifesong ( has graciously given a Matching Grant of $2,500 to help pay the “ransom” to bring "M" and "J" home. 
If you would like to be a part of God bringing the twins to Himself through our family, you can send your tax-deductible gift to the address below. Lifesong is a trusted organization administering the funds on Caleb’s behalf, and will pay adoption expenses out of funds received. Our goal date is May 25, but funds will be accepted towards our adoption until the child is in our home and/or our adoption is complete. 
1. Please make checks payable to: Lifesong. You may preference how the donation might be used by writing Fry 3522 Adoptionin the memo section of your check. 
(*Note: In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong which retains full discretion and control over its use.) 

2. Mail checks to: 

Lifesong for Orphans 
Att: Fry/#3522
PO Box 40 
Gridley, IL 61744 

3.  You can give online HERE or at the button at the top of our blog.  Please note that paypal charges a 2.9% + $0.30 fee for each transaction so your donation will come through minus that amount.  If it is easier for you that way, by all means, go ahead :)

Thank you for investing in the Kingdom through prayer and finances – it will be an investment with an eternal return! (Matthew 6:20) 

We will be posting updates and pictures of the kiddos as we receive them and are legally allowed to. Please pray this entire process will glorify God and fulfill His purposes! 

In Him, 

Heidi, Josh, Emma and Corbin

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Teaching our kids to pray, I mean really PRAY

I have been working on this post for a week now!  I tried to finish it while we were on our spring break trip but my dog passed away suddenly in the middle of the trip and my mind was not functioning correctly.  So, thanks for your patience with my absence of pen lately.

I have always been an incredibly independent chica?  My dad was a mountaineering guide for much of my young life so, my sister and I grew up on mountains and in far away lands.  We did what I wish my kids would do sometimes, we figured it out!  I have heard my Ma say that it may be a lot easier on my husband if she hadn't raised us to have such an I-can-do-it-myself attitude. Yep, to make matters even better, there are two of us.  God help not only mine but my brother-in-law as well.

I saw and met lots of people, all over the world, from very hard places who depended on nothing but their faith and themselves.  I admire them all, especially when those same people decide they want to be something more than a third world statistic.  I always knew that should I have children I would be sure they knew they could do or be anything.  

This past week we celebrated international women's day and ironically, Emma and I were discussing how blessed we are to have been born American women, a privilege that is so easily overlooked.  She was watching a video from the Noonday Collection  and asked me why some people only make $1 a day. A conversation on world poverty leads to one on exploitation, the sex trade and suffering.  That is a lot of yuck for a ten year old mind to handle and as I watched the wheels turn in that brilliant mind of hers I could tell she was pondering just like I do.  The look on her face said that this is not at all ok and then she declared that we should pray for them and my response, of course, was "you are right Love, we should." 

 I have always taught both our children that anything is possible with faith and determination.  Honestly, I knew that was true but was a little fuzzy as to what faith had to do with it other than eternal life with our Lord.  As I tried to write this, I realized that it has everything to do with prayer and learning from the scripture.  

After church, recently, we talked about how you have to ask things of the Lord, not only in prayer but aloud in prayer.  Jesus told his people to ask of him out loud and not just in your quiet, head bowed kind of prayer.  In comes my severe independence issues.  I have never felt comfortable asking for prayer or asking someone to pray for me.  It always seemed like a personal thing, something you did not bother other people with.  I was so wrong.  

We spent quite a bit of time reading stories about individuals that have found their calling in stepping outside their comfy box and "being the change".  Now, the stories we found were mostly women wanting to change what they see in hard places.  I know it's a mom thing.  As we become mothers it is even more unacceptable to see other other people struggling to feed starving children and educate our future.  After all, children are the future of Gods kingdom and there is usually a mother or woman of some nature giving up everything she can, including her life, for those children.  I always say it is just like on Animal Planet, you don't mess with the momma, it doesn't pan out well for you in the long run.

You know what?  Momma does not always need to act so tough.  Our speaker at church, Dr. Holmes, declared while I was sitting in church, with Emma, "The power of the enemy is in our secrets.  The healing of Christ is in the declaration of our need."  What?  I am pretty sure declare means out loud!  Oh boy, sketchy territory for me there.  

I knew at once that things needed to change with me.  I need to ask aloud and let others know when I need prayer.  We need to share prayer with our children more than just the typical "thank you for our house and our food and please watch over our sponsor child."  That is great and all, but they are old enough to pray aloud, I mean really PRAY.  The people that rely on their faith and determination, I would bet it all that they pray and ask for prayer and then are determined to do everything they can to use the opportunities that God gives them to make a difference.

So, I did
and I cried 
and it was hard 
and low and behold I am still ok.  

Our children saw my vulnerability crystal clear.  I bet they may even respect me a little more (not a ton but maybe a smudge) because I let my guard down. We prayed together every day while we were on Spring Break and amazing answers were given to us from the Lord.  Now, it is becoming regular.  Every time I think of something and I would normally throw out there a "we should pray for them," we do. I take the 30 seconds to stop what we were doing and pray out loud and together for whatever or whomever it is.  Most likely, whatever we were doing was not near as important as a prayer.  Now, if Duck Dynasty is on, we would at least wait until the commercial, but you get my drift.

So, please, I beg you, teach your kids to be independent and to work hard and know that they can achieve anything.  However, teach them the power of prayer and that asking Christ for help and declaring a need is hard, but crucial. We should never be shy about our needs.  It is through all these things together that they will achieve great things, know they are loved and be the change.  Oh, and it works best if you lead by example.

Now, if only I could figure out a way to get my kids to not run around naked!  Wait, I just heard my husband laughing at me in my head.  Something about leading by example?!?  :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spring Break 2013

This is not one of my typical posts but I realized that I read so many blogs of other families and how they did their trips that I should have my own!

We Fry's do spring break a little different than your average family.  We always hear friends talk about how they are going to relax in Hawaii or veg out at home or spend the week skiing.  Well, Josh works like a crazed lunatic all summer so our big hurrah for the year is always spring break.  Here is how it works:

**We always take our Minnie Winnie motorhome.  
It is a perfect size for us, we can overnight at truck stops for free since most RV parks aren't open yet and we are cheap, we can pack our food and everyone stays entertained while being together (seriously together) for the whole trip.  Not to mention, I get to spend some nice talking time with Josh in the front seat.  

**We get an initial plan layout from the book 500 places to take your kids before they grow up.  People have started blogs about their travels from this book and quite honestly, I want to be them sometimes.

**A few years ago, we decided to start hitting all the national parks during this week. There are very few people there, the weather is usually decent, and our kids are serious history, chamber of commerce, historical plaque on the side of the road loving kids.  I know, we thank the Lord for that simplicity in our lives daily!

Last year was Bryce and Zion Canyon, Grand Canyon and a Phoenix side trip to see a ball game and visit Papa.  This year, we were a little more strapped for dinero with the adoption.  We were also short on time.  Josh had been gone the previous week, I needed to work at church on Sunday and Corbin had to be ready to race his snowmobile in West Yellowstone by Friday.  Basically, we had 4 days. No problem, we can pack a ton into four days.  

So, we headed to South Dakota.  Not very glamorous when you live in Montana but the kiddos had been dying to see the faces since last summer.  So here's how we did it.  If you can handle the non stop craziness that we call life, I totally recommend the way we rolled through.  It was a blast!

Sunday: left at about 3:30 and headed east.  We stopped for the night in the totally cute town of Belle Fourche, SD.  It is pronounced Bell Foosh in case you were wondering.  

Monday morning, we headed to Sturgis (we are a biker family after all) Josh enjoyed showing the kids Sturgis even though it does not look even remotely like it does during bike week.  They humored him and smiled and nodded.  Later, we headed out to the base there to check out the museum where the only surviving creature (a horse) of the Battle of Little Bighorn was retired, but it was closed for the season (we found that a lot this trip) so, we took pictures of the "totally cool" military gun and then headed on to Deadwood.

Deadwood, SD is where Wild Bill Hickok was killed.  His famous hand of cards was painted on Josh's last custom bike he built so, we were eager to learn more about the area. We stopped at the visitors center and learned a ton.  The people there are really friendly and helpful.  We wanted to visit the Adams Museum but they were closed on Mondays and wouldn't you know it, we were there on a Monday. Both towns are worth the visit. 

From Deadwood, we headed to Mount Rushmore.  The place was nothing short of empty and the views were incredible. We were able to take pictures without a thousand other people in the shot and tour the visitors centers there without waiting in lines.  Granted, it started snowing the minute that we got there, but really, who wants a sunny and warm spring break anyway?

After we had learned all Mount Rushmore had to offer, we cruised on over to the Crazy Horse Memorial.  Emma loves to learn about Native American culture and can tell you everything there is to know about Kaya and her life from the American Girl doll series so we knew she would love this place.  The history, the work that has been done and their plans for the future are truly impressive.  I hope that it is finished in my lifetime so that I can see the finished results.

From Crazy Horse, we headed to Rapid City.  Corbin's buddy had told him that we should go to Watiki Water Park while we were there.  There is only so much history you can flood your children with before they need a brain break! Luckily it was the off season so they were only open from 4-8 pm.  We got there at about 5 and it was the perfect amount of time.  We had a great evening there.  Late that night, we decided to drive on to Wall, South Dakota.  Yes, we included Wall Drug on our National Park visiting trip. It is a piece of American history after all.  The town of Wall is tiny and I am pretty sure that at least 4 city blocks are reserved for Wall Drug parking.  I was officially relieved that we were NOT here in the summer.  This place has to be a mad house!  We parked for the night in one of the empty parking lots down by the railroad tracks that was reserved for semis.  It was perfect.  

Tuesday:  We got up a little early and had breakfast at Wall Drug.  It was an interesting experience, I would totally recommend the stop.  It wasn't cheap and it wasn't very tasty but it was fun.  The kids loved all the artwork on the walls in the dining room and Emma loved sitting with Annie Oakley in the hall.  

From Wall, we headed towards the Minutemen Missile National Historic Site.  This place is seriously in the middle of NOWHERE!!!  It would be a really easy one to skip over but we really enjoyed learning about the cold war.  The kids did the Jr. Ranger program there and earned themselves patches.  Take note, you learn about the cold war and do the Jr. Ranger program in a trailer that is not at the missile site itself.  The park ranger let the site know that we were coming and three miles back down the road, we arrived at what looks like another trailer house surrounded by high gates and security.  The control site (what you actually tour) has been left as a historical museum with tours upon request in the off season and constantly in the summer.  Corbin loves anything that has to do with high power explosives, missiles or guns.  It was an A+ in his book. 

The kids doing the research work to become Jr. Rangers.  

We went from nowhere flat lands into Badlands National Park.  It is incredible!  We took this panorama that doesn't do it justice.  Drive through there if you are ever near by!

From there we were on to the South Dakota Air and Space Museum.  Free and totally awesome.  We learned all about different missions during lots of wars.  There is even a prisoner of war suit on display there from Vietnam.  The soldier that donated it journaled about his experience and I was in awe.  There were also some of the first planes in flight, and tons of BIG military planes on display.  There was even a minutemen missile there to see.  

We finished up Tuesday by driving to Hot Springs, SD.  We stopped earlier than usual today so we could eat dinner and watch a movie together. 

Wednesday:  We got up early with the intent on visiting the Mammoth Site but had our hours of operation confused and couldn't wait until they opened if we wanted to hit the tour at Wind Cave National Park.  They only have one tour in the off season and we were on the first one.  This cave is totally different than anything we had ever toured before.  We were enamored by its uniqueness and wished we could have taken a longer tour but had no desire to volunteer to map the more than 110 miles of cave that they have discovered while crawling for miles on end. 

 From Wind Cave we headed to Jewel Cave which is in Custer State Park.  We saw coyote, deer, and a bazillion prairie dogs.  We are from a place where you target practice with gophers that take up residence in your fields so Corbin spent the drive pretend shooting all the prairie dogs, which look like big gophers.  The drive is gorgeous and winding and when you step outside you just want to breathe in the smell of the ponderosa pine trees and set up camp.  After a quick lunch, we decided against the tour here and headed onto Devils Tower.  After walking around and basking in this majestic place we could appreciate why the Native Americans find it sacred.  We also wondered how on earth early climbers made it to the top with the wooden ladders they used and also wanted to start rock climbing together so that one day we could sweet talk my dad into going back with us and climbing it.  I mean seriously, we could totally do it...maybe?

From Devils Tower, our intent was to head back towards the Little Bighorn Battlefield.  The kids really wanted to see it after studying about Custer in school, but it was getting late and mommy really wanted a day at home before we headed off to the races in West Yellowstone. 

So, with our brains overflowing with history, geology and togetherness, we headed back home.  Another successful Fry family vacation under our belts.