Monday, May 30, 2011

Troop Tribute

Today is Memorial Day here in the United States of America.  It is a day to remember all those who have gone before us.  I think there is a particular focus on members of our Armed Forces who have given their time, talent, bodies, families, health and lives to the defense of our country and the world.

Brave men and women everywhere have taken up the cause ever since the Revolutionary War and I am grateful for their sacrifice.  Part of the Armed Forces is the National Guard.  Just as the deployed, active duty troops have been busy so has the National Guard.  They have been helping and assisting people within the United States in times of disasters.

As many of us recall we have had tornadoes, massive flooding, severe snow storms and soon hurricanes will be coming.  I personally have just learned that farm land in Idaho is flooded from the Snake River with only more flooding expected from the massive amounts of snow still left to run off.  This means wheat, barley, and potatoes all will be effect by too much water and erosion.  Those poor farmers.

The say thing has happened all up and down the Mississippi River even to families who aren't farmers.  Tornadoes have ripped up homes and lives all across the south and Midwest.  Many lives are being effected.

This memorial day remember and honor your ancestors and what they have done for you.  Remember and honor the active duty and deployed troops for what they are doing today.  Remember and honor the National Guard who comes to give in service every time there is a need.  They are swift and efficient and a tremendous help to the communities they serve in.

This memorial try to not only remember and honor but also contribute.  Contribute with giving time, effort, support, donations to those who need it all over the United States.
-Blake A.

Friday, May 27, 2011

New Voices

SO, this is fun! I have gotten all computer savvy and learned how to add people as contributors on this blog! So...I added ALL five of Sixteen Small Stones' board members! YIPPEE! So check back soon and see who writes next!!
Here is a little picture to brighten your day. :) (Gosh, I miss these little babies!)

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Okay, so I follow the blog of a family with a son with a skin disorder known as "EB" (sorry, I don't remember the long name...and it IS long ;)!) They are a wonderful family, and they take such good care of their little boy. Caring for a child with this disorder is HARD, HARD, HARD! Well, this family blogged about a family who has a daughter with EB (they also have NINE other kids, without EB) and they want to adopt these two brothers who also have EB! What an amazing family! Anyway, they have raised a lot of money, but they are still short about $35,000.00. Their paperwork has been approved. They adoption has been approved. They have EVERYTHING they need to go scoop up these little boys and bring them HOME! All they need is the rest of the money. Could you help? Do you have five dollars you could spare? Please click HERE to read more. Let's help get these boys HOME!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Whom The Lord Calls, He Qualifies.

There are so many things racing through my mind that I want to write about! So, I will just share what I am thinking. First of all, WHAT THE HECK?! Okay, so my first goal, YEEEEEAAAAARS ago, was to open an orphan home in China. That is what I was doing. The End. Then, I found out that the only way to start an orphan home in China is to open a special home that takes special needs children out of the local orphanages and provides them with a home and the medical attention they need. HOW OVERWHELMING IS THAT?!?!?!? I knew I could NOT do that. I wondered why God had put it in my heart to open an orphan home if I couldn't (well, not the way _I_ had wanted!). BUT...I always had faith that God had a plan. Well, I soon found out about these amazing food programs in Africa and thought how wonderful it would be to start one in China. I told myself that this is what God wanted me to do instead of an orphan home. This I could handle. This I could do. And I really felt good about opening a food program. There are so many children on the streets with no food. It breaks my heart. I wanted to do this! And it was something I could handle. This last trip to China, I had gone with the thought that I would look in to opening a food program (where we feed the people who live on the streets). HOWEVER...I lived in an area where that was not a huge need. HOWEVER, I knew that in the city where I had first planned to open my orphanage, there is a HUGE need for a food program. So, I would start the food program in that city. I kept trying to think of the food program, how to run it, where, etc. And do you know what happened? God lead Taiger and I to the local orphanage, where He opened doors and made it possible for us to spend time loving on the kids there.
And wouldn't you know it, most of the children there were special needs! I FREAKED OUT! I thought, "I can't come here and volunteer with these kids! This is NOT for me!" After my first afternoon at the orphanage, I was SO discouraged! I just didn't think I could handle helping children with special needs. That just wasn't something I could do. you know what I did? I went back. Yup. If God opened the door, I better be walking through it. I was disheartened, though, and discouraged. I didn't think helping special needs orphans was something I could do. Well, God had other plans. God did not berate me, or belittle me, or get angry at me that I was unsure. Instead, He lead me to that orphanage and do you know what? I fell in LOVE with those children! Taiger and I held them. We fed them. We played with them. We loved them. And do you know what? They loved us back. That experience changed my life! I always said, "Whom the Lord calls, He qualifies!" I had been called, and I went from being so set against the idea of caring for special needs children, to wanting to adopt them all and bring them home! He didn't only soften my heart, He changed it completely! He called me, and He qualified me!
So...last week. I am in America. I have been wondering what to do. I want to build my orphan home. I can do this! I can care for special needs children! I DO have it in me! God has qualified me, changed my heart. BUT...what about a food program? What about the children on the streets who are starving? What about the kids who get kicked out of the orphanage when they are 12 and are forced to starve on the streets? Can I just ignore them? I had planned to start a food program, and had felt that there was a great need for it! What do I do now? Which do I do?! People ask me about Sixteen Small Stones. I used to tell them we were opening an orphan home in China. Then, I started telling people we are starting a food program in China. Lately, I have been avoiding the question, and when it comes up, I randomly say one or the other. Because I did. not. know! I was waiting for God to show me which to do. And then, last week happened. Someone asked about Sixteen Small Stones, and without thinking I said, "We are opening an orphan home in China and starting a food program there to feed the people on the street." WHAT?!??!?!?!? Where did that even come from?! The words fell out of my mouth just as if they had been wanting to come out all along. It was so natural and it felt like cool, refreshing water on my lips on a hot day. WHAT?!??!?!?!?! That is what I was thinking! I laugh now, because I realize, maybe that was God's plan all along. So, there it is. Sixteen Small Stones is possibly opening an orphan home AND a food program to feed the people on the streets. (Don't you love how I still say "possibly"? I am so slow to follow. So slow to take up my cross and follow Him and His plan.) HOW?!?!??! I have been thinking that, too. But I remember a God who changed a girl's heart and qualified her to love children with special needs. If He can do that, He can provide the money and manpower. I just keep praying.

Monday, May 16, 2011


What's coming next? Why does that always seem to be the question in my mind. What comes next? Come on! I want to know! It is like a dormant volcano is inside of me. Rumbling. Turning. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Does the volcano know when it will eurupt? Can it sense that something is changing? Does it feel when the pressure changes from constant and mild, to the point of exploding? Dormant. Waiting. But not still. Sixteen Small Stones is waiting. Waiting. But not still. Where have I seen God's hand these last few days, as It moves mountains for Sixteen Small Stones? Let me tell you. I work at a carpet store. I mentioned to my boss (the store owner) that I will be building an orphanage and would be so very thankful if they could donate any carpet samples that are out of date. I want to use them for story times. The floors in our orphanage will be like floors almost everywhere in China...tile! I love it because it is easy to clean...but for story time, little bums need a soft place to rest. :) (Also, using carpet samples helps kids know where to sit! :) ) Aside from that, can you imagine the OTHER uses of these carpet samples? Think of the little girl in the orphanage in HaiNan where Taig and I went. She was unable to sit and lay on her back day in and day out. Think if she had a soft piece of cosy carpet to lay on?! Think of the little boy at the same prphanage who was blind. Imagine giving him a soft piece of carpet to sit on and feel with his hands, and the backs of his legs, and to tickle his tiny toes! New sensory input! I remember when Taiger was learning to crawl. We had hardwood floors, and it was so hard when he tumbled forward as he tested his new mode of transportation. Think if we had several carpet pieces to move around and make a space for little ones to crawl on...especially one that could be moved when other activities called for hard floor! Of course, I didn't tell all of this to my busy boss as I desperately and shyly approached her with my request. Her reply? She handed me two samples to take! I was overjoyed and so thankful! Today when I showed up for work, she had FOUR MORE samples for me!! I thanked her and told her, "You are going to have our orphanage carpeted before we even have it built!" Her reply? "I hope so!" Tell me it isn't a miracle. CARPET! Thank you, Heavenly Father!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Updates All Around

It has been a long time since I last posted, and for that I am usual. I promise someday I will be better about blogging. :) For now, thank you all for being patient! This week, I had the chance to attend a "business meeting" of sorts in California. Although it was fun to be in California, the BEST part was spending time with such amazing people! Imagine, if you can, spending nine hours a day for three days in a row with people who LOVE to serve, who have HUGE faith, who love others, who are kind, who are giving, who treat you as the dearest of friends even though you only just met? That is what I got to do. It was uplifting to say the least, and I feel I created lasting bonds that will stand the test of time, even though those three short days are the only time I have ever spent with most of those people. Amazing. Sharing what the meeting was all about will come later, but I do want to share that Sixteen Small Stones MAY be able to bennifit monitarily from the hard work of everyone in that room during those three days, and I am so thankful to each one of them for that. We have some amazing things coming up, and I can't wait to get you all involved in the fun! Stay tuned!! :) Mr. D. is coming home from Japan later next week. He has been working his tail end off there and has had little time to email. However, he HAS taken time to send a few notes back, and reports that all is well. We can't wait to have him back to find out how everything went! SOOOoooooooo....Anyone ready for some Fuzzi Bunz? Just askin'. ;)