Tuesday, January 29, 2008

They are singing my song

Come on everyone, sing it with me!

The Herdklotz children have a cold
Frome very young to very old
With a cough, cough there
And a fever, fever there
Here a runny nose, there a sniffle everywhere a kleenex
The Herdklotz children have a cold

This has become my song this week. All the children are sick with some kind of sniffle, cough or fever. Jeff and I are completely healthy at this point....PRAISE THE LORD!!!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

He begged

This is how Joel begged to go to sleep yesterday. He wanted his "guvs" and hat on!! No, it is not that cold in the house, he just likes to wear them!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Some pictures of us traveling

This was one of our travel days down to North Carolina. See all the wonderful room. No car seats. Lots of room to roam and sleep!

This was our travel day home. Now the space in this rental van was much smaller than the bus, but we all thought that we had TONS of room compared to our van at home. PERSPECTIVE!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My hut burned down today!!

I had a really rough day today. I read this email that my mom sent me and it put things into perspective for me. Enjoy.
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief and anger. He cried out, 'God! How could you do this to me?'
Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him!
'How did you know I was here?' asked the weary man of his rescuers.
'We saw your smoke signal,' they replied.
The Moral of This Story: It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground. It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What a travel day

Let me start out this post by just saying that I never imagined that these past three weeks could go so well! I left here begging God to change my circumstances and returned home sure that I can trust Him and thank Him in whatever circumstances I am in. I remember before we went, I kept saying that this time away would be anything but a vacation. I was so wrong. God knew exactly what we needed and He gave it to us. I have come home refreshed and very challenged to become who God wants me to be.

Okay, now on to our travel day. If you remember, we didn't drive down to Rocky Mount. The Week's family rented us a van to get home in. They expected to be able to just rent a van in Rocky Mount, but in order for us to take the van just one way, it had to be rented from the Raleigh Airport. So Jeff packed the Week's van with all our tons of luggage. We left Rocky Mount a little before 8:00. We got to the car rental place in Raleigh just after 9:00. It was raining hard by this time. We were all praying that the rain would stop so that we could transfer all our luggage without getting everything and everyone wet. We were assigned our van and the rain stopped! We were praising the Lord for His perfect timing. Jeff pulled the rental over to the Week's van and the loading began. 15 minutes later we were ready to drive away. We said our good byes and closed the doors. Jeff started the van, let me rephrase that, Jeff TRIED to start the van. He kept trying, but the thing just wouldn't start. Someone from the office came out and tried...nope wouldn't start for him either. Now what were we going to do? Well, they just "happen" to have just one other van there that we could fit into. It was an 8 passenger Toyota Sienna, nicer than the first one. The children were very excited, because it had more room to stretch out in. My dream van all the way. There was only one thing wrong with the van....it hadn't been cleaned out from the last person! Oh well. We needed the van, so we hurried and started cleaning it as best as we could. The people in the office felt so sorry for us that they knocked off a 1/3 of the rental fee. We were so excited to see all that God was doing. We were also excited that God allowed this all to take place right in the parking lot!! We could have broken down on our way home! Once we finished cleaning out the new van, Jeff packed a van for the third time that morning. By 10:00 we were pulling out and heading home. The van was SO comfortable that we really enjoyed riding home. It was one of our best travel days ever. The children were exhausted, so in the comfort of it all they SLEPT most of the time!!! The weather was everything imaginable. Jeff drove us through sunshine, rain, sleet, snow, wind and perfect darkness. None of the bad weather lasted very long at all. It was so neat to drive through storms and then drive right out of them. We arrived home at 1:00 am. The children were all in bed by 2:30. I have no idea what time they woke up, because Jeff and I left at 7:45 to return the rental. When we arrived home they were watching a movie and having a great time by themselves. At that point in the morning I became VERY overwhelmed. The house was a MESS and I had no idea where to begin. So in my typical "tackle the problem fashion" I went back to bed!!! It was so nice to be back in my own bed again. I stayed there for the next few hours. When I awoke....the mess was still there, but I was feeling much better prepared to tackle it. It took us the rest of the day, but it is back to normal once again. Now my next thing to tackle is school tomorrow morning. I can do it, I CAN do it, I CAN DO it, I CAN DO IT!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

We leave in the morning

I can't believe that we are heading home tomorrow. I am trusting my husband that this is best for us. I want to stay here for forever, but duty calls us home. I thought it would be kind of fun to make a list of all the things that I will miss here.

  • our friends
  • SPACE!! Yes, you read that right. There is SO much more space here in this house with 17 people than there is at home with just the 7 of us!
  • Not having to cook or clean. I have helped out around here as much as they would let me, but it wasn't very much!!
  • My husband!! No, he is not staying, but he will be going back to work as soon as we get home.
  • chocolate M&M's, ice cream, cookies and anything else sweet!
  • not having to teach the children school (Jeff did it while we were here!)
  • adult conversation.....ANYTIME
  • eating out
  • our bat cave (Jeff and I slept on the lower, full size bunk bed. We draped blankets around us for privacy and darkness. I will miss it very much!)
  • not having to pay for anything (The Week's family spoiled us ROTTEN!!!)
  • services each night
  • being busy, but not too busy
  • warm house with NO mold
  • big bathroom
  • lots of warm, fuzzy blankets
  • children around every corner.......oops I don't have to miss that one. We have that at home too!!
  • not having to drive very far to get anywhere! For instance, the grocery store is only about three minutes away, compared to home where I shop almost a full 1/2 hour away from the house.
  • pizza
  • sunshine
  • a quiet place to just read
  • a HUGE mirror in the bathroom......I really hate that mirror, but I need it!!!
  • not to have to think about what everyone is going to eat

Can you understand now why I don't want to go back home to reality!!!? I must though, so I will do it with the right attitude. Thank you that I have a home to go to, Lord! Maybe this list of things I won't miss, will get me in the right mood!

  • a dryer that takes three hours to dry a load
  • ironing clothes for the service each night
  • not being able to walk around in my PJ's
  • the noise level of 13 very excited, loud children
  • sharing our bedroom with three children (it really wasn't that bad though)
  • not being able to drive anywhere (the vehicles were too big for me to drive!!)
  • eating out (I must have gained five pounds while we have been here!)
  • having to put Joel in nursery every night (He screamed for a little while every night!)
  • not having much alone time with Jeff

I am done with my lists for now. We leave at 8:00 in the morning. We are going to try to make it all the way home in one day. It will probably be a 17 hour trip, depending on weather. So we will definitely make it home sometime Wednesday! You should hear from me again sometime later this week.

Friday, January 18, 2008

13 children

If you are wondering what it is like to live with 13 children, here is a glimpse.

  • Meal times are utter chaos!! By the time we get all the plates made for the children and get ready to sit down for our meal, the children are ready for seconds!! We have started not even making our plates until seconds are dished out. 17 people eat A LOT!!
  • I am not sure that the washer and dryer have stopped working since we have arrived.
  • The noise level can be overwhelming at times.
  • There is always someone to play with.
  • There is always someone to fight with.
  • We have to take two vehicles everywhere. It is quite an art, each time we go somewhere, to make sure that no one is being left behind. Before we can pull out we always have to communicate with the other vehicle.....Who do you have or how many do you have? It makes me laugh all the time.
  • I wish I had started counting the day we arrived how many paper products we would go through!!!! I am sure we are responsible for killing at least three big trees....maybe more.
  • Movies are wonderful!!!
  • I consider it a miracle each night, when they are ALL asleep!
  • When one wakes up.......they ALL wake up!!
  • There is always someone to help with the little ones.

Honestly, I never thought that it would go so well. The children really do get along with each other. I almost hate going home where my children will start fighting with each other again!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bright spots

Last night Joel came home from the service with a tummy ache. It was sad to see him in so much pain. The moaning lasted about an hour and (no kidding) then......the dam broke!!! After he finally got rid of ALL of the contents in his bloated tummy, I realized something. There were a couple of bright spots to this bug.

  1. Joel only wanted his MOMMY!! This is huge for me. He has always been a Daddy's boy!!
  2. I got to sleep on the floor with him. He held my hand and rubbed my head a few times during the night.
  3. He never missed the pail. He has GREAT aim and FORCE!!!
  4. He woke up feeling much better. His appetite is not back, but he does graze a little.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE HEALTH OF THE OTHER 16 PEOPLE LIVING IN THIS HOUSE!! We are confident in one thing.....God is in control!!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

What a week

This week has been so good for me. God has asked me to do one of the hardest things I can ever remember doing. He wants me to TOTALLY trust Him with my husbands heart. I thought that I was "pretty" submissive, but He has shown me this week that it is not good enough to just be partially submissive. I need to be submissive in EVERY area. Well there is one specific area that I have reserved for myself. Imagine this, I didn't think that I could trust the God of this universe to direct my husband in what is best for our family. I have struggled GREATLY with this for years. I would "give" it to God and then find myself taking control again. I have given it to God again this week, but this time I didn't just say it....I wrote it on a piece of paper and laid it down on the alter. I bawled like a baby. I chose to TOTALLY trust God with my husband. I know that this battle is not over! Actually just typing this out is making me cringe, but I want so much to please the Lord and obey Him fully. I can't changed my husband.....ONLY GOD CAN!!! There really is such freedom in that knowledge. Now living it......I can only do it with God's help!!!

Now onto the more fun thing about this week. Lauren and Emily have been attending a drama camp during the day. Friday night they got to preform a play with the whole drama camp. Lauren sang her first SOLO in front of a crowd of about 200. She sang half of a song and her friend Sharon Weeks sang the other half. While Lauren was up on stage preforming, Jeff and I were beaming from ear to ear!! We were so proud of her. She actually looked like she belonged up there. Emily did great with her speaking parts. She also looked pretty natural. I can't imagine how two people who HATE to speak to a group, produced two children that seem to love it!! Only God knows how it happened!!

By the way, if you are interested in watching the exact services that Jeff and I are sitting in on, you can watch them LIVE over the Internet!!! Just go to http://www.lifeaction.org/lam/ Then click on the Revival Summit: live video stream. It should take you straight to the page. Services on Sunday morning start at 9:15 and go to probably 12:00 or so. Sunday night starts at 5:30. Monday through Thursday night begin at 6:30. If you get a chance to watch the services, I know that you will be TRULY glad that you did. Even Lauren is loving the services!!!

Monday, January 7, 2008

I love North Carolina!!

I am just loving our time here. Great people and warm weather, what more can anyone want?

Our trip down was a blast for everyone except Jeff, he prefers being the one driving!! The children so enjoyed getting up anytime they wanted to. We definitely were SPOILED on that trip. Not only did we have the whole back of the bus to our selves, but we could also go sit up next to the driver anytime. Daniel spent most of his time up by the driver, talking and keeping him company, which left the back of the bus QUIET!! It was a very relaxing trip. I have some pictures of the trip to post, but I don't know when I will get around to it. Maybe I will just do a huge picture blog when I get back home.

We are so glad that we have come. Yesterday's services were awesome. I am SO looking forward to what God has for us this week. I was worried about how we would all do here, but everything is going very well so far. Thank you Jesus for working this all out, our family really NEEDED this time.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

North Carolina....here we come!!!

In about 7 hours my family and I are getting on the team bus to head to Rocky Mount, NC!! We are all so excited about this trip. It will be a breeze to travel in a bus versus the CRAMMED van that we usually travel in!! We are going to get so spoiled with all the space. NO SEAT BELTS or CAR SEATS needed. The children can get up and walk around when ever they want to and they will have team members to talk with. I think that these two days of traveling will go by very quickly.
We will arrive in Rocky Mount on Friday evening. When we get there, we will be picked up by the Weeks family. They have 8 wonderful, energetic children that my children just adore!! We will be staying with the Weeks for as long as it is good for everyone. Potentially we will be there for about 2 1/2 weeks. The Blue team is having a summit/crusade at a church real close to the Weeks house. They invited us to come down to experience Life Action, instead of working for Life Action. I am so excited to see what God will do in our family's hearts and lives. If you think about us, please pray that we will be open to WHATEVER God has for us!!
I don't know exactly how much I will be posting while we are gone. I will do my best to keep you up to date. I make NO promises though! Between services at night and going outside every chance I get, I might not have much time to post:)!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

My week of firsts!

This has been such a big week of firsts for our family. Some of them were great.....some were NOT so great!! Let me give you a grand tour of our firsts.

  1. This Christmas was our FIRST one spent with just us, no other family. We had no agenda for the day. We were able to go with our own family flow. The last child woke up at 9:30 and we didn't start opening presents until almost 10:00. The day was wonderfully relaxing. As much fun as it was though, we would not want it like this every year. We did miss being with people.
  2. Jeff bought his FIRST big gift for me. He bought me a Wii. I am so excited. I told him he doesn't have to buy my another big gift, for the next 15 years!
  3. We went shopping as a family, on the day after Christmas, for the FIRST time ever!! I usually go buy myself on that day. We ventured out to spend some of those wonderful gift cards that we were given.
  4. While out shopping, our FIRST all out tantrum was thrown in a Christian bookstore, of all places! I have never seen any of my children act like this in public. I have seen other people's children do this, but not mine. Joel was out of control!! He acted as though he was a spoiled rotten child that was possessed! I carried him out of the store, while he was screaming his head off at me. I was so embarrassed!! I know that I was being judged as a parent....and they all thought I was horrible!! Get this, for the rest of our shopping day....he acted like an angel!! Go figure!!
  5. My daughter has begun to be embarrassed of me. My FIRST time feeling so hurt, at least in this manner. It seems that the way I laugh, dress and talk can sometimes be embarrassing to my children. I am so glad that it is not everyday, it would just kill me to be rejected like this often. I am growing some tougher skin through this experience. (I hate to admit it, but I remember doing these same things to my own mom. I had no idea how bad it made her feel though. I was only thinking of myself!! I would never want to be a kid again. I enjoy my wisdom that I have gotten through the years!!)
  6. On New Years Eve, the children saw the ball drop, a big FIRST! They had no idea what the ball even was.
  7. At 2:00 this morning, I was out shoveling snow! Definitely a FIRST for me!!

Happy New Years!! I hope that you all have a wonderfully blessed year!!