Saturday, August 29, 2009

Praises and Prayers for my JJ Boy...and Kyle too!

As I blogged about in China, there was one boy in particular that stole my heart. He is one of the sweetest boys I have ever met and it saddens me that he doesn't have a home with two loving parents. His name is Jacob-Jai and he has a clubbed foot . The way he walks looks very painful but he runs and plays just like the other children do. In the picture above he was eating the cake we bought for the birthday party themed day. I have never seen a child so excited to eat cake as he was on this day.
I read this week on a blog from the orphanage, that Jacob-Jai will be having surgery to correct his clubbed foot as soon as a hospital bed becomes available. This made me so happy to hear. While his surgery and recovery may take him off of his feet for awhile, my hope is that he will be able to walk normally after he has completely recovered. I learned while I was in China that Kristy Yamaguchi and Troy Aikman were both born with clubbed feet. They had them fixed and they turned out just fine :) Please pray for Jacob-Jai. Pray that a bed and the funds for his surgery will soon become available. Pray for a quick recovery and that his foot heals in a way that will allow him to walk properly. And of course pray that a loving Christian family will fall in love with him as I did and will take him home to his forever home. I would do it myself but I am not old enough :( Here's some more pictures of my sweet boy.

Having fun with a ball

How Jacob-Jai walks

Saying goodbye to Jacob-Jai

Kyle was another boy I blogged about in China. Kyle and Jacob-Jai actually live in the same house. Kyle was the boy we found in his house upstairs, playing all by himself. Kyle was up there because he had both of his legs in casts. Both of his feet had been clubbed and he has had corrective surgery to fix them. Because both of his feet were clubbed, Kyle has never been able to walk. We just got word that his casts have been taken off. The surgery was a success and he is now wearing braces to keep his feet straight. Please pray for Kyle's feet, may they continue to heal and that he will one day be able to walk. He too is a sweet boy who lit up every time someone would enter the room. I pray that he too will get his forever home very soon.
Sweet Kyle with his leg casts

Thanks for praying for these two sweet little boys. I know God has them in His hands and He is going to take care of them. Perhaps one day Chad and I will be able to help a child with clubbed feet.
In Him,

Saturday, August 22, 2009

House Update

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

So 37 houses and 8 offers later, I think we might have a breakthrough! After loosing 2 houses due to the fact that we did not have 20% down and being outbid on the rest, someone has decided to take a chance on us. Last Saturday we saw a cute house that had been completely redone since 2005. We thought it was very nice and we casually put an offer on it (like we did on quite a few houses). Well on Thursday we got a call saying that the sellers had picked us even though there were many offers that were much higher than ours. So why did they pick us? Well our real estate agent had written a nice letter about us and what we do and included a picture on the front of every offer. Most of the times it didn't make a difference because they were banks looking at the offers and all they want to see are hard numbers. The seller of this house saw our picture and story and said they wanted us to have the house! Isn't that amazing. We took the night to talk and pray about it and the more we thought about it the more we said "this is of God, this is a gift from Him." This is what we have been praying for, for one person to notice us out of many different offers. Some houses we were one of 16 or even 30 offers. I don't know how many offers were put on this house, but I know there were a few that were quite a bit more than ours.
Now comes the tricky part. The house is a short sale and it is standard to order a BPO for the property. What that means is that they must have someone come out and see the house to estimate the value of the house. If the house is valued way over what the offer on the house is, the bank can decline it and say you need to take a higher offer. This is where we really need to pray. Our real estate agent said to me today" get everyone you know and have them pray for you." So I am reaching out the best way I know how. Will you please pray for Chad and myself. Pray that God speaks to everyone that needs to be spoken to. Pray that we get locked into a low interest rate. Pray that there are no difficulties and it is a quick process. Because it is a short sale it could take 60 days to close rather than the standard 30. However we know that our God can do anything. They usually don't order someone for a BPO for 2-3 weeks, in this case it was ordered in a mere day. God knows what we need. Every other house we looked at needed some sort of work. Who is to say that we will have the money to do what we want to it after surrendering a big chunk of our savings to our down payment. God is good and I know he has heard our prayers for the last 16 months. He knows the desires of our hearts and I cannot wait to see if this is what He really has for us. If it isn't, I know it will be hard but that must mean there is something better. Thank you for your prayers. The more people praying the better. And of course if you ever need the favor returned, please let us know!
In Him,
Chad and Vanessa Floyd

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Summer to be Thankful for

Well here I am, the eve of the first day of school. As usual, summer has flown by. A few months ago I had totally intended to work though the summer so as to save money for the purchase of a home. I was shocked to learn that not only would I not be able to work at preschool for the summer, but I was getting the summer off from tutoring as well. I was bummed because I could have saved a lot of money but I trusted that the Lord knew better than I. How thankful I am for the time off. It allowed me to enjoy the summer completely with no stress. Jest relaxation and adventure. Here are a few things I am particularly thankful for.

Number 1- CHINA!!!
Of course! I am sure this one needs no explanation as I have blogged about it all summer. China has changed my life. I still think about it daily. I am so thankful that God gave me the chance to go on such a trip. God taught me how to truly serve with my hands and my heart. I have learned that words are not always needed to serve the Lord which was a good lesson for me to learn. I met some of the most amazing people from around the country and I know they are friendships that are going to last for a long time. The children touched my heart in a way that no one else has before and I hope that one day God will use me to make a huge difference in the life of many orphans. While I desperately desire to go again next year I do not know what this next year will hold. I will trust God and pray earnestly about weather or not I should make the trip again next year. But you better believe that if I do end up going, I am going to be doing some recruiting (Chad, Jenn, others :) )

Number 2- Time with my husband
How thankful I am for time with my husband. As most of you know Chad does not have a normal Saturday and Sunday off. It's hard but we make it work. It was so much fun to spend time with him during the week when he did have days off. We also got to take a fun trip to Vegas and LA which was a blast. This is probably the hardest part about returning back to work, not getting to spend a full two days with my husband. But luckily he is my husband and I get to share the rest of my life with him. I know we have a lot to look forward to.

Number 3- Time with family
This summer I got to spend time with family that I do not see very often. Pretty quickly after I returned from China, me, Chad, and Chad's dad took a trip to Riverbank to visit with some of Chads family. We spent the day at Chad's Uncles house and I was able to meet an Aunt and Uncle of Chads that I had never met before. Combine that with Chad's Grandma, Chad's other Aunt and Uncle, and a few cousins we were able to make a group of 14 Floyd's. It was quite a day. We had a blast watching some ride on dirt bike and others (like myself) rode on the four wheel. It was a great day filled with lots of laughs. Let's just say Floyd's know how to have fun :)
Exactly a week later, my sister came into town with her husband and four kids. We met them over at Santa Cruz and had a great day together. We talked and laughed all day on the beach. I had not seen them since our wedding two years ago and it was nice to catch up and see how life is treating them in Minnesota. Chad did some digging in the sand with my nephews while me, my sister and my niece did some girl talk. We ended the day with a fantastic dinner at Armadillo Willies. I think we all walked away from that day sunburned but with big smiles on our faces. Oh how I wish they lived closer to me.
We also took a trip to Victorville to spend time with Chad's other side of the family. We had a great time with them as well, going to the Angels game and having a BBQ. Both of Chad's cousins have had babies and we got to meet them for the first time. They were lots of fun and we can't wait to see them again, hopefully sooner than later :)

Number 4- Working out
Prior to leaving for China I set a goal to work out more with the intentions of doing a triathlon somewhere in the near future. I joined a gym so I could have pool and treadmill access and have been riding my bike multiple times a week. I am feeling great and have dropped a few pounds. Since I came home from China I have biked 174.5 miles. Today's bike ride was a record one day ride of 16 miles. Some may not think this is huge, but for me it is. My hopes are to try and do a triathlon at the end of September, but we will see how training goes with me working and trying to buy a house. No matter what the outcome is, I am feeling better and doing things I never thought I would do.

Number 5- Time to work on buying a house
Well we are working, with no results yet. As of today we have looked at 31 houses and have thrown down I think 7 offers. We have been denied 2 so far and are awaiting the results of the other ones. We know when the time is right God will make a way for the perfect house. I cant wait to see what the results are.

Number 6-Time to rest
I got to sleep...A LOT... it was amazing

Tomorrow is the first day of school. It has been hard to get back in the grove but I am excited. I have a new classroom and it looks fantastic! Probably the best a classroom of mine has ever looked. I have new kids and am looking forward to a new year of teaching them how to read, do math, and love the Lord. Please pray for me as a lot of you know I have a hard time finding the energy that I need everyday. I know that the Lord does give me the strength to get through each day but I am praying for even more energy this year. God is good and I cannot wait to see what he does with me and my new Kindergarten class.
So for now goodbye summer, see you again next year :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Special Couple for a Special Girl

So yes, once again I am taking you back to China with me. This is something I have wanted to blog about for sometime but for various reasons, I have not been able to do so yet. Before I left for China I told you about a very special 19 year old girl named Stacy. While I was in China, I found out Stacy's story. Stacy spent the first few years of her life living with her family. She had a mom, dad, and younger sister. One day she was home with her sister and she was playing with matches. She ended up setting herself on fire and as a result suffered burns to many different parts of her body. After the incident her parents decided they could no longer care for her and gave her up. My heart ached to hear this story. It got harder as the week went on and we spent time with Stacy. She was such a sweet girl and the more time she spent with us, the happier she seemed to be. She went to dinner with us quite a bit and we were able to bless her by doing her nails and even buying her some special gifts. She would proudly show us her beautiful sweaters that she was knitting and posed happily for us with the one she had already finished. She really is a very special girl.
While we were there a couple arrived from Washington. They would be living at the orphanage for one year to serve with their entire hearts. As the week went on at the orphanage, I found out this couples story and how they had come to the decision to serve at the orphanage for a year. J and C (as I will refer to them as) had two sons. A few years back their two sons, J's father, and her nephew went out fishing in the ocean I believe. They never came back. To this day they are still not sure what happened. All they knew was that they had lost two sons, a father and a nephew all in one day. They felt as if they had lost everything that was important to them. They did realize that both of their sons had given their lives to Jesus and so they knew they were same in the arms of the Lord. Last year J and C came to the orphanage with their church and fell in love with Stacy. They wanted to bring her home but because of her age, they were unable to do so. So a year after their first visit to the orphanage they returned to serve for a year and grow closer to Stacy. What an amazing couple. They were so sweet and caring. I cannot imagine loosing so much in a single day such as this dear sweet couple did. But here they are, making a difference for Stacy and the other children at the orphanage. That's faith! We serve a God that gives and takes away. We think certain things in our life will make us happy but nothing will truly satisfy us like Jesus can. What will we do with our lives when we loose thing that we think are important? Will we give up and pout or will we trust in the Lord, knowing that He knows what is best and use it for something positive. J and C have changed a part of me forever and I am so happy that I got to spend time with them. They are very open about their story and I could see that they were truly trusting that God knew what was best for them. I know they will love on Stacy as much as they can over the next 10 months (they have been there for 2 already)! Please pray for them and for Stacy. May the Lord keep all three of them in His hands and bless them in ways they never thought possible. I thank God for allowing me to meet such a Godly couple. I know God is going to use them in ways they never thought possible.
Remember, God ALWAYS knows best. He wastes NOTHING!!!

Emma doing Stacy's nails

Proudly showing off her work

Look at her go!!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

This Might Possibly be the Next Big Thing

So as some of you may know, Chad and I have been talking about buying a house for the last 16 months. When we got married two years ago, it was the peak of the real estate market which made it impossible for us to buy a home because this area is so gosh darn expensive! Little did we know that within a few months of us getting married, the market would crash sending home prices way down. So last April we began talking about it and since then we have gone back and forth trying to decide if this was a good decision for us or not. Every time we tried before it seemed as though something would fall through or we would be missing something that we really needed in order to buy. Throughout the months I just kept asking God to help us, guide us, and reserve that special place for us.
Well last Wednesday I got a call from our real estate agent who said that the market is starting to pick up and if we wanted to buy, it would be wise to try and do it now. So after making a few calls, we found that the components that had been missing before were now there. Things were falling into place. We decided that we would give it a try and if it works out then great. If not, we still have our condo which is in a location that we love.
Now our real estate agent is the mother of one of my students from last year. She is a neat Christian lady who is dedicated to getting the best deal for her clients. She has gotten houses for quite a few people at Calvary and I trust her very much. So on Wednesday we went out and did our first round of house hunting. We looked at 12 houses in about 4 hours! There was stuff out there that just completely scared me, and stuff out there that I loved but would need a lot of work. Basically anything we buy will most likely need work, which is OK with me as long as we have the money to put into it. The frustrating part was that a lot of what we saw had multiple offers on it and would most likely be sold for way more than it was listed. How is that really happening?!?! The inventory is low and from the outside looks pretty hopeless. However, I serve a great God who is capable of making ANYTHING happen. We have been praying that God saves the right place for us and gives it to us in the right time. Maybe this won't happen right now, and I trust that God knows exactly what He is doing. I do need to pray for patience, when I get set on something happening, I try and find ways to make it happen. But this needs to be in Gods hands because He knows better than I do.
I would like to ask for prayer for Chad and myself. Pease pray that God does keep that special place for us and that He blocks any other offers that might come in. Please pray for patience for us as we go through this very stressful time of our lives. And please pray that God gives us wisdome to not get in over our heads. I have come to realize that buying a house is a very exciting yet very scary thing. It would just be nice to get in before the market gets up there again. Well I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens!
Thank you for your prayers. I will keep you updated as things begin to happen :)
Chad and Vanessa

This is a scroll that I got in China. It has the bible verse Jeremiah 29:11 on it. I had my sister-in-law Corrin cut the ends off, matte, and frame it. I love how it came out and it will hamg in our bedroom. Someone gave me this verse when I first became a Christian and it has gotten me through a lot of tough times. I trust that God knows my heart, my dreams, and my desires. I know that one day He will open the door for us to own a home.