Sunday, August 30, 2009


the night before the first day of school. it's still so hard to believe that we're going to be bringing caleb to his first day of high school tomorrow - I remember high school!!!! he's a cool cucumber - not nervous one bit....'it's just another school year mom!'....yea right! we'll see how early he gets up tomorrow morning - that'll tell me how nervous he is!! it seems as if i was just laying out his clothes for preschool. now he's taller than me, driving a car, playing football, and heading off to high school. i kinda miss my little boy. i wouldn't trade him right now for anything though.

first day of school brings so many emotions in kids. i miss the fact that abby won't have seth with her as she starts her first day of middle school. i think it's affecting her more than she even realizes herself. she's so tired again lately....her cue that she's going through a grief burst. how could she not? thinking to herself i'm sure that 'i bet seth would be loving having his own locker too'. if you think about her, could you say a little prayer for her. i'm even dreading that first day of school somewhat. i would always get them on the bus and then follow them to school and watch them get off the bus. (my mom would laugh at me so much for that!!) i would take pictures of them next to their friends and leave them to start their day. last year was horrible. one less picture to take. i hope that this year is a little easier.....

Monday, August 24, 2009


so another miracle has just been experienced in the van wienen household. we got word last friday that the IRS has APPROVED our 501(c)3 non-profit application. Starlight Ministries is an official organization! the miracle part of this is that our lawyer had told us not to expect any word from the feds until the earliest october and then after that expect a few more months of addressing the questions that they will have about the application. our hope was that all would be finished by the end of the year. well......our God is a HUGE God.....5 weeks after submission - our approval arrives!!! our lawyer told us that in all the years that he has been doing these, not ONE has been returned that quickly and not ONE has come back approved on the first submission!!! Our God is an AWESOME God!! talk about reaffirming to greg and i that we're hearing correctly what He is asking and that we're on the right road (at least for once!!!! :):)) so thank you for all the prayers - they are working!
we are planning on training our facilitators in november with a start date of january. the first 2 deliveries of seth bears have been done and we were given a list (from mike matthyse) of all the area funeral homes that are interested in participating in the seth bear project. is this really happening?!?!?!? at times it seems like just a dream! i just can't believe that it's all coming's unbelievable to watch God work it all's the most amazing feeling to be able to see God at work and then be a little part of His plan. praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


it was a year ago today that we left for guatemala to pick up our new little girl. wow! what a difference a year makes! so much has much has changed.....for the better! so many memories of many memories of her adjusting to us and us to many things to be thankful for!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

BACK IN THE SWING OF THINGS that word! we got home last saturday from being gone for 2 weeks. 2 weeks is a VERY LONG time in the van with a screaming 18 month old! WHAT WERE WE THINKING?!?!?!? actually, ben didn't do too badly, just some tense times when he was refusing to sleep and needed it about 100 miles before that! all i can say is that dramamine is our friend! yes, i admit it....we drugged our child......the first time i felt INCREDIBLY guilty. the 3rd time.....not so much!

it was a vacation that was filled with laughing, crying, staying up super late, driving, eating, playing a gazillion games of monopoly, driving, playing with the kids, white water rafting, driving some more! did i include driving? all i know is that about 1 inch on the atlas is about 2 hours of driving time!!!!! everything out west is big! i'll include some more pictures of vacation, but for now i'll let the kid's own words of what their favorite part of our out west adventure was:

caleb: "probably the grand tetons and hiking up to the waterfall"

grace: "our apartment at the cabin"

abby: "grace....wasn't mall of america your favorite??!?!"

grace "oh yea.....put that on my list too!"

abby: "my favorite part was the grand tetons and jenny lake"

luke: "playing pranks on the girls!!!!" (and MANY were done to both boys and girls!)

andrew: "going on the rides (at mall of america), the tv in the cabin, me and jonah's own bed,
going on the hike, seeing that water spray way into the air, seeing a moose, oh yea and
riding that boat over that lake (taking the ferry across jenny lake), trying to see the
bear at the cabin, riding in jonah's van"