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Why I Love Being an Adventist

Special thanks to Amy for tagging me to share about why I love being a Seventh-day Adventist.  Since Israel is currently at GC in San Antonio, I’m glad to have spent needed time reflecting on God’s leading in my life.  When I think back on my experience, there were four pivotal milestones in my Christian walk:

1. Discovering the Steps to Christ when I was a student at the University of Michigan.

2.  Learning what true Education really is when I decided to become a teacher.

3.  Striving to establish an Adventist Home for the past 15 years Israel and I have been together.

4.  Praying for Child Guidance as our 3 precious boys were gifted to us to raise in His stead.

Yes, I went there.  One of the reasons why I love being an Adventist is because of the blessings that come from reading the inspired counsel and writings of Ellen G. White.  Adventists tend to shy away from mentioning her name because there is often an element of shame, insecurity, and/or fear in bringing up the fact that we believe our church has been given the gift of prophecy.  Our prophetess is not the first thing I bring up when I talk about the church I love.  But if I want to be honest and fair, it would be quite rude of me not to give props where they are (over) due.  Her writings have made me weep with conviction, pray with utter humility, and study the Bible as never before.  In all areas of my life, she reminds me that “He must increase, and I must decrease”.  In a very real way, she has helped Jesus shine brighter in my life.

The Spirit of Prophecy is just one, among many reasons why I love being a Seventh-day Adventist Christian.  I’ve come to appreciate and embrace it.  Have you?

PS:  Those 4 books are my favorites.  If you haven’t read them, you should!



Our First Day of School

Lately, things just haven’t been going as planned.

2014 has been a rough year for our family and yet, in a twisted way, it makes 2015 seem so much brighter and hopeful.  There have been lots of unexpected, but exciting changes in the Ramos household.  Last month, I was asked by the GLAS board to teach part-time in the mornings.  After prayer and weighing out the pros and cons, I accepted the position.  With that decision, came along another dream come true for Titus.  (His first dream come true was when he got to see the dentist a couple years back.)  He would finally be able to go to school with his big brothers!  We surprised him with the news on his birthday and we bought him a new backpack and school supplies.


Today was Ty’s first day of school.  He is in Pre-K and his teacher is Mrs. Robinson.  He acts shy, but he loves her and is so proud to be in her class!


In the mornings, I teach Algebra I & II and I help with a few other subjects also.  It was a great first day and I’m looking forward to getting to know my students better.  They are such great kids!  On our way home, Ty was so tuckered out he couldn’t make it more than 10 minutes in the car…


It was a memorable day for both of us!  With this part time teaching position and with GYC, I can now say that I am officially working full time, and I’m taking a reading diagnostic course on the side.  It’s a busy life!  But I cherish the fact that I’m working in the same building as my boys and I still have the joy of being Imanuel’s teacher for a couple subjects too.  🙂

So, even though this post comes several years sooner than expected, we trust it is what we’re supposed to be doing.  It is our prayer that God leads us in our every step and I’ve found freedom in trusting Him.


Ty Ty, it gave me such joy and pleasure to watch you walk into school, meet your teacher, put your coat and backpack into your very own little locker, and step into your first classroom.  May your journey of learning continue to flourish for Jesus’ sake.  You’re growing up too fast!  It is our prayer that God molds you into His likeness and that you grow to love and serve Him always.  We love you so much more than you know!  Happy First Day of School, Baby!

Baby Bunnies in Grace Orchard

This spring, we had the privilege of seeing baby bunnies grow over the course of a couple weeks.  A mama cottontail decided to have her babies in the worst possible place…in the middle of our lawn near our back deck.  Once we discovered the nest and the kits, we made sure Bentley & the cats weren’t let out unless supervised.  Shockingly, there were a couple times when Bentley ran right by the nest and couldn’t smell them!  We rarely saw the mama who only came to feed once or twice a day.  It was a special treat to see these cuties!

Baby Bunnies Video!

In Virum Perfectum

Till we all come in the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the son of God.

Unto a perfect man

Unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ
Ephesians 4:13

To love Him, the infinite, the omniscient One, with the whole strength, and mind, and heart, means the highest development of every power. It means that in the whole being– the body, the mind, as well as the soul–the image of God is to be restored.”

Unselfishness underlies all true development. Through unselfish service we receive the highest culture of every faculty. More and more fully do we become partakers of the divine nature.

Home Projects: Summer 2013

Now that the weather is warmer and The Ramos School for Boys is officially out for the summer (- big congrats to Manu for graduating from the first grade with honors!), we’ve had more time to work on yard projects.  My parents have also been coming on Sundays to help us.  None of this would be possible without them!  They are the most hardest working people I know!  Plus, they find anything/everything we need for the yard on Craigslist for cheap or free.  It’s so crazy!

Of course, our blueberries were/are our major priority.  Once the weather got warmer, we aggressively pruned and made clear rows on both acres.  The flowers bloomed, the bees came to pollinate, and now the blueberries are growing.  We’re looking forward to opening Grace’s Blueberries U-Pick towards the end of July.  We are also pleased to announce that Grace’s Blueberries has decided to be a Team Revolution race sponsor!  A portion of our proceeds will go to help the people living along the Amazon river.  We are praying for a plentiful harvest.

We also decided to expand our vegetable and herb garden.  This year, we’re growing tomatoes, Korean corn, Korean pepper, cucumbers, potatoes, carrots, beets, and different herbs.  We tried planting Korean pumpkins, but some animal came and ate every last one.  Not cool.  We planted them out in front so the small plants had no defense.  Anyhow, the boys plan to set up a vegetable stand to sell our produce to raise money for a mission offering.  This is how Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories impact lives.  We’ll see how that turns out.
The newly added garden (-we expanded the old strawberry patch).
A smaller project that Israel and the boys worked on was to give our fire pit an upgrade.  We bought bags of pea gravel and used old concrete pieces that we got from a friend to create a “mow-free zone”.  As you will see in a little bit, that has become the theme of all our yard work.

The before…kinda.  The real “before” had green grass growing ridiculously everywhere.
I sprayed grass killer so you can see the grass was turning yellow in that area.
The after!  No more super-long extension cords to trim with the weed-whacker!

And finally, we’ve been working on an on-going project that we hope to complete on Sunday.  Our backyard patio area has been such a pain to maintain since our mower can’t fit in the narrower spaces.  So, to avoid so much technical mowing and trimming, we decided to mulch a large portion of the area around the patio and herb garden.  Israel is also working on a space where he hopes to have an outdoor kitchen area.  With all of the mulching we’ve been doing, we bought a used John Deere tractor with a front loader.  It’s been a huge help.  Manu knows how to run it better than me.

Even when we got married, I never, EVER, imagined I’d be the type of girl who lets her kids run around the yard barefoot and shirtless, who runs a blueberry U-pick (-what in the world?!?), and who dreams of owning a $10,000 John Deere.  Yet that has become a very real part of my life.  God is using it to add a new dimension to who I am and I cannot help but count it a blessing.

Our First Special Music

A few months ago, we were blessed to be able to sing a song together for special music at church.  We hadn’t thought anyone recorded it, but someone did!  Thank you, James, for the video!

We practiced a song that was particularly meaningful for us and we sang it together as a prayer.  As you will see, we don’t have much talent (or ability to sing in tune ), but we just hoped the words would be a blessing to someone out there who needed to hear them!

Here are the lyrics:

Less of Me

Let me be a little kinder, let me be a little blinder,
to the faults of those around, let me praise a little more…

Let me dream when I am weary, just a little bit more cheery,
Think a little more of others, and a little less of me.

Let me be a little braver, when temptation bids me waver,
Let me strive a little harder, to be all that I should be…

Let me be a little meeker, with a brother that is weaker,
Let me think more of my neighbor, and a little less of me.

Let me dream when I am weary, just a little bit more cheery,
Let me serve a little better, those that I am striving for…

Let me be a little meeker, with a brother that is weaker,
Think a little more of others, and a little less of me.

Think a little more of others, and a little less of me.

May the words of this song be the prayer of your heart also!

Celebrating Mom’s 64th Birthday

This morning, we had scheduled Todd Sotala to come over and tune our piano.  Dad was interested in watching him, so he and Mom came over as well.  After the tuning was over, we decided to have dinner and celebrate Mom’s birthday a few days early together.  The day was pretty spontaneous, but fun!


My sister had wired me money for Mom’s birthday and suggested I take Mom to get a hair treatment or a perm.  We discussed what she wanted to do with her hair.  To make a long story short, Mom decided she no longer wanted to dye her hair.  Dad expressed his support.  So, she was ready to embrace her natural hair color and a new do.  And rather than get a professional to do it, she wanted me to do it!  That self-same day!

I told Mom that I thought it was important to adopt a new hair style that would help transition into her natural gray hair color.  So, we did some test trials and came up with one we both liked.  She decided to part her hair to the side and also to keep her hair straight and natural.  It also had to be long enough that she could put it up in a ponytail for sports.  But, no more curling or perms!  I gave her a trim and layered her hair.
BEFORE                                                                          AFTER
Next step was to remove the dye from her hair.  So, we went to Sally’s Beauty Supply and bought a hair color removal kit.

Now, I never had my hair dyed and really had no idea what I was doing, so I had to read the instructions very carefully.  I also had to make do with the equipment I had.  The good thing was that it was similar to applying dye and Mom was an expert at that.  At this point, Dad began getting very nervous about how it would turn out.  He was urging us to wash out the chemicals so it wouldn’t be such a dramatic change.  I was a bit offended by Dad’s lack of faith in me, but I remained calm.  We kept it in for the allotted time and then washed out the solution.  It ended up being perfect.  It washed out just enough to look natural and I think it is the perfect transition for Mom’s natural hair to grow out without any more need of hair dye.

Elegant streaks of silver!    

Mom’s new do and a new outlook on life:  Embracing all of who she is and realizing she is the most beautiful that way.  No more chemical dyes!  I’m thankful that Dad is also supporting her, but he’s also fearful that Mom may get more attention from the men at Pickleball!  

Special thanks to Julie for sponsoring Mom’s 64th year make-over!  Mom was so grateful to you!  And I pray that Mom will continue to be healthy, happy, and more like Christ.  Don’t forget to give Mom a shout-out on her real birthday this Wednesday and tell her how nice her natural hair looks!

We love you, Mom! 


Birthday Boys’ Report

The crazy thing about my family is that all of our birthdays fall in consecutive months:

October – Me (Judy)
November – Micah
December – Ty
January – Bentley
February – Israel
March – Manu
(The cats were adopted and we’re unsure of their exact birthdays.)

We got this pin a few years ago and we use it for all the boys’ birthdays. 
They get to wear it all day. 
Best investment ever.

The crazier thing is that EVERYONE in the entire Namm family was also born within these months!  For almost 6 months, it seems like we have a birthday every week!  There is a lot to celebrate.  Now, we are nearing the end of the birthday blitz and I finally have time write about our latest birthdays. 

December 12, 2012:  Ty turned 3.
Ty had a quiet birthday right before all of the Christmas festivities.  We took him to Chuck E. Cheese for games and cake.  I can’t believe his is already 3 years old.  He is such a happy and sweet boy.  He is getting sillier each day and loves to make us laugh.  He’s at the age where I wish he would never grow up.  We’re trying to make sure we take videos of how he talks and the songs he likes to sing.  He is a total mama’s boy and yes, he still totes around my shirt everywhere he goes.  My favorite line that he always says is, “That’s the biggest ________ that ever I seen!”  On Ty’s birthday, we also took our family Christmas pictures, wearing the matching love shirts that Justin & Rachel gave us (as seen on our new profile pic).


February 26, 2013:  Israel turned 33.
We celebrated with our family, which is what Israel likes best.  The boys and I made him breakfast in the bedroom.  After he came home from work, we surprised him with another little party for dinner.  We ended the fun day with a family movie night.

March 4, 2013:  Imanuel turned 7.
I can’t believe I have a 7 year old child.  And I can’t believe how blessed I am to have him.  Imanuel has been one of the greatest motivation factors for me to be a better person.  His sweet and sensitive disposition forces me to be more gentle and patient.  He is such a caring brother and will often plead on behalf of his brother’s mistakes.  It is my sincere prayer that he will continue to grow to be more like Christ and that I will never get in the way of that.

Manu’s birthday was exactly how a teacher’s kid would celebrate his birthday.  On Sunday, we went to Impression 5 with some friends.  Then on his actual birthday, we did some experiments from a kitchen science kit that John bought them.  It was a fun & educational birthday. 


Now we have a 7 month gap to recover from all of the extra calories!  🙂