Sunday, November 25, 2012


Natasha’s Advent 2012

Please don’t chat with my kids about this Advent list, it is a surprise each night!

Meaning of Advent: Advent is a Latin word meaning, “Coming”. Advent celebrates the arrival of a notable person, thing or event. As Christians we are expectantly waiting and preparing for the coming of the celebration of Jesus’ birth.

For all families Advent looks DIFFERENT!!! There is no right and wrong here! You can focus more on family time, Bible time, education, crafts, outings, missions and more. This is our forth year and we have found a balance that works for us and you will see that below. 
These activities are just what we are doing- pick and choose what you would like. And except for the first night and the Christmas Eve service, I do all the rest in whatever order I want depending on how the evening is going time-wise. We use an Advent box with little doors, but you can do envelopes, mittens, stockings- google ideas for Advent boxes.
It is 25 nights focusing on His coming with everything from Bible time to being silly. However you want to lace this together, it will be beautiful.

Natasha 2012

1. Decorate the house and string up Christmas cards. The first night of our Advent box is always to decorate the house. We decorate the tree and the house on Dec 1st. We put string between the dining room windows to display Christmas cards from family and friends. You can play Christmas music too while you decorate the house as a family.
2. Names: Name meanings and nicknames. We are going to talk about each person’s name in the family. What the name means and its origins. We are going to tell the stories of how God lead us to each of the children’s names. We are going to write it down and keep it posted over Advent. We are also going to write down all the nicknames for each person.
3. Mini gingerbread houses. We are going to use small milk cartons this year. Hot gluing graham crackers to the milk carton with frosting and candy. We saved a bag of Halloween candy for this night- great tip for next year!
4. We will talk about how God made the seasons. One of the cool things about winter is snow. How each snowflake is unique and different, just like the people God made all over the world. We make snowflakes (and a huge mess) and then cover the front window of our home and you can see them from the street. I love how it looks so festive.
5. Chinese Jump Rope- We are going to talk about childhood games. Different games throughout history and different games around the world. Then I am going to teach them how to play Chinese Jump Rope, which was my favorite childhood game.
6. Making chin people- Lay upside down. Put a winter stocking hat over your eyes and nose. Leave only your mouth exposed. Draw eyes on your chin. Read bible stories, sing songs, tell funny stories.
7. Shadow Puppets- lights off, huge flashlight on, hand puppets. Again put on a funny show, read stories, be silly.
8. Package to overseas! We have special people in our life who live overseas. We are going to put together a small care package for our overseas family and send it to them.
9. Make our “Cookie” Family presentation with cookies to hand out. This is for our CC homeschool. We are going to make a family poster and go over our family presentation.
10. Minus 10 night. Give away 10 things each. Acts 20:35,  “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
11. Purchase something for a village from a Samaritan’s Purse gift catalog. LOVE this catalog. We will decide as a family what we think is a great gift from this catalog. We will pray together for this village/people and then purchase a gift to help meet one of their needs.
12. Clay sculptures, Isaiah 64:8, He is the potter we are the clay. Making our own nativity scene out of clay. Let dry and paint it. Of course, I am really excited about this art keepsake.
13. Notes of encouragement. We are going to make 12 envelopes, labeled Jan-Dec. We will write each person in the house 12 notes. One the first day of each month for the next year we will open an envelope with 5 notes inside. Hew 13:3, Encourage one another daily.
14. Play “Mother may I, yes you may” game. – Lev 19:3, “Each of you must respect your mother and father and observe My Sabbath. I am the Lord your God.”
15. Heart hide and seek. We write this verse on a cut out heart, “I have hidden your word in my heart so that I might not sin against You.” We talk about it and then we each take a turn hiding them around the house and we all have to go hunt for them.
16. Christmas Play on Christmas Eve. We all really enjoy attending a Christmas performance at a local church. (And we pen stockings on Christmas Eve as well., I know this should be #24, but seriously these are not in order! )
17. David and Goliath. Read 1 Samuel 17. Talk about God preparing David in the wilderness and victory.
18. Foot washing. Read and discuss John 13:1-17. We are going to put our names in a hat. We will each draw out a person in the family whose feet we will wash.
19. Driving around looking at lights. We fix hot chocolate and drive around Tulsa looking at Christmas lights.
20. Little book ornaments. What we are thankful for and put on tree.
21. Christmas movie. We make pallets on the floor and watch one of the many Christmas movies.
22. The box is empty. Talk about Jesus who rose from the dead. John 20.
23. Red, yellow, black and white. Paint on wood picture frame. Take a piece of wood. Paint a red stripe, yellow stripe, black and white stripes. Paint over the top, “Red and yellow, black and white, They are precious in His sight.” Hot glue a framed picture of your children to the middle, or a world map or a picture you find of many children from all over the world together.
24. Mini globes keychain, pray for the world. Do a Bible search for “to the ends of the earth.” These are over 30+ references to this in the Bible. Discuss the world. What God is doing throughout the world and pray together for those in the world who do not know Him or have rejected Him.
25. Birthday cake for Jesus. Oh yes, a big birthday cake and eat it!

And here are the ones from the past...

Natasha 2011

28 Ideas- I have realized that some nights just don’t work due to time. So I have added in some really quick ones for tough nights and long ones for when we have extra time.

1. Sugar cone trees. Making these with upside-down sugar cones, green frosting, candy. Instead of a gingerbread house this year.
2. Making camels out of toilet paper rolls, crumpled up paper, brown papersack and glue. Read about the camel from the bible.
3. Heavenly angels. Making cones out of paper, attach head and halo.
4. Turning all regular Christmas cards into an ornament. Use a cup or bowl to trace a circle. Cut card out and punch hole and hang.
5. Ice cream spoon snowmen. Painted white, red yarn, black/orange marker.
6. Mini stockings from a finger of a glove. Find a random glove, cut off fingers, push paper into shape of a stocking (or may need to use like a cereal box cutout for a form, then add tissue). Fold over top and decorate.
7. Drawing and painting three wise men bringing gifts to Jesus.
8. Write 2011 thankful mini-card. Hang as an ornament.
9. Heart hide and seek. Hidden your Word in my heart Ps 119:11.
10. Globe charm from Mardel. Talk about going into all the world, the Great Commission.
11. Sunday nights last year we watched movies, here are some ideas for this year: The Very First Noel, Grinch who stole Christmas, Polar Bear Express, It’s a Wonderful Life, Greatest Story Ever told, The Nativity.
12. Shepherd- Talk about God as our Shepherd. Blow cottonball into bag.
13. Crazy Dress-up picture. Everyone go get wild and silly. Come together to take pictures. Make into an ornament for the next year.
14. Looking at Christmas lights.
15. Christmas cookies.
16. Cross with prayer written inside it. Talk about how Jesus allowed us access to talking to God. Then share prayer requests and pray for one another.
17. Make own Christmas cards for family, make Christmas present tags.
18. Zacchaeus- read story and share how he looked hard for Jesus and God honored him.
19. Christmas around the world. Share facts about how other countries celebrate Christmas and make a Christmas dish from another culture that you have never tried.
20. Flashlight- talk about darkness and the lost and that Jesus is the light of the world.
21. Rock- David and Goliath, how God trained him in the wilderness and how he was victorious
22. Pop popcorn, eat some and get out needles and thread and string your own popcorn. Talk about how in the ol’ days this was decoration.
23. Make own placemats and have them laminated.
24. Jesus loves the little children. Sing it, then paint children in red, yellow, black and white on paper.
25. Empty (nothing inside the Advent door) talk about how Jesus’ tomb was empty!
26. Open Christmas Eve presents and stockings
27. Bake a cake for Jesus.
28. Read Christmas story from Luck 2:1-20
29. Make snowflakes for window.

Natasha 2010

December 1st. Tree: We got out the tree and decorated it.
2. Heart: Played hide and seek with cut out hearts, talked about Psalm 119, "I have hidden Your Word in my heart, so that I will not sin against you."
3. Band-aid: Read the story of the 10 lepers in Luke 17. We wrote with marker on our band-aids, "Jesus is my healer." And then wore them to bed.
4. Q-Tip: Read the story of Mary and Martha listening to Jesus and which was better. Then we cleaned out our ears so that we could listen to Him.
5. Popcorn kernel: Family movie night. We watched Elf and had popcorn. The movie was too adult. Although it is hilarious, we will not watch it again as a family.
6. Mend: I cut the letters m, e, n and d out of fabric. We read through Ecc 3 that there is a time for everything. A time to tear and a time to mend. We got out fabric and needles and sewed.
7. Prayer bracelets: Our church was doing Toys For Tots that week and each person in the church got a bracelet with a child's name. We put on the bracelets and prayed for each child.
8. Music note: We listed to Christmas music while we cleaned house.
9. Gingerbread house picture: We used candy to decorate a gingerbread house.
10. Jesus: We made birth announcements about Jesus' birth. I taught them out to make little feet using their hands and fingertips.
11. Snowflake: We traced circles, folded and made snowflakes. Then we hung them on the tree.
12. Empty: I said it was stolen by the Grinch. Then we watched the old Grinch who stole Christmas movie.
13. Gift tags: They made homemade gift tags with paper and glitter.
14. Little book: We made our own little books, about 5 pages in each book. They are about 3 inches by 4 inches or so. We decorated the front then wrote all the things we were thankful for from 2010. We then punched a hole and hung them on the tree.
15. Three: We pulled out the tree pictures of the children we support. One lives in Vietnam, one in Kenya and one in India. We talked about their Christmas and prayed for them to have forever families.
16. Lightbulb: We hopped in the car and went around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights.
17. Net: I took an apple net/bag and we Read Luke 5 about becoming fishers of men.
18. Star: We got out the paints and black paper and painted our own nativity scenes.
19. Red nose: (It was a human nose in drawn in red marker, so they had to figure it out.) Then we watched the old Rudolph movie.
20. Sheep: Made from the end of a Q-Tip. We talked about we are the sheep and God is our shepherd. We then took a straw and blew the "sheep" into their pen.
21. World: Talked about being the light of the world. We turned off all the lights and had one small flashlight. We each took turns playing with it in the dark and that we are the light in the darkness.
22. Soap: We talked about having clean hands and a clean heart and what they meant to us. We then washed our hands with the soap.
23. Sugar Packet: Baked a birthday cake for Jesus
24. Present: Talked about the wise men and that they gave Jesus 3 gifts. Said they would be getting three gifts each from us tomorrow.
25. Cross: Read the Christmas story from Luke 2.

Natasha 2009

Band-aid: Jesus is our healer. Read Jesus heals the 10 lepers in Luke ch. 17 (p.s. this went over really well since she got to put her band-aid on before bed!)
2. Pecan nut: God taking care of animals. Matthew 10 & we have a book with kids thanking God for nuts to feed the animals. (Then she will get to eat the pecan)
3. Leaf: Noah's ark. Dove went out and brought back the olive branch, new life.
4. Butterfly: Read story Hermie and Wormie. Transformation, we are like the caterpillar to the butterfly. (we have a butterfly hair clip)
5. Light bulb: God made the light/dark in Genesis and Jesus is the light of the world.
6. Rock: David and Goliath (her favorite story right now)
7. Hay: Jesus born in a manger. Story of His birth in Luke.
8. Cup: the wedding feast where Jesus turns water into wine for His first miracle.
9. Bread: Give us today our daily bread. Prayer in Matt 15.
10. Q-tip: Sit and listen to Jesus. Mary and Martha with Jesus in Luke
Day 11. Heart: Psalm 119:11. I have hidden Your Word in my heart.
12. Nail: Unless the Lord builds the house- Psalm 127:1. Then build and decorate a gingerbread house. (Without nails of course... you may have thought it was for Jesus's hands- we are not ready for that yet!)
13. Candy: Psalm 34:8. "Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who trusts in Him."
14. Map: Mark 16:15. "Go into all the world and preach the good news."
15. Bar of soap: Having a clean heart. Psalm 24:4-5 (she loves taking baths with actual bar-soap, so she will get to use it next bathtime.)
16. Key: Paul and Silas locked in prison and then released. Acts 13 and 16
17. Cotton ball: Psalm 100:3. We are like sheep.
18. Ring: Isaac and Rebekah get married. Genesis 24.
19. Torn piece of paper: Ecc 3. A time for everything. It is torn and she will get to mend it with tape.
20. Net: Matt 4. Called to be fishers of men. (I am using an avocado net)
21. Two silver coins: The good Samaritan gives 2 coins, Luke 10.
22. Little wash cloth: Jesus washes his disciples feet. John 13
23. Empty: the tomb is empty, so nothing will be inside. Matthew 28.
24. Sugar packet: Bake a cake for Jesus.
25. Star: The star of Bethlehem. Matthew/Luke's story of Jesus' birth on Christmas morning and we might even let them eat cake for breakfast- ahhhhhhh!


The Perryman's

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sixth Sum Hop Day (Forever Family Day!)

Avi Joy is our precious firstborn daughter. She truly lives up to the meaning of her name, "My Father's Joy". She delights herself in the Lord and deeply understands that He delights in her too. For her 6th Sum Hop Day (Sum Hop means, "The day we united as a family" in Vietnamese) we took her to a horseback riding lesson. She has a bit of a thing for all things cowgirl and horses.
Ready for her lesson!
She learned how to walk the horse.
She brushed and groomed the horse.
She picked out the rocks from Duke's horseshoes.
She wrote him for 30 minutes with sheer delight!
We always take Sum Hop Day pictures in her Vietnamese Ao Doi.

I think this one best sums her up. She melts our hearts.

The day we met, September 7, 2006.

Psalm 100

1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness! Come before His presence with singing!
3 Know (perceive, recognize, and understand with approval) that the Lord is God! It is He Who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]! We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name!
5 For the Lord is good; His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting, His faithfulness and truth endure to all generations.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

First Bilia Akni Day!

With the little two we use the Vietnamese words "Sum Hop" to describe forever family day (day they were adopted). Sum Hop means "the day we united as a family". Karrington and I brainstormed and since she is half Choctaw Indian we thought we would look up some Choctaw words. Bilia means "Forever" and Akni means "Family", so there you have it... We just celebrated her FIRST Bilia Akni Day!
Just a little reminder: This was Little Karrington two years ago!
And today- Age 14. Going into the 8th grade. Been a Perryman for one year...

Ummm. Hello, anyone want to sign this face with an agency??

I had a great time with Karrington taking pictures at the Memorial Cemetery. Yes! Crazy, but the location is perfect!
After pictures, she and I went away for an overnight at the most awesome bed and breakfast. We stayed at the Victorian Lady in Jenks, OK. They left no stone unturned and exceeded our expectations.

Then we dived into the 5 hour Passport2Purity material. I beyond highly recommend this material to go over with your preteen or teen. It covered everything from dating, sex, marriage- and from everything, I mean they leave nothing out and it was just what she needed. A godly perspective of boys! Then we ended with breakfast and I gave her a beautiful purity ring with Jeremiah 29:11 etched all the way around the ring.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Vietnam 2013- Let's GO!

Afraid of flying and traveling for 2 days half way across the world? Me too, but let's do it anyway! "With fear and trembling..."
Want to see rooftop views of Ha Noi? Yes, Please! I can hear the honking and smell the fresh laundry from here.
Want to walk through traffic to stroll around a peaceful lake? Keep walking, don't stop, they will not hit you... hopefully.
Want to join Thai Chi in the wee morning hours? Time to Praise HIM.
Want to sleep while moving? Overnight train ride will be the ride of your life. Bring toilet paper.
Want to play with village children who live on a terraced hillside in the middle of nowhere? Four year old caring for her little brother.
Want to bring children suckers, stickers, markers and other goodies and hear them scream with delight? Or in this case stair at you because this is the first sucker of their life and you have to show them how to eat it.
Want to bring a water buffalo to a deserving family? It will radically change their life, such as giving you or I a house paid in full. Let us run away from our American standard and change someone's life for generations to come.
Want to watch wee-ones explore paper and crayons for the first time? Oh, how she stole me completely. I still think about her every day.
Want to haul paint, stir, mix colors, trace on walls, fill in murals or paint murals? "Stick figure only" type person, you are still very needed.
Want to shovel and mix concrete to make a playground? Children will now have a place to play ball rather than slopping through the mud in the school court yard. We purchase soccer balls/basketballs and deflate them and bring them to the kiddos.
Want to pour adoration over children who live at school during the week and miss interaction so very much? Two teachers for 60 kids. Imagine what you would do each evening to entertain 30 children. We taught them to play tic tac toe. It is the little things.
Want to bring hundreds of new sandals to protect little feet? Planning on buying a new pair of sandals this summer? Two pair, perhaps. These feet seem more in need than my own.
Want to go to the market and try "something" that you have never seen before? Me either, but let's do it anyway! It's delicious, so glad we were brave!
Want to paint nails with girls or throw the football around with boys? All kids who have grown up in an orphanage and have no adult to talk with, play with, receive gifts from and need so much love. You know those bright days after the rain, let's go be that light.
Want to deliver clothes, shoes, crafts, games, diapers, formula, and millions of kisses to the least of these babies in an orphanage? Yes, let's do. Then, we will each need our own box of kleenex. Let us escape our societies busyness and simply meet the need of a child instead of an email.
Come on! Let's GO! Let us hang on the back of a bike for dear life. Hanging on to Him who calls us to serve those who are in darkness. Let us show mercy, kindness, passion, endurance. Don't have those things in your character? Me neither! We cannot do it alone, but we can learn and hang on together!
Want to be part of a team? "Let My people go that they may serve Me." Ex 9:1
You will be sharpened. You will be tired. You will be renewed. You will get sick. You will go pee in a squatty potty. You will see the Hand of the Lord. You will cry. You will be courageous. You will see that language is not a barrier. You will be homesick, yet totally sick of home. You will be in awe. You will be broken for the third world. You will receive more than you give. You will remember the smiles. You will want to go again.

It is my deepest honor to lead a team with Glocal Ventures, March 16-26, 2013. GVI, please scour their website to see their heart for the country of Vietnam. I am humbled and indebted to our Father for leading me to such an incredible organization. I am so impressed by their character and heartbeat, you will be too.

These dates are tentative, they may be pushed back/up by a day or two depending on flights, but a 10 day trip. Estimated cost is $25,000. Oh, is that too much? How about $2,500.
Vietnamese prices are pretty standard, any variance from this price will depend on US airline tickets at the time we purchase.
Everything is included: Airline ticket, food, hotels, buses, every detail planned out by the six stunning employees of GVI, who live in Ha Noi.
You will want to bring some spending money to purchase beautiful gifts like these.
My goal is for the team is to also donate a water buffalo from our team to a family. A water buffalo is $500 USD or 10,000,000 Vietnamese Dong, near impossible for any farming family to purchase on their own. It would be a joy to all divide this cost and deliver a water buffalo so a farming family can use it for plowing, hauling, milk and more.
Tentative trip plans include: Orphanage work and donations, murals, sandals to school, delivering buffalo, concrete at community center, crafts with kids, games, tire swing, buffalo corral... could be things not listed and some of this may not work- but all things will be along these lines.

You have nearly a year to raise support or save for this trip. I asked for donations as Christmas presents, did side jobs, sold jewelry and raised support from family and friends. If your heart is pricked to GO and serve, please know that over this year, the money will faithfully flow into your life for this trip.

ALRIGHT, WHOSE IN?? Do you want to be on Team Tulsa?
This is not church affiliated and not just for people from Tulsa- this trip is open to ALL who want to go with GVI to Vietnam, to pour out donations, love, time and your heart. Someone who is ready to run away from "American comforts" and see what the Lord is doing in another country that He made and cares for so much.

"So did You lead Your people Lord, to make for Yourself a beautiful and glorious Name, to prepare the way for the acknowledgement of your Name by all nations." Isaiah 63:14

If you would like to chat with me about the trip, I will gladly call you or talk by email. Feel free to leave a comment and we will be in touch. I have a timeline (money, visa, passport, shots, etc) that I can share when you commit to the trip!