About Me

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Married twenty-five years to my wonderful husband and best friend. We have 3 "home-grown" kids and 1 hand-picked by God from Africa. Our life is blessed. We are a close knit family with strong Christian beliefs. Come along with us on our journey…you might have a great laugh or two.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Our sweet middle girl turned 10....

Today our sweet middle one turned 10...and somehow I just can't believe it. 10 years...where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital...tiny little thing, dressed all in pink. And now, she's (as Daddy puts it) "in the double digits". She was way beyond excited about this day and even started counting down the days a month ago. To her this day couldn't have been any better, filled with lots of presents, cake and balloons.

You may be getting older but to us you will always be our sweet little girl...we love you!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Next time it's Daddy's turn...

"Oh Lord, please let them be fast"...I prayed silently as I closed my eyes. The screaming grew louder as the second shot went in and the little arms around me squeezed tighter. I opened my eyes again as the fourth and last shot was being done. My smallest one's eyes were so red and just pleaded with me that we "bolt" from this doctor's office as fast as we can. As I scooped her off the examination table, I turned to see two more kids incredibly anxious and one with tears already streaming down her face.

I truly hate immunizations. It is so hard to watch, hold and know that it has to be done for your child to be healthy and safe. To cause so much grief and tears...as a parent, seems unnatural. We are there to protect and love not to cause pain. So as the last of my kids held me tight and the shots kept coming, my heart by this time was in my throat and the tears were in my eyes I realized two things...

...some days it's just hard being a parent and...

...next time Daddy gets to do this.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Moments like these...

You remember the story of Noah...the boat, the flood, the animals and all that rain...lots and lots of big ol' fat raindrops rain. Well, he had 40 days and 40 nights of it and we had only 24 hours...so really we can't complain. But...I'm bettin' that Noah didn't have to cook and take care of his 3 kids and a dog (without any help) and control the mud (lots and lots of mud) in a 16 x 20 space for 24 hours. I mean he might have just jumped ship, or at least been smart enough to not camp in the rain.

Actually, our camping trip was not that bad...o.k., yes, the mud was that bad and it did rain ALL DAY LONG...but it had it's moments...wonderful, moments. I loved it when all the kids were finally clean with pj's on and were snuggled in their sleeping bags and I got to read out loud to them chapter after chapter of a good book. I loved it when we broke out the card games and laughed so hard when one of us won. I loved the fact that in the middle of the night, my smallest reached into my sleeping bag and held my hand. And I especially loved the fact that no matter how hard it was during our camping trip, and how much rain and mud we had to deal with, I will never forget this moment.
I am so thankful that God gives me moments like these.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The things that never go as planned...

My husband left this morning for a week long business trip out of the country. Now, he doesn't really have to travel that much, maybe once or twice every couple of months. Which really is a good thing, cause we miss him terribly when he's gone. So for this business trip, the kids and I decided to keep our minds off the fact that he's not here and go and do something fun...like camping.

Of course, wouldn't you know it, the few days that we had planned to go the weather forecast is calling for rain. Well, we leave tomorrow and...we are undeterred. Because sometimes, the things the kids remember most...

....are the things that never go as planned.

Friday, August 21, 2009

With smiles plastered on their faces...

Yesterday, we took the day off from school and went to our huge county fair. Since the local schools are back in session we thought that the crowds would be a little lighter. It turned out that we were right, and even better than that, the weather was fantastic - cool and a little cloudy.

Now, we don't usually get around to going to the fair every year, so this was a special treat for my kids...and they loved it. We rode a few rides (thankfully, nothing that involved large amounts of screaming, turning or plunging), just ones that really made us giggle.

We ate food that was on a stick (everything...and I do mean everything...is on a stick at the fair) and we saw all the baby animals you could think of. The kids even got to ride on a camel and see a "zedonk" (yep, that's really it's name...believe me, I saw the stinky thing).
They had a butterfly house that had over 5,000 butterflies in it (that kind of freaked me out with so many things flying at you and sticking to you...butterflies or not). Finally, late in the afternoon a quick ten minute shower came down and reminded us it was time to go home. So I dragged three over-stimulated children home with smiles plastered on their faces.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Check this one off our list...

In order for us to go and get our son from Ethiopia, we needed A LOT of shots. So with a pinch and a sting and a smile on our face, we got most of the needed shots. Our kids were there, and just so that you know, that whole thing you tell your kids when they're getting their immunizations...you know...that shots don't hurt that much...that, definitely comes back to haunt you. We have to go back for one more round of shots in a month but we are checking this one off our list.

Just hold son...we're coming as fast as we can

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I am...

On Monday, we started back our school schedule full time. (Now, we will take a few more days off here and there to do fun stuff...but my kindergartener just couldn't wait any longer...she had to learn).

Today for Language Arts, my son had to write a personal poem entitled..."I am". With his permission, I wanted to share it with you. So sit back, be blessed, and remember what it's like to be 11...

I am a creative boy who likes nature.
I wonder what God is like.
I hear the tinkling of the stars.
I see the wind moving through the trees.
I want to see new places.
I am a creative boy who likes nature.

I pretend to be a hero.
I feel happy when I fly.
I touch the moon.
I worry about scary things.
I cry that so many people die.
I am a creative boy who likes nature.

I understand that you have to work hard to get through the problem.
I say let everyone be happy.
I dream to be a hero.
I try to be happy.
I hope to see Jesus someday.
I am a creative boy who likes nature.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

We hit the motherload...

"Mom...Mom! We found another caterpillar!" is what I heard come from the screaming kids in the backyard. They had found another yellow and black caterpillar and were oh so excited. "And look here's another...and another...and another" they screamed. That went on for 12...that's right, I said it...12 more times. They had found 12 black and yellow caterpillars (you remember...the ones who turn into monarch butterflies - the black and orange ones). Our butterfly pavilion was suddenly crowded. It was like we had raided a vacation resort for yellow and black caterpillars.

We had indeed...hit the motherload (stay tuned to see how it turns out....)

Friday, August 14, 2009

You bet it is...

Lots of people ask me about homeschooling...we talk about it everywhere...the grocery, garage sales, play dates. I find that people are very curious as to how we home school...what does our classroom look like? and how can I teach three children three different curriculums at the same time?

Our actual "classroom" in our house is technically the study. We've only been at this house for over a year but we are lucky enough to have floor to ceiling bookcases. However, in years past, our classroom has been in the living room as well as at the kitchen table...but this classroom has been the best one by far.

We have a fold down table that the kids work at everyday (to make it more spectacular, I let the kids pick the "wrapping" paper that goes on top of it to cover the table and then we cover that with clear plastic wrap...viola!..a brand new table). This year the kids chose polka dots...not my personal favorite, but it's not my table.

Our room has maps, calendars, number lines, phonics sound posters...anything that will be of help in school and give them a classroom feeling. I have set up a playdoh center and just today bought an art center with a chalk board/painting area. We have a computer and a piano (all in the same room, I know...but you can't be too picky when you only talking about one room).

My curriculum is quite planned out already for me. I love it. I just open the main manual and teach what it tells me to do for that particular day. If we can't get it all done by the morning/afternoon, then we are discussing geography or math or science over dinner. It just gets done. Does all of this take a lot of time?...Yes!

Is it all worth it?...You bet it is!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Until the next time we go...

Alright, we live in the middle of the country. And due to that one minor detail there is, by far, no ocean beach remotely close to us. You can't even get to an ocean beach if you drove all day (o.k., maybe you could, but not with three kids and a dog and still have your sanity intact). Beaches are great and my kids love the beach. I mean there is nothing like playing in the water and building huge sandcastles.

So this week we were ecstatic when we found out from a friend of mine that we have an actual "sandy" beach here where we live. Granted it's a beach that's off of a river here...but that's o.k. You still get the feeling of a beach and that's half the fun. (I'm just not going to think about what's under the water in this river beach...nope, not going there). Anyway, the kids had a fantastic time and to be honest I loved it too.

I just need to go now and disinfect everyone until the next time we go....

Monday, August 10, 2009

And then there was none...

A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to find a yellow and black caterpillar walking along in our garden. Now, if you don't know much about caterpillars these are the ones that turn into monarch butterflies (the pretty orange and black ones). The caterpillars aren't very easy to find but when you do they are so much fun to watch change into a butterfly.

So we scooped up our butterfly pavilion (everyone needs one of these...) and grabbed a bunch of different leaves and put him inside. We really lucked out because by that night he had made his chrysalis. For the next few weeks we waited and watched. Then, this morning he popped out of his chrysalis and opened up really big. Beautiful...just beautiful.

At lunchtime we watched him go and my smallest one said "well, I guess everyone has to leave sometime". I hugged her tight and thought...I'm glad that day is not today.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The doctor is in....

"Mom, are you going to sew today?", my little one said with pleading eyes. I knew immediately what she wanted me to do. She was holding three of her stuffed animals. My kids love to play with their beanies. They line them up, tote them around everywhere and love on them until inevitably they get a hole somewhere on it. Lately, it seems to be a daily occurrence for me to "open up the Beanie Doctor Office" and put the fluff back in some type of animal, stitch it up and then send it back home. It's just too bad that all this "doctor" experience can't be put on a resume, cause I'm getting pretty good at saying...

...the doctor is in now

Friday, August 7, 2009

We got our referral!!!

Yesterday was an absolute crazy day...the day we had been waiting for, for so many months. Here's a sneak peek as to what happened...

The kids and I had been out at the grocery (where else do you go...) when we walked into the door and there it was...the blinking message light. With an armload of groceries, and three kids scrambling to "get through the door first", I didn't even have time to push the message button by the time the phone was ringing again. Now, our answering machine talks...goofy, I know...but I don't have to go the phone to see who it is...it talks to me and tells me. So when our adoption agency name was stated, you've never seen a crazy mom drop everything and "plow" through the kids to answer that phone. That would have been reality TV at it's best. Needless to say, the breathless "hello" probably didn't sound to good, but I'm sure they loved the "Woo-hooing" after they told us of our referral. Yep, you don't have to be a kid in this family to jump up and down screaming "it's a boy!...it's a boy!". I didn't care...we got our referral and it was a boy!!! I scrambled to find my husband's work number and called it three times (he has lots of meetings you know...) before he calmly said "hello". After that, I'm really not sure if I put a coherent sentence together, but I did get out that it was a boy and he was healthy. From that, my husband got the jest.

For now, we have more waiting to bring him home. We have to be assigned a court date and then more paperwork has to be filed. To us, he's already ours and a part of our family. He's healthy, but small (almost all children are due to malnutrition) and he has big brown eyes. Our favorite part was that in his referral picture they dressed him all in pink...he'll love that part later in life. I so wish we could post a picture of him, but our agency has asked us not to until we bring in home. So now, we are back to waiting and praying for more paperwork to hurry itself along so we can go to Ethiopia and bring our baby boy home.

A beautiful baby boy... we have been blessed yet again.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

As small as a mustard seed...

"...I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20

This is by far one of my favorite verses in the Bible. I have been thinking a lot about faith this week. You know, the faith like Peter had when he stepped out of that boat and walked on water. Faith like the wind, you can't see it but you can feel it straight down to your bones.

As we are just days away from getting a referral, I keep thinking back to the very beginning when it all began. Our story is a simple one. Years before we had my son, God planted the adoption seed in our hearts. We wanted to be parents...and it didn't matter to us where the children came from...we knew we could love them no matter what. Fast forward a few years and we were blessed with our son. Our middle daughter followed shortly thereafter...but the seed never left. Finally, we were yet again very blessed to have our smallest. Now, the seed was ready...ready to plant. So we decided to adopt and step out of the boat, step out in faith and again let God choose our child. So you see, our story didn't happen overnight and it didn't happen on a whim. It happened because it's all part of God's plan.

We may not be able to change the world, but we can change the life of one child. And it's all because of faith...as small as a mustard seed.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Box Day has arrived...

Well, "box day" came to our house early this morning (8:25 a.m.). Not familiar with box day??? In the home school world, it's when your entire curriculum (or whatever you ordered for the upcoming year) arrives packed in boxes. It's a lot like Christmas. My kids LOVE box day. I ordered everything we needed for this year late this past Sunday night and couldn't believe it when it arrived early on Wednesday morning. We have used Sonlight curriculum for 5 years and just adore it.

This morning was extra special for my 5 year old because for the first time it was her turn to have "school" delivered (her Kindergarten curriculum, that is) and she just couldn't believe how big her pile of books were. My older two just kept holding up one book after another and asking..."is it o.k. if I read this today?"

Ahh...music to my ears...it's going to be another great school year!

Monday, August 3, 2009

What if we all lived like this...

"Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Consider the lilies. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshiping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze a new trail. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away. Chase the lion!"

from "In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day" by Mark Batterson

Sunday, August 2, 2009

You eat it...no, you eat it

Today I tried my hand at canning salsa. With 13 tomato plants, we have more tomatoes than we know what to do with. So I researched "canning" on the Internet, printed off directions and began the process. Now being this is my first attempt at canning, I tell you guys this so that come this winter, when we open the salsa to eat it, if we don't blog for a couple of days, it might be botulism....so please call 911

Saturday, August 1, 2009

17 years ago today...

17 years ago today I married the one person who can make me laugh in any situation. The one person who still makes my heart flutter when he comes through the door. The one person who listens to me and calms me down when things are going wrong. The one person who loves me so much that he's willing to give up everything for his family. The one person who has given me three beautiful children. The one person who has committed to spending the rest of his life...with only me.

17 years ago today I married my best friend...my husband. Here's to you babe...and the many more wonderful years we are going to have together. I loved you then, I love you now and I will always love you.