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.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Thanksgiving success...

Well, the turkey was a success and our holiday was wonderful. The kids loved having their cousins here to play with. I so wish we lived closer to both sides of our families because we have so much fun when we get together. The stories around the dinner table are hilarious and don't even get me started on how competitive everyone is with playing board games. In the end, we had a fantastic visit with our family...and we hope your holiday was blessed as well.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Checking things off the list...

Our tickets are bought, we've got my Mom flying in soon and I'm just about done with all my online shopping for Christmas. Now, it's on to getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday. It's a whirlwind of fun and excitement around here. My husband's family is coming in for the holiday and we have so much to be thankful for this year.

The kids and I went out to do our Thanksgiving shopping this morning. It's hard not to "float" over to the baby section and pick up diapers and such. However, I am trying to stay on task and not shop for that stuff until after Thanksgiving. As my husband puts it..."prioritize your list"...and I think I've got to cook a turkey first, before I begin to pack diapers otherwise, I just might have...a mutiny on my hands.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Travel dates...

We have our travel dates. We leave on December 9th and arrive back home on December 18th. We are scrambling at this point to fly my mom here (she lives on the West coast) to help take care of the children when we are gone. Our things to do list suddenly just got enormous and I am becoming one with online shopping (just don't ask me if it will get wrapped). I'm not sure any lights will make it outside and there will probably only be one tree in the house up (maybe decorated...we'll see). But....

...it will be a Christmas to remember forever.

Friday, November 20, 2009

We are approved and are headed to Ethiopia!!!!

At this moment, our minds are racing and we are in "scramble-mode". We found out about an hour ago that we have been approved by the Ethiopian court and are traveling in just a couple of weeks to go and bring our son home. Can you believe it??? We will be home and together as a family for Christmas...this Christmas. I am overwhelmed by God's timing and feel so utterly blessed.

We're going, we're really, really going...

Happy Friday, everyone!

There are days that I am so glad that my kids are home schooled. That my kids get to spend so much time with me...fun time. That my kids learn from doing and being out in the world and not just reading about it from behind a desk.

Today, as we headed out the door to go to the zoo (which I might add we had all to ourselves - one of the benefits of going during the "off season" - not to mention the fact that no school wants to do their one field trip in the cold)...I armed my kids with our digital camera and a photo scavenger hunt list and away they went. I loved seeing them race ahead screaming the things they saw on the list. Granted they fought about whose turn it was to take the picture (believe me, a remedy was quickly found), but they loved being outside and learning some different things about the animals they've seen thousands of times.

At the end of the morning I wanted to get one picture of all of us together, but there was no one around to take it (I'm not kidding...the entire place was empty...except us and the animals...and the way my kids were running around it was hard to tell which was which). So with the camera propped precariously on a railing, the timer on and six pictures later...here's what we got. Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Adoption through the eyes of a 5 year old...

Today is November 18th...our court date. O.k., actually the entire process probably took place in the middle of the night sometime last night as we slept. Oh, it is agonizing to not know either way...we are just so close to being done. So to keep my mind off of what is at hand, I thought you would enjoy a conversation I had with my smallest last night after bath time. It's adoption through the eyes of a 5 year old....

"Mom, where do they get all of the kids?" my smallest one asked. "What kids?" I asked scrambling to figure out what she was talking about (5 year olds change subjects like the wind...). "You know...the brown ones?" "Oh..." I knew instantly she meant the kids at the adoption center where our son is located. "Each child has a Mommy that had him from her tummy and she just didn't have enough money or food to take care of him. So she loved him so much that she wanted him to grow up with food, clothes and a big, loud family that would love him just as much as she did and would never let him forget about her." "So how many kids are there?", my little one asked. "There are lots and lots of them that need a family to love them." She thought for a very long time and then finally said...

"So this is going to take us a while, huh?"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We got our court date....

Late yesterday we received an e-mail that said we had gotten our court date...and it's TOMORROW (November 18th)! I just can't believe it. Nothing like waiting until the last minute to notify us. If the court approves us, then our son will legally be ours and we can go and bring him home. The bad news is that they have also told us it will take a week to notify us if we passed court or not. So we'll be waiting...yet again. Either way, this is it...we are running through the last mile of our very long race.

So we are asking just one more time if you could please join us and pray for our little one on November 18th. Pray for the paperwork, that it will all be in order and that there will be no delays (we have no control over this, as the Ethiopian government puts it together for us). Pray for speed, that these last few documents will be processed extremely fast. And please pray for us, this is so very hard as we can see the finish line but just can't quite get there yet.

We know that God is with us through all of this, but it sure does help to have some fierce prayer warriors walking along side us as well.

Monday, November 16, 2009

In the hot seat...

It was a beautiful cool, crisp morning when we all piled into the car to go to church this past Sunday. That morning I had worn one of my favorite winter dresses when the conversation with the kids began. "Mom, you look really nice in your dress this morning", my middle one said smiling. "Oh, thank you sweetie. That's such a nice thing to say." She beamed with delight and began again. "It really goes well with your brown hair." I smiled. "Actually...", my little one chimed in, "the brown hair color is almost all gone and all she's got is gray left on top." The car roared with laughter...

...that is, all but the one in the front passenger's seat.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Aren't you tired yet?

This morning I went out for a long run with a great running partner...my dog. Oh, this just isn't any dog...it's a Vizsla. Now, if you are unfamiliar with Vizslas, know this one fact...THEY NEVER GET TIRED. For instance, I come dragging in after running 6 miles and our dog has so much energy left over (which we affectionately call it her "zoomies") that she has to runs laps around our yard and our house. It just puts me to shame. In fact this happens every time I run with her, that I have to yell to everyone inside the house..."look-out, we're home"...as I open the door. Kids scatter and batten down the hatches as she tears around the house. Of course, I never have my video camera on me when all of this happens, but it is quite a sight to see. So I decided to go searching for a video which best captures what a Vizsla is really like. I'm not sure who put this video together but believe me, it's perfect...

Believe me, I have asked my dog a million times..."Aren't you tired yet?"

Friday, November 13, 2009

Havin' a party...

I have decided that if you add the word "party" to anything it sounds a lot more fun to kids. For example..."Come on kids we're going to have a clothes folding party", or "let's go have a math party" or my personal favorite "woo-hoo kids, we get to have a clean up the playroom party". I admit that the older ones are on to me but still play along so we can all have fun. Our kids understand that we are all in this together and we must each play a part.

It's just a lot more fun to have a "party" as we go along.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

One year....

Today marks one year...one year since we first sent in our application for adoption. One year filling out more paperwork than you could ever imagine. One year of falling in love with a country we've never seen. One year of seeing the beautiful faces of so many children and one especially that we will call our own. One year of waiting...and waiting...and waiting

...for our lives to never be the same

Monday, November 9, 2009

Falling like dominoes...

"What's that noise?" One of my children asked me today during school. As we left our classroom table and went around the corner the noise got louder and I suddenly knew the answer....a chainsaw. My neighbor was at it again. It's quite a sight to see really. Allow me to explain...

We live in a neighborhood with a wooded lot that backs up to a creek. It's quite nice really with all the trees in the summer as most of our backyard is quite shady and cool. Sure in the fall, it is a bit of a pain to rake all of the leaves, but the colors are the most brilliant reds and yellows. It's quite beautiful. Well, apparently, this was not to my neighbors liking, for his lot used to look like ours.

It began one day with one tree, he choose to cut down, then another and another. He just didn't stop. So today I wasn't at all surprised to see that a team of tree cutters were there cutting down almost all of his trees on his lot. They fell like dominoes one after another until there were about three small ones left. Now, these aren't your everyday trees, these are enormous ones with huge trunks.

So as we ate lunch today and watch one tree fall down after another, my little one turned and said..."I guess he really doesn't like trees." "Yep, I guess you're right"...sadly.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

One little invention...

Friday's are our special day. It's a slow school day and the kids and I always try and go do something fun. I try not to drag them to the grocery store on this day (but I admit that's hard sometimes...especially when you go through a gallon of milk a day). This past Friday we decided that we would go to our Science Center. It really is quite a nice place to visit and has some wonderful exhibits that the kids love. So as we went from room to room and the kids touched and played with everything under the sun, I decided that one little invention (located all over the Science Center) was a good thing....a really good thing...

...hand sanitizer

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Voracious readers...

Our children, by all means, are what I like to call, voracious readers. It's not just that they love to read, it's that they HAVE to read. You will always find a book with them if we are out shopping and probably not far from them where they are playing in the house. While my smallest one is still in the process of learning to read, I have no doubt that she'll follow suit with her siblings.

This being said, we spend A LOT of time at our library. And to tell you the truth, I love the library just as much as the kids do. I mean, who doesn't love the fact that you can "request" any book, movie, CD or anything really from the comforts of your home and then they will e-mail you when it's ready to pick up. If they don't have the item already, then they'll buy it and you get to be the first one to get it. Best yet...it's all free!.....How awesome is that!

Now, if they could just do my grocery shopping for me or even a little bit of laundry...is that asking too much???

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Celebrating the little things...

The first Monday of every month (for a couple of hours) I get to go to a wonderful homeschool group. Basically, it's just a bunch of homeschool moms who get together and talk about how their schooling is going and learn from one another. We talk about what things are working for some people and what's not for others. Every month there is a theme and last night at my meeting the theme was celebrations.

Now this was something I could really relate to. I love to whoop and holler and get excited about stuff (and to have a reason to and not just look like you are crazy...hey, that's even better). It was such a wonderful perspective on how to celebrate the small things in your child's life...so you never miss it. Case in point...one mom said she had the "special red plate" she used. When her child finally mastered something she had worked hard on (such as her multiplication facts) then that night she got to eat from the "red plate". Another said that she journaled back and forth with her husband because she felt that she was missing out on their busy lives together.

When I left the meeting that night I realized, it's not really important about what you do exactly, but just that you do something. Whether it's praising someone for a good job or serving them on a "red plate", the fact that you acknowledge them for who they are makes it worthwhile. It's just down-right, good ol' fashion enjoyin' the moment.

It's hard enough going through this life as a child or an adult, wouldn't it be more fun to celebrate the little things as we go along.