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, January 30, 2010

Spring in the middle of winter...

Well, we just couldn't take it anymore. We haven't seen grass...any grass - green or brown...in months (because of the mounds and mounds of snow we have) and we've been stuck inside for weeks and weeks with crazy cold weather. So the kids and I decided that we'd had enough. We needed to see some spring. Now, where do you go to find some "spring" in the middle of the winter you might ask?... Well, the Botanical Gardens of course.

This past Friday the kids and I tromped ourselves on down to our Botanical Gardens here in town and it was wonderful. They have a big dome filled with all the tropical plants you could possibly want to see along with bridges, a waterfall, fish and turtles. It was like our own little paradise for just a couple of hours. We even got to shed our coats and sweat a little...pretty cool, huh? It's definitely not the largest Botanical Gardens ever made but it was perfect for us.

Of course, as we opened the door to leave the nice, warm, big dome thingy, we were hit with frigid temps and snow again. "Welcome back to reality..." my son said. True, oh so true - but wasn't it nice for just a little while.

Monday, January 25, 2010

You bet it was...

"O.k. everyone, load up in the car, don't touch each other, stay clean and no one put on your winter hat or else you're going have hair standing taller than this house," I pleaded as we all piled into our van this past weekend.

We were already running behind schedule...what else was new...but everyone at the moment was clean and in one place, that's all I could hope for. We were headed to get our family portrait made and some individual pictures of the kids.
Sure it's stressful to get everyone dressed, cleaned, combed and staying put without making a mess. In the midst of it all, I always ask myself is it worth it...and then I see the pictures and know the answer. You bet it was...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happy Birthday to our sweet boy...

Yesterday was my son's 12th birthday...12 years, where do they go? I feel like it was just yesterday we were racing to the hospital. Now, I feel like the years are racing by.

Happy Birthday, my sweet boy. You are so special to us...we love you with all our hearts.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Can't believe I'm saying this...

Well, for the past few days we have had ice, ice and more ice. Lots of it. Just when we had enough of the snow here (inches and inches of snow)...now there's ice. I can't believe I'm saying this but...bring back the snow please. At least when there's snow on the ground you can move it out of the way. With ice, you are stuck...literally (as are all of the lights I left outside until all this melts away).

A little while ago, I sent my son out to collect the mail from the mailbox, only to watch him "crawl" up the driveway when he was done (o.k., that was a little funny I have to admit). It's just too bad that someone can't come up with a natural energy source to use with all of this snow and ice. Because I've got quite a bit I'd be willing to give up for research.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Oh no, here we go again...

I must be going crazy. No way around it...I really must be crazy. Yesterday I decided to take all four kids out to the grocery. Sounds simple, right? Well, in theory yes...reality, no. Maybe I was thinking that it would be nice to get out of the house for a little while. And yet it's on days like this, I am reminded of "why" they don't need to let me out of the house. Case in point...

After we had shopped for almost an hour in the grocery store, we began to head towards the checkout line when coming straight towards us was a lady with the biggest grin on her face just waving frantically like she had not seen us in ages. (Remember I am extremely sleep deprived here...) I half smile and look around to make sure it's us that she's coming to. Yep, sure enough. Finally she reaches us and just hugs us all. Still half smiling, I weakly said "hi". "Hey, how are you?" she asks joyfully. I still must have looked blankly at her when she said, "It's Laura".

Suddenly, it was like someone had turned on the light in my brain. "Oh, Laura", I said, realizing that I was way more tired than I ever imagined. I mean here was a good friend of mine and I couldn't even remember who she was. We chatted for a little bit more time and then the kids and I went to get in the checkout line. I was feeling just awful at not being able to remember her and laughing at myself at the same time. As we loaded the groceries back into the cart, I looked up and saw someone new coming into the line with the biggest grin on her face waving frantically at us.

Oh no, here we go again....

Monday, January 18, 2010

Way to go team!...

On Saturday this past weekend, our older kids participated in our state's Lego Mindstorm competition. This year's theme was about transportation. We were one of 72 teams there competing. We were judged on our research project, teamwork interview, robot technical interview (how we built and programed our robot using the computer) and the competition involving the robot itself (how many points it could score on a certain field of play). Our team did a great job and won 5th place in the robot scoring part of the competition. We are so proud of them...way to go kids!

Friday, January 15, 2010

If dogs could talk...

So this new baby's staying, huh?...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy Birthday our newest little one...

Our newest little one celebrated his birthday today...turning one year old. He is such a blessing to our family and has blended so well that it's hard to think of a time without him. So here's to you our tiny one...we love you with all our hearts!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Has anybody seen my lunch?...

Some days I think my life is much like one big comedy routine...except for the fact that no one ever gave me the script to approve. Case in point...One day this past week I finally got our little boy down for his nap and I sat down to eat my lunch. Now, I had gotten only about two bites of my breakfast this certain morning so I was quite excited to eat the microwavable meal I had just heated up. After a few minutes of eating, the phone rang and I jumped up to answer it.

Now, you have to understand that I was gone from my lunch for maybe five minutes...at the most. When I came back around the corner, my plate was still there but my lunch (you know, the microwavable tray) was gone from the plate. I looked around for a moment and thought..."Did I eat my lunch and throw it away?". I looked under things and all through the kitchen. I don't feel full..."Kids did you see me eat my lunch?". "No, mom." O.k., I guess I'm more sleep deprived than I thought. Hmmm, what did I do with my lunch?

At this point, I saw out of the corner of my eye the tray hidden under the pillows on the floor...licked clean, I might add. I picked up the tray and walked around the corner to where the dog slept quietly on the floor (probably pretending to be asleep...) when I noticed the tiny oriental rice located on top of her nose. UGH!!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Really...we had given up all hope

The doorbell rang this morning and as I opened the door I was greeted by a delivery man and something I thought in this lifetime I would never again see...our luggage. Yes, you read that right - our luggage.

We left for Ethiopia on December 9th and got back home on the 19th and finally our luggage came to our door on January 8th. The first words I said to him were..."Holy cow, where in the world did you get that?". "I really don't know ma'am, but I think you've been needing this for quite sometime". "Ya' think." My favorite part was when I looked down and saw on the handle that they had tagged the suitcase "RUSH"...maybe they need some lessons in what that word really does mean.

Now, it's hard not too get too teary eyed about this piece of luggage, because in it was filled with all of mine and my husband's Christmas presents to each other. We had exchanged presents early so we could take our new clothes with us on our trip. So it was excitement all around this morning - new clothes and old underwear...it's a great day!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ganna in Ethiopia...

Pretend right now that you are standing in the middle of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia (o.k., I've seen the driving there so maybe not the middle of the road...not even sure if you're safe on the side either...but work with me here). Anyway, pretend we are somewhere in the city and you realize it's January 7th. Now in Ethiopia, they follow the Julian calendar so today is the day in which they celebrate Christmas - called Ganna. It's much different from the way we celebrate.

The day before Ganna, people fast all day. Then the next morning at dawn, everyone dresses in white in a traditional shamma (which is a thin, white cotton wrap with brightly colored stripes across the ends) and attend an early morning mass. In a modern church, the choir assembles in the outer circle. Each person entering the church is given a candle. The congregation walks around the church three times in a solemn procession, holding the flickering candles. Then they gather in the second circle to stand throughout the long mass, with the men and boys separated from the women and girls. The center circle is the holiest space in the church, where the priest serves Holy Communion.

Ganna is not typically a time for giving gifts in Ethiopia. If a child receives any gift at all, it is usually a small gift of clothing. Religious observances, feasting, and games are the focus of the season.

So Happy Ganna everyone!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Normal routines are way overrated...

O.k. I admit it. I knew this was coming...you would think after 4 kids I'd definitely know this was coming...but still. It's the day you realize that time is not your own anymore. The day you stand there and wonder "Did I eat breakfast...oh yes, of course cereal, or was that yesterday's breakfast?" The day you wonder "Did I just wash my hair or just condition it?" Or my personal favorite, you make the bed finally and then realize it's almost 6 o'clock at night...why bother.

Well, babies will do that to you. They are incredibly cute, but don't even think you get to sit down often...really only at feeding times (and even then, I'm becoming an expert at feeding with a bottle under my chin and doing something else). If I do put him down for a moment, I find myself "bouncing" along without him (funny if you really think about what it must look like out in public).

As expected, e-mails and the internet are taking a backseat in my life, but thankfully my husband lets me in on what's happening in the "outside world" - believe me, I'm not missing much. And as far as our normal routine is going...well, let's just say in the few minutes I sat down to write this post...I'm now being "summoned" from one with some powerful little lungs.

Normal routines are way overrated...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

It's just amazing...

It is absolutely amazing to me the love that washes over you when you have a child. A love so undeniably strong that you realize your world, your life, is forever changed. It is a love that knows no color of skin, or country of birth or even how your child was "born" to you. It is, simply put, the purest kind of love.

Today I saw that love between my son and my husband. My husband is, by all accounts, crazy about all of our kids, and has been since the day they were born. And I had no doubt that our newest little one would be no exception...