About Me

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Married twenty-three years to my wonderful husband and best friend. We have 3 "home-grown" kids, 1 hand-picked by God from Africa and 1 very hyper-active dog. Our life is blessed. We are a close knit family with strong Christian beliefs. And just recently we have bought ourselves a farm. Do we know what we are doing? Nope. Come along with us on our journey…you might have a great laugh or two.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Traveling...

We live about 10 to 11 hours away from any family members. Translation for us...we spend a BOATLOAD of time in the car during the holidays. Our kids have grown up this way, so to them it's just a natural way of traveling...10, 11, 12 hours to get to any place. (this is a bonus though when we travel overseas...since those trips are really long, our kids are use to it)

Because of the time that we have spent in the car, we have become quite the proficient travellers. We know what works for us. What to take. What not to take. We can SQUEEEEEEZZZZEEE into one duffel usually to go places...granted it's a really LARGE duffel bag but still I can count it as one. If there is one thing that I've learned, it's the more people you have to get somewhere the less "stuff" you really truly have to have.

We also love to play games in the car...card and board games. My husband and I have battled each other more than once in the "Totally 80's" trivia game (dorky, I know...but what can we say, we are a product of the 80's). On this account he had just won this game with his oh, so masculine "care bear". I was the "trapper keeper". If you are a product of the 80's then you know what I'm talking about...if not, then you are making me feel VERY old.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas...



From our family to yours...may God bless you and your family this upcoming year.


Merry Christmas...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Gotcha Day 2011...

Today is our Gotcha day. In the world of adoption, it's the day that we celebrate when we became "this" family. The day we walked through the door after over 40 hours of flying halfway across the world...the day our family was finally together.

This is our Gotcha day story...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My favorite Christmas things...


Here are four of my absolute favorite Christmas things. I know they may not seem like much...but to me, they mean the world.

This Santa and Mrs. Claus was on my kitchen table for probably most of my childhood. (They are technically a salt and pepper shaker) My mother is an outstanding cook and this Santa brings wonderful memories of her baking for us during the holidays.



This is such a pathetic little thing...but again, it's the world to me. You flip this upside down and turn the knob on the bottom. Then when you turn it right side up, music plays, the tree turns and "snow" falls down. I cannot tell you how many times I have done this in my lifetime. It was at my Grandmother's house. When she passed away, it's the one thing that I begged to have. It's been taped up and re glued, but to me it's a little bit of my grandmother right here with me during Christmas.





This is the star that was on my tree growing up. I remember arguing with my brother as to whose turn it was to put it on the tree. In the end, my father seem to always put it up (probably because we couldn't reach it). When my father passed away, this star came to me...and it has my father written all over it. Even though I can reach the top now, I like to think he's right here with me during this holiday.









This makes me giggle and smile every time I cook. My aunt gave me these and if you push one of their buttons, they will all "tap dance" together. Take them apart and they do it separately. Way funny, and so great for my kids. It's not uncommon for a child to walk through the kitchen hit a button on the way to get something to drink. I love them...and to me, my aunt's standing right with me in my kitchen every time they go.


Since none of our family lives anywhere close to where we are, it's my special way of bringing those that I hold so dear to my heart home with me for the holidays.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Which one is which?



I took this photo at Thanksgiving of my son standing next to the gutter (on the house).


In case you were wondering...my son is the one on the left...






...I think

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Last Christmas...

Have you seen this video? Grab you some tissues and have yourself a little seat. Live in the moment...THIS moment...and be oh, so thankful.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Houston, we have a problem...

In our house an unusual thing is happening. Our garbage disposal is eating the spoons. Not forks, not knives, not even the serving utensils...but spoons, people. Of course, I know what you are saying...well, duh!...go out and buy some new spoons. Simple thought really. But did you know that you cannot buy spoons...just spoons. You have to buy the entire set of utensils...that's the only way they sell them. Heck, it would be worth it if I could buy an entire new set of utensils and just feed the garbage disposal the knives and forks...but it knows the difference. It only prefers spoons. It's an addiction, I'm fully certain of that one. Yesterday, another one bit the dust...a spoon that is. Not a fork or a knife. And I just cringed, because now we are down to 5 good spoons (there are 6 of us in this house...you can do the math). Therefore...

...Houston, we have a problem.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Snow be coming...huh, Mom?









I wish I could bottle up every conversation that this little one says. It's so over the top cute. At this moment he had wrapped himself around my leg as I dragged him like a mop around my kitchen. All the while he was asking...


Snow be coming...huh, Mom, huh? (Thanks to the new sled we bought at Costco last week)


Soon...little one...all too very soon.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Rule of parenting #298...

ALWAYS have a sense of humor...


Mom: (scrubbing vigorously the gas stove top with an old toothbrush)

Smallest little girl: Mom, is that your toothbrush you are using?

Mom: (smiling ever so discreetly) No sweetie, it's yours.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I will survive...


Liked this picture...it made me laugh. So me this week. Just saying nothing and trying hard to look like I knew what I was doing.

Good news...in case you were losing sleep over it...much better and on the upward swing now. I am sorry to report that it is slowly wiping out the children one by one. It's my oldest turns right now and I think the smallest one is next-ugh!

It's like the fog that creeps over the city in one of those old Alfred Hitchcock movies, wiping out everything in it's path. Oh yeah sweetie, you are so next. The fist bumping me instead of kissing me won't save you.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Unbreakable...

It's been a long time since I've been this sick. You know, the kind of sick that you wish a bus would run over you or the "rapture" would hurry up and come. It's so incredibly rare that my husband has taken to calling me the "unbreakable" one in our house. You know why that is, don't you? Because when I'm sick, here's how it goes...

Child (any child): Mom! (yelling) Mom! (more yelling) Has anybody seen mom?

Me: (trying very hard to lay on the couch for just one second)

Child: She's on the couch. Oh goody, let's read a book.

Another child: No, she wants to play Barbie's with me.

Another child: There you are Mom, I need help with my math.

Finally another child...I've got 4: Mom, what are you doing? Don't we have to be a swim practice soon? And what's for dinner, I'm hungry?

Unbreakable...seems to be the better choice. But for now, with me being this sick, I'm just praying with all my might for the rapture to come...you guys better get ready.

Friday, October 28, 2011

My favorite thing...


This is my favorite thing. Not a day goes by that I don't use this...seriously. I waited 19 years before asking for one of these fancy things (and then I asked for the biggest one they sold...who knows when I'll get another one) so to me it's such a luxury. I tell you it can do just about everything, short of my dishes, laundry and the bathrooms...I'm working on it though.

Plus, look how skinny my legs look in the convex bowl (thought I'd throw in a fancy word...sheesh, homeschoolers...bunch of overachievers).

Actually, it's my cinnamon roll diet...obviously it works!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Costumes done...check

Every year I get the wonderful privilege of making my children their costumes for Halloween. I love it! I love the way the kids plan, describe and then scour the patterns for exactly the right costume for them. Weren't we all that way when we were little?


Our oldest girl decided that she wanted to be a pioneer girl. Way cute! She picked some fantastic fabric and all I could think about was "man, oh man, do I want a dress made with this fabric". She's got some great taste!


This little girl just HAD to be Rapunzel. Doesn't every 7 year old right now? That was a fierce dress to make with all of the fancy-shamazee fabric. Thankfully, all our little girl sees is exactly the dress she wanted...I see tons of mistakes made. Good thing she'll never notice.


This little one gets the costume that every one of our kids have worn when they were 2. And really, what 2 year old isn't a stinker at some time or another?



This year our oldest decided he was "too old" to trick or treat...and part of me was sad. I know it's the coming of age...I know that it would look weird for a 6 foot 13 year old to ask for candy...I knew that this was coming...but still, it made me sad.


However, he thought it was cooler to roll around with the dog on the floor...oh, yeah, that's sure acting really mature.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It all started with a mouse trap...



We live in a house on a wooded lot. Every time the weather begins to turn colder we deal with the same issue...mice in our garage. We have by all accounts sealed holes, set mouse traps...and yet, still they come. They are not deterred. So the war begins...

My husband sets the traps (you know, the old fashioned ones that slam shut...no, I'm not going to be humane to something that leaves such a wake of mess that I have a clean up every spring...nope, not going to do it).

Last night our dog was very concerned about something and wouldn't calm down to go to sleep. Here's how the conversation went at this point...


Me: What's wrong with the dog?


Hubby: I think she hears the high-pitched squeals coming from the garage?


Me: Say wha'?


Hubby: I set two mouse traps and I could only find one of them tonight.


Me: Where's the other one? (stupidly asking)


Hubby: (smiling)


Hubby to dog: Don't worry ol' girl, the crying will stop soon after it's done scraping around on the garage floor.


Me: Argggghh! You are not funny...


Hubby: (loving every minute of it)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I will...

...finally cross the finish line of that marathon BEFORE I die.

...find "me time" in my busy schedule and NOT feel guilty about it.

...cook 'till my hearts content...and NOT feel guilty about that one either.

...get all of my bathrooms cleaned in one day.

...get my entire house cleaned in one day (for that matter).

...have an entire afternoon where someone doesn't tell scream "Mom!" at the top of their lungs.

...wear what I want to wear (even if it's WAY out of style...heck, I'm over 40 and I've earned that one).

...listen to Christmas music any time of the year...just because it makes me happy (that one's for you kids).

...finally understand the game of soccer (so I don't have to "fake it" when my 7 year old tells me her positions she's playing).

...talk my husband into a pop-up camper (please, oh please sweetie...).

...run outside and not worry about all the "jiggling" taking place...everywhere.

...lose the EXTRA pounds that my love of cooking and my 3 biological kids gave to me (see note just above).

...sing in my car LOUDLY...(that's another one for ya kids).

...go to bed every night knowing that I woke up that day with a happy heart, live a blessed life and will walk one day on the streets of gold.


I will...two words...so much power behind them.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Keep breathing...

Monday's are hard...



sometimes you just got to breathe...

...just breathe

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall fun at a pumpkin patch...

Today we visited a local pumpkin patch. Leave it to the people of the Midwest, to plow a maze through a field of corn, drop you off at the entrance and say "good luck" and call it fun. But oh yeah...it really was a lot of it...fun, that is.

The kids took off like a bullet through it. All I could think of is...seriously, how lost could they possibly get. Personally, I was just glad it was during the day...it would be way creepy at night (way too much imagination here...).

After the maze, we scoured their massive fields for the perfect pumpkins...(don't worry honey, we didn't come home with all these pumpkins).

Despite the cold temps and the strong winds, we had a great time at the farm...plus, it gave us an excuse to come home and have some hot chocolate.










































Written all over her...




This one...








...on the soccer field









...has her "Daddy" written all over her

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Laughing so hard...

I love to read. I read all the time. I could so do without TV but not my books. I love all sorts of books with one major exception...I don't do the go in the freezer scary kind of books. Nope. Not at all. Way too much imagination for those kind.

Okay, think about this for a moment. When was the last time you laughed out loud at a book...no, I'm not saying "giggling" while reading a book. I mean the hearty laugh all the way from your belly and your eyes water so much and you seriously have trouble catching your breath...that kind of laugh.

I usually never recommend a book (or a movie for that matter) to anyone, because the way I see it every one's tastes are so different...what's great for you may not be great for someone else. But this time, I seriously just cannot help it. I just finished the funniest book. I got so many funny looks as I laughed out loud at swimming practices and piano practices...trying very hard to wipe the smeared mascara from my face after laughing so hard...you know, the good kind of laugh.

I knew nothing of this lady before I read her "love story", but apparently she has a blog that's quite popular. Anyway, the book is "Pioneer Woman - Black Heels to Tractor Wheels". Get it, read it...you won't be disappointed.

Just make sure you have some tissue to wipe your face off from laughing so hard...


Friday, October 7, 2011

It will only confuse you...

Here's what you get when you have this child doing this...












And this child doing this...













Two children left alone upstairs for a moment...






Don't try and understand it...





It will only confuse you...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Courageous...



Can't wait to see this one!



The music video is for our "courageous hero"...we love you daddy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

There are not enough books on the planet....

...to prepare you to cheer on your child, loudly I might add, (as he pees) in a public restroom FILLED with women (whom I might add are "giggling to themselves" because they have been there too)

...to prepare you to live by your 30 minute timer at home since you decided (at your wits end) that he should wear "big boy underwear" the entire day

...to prepare you on how to figure out and calculate the distance you are from a bathroom and how fast you can bolt there the minute you walk through the door at Walmart if needed

...to prepare you to sing and dance the "potty dance" NO MATTER WHAT public bathroom you are located in

...to prepare you to know and have visited EVERY public bathroom in Disneyland...but you drew the line in the sand...at "pit toilets" in Yosemite (no way, no how...a tree looked better)

...to prepare you for the incredible amount of time that you will spend on the bathroom floor..."entertaining your little one"

...to prepare you for the depths of patience that you will need to survive and I am certain it can only come from God above

...to prepare you for the road in which there is no turning back once you decide to go down it....the road of potty training

...there are just not enough books on the planet

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Yosemite...

After Disney we decided that we needed to see some of the "natural wonders" of California. So we packed up and went about 6 hours north to Yosemite National park. The children were so very excited for this part of the trip as well, because "grandmom" (my mom) was meeting us there. (She lives on the west coast)


We had rented a house inside the national park and were going to spend some much needed time together. The kids were not disappointed. My mother is a "play on the floor" kind of grandmother and she just adores her grandkids.

It was nice to slow down and see some of the beautiful things that Yosemite has to offer. They have beautiful Sequoia trees and waterfalls and overwhelming views. We hiked everyday, picnicked one afternoon and snuggled up close in the evenings and watched the Sound of Music (one of my personal favorites). We even got to see a mama bear and her cubs (from the comfort of our car...thank goodness) and a rather large coyote.


It was hard to say goodbye after four days of being together, but we are so very thankful for that time together.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Happiest place on earth...






For the past two days we have been at (what I like to call) the "happiest place on earth"...otherwise known as Disneyland. Man, oh man, I had forgotten just how much fun you can have there.

On the first day we only went to California Disney (which is connected to Disneyland) and rode the rides there. We were able to get in early to the park and for the rest of the morning the crowds were incredibly light. There was really no waiting in lines...way too cool! We just couldn't believe it. By the afternoon, we caught an Aladdin show that would have put Broadway to shame (okay, maybe not seriously...but still VERY GOOD for a Disney production). That evening we slipped away to get dinner at the hotel restaurant (we stayed at Disneyland so our walk was very short) and returned later for the best show ever...a water and color show. It was amazing! I think I stood for 30 minutes just in awe. They use sprays of water and color and movies...oh so hard to do it justice in pictures. You just would not have believed it.

On the second day we only went to the Disneyland side. It truly is a happy place. Sure there were lots of people there...we expected that. Sure the cost of food is crazy high there...we expected that too. But the entire family had a fantastic time. I honestly think you can't be cranky there. You should have seen my husband spinning (as fast as he possible could) the tea cups in Fantasyland with the biggest grin on his face. I thought for sure that I would have 4 sick kids after that...but noooo...they wanted so much more. We rocked, rolled, spinned, plummeted and swayed our way all the way through until we shut the lights off for them at the end of the evening. It was the happiest place on earth...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sea World...

I have one word to describe our trip to Sea World...phenomenal. The shows are just phenomenal. I'll be honest and tell you that I really had no idea what to expect here. I kind of thought it would be like going and looking at a lot of different kinds of fish in aquariums and such. But, no way Hosea...these are highly elaborate shows with choreographed animal tricks, jokes and lots of water. It was just amazing. I kept telling the kids as the day went on...okay, that one was my favorite...no, that one was my favorite. Who would of thought it?

For example, they have a show with all different kinds of animals (dogs, cats, birds, pigs, kangaroos, etc.) that is seriously funny. The animals do incredible stunts, intertwined with wonderful humor. For example during one part of the program, they had a large group of black and white cats running from some other animal and then they ran into a large white milk canister. Two seconds later out popped a large group of just plain white cats...too clever.