Philippians 4:4-9
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. and the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Monday, March 30, 2009

What's in a Name?

(This is an older picture, but a cute one)

We were having a long morning of teaching counting out change with Caleb this morning, so Hannah and I finally left for our errands alone.

It is always fun getting one by themselves, specially my youngest two, as they really get talking with alone mommy time.

So neither of the younger two really get nicknames, they always ask why we are calling them strange names. I would guess it is a cultural thing. So anyways Hannah and I are out and I am using some of her many nicknames:


Little Miss


Hannah Belle


Sweet Stuff

Little Monkey

Yeah, we have a lot of names for her!! Anyways, each time she says that is not my name! I try to explain it is just a fun way of calling her and showing we love her. She rolls her eyes (her new thing).

So as we are coming out of the last store I call, "Hurry 'Belle', this is heavy!"

And she immediately tosses her purse up on her shoulder and replies, "My name is 'Little Miss'!"
Guess even she is confused now!! You got to love kids and the smile they can put on your face!

Have a Great Week!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sun + Saturday = Workday

Around our house a sunny spring day usually mean lots of work. So we started today with a run at the school, followed by some play time at the park. Then off to Home Depot to start the work day!! Here Hannah is filling back in the post holes that Drew dug.
Last fall we took all the railroad ties out of the garden. So this spring there was a need to create new beds, which we also enlarged quite a bitPraying Drew will forgive me for putting him on the blog again. He hates it, but he was such a tremendous help digging post holes and putting both the entire garden boxes together. There is no way we could have gotten it all done with out him today.
So today we:
fertilized (again
fed the roses
Miracle Growed all the other plants
washed 3 cars
cut back all the perennials
created 2 new raised garden beds-one is 10x25 and the other is 5x20.
hauled in by wheel barrow 2 yards of garden soil
Are you tired yet!! I can barely move my bad shoulder and it is killing to type, but see the results.
Can't wait to get planting and fill this up with yummy things to eat!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring Break Fun

Today's spring break fun! Drew (red shirt) in a game of ultimate Frisbee.The little ones and I went to Kid's Zone with some other adoptive families today.
Here is Caleb and Mirhet in the turning tube.
Hannah in the ball jump.
The camera focused on the netting! Oops! But here is Hannah, Imani, Taylor and Mirhet.
Boy do I wish I had one of these!!! Caleb (here with his friend David) spent nearly the entire 2 hours on these bikes. They have a video game they are attached to, that makes it look like you are racing in the mountains. Needless to say he smelled like sweaty little boy for the ride home. But what great exercise after a rainy spring break.
Hannah did not want to miss out on the action. She had no idea as to the steering, but she had fun anyways. Mirhet is on the far left, then Hannah W., Kaleb D. and my Hannah.

Brain Gym Day 1

Yesterday we were in a 24 hour hole with Caleb, one of those days where no matter how hard he tried he could not get things right, and the longer he worked on it the worse it got.

Now I do not claim to be the best or the brightest mom, but you would think after just having finished a class four days ago about the brain and how it functions, that I would have clued in a little sooner!!!

Well last night at dinner the "light" came on for me and I saw how Caleb had retreated into "fight and flight" mode earlier in the day, and never came out of it. So we backed off last night, both of us needing a break.

This morning I put into action some of the things I learned last weekend. I put the kids through some opening large motor movements then we did these "lazy 8's". I thought it would be too easy for Caleb, but he really struggled bringing the crayon up the middle and making anything that resembled circles at all.

So I drew it for him to trace over and over. Right hand, then left hand, then both hands together. He seemed to relax with it and move smoother as he went.

Then I sent him to his room to do his reading. He said he read just like always, but seemed to understand what he read better (without me telling him what it was supposed to do). Then we worked on some misspelled words from yesterday. It took him 15 minutes yesterday to figure out how to spell "apples". Today he corrected and rewrote 4 sentences in the same amount of time!

I also used it with Hannah, but did not try anything I could measure with her yet. Notice how low her "eight" got using two hands!

So after today, I am willing to take 15 minutes or so of my day and try these activities with the kids to see if we see lasting results. I am happy to say that most of the time now I am able to look at their "learning challenges" as a challenge for myself instead of an inconvenience. Thank you Lord for changing my attitude!!!

Happy Schooling!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Love in the Heart

We had the most wonderful conversation in the car today after a long day (6 hours) of errands.

I was telling the kids how much I appreciated their good behavior and how proud I was of them.

Caleb then said he was happy that he was learning to obey the rules and not getting in trouble so much.

To which I replied that it made my heart so happy that he felt that way and that I was so very glad he is my son and that I loved him so very much.

He then made the funniest face, remember I am driving so I am seeing him in the rear view mirror. So I ask him if he believes I love him? And he replies, "Yeah, most of the time."

So with Mommy heart in my throat I said, "Do you believe it now more than you did last year or when you came home?"

And without a hesitation he said, "Yes! I believe it more everyday!"

Then with victory in my heart I told him how glad I was to hear that and how I was the most blessed Mom to have him as my son!

So I am feeling as though the bonding that was not happening with my son in the first year and half, is finally occurring. It has been hard for both of us, but so very worth all the effort.

Thank you Lord, for bringing our hearts together!
"And He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers." Malachi 4:6

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Big Clean

So guess what we did today?!


You know, when you try on all the summer clothes, clean out the winter clothes, make lists of what you need, collect give away bags of stuff, and organize what is left! Wow that made me tired just writing about it.

And here is Hannah's closet and the book shelf when we were through. What a good feeling!

Drew is working on his room, Erinn plans on doing hers this week too! We will have so much room we might need to go shopping!! Just kidding!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Brain Gym

The last two days I had the opportunity to attend a seminar on 'Brain Gym'. I had no idea what it was when it first came to my email from the special needs homeschooling group, so the little research I did said it helped with learning through movement, for learning challenged kids. Well that fits my two youngest and it was free, so I went. I learned lots of things which explained the things I was seeing in both Hannah and Caleb's learning.

First and most importantly, is that kids who have experienced trauma tend to run to the fight and flight part of their brain very easily and want to stay there. It is comfortable for them. When you sit in this part (the brain stem) you are not using very effectively the two sides of your brain. This would be why under even the smallest of stresses (questions) Hannah will shut down and have trouble with anything you ask her to do, even speaking, hence her stuttering. Which also explains why her stuttering almost completely stopped within one month of our asking her no questions!!!

The movements in Brain Gym are to help them learn to engage both sides of their brain for optimal learning.

Now I will say, that there are parts I did not really buy into, too much new age psychology for me. But I will choose not to "throw out the baby with the bathwater" and take what I think will be usable and give it a try. I will try to post later and let you know if I see any changes.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Another Hair Day

So here is the post-wash and the pre-braid hair! You should have seen her roll her eyes when her dad said her hair was beautiful!!
And here is our beautiful hair after 2 hours under the hands of my good friend Rebecca!!

So we are working on a trade of some sort to possibly have her do Hannah's hair more often. We will see how long it lasts for Hannah. I have decided that doing hair for us in not a bonding time and might be best done by someone else. She cried the whole time it was getting done and gave Rebecca the most awful look when it was over, and gave me a hug!! This morning she told me Rebecca gave her beautiful hair and told her thank you. This seems a better scenario to me than what we do every few weeks, plus these braids may last longer! That would be nice. In the long run, bonding for us is at the top of the list, not beautiful hair.

Drew's Interview

Drew was privileged this week to be interviewed by Race Stats, an online Oregon prep running site. You will find the site here ttp://
Drew had his first meet this last week and ran some good early times for some short races (400m and 800m). He is looking forward to seeing what this season will bring.
His podiatrist appointment this week resulted in a diagnosis of osteitis. An inflammation of the tissue surrounding the bones in his foot. He choose to continue running on it. So he will be running with the pain of it for the season. We pray that softer surface running, icing and taping will help.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Welcome Spring

Being the first day of spring, it was nice to wake up to sunshine!!! Isn't it amazing what a little sun can do for the attitude!
Now I am wondering why we have had lots of sun the last two weeks, but both weekends it has been raining! Maybe God is tell me to get out in that sunshine and work in the yard! Oh yeah, I did that yesterday. It was nice to feel the dirt in my fingers and smell the wet soil.
I am looking forward to a garden again this year. We have a bit of work first. Last year we took out the rotting fence and railroad ties around the garden. Now watching the dog run through the beds, we know we need to get a new fence up before we start planting! The onions are in and I think I will need to get something around them this weekend. We have ordered some grapes and are looking forward to putting up an arbor on one side of the house for them.
May you enjoy this first day of spring and look forward to all the work and joy it brings!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Erinn's Treat

Erinn has been blessed this week to have Michael home for the week. Here they are with Michael's sister, Robin. I am amazed at she can accomplish. This has been finals week, so she did take the week off work. But she got those finals done, except French tomorrow, and she has taken plenty of time for fun, family and friends with Michael. As for Michael and his unit, they are scheduled for 11 more months stateside, then we will see.
Thank you to all the men and women who serve in our armed forces to protect our safety and our liberty.

What's up?

I choose to start this blog to keep family that live at a distance updated on our goings on, so I was wanting to post often, mostly so Danielle could feel a part of her siblings lives. Being real is part of that. Last week being real would have consisted of a lot of complaining and rambling, so I choose not to blog. Suffice it to say the Lord was and is still working in my life in areas of trust and fear. Not fun, but real.
This weeks lack of blogs is due to the fact that David shared his cold with me and I have been down trying to get better. I will be attending a Brain Gym class for the next two days with a few friends and was hoping to be well enough that I could think clearly and actually pick something up that would help Hannah and Caleb.
I am thankful that all the kids are trained well enough that the house has not fallen down in the last few days, everyone has eaten every meal, and all the school work has gotten done, including college finals this week.
There are benifits of those hard training days with small ones!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Grandma Mae is 90!

Yes, we did surprise her! Not something I would normally recommend for a woman born in 1919, but then Grandma is a very special 90 year old!
Here we have all her family that was able to come for the day. In total Grandma is head of a family of 4 children and their spouses (8), 10 grandchildren and their spouses (17), and 16 great grandchildren. That is a grand total of 41!
"...the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things-that they may admonish the young women..." Titus 2:3-4a
Grandma has always been an example for me in her kindness, humility and long suffering. I thank God for such a wonderful example in my life!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Caleb and Gideon

In the last two weeks we read the story of Gideon as our night time Bible study, then last week Caleb studied Gideon in his Bible curriculum and yesterday Caleb had to write a story on Gideon in his language arts class! None of these are from the same publisher and I did not plan it. I think God is trying to tell Caleb something! I shared this with him and he said maybe God is wanting him to do a work in him like he did in Gideon!! What do you think?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ruth Study

Today we finished our study in the book of Ruth. I enjoyed it tremendously. Learning to look past the surface into God's provision and plan challenged me to look deeper in my everyday study. Now I seem to be more naturally looking for God in the pages rather than what I need to do. I think it is a common error that we can make. I know that I fell into the thinking of how can I be a better Christian, rather that seeking the face of Him who makes us more into His image.
So in studying Ruth I can see her humility, obedience and faithfulness, wonderful character traits that I do desire in my life, but also God's plan in redemption, a picture of His future redemption through His Son. Also God's amazing sovereignty in bringing this woman all the way from Moab to be the grandmother of King David, through famine, apparent barrenness and widowhood.
Another interesting thing for me was as I looked at what Ruth "said" I found it was very little, though it seemed like she said a lot, what she said was not through her words, but through her life. God is definitely working on me in this area, will probably post more on that later as I continue to hear what he is teaching me.
Sorry if this sounds like babble, I have never been a good writer, but just wanted to put down some thoughts of what I was learning.

School Record Set!

Drew was able to participate in an open track meet this weekend with all ages competing. This was an opportunity to run with some college guys, and also to compete in the 5000M, which they do not run in the high school meets. He posted a time of 15:20 which is a new personal best and a new school record! We are very proud of his success from all his hard work.

He will be seeing a podiatrist this week to see if we can get some relief for the pain in the ball of his foot. He has been icing and has new inserts, but the pain is still lingering. Praying they have some good ideas.

As we were not able to go this year this is a picture from last year at the same race!

Monday, March 9, 2009

David's Weekend

David and his friends had a great time at the Shepherd's Conference and came back very encouraged. They chose to take a side trip to Santa Barbara to visit Danielle and see the progress on the museum she is working on.Here you see Brian, Robin, David and Dave standing in front of a piece of the Berlin Wall!! With the famous quote from President Ronald Regan on June 12, 1987, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
And the very serious men enjoying a very light moment on the balcony overlooking beautiful Santa Barbara!
I thank the Lord for the great men He has put in my wonderful husband's life, that they may encourage one another in their walk of faith!


This morning on the way home from their college classes Erinn and Drew just missed being in a terrible accident! They were just coming out of a construction zone following a large truck carrying huge beams that were hanging out the back end. There was a terrible accident and the truck in front of them slammed on his breaks throwing black smoke everywhere. Erinn slammed on her brakes and just barely missed having the large beams from the truck come in through the front of her little Ford!!

Thank you Lord for Your protection of Erinn and Drew!!!

Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens, and Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Psalm 36:5
Erinn 5 1/2 and Drew almost 2 just because the picture is cute!!! And for those of you with little ones it DOES go by fast and before you know it, yours will be in college too!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Our Visit!

The Crew!
Six of the nine Fogliasso cousins! Hannah, Erinn, Drew, Colby, and Caleb. Danielle is in California, Chris was working on his car, and Nathan is playing in heaven.
Hannah with Aunt Sandi, Aunt Carol and Cousin Colby.

Drew showing off his babysitting skills! Actually Colby was way ready for bed!

Erinn and Hannah with Killian

Colby and Caleb
So to get ready to go, I charged my battery and left it at home! So I have to wait for pictures from Sandi and Erinn from the first couple of days. We had a good time and were thankful for the time together!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Off for a Few Days

Will be heading out to my parents home for a few days to visit with my sister and nephews here from Texas for the week. It will be our first meeting with Micah and only our second with Colby. Looking forward to the visit! Have a good week.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

David's off-Computer's on

Got David off to Shepherd's Conference this morning at 6am. Praying the Lord bless all the men with safety in their travels and a blessed time at the conference.

And the computer is up and running wonderfully this morning!! My BIL David cleaned it up and did a bunch of stuff only a computer guy would know about!! Then added in a bunch of memory! Amazing how fast it is working this morning.

Monday, March 2, 2009

And the Busyness Goes On

First things first, would be that this picture is one from this summer. It was great, we spent a couple of hours at the park taking pictures and come home and the kids all jump on this castle and we snap a great picture. Go figure!

You are seeing this picture because I like to blog with pictures and our computer is dying so I am afraid to add any pictures, lest they push the computer memory over the edge. My brother-in-law from Texas, David, is on his way to meet up with my David to go to the Shepherd Conference, and he has very generously offered to help get our computer running a little better. So maybe tomorrow we can have current pictures!

Today we were back at the doctors, (do you ever get the feeling we are paying for our doctors car payments!?) Drew has been having trouble with the ball of his foot and all home remedies were failing. So with track season around the corner, off we went for a 2 hour appointment to be told there is no stress fracture-yeah-but it is just very deeply bruised and he needs to wait and get off running hard surfaces! Kind of hard when you live in town.

Erinn got her first draft of her 15 page paper done last night, so I spent time today reading and editing for her. She is a very good writer and really does not need much editing. She has really been enjoying studying anthropology.

Now I am trying to get Hannah and Caleb finished up with school while making cookies and packing snacks for David and David's 12 hour trip to the LA area. Thankfully the wash was done yesterday when Hannah wet the bed, so I do not have that to do today too.

Oh and by the way there are three girls in my family and we all married Davids!! It does make for a confusing time when we are all together! What do you think the chances are of that happening??

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Saying Goodbye

Last week Erinn's little hamster "Tiny" died and this morning we woke up to find Drew's little "Turbo" gone also. Never a fun thing to loose a pet, but everyone is dealing OK. I was worried a little about Caleb and Hannah, but they seem OK too. Don't think we will go down this road again for a while!