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.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Behavioural Insights!!

I have had the joy of watching my three youngest spend time tonight on the Wii together.
Let's just say it has been very enlightening for this mom to just sit back and listen!!!

So you have Drew, always the initiator of fun...also the one that likes to keep every one on their toes with his crack this case mostly directed towards Caleb and Me. And then his sweet encouraging words to his little sister and his laugh at her antics!!

Then there is Caleb, our "Cup is Half Full" person. Though he is actually very good at this game, it usually starts out with 'I don't think I will do very good' or 'I don't like this one' or 'this is too hard'....I think you get the picture. Though he says this about himself, he is quick to encourage Hannah and I who are not very good!!

Then there is sweet little Hannah, with her 'I'm gonna bet ya' she is usually last!! Then in the middle of the game the constant sighs as she falls over the side again, then the 'oh well, here I come to get you!' The ultimate optimist, she giggles and sighs her way through and she actually is starting to beat me, which I guarantee is not saying too much!!!

Then there was me for a few games and Drew pointed out I was sounding more like Caleb than Hannah!!! I did a second take! Was I really doing that in a silly game? No, I could not be me!! Then Caleb finished our game in first place and I was just starting my second lap, so I gave him my wheel and said go for it!!

Yep, I am that bad!!

And Caleb said, "Good try Mom!" while Drew laughed hysterically in the back ground and Hannah looked around wondering what was going on!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One Sick Boy!!

Drew ran a 3200M race in the San Francisco area last weekend. It made for a long weekend with little sleep for two days. Sunday morning he complained of not feeling well--
after the lecture of

"IF you are just tired, get your backside out of that bed and ready for church"

and the more gentle..

"IF you are really sick stay where you are!!!"

Well he stayed where he was all day!!

He has pushed through this week so far.

But today...

He not only called in sick to work, but......................

He called in sick to practice!!!!

Yep, my boy is sick if he chooses to miss a day of running!!

Praying he is feeling better soon!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Highlight What?

This morning I sent Hannah to do some school work in the other room, and being a kind mother, I thought she would enjoy using the bright pink highlighter for her circling project.

Well...........I guess she had other ideas.....

Yes, those are pink highlighter lips, eyeshadow, blush, and fingernail polish!!!

She also did her toenails to make the full beauty makeover!!!

The sad face is because she was caught lying about it and was going to have to pay that price. I can not imagine how she thought she could say she did nothing, when it was literally written all over her face!

Ah the joys of parenting!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sweet 7!!!


This was taken in the first hour home, at the Portland Airport. It is the first moment she let me hold her without screaming! Right before this she gave us her first smile when we put the slippers on her feet--wish we had kept them!!

Now 4 years later, she has turned into our beautiful, lanky bundle of cuddle energy!!!

We are so blessed to have her as our daughter!

Hannah may you grow in wisdom and stature and favor with God and mankind!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


First of all, yes, that is a daffodil and it is blooming in my front yard!! Earliest spring I can ever remember. So while half the nation is buried under its largest snow in years we are wearing short sleeves and enjoying spring flowers!!!

We are also enjoying the tremendous excitement of our youngest in waiting for her birthday!!! This is really the first year she gets it all. We are only having one family over this evening for dinner, as large crowds of kids are not her thing. She keeps checking the door to see if they are here yet! And she is thanking me over and over for doing her hair for her birthday party! This is so much fun watching her! Tomorrow is her actual birthday and my parents will be in town to celebrate with her.

This last picture is our crazy dog watching TV!! Yep, put on dogs, or in this case wolves, and she becomes an avid TV fan as long as they are making noise. The kids thought watching her was better than watching the Olympics!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


We are very thankful to get an all clear on Hannah's echocardiogram today!!! Not sure why she was complaining of chest pain and dizziness, but thankful her heart is looking great!!!

She has also amazed us by finally learning to pump on the swings all by herself!! This was a huge accomplishment for her with some of her special challenges!

Then at the hospital today they gave us the number 49 to hold, I thought I would use it as a learning I asked her if she knew what it was....and she just pops of 'forty-nine'!! I about fell off my seat!! Seriously we have worked on this only a little because she just got the numbers thru 10 and was having trouble with the teens. But every one I asked her after that, except the teens she got right!!! Woo Hoo!!!

It is so much fun when her windows open!! What a fun day it was!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I am very thankful that today I have some answers and some hope with my aching foot!!

So I origiannaly injured my foot back in early September training for the marathon. I susspected it was Plantar Faciitis, because I have had it before and know what it feels like. I took it easy, iced, taped, ran in the pool and took anti-inflamatories...all treatments for this.

But....I decided to go through with the marathon. I had trained to hard for that day, I did not want to miss it, and I did not really think I would be able to convince myself to ever do it again, so it was now or never.

Well the marathon but it over the edge to say the least. By mile 18 I was in constant pain and had to run the last 8 miles just so my heel would not strike the ground. But.... I did it!!!!

So I took it real easy for two weeks after coming home--icing, anti-inflamitories, and no activity at all.

At the end of two weeks off to the doctor to be told, not Plantar Faciitis, but a deep bone bruise. Stay off it, it will heal.

Mid November, still in pain and it is getting worse. See the podiatrist. He literally did not even look at the x-ray that I know of, barely touched my foot, and really asked no questions. He recommends orthotics and corisone injections and says the tissue surrounding the bone is inflamed. I choose to avoid the cortizone, as I have heard they are not the way to go in most cases. Home I went to give it more time.

December 31 I call the doctor and ask to get a boot for the foot, as the pain is increasing and maybe there is an undiagnosed stress fracture and the pain is moving up my outside metatarsel.

5 weeks in the boot, feels better when I am wearing the boot, but I feel it is mostly due to the change in my foot strike. Pain can still be intense and is starts to increase toward the end. Also dealing with left knee pain (bad knee) due to the limp.


Today I saw a new doctor who was recommended by athletes--he is a foot an ankle doctor.

He actually asked a ton of questions, listened to my whole story and really worked over my foot--actually he about sent me through the ceiling when he hit "the spot". Thankfully he got a call and had to leave for a few moments so I could collect myself after that!!! He then took and ultrasound right there---


One of the top 5 cases of Plantar Faciitis he has ever seen!!!

Guess I was right all along!!

So bear with me as I really don't know what I am talking about, but whatever he was measuring was coming in at 9.7 and he says a bad case is 6-7 and normal is 3---at least I think that was how it came out!! He can not rule out that I ruptured it, nor that it will eventually require surgery...but for now we are going after some very aggressive therapy, starting tomorrow.

Due to the inflammation I am also dealing with some nerve involvement which explains the expanding pain and the referred pain up my metatarsal. Also some tendon issues, similar to carpel tunnel of the wrist, but obviously in my foot.

You can not imagine my relief to get some answers!!! I was so tired of hearing possibilities and just wait options.

Right now I am saying bring on the therapy!! We will see how that goes after I see him tomorrow, I may be singing a different tune if it is too painful! But as I see it, every step right now is extremely painful, so lets go for it!!!

Happy 18th Drew

Happy 18th Birthday Drew!!!!

At one point he was this cute little two year old, but don't miss that little glint in his eye and the mischievous grin hiding there!!

I think if you look closely you can see the same glint in his eye and mischievous grin here!!!

May God bless you and keep you wherever life leads you!
May you seek His glory first in all your accomplishments!
May you continue to grow in wisdom and stature with God and men!
We love you son, Happy Birthday!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Fun Picture

Caleb was delighted to find this unusual heart shaped potato in the potato bin today!! Then he found another and said they were for his mom and dad!!

So sweet!!

He is always watching when we give affection to one another, it seems to be new to him! So thankful he can witness true caring and love in a marital relationship!

Oh yeah, by the way-
3 tax returns done
2 fafsa's done

Happy Valentines

Happy Valentines Day!!

Thought I should get that out there before our busy Sunday begins.

We will be working on finalizing our taxes
so we can...

finalize three FAFSA's (college yearly financial requirement)
so we can....

finalize the OSAC (Oregon's scholarship applications)

all by the 16th

for three college students
(David, Drew, Erinn)

No fancy dinner out here---just abundant thankfulness for the blessings of :

salvation from my first Valentine-Jesus

for the constant love and companionship of my second Valentine--David

for the joy of family from my next 5 Valentines--Danielle, Erinn, Drew, Caleb, Hannah

for the blessings of marriage adding to our family with our newest Valentines--Ryan, Michael

for the Valentines who raised me in a loving Christian home where I came to know the Lord--Mom and Dad

My heart is full to bursting with my so undeserved favor!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Africa in the Olympics!!

There are 7 African countries represented in this years 2010 Winter Olympics!!
Join me in cheering for:
South Africa
Go Africa!

Friday, February 12, 2010


One thing I have definitely learned in teaching a child with learning delays is:
There is always another surprise around the corner!!

So my 'little bit' has not only started reading short vowel words without sounding them out

--she is also adding!!!

--recognizing all numbers to 10 and many after that!!

--counting objects up to 20!!

--spelling some 3 letter words with blocks!!

--Oh and this week she directed play with a group a children younger than her!!!!

These may seem like small things, but they have been very hard work for her. She is at one of her 'open windows'. A time when she seems to pick a lot up. Then we usually have a period where it is like she can not take anymore in and will actually revert some. So she is still behind her peers in many areas, but she is learning at her own pace and smiling all the way through it.

I am so thankful for what she is teaching me in the area of patience.

Praising God for His faithfulness!!

She will be having a echo cardiogram next week to check on some chest pain and dizziness she has been experiencing. They have been keeping an eye on an issue they thought she may have, this may be part of it. Praying for a clear heart exam and wisdom for the doctors.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Catching Up With The Big Kids!!

Thought I would take a moment to catch up on the "Big Kid" Happenings!

Drew has finished his half way point of his senior year!!! Yeah!! We are now drilling out scholarship applications to hit the February 16 deadline and hoping to fill in what he did not get in athletic scholarships. We are also planning a birthday party for tomorrow night for his 18th birthday, which comes in the middle of next week. Lastly he is getting in some hard work outs trying for an early season 10K qualifier for a national meet. I think he is very excited about the longer distance racing in college. I know it sounds weird, but he got it from his dad, give me a mile race any day and that is long enough!! Yep, David and I met on the cross country team in high school--guess it runs in the family!

Danielle and Ryan are full steam ahead with the wedding plans!! I am seeing suits in the mail everyday (I get everything that is ordered, due to the no sales tax in Oregon!) Invitations are being made, and final decisions on decorating are just around the corner. Our biggest concern here is not offending people with the fact that her dream location for an outdoor wedding will limit the invitation list--we do not want to hurt feelings, but have a limited amount of room! We are praying for one of the 3 job opportunities for Ryan come through soon. Danielle is busy, busy at the Ranch and with the museum opening. She is taking all the overtime she can get for extra time off later for some reason! LOL! Doesn't the Santa Barbara beach look beautiful in these pictures--but the excited engaged just make the picture!!!

Erinn and Michael are working on catching up to where they need to be in their wedding plans. We are very thankful to finally have a church agree to let us use their facilities. She has bought a beautiful dress. And this weekend, after literally hours of hunting and some very sore feet, we found, at the last store--really, her bridesmaid dress!!! They were able to give us another store which had 2 more and we are done with that!!! So very excited! Now she can work on invitations and decorations having her final color scheme. Michael is working on honeymoon plans between work and long field training weeks. Erinn is managing 16 hours at SOU and 16 hours at work a week and keeping her sanity while planning a wedding.

I think there is a reason God gave the young a very large amount of energy!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Do You Love Me?

So what to write?

That has been the question!

Been dealing with my yearly pre-spring blues!

Seems like one of mine loves to get me with words about the same time every year!!

Those of you with adopted blessings may have heard this one--you know--the you don't love me routine.

After he hurt me with these words, and I took a while to digest what was going on, I realized he does the same thing every year about this time. And we see an escalation in some annoying behaviors!

Yep, one smart kid!

Actually I am SURE it has to so with his past trauma, but I am also not always sure how to best deal with it. He has dealt with rejection, abuse and loss. He does have issues to be recognized and healed. But is this what he is seeking with this, or is it just causing pain to another when he sees an opportunity?

I know the coddling the poor hurting child is what he is seeking, and maybe in the past in order to err on the side of his healing I have let more slide than I should.

This year, with a little more insight, I am taking a more direct approach!!

1--Hurting people with your words is not acceptable---even if you are hurting!!

2--Our house rules remain the same--even if you are hurting!!

3--You are loved--even if you are hurting!!

4--We are kind--even if we are hurting!!!

5--Jesus can heal all of our hurting!!!

Praying some day the pain of past abuse will become dim and he will be able to continually walk in the assurance that he is:


2--safe from spiritual and earthly attacks

3--able to love freely

4--special just as he is

5--forever saved in his Father's hands

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It's Official!!

Drew officially signed his letter of intent yesterday to attend Washington State University and run for them in the fall!
Here he is surrounded by Coach Hans Voskes, Coach Piet Voskes, Coach Trevor Palmer and of course his proud parents!

So he will have one more season in the red and black of the Black Tornado and will switch it up for the crimson and gray of the Cougars.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Question Time?

I have a favor to ask of any of you out there with an inter-racial family such as ours.

I, along with a friend who has a son with disabilities, have been asked to share with a home school group on how families can help prepare their children to interact with children of different races and special needs, and what life is like for our families.

I know that for our family talking to the kids about what people say and how they act, has helped them both to understand the world around them. For Caleb especially as he gets older and is more aware of the stares and pointing fingers.

I also address any questions or staring that my children may be doing towards a person of a different race or disability right on the spot. Such as when Hannah asks "Why is that man in a wheelchair?" We address the question right there--there is nothing to be ashamed about by a young child's question, nor is there anything to be embarrassed about by a disability. I am honest, straightforward with the question publicly, especially if it is asked publicly.

So my questions are:

How do you deal with racial issues with your children?

How would you advise others who are not in an inter-racial family to prepare their children before hand?

What would you recommend for a family whose child has asked and awkward question or been pointing in the store?

Super Bowl Ad to Watch!!

So have you heard all the fuss about the Tim Tebow Super Bowl ad?

You can find a wonderful article from the Washington Post here This article is well written by a pro-choice woman.

So Tim Tebow's family did a pro-life ad sponsored by Focus on the Family. It has been approved by CBS and will air during the Super Bowl. Of course NOW is having a fit about it and trying to get it removed because it is 'offensive'.

I don't know about you, but I am offended by all the half clad women in the beer commercials, yet they run all the time!!!

But when a family wants to explain how they were told their pregnancy could be dangerous, but they choose LIFE and the result 20 years later is one of the best college quarterbacks we have ever seen, some people find that offensive!! I find it amazing!!

Add to that that this man pastes Bible verses to his face every game he plays. Which by the way are usually one of the top googled things the next day!!!

He also takes a very firm stand on purity!! Guess what NOW, if more men (and women) did this you would not have to worry about conception out of wedlock!! Seems to make sense to me!!

So I say
Way to go Tebow family!!!
Way to go Focus on the Family!!
Way to go CBS!!


Had to put this thought down before it became history!!
Yesterday Erinn was trying on that big, fluffy, white dress that came in the mail---of course Hannah was not going to miss this for the world!!
So we get the dress on and Hannah is laying on the floor, almost under the dress.....and we ask her if she likes it...yeah I know a dumb question!!
Her response:
"It is so beautiful!!! I want a dress with FLUFFELIES!!!!!"

Now, I do not know if that 'word' is spelled correctly, but it was so cute!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Excuse

I read this blog post at Building the Blocks and was touched! Thought you might enjoy it too.

Today's Mail

Today's mail brought all sorts of fun things!!!

First of all there was a very big box for Erinn.....though I have not dared to open it (and it is very tempting), I can say with a fairly good confidence that it contains a BIG FLUFFY WHITE DRESS!!! Any guesses what for?

Then Drew got this cool trophy from Gatorade!
It says:
Gatorade Player of the Year est. 1985
Drew Jordan
Oregon Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year 2009-2010
Athletic Excellence
Academic Achievement
Exemplary Character
He has now been entered into the national contest.

And for those of you who have been asking.....No, this does not entitle him to a year of free Gatorade!!!!

Visual and Tactile

So what do you do with a VERY visual and tactile child?
Well you don't give them TOO many worksheets....unless you are constantly adding too it!!
Hannah was really struggling to spell the words on this sheet--the three letter ones.

So I pulled out the Boggle Jr. game and gave her the letters---and she spelled nest and drop faster and with no mistakes!!!

Something with using the blocks allows her to separate the sounds she is hearing into letters. Take the blocks away and back she goes to not hearing the sounds in the correct order.

I know this has something to do with her auditory processing issues, as the therapist has used this to help her with producing sounds also.

Now we are just working on short "i" -- she seems to have real trouble saying or hearing it. Trying to decipher if it is cultural or processing. My guess is the processing.

But it is very hard to correctly write the spelling of a word if you can not say it correctly. I am guessing we may have to move a little away from phonics with this child.

Sometimes I imagine what her life would have been like back in Liberia. Knowing all her special needs and extra help she is requiring to overcome them...I wonder how she would have made it in a culture that does not have the resources or the inclination to work with a child who needs special help.

Would she have ever learned to read?
Would she have been able to attend school?
Would she have been prepared to move into adulthood?

I praise the Lord that he brought our beautiful little girl into our home to love and cherish!!

Praising Him for the new future she has!!

Kinda like us....
God picks us up out of the muck
Cleans us off
Adopts us as His children
Gives us full rights of inheritance
And gives us a new future!!

Amazing how he adopts us as we are, not how we will be!!!!

Praising God today for my adoption into His forever family!!!