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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I have such a desire to simplify my life--you know less stuff, less time spent on it!!

Well that is not part of my planning in the next months!!!

Here is our beautiful stack of invitations waiting to be addressed and mailed! And this is just for Drew's graduation and Erinn's wedding, Danielle has hers in Santa Barbara!!

This lovely, organized mess is wedding/graduation supplies!!

We are part of a home school graduation ceremony and I have all the paper ware for that, plus we do a BBQ here afterwards for family and friends.

Actually I could find anything I need in this pile at this moment and it is only stuff for these occasions, so it is sorta an organized mess!!

The couch on it's side is going to Danielle in California, and the table and chairs are Erinn's!!

And this lovely disorganized mess is all the stuff from Grandma's house!! Some of which the girls might want to set up house keeping the rest is just left to deal with in August.

So my idea of simplifying at this point is limiting some of the school work for the littles. We will be keeping up with reading and math, but otherwise settling into an early school break.

So here is to getting it done, one step at a time and keeping my sanity!!! SMILE!!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Daddy Time!!!

Wonder if someone can answer me this question.
My little Hannah can not do a sit-up for her life, but...
she pumped out over 50 of these with a grin and never breaking a sweat!!!
David, who can not keep his legs straight, was in awe!!!

What is some downward facing dog stretches without some help!!!And seriously, I think Hannah is going for the model pose here!!

This is after her going all over the house singing the 'Chunky' song from Madagascar with quite the hip swing!!

Guess she has got some of them African moves after all!!! And I oh so remember these same times with the big kids, I can not believe how fast time flies some times!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Some Days...

....are much prettier days than others.

And, no, I am not talking about the weather!!

But trying to keep it real!!

I was able to share with my home school class about Brazil yesterday and teach them how to play a game called "cinco Marias". Good job, pat yourself on the back!

I was then able to race over and get Grandma to take her over to sign papers, view her new apartment, and have lunch with her and the kids. Good job again!

Then I was able to race home, get some laundry done, pay some of our bills, pay some of Grandma's bills, fold some clothes, get dinner started, and basically catch up a little. Again, good job!

Now for the ugly part, you know the me that comes out when I am tired, stress and plain old selfish!! (not fun to say)

Caleb and I had it out over his taking 4 hours to complete two subjects!

Then we landed on a single math problem--that he could not get.

Now I could make myself feel better over all the reasons why he should have understood, and how he was being manipulative, and on and on...

but this is about my attitude.

I knew he was tired and out of sorts after our crazy week of schooling in Grandma's bathroom, I knew I was pushing because of wanting to get things done before the weddings, I knew with his sensory issues that this week was a time bomb for him, I knew I had not taken the time he needed to help him succeed with his school work this week, but...

I pushed selfishly along.

Ever have one of those days??

Praising God that His mercies are new every morning!!

No, we don't even come close to perfection around here, but I know that I am being changed into what He desires me to be!!!

So off to breakfast with my dear husband for a morning of fellowship and prayer. Then home to wake my sweet babes for the beginning of our NEW day of walking in grace!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Glimmer....

That is what I saw in Hannah's eyes last night!!

A glimmer of understanding that is!!!

With her learning delays we are never really pushy with her on things and tend to ask Caleb all the questions. Questions tend to frustrate her and challenge her speech under the pressure.

So last night while Dad and Caleb were playing chess, she asked me to read her one of the Easter stories that are out and about the house right now.

As I read, I was definitely prompted by the Spirit to speak to her on a deeper level about what I was reading!! I was also able to ask her some questions to see if she was able to follow.

And you know what....

She was!!!

It really was the first time that I found her able to understand the 'story' at a deeper level!!

Praise the Lord!!!

Interesting that just this morning I was reading in the book Adopted for Life by Russell Moore, how some people think we should be spending our money not on orphanages and adoptions, but on out reach!!!


What are they thinking!!

Our lives are to be outreach!!

And my children my first mission field!!!

I spoke in this post about the possibilities if Hannah had been left in Liberia. After this post a friend who is a missionary in West Africa, and here is what she had to say.....

....if Hannah was in Senegal and not learning (she wouldn't get any special help) she would either be sent out for house help or begging on the side of the road. The school system here is so sad...the slow ones get left take a class until you pass and can move on to the next one....I have a friend who is in her early 20's still trying to get out of high school....she failed her exams last year and is giving it another go this year. Hannah is one VERY BLESSED little princess!!! God is so good!

Some may not feel adoption is a good way to evangelize, but...... for this one very precious soul....I am believing with all my heart that it was worth every penny we paid for her ransom, for her to learn of the price her loving Saviour paid for her eternal ransom!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Happy Workin' Kids!!!

The kids were finishing a big clean up job outside and this is how I found them!!!

Seriously, these are my kids we have to work on work-ethic with and they were able to make their job of picking up dirt plugs from the aerator into a game!!

Score one for the hard work and consistency in training for changing a child's heart!!

"...the joy of the Lord is my strength!" Neh. 8:10

Monday, March 22, 2010

Oh My!!!

Just trying to figure out how this works!!!!

My garage is full of wedding and graduation stuff, plus all the girls stuff they want for after they are married, ie. couches and tables!!!

Now we are moving grandma and I brought an entire load of her stuff/junk to my house!!! Seriously an entire van load on the first day!!!

Now I am trying to sort through what is junk, what is for the girls future home, what is Salvation Army, and what stays here!!

Slowly but surely!!

Oh yeah, my first acupuncture appointment today went well--she said I have a very high tolerance for pain!! LOL Really?!?! Now to find out how high my crazy load can go!!! SMILE!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Need a Camera in My Purse!!

Today we were invited by friends to go roller skating, and .......

I missed the pictures of David on skates!!!

It was the little kids first time too and..

Caleb took off like a bolt of lightning on his roller blades, no surprise there being that he has been practicing at home to be the next Apollo Ono!!!

Hannah of course was a little more hesitant holding on to the side the whole time and then going to the little kids section.

But there was nothing like my wonderful husband on skates!! He is again sidelined with his running due to his arthritis flaring, so he decided to see how the skating would feel to his aching body that is longing for some action!!! With determination he started out and actually did really well, even encouraging little Hannah on the big floor!!

Sometimes I am so floored that this amazing man is mine!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Day of Action!!

Wow--We are praising God for our beautiful 70+ degree weather today!!

David mowed the lawn and aerated it. He and Caleb also dug new borders around all our new trees.

Caleb is busy raking dirt plugs out of the yard to earn some extra cash!

Hannah is busy filling planters with potting soil so we can get some seeds planted!

Erinn and I got almost all the paper products we will need for two weddings, one graduation and lots of company!!

I decided we need lots of TLC on the garage if I am to survive this chaos!! I literally was falling over a couch, boxes and chairs to try to get to the sprinkler timer!! I guess it will have to wait till grandma's move is over, but it must be done before someone gets hurt.

I am thankful that all the bronchial issues are fading for Drew, Erinn and I.

Still dealing with foot pain, it is actually in a bowl of ice water at this moment. I will try acupuncture on Monday. Otherwise I think we will just stay the course and use more anti-inflammatories and pain killers till after the summer busyness.

Drew is off to California to visit Danielle for the week. We are praying he stays healthy while gone. He has been having lots of tests done to try to figure out what is happening in his body right now. He has given 8 tubes of blood and has an appointment with the doctor to go over results on Thursday. It was a little never wracking to send him off with his symptoms, but I know Danielle will watch over him well!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Braids Woven In

Tried something new with Hannah's hair today!

Funny thing was, I got the middle section done and was at a loss for what to do with the sides!! LOL

Anyways thought it turned out cute!~

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Shopping and Smiling

Today I had to run into the mall to return something for David and pick up a birthday gift for Grandma.

Those who know me, know that I hate to shop!!!

Well I was blessed today that when I was looking through the clearance rack I found a bunch of things I liked---very rarely happens!! Also I just received a check for teaching the home school class and David said to spend it on myself!!!

Well I did!!!

Anyways the funny part of all of this was shopping with my little Hannah!!!

Comment 1--
"Those are good mommy clothes!"

Comment 2--
"We need more kids for you to be mommy to!"
---this one by the way brought laughter from the next dressing room!!!

Comment 3--
Actually I won't share this because of the department we were shopping in!! LOL

Comment 4--
"Know who I am going to marry when I get big? A boy!!"

Well that is an awesome idea my sweet little darling!!!

Laughter is the Best Medicine!!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


That is the only way I can describe life right now!!!

Mind you I am not complaining, I am enjoying this busy time of change and growth in our family!!!

Our newest adventure is packing up Grandma Mae and moving her to a new apartment!!

Yep, after a third fall we decided with David's aunt and uncle that it was time to move her to where there was full time staff. She will also be able to eat meals there and participate in activities.

So if you are available on March 27th we are hoping to do a one day transfer for her and will be looking for many available hands!!

Homeschooling is moving along in the midst of all of it. Though I have put a couple of things aside. Also encouraging a senior in high school to finish strong.

Drew will be heading to California for spring break to spend some time with Ryan and Danielle, so we are working on getting things ready to send to her and Drew ready to go.

Drew is also undergoing further test to see if we can determine what is going haywire with his system. He has had a second bout of symptoms that got the doctors really moving. I am glad we are dealing with this now and not waiting till mid season.

Got lots of graduation and wedding stuff done in the last couple of days, which is good since the next week will be packing and going through grandma's stuff to move her.

Looking forward to studying Guatemala with my little home school class tomorrow.

And on top of all of this I got about 5 hours of ironing in today starting at 6am!!! And my basket is empty---though my foot is screaming at me for standing on it that long!!!

Lots going on!!

Thankful my health is holding out during the days--though I am coughing through most of the nights and tired of sleeping on the couch! Praying the antibiotics take over soon!! You know it only takes a few days of coughing to be thankful for your health--I know I take it for granted too often!

Thankful for the opportunity for extra prayer the nightly wake-ups call me to!!

"In all things give thanks!"

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Ransom is Paid!!!

Praising God for His Grace and Mercy!!

My meditation I fell asleep with last night..

Psalm 49: 7-8, 15
No man can by any means redeem his brother or give to God a ransom for Him- For the redemption of his soul is costly and he should cease trying forever-

But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, For He will receive me.

The love of our Lord is unfathomable!

His love is unchanging!!

His love is redeeming!!!

Oh how very thankful that it is all Him!!

Breathing a fresh joy of salvation and redemption this day!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Funny How........

I have one teenage son and all his rowdy buddies hanging out at my house....


I have one crazy busy and tumbley almost 10 year old boy at my house.....


it is my teeny-tiny barely 45 pound 7 year old daughter who falls and bumps her little bum on the toilet and breaks the lid right off!!!!

Seriously did that happen!!!!


The Planning Update

When I explain to people that we have a graduation and two weddings within 6 weeks of one another......people think I must be going crazy!!

Well I guess we are holding up pretty well so far.

**Drew will be choosing his final senior pictures this weekend.

**We will also hopefully be printing his graduation invitations.

**We have 2 of 3 meetings to plan graduation done.

Erinn and Michael

As far as the weddings go, things are moving along well, with both couples rapidly making decisions and getting things underway.

Danielle and Ryan

Here is how we look so far:
*2 wedding dresses purchased and with my mom being altered if needed
*all bridesmaid dresses purchased
*both venues reserved
*one set of groomsmen taken care of and the other almost decided on
*material purchased for both of Hannah's dresses, which my mom is making so they will fit my very tall skinny girl!
*both of Caleb's outfits purchased
*material for vest and tie for different weddings for Caleb purchased
*my dress and shoes for one wedding purchased
*one set of invitations being sent to the printer this weekend
*another set probably in the next week or so
*menus decided on
*pastors working on premarital counseling with both couples
*table decorations close to being finalized
*mom is making the cakes (she is a great seamstress and cake decorator, we are very blessed to have her skills along with her love in this wedding)

So you can see we have made a major dent in the planning. Erinn has the next two weeks off school and we are hoping to get lots done in that time.

I really believe that the long talk I had with God at the beginning of this has been my peace!!!

I was worried right at first that my ugly 'panic' would set in with all the stress of planning things just right. David and I had a very small gathering (immediate family only) at our wedding and my mom did the whole thing---thanks Mom!!! I am not up on what is the right way to do things, nor is having things just right a big deal for me. But I do want to bless my daughters with a wonderful day. They are such treasures to me and have always made me so happy to be their mother, I am very happy of the ladies they have become!!!!

So God and I had a long talk about how I knew I could not handle this alone and that I was afraid of how I would handle the stress......and guess has not been an issue!!!! He has been my peace. I have laid my anxieties daily at his feet and walked in what He has laid before me for the day!!! I will continue with His grace to enjoy every minute of the wondrous journey He is taking us on!!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Got It Moment!

We had one of those, "Oh, I get it" moments today!!

You know when the kids realize that their words or behavior has an immediate reward!

So we are sitting in speech therapy and Hannah has always gotten 'speech bucks' for saying things correctly, but she has never put the action of receiving the 'speech buck' together with her correct speech....

So today at the end of a long lesson on saying the 'R' sound, her last word is 'raisins', which is difficult with both the 'r' sound and the final 's' sound.

So Ms. Jennifer puts a speech buck on the pile and Hannah again says 'raisins'....watching the pile....Ms. Jennifer adds one....again the 'raisins'....watching the pile....seriously about 10 her smile grows and grows!!!!

Connection made!!!!

I really wonder what next class will bring or if she will even remember!!!! But it was so fun to watch her 'get it' today!!!

And, no, the gift was not for speech class, but a gift from her cousins in Texas for her birthday. It is also a great gift for her learning if you do 'x' what will happen, so try something else to get the fish!!!

Praying for Health

Two weeks ago Drew got a really bad sore throat, with only a low grade fever. You might remember I said it was bad enough to miss school, work, and even practice.

Well that turned into a cold and lingering cough.

And Drew, being Drew, and the 'tough man'---canceled both doctors appointments I made. I must say he was slowly getting over it!


Last Friday night!!!

He was scheduled to race in an open 10K on the track with mostly college guys. A great opportunity to get that qualifying time he wanted for Junior Nationals this summer.

Of course coming off this bad cold was not great, but he knew his body was in great shape and ready to run, except for that!

He ran his first 4 miles just a little under his pace and was looking good for making the qualifier!

Then the stomach cramps, with some pretty severe side effects for 48 hours....aside from that he said he felt great!

He missed his qualifier by 48 seconds in a 6.2 mile race!!

Thankfully he was able to get into his doctor, who is also a runner, and get some answers!!

A bacterial infection hanging on and the need for antibiotics.

And answers to the stomach pain---

I guess when you push that hard you body will shut down blood to unneeded areas a the moment to get the blood to your head, lungs and legs. So his intestinal track kind of rebelled to being shut down and.......the rest is not so pleasant history.

Now we wait for test results to make sure and pray for complete healing of his infection and IT issues. Praising God for the way He made our amazing bodies and how they can heal!!!

You know being able to put pain out of your mind is part of being a good endurance athlete--now we just have to help him understand when pain is good!!! LOL

Oh, by the way, he has one more chance for the qualifying time before he needs to notch down his training for the 3K in high school track.

A Day at the Zoo

Friday we were able to visit the Portland Zoo while we were waiting for Drew's race.

It was lots of fun with Hannah for the first time getting very excited about all of the animals!!!
Here is Caleb's picture of the elephants!
Hannah's picture of the elephants!
And a picture of what the elephants really looked like!!!
Caleb wanted to pose with the lions!!!
While visiting the lions we meet a family with 4 adopted children, the last two recently home from Ethiopia, and one of them being an older child adoption. We had a nice visit!
This hippo had a very itchy nose!!!
Caleb with the birds.
(and yes, he forgot to brush his hair)
Hannah not liking the bird who bit her!!
Now this is OK!!
Dad getting in on the action!!
What a fun day with the little guys!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Still Here...

Yep--we are still here.

Plowing away with both wedding plans.

Graduation plans and organization going on.

First track meets of the year happening.

Physical therapy going on, with some happy results.

Winter term being finished!

Speech therapy starting again.

Purchasing of all the families wedding attire happening.

Books being read.

Games being played.

Food being served.

Generally all in good order, just busy!

And praising God for his abundant blessings, love and grace!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Whole New World!!!

We are finishing up a one hour day of phonics with my little Hannah!! We did take some heavy work breaks for her!!! And she got the whole page done all by herself (okay, with lots of mom help).

Some interesting things I am learning about auditory processing disorder, and probably some other issues such as sensory processing are:

1-Reading is very hard when you have memory issues due to APD, since you can not remember the last word you read in your sentence.

2-Remembering that word you just figured out in the last sentence does not happen and you have to refigure it out.

3-All your vowels sound the same when you put them in words.

4-When you read 'red' as 'rud' it sounds OK to you.

5-You vocabulary is so limited that when you read a word wrong you do not realize that it is not a word, or inversely when you read it correctly you do not realize it is a word.

6-The concept of long and short sounds is extremely hard to grasp (we will be taking a break from this till her next open window).

7-The concepts of ordinal numbers (first, second, ect) are life a foreign language, so when mom keeps saying what does the second letter say, you are at a loss for what she is talking about.

8-When mom reads what you write, you look at her facial expression to decide whether you answer is correct, rather than being able to hear that "Bill sat home fast." is not a correct sentence.

We could go on and on, but I just wanted to give you a little insight into Hannah's world of learning, at least where she is now. Our process is slow, and not so steady, but she is getting it in her own time.

Rather than be frustrated we take joy in the victories and have learned to let her go at her own pace.

And you know.....

Her smile when she gets it says it all!!!!!

She is such a treasure and sometimes I am totally floored that God is allowing me to be her Mom!!!
If you are on the fence about whether or not adoption is for you, and whether or not you can handle a child who is not flesh of your flesh, or whether you can handle the unknowns....let me tell you that from where we stand (and I do understand that there are a lot bigger issues and bigger needs than we have) take the leap and let God guide you through the process into a whole new wonderful world!!!!!!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

We love having Grandma live so close to us, it is a joy to have her as part of our everyday lives.

This last couple of weeks she has given us a couple of scares though.....

First on Super Bowl Sunday she made biscuits in her new stove and promptly sat down to enjoy a hot one with no drink. She began to choke on it, so she move to the bathroom to try to get it out. From what we can figure she passed out and hit her head on the bathtub. We are very thankful the fall dislodged the biscuit and she ended up with a good knot on her head.

Last Saturday she called and said she had fallen again, but this time out on a walk with her walker. A nice man had helped her up and she said she was fine. Well Sunday morning she was extremely swollen and black up to her wrist, so off to the doctor on Monday to find a broken wrist!! She is now sporting a lovely new neon pink cast with her walker!!!!

So today with my two helpers we tried to make her apartment more walker friendly and put her on the wait list for a handicap apartment. We are trying to let her be independent as long as possible, and hopefully this afternoons 3 hours of clean up will help with that.

She is actually very spry at 2 weeks short of her 91st birthday!!!