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.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Quick Trip


Saturday morning my wonderful husband woke me up with the prospect of a quick trip to
Mt. Shasta.

Drew had a college friend on his way up from Carson City to catch a ride back to Pullman. David thought we would save his mom about 4 hours of driving if we headed down and met them.


Then he teased me with the idea of a quick visit with Jen and Jeff, a fellow adoptive family with three from Liberia amongst their family.


So a chance to spend the day with my husband trapped in a car and our new book Radical to read.

A visit quick visit with a 'like-minded' family!

You bet let's get going!

Oh and by the way honey, there will be packed snow on most of the trip!

Obviously we had a great time anyways!

Friday, November 19, 2010

5 Incredible Years Ago.....

November 19, 2005 we were standing in the Portland Airport waiting for one of the biggest gifts God has ever given us!!!!

The day our family of 5 became a family of 7!
Meeting your children for the first time in an airport terminal, is not really the way to go!

But it is the way God orchestrated our story!

They were so tired and so scared!

We were ecstatic!

Hannah screamed with me, but thought her was, okay at least.

She was so small, sick, weak and scared.

It was hard to see. Then she finally rested against---Dad---something she had no memory of---a Father!

Such a treasure.

Impossible to describe the feelings! Caleb, our little charmer from moment one.

Always has his hood on, even now:)

Was liking his new toy.... But as you can see still very hesitant and unsure.

Unbeknownst to us at this point, Caleb had a fear of 'big boys'.

They had beat up on him at the orphanage and refugee camp.

He was not so sure of this 'big brother' yet.

Interestingly, Caleb is now wearing the sweatshirt that Drew was wearing in these photos. We took the kids to the van in the parking garage and put some skin medicine on and some Pj's for the long ride to Eastern Oregon for Drew's first elk hunting season!

Hannah gave us her first smile when we put her cozy little slippers on her feet.

At almost 3 they were the first time she has worn more than flip flops.

She thought they were pretty cool!Then the incredible happened, she allowed me to hold her for the first time without crying!

This picture brings tears to my eyes every time.

To precious for words. And the bonding had begun.

A unique family formed by God's amazing hand! Praise His Name for His love is everlasting and His blessings more abundant than we could ever fathom!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Congrats Caleb


Caleb and his football team won the regional championships for their age and weight group today!!


Congratulations Caleb.


We are hoping next year for a more even split in the kids so Caleb can have a little more playing time and have the opportunity to learn more of the game.


When you have so many stand outs on your team it is hard for those learning to keep up.


Congrats Caleb on the amazing improvement in your tackling---no more fear there!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ghana Plaits

It is always fun to try new styles with Hannah's hair.


That being said, I was introduced to some fun new videos by Shonni over at Nations Around Our Table.


I enjoy these videos mostly be cause they are done by a wonderfully funny and good teaching, Nigerian-British woman on her bio daughter's hair. Lots of videos I have seen are adoptive moms teaching, not that it is bad, just nice to see it from a perspective of a mom who does this herself! Her links are found at Girls Love Your Curls on You Tube.


This style is the Ghana Plaits, also known as African Hair Threading, using weaving thread.

When I was done, I just braided them together.

This is a protective style which should give Hannah's much braided hair a chance to rest for a while, at the same time protecting it.

If we have good luck with it, I will try it for a while and see if we can get some hair growth and less hair loss.

Though as you will see when I post some pictures this week for our 'Gotcha Day', her hair is very long compared to what it was when she came home 5 years ago. This is an extra close up.

It is not braided or twisted, there is a thread wove around the hair giving it this look!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

So what did our Veterans Day look like?

We prayed for Sgt. Michael Graber with the US Army in Ir*q.

We waved flags!




We prayed for Specialist Ryan Fowler of the US National Guard.

We went to the Veterans Day Parade.





We prayed for my cousin Chandler Wolph serving with the US Army in Korea.

We talked of what freedom means and the safety our soldiers bring us.










We prayed for my brother-in-law, David Ness, formerly of the US Navy, now serving as a consultant in Afgani*tan.

And we united as a group to show our support of their bravery.






I cannot get these to line up, but hopefully you understand:)






Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lord Change Me....

Yesterday I had the "joy" of running errands while I was definitely still sick. Not a fun thing, but it was necessary.

I was seriously struggling with some of my fellow drivers on the road.

It culminated with me trying to traverse a parking lot in the pouring rain to quickly return a movie. A driver of a van was going back and forth trying to get his van in a front slot. I was irritated as I was standing in the rain while he was dry doing his crazy parking job! I almost blew it when I finally got around him and saw a young mom trying to get her two youngsters around to get to her car.

I must admit that I was a little verbal when I got back to my car and my two young ones waiting for me:(


Fast forward to last night when Caleb's coaches kept the team practicing for 1 1/2 hours in the rain.

I asked Caleb what the coach told the group right before they left. He said the coach said he did not want to hear any more complaining from the kids.

Well you could imagine I was thinking, well I would be complaining after that too.

But I found myself instructing my son to try to hold his tongue, that complaining is useless and defeating. That he should try to find something good in all situations.

Oh, did I really say that?

Did I really mean that?

How can he believe that when he sees and hears my actions?

I was shamed.

I was so disappointed in myself.
So I took the time later to apologize to Caleb and discuss my actions.

God and I had a long talk too---Please give me a thankful heart in ALL circumstances!

So you guessed it!

Today in a parking lot I was pushing my cart, almost to my car, and a guy pulls right in front of me so I have to stop, so he can get a front row spot.

I was able to smile!

Be thankful he did not hit me!

Be thankful that he got such a good spot in the Cost*o lot--not an easy thing.

Mostly be thankful that---at least---for this moment

my heart was CHANGED!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Veterans Day Idea















Here on the bottom is our Michael all geared up and on top is my brother-in law, Dave, in another hostile territory.

Just thought I would send out and idea that my kids and I have done for the last 4 Veteran's Days.

Since my young ones came from a country at war, and Caleb had vivid memories, I thought it was a good idea to talk to him of our love and respect for our service men, both those serving now and those whom have served.

Good thing I taught him early on as he has two new brother-in-laws who are service men and have both seen active duty:)

Caleb has learned to respect and honor, not fear. Not an easy thing for a child who has had military men point guns at him just for asking for food!

So on to an idea we wanted to share.

Each Veterans Day we bake cookies, bread, or some such thing and deliver them to men we have met in our neighborhood who are veterans. We have brought cookies to numerous WWII vets, Korean vets, and some of the present hostilities vets.

Each year we get to see the surprise on these men's faces as the see someone honoring them! This should not be. I am honored to have had them serve for me and my family, and I am thankful I can show a kindness especially on this day that is meant to honor them, not just be another vacation day.

Let me know what you think and if you take some 'sweet' action this Veterans Day!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Race at the Park

What a beautiful day to be at the park. I was able to get the kids to pose a little and able to wiggle a smile or two out of Caleb, when all he wanted to do was play:)
Isn't he handsome!

My beautiful girl with leaves in her hair. She was feeling pretty beautiful.

Isn't she just a charmer?

Caleb and his friend Ian, they don't see each other often, but you would think they did!

The guys did finish their race. They are all walking a little stiff, but looking good.

Me and my very tired man! I am so proud of him and his accomplishment!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Running Buds!

David and a bunch of his running buddies were over for spagetti before their big marathon tomorrow.
David, Larry, Bob, John, Neil, Len

The big belt Neil is wearing is the community running trophy that gets passed around from guy to guy, at least old guy, to the top runner of each race!

It showed up at our house tonight!

Lots of reminicing.

Lots of stats thrown around.

Lots of laughter.

One Step.....

For the last two weeks I have been kinda bearing my heart through videos on Faceb**k.

As we are moving into Orphan Awareness month and Adoption Sunday (November 7th), I felt a NEED to share my heart.

Adoption has added SO VERY much to my life, it just spills out.

Though we have our struggles, many of which I share here, I would not trade what I have learned, how I have grown, and the love I have gained for the world!

Adoption is a view into the heart of God!

He calls us when we are alone, and sets us in His family.

Forever!

Care for the orphan is still the heart of God!

James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.




Beauty out of Ashes from Lifesong for Orphans on Vimeo.

This video is a wonderful example of some I have shared this week.

At one point in this video you see the kids sliding down the hill on their bottoms!

My son went on his first slide at the age of 5 1/2 on a cold November day on 2005.

He was shaking with excitement!

No, all kids do not NEED to experience a ride on a slide,

But all kids should have the opportunity to experience LOVE.

Of a friend.

Of a family.

And to hear of the Love of their Savior!

Only when we step out of our complacency can this happen.

One step.

That is all it takes.

And if thousands of people took that same step.................

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Racing the llama.....

video

Got this from Drew today.

Gotta laugh at guys who think they gotta race something!!

And as a side note the guys were telling me how warm it was in Pullman....a whole high of 55.

But I did notice my son wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

Should have known when he was 4 and getting the mail in snow that came up to his waist....he would walk down the shoveled path in shorts, t-shirt and snow boots!

Never could keep that kid in warm clothes!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Lion and the Lamb

A few weeks ago we were privileged to get to view this amazing Lion and Lamb!

This was put together--literally--by two taxidermists who attend our church!



More information can be found here about what they are hoping to do with this wonderful picture of our Lord.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pac-10's

When Drew was looking at colleges he knew he wanted to try and run Division 1 (NCAA).

And he chose a Pac-10 school.
University of Washington, UCLA, Oregon State, California, Arizona State
University of Arizona, University of Oregon, Stanford, USC, Washington State
Some of the biggest names is cross country running!

Drew knew he was going from big fish, little pond

to...

small fish, great big pond!

Drew along with Mac, Richard and Kyle all seen here represent numerous state high school championships from Washington, Nevada and Oregon.
They were some of the only 'true' freshman in this race.
Yes, they carried the back of the pack...
I am sure a first for all of them!
But they all ran amazing Personal Bests.
All of them beat their high school best 5K time at the 5K split in the race,

and....

they still had a 3K to run!!
For those of you not running savoy,

that means they ran 3 miles faster than they ever did in a high school race,

and then continued on to run another 2 miles at that same pace.

Actually very amazing!
It was wonderful to hear them encouraging one another after the race.

To hear them take apart the race and the times and look at it all in the correct perspective.

To hear them say not so fun, but a great learning experience.

Then, give us a year, we will be there!
They left the day, not as the last place finishers, but as humble young men ready to keep training, growing and competing!

I was one proud momma of my son and the others!
Thanks Coach Pete for your hard work with the guys.
And congratulations to all the WSU team.
And by the way, this was the last race as the Pac-10.

Next year they will be adding Colorado and Utah!

The Pac-12 coming your way in 2011!
And just for fun, Drew looked up on line, and in the WAC conference. He would have place 25th instead of 69th. That is how competitive the Pac-10 is!