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.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Smile

When I went out to the mail yesterday, look what I found.

Makes you smile, doesn't it.

And I had my name on it:)

Not the kids!

Something fun just for me!

Inside I found this lovely gift from my sister and brother-in-law, Sandi and David in Texas.

David brought them home from his travels.

What a lovely surprise.

What a nice smile at the end of week 3 of partial schooling:)

Monday, August 22, 2011

An Interesting Ride

Anyone who has known our family for long----knows that it does not take much for a simple outing to become a major outing:/

So Saturday morning David checked his facebook as I was finishing my devotions.

He ran upstairs and asked if I minded if he joined some friends on an quick morning bike ride--I asked to join in and we were almost out the door in 5 minutes.

Then we worked on getting the tires pumped up--our pump is broken.

As we finally arrived at our friends, they had left because it took us too long to get the bikes ready and we had forgotten our cell for them to call us.

So we headed out after them thinking we would catch them on their way back.

Well I had been on a limited calorie diet for the few days before and was struggling some as we were hitting the end of the path and still had missed our friends.

At this point we turn around and start back. David is behind me and says my back tire is a little low.

I was thinking with our morning luck with pumps, let's just leave it.

Well of course---we didn't---and of course----it went flat!

So I started walk/running with the bike.

David started biking home to get the car to come get me.


He got a flat on the way home!


So by the time he got back to me I had biked about 7 miles and run/walked about 5.

With no water, because "this was going to be a 'little' ride".

Now these things seem to happen to us on a regular basis in our normal week.

It really is never boring around here!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Advocating and a Buddy

This summer David and I have gotten a little more of a glimpse into our daughter's delays.

Though we do not know if they are permanent, we do know that as she is getting older we are going to have to make some adjustments.

When she was younger and in groups, the teachers keep an pretty good eye on every one, make sure they are involved and stay with the group.

As they get older I think that is just expected.

We experienced our first real scare with Hannah this summer at a camp while I was in Texas.

Though we tried to let them know she would need a little help, it either fell on deaf ears or they figured she looked 'typical' and forgot.

When David showed up early to pick her and Caleb up. She was wondering around a large baseball complex of fields, completely alone.

She did not know where her group was or what she was supposed to be doing.

At some point she was also in the wrong bathroom and the boys just laughed and teased--enough that the whole story got back to Caleb in another group.

She was frightened.

You see, Hannah is the height of an 11 year old, in an 8 year old body, with a 6 year old mind.

She misses social cues, she has trouble with oral directions and communication, she does not let you know if she does not understand, she just tries to go with the flow.

Tries to keep up.

Our treasure.

So knowing how things are changing as she gets older, I decided to try to get even more proactive with her next foray into camp.
Both kids attended VBS last week at some friend's church.

I am familiar with many people there and some of the staff, because our adoption group meets there and I teach a class for homeschoolers there.

So I mentioned what our issues were and with no hesitation they offered Hannah a 'buddy'.

At first I was hesitant, not thinking she needed that much help.

But that still small voice told me to do it.
Our Hannah had an amazing time at VBS.

My friend, Heather's, amazing daughter, Carmen, spent the mornings with Hannah.

Hannah loved VBS this year.

As you can tell from the pictures.
She could tell me what the stories were about.

She did all her crafts.

She was excited to go.

She participated in the games and had fun.

Might not sound like much to some, but to Hannah this was big.

Hannah did not come home with a bunch of new friends, like Caleb did.

She is not ready for too close of peer relationships yet.

But having Carmen made her feel comfortable and confident, and let her enjoy herself.
That is a big step for all of us.

Now David and I know that advocating a little more is a good idea.

We are not worried about what it looks like, because hidden disabilities are just that--hidden.

And that advocating more will actually help her integrate better in the long run.
And a heart felt thanks to all those churches, groups and individuals who work to help kids with differences have a good time.

You are appreciated!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Diamond Lake Has Fish Too!

Just because my husband has time now...

and because we want to check out all the lakes and rivers in the area...

Here are more fishing pictures:)
Now I must start out by saying...

Showing the kids the movie "Soul Surfer" the night before the boat trip on the lake might not have been a good idea.

We had to assure Hannah there were no sharks in the lake.

We were blessed to have my dad come over from Roseburg for the day.

We had to keep reminding Hannah that playing in the water is not a good way to catch fish.

But she did catch the biggest fish of the day at 16 1/2 inches!!!

Maybe playing in the water is not such a bad idea.

My handsome man loved being in the front when we were moving!

Thought the fish in the water was a cool picture.

David was totally loving the outdoor time after two years of weekend studying.

That is Mt. Theilson in the background.
Hannah and Grandpa being silly while waiting for a bite!

My fishermen!

We brought home 6 good sized fish from the day.

Enough for dinner for us and friends on Sunday.

Caleb's preferred style of fishing.

My dad and Me.

It was a wonderful day....

sunburn and windburn and all.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Joni and Friends Dance

Our beautiful Hannah all ready to go square dancing.

She does have a dramatic flair!

Joni and Friends of Southern Oregon puts on a square dance every year in our area.

Hannah was very excited to go and try out her dress and dance with dad.
With her developmental delays this group is great for her.

She is accepted for her differences in social interaction.

And things usually move slow enough for her to follow.
When I got back from picking up Caleb at football you could tell she was getting a little overwhelmed.

Too much auditory information flowing and too fast.

An hour was great and she LOVED dancing with dad.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Family Updates

Since life has been continuing to move at record speeds around here....

I thought it would be a good time to do and entire family update!
So we will start with the littlest treasure.

Hannah has been growing like a weed and we have enjoyed watching her find her voice in groups of adults and show off some of her famous humor!

She is loving dancing to her new videos and reading short readers on her own.

We are experiencing some interesting reactions to the loss of all the older siblings and me being gone for 2 weeks. Praying she will soon feel some stability again.

Caleb our charmer.

And as we are finding out our man of the arts---drawing, dancing, drumming, drama---notice all the "d" words.

David and I will have to try to find a way to help him stretch himself in these areas---God only knows we are very lacking in these areas--LOL

Caleb is enjoying his 3rd year of football as a defensive back.

He is looking forward to trying school in a different way this year--by video.

This picture of Drew was taken while he was counselor at the Steens Mountain Camp. He loved it.

We totally enjoyed having him home this summer, though we saw little of him between work, sleeping, friends and running.

Drew came home with Mono---hence the many hours of sleeping trying to give his body a chance to heal. Think he may have finally kicked it after 4 months.

He is back at school and in his own appartment.

Pray for him and the many other students you may know away at school. Pray they may stay strong in their faith, that they may shine brightly for their Lord.

We were sad to say good-bye to Erinn back in July as she and I drove 3 days to get her and all her stuff there!

But we are thrilled to announce the homecoming of our son, Michael, home from his tour of duty!

Just yesterday!

They are beyond excited to begin thier new life together.

A few months in Texas then on to their posting in Hawaii.

Pray for them and their adjustments in the coming months.

Danielle and Ryan are doing better than ever in Santa Barbara.

Ryan is loving his new job and the opportunities he has there.

Danielle continues at the Reagan Ranch, learning and growing.

They serve together in youth ministry at their church and are very involved there.

They were recently blessed with a trip to Washington DC for a friend's wedding and ran a 1/2 marathon for their 1 year anniversary.

They may be looking at their own deployment in the coming year.

Pray for them to continue to grow and trust in the Lord.

This wonderful man the Lord blessed me with---I wonder sometimes how I was so blessed.

David did a great job watching the kids while I was away. He shuffled and juggled when situations at work left him unable to take time off.

Work has really kept him on his toes lately and we are praying for some smooth waters.

Also his arthritis is in a major flare right now and he is moving in a lot of pain. But moving he needs to do to keep his body from locking up. Hence you see the problem.

The lack of major exercise also causes him to be somewhat down, so we are praying for some insight into what can be done to help.

Because he is on a first generation drug, they do not know what the long term affects will be, kinda feels like a guinea pig.

He will be having a full body bone scan soon to determine how bad this flare is and what if anything might be done.

All when school what done and we thought life would calm down for him!

Me----well I am learning thankfulness in a whole new light.

I am learning to trust in the providence and sovereignty of God at a whole new level.

I am learning to be a willing piece of clay molded into the likeness of our Saviour.

One very small step at a time

Trusting that He knows what is best and being thankful for even the ugly because it is all from His loving hand.

This has been a journey that many days I would have liked to miss, but knowing the end destination is worth the climb.

So there is the quick update on the clan.

Though we may be spread far and wide, we are still family, and where there is family there will be love and prayer and support.

God Bless you and your family too!

Monday, August 8, 2011


We decided to take Sunday afternoon off and go fishing!!!!
Hannah caught her first fish all on her own!
It was a picture perfect day on the river.

I enjoyed my family and a lazy fiction read.
The beautiful trail we hiked.
My forever contemplative Hannah girl.

I would give anything for a few moments in her head to know what she thinks and to see the world through her eyes.
David was wonderful teaching Caleb about all he needed to do and letting Caleb give it a real try on his own.
I am working on seeing beauty in all of God's creation.

It is so much easier with a camera.

Think I am going to have to work on this.

"In all things give thanks!"
Caleb giving it a go on his own.
David loving the peaceful river time.

He really needed this break.
If you could, pray for him.

His arthritis is really acting up and he is in constant pain right now.

The lack of activity is not good for his body and also causes him to become depressed.

Oh Lord we pray for some relief and patience and we are molded into your likeness.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Day at the Capital

Before heading to our trip to the coast we spent two days in Salem while Dad was working. One of the days we decided to do the State capital tour.

Both kids loved these large statues out front, they were huge.
Then there was the life size replica of the Liberty Bell.

Caleb found this very interesting since he studied about it in history this year.

He wondered where the crack was?
Inside the capital was beautiful. Pictures just don't do it justice, so I won't try.

We did however find this State Seal which the kids were very interested in.

This summer we watched a documentary called "Wasteland".

It was about people who lived by and worked, picking recyclables out of the worlds largest dump found in Brazil.

The artist Vik Muniz used garbage to "paint" the most amazing pictures of some of the people there. You should see it if you can.

Anyways this State Seal was made from garbage found in the sewers in the area.

Hence, my kids found it very interesting to see what they could find in the picture.
Here the crazy kiddos pose outside our state capital with the golden pioneer on top.
Then we took and elevator to the third or forth floor then walked

121 stairs

to the top.

We have the certificate to prove it!

And this picture!

The man's boots are 6 feet tall, just to give you some perspective.
Here is some of the view from the top.

Actually, the long gray building on either side of the tall orange building are the SAIF offices where David works.

Thought that was a fun thing to see while we were up there.