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, December 30, 2012


We have been fighting colds around here, but I think yesterdays hike sent little Hannah over the edge, sadly.

She spent most of the morning and afternoon in bed, but I am happy to say she doing lots better tonight!

My youngest treasures have not been sick much, there is some questions running around out there as to whether kids who have suffered some kind of early trauma are sick as often as other kids.  Their early trauma usually puts them on high alert much of the time, hence their bodies are like hyper-vigilant, and possibly this keeps them from getting as sick as other kids.  I am not sure of this, but I do know mine are not sick very often at all.

This was probably the one of the sickest I had seen Hannah with a high fever and sweats.

All this got me to thinking how differently all my kids have been when they are sick.

Danielle my wonderful first-born who introduced me to motherhood----when she was sick everyone knew it because she was a moaner!!  Kind of like she wanted everyone to suffer with her--LOL!  Lets just say we were always very excited when she got well!!----Love ya Danielle :)

Erinn my middle child peace-maker---when she was sick just give her a good book, something soothing for her throat and some quiet and she was happy and would come and let you know if she needed anything else.  We did not so much rejoice when she got better, because she was so quiet when she was sick.

Drew my rough and tumble boy who never stopped---he spent his first 10 months sick and in someones arms, after that when he got sick it was about the same.  He was my snuggler when he was sick, not so much at any other time, because he was so busy all the time.  I almost enjoyed him getting sick, just for the snuggle time!

Caleb my curious kid who is always fidgeting---the few times he has been sick he is up and down and back and forth, as though he would get more sick sitting still.  Kleenex are torn apart and blankets are everywhere!  I just pray we can keep him caged enough he doesn't get everyone else sick with his constant motion and sniffling!

Now my little Hannah the baby of the family---she never complains, I am serious, we are working hard on her verbalizing her needs, so when she says she is not feeling well it is a BIG thing.  Today she stayed all day in her room and I never heard a peep.  I had to keep checking, just because I was worried and she was so quiet.  When the fever went away, I had to go tell her it was OK to come out an join the family. 

So there you got it.  Five kids and  5 very different outcomes to sickness.  I just thought it was interesting and that I should put it down before I forgot the uniqueness of the situation.

Now don't ask me about David--Let's leave it by saying Danielle got it from somewhere!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hiking Time

 We were blessed with a quiet morning at home with nothing planned, so we decided to drive up the hill to get in the snow and have a fun morning hike together, even Liberty got in the action. 

We got in a five mile nice walk and got to watch the valley warm up as the sun broke through the early morning fog.

The first half I enjoyed a delightful prayer time over the Russian adoption situation, each of our family members, and our upcoming year.  One of the blessings of not hiking up hill very well, was everyone was way ahead of me so I got lots of quiet time!
Hannah had a hard time recognizing the sign we painted this summer on our I heart Medford project.

The second half of the hike we were all together trying to figure out what had been running through the snow before us--rabbits, squirrels, deer, raccoons, and many other unknowns.

Then Caleb and Liberty ran the last two miles back to the car.  I think all of David's reminiscing of the time spent training up there with Danielle and Drew for the Footlocker Regional Races might have been inspiring.  Actually he is trying to get himself into a habit of running 3-4 days a week, which is kind of hard right now with Dad nursing an injury.

Thankful for the moments to make memories, I know this all passes so quickly.

Oh, and we heard that Harrison rolled over for the first time today! 

Life is an amazing journey.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A blessed visit

Today I had a blessed visit with my friend Rebecca.

Rebecca met my youngest treasures before I ever did when she was in Liberia picking up her two youngest treasures.  She brought us the only photo we have of the kids with their birth mother.  A precious thing to a child that has lost so much.  She is also the one who told us to push to get our kids home as fast as possible because Hannah's health was deteriorating fast.  We may owe her Hannah's life---literally.

So you can see we have a special bond.

It was such a joy to be able to talk extendedly with her about joys and sorrows of parenting 'kids from hard places'.  

To speak and be understood about things most parents can never imagine.

To hear words of encouragement and be able to share words of encouragement.

To talk about educating and understanding kids with disabilities and diagnosis's that were caused from malnutrition and trauma.

To dream of futures and possibilities for all our kids from the oldest to the youngest and how varied those futures may look.

To know that God planned our families and their diversities of blessings and challenges for our good.

There is no way to explain how wonderful it is to just be with someone who knows and understands so much of your daily challenges and the excitement that can be had over the smallest of victories with a child from a 'hard place'.

I feel blessed, filled and at peace tonight.  

Thank you Lord for the blessing of friends!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Joy abounds

 Our at home kids who enjoyed sleeping in till 9 o'clock!  No early risers around here!
 Little Miss Joyful with her Pooh socks.  No, it does not take much to make her happy.
 My boys wrapped my present for me and put it under the tree like this!  Can you guess what I got?
 At least this one was totally covered!  In their defense I guess wrapping a new soup pot is a hard task!
 Drew with his annual traditional duct tape wrapped gift from Caleb and Hannah.
 We did not let him use a knife this year.  It took a while for him to find his treasure.
 As you can see Caleb was very proud of his wrapping of his Dad's meat tenderizer!
 Liberty usually had to get into the midst of things.
And here she is with some help.  She did leave the ribbon around her neck all day!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Egg Nog?

 Yes, it is the 5th annual egg nog mile!  Gross as it is Drew keeps getting people to come back year after year, and lots of crazies that have never tried it before.
 Caleb is still the youngest begging for this unusual form of torture.
 Even Drew at times was looking like egg nog was becoming unappetizing.  He actually did this at WSU also before coming home.  Yes he is a glutton for punishment.
 And then there are those moments when you can tell he cherishes all the pain he can inflict on his stomach.
 Caleb is looking pretty good still here.  If you are not sure what is going on. You drink and 16 oz glass of egg nog run a lap, and do it again and again till you get your mile done.  If you are lucky you will get rid of the egg nog at some point and relieve your stomach of the pain of 1/2 gallon of the stuff.
 Drew savoring glass #4.  He is in the lead, and this will put 1/2 gallon of egg nog in his stomach.
 Looking a little harder!
 And definitely more so.....
 Now it is down-right painful---by choice.
 Ahh....the sweet release of an empty stomach!
 Caleb wondering if this is ever going to be over.
 Drew thankful that it is over, at least the running part.
 Coach Piet always a good sport in showing the kids how it is done.
 Caleb definitely wondering how he thought this would be fun.....again!
 Caleb heading out on his last lap, looking as 'green' as he can!
 Oh....way to go Caleb you missed the new track and the new turf!  Bet you feel better.
 Oh... the finish line and an empty stomach.
 Yes, I did it!
Drew with his good friend Richard and Coach Piet.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Jesus Party

When our first set of kids were little we used to do a Happy Birthday Jesus Party with our good friends, The Wolfes.  We decided this was the year to resurrect the tradition with our friends, The Rondas and their 4 kids.
We had a nice chili dinner, then attempted to make graham cracker nativity scenes.  Why is it that Pinterest makes it look so easy?
Caleb making his shepherds.
With my help and a glue gun, Hannah was the first done. Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, a shepherd, sheep, and donkey.
Caleb quickly followed.  One thing I have found is neither of them are real into crafts, they will do them, but don't usually ask to do them.  Of course unless Caleb is making a new set of armor which is anytime he can get his hands on cardboard and duct tape!
Close up of Caleb's.  I think his donkey is sleeping.
All the finished projects.
Hannah and Madison quietly listening to the Christmas story---girl style.
Caleb, Aaron, and Josiah piled onto one chair eating peppers--listening to the Christmas story--boy style!  Caleb is not irritated, he actually loves it, he is asking for more peppers.
Blowing out the candles on the Jesus birthday cake.  All the kids left with candy canes and a note to surprise someone with.  It was a fun night and moms and dads got in two games of Ticket to Ride while the kids were watching The Nativity Story.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


 Since the blog is still being happy and taking my pictures, I though I would catch up, since this is a journal of our family's journey.  And who would not want to see more pictures of cute Harrison all bundled up like a little polar bear to go on a cold evening walk.
 The crowd out for a walk, not all so willingly--LOL!  Some thought we were crazy--Danielle.
 Drew and Courtney on the other hand are very familiar with cold nights coming from Eastern Washington.
 Our cute little Harrison getting ready for bedtime before Thanksgiving.  He is such a cutie!
 Harrison can not believe they put him in an outfit with a large TURKEY on his BUTT! 
 My parents, Great Grandpa and Grandma Fogliasso, with their first great-grandchild!
 David's grandmother, Harrison's Great-Great Grandma Mae.  Yes we have 5 generations on both sides.
 Drew and Courntey
 Caleb and Harrison
 My mom and dad, Loren and Marsha
 Ryan and Danielle
 David and Grandma Mae
 Thanksgiving night hike.  Part way up you can see Medford totally socked in under the fog.
 You can see where they are headed behind them, Roxy Ann Peak.
The evening sunset over Medford---Beautiful!