Sunday, May 31, 2009

phew... I am worn out

This weekend was a FULL one!  Friday night we went out for ribs to our favorite local place to celebrate my dad's retirement.  He's only 60, yet he's retired.  SO jealous!!! ;o)  I better start playing my cards

Saturday we were invited to share in the joy of dear friends of ours as we celebrated their daughter's going to Africa with the Peace Corps.  How very cool is that??!!  She's going to Mauritania.  She will be gone for a full 27 months.  That's a commitment.  We are so very proud of her.  The kids got to play in the pool and have a blast.  Every time we leave some one's house that has a pool they want to know if we can move  We obviously don't have one other than the little plastic blue one.

Then Sunday we had church and then on to our church picnic.  I was in charge of the burgers and dogs and buns and condiments.  S and I went shopping for them cause D is down with a terrible cold.  We went to Walmart and you should have seen the looks we got walking through with 2 carts full of buns and  I think people were wondering if we were leaving any for them.  We did get to invite our cashier to our picnic though, and that was cool.

Over all it was a wonderful weekend.  Full of family and fun and sun and fellowship.  We are all exhausted and happy I think.  Back to work tomorrow to relax.

Oh, and I read a book as well, called 90 Minutes in Heaven.  Man...... what a book.  Thank you Cindy.

Random dragon fly's outside our door on Friday night.  They were huge!  At least 3 inches long.
Dad's dinner.

My niece and her momma.... Got momma's eyes huh?!
I had to include this one... too funny how bored they all look huh
My mom and dad.  Don't they look great?  They were young when they had me in fact I was born about 10 months after they were married so they always say they have had me forever. ;o)
Dad and E... weird angle on dad's
To of my favorite guys. 
My brother and my son.  They are very much alike, it's fun to see them together.
The pool party. E's not quite the swimmer yet. ;o)

ok, could this kid be any more beautiful?!

Friday, May 29, 2009


I am often asked how the boys get along. My usual aswer is "They are brothers".

People that don't know us well always say "Oh! They are brothers?!". This ususally means they are asking if they are biological, sometimes I correct them, other times I just say yes. Because while they aren't biological, they are very much brothers.

They fight over toys, they wrestle, they nit pick at each other and they drive each other nuts.

They also share, talk to each other incessantly, and look for each other when the other isn't there.

N has really kind of settled into the big brother roll. He's over bearing and condescending. He's also loving and a wonderful little champion of everything E. It's so fun to watch them talk to each other. E is still very much learning the language, but he loves to talk and N just goes right along with him. E will be telling a story, about half of which the rest of us understand, but N will just go right along, sometimes translating what he thinks E said, and sometimes just nodding and agreeing. The other day the 3 of us were sitting on the couch watching Dora when E turned to N to say something, I responded and E says "Talking N, not talking mommy". Cheeky little kid.

N is a great sharer, but E is still working on that. Of course they fight over toys, but N usually shares what is his, E wants everything N has, but isn't as keen on sharing his stuff with N. We try not to give them the exact same things, although they both have alot of the same interests so when we do get the same, we have to be careful to label them with an 'E' or an 'N'.

It's really been pretty cool lately to see how they have bonded and grown.

I read something when we were first getting ready to adopt E that spoke to the fact that while parents work on bonding and attaching, siblings sometimes have a hard time with it. It's certainly been a process, but they are the best of friends and brothers through and through. It will be interesting to see how they cope with N going to Kindergarten and E staying in preschool.

When we first brought E home we were a little concerned that we had really messed things up for N. I think after my recent conversation with him about not being 'sent' back, I can see how his little mind was working. Just in these last couple of weeks I can see him settled more, and calmer, maybe he's getting the idea that both he and E are here to stay. There is no sending back they are both stuck with us. ;o)

We are truly blessed. The cool thing is that just like in birth pains, the adoption pains are fading and D is opening more to our next adoption. (D in Alaska, if you are reading don't freak out mom. It's still far off! We miss you guys by the way) We do still have to get back to ET on our mission trip next year. ;o)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Weekend fun...

Boys eating outside at their picnic N's face

Sweet N!
Pool time...

Mom is out of town so we invited dad over for dinner.  Men love to grill don't they?!

We went to a local 4-H fair.  The boys got their faces painted by marines. Cool huh?  E wasn't happy that his wasn't exactly like N's so he wouldn't give us his best ggrrr face. ;o)
Our local emergency helicopter, the boys thought this was too cool!
On a Coast Guard boat.  N is scoping out the bad guys.
oh I am such a cow! ;o)

Friday, May 22, 2009


I have that song by Loverboy in my head... Everybody's workin' for the weekend.... come on sing with me...... If you are old enough to remember them, lol, can't you just see Mike Reno in his head band! lol I cannot believe I once thought that was sexy. Weird.

Good news! The AC is in and working! YAY!! The air flow is better and the unit is huge, but we should be good to go for at least the next 10 years. I am so thankful. And the guys were really great. They worked us in so that we would have it by this weekend, and are waiting for our insurance check to clear before demanding payment. I will highly recommend them!

We don't have any major plans this weekend. Just going to hang out with the family, play outside in the wonderful sun, and probably do some cleaning. I keep looking around our house thinking ...ugh! Too many piles of junk!

The week has been great with our new Manny. ;o) He's such a great guy! The boys love him. He's so laid back and easy going, but not a push over. He understands kids, and he knows what it's like to be a brother, and how brothers act with each other. It's such a wonderful relief to come home and hear, the boys were great, they fight like brothers... but they are brothers. ;o) He took them to the zoo yesterday, and to the park and just outside to play. He's such an answer to prayer.

Hey! I forgot to say a HUGE congrats to my niece J, she graduated from High School! YAY J!!!! I was looking at pics of her on facebook last night. She has one of those smiles that makes you smile, you just can't help it. All long arms and legs and big blue eyes, she's just beautiful. We miss you J! And love you.

Don't forget to thank your military for the service they do for us!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Do you ever just have days when your mind just has so much on it that you can hardly contain it all?

lol...I have them frequently... but I am hoping to find a day, or even a hour when I can sit down and just listen to what God has to say. I read on someone else's blog earlier about taking a bath. There's an idea! ;o)

I have so many things I want to do. Things I wish I could change. Places to go, things to do, people to to do.

I regularly have to tell myself to stop and breathe and focus on the here and now. I need to make sure I take the 'I' out and put the God in, and follow what He would have me do.

Have you ever seen the movie "Ever After"? The prince at one point says something along the line of "I used to think if I cared about one thing I would have to care about everying and that would be too hard." I used to be the same way. Just the other day I was talking to my mom about one of the boy's siblings left in Ethiopia. How I wonder what has happened to them, it's been so very heavy on my heart recently. I want to know what's become of them, and hope to be able to meet them when we go back next year. My mom said that I probably don't want to know. Sure knowing could be more painful than not, but if there is someway I can help them, I feel like I need to. And if there isn't then at least I can pray with a face in my mind instead of this empty spot now. Just because it hurts doesn't mean I don't want to know.

I had lunch today with my friend T, she and I were best friends in High School. It was so much fun just to chat. We talked about how different life is now than it used to be. Who would have thunk this is where I would be now. I was not so much otherly focused then... or shoot even 10 yrs ago. I love how God does things.

Hey check out what these guys are doing. We may partner with them some while in Ethiopia next year. Still gathering and learning and praying about God's leading.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My kids...

I love being a mom. There are days when it's tough and I just want to crawl in a corner...but those are few and far between.

The other night I was at the graduation for our friend J. After the ceremony I was standing with S and Z, we were just hanging out talking. I was overcome at one moment with love for these 2. There was just something about standing there with my babies that are no longer babies.

When my brother and I are together with my mom, just us, she always says look D it's our kids.

That's how I felt on Friday night. Don't anyone get their panties in a bunch, I wasn't feeling exclusive of N and E....just filled with gratitude for my 2 oldest.

They started me on this journey of motherhood, of self discovery, joy, sadness, humility, gray hair and laugh lines.

One that has grown and moved on to College. One that's growing into such a young lady.

I look at them and see myself. I can see glimpses of them as toddlers. Z my little shy guy, if I had worn skirts he would have hidden in them. My poor little guy that didn't really know how to be comfortable in his own skin. Who is now very much a young man of Christ. He is a leader, he loves to be with people and talk to them, to engage and has many friends. I too was very shy as a child, never wanted the spotlight or attention. I too have been transformed by Christ. I still see glimpses of the little boy, shy and scared, but growing in strength and love.

I see my S so beautiful and strong. So sure of herself and confident, ready to take on the world if she sees a wrong. Not afraid to speak her mind, and sometimes opens her mouth and speaks before thinking....she gets this from her dad. LOL She also has a heart that is 3 times too big. She gets this from her daddy too. She beautiful both on the inside and out.

If I had not had such great kids already, I don't know that I would have been open to more. They have taught, and still teach me what it means to love, grow and learn.

Soon they will be gone from the nest and in their own homes. ugh... I will miss them.

There will be a day soon when I look at my N and E and think the same thing. They will be grown and moving on. I look forward to watching them grow. Seeing them transform.

I love being a mom.

Monday, May 18, 2009

E- Speak

Just for fun cause it's so cute here are a few words that E uses as he learns English. These are used pretty frequently in our home.

Whappin? ~ translated: What happened?

Inunno ~ translated: I don't know.

Why? ~ lol... easily translated, however he uses it even when you've explained why, he will ask

Yeah. ~ usually said after he's told you a great story, only half of which you understand. So we respond "Yeah" just as enthusiastically.

E want that ~ I believe you understand where this comes from, and it's generally spoken in a store when he sees something he wants.

E like it ~ spoken when he wants something to eat that we know he does not like and will spit out, but insists on our putting it on his plate.

These are just a few. He's so smart, and really very funny. In the last couple of weeks it's as if he's gotten some kind of little spark. He's been talking more. Running, dancing, and even trying to jump more. He's a funny little guy. We are so very blessed to have him.

Now lest you think him perfect, or I that wear rose colored glasses... he does have one huge stubborn streak. The cool thing about it is that he fits right into our little clan. ;o)

Monday Rainy Monday....

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. --Hebrews 13:8, NLT

yuck it rained all weekend, yesterday and today it was windy as well. eeewwwwww
The boys keep asking why it keeps raining and I told them God wants to water his garden. E just says "Why?" ;o) They both really want to go outside. Luckily we had events outside of the home on Saturday and Sunday so they could get out and play with other friends...inside but not cooped in our house.

Saturday night we were at a church function and the boys daycare director called D's cell phone. Can you believe that?! She was all in a tizzy and wanted to read D some letter she said she got from the 'school board'. He told her to just email it to him. We got home and basically it said that they were terminating the boys from the school. She had again twisted our words around so they said we were not being compliant. The boys would not be welcome in the school on Monday but that we could come pick up their belongings.

So yay! No more dealing with them. We called our new "Manny" and he was there this morning at 730am. Thank you God. We were actually an answer to his prayer as well. The boys were very excited to know he was coming and weren't too terribly upset that they would not be going back to the other school. We didn't tell them of all the issues of course, we just told them the school would be doing something different for the summer and they weren't attending.

In fun news my mother in law took her very first plane ride on Saturday! I won't reveal her age, but she's over the age of 50. ;o) She even got little wings from the airline to wear. She flew out to attend our niece's high school graduation. Good grief it's just too impossible that she's graduating!!! Her momma also graduated this year from college. How very cool is that?! We are so proud of you both and love you! Hi mom! Hope you are having a blast, we miss you all!

We had a really cool opportunity to share some HIV education in Sunday school yesterday. Our facilitators weren't able to be in class so we were kind of an informal little group. We were catching up and just talking when someone asked about the boys. Then the questions kind of evolved to the topic of HIV. One of our members even said that she had read this blog and at first was a little concerned about her children initially but did some research and realized she needn't be. Can I tell you how great it is to have this kind of response?! We completely understand initial fears. We had them. We were able to discuss it in class, talk to them about it and they were all outwardly accepting. It's so great to have open dialog and to be able to address fears so that others realize that it's ok to have concerns... but that E isn't going to infect their children. When I was talking to R, our new Manny (lol I love that word), I asked him if he had any concerns. He just asked me what we did in the case of blood, I told him and he was completely fine with it. Thank you to those of you that read this blog and take the initiative to do some research and learn about this illness.

We are also really kind of ramping up the missions team. I am so excited!!! My designated partner is part of the missions committee and he's spoken to them about our trip. They are very excited and all on board. They are meeting this week formally to discuss the particulars and to talk about fundraisers and funding. We are looking at 12 people going at roughly $2500 - 3000 per person when everything is said and done. I fully believe this is achievable! God has already begun to provide, and those travelling are so excited. I can't wait to see what he does!

I will end this really long with a prayer request. I asked for prayers for Kidist a couple of days ago. I got an email from her husband this weekend and she's really taken a turn for the worse. They are such a lovely couple! Please say a prayer for Kidist and Aleyu. Perhaps there is a physician here that would agree to see her and help... they have such an amazing faith in Christ. It's so hard to be here and not be able to help. God can provide!

Have a blessed Monday!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A New Day...

Yesterday was just one of those days when I just had to say Satan get away you are pissing me off!!! And then God showed up!

First issue was the insurance company.  Since we have a direct loss policy, the company will only replace the outside AC unit that was destroyed by the storm.  Which is awesome, but it's an old unit and the interior parts won't jive with the new parts so those have to be replaced too.  We get to foot that bill.  argh!  The blessing is that it is still not terribly hot, we have a whole house fan and the company that is going to do the work is willing to work with us on payments.  The other blessing is that I am fully aware that there are those that do not have central air...and deal just fine.  So I am no longer complaining.  It will happen when it happens and we will be good to go. ;o)

Next issue was the daycare director at the boys school.  She and I have not really gotten along from the beginning.  Part of my issue with her is that she is an excuse maker.  And a rule changer, and doesn't always tell the truth ... and so you ask why did we keep  our boys there? ell long story but the short of it is that we didn't want the boys to have another transition before it was necessary.  Well earlier I told you about how they are closing the preschool portion of the school at the end of May.  This is contrary to what we thought because she has always said they followed the public school schedule.  We are in a bind not having anyone to watch the boys from May 22 until June 22.  She and I had strong words.  No yelling or bad words. I just told her how I felt, and how I felt about her constantly changing her story and then trying to make us feel bad for doing the job she promised to do when we started the boys there.  

May 22 is their last day.

At this point of the day I am in a pretty foul mood... and sorry if there are any guys out there reading, I am also hormonal presently...and that makes me an unhappy gal.  I was sitting at my desk quietly praying and reading.  (yes the office was SLOW) 

I then got a call from a friend of S's from their school bus.  S was having a full blown asthma/panic attack.  It was so severe that she could not talk to me.  I am in a completely different city so I cannot do anything about it from where I am.  D however was just around the corner at the house sleeping.  I called him told him to call the girls cell phone and go meet the bus.  In the mean time the bus driver had pulled into a grocery store parking lot and called 911. D actually followed the paramedics to the location.  Luckily her oxygen sats were fine and they were able to get her calmed and her breathing under control.  She has been diagnosed with exercise induced asthma so she doesn't carry an inhaler with her.  It's at school.  Not so helpful when she's on the bus. ;o) 

After this incident is when I just said, Lord.  I know you are there, I know you see this, I apologize for my hormonal induced ugliness... please forgive me and take over this day.

About an hour or so later I get an email.  It's from someone I have never met personally, hope to someday!,  but she sent me an email with a huge blessing.  What she didn't know was how my day was going.  She didn't know that I needed that little sign from God saying.  "You have work to do and it's going to be hard... this day has been hard... but I have been with you through it all".  I felt like he was hugging me through that email.  I was in tears. And my spirits were lifted, my attitude changed and I just knew that God was going to take care of it all.  He would provide.  Thank you T!!!!  I love ya!

Later last night we went to the graduation of our friend J...the giant one that stayed with us over Christmas. He was graduating from Wave Leadership college.  After the ceremony we were standing around talking to family.  His older brother was there.  He had just finished his year of college and was looking for something to do.  He's married to the young lady I was blessed to play music with on the woman's weekend I just attended.  I asked him if he had anything lined up for the summer, he said "Like watching your boys?"  He said he knew some of his gal friends were going to be nanny's this summer and since his mom used to run a daycare he would love to do that...he just didn't know anyone that would hire him as a guy.  I will! I will! So again God provided.  Some we know and love and trust.  

By the time I went to bed I was so full of gratitude for God's Grace and Mercy I could almost not sleep.

Today D, S and I went to our local KLove radio station, that happens to be across the street, and learned how to become part of the volunteer event team.  How very cool is that?!  I am really excited. They do concerts, church functions, and other secular events to get the word out about Christ and about the radio station that changes lives.  

I am so excited to see how God works.  How He shows up when we need him.  

Today is a new day!  

Friday, May 15, 2009



It's been a day!

Not much to say.

Insurance company's. Daycare providers. Rude grocery store check out clerks. Hormones..........

Gonna go seek the Lord...

Thursday, May 14, 2009


N is feeling much better.

I got to cuddle with him on the couch yesterday. And then he took a 2 hour nap! He never naps so he had to have been feeling badly. He woke up and his fever was about gone. And by dinner time he was ready to play out side and was back to his busy self. ;o)

The fever was still gone today so he's back at school.

The kids all made him a get well card yesterday, it was so sweet. E brought it home but didn't want to give it to He's funny. He insists that things be shared with him but isn't so interested in sharing his things with others. Well more specifically with N.

N has really been doing great. He's learning so much! He will be graduating from pre-school and going to Kindergarten next year! Holy cow! Where did the time go?! He's been with us for 2 1/2 years now, it seems like forever...and only a minute.

He's been talking alot about Ethiopia lately. How he came before E, and that E wasn't there when he was. And that Daddy, mommy and S came to get him. But S stayed home when we got E.

Yesterday I was watching Adoption Story on Discovery, as he was waking up from his nap. The couple on the show was adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. So there was a lot of footage from Addis. He was watching intently. I wondered how much he actually remembered, if anything. Or if he was just looking at some random city he didn't at all recall. He didn't say much other than he wasn't really understanding that the baby girl would no longer live in Ethiopia but was going to live in Canada. We talked a little bit about it. And I asked him if he was still thinking about wanting another sister. He said yes, but that she needed to be older than him. I asked him why. And he didn't know.. just that she should be older. He then said to me "If she's mean, can we send her back?"

I had to pause for a minute... is this what he thinks we will be sending him back??!!
I told him that there was no way we would send a new sister back. That like him, she would be with us forever. That he was stuck with us... forever and ever. He then asked if E would go back if we got another child.

Again I reassured him that no one was going "back".
Mommy and daddy are here to stay ...forever... or as long as we live.

Looks like we have some more conversations to have about family, and how this one is for good. There is that sad realization that he did have a family before ours, one that loved him and wanted him, but that could not care for him. He is aware that not all families stay together and that he and E are no longer with their first families. Just a reminder that we need to constantly remind him that he is and was loved, and that he's a permanent fixture here now, but always in the hearts of his first family.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Just stuff...

Happy Wednesday ya'll!

Good news!!! Looks like the AC unit will be covered by home owners insurance! YAY!! Thank you God. And He has provided a week of perfect weather. So beautiful and cool and sunny, no rain so the windows can be open. Love how he takes care of little things like that. ;o)

I had a great conversation with a guy I am hoping we can partner with for our trip to Ethiopia next year. They are doing really wonderful work in ET. They do some longer term projects. I think it would be grand to take on an opportunity to minister long term if possible. Right now we are just trying to find the way that we can make the most impact in the short amount of time that we will be there. There are so many ways to help, but we can't do them all ya know? ;o)

I would ask for a quick prayer for a young lady named Kidist. She and her husband are the caretakers of the guest house we stayed in while picking up E and hope to again when we go back in April. She suffers from something...noone can figure out what... that causes her great pain. A year or so ago a family paid for her to come to the states to get checked out but they couldn't find anything specific. They have limited supplies there in ET and her pain is debilitating. It's so sad. We took her a heating pad when we went over in August and that helps to relieve some of it. So if could take a second to pray for her that would be wonderful. She is so sweet and precious!

My N is sick. He's been home since December of 2006 and hasn't had more than a running nose occasionally. Last night I noticed he was puny. Now, my N is never puny. He is bright and moving and just 'on' all the time. So I asked him if he was ok and he said he was cold. Weird. I took his temp because he felt a little warm. It was 103! It was 103 again when he woke up this morning. Crazy! I spoke to the Dr office and because he has no other symptoms we just need to keep an eye on him. Poor little man.

I have joined a program with a couple of ladies that are adoptive and pre-adoptive moms. We are all trying to get ourselves in better shape. And after seeing myself in my mom's day picks, I am so ready to get a little less "fluffy" It's been good to have people that I am accountable to. I am so tired and worn out in the evening but because I know I have to tell them what I did, I get up off my butt and work out. I have tried something new. I have a mini trampoline that I pulled out, I put on my ipod with my Hillsong music and just jam. It's so much fun, I make a fool out of myself, jump like a loon, praise God and feel so much better by the time the 45 minutes are up. ;o) I am not setting a weight goal... just a movement eat better goal. ;o)

ok, I think that's about it.
I pray you are all having a better than good day!

Monday, May 11, 2009

What a difference a year makes...

A year ago this week was an amazing roller coaster week.

D and I sent in our paperwork to accept E's referral the Friday before Mother's day. We were so excited and scared at the same time, but really looking forward to getting over to meet our new son and bring him home.

Then we got the news. He had been taken to the hospital with some of the other kids because of impetigo. This seemed weird to us because it's just a skin condition but because there was also measles traveling around and E still had the compromised immune system we were told it was precaution. Ok, we thought, that's good, he's being cared for and it's just a skin condition. All is well.

Then we got the next email. Things aren't so good. He ended up in a probable coma, had possible meningitis, and had other really scary diagnosis. I sent the medical information we had received to our PCP here in the states and she wasn't hopeful. She basically said that we should not expect him to live. Even if he did live, because of some of the things the Dr in ET said, he would probably have some pretty significant issues both mentally and physically.

Can I just tell you that it felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. We had been praying about this for a couple of months. I was sure he was our son before D was so I had already begun the process of falling in love. When you send in the paper work to accept a child there's something that happens to you. You take 'ownership' not that we own any of our kids or course... but he was ours. And here he was in the hospital half way around the world, suffering who knows what and we could do nothing about it.

We also heard that a couple of the precious children in his orphanage that had gone into the hospital with him didn't live.

We gathered the kids in the living room that night and prayed. We asked God to heal little E. Even if it meant his healing took him home to heaven, we wanted the suffering he was enduring to end. We sure wanted God to spare him though, and let us bring him home to love on here and watch him grow and get strong.

God heard us, and after a long week of driving Erin bonkers asking about updates, he started to heal and get better.

After several long weeks in the hospital he was able to go back to the orphanage, although we heard through his nanny that he wasn't liking that idea much. Poor little guy. ;o(

It took a couple of months to actually get over there, but I know it was God working. He knew how hard the trip would be on us and him and he needed to heal a bit and we needed to prepare.

After spending the first 12 days home in the U.S. at our Children's Hospital it's still a wonder to me that he survived those weeks in Addis.

Yesterday he was running around the back yard, jumping and kicking balls. Collecting bugs and eating ice cream cake, not at the same time. ;o)

God has big plans for little E. He should not have lived. I can't wait to see what he does with the life he was given.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day fun

My niece M loves  so the kids all collected them. 

My beautiful mom, my big Z, my amazing S, my crazy Z, and my stubborn precious E.

The truck with the green things is a creation E made with the roof slats from Lincoln logs. Pretty ingenious huh?  He's one cool little cookie!

Mother's Day

Sorry for the whine yesterday.  All is well. We still do not have word from the insurance company, but some how all will be ok. I know it. ;o)

It's a beautiful cool sunny breezy day today, can't ask for better.  Thank you God for providing! There are so many in the world without the option of cool air, and AC. So my whine is done. ;o)

It's been an emotional week.  First World AIDS Orphan day and then today.... so many opportunities to think about mothers, and children without mothers.  And being a mom, not always sure I am worthy of being a mom to the kids I have. 

But God has chosen to set these children in my family and I choose to love them with all that I have.  

I thank God for my grandmother.  The tiny little 4 '10 matriarch of the family.  She had 6 kids, all of whom follow God.  She's a little power house... or used to be, since her stroke, there not so much power but a ton of love.  I spoke to her this morning and she always makes sure to tell me how much she loves me and how proud she is. I learned alot from her!

I thank God for my mom.  She's pretty great as S would say.  She's a woman with more creativity and beauty in her pinky than I will ever have in my whole body!  She's beautiful and loving and helpful.  She loves to clean, a trait I did not inherit, her house is always beautiful. She has taught me about love and beauty.

I thank God for giving me children and making me a mom. They have helped me to grow, they keep me humble and they love me no matter what.  

I thank God for my husband.  Who loves me and defends me and lifts me and cooks for me. ;o) He's a gift!

I thank God for N and E's moms.  I can't really express the feelings I have for them.  I am in awe of their strength, in pain for their pain, wishing I could talk to them.  I wish I could share them, really share them.  Show them what beautiful children they have given us.  I pray that God is watching over them, and that E's mom is sitting at the feet of Jesus praising him waiting for her son to come home and they can be reunited.

Happy Mothers day.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Guess What I get for Mom's day??!!

a NEW AC!  ;o)

We have been having crazy Thunder storms lately and we have been pretty lucky, until last night apparently.  
The lightening fried out outside unit.  I do not miss the blessing in the fact that the rest of the house didn't catch fire.  I am WAY! thankful for that!

The HVAC guy that came out today at 5pm on Saturday... didn't charge us.  He just said call your home owner's insurance agency and file a claim.  Lightening should be covered.  So will you say a prayer that it is covered, because that's not really an expense we had budgeted for, I am confident that this will be resolved.  

We do have a whole house fan, that is helping some, but it's 85 degrees inside. ;o)  Sticky sleeping.  ;o)

What I really wanted was my tattoo... lol, more on that later, when I really get it.  ;o)

Happy Mothers Day everyone!


Yummy Strawberries, beautiful flowers from my yard, and a warn out E from pickin' those beautiful strawberries.... Better than Good! ;o)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Good stuff

First good thing.... IT's FRIDAY! YAY! I love Friday. It means I get 2 days off work to play with my kids. I am thinking about going Strawberry picking. We have a ton of places we can go. I think the kids would have a blast, I know I will... and LOVE strawberries. Strawberry we come! ;o)

Last night we had our first Missions Team meeting. I am SO excited! I think we will probably have about 12 people. We are meeting again in June and will have some more firm ideas about what we are doing and when. I think we will be traveling in April 2010 over Spring Break so that those that are teachers can come if they want to and not have to take too much time off work. We are just working now on our focus. Where the most need is. We already have some great ideas for fund raisers.

I am missing my ladies from last weekend. We really had so much fun.

I am going to leave you with a fun song that we sang several times.... I dare you not to love it. I have been making many a fellow driver on the road laugh as they watch me jam in my van to this song! ;o)

Blessings and HAPPY FRIDAY

and P.S. YAY! A New Trader Joe's opened right up our street. SO excited! Fresh strawberries and Traders Joes... AND Mothers Day.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Today is World AIDS Orphan Day

I don't even know what to say to be honest with you....

I am really pretty emotional today.
Read what Erin said...Here

Or what Lisa said.. Here

Or visit the World AIDS Orphan Day site to read more about it's just a piece of what the site says:
Over 15 million children worldwide have lost one or both parents to AIDS – equivalent to the number of people living in New York, Paris, and Bangkok combined. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, over 12 million children have been orphaned by the pandemic.
Experts believe that millions more orphans remain unaccounted for in India, China and Russia.
By 2010, the number of AIDS orphans worldwide is expected to reach at least 20 million.

I am not sure how to wrap my head around 20 million.

Here is more:

The Facts
Number of AIDS Orphans:

There are over 15 million children orphaned by AIDS around the world.

Well over 12 million AIDS orphans live in Sub-Saharan Africa, alone.

Experts believe that millions more orphans remain unaccounted for in India, China and Russia.
At least 10 million more children will be orphans by AIDS by 2010.

The Impact:
In addition to the trauma of losing a parent, orphans are often subject to discrimination and are less likely to receive healthcare, education and other needed services.

In HIV affected households lacking community support, food consumption can drop by 40% putting children at risk to hunger, malnutrition and stunting.

Impoverished and often without support to educate and protect them, orphans and vulnerable children face increased risk of HIV infection.

Orphans are often easy prey to many forms of exploitation: forced labor, prostitution and child soldiering.

Support for AIDS Orphans:
Fewer than 1 in 10 AIDS orphans receives any external support.

US $4.6 billion is needed to implement a comprehensive response to AIDS orphans and vulnerable children. Estimates suggest that less than US $0.5 billion is currently being invested.

Only three countries – the US, UK and Ireland have earmarks providing at least 10% of HIV/AIDS funding to orphans and vulnerable children. Yet experts believe that these promises and legislation are unfulfilled as they meander through government bureaucracy
World AIDS Orphan Day

The thing that gets me, besides all the numbers and the statistics and the that I am living with one of these children. I have often wondered what his mother was thinking as she died. My E wasn't her only child... did she take time to pass along her motherly wisdom? Did she hold them close and kiss their faces and tell them to be strong? Did she fear she had shared this illness with her children? What did the children think? What must they have thought when they not only had to say good bye to their parents but to their little brother? Where did they get the strength to take him to the orphanage and ask for help?
Did they know he would find a home some day? Did they know he would be loved and cherished and honestly...spoiled ;o) ? Where are they? Are they sick too? Do they yearn for their mom and dad and baby brother?

I wish I could tell them. I wish I could love them close up...not just from far away. I wish they knew that I pray for them, and that they made the right choice. That E IS loved, and IS cherished and is a gift.

Since today is the National Day of Prayer as well. Will you take a moment to pray. Pray for our country, those here that are infected with HIV/AIDS. Pray for our leaders that thay make decisions that will change the way funds are allocated so that those that need medications receive them. Pray for the pharmeceutical companies to end their greed (this one is a tall order, but he God is pretty BIG) Pray for the parents in process to bring home the children who are HIV+, as well as for the families that are left behind. Pray for the world's orphans.

Today at 3:15pm (regardless of time zone) join people from around the world for 60 seconds of prayer.

AHOPE for children has a great presentation about how you can help.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

World AIDS Orphan Day May 7th

Please visit From HIV to Home

They are sponsoring Walk's to help raise money to provide grants for families that want to adopt children with HIV. Their 'Kids Walking Kids' home fundraiser is going on now. There will be several families participating around the country to raise money tomorrow and this weekend. Please visit them and make a donation. Any amount helps!

They have been doing pretty great work. And I can tell you from experience that having a grant to help bring a child home helps tremendously.

For fun.... If you go to the link and make a donation, then comment here and tell me that you did (I don't need to know how much, just that you did) can also email me...I will put your name in a drawing for a fun gift!

Good news and Daycare aggrevation...

Good news first :o)

Our city has a program with the school system that assesses children who may be at risk for needing special education in Pre-school. We took E in on Monday to have him tested. He is very smart and has really progressed quite well since he came home but we wanted to make sure that he wasn't going to be held back when he starts Kindergarten. If we can help him succeed we want to. The added benefit is that having him tested gives us more information just in case the local courts want to give us issue with changing his date back to the one we believe is correct. (the ET government put the wrong year on his paperwork...oops)

So the good news is that he's right on track for a 3 yr old. In fact they were very impressed with how well he was doing considering he's only been home for 8 months. He was able to tell them all of the colors, copy a circle and lines, and identify almost all of the objects they asked of him. And the ones he couldn't...he would tell you what the object was for ie: for comb he said hair. He knew what it was for, he just didn't remember the name of the object. Or he knew that leaves come from trees but didn't remember the name for 'leaf'. Alot of that has to do with learning the language which he has done very well. There were a couple of letter sounds we were concerned with, but they said they felt that he would work those out the longer he had here in the country and was exposed to the language. They were also very impressed with the fact that he tied the shoes on the play bear. That's one of the things that really impressed us too when we were home only a few days. His fine motor skills are pretty amazing.

So he's not ready for Kindergarten this year, as we knew, but he should be on track for next year. All this is good stuff!

Daycare ...ugh!
So we have really been annoyed with the daycare the boys go to for a long time, but they enjoy it, seem to be doing ok, and we didn't want to put them through another transition before it was necessary. We were going to have them change center's for the summer program and then just keep E at the new center for the school year and have N attend Kindergarten. The director of the current Daycare informed us yesterday that they are closing the preschool on May 22. Our public school year doesn't end until June 18th so none of the summer programs at other center's begin until June 22nd. We are out Daycare for a month. The really annoying thing about this is that the director has used the school system's calendar to take days off and change our schedule to suit her needs and now she's not following the schedule. She states that it's in the contract we signed... I haven't found it yet to verify, but I guess it's a moot point.

The director has said she would 'work with us', as if she's doing us a favor. But only for certain hours and only on certain days. NOT helpful. If we had some other option the boys would be out today.

Oh, to win the lottery... I don't need millions, just a couple
I am praying that God provides... I know He will. Just need some help for a couple of weeks... some one some where must need some extra money right?

OH! And we have our first missions meeting on Thursday to talk about our trip next year! ;o) I am SO excited. It's World AIDS Orphan day, and I think that what better way to honor it than to get people together, discuss it and figure out how we can make a difference.

Have a Blessed Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Weekend Recap

It truly was an amazing weekend.
I haven't had that much fun in a LONG time!

It started on Thursday, my friend L picked me up and we headed out to the conference location, it's about an hour away. It was a fun ride, just good girlfriend chat time.

We arrived and began to set up for the weekend, unpacked, ate lunch, unpacked some more, prayed and prepared.

My job on the weekend ended up being assistant music director. Those of you that know me, know that this was a bit out of my comfort zone. I do enjoy singing, and I know I can carry a tune, however my range isn't great and I hate I sing GREAT in my shower and in my car but leading music is a bit different. Luckily the actual leader is amazing so I just followed her lead. It was such an amazing blessing to be standing facing the women while we sang. Seeing their faces, feeling the praise, making eye contact with beautiful faces... watching women come out of their shells and praise God with all that they had. Good stuff!!!

God also found several opportunities to teach me about Grace. There are certain personality traits that drive me batty about some people. I am sorry it's the honest truth... but some people just drive me crazy. As I am positive I can do to others. I fully believe that God loves us each the same and of course loves those that drive me nuts with the same love that He loves me... I am clearly NOT God though... I do love them, it's the liking part that I work on. ;o( So those are the people that He kept putting in my path and proclaiming their love for me. Talk about humbling....many times I found myself thanking God for His Grace and His love and His humor.

I met some amazing women. There were a couple of women whose church had started and funded an orphanage in Bolivia for 42 boys. How great is that?!

I got to talk about our adoptions and do a tiny bit of HIV education.

The kids and D had a great time and were all healthy, happy and clean when I got to see them on D is a great dad.

I miss the ladies from the weekend already, but know that I made some pretty great new friends and have a renewed sense of joy and peace.

All good stuff! God is so Good!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I am home.
I am tired.
I am filled with the love of Christ!!
What a weekend!  
So much amazing stuff....beautiful women, new friends, new vision, renewed passion and full heart.

God is Good!