Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lofty Goals...

Trying... really trying to get my house cleaned up today.  I love a clean house.  Most people who know me think I can't live any other way...

But...

When you have a couple of babies in the house... things tend to fall apart...

My goal for today is to end the day with a sparkling clean house and all the laundry finished...

Lofty goals, I know... but I'm going with it.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Congrats...

If you can't find me on July 17th...

it's because I'm at my daughter's wedding...

and I'm gaining a new son...

which we need more of around here!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Just Makes it Official...

Two days ago

On February 23rd

We were skyped by a young man.

He professed great love and admiration for someone I hold quite near and dear...

My oldest daughter.

He asked for our permission to ask that dear one to...



MARRY HIM!!!!


He showed us the ring and told us his plans to take her to a favorite spot in the mountains, over looking the city lights and "pop" the question.

Then, I had to text and talk to her several times without giving it away...

Uggggg....
So hard!

Last night, we waiting by the phone on pins and needles.

And...

When the call came, saying...

"Mom, I'm engaged!"

I got tears in my eyes and felt such joy at how God can provide us with such blessings.

I am truly looking forward to being able to "officially" call this young man my son.
In my heart, he has been that for many years...

This just makes it official.

Nearly Peed...

You've probably seen this... but we don't watch television around here.  So, when I saw this on a friends blog... I laughed so hard... I nearly peed my pants!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

School...

School can look like many things around here. 

Sometimes it is definitely textbooks and pen to paper.

Sometimes, however, it looks like cooking or building with blocks or legos or tinker toys.

Sometimes it looks like guitars and music or worship music.

Sometimes it can be videos or long conversations with mom or dad or even an older sibling.

It can be the computer or a book.

It can be getting under a car with Dad and learning what makes that engine purr.



Don't limit yourself.

Don't assume that school has to look the same or they can't be learning.


Sometimes the best learning comes in ways that don't "look" like learning at all.


Monday, February 22, 2010

The First Hint...

At the first hint of warmer Spring temperatures
my children ditch their big bulky winter coats for hoodies and sweatshirsts.
As you can see from the yard across the street
it is still cold and the snow (on their side of the road) is still solidly bound to stick around for a bit.

My kids don't care.
The sun is out and it seems warmer...


I mean...
the temperature is at least 40 today!


Let the playing begin!


Glory, Hallelujah!
Let the playing begin!


I will guarantee you, though...
that some major doggy issues must be cleaned up out back before anyone can venture out there!

Yeah...

and I don't see them rushing out to take care of that job...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Best Words to Say...

Sometimes...

The best words to say...

are...

"How do you want me to pray?"

I was blessed with these words this morning.

I was blessed to know that others care when I am hurting.  As this friends eyes filled with tears this morning, I remembered that we are not alone in this battle.  So many people care. 
Not only about us... but about these little boys.

When the question was asked...

I paused...

and thought...

How do I really want her to pray...

Do I ask... selfishly... for what I really, really want? Or do I ask for wisdom as we make some pretty big decisions in the next couple of days...

I chose to ask for wisdom... and answers...

(Shocking, I know... but the Lord has brought us through quite a time lately with many lessons learned.)

Thank you, my dear friend...

for helping me to remember that we are not alone...

For sharing your tears with me.  For reaching out and touching me.  For not assuming that the best thing to pray for is automatically what I want...

Thank you for being that physical reminder...

We are Never truly alone...


Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Business of Living...

I know... I promised photos.

And then...

I went crazy for a day... literally... it was not good... tears and anger directed... at the state but sadly at my husband... who couldn't do anything to change their minds or "fix" things... and for that, I was mad.  I think I was truly scared and that came out in my own way.

I have apologized to all for letting myself be taken down that path.  I will say it again, however, I am sorry.

The very next day after court... and the almost certain reassurance that these babies would be ours forever... we are now being told, "No.  We think we will send them to this other place out of our state... to someone they don't know... who already had several other grandchildren in her home and isn't really capable of taking care of two little babies... but, Oh well."  People, this is literally the way the state workers are talking.

Why didn't I remember how messed up the system is.  They rarely "help" kids.  They talk with so many good intentions, but in the end it is a rare thing that they actually do the best thing for the children.  We had almost decided to stop doing foster care because of these issues... and then their promises began. 

Now, I am heartbroken.  My husband is heartbroken.  My children are heartbroken.

Again, anything can happen.  We have seen it all.  In the end they could stay or go.  We have been shocked over and over again at the states decisions.  For as much as the states claim greatness in all that they do to help... those of us working on the inside... sure see another side.

Okay, I have ranted enough.  Now, I will get down to the business of taking care of my family... and these babies.  We aren't sure where to go from here... but the possibility that we will be done working with the state is very real.  My kids don't need this emotional rollercoaster... and neither do my husband or I.

I will now get back to the business of living...

Thanks for listening.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

He Walks Before Me...

I promise to post some type of photo tomorrow...

As you can imagine, things have been a little "tired" around here.

We had some great news at court yesterday.  We are one step closer to the babies being officially ours.  Keep in mind that anything can happen.  We have seen it all, but this is good news!

Thanks to all of you who have been praying...

You are appreciated so very much!!!

Please keep us in your prayers as we walk through this journey.  Especially pray that I will remember that God is in control.  He has a plan.  He can see so much more than I do.  He loves us all... and wants the best for us.  Pray that I will continue to rely on Him and His word.  He will NOT fail us.  I don't need to fear every step because He walks before me.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

No Matter What...

We met the caseworker for our little guys today.

It is such a difficult case. 

Someday, I hope to be able to share all of the details.

Just pray for us, please.

How do you not give your heart away to these little people???

I don't want to get hurt and I certainly hope that things don't end negatively, but there is always that chance.

I am clinging to Deut. 31:8...

"Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord will personally go ahead of you.  He will be with you.  He will neither fail you nor abandon you."

No matter what,

God will take care of us and our little guys.

Whether they remain with us forever or not.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What's Going On Over There?????

Well, we have two new additions to the family.  Twin cuties!  Eli and Noah.

Hopefully, we will be ready to complete the adoption process by the 6 month mark.

God has a plan.  We just need to be open to whatever He has for us and however He wants to use us.  This may turn out the way we are hoping for... and then again... He may have a different purpose.

What I ask from all of you, is that you keep us in your prayers.  Two is definitely different than one... but, we are loving every moment!  (Even on 1 1/2 hours of sleep)

Hopefully, I will have good news to report in the days and weeks to come.

So, now you know what's happening over here...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentines Day...

This year...

Valentines Day...

Means grabbing a quick bite with my sweetheart...

and heading to the NICU to hold two babies...

and hope they can come home to us next week...

More Details when things settle and the babies are home.

Friday, February 12, 2010

On That Promise...


Sometimes things don't happen the way we planned for... or hoped for.

Sometimes, people let us down.

Sometimes we spend a little too much time wallowing in self pity.  (In my mind.. any wallowing is too much.)

Sometimes we expect too much.

Christ tells us to "lean on Him".

For me, that means when humans fail me my loving Savior is there for me.  Always.

He never leaves me or forsakes me.

On that promise I can rely.


...and for your viewing pleasure...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

One Year Ago v. Today...

One year ago...

Very little snow, beautiful rivers racing away with the meltwater...

Today...

I woke up to 4 inches of snow that has covered over all of the grass I could see yesterday.
Now my prayer is...

Let it Melt!
Today.
Not tomorrow.

I do understand that around here we will be getting snow for the next few months...

But, people...

We have snow on the ground since mid October!  That is 2 months earlier than usual...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My English Men...

I wish I could post a picture for you... but the computer is still not fixed... hopefully today or tomorrow.

My son has recently developed some imaginary friends.  He calls them his English Men.  He tells us long and elaborate stories involving these dudes... who apparently come for dinner sometimes.

I love the imagination of little ones.  Not only do they give you a pretty good laugh, but it is so cool to see how their brain works.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Why, Oh Why???????

Our computer is on the outs again....

It should be up and at 'em again by Thursday...

What does this mean?

Our school day has to be modified...

AND...

I can't upload any photos until then.

Sorry.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Re-Post, for my Daddy...

Back in April of last year, I wrote a blog involving some photos that my dear uncle sent to me.  I wanted to re-post that blog so that my dad would have a chance to check out these photos...

So bear with me while I take a little time to indulge my love of family and old photos...


Old Photos...

My Uncle Dennis was such a sweetie and sent me some old photos of my grandmother and of all of "the boys" when they were younger.
I was so excited to receive these pictures!
I have never seen pictures of my grandmother from her younger years. I only remember visiting her a few times and she was much older then. I was amazed by how pretty she is in this picture. I don't really know why I am amazed... I mean, all of my uncles and my dad are good lookin'... I am not ugly... and my daughter that everyone says looks just like me (a lot of pounds ago) is absolutely gorgeous... so....
Why am I so amazed?!
I am not sure how old she was here. I need to find out. I think she looks like she is late teens or early 20's. Maybe it is a highschool picture...
This is a recent picture of me. Okay, so I know I am about 20 years older than she is in her photo but I think we look alike.
Here is another...
I am the dark headed oldie... but goodie.

And then...
You have my second in line daughter, Cheyenne.

In the photo below, I think she totally resembles her great grandmother.
That is four generations... right? (grandma, my dad, me, her...)


I just think that is so cool!

Okay, I also received pictures of the brothers.

My grandmother had 6 sons. My mother used to tell me that my grandmother had told her... are you still with me... that she had wanted to try for a girl, but by the time my Uncle Donny came along (boy # 6) she just knew it wasn't in the cards for her. (Now I know how I ended up with 7 girls and only 1 boy.)

Above: (top row) Uncle Jim, my dad, Uncle Dennis
Grandma in the middle
(bottom row) Uncle Michael, Uncle Donny, Uncle Danny
Now... I know I am totally boring you, but I love old photos and I love anything to do with my family history. I just don't know enough about all of them and their history.
Okay, this is a picture of (left to right) My dad, Uncle Dennis, Uncle Jim
Uncle Dennis reminded me that Uncle Jim's real name... I think is Julius. I had forgotten all about that, but I know I had heard that before somewhere.
Below is a picture that I saw when I visited my dad last year. He told me that it was taken a few years ago when Uncle Dennis had come out to Missouri for a bit.
Left to right: Uncle Dennis, My Dad, Uncle Jim
Grandma is in the front.
I don't have the opportunity to ask grandma about her own story. I wish I did. I learned after losing my grandmother and my own mother in 2007 that you need to ask those questions and preserve those memories.
Okay, I'm done boring you with what amazes me.
Do me a favor, though. Check into your own history. Ask those questions that you won't be able to ask after your loved ones are gone.
... and THANK YOU Uncle Dennis...
...it means the world to me.








Sunday, February 7, 2010

Turned Loose...


The kids are begging to be turned loose outside.

However, when they get out there, they learn that just because the sun is shining does not mean it is warm!

So, Daddy has been taking them out to run around while we do school.
They go to the mall, air craft museum, train station.

You know, anywhere that little ones might have fun and work off some of their energy so they will take a long nap!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Successfull Marriage...

How do you have a successful marriage...

You die.

No, really!

You...
The selfish part,
that thinks of yourself first,
that doesn't care about others,
the part that always needs to be right or have the last word,
the part that always wants your way...

The part that buys into what the world has to say about the roles of men and women... that says women are the all knowing goddesses and men are stupid, brainless, germs that need a woman to help them brush their teeth...

Must Die.

It is a death that repeats itself occasionally.  Sometimes that worldly part of me raises its ugly head and I have to die all over again.  It can be painful... but Oh So Worth It!


...and just because we have some cool photos of the littlest ones...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Train These Children...

I took three of my kiddos with me to go grocery shopping today.  Usually Mark and I go alone and use this for some couple time (strange?... not really.  With this many kids you have to find your opportunities.)  Mark was having a long day, so I took three and went...

I was instantly reminded how well behaved my sweet kiddos are!

Am I the only one who is shocked by how parents allow their children to behave in public?  I mean, we all understand little ones having an occasional meltdown... but, seriously folks... some kids behave like little criminals in stores these days!

Thank you, Lord for showing me that my job is to train these children that you have so lovingly placed in my care...

What Do You Do...

What do you do
with your smallest children
when winter has gone on for too long
and spring hasn't sprung yet?

Yes...

That is pretty much what you do!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

What Does A Smile Do For You...


His smile makes me warm inside.

I want to cherish each moment because I know how quickly they all disappear.  I want to teach him to love others as much as I love him...

He will...
 afterall...
 be a Daddy someday...

And I plan on loving those babies at least as much as I love him!

Blessed in Return...


We eat a lot of chicken.

We love it!  We love it no matter how it is cooked.

Lately, however, we have been enjoying roasting these babies...

Now, for a family our size we usually roast 2 and have enough leftover to shred for a meal later in the week.  You know, maybe chicken tacos, a casserole, or whatever.

I like to throw a bunch of potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, etc in a dish and cook along side the chicken.  Man, my house smells so good when these are cooking.

We have a friend at church who handles the cooking for our Wednesday night church meal.  Our church puts on a meal on Wednesday nights, before service, for anyone who wants to come and eat together...

Lately they have had so much excess food products that they have been passing  a lot of things on to us.  What a blessing!  We have received 20 whole chickens in the last 2 weeks alone!  We have received snacks, vegetables...  I can tell you that both of my freezers are FULL! 

They man in charge of the kitchen at church tells me all of the time that he just wants bless others.  How amazing!  It really makes you stop and ask yourself, "How can I bless someone else?"

You don't have to give money or work in a soup kitchen.  There may be something you can do or give that you have right in your own home.  We have been sharing some of our cookies and breads with others lately.  They are always appreciated.  Moms who don't get the privelege of staying at home with their babies often appreciate having some of those items.  It can seem too tiring to make those things when your week is full of work.

God wants to use each of us.  He wants us to love others.  He is working on us, big time, in this area.  Each time you let God use you in this way... you not only bless someone else, but you get blessed in return.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Grandma is SOOOOOO COOL!

I'm sure my kids are no different from yours...

They love getting anything in the mail.  You could hand them your junk mail and they would carry it around for a couple of days... so proud of  "their" mail.

A few days ago, they really did get a package... from Grandma.

Grandma and Bampa had been in Hawaii recently and, like always, they were thinking of the kiddos.
They sent the older (and medium) girls pens that said Hawaii on them.  The two little girls received bracelets.

Look at their proud little faces!


Our son, who had just climbed out of bed from his nap, loved his car!  He has barely been a foot away from it since.  He checked it out for awhile... he was just waking up, after all... and then proceeded to drive it around forever!


Even though he was still tired, he gave a sweet smile.
That is asking a lot for a sleepy boy!


Sleepy or not...

Do not try to take this car away from him!

When I asked the kids what they thought of Grandma thinking of them while they were on vacation...

The little girls said, "That is so sweet."

The little man, however, said...

"Grandma is SOOOOO COOL!"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Both sides...

There is a new nightly game around the old homestead.  It is called...

Throw yourself as hard as you can against Daddy and try to crush every bone in his body!

Sound fun?

I know three little kids who think it is a blast!

The nearly bonecrushing jump of a little boy is pretty extreme...


...compared to that of his little sister.


The boys big sister falls somewhere in between... but is still more poetic than bone crushing.

This is so much fun...

for children and Daddy.  He laughs and encourages them to do it again... and harder this time!

This is only one small reason why we need our Daddy in these parts...
The Mommy around here isn't playing this game.
She thinks "Ouch" every time they crash into Daddy.
She warns of impending danger.
She reminds people of the horror stories where one small child may have lost an eye, finger, leg, arm while playing a completely different similar game.

There are some fundamental differences between Mommy and Daddy, you see...

Daddy is rough and tumble... ready to wrestle... eager to play in the cold snow.  Yet ready for a hug or a kiss from any of his brood.

Mommy is soft and silky... ready to color, cook or craft... always sharing laundry folding and a good conversation... and ready for a hug or a kiss from her brood.

I think we need both sides... don't you?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Moods...

You have to be a quick study to catch the ever changing moods of a three year old girl.  Especially the moods of a very independent three year old girl.


This girl knows her mind... until she changes her mind.


All I know, is even when she is... ahem... disagreeable... I love her... and I love being her Mommy.

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Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you,"
declares the Lord,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future..."

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