Sunday, May 31, 2009

6 months!

We are nearing the 6 month marker for Sarah being home! It has gone so quickly and she has made incredible progress! She never ceases to amaze me! Sometimes she finishes my sentences when I can't think of the word. She has a wonderful sense of humor! We can joke together and we know what each other means. It has truly helped her deal with her minor insecurities and jealousies! She knows the truth and she knows things are pretty fair but she can't help but want the reassurance-  we do not mind giving it to her. Truly this wonderful little girl was meant to be in our family and we are so thrilled she is with us! A blessing beyond belief

Sarah can now understand our little Anna better than us. Okay, at first I was thinking "no way" but it is true! She often will tell us what Anna is saying. Because of her bilateral cleft Anna is sometimes difficult to understand. She is talking so fast and so much that I am often saying "What did you say honey?" and Sarah tells me what Anna is saying!

We got a trampoline in our yard this week. The kids are having a blast! You never see a sad kid on a trampoline! They are always smiling! It has been a draw for the neighborhood kids- Sarah loves it! Today she came inside and Dad said "Sarah, you have lots of friends!" She said "I know!" It is so nice for a child who has only been home 6 months and who has been home schooled the whole time to feel like she has lots of friends! I should have taken a pic with all the kids on it but I didn't- oops! Here is a pic of our kids having fun on the tramp! It is even bonding for family!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Bursting at the Seams (with excitement)!

Oh, I am so bad. I cannot keep a secret especially when it is this exciting BUT I CAN'T tell you about it either. Not yet, it's not the right time, I need to wait until it is official. When it is official I will be shouting from the mountain tops! Right now we have a few hurdles to get past and a bit of homework to do.

FYI- I think it is pretty cool that God heard our prayers when we fasted. He gave us answers- they surprised me, I wasn't expecting them so quickly and the feeling of certainty that came with it. Have I told you how cool our God is! The prayers of our group continue- we kind of shared something special. I am eager to follow along and see God work in all our lives! Hey gang, please keep us all updated!

Okay back to the secret that I can't tell you. It may involve beautiful brown asian eyes? It may have something to do with an incredible smile that you can't seem to forget- but again I am not telling you anything. Not a word from me, my lips are sealed!

If you get a chance please include us in your prayers- like I said there are a few obstacles, a few bumps in the road but nothing that our awesome mountain moving God cannot handle!!

For adorable pics of a fun FCC outing please visit "the princess diaries"

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Beware of Dog!

We have a new member of the family. She is protecting our turf while her mother... Katie... travels. Yes, I said travels. I have kept it from you dear friends- I'm already so jealous I thought it would be just too much for all of you and I'd lose a few bloggy friends if you heard where she was going. 

Okay, okay you twisted my arm- she went to Switzerland (I don't even know how to spell it). 

from Switzerland she went to Amsterdam, Germany, France and then Italy. 
and what did I get... I got her dog...

I was left with instruction to get the dog bathed and groomed but I rather like the dread locks look, don't you think?

Her name is Penny and she is enjoying her time with her cousins Missy and Mia.

Just so you know- I have only been in the USA and China- that's it... 

Somethings gotta change...

Grateful for...

Last weekend was a wonderful weekend- I love having that extra day! We made good use of every moment and made sure to have lots of fun!!

It just happened to be my birthday weekend. I got a lovely bouquet of balloons- can you guess who may have picked them out? Elmo is a sure give away! Every 51 yr old should have Elmo balloons. Turning 50 was a bit of a shocker, now at 51 I feel as young as can be! 

I am so very grateful to God for our children! They are so much fun!

I am grateful for the men and women that serve our country and allow us to live with freedom!

I am grateful to our Lord who guides us through every twist and turn life has to offer!

I grateful for the seasons! They are so beautiful and enjoyable! Always something to look forward too!

I am even grateful for my birthday- it's better than the alternative!

Wishing you a wonderful day filled with many reasons to be grateful!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Nothing to Fear!

Just to let you know the fast went great. The reason I am sharing this with you is because I was really afraid to fast. I didn't think I could last very long without food and I was sure I would fail and then what message would that send to God...

BUT all is well! It was a modified fast- we only went to 2:00. I didn't get really hungry until 1:50! Yes, we could have done it longer but it was good and it was successful. 

Thank you so much to the friends that fasted with me! There were 7 of us all together! 

So if you are like me and afraid to do it- don't worry, give it a try, God is not looking for you to fail. He wants you to be successful, if something happens where it just doesn't work out that day- I got a feeling he will understand. I did "set up" the day where I did not have to feed the kids and the temptations where low. I had a sitter for a few hours- that enabled me to get away and focus on prayer. I kept thinking of where I should go for lunch and then I'd remember- oh yea, I can't do that!

I will definitely fast again.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Fasting Date

I am planning to fast on this Wednesday, May 27th. Anyone who is interested is welcome to join me- I hope to share the experience with a couple other people! Lori, Chasity and Lila have said they are interested- that would be awesome! Thank you so much! Shonni is also interested but she will be on her way to Uganda for a mission trip with her oldest daughter- how wonderful!! I am so excited to hear about it!!

Here is my e-mail- please send me your desired prayers and I will share mine with you and the prayers of others that join us. How awesome to have this be a group effort. I am planning to fast for 2 meals- BKF and lunch. I am planning to end it at about 2:00. Maybe next time I will challenge myself for a longer period of time.

On another note- isn't this the cutest little flower shop you have ever seen. I just had to stop and take a picture to share it with you!  

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Who is included in "WE"?

Oh man, I am so sorry! Where the heck have I been? This has been my longest span of not blogging. I have missed you all and my blogging hobby (or should I say addiction). 

Anyway, Hubby and I have been mulling over some thoughts, a new direction, maybe a new calling- we are just in the talking phase. It is regarding our next adoption. WE thought we had it all together- WE thought WE new exactly what WE were doing and what WE wanted BUT one problem... the WE included Hubby and I BUT not God. Major oops!

One thing I know- I do not want to do anything without God. So we are backing up a few steps and doing some major praying and I have even thought about some fasting- which scares the daylights out of me but now that I said this I should probably at least try it. Are there any takers- that want to fast with me? Maybe we can pool a few needed prayers and petition for each other. Oh my, this is scarey! Help me Lori! Help Linny if you can!

I mentioned to hubby about fasting. He said "Well, I think others should join me!" 
You know I think this guy is the funniest guy around. Its a good thing I do because he loves that!
He responded this way because the dear guy hardly eats anything all day long just to maintain his weight at a healthy level. Me, on the other hand - yes, bless my heart I am pretty sure I am one of those hypoglycemic people. I get weak just talking about not eating. But - I am going to try this because I cannot be afraid of the unknown- God will be with me!

One time a friend who lost her husband to cancer said to me "I never plan too far ahead". I think that is very wise. 
If I plan too far ahead-
I will miss living in the present,
I may miss what God has planned for me because I have already made my plan,
I miss the excitement and joy of seeing God's plan unfold,
I am not really giving God control- I am trying to control God.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A case of the "I wants"...

I am sorry that I have not posted for so long... I have been very preoccupied with praying then trusting, then doubting and then repeating the cycle. So basically what I have been doing is driving myself crazy... I have been pretending to pray, not really trusting and then wondering why I am not feeling God's comfort. The cycle has got to stop!

In the evening I enjoy reading a devotional- It has beautiful verses from the bible and then a brief explanation of the meaning of the verse. It is good BUT not good enough I need to get back into my bible and hear our Lord's words!

The truth is I have got a bad case of the "I wants"- it is spring and I want to redo/fix our landscaping, I want to buy the lot next to us so we have more space, I want to buy a basketball hoop, and I want to buy a swingset. It is not a good thing when the "I wants" sneak into my life. It is a red flag- and it tells me that I am going in the wrong direction. I need to take a giant step backwards, clear my thoughts, give my heart to God and get redirected through him. I actually feel like I need to ask forgiveness because his blessings are so great and I have not had a thankful heart.

The "I wants" get in the way of everything that is important. It causes me to not live in the present. It stops me from trusting God. I become more anxious and dissatisfied. It stops me from having a joyful heart. 

It affects more than me- it sends the message to my dear husband that I am not satisfied with all that he has provided for us. It is not a good example for our children.

I have prayed to God, he has answered me but still I have doubted him. He has said over and over to me to trust him, to be at peace, to have a thankful heart. And then I let the world in- the "I wants" and "the doubts", I question his answers and I become fearful of the "what ifs".

Colossians 3:15
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

Ephesians 6:23-24
May God give you peace, dear brothers and sisters, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May God's grace be upon you all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an indying love.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

When a Home Becomes House...

Our little neighbor has been transforming lately. We have 4 homes off of a little private drive. One of the houses has sat empty for 4 yrs- no one has ever lived in it. It went through a foreclosure- basically the builder and a pretend family closed on it and then they disappeared. Recently a realtor representing the bank sold it. A young couple moved in- it is so good to see light on and activity at the "home". 

The home next to us has just been vacated. The couple has decided to give up on keeping their home and move on with their lives. In the age of easy mortgages it was mortgaged to the hilt- a mistake that is easily done. Times have changed, jobs have changed (he was in the car business), I respect their decision. For the 3 yrs we have lived here, I have never met his wife. Occasionally, we would joke that she was dead in the freezer (like desperate housewives). I was concerned when we first adopted but decided people deserve their privacy. I often wondered if God was trying to tell me to reach out, out of my comfort zone. If I would have knocked on their door, or rang the doorbell know one would have answered- I know because I tried it. I know their were drugs involved, medication to stop the back pain and it probably turned into more than that... I prayed for them.

So this is how a home becomes a house- empty, the grass grows long, the leaves from last fall are blowing all over, it sits empty, and even though I never really knew them, it is really quite sad...

So what am I thankful for...
I am thankful that they are moving on in a positive way with their life.
I am thankful that someday a new family will move in and make this house a home!
I am thankful that our that our dear Lord is with us during the tough times. He has been there, done that and he knows what they/we are going through.
I am thankful that my sweet daughter Katie is moving back home!
I am thankful for the aaaachoo spring! The leaves on the trees and the beautiful lilacs!
I am thankful for our next adoption- which I hope to fill you all in soon!
I am thankful for the sense of peacefulness that I feel, which come from our heavenly father's Holy Spirit! Thank you Jesus!
I am thankful to have a house which I can call a home. Thank you Jesus... again and again!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mixed Feelings

Although I am very thankful to Ch*na for the incredible girls that are now our daughters but I have to say I have very mixed feeling about Ch*na. When I am there I love it, I love the people, their friendliness and smiles, their well meaning ways and the rich history. 

When I am home and I realize that these two wonderful little girls have never had a Momma or a Daddy, my heart aches. When my little 3 yr old takes a wagon ride and looks back at her mommy and cries out "Momma, Momma" I know she is crying out from past hurts and not because she is going a half block a way from me. When my sweet 9 yr old spends the evening at a neighbors home and then the evening ends in sobbing for the friends she left behind in China- I know something is not right. Maybe it is the fact that this incredibly resilient little girl spent 8.5 yrs in an orphanage... no foster family... no Mommy or Daddy, no heat in her home/ orphanage, same food everyday, no parents to care about her school work, corporeal punishment in school, no one to be there when she gets hurt or to watch her as she grows and well, the list could go on.

It is not okay to put off adoptions for whatever reason... while these children get older and older. It is not okay to wait until they are 5, 8, or 13 for them to have a family.  There are so many families just waiting for a child and their are so many children waiting for families. Why on earth would is there a 3-5 yr wait for adoptions- it is not fair, it is not right, they deserve better.

I really never speak my mind but I couldn't help myself after hugging a 9 yr old for 2 hours as she fell asleep.

I am grateful that these two precious girls are our daughters but at the same time I feel guilty for even being grateful- they should have never had to go through all of this...

My heart aches for them and for the other millions of children who have been put in this situation. It is not only Ch*na but many other countries, maybe even our own beloved America. How can this be... how can this happen?

Monday, May 11, 2009

So Grateful to be a MOM!!

I am a happy Momma with my wonderful kids! We were missing Katie- she is still at college.

Sarah and Hubby surprised me in the morning with coffee and flowers!

Happy Mother's Day!! Little Anna gave me a flower for Mother's day! It was a beautiful marigold! The only problem is I am allergic to marigolds! I have been sneezing for the last couple days - ever since I received my wonderful gift! I have a slight tendency to kill flowers so we will see what happens to the marigold! Hopefully I can replant it outside, where it will live a long life... okay until mid September! She is so cute about it- she wants her flower back! She wants to play with it! She doesn't understand it was a gift to her Momma and you can't play with flowers!

I have a had a wonderful day, today! It is a day filled with deep gratitude to our Lord! How can I be a mom to 5 incredible birth children and then 2 beautiful daughters from China. Thank you Jesus!!

Today we went to church and had brunch! I always love it when we all get together! Mark was home for the weekend so it made it even more special! He went back to college this late afternoon. Jim and the girls went to Johnny's soccer game- it seems that my sweet boy scored the goals for both teams... in other words it was 1-1... those darn headers can go in any direction! He reassured me that it was the "refs fault"- of course I feel much better, now! ;-)

I spent my time at home catching up on things like laundry, bills, picking up dog poop, watering plants and just enjoying the peacefulness of home! It was quit enjoyable- especially since I spend all my time with our precious children!

Please hop over to The Princess Diaries and let me know what you think about our latest question!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Updates on us!

So today I said to hubby as we were talking about our next adoption, " You know, I'm okay with not going with another baby."

He looks at me and smiles and then says " Well, that's a good thing since your 51 st birthday is approaching."

Then he says " I'm okay with not playing high school sports, too."

Maybe it's just me but I think this guy is so funny!

Just a few updates- Hubby had his teeth extracted on Monday. He felt much better right away! He is still healing and on the antibiotics and rinses. We are thankful that is over with!

The movie I got Mark for his b-day was SP. I do not watch it but I do roll on the floor laughing when the kids recite some of the lines!

Mark is home for the weekend and we love it! We had a houseful tonight for dinner! The girls are so excited to be with him!

Daughter Katie's last day of college/student teaching was today. She is both happy and sad. She loves the University of Iowa and is sorry to leave. She has had a job offer in Colorado but is probably not going to take it. We are both happy and sad about that one! Happy she had an offer, happy she is coming home, sad she doesn't have a job here ;-0

Billy and girlfriend Kelly are taking Anna and Sarah to the zoo tomorrow. Jim and I have no clue what to do with ourselves! It has been a long time since we had a free afternoon! The options are endless, we just need to make a decision!

As we prepare to adopt again- big brother Mark needed to get his fingerprints taken. I got everyone out the door at 8:45 to head to St. Paul to get it done. It just happened to be the ONLY place around that did Friday fingerprints and us adoptive parents don't like to slow the process down so I decide to utilize this day since he was home!. We drove the half hour and realized he forgot his drivers license- argh, ugh, grrrrr. Then we rescheduled the appointment for an hour later drove back home, got the license and went back to St Paul got the deed done! Yippee!! I took them straight to our agency! There is still a lot more that needs to get done but every little bit counts! A small step in the right direction!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rainbows and so much more to grateful for!

Can you see the double rainbow in this picture! The one on the left is very faint.

Yesterday the girls and I where driving the boys to soccer. It had just finished raining , the clouds were questionable and the sun was trying to peak out. Before we got out of our little neighborhood we spotted a rainbow! Sarah and Anna were so excited to see it! Sarah said "So this is what it looks like!" and "very pretty!" over and over again. Anna was amazed - I am sure she saw one last year but doesn't remember it. It was so beautiful and the colors were so vibrant. What a blessing to see one so soon after Sarah had been asking about them! God is so good!

Rainbows are definitely something to be thankful for!

I am also very thankful for allergy medicine! The spring weather makes me feel so alive. People are finally coming out of their homes, riding bikes, going for walks, cleaning up their yards, visiting together! Kids are playing and laughing outside! The tree have leaves and the flowers are blooming.  Aaaaachoo, sniffle, sniffle, itchy, itchy. The water in the ponds and lakes look so fresh and clean in the spring!

I am so thankful for all the wonderful organizations that are helping the orphans. I am constantly coming across another one! I can't even keep them all straight- who is where and doing what. That being said- there will never be enough help for the orphans until there no longer are orphans. Thank you Lord for the giving hearts of so many individuals and many organization! Let's keep it going!

My big huge, gas guzzling suburban! I have filled it once with children and I am going to try to fill it again!

Older sibs and their friends that are so entertaining for our little girls! This way I can have a chance to blog!

I am thankful that Sarah has made a few friends! She is having fun playing with the little girl next door!

I am so very grateful to God for his many blessings! He is so kind!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Enjoying the Simple Pleasures in Life!

When we adopted an 8 yr old girl- we really had no idea what to expect. I mean this little girl has been alive for 8 years without us- we didn't know what experiences she had in her former life, what she liked, and what she didn't like.  We just prayed, read books and went with it! The journey has been fantastic!

When we first had bio kids it was so exciting because you get to teach them everything- your world is their world and they grow and change everyday right in front of your eyes! With Anna I can see many similarities- she came home at 16.5 months old. She couldn't crawl, feed herself, or talk and by the time we left China she was crawling a couple steps, feeding herself finger foods, smiling and laughing.  Within 2 months at home she was walking and soon after that she started talking!

Now fast forward to an 8 yr old. I thought I would be teaching her a lot- like the english language, learning to like american food, her new address and telephone number, getting to know her home and community. What I didn't realize is that there where many things that she had never experienced- many animals that she has never seen, when her birthday was and how old she she really is, the many tastes and textures of different foods, how to play a game and take turns, the sequencing of life- like the leaves on the trees, the changes of the seasons.
I thought she had already experienced many of them.  Yesterday Sarah colored a rainbow and then she asked me what is this? Have you ever seen this? I was blown away- don't they have rainbows in China? I took great pleasure explaining a rainbow to her and told her we would watch closely for one and as soon as we see it, we will show her. 

Tonight we watched Johnny's soccer game. It was 75 and partly sunny, the grass is lush and green! Sarah was so excited to take her shoes off and run in the grass- another simple pleasure from our Lord. As we watched the game we could see the sunbeams shining down between the clouds. She was amazed at its beauty. With springs arrival she is noticing everything and it is fascinating to watch her.  

Sarah has been alive for 9 yrs. and so much of life is completely new to her but what is so cool is she can verbalize her appreciation for it, her excitement is contagious and her joy is evident! 

Adopting an older child is incredible. They don't have to be babies to have "firsts". They don't have to be babies to be attached, to learn, to enjoy humor, to accept and give love. I know those babies are so darn cute but I have to tell you the big kids are so darn fun!

We went to the local park the other day. The girls loved it! Sarah is no longer afraid of people with darker skin. When we first met her she just couldn't help herself and she had to stop and stare. We all would try to explain they are the same as us it's just that their skin is darker. She seems to be over it now. She made some friends at the park and they all had fun together!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Family Dance!

I have been thinking of this post for awhile because I find all the family interactions so interesting. It reminds me of a play you could call "The Family Dance"- it could be an opera, a featured film, a ballet, a musical at a local playhouse or any other type of production.... It is where individuals in a family interact, how they interact and the reasons for their interactions regarding different family issues.

It may be a new daughter testing the waters- what works with this family and what doesn't work.

It may be a 3 yr old ready to move on to new challenges but at the same time coveting her place as the youngest in the family and not ready to give it.

It could be the awesome oldest son as he looks at you while you tell him you plan to adopt again. It is a partial "cool and are you crazy" look!

It could be that wonderful middle child that goes with the flow and tends not to worry.

Or maybe it is the once "only daughter", that has had to share her princess status with others- I think she's getting used to it by now!

Of course there is the son that is away at college that every once in awhile will say "hello, have you forgotten about me?" That only happens when we forget to pay a bill! He is the same one that when the girls see his picture they tell us how much they miss him.

And then there is the precious youngest son that has enjoyed for so long being the baby! He has embraced his new family situation but at times can be a bit stubborn.

All in all I think we have a beautiful "Family Dance"! We are not always "in sinc" ( that is a heredity thing from hubby)- that is a whole other story, you know the one- dance lessons before the wedding, one of us had a little trouble keeping the beat (it wasn't me), we needed to count during the wedding dance, best man noticed, yadda, yadda, yadda....

But it works! Thank you Jesus! from the bottom of my heart! You have blessed us beyond belief! We are forever grateful to you!

Saturday, May 2, 2009


I love my sweet man!! Sometimes I am just not so sure of this being God made- so much like us and yet soooooo different! I have the book men are from mars and women are from venus- but I have never read it.

My dear man has not been feeling well for a week. We have been thinking it was just a little viral thing floating around- nothing serious. Johnny has not been feeling well either, Sarah had 2 days where she was under the weather and last weekend I wasn't feeling too good. So everyday I am saying to him how are you doing honey, feeling better and expecting a big yes. His answer is I'm getting there. So yesterday- honestly I started to worry- so I prayed and prayed for my dear hubby and to not worry and just trust God.

This morning we believe we have a diagnosis- a little virus- yes he has that but my guy has a double toothache- most likely 2 abcessed teeth. 

I am torn inside part of me wants to say dear we have great dentists around here, you knew you needed those teeth taken care of, toothaches are so painful, how could you let it go on for a week, it is dangerous to have an infection in your head, you work in the dental business, yadda, yadda, yadda...

If it had been a woman- we would have gotten into the dentist asap and taken care of it. We also would have been able to determine what was wrong earlier.

Then there is this side of the story. This guy is so darn selfless that he put everyone else ahead of him. He was busy at work, our family was busy and he often just doesn't take time for him, so therefor he did not take the time to get it taken care of. This guy also has a high pain tolerance and when he doesn't feel well he retreats to bed quietly praying until he feels better. Honestly, he is so low maintenance.

We have called the dentist and he will be taking powerful antibiotics until he can get in on Wednesday. Toothaches are so painful- I don't even know how he can function as well as he is. 
I am thankful we know what it is!

I love my man!! This is one frog that won't be thrown back into the pond! 

Friday, May 1, 2009

Busy Week

Mom and Daughter- wait a second that's my little girl with Lori!

Johnny and Mark... Hold it! My blog is being invaded! That's Nick and Brenden!

My little organizer!!

Oh My- it has been busy around here! I have had a post for True Story Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday and Thankful Thursday but I never had time to write them! I am so sorry I haven't been out and about on others blogs- I'll make up for it this weekend!! I actually really missed my blog time but I was doing other important stuff! (I think or maybe it was just stuff- I can't even remember what I've been doing?)

Last night Johnny had a soccer game on the other end of town. We drove an hour there and it was freezing outside-with a 30 mph wind. Anna let us know right away she wanted back in the car! The game went into double over time and then a shoot out. They went through 11 shooters each and then finally declared a winner- it was our team- yippee!! The poor girls where in the car the whole time- with me. They were hungry, bored- we tried to watch movies, sing songs and eat snacks. It was a long night but we do enjoy supporting Johnny in the things he loves to do.

After the game he got in the car and right away said "Mom, you don't have to worry about me loving Jesus. I prayed through the whole shoot out, I couldn't even watch." Hey- I'll take him loving Jesus anyway I can get it! Even if he is praying just for a win! I told him right away I'd be blogging about this- he said that's fine but you need to post cool soccer pics of me, not me hanging  out with my sisters. So this summer we will be posting cool soccer pics! Kind of like the cool basketball pics we saw from Lori's blog this winter! You also have to check out 
Vickie's blog- their story is incredible! If you want to read the funniest story ever go to 
Sally's blog - it's the post about homemade dog food!

I have no pics to go with this post - so sorry- I may put up random ones! And I did!