Friday, December 18, 2009

My theory

If you're interesting in knowing the reason why I think our kids have been to the emergency room a total of seven times for stitches......

Here is my theory: Their crazy dad.

And I know you're wondering, so I'll just go ahead and tell you. Yes, the children did follow after him!

Monday, December 14, 2009

We had a house full of boys and their parents over here on Friday night to celebrate an undefeated soccer season! First place trophies, how exciting for this group of 11 year old boys! I just want to say, this coach is truly amazing. He is a wonderful christian man, great role model, and is just the right balance between challenging and fun. Most of these boys go to the same school and I imagine Simeon will be hanging out with them for a lot of years. I am so thankful.

My silly children played a game with the ice they picked up off the ground. They filled the bucket with ice and water and had a contest to see who could keep their hand in the longest....

And the winner is.......JUDE, at 3 1/2 minutes.

You couldn't pay me to do this. Yet look how much fun they're having.

Liesel wrapped up the tiny diary key and told Hope that it was the key to Fairy Tale Land. She said you can't go to Fairy Tale land until you're 8, but would she can hang on to the key until then. Hope is very excited to enter Fairy Tale Land and now absolutely cannot wait to turn 8. Only 3 more years to hang on to that key.

Here we are at Walmart. Hope is a reindeer pulling Mrs. Claus in her sleigh (with her scarf).
I wish I had a fragment of this imagination.

The kids are teaching Ava to give kisses. She is getting close, but always manages to stick her tongue out at the last minute. This always grosses me out but the kids don't seem to mind it at all. It keeps our immunities strong I guess.

It's starting to look like Christmas around here finally! I had to laugh when I just looked at these photos. It looks like we had a very peaceful and tranquil time putting up Christmas decorations, doesn't it? That's all I'm saying about this post.

Alina has a family!

I just want to say.....ALINA HAS A FAMILY!!!! I got an email from her new mama over the weekend. She said she and her family had sponsored her this Christmas, and in the meantime had fallen in love with her and wanted to make her a permanent member of their family. I am so, so happy for this little girl. :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Seeing Santa at The Little Lighthouse Christmas party

Somebody is way too cool to sit on Santa's lap anymore.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


If you happen to see me in the next couple of days and notice a big goose egg on my cheek, please know that my husband is not a wife-beater. Rather, I was in the attic today pulling out Christmas decorations and I tripped on a pipe and fell on the corner of a chair. John asked me why I didn't catch myself with my hands and I do not know the answer to that. That would have been the logical thing to do. Next time I hope I remember to do that. I feel very loved this evening, however. I had children bringing me ice packs and food, and cleaning the house for the rest of the evening. :) I didn't mind the pain so much then.

Our favorite long time babysitters (two sisters) have grown up and gotten jobs and boyfriends and aren't as available as they used to be. We tried out a new one tonight (who also brought her sister), so John and I had a date tonight for the first time in months! All seemed to have gone well with the babysitters so I think we'll ask them back. I just want to say, my sweet darling husband took me out for sushi even though he himself hates sushi.

Poor Jude doesn't get much blog attention and for good reasons:

1. He is a middle child.
2. He doesn't like to have his picture taken.
3. He is very serious.
4. He doesn't like to be the center of attention.

However, there is so much to brag about on him.

-He is getting straight A's.
-He was Student of the Month.
-He started piano lessons in October and is picking it up very quickly.
-He is as sweet as can be.

Evidently last week the teacher asked if anyone in the class knew how to play the piano. Well he raised his hand. She asked him to audition for the piano part of the Christmas play. Guess what? He is playing Jingle Bells for the 2nd grade Christmas play!! And he's only had six lessons! I am so incredibly proud. He takes after his dad that way.

And yesterday Jude made a Christmas wish list that I have no idea what to do with:
1. A four wheeler
2. A bunny rabbit
3. A tiger kitten
4. A golden retriever puppy
5. A little brother
Oh my goodness................

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I decided some big changes were needed around here, which is one of the reasons I've been absent from blogging lately. I tried a million different ways to do these projects by myself but it turns out a 5 year old would rather paint than watch all the cartoons and eat all the candy she wants. :)

Hope and I painted the porch (part of it anyway)....

The picnic table and benches.....(we agreed that she would paint the bottoms and the backs, and I'd paint the tops and the fronts)....worked out pretty well.

Truth be told it wasn't as bad as I feared it might be. Next time I'll take Mandy's advice and give Hope a bucket of water and a paint brush and tell her to go paint a pretty clear coat on the fence.

I do not regret my decision to let her help. Although there was quite a clean up afterwards, including black dog prints all up and down the sidewalk, I have to say it was awfully sweet to hear her say over and over again, "Mommy, aren't you glad you have a helper?"

And while we were changing things up a bit........I'm a brunette!!

A funny but sad story from last week. One of the kids came in one evening calling us to come see the opossum playing dead in the front yard. We all went out and marveled over the way he could be laying perfectly still, yet breathing, and apparently aware that he was in danger and able to protect himself by pretending to be dead. Fascinating. It seemed like a picturesque moment. So, well, I took a picture. We went out about an hour later expecting him to have gotten up and walked away. Well he hadn't. He wasn't playing dead after all. He was actually dead. How sad. :( I think the Nelly the dog was playing a little too rough with him. Which I suppose is the reason we vaccinate our pets against rabies.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Do Christmas differently

People are dying from the lack of clean water. In fact, it's the leading cause of death in under resourced countries. 1.8 million people die every year from water born illnesses. That includes 3,900 children a day. The solution to this problem is directly beneath our feet. Drilling a fresh water well is a relatively inexpensive, yet permanent solution to this epidemic. $10 will give a child clean water for life. That's not an estimate. It's a fact. And here's another fact: Solving this water problem once and for all will cost about $10 billion. Not bad considering Americans spent $450 billion on Christmas last year. Our hope is that, by celebrating Christ in a new way at Christmas, the church can serve as the leading movement behind ending the water crisis once and for all.
Advent Conspiracy asks that every church and organization who participates in this program give at least 25% of their offering to the water/redistribution project of their choice. For three years, Advent Conspiracy has partnered with Living Water International to help solve this problem. Oh, and no money comes through Advent Conspiracy.

For more donate clean water or learn more about Advent Conspiracy click here.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love how it is a time to celebrate God's goodness, reflect on our many blessings, and to enjoy family. To me Thanksgiving is like Christmas without all the stress, chaos and pressure!

We enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving dinner at my Uncle Mark's house with relatives coming in from Chicago, Kansas City, Austin, and more. A brother and a sister, cousins, aunts and uncles, great nieces and nephews twice removed, and of course soon to be great-great grandmother, the matriarch, Nanny. We ate all day, enjoyed family fellowship, and I enjoyed a great game of Scrabble with my two cousins and a cousin-in-law and watching the kids jump on the jupiter jump that my uncle was gracious enough to rent for them. I really love my family!

I suppose today we should drag out the Christmas tree and the lights and ornaments and garland out of the attic and start making this place look festive. I do not know what is wrong with me. Maybe I am a little bit of a Scrooge, maybe I am lazy, or maybe I am just feeling a little bit down about so many disappointments of late. I dreamed we would be having three little African children here with us to celebrate this Christmas. At least I hoped by now we would know whether to hang up five stockings or eight. :(

I pray that I would be able to keep my focus centered on Christ this holiday season and not get distracted with all the little worries and details and annoyances that tend to make me tired and stressed and grumpy. Can anyone else relate or am I alone here? At any rate I am so thankful for the generous blessings the Lord has given me; particularly my wonderful husband and five really great kids!

And speaking of family.....Here are a bunch of kids who will not be celebrating family this Christmas. As you are hunting for bargains today, would you please remember these children that do not have a family, and consider donating a gift of $35 or more to go towards an adoption grant. These kinds of grants are very helpful in finding families for these orphans. Hurry, and you will get a Christmas ornament with your angel's picture on it to hang on your tree! We have done this for three years in a row now and it has become a very meaningful family tradition to pray as a family for our "angels" that they would be found by their forever family. Click here to see these precious children.

Our family sponsored Zane from Asia and Alina from Eastern Europe this year. (Is it obvious why Alina tugged at our heart strings???)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My little 1950's girl

I'm trying out a new version of blogger in this post. So forgive me if I screw it up...

Would you believe I MADE this 50's poodle skirt last night?? Out of a tablecloth I found at the GoodWill and some felt and yarn from the craft box. I'd say it's not too bad.

Considering I don't really sew! Ha.

Liesel is in the 4th grade play tomorrow night. This girl reminds me SO much of myself when I was her age. Notice how she won't look at the camera. She felt soooo.....embarrassed to go to school dressed like this today for rehearsal, afraid everyone was going to 'stare' at her.

Good thing she is just a singer in the back row huh?
My poor Mom spent a lot of time when she was here a couple of weeks ago teaching me how to make pin curls and poofy buns.....50's preparation for tomorrow night's event.

And then I went and put it up in a scarf and pony tail. Sorry Mom.

I don't know that I would have been very stylish had I lived in the 50s.

Time for Depends?

Does anyone know what happens when a kid outgrows the biggest size of diapers? I'm guessing I have to start buying Depends? Please tell me I don't have to start buying Depends. Somebody? Anybody?

Monday, November 16, 2009

A weekend family getaway

We picked the kids up early from school on Friday and headed to Branson for a semi-spontaneous surprise family getaway for two nights. Getting away for a couple of days was JUST what I needed.

I didn't feel like lugging my big camera all around Silver Dollar City so I left it at home. Too bad, because I missed some great photo opportunities. The rain chased everybody away on Sunday so we practically had the place to ourselves. I came prepared with raincoats and umbrellas for each of us so we got to continue to ride the rides in the rain, not to mention with NO lines, which in my opinion is the best way to ride roller coasters!!

We stayed in a cabin, and Friday night/Saturday morning Ava woke up in the night...which she never ever ever ever does....I was laying with her in the bed since we didn't have a crib and I didn't want her to roll out of bed. Anyway, she sat up in bed and started signing something in the dark. I was finally able to make out what she was trying to say: "HOME". She wanted to go home!

This is significant to me because 1)she understands the concept of home and understood that we weren't there...and 2)while everyone else was happy to be on vacation, she wanted to be home. Maybe you just have to be her mother to appreciate this, but I thought it was awfully amazing!

Saturday night I sent John to Walmart for a few items. I texted him the grocery list since we couldn't find paper to write on. I texted:
-bottled water
-cheddar cheese
-orange juice
-sausage biscuits for breakfast
-snacks for the kids
......Then, realizing we were in Missouri where they actually sell wine at Walmart which is prohibited by law here in Oklahoma, and thinking hey, we're on vacation in a cabin in the Ozarks, we might as well go all out..... I texted:

John texted back: wine?
Me: yes----and a redbox movie, for after the kids are in bed.
John: what kind? white?
Me: blush
John: blush?
Me: Yes, it's pinkish.

When he got home, he informed me that there were no movies available worth watching...and he handed me this:

The nice lady at Walmart helped him pick it out.

Man, I love him!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Give blood

This is my 4 year old nephew Von who is in the hospital with the swine flu. Not the best position to be in when you are battling leukemia. My brother wrote this post yesterday about the power of donating blood. Next time I donate blood I'll be doing it in honor of Von. Please consider doing the same.

Be sure to check out his blog to see the pirate (also known as my brother Jason) that made a visit to the hospital. What a dad.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The blessing of a root canal

Yesterday after several days of pretty intense jaw pain, I saw a dentist. I ended up with a root canal. Upon determining by x-ray that the tooth didn't have any decay, the dentist asked me I've been under a lot of stress. Um....yes. Apparently without realizing it I have been clenching and grinding my teeth from stress, causing enough damage to the tooth to warrant a root canal. Nice.

So believe it or not yesterday's dental procedure has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Every time I clench my teeth down even the slightest bit, pain shoots up into my head. This has served as a very effective and frequent reminder that I need to let God be in control of my life and my every situation. Isn't that amazing? I've only had about 15 reminders this morning, so I think we are making progress. Thank you Lord.

I had a really nice conversation with a Facebook friend last night. She is also an adoption advocate, and she is working very hard to change some laws right here in Oklahoma that would help to preserve the dignity of birth mothers who decide to place their children for adoption. It is neat how God uses the very hard experiences in our lives to bring about awareness of things that need to change, even laws that need to change, and how He equips us with strength to bring about changes even when we think we are the least qualified to be that vessel.

We are still praying and asking the Lord what He wants our role to be in recent hard experiences. What emotions must Abraham have gone through when God asked him to lay his son Isaac on the altar. Was he absolutely confident from the minute he heard, or did he go back and forth questioning himself? Somehow I get the feeling Abraham's faith was a little more mature than mine. LOL Needless to say, we are still waiting, praying, listening for the outcome of that sacrifice.

When my parents were here last week, my mother bought me this beautiful statuette to remind me of my cause. I probably don't have to tell you that I tear up every time I see it. It sits on my shelf, reminding me that no matter what happens, whether the outcome is adoption or not, that we did everything in our power to make sure that birth mothers were carefully informed. That they were offered more than one alternative. That they were treated with dignity and respect. And that they were empowered to make the decision that ONLY they could make for their children. Thanks Mom for this beautiful reminder. It is perfect.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Blazers

Simeon's soccer team, the Blazers, are on a winning streak. They are undefeated so far this season with only two games left! Yesterday's game was expected to be a good one since they tied 4-4 last time they played this particular team.

Here they are warming up.....Can you believe Simeon picked 00 as his number? Who would do that? Someone who has a lot of self confidence, that's who.

He got this goose egg over his eyebrow the night before the game while jumping on the trampoline with Liesel. I think it was an elbow.....
He had two headers during the game, which I'm sure didn't feel so great.

The game was tied 1-1, it was the second half....and Simeon made this shot, winning the game by one point.

Woo hoo! Way to go Blazers!!!

AWWWW. Be still my heart.......

Meanwhile...... somebody please help, I'm in trouble! My daughter has been proposed to twice, and she is only 5!