Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Pictures

I decided to share some more of our Christmas pictures. It was such a precious morning together - just us with our kiddos. It felt nice not having to rush off anywhere this year and just soak in the simplistic joy of our children. After Eden opened her present containing the baby she promptly took off the hat and tried to wear it herself. I loved her expression in this picture.
Here she had her daddy put the baby blanket on the floor and she was trying to get the hat back on the babies - belly?
Eden wasn't sure what to think of her stocking and frankly I don't blame her. Hers didn't have too much inside of it simply because what do you put in an 18 month olds stocking? I was running low on creativity this year.....but I am pretty sure she didn't notice.
It was almost midnight until we got home from my brothers house on Christmas Eve but the boys were too excited to fall back asleep. So.....we gave them their new pj's. Shane really, really enjoys his pajamas and would stay in them at least half the day. He received some new Spiderman pj's which he is sporting here.
And Judah is blazing his own trail in this house full of Eagles fans!! He likes his Steelers and got two new Steelers items. His eyes sparkled upon opening this gift.
Here we are at my brothers house and honestly - has the man never watched America's Funniest Home Videos? This just looked like a disaster waiting to happen. He somehow got through the pinata without any injuries.
Here is our very own vicious little boy going after the pinata somewhat tentatively. The bat was a little much for him to handle but he enjoyed joining in on the fun with the big kids.
Some of the handsome young men of the family.
My nieces Kayla and Caitlyn who seem to have grown up way too fast.
And of course I got my pictures all mixed up and backwards in this post. We are back to Christmas morning again. Judah was helping Tristan with his stocking. Tristan really had zero interest in opening presents so his big brothers stepped up to help out. Trust me - they didn't mind helping at all.
And back to Christmas Eve. My dear sweet little nieces who are all under 5 years of age.
My Shane man not really wanting to give me a full blown smile but I somehow got him to at least look at the camera.
My brother Steve with his precious little girl.
And one of my favorites from Christmas - Tristan laughing!!! He is such a sweetie and I say on an almost daily basis that I could eat him. Don't ask me what that means because it doesn't really make sense.
The boys with Uncle Dave in the back of the van. It was a tight squeeze but they managed. The boys enjoyed having him stay with us for a few days and he did pretty much whatever they asked him to do.
And that my friends is our Christmas wrap-up!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


It is taking me a long time to recover from Christmas and the following days. I decided to just write a snippet at least and maybe catch up tomorrow. The boys will have off school this week so maybe I will find more time to blog. Maybe. Christmas was wonderful!! I have so many sweet and fun pictures of the kids. I am only posting two today and for obvious reason. This was Eden's first Christmas with us. Last year at this time we didn't even know who she was. We were pretty sure she may be born but really didn't have any idea. Christmas Eve I woke up and was surrounded by memories of Ethiopia. This has happened two different times lately. I wake up and it is almost like I can smell the smells and feel the warmth of the sun. I laid in bed and just marveled at how different our lives and her life is from a year ago. Last year on Christmas she was an orphan and didn't have any family. This year she was continually surrounded by family for a few days in a row. She has changed our lives in so many ways!! Here she is wielding one her brothers light sabers. All her girly toys were surrounding her and she gravitated towards the weapons. Oh well.... I have been fixated lately on the rosy color of her cheeks. Just beautiful.
Here she was after opening her new baby. She was thrilled!!! She was showing her daddy in this picture. She kept saying, "Baby. Baby." and rocking the baby in her arms. Soon she was kissing the babies little head and snuggling her. I am amazed at how instinctual the mothering instinct is in a little girl. Although we found Tristan singing the ABC song to the baby yesterday in a real soft voice.
More Christmas pictures will follow over the next week. I had an hour this afternoon when the two little ones were sleeping and some friends picked Judah and Shane up to take them for ice cream. I meant to get some office work done in the silence but accidentally fell asleep on the couch. I guess that is what happens after getting to bed too late for a few nights in a row. First, it was Christmas Eve and then it was hanging out with some girl friends for a night out that earned us the title "loose women" because we were out so late and then it was waiting up for my husband who went out with all the "loose women's" husbands the next night. Loose or not we sure did have a lot of fun and I had to behave marvelously since I am with child!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Favorite Christmas Decoration

Yes....my favorite Christmas decoration has no deep spiritual meaning or anything to do with what Christmas is really about. My favorite decorations are the beautiful stockings that have been so lovingly knitted by Mark's grandmother. Each one is different and equally beautiful. Eden's just arrived in the mail on Saturday so we could add hers to the lineup. Her name is on the wrong side but hers is the last one that is green with the little penguins. So perfect for her. And I don't know if his grandmother purposely gave her a stocking that says Joy on it or if that was just coincidence. The only thing is the size of these stockings!! They are ginormous!! Makes it hard to find things to fill it up!

Friday, December 19, 2008

This Week

Let's just say this week has had its fun times and its more stressful moments as well. I will do my best to explain without getting too long winded. But I can't promise anything - here I sit at 8:15 with the two little ones in bed and the two older ones watching some of Narnia Prince Caspian! Mark is out working and will be most of the night probably. I am getting tired of these slushy/icy messes that keep occurring. Makes his work much harder. He doesn't seem to mind too much. He genuinely enjoys snow removal and the weird hours that go along with it.

The fun things from this week: having our life group party on Friday night and hanging with our friends. We had a great time and relationships seem to be meshing more and more the longer we know one another. Kind of the natural progression I guess. I really appreciate our friends and enjoy anytime we get to spend with them. Tuesday of course was also fun finding out we are being blessed with another little girl! I am still a little in shock about the whole thing. Normally there is extra anatomy floating around - not this time! I am happy that Eden will have a little sister and already am praying for a deep, quick and lasting bond between the two of them. I am a little nervous too which someday I will go into all that. Last night Mark's sister Christine and her husband Eric offered to babysit the kiddos so we could get a night out!!! Yippee!!!! We were hoping to finish up last minutes shopping but weren't very successful. We did laugh a lot though - especially when he made me sit down and relax for a minute and stop being so task oriented. He is very good for me! Today I baked some more Christmas cookies with the boys and they are wonderfully delicious. Oh......I do love the holidays! Here is the picture I am using for our card this year. I am so behind with everything! We packed everyone on the couch before bed in their pj's and took some pictures. They are so dear!
Eden was quite fascinated with the tree! It has very sparse decorations since she broke 2 in the span of about 2 minutes. I didn't want any little fingers or toes getting hurt so the tree doesn't look overly embellished! Maybe next year! Oh, and excuse the stains on her shirt. The problem with her love of food is that she is kind of messy when she eats and a lot of her clothes show the results.
Another one of the kids in front of the tree! They are counting down the days at this point to seeing their cousins and Christmas morning.
My little man! In his favorite moose shirt! He normally resists getting dressed unless I offer his moose shirt. Then he is more compliant.
Now....the other fun thing this week and also the thing that caused us the most stress. We closed on our new house today!!! Yeah and a huge sigh of relief! The reason there was so much stress is that we didn't get our final approval for our loan from the bank until 2 hours before closing this morning!!!! Ridiculous! On Tuesday, they suddenly needed a crazy amount of extra documentation from us and from our CPA. Apparently there were a few glitches. The one being this: we have two rental properties and only one showed up on our initial credit check for some reason. So...we had to provide signed leases for all the rental units, bank statements, letters from our CPA, investment account statements, yada, yada, yada! Then...the last and final problem was they thought for some reason that we could not access the business account for any personal use. Well..how exactly did they think we got paid? Our broker told us today that our numbers were perfect and he didn't know what all the run around had been about. But our realtor did tell us that this is becoming more and more common. All in all we are thrilled!! I am a little nervous simply because we have to finish getting our house ready to put on the market and then have to wait for it to sell. Hopefully it doesn't take too, too long. Although I would like to be able to come back early spring and dig up my strawberry patch.

One final funny tid-bit. Our hens have been laying eggs now for almost two months. Yet, we were only getting 1-2 eggs a day from 5 hens. I kept saying to Mark that something wasn't right. We have two rogue hens that somehow escape the pen almost daily. So...Judah would go out, round them up and pen them back up. The one is very tame and follows you around and will even jump in the van if it gets the chance. One day this week Mark was outside and knocked on the window. Turns out those two hens must not think the nesting boxes we provided were not okay for them. They were getting out and laying their eggs under an azalea bush - 2 dozen eggs to be exact! Judah and Mark put them in a bucket, went back in the woods and threw them at trees since we didn't know how long they had been laying there. So now the hens are completely confined and we are getting more eggs in our nesting boxes. Quite the exciting times at the Eveleth house.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's A............

Today found Mark, Judah and I at the doctor's office. First for our ultrasound and then my quick 3 minute check by the doctor. It never gets old seeing your little person on the monitor. The practice I go to has top-notch equipment and we got to see color 3D pictures of our baby and see the blood flowing in the umbilical cord, the technician enlarged the heart so we could see the aorta working, saw the diaphragm, the kidneys, the stomach, the sweet little mouth.....everything looked wonderful. And by the way.....we are adding another girl to the family!!!! We are so excited, thrilled and feeling very blessed this evening! It was extra special for me having Judah there and so enthralled by everything. He was really hoping for a girl so he was extremely happy.

I know I have been rather absent lately but wow!!! We have had some very challenging days at this house. I will do better here and make sure I post some pictures soon because really who wants to just read my rantings?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lucky Ones

Yesterday I decided to make some cut-out Christmas cookies with the two older boys while Eden slept. We ran into a few problems: Eden didn't take a nap, Tristan woke up from his nap after a 1/2 hour and proceeded to scream for quite a while, the cookie dough kept breaking and numerous other glitches. We still made cookies and the boys are knock-out cookie decorators. That means they are very liberal with the sugar they pile/dump on dump. No sprinkling of sugar at this house - we are all about dumping sugar because the dough doesn't have enough sugar already.

In the midst of the mayhem and me questioning why I ever thought this was a good idea the boys started figuring out how many kids are in each family on my side. So....we went through all the cousins, aunts and uncles and came to the conclusion that we have the same amount of kids as Aunt Joy and Aunt Donna. Shane said, "We all have 4 kids in our families."

And then the thing that warmed my heart came right after. Judah replied, "Yes, but soon we will have 5 kids and then we will have the most. We are the lucky ones!!"

Did you hear that? Lucky ones??!!! You have to know what our last two weeks have been like around this house to really appreciate it. They haven't been very fun weeks for some reason. But in the midst of it, my son who seems to need to much time, attention, stimulation etc. from us as his parents feels lucky that we will be adding another one to our family. Made my heart sing!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A New Week

Here it is Sunday night and I am hoping this next week is the complete opposite of last week. Meaning....I hope there is a lot of peace, a lot less issues between siblings, more positive words spoken and just a general all around feeling of joy!!! Today was wonderful so I am hoping we can build on that more tomorrow. It just seems like sometimes everyone gets in a downward spiral at the same time. And now I need to go because Tristan is still on his ABC obsession! We don't have to say them multiple times a day but now we have to sit with a pen and paper and I have to write all the letters he dictates. So far while typing this post I have had to pause and write the following letters as he tells me to: ELDAPRMETDERCCCSSWWHQPO. This child sure does love his letters!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Some Pictures

We are onto something new at this house - the two little ones like to now watch Thomas. Well...Eden may prefer something else if she ever had the chance to choose but Tristan is pretty set on his Thomas movies. This has helped me tremendously since it gives me a half hour of uninterrupted time to help the boys with their school work. I'm sure I will regret it someday but for now this new phenomenon is pretty sweet!!
The boys had so much fun at my sister and her husband's cabin this weekend. This constructive gear set was a big hit!!
Even though it was very cold (at least to me) the boys spent a considerable amount of time down by the creek skipping stones and playing in a natural fort Judah discovered.
Here is an area in the fort where you can get some shelter in case of rain. Now keep in mind these are all things I was told by my son - I didn't come up with this stuff.
Shane and I on one of the very "comfortable" couches a.k.a. a fallen tree.
The two boys together on another couch. This fort had a speaking room (what?), a library, a living room, hallway and so much more!
Here we are at the entrance of the fort about to get the full tour.
The weekend was nice but I am reminded this week of why we so seldom take all the kids away for a few days. The following week is murderous!!! It seems to take the kids so long to get back into the groove of things and everyone has to have their attitudes reworked. I have had one good day this week and all the rest of them have been excruciating!! I am tired and ready for a new job description. Can anyone relate?
I just got the two little ones to sleep so now it is time to try and get some things done around here and spend some good time with the older two.

Updated:: after nap time everyone was in much better moods - including the mom. Judah spent an hour outside hunting birds, Shane and I played Sorry, I scrubbed some floors, we had snack time and suddenly life isn't so bad.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Grinch

Last night as I was sitting in Tristan and Shane's room (our little implementation of "the plan") Shane leaned over the top bunk and whispered, "Mom. The grinch's heart was 3 sizes too small." I agreed and that was the end of the discussion. I really wish I knew what makes him think of these things.

"The plan" is to sit next to Tristan's bed for a few nights and make my way to the door and then out the door. So far it has worked great!!! Tristan hasn't made an attempt to get out of bed and falls asleep relatively quickly. And he hasn't woken up until 4:15 the past two nights. Actually, last night I fell asleep on their bedroom floor at 9:00, woke up and stumbled downstairs to the couch around 10:00, made my way back upstairs at 10:30 and slept real well. I felt wonderful today!! The past two nights he has fallen asleep by at little after 9:00 (versus 10-10:30) and has only woken up once. Much better than the three times a night that have been habit. I almost hate to say it has been going well - I don't want to jeopardize anything. Ask me again in two weeks.

I have some cute pictures from the weekend at the cabin but I haven't downloaded them yet. Maybe tomorrow!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Cute, Right?

So this little guy is pretty cute - I think most of us can agree on that. Problem is...he isn't as cute when he gets up 2-3 times every night. I think last night pushed me over the edge. Well, maybe it wasn't just last night but the combination of the past 2 years of disrupted sleep that made me decide - something needs to change here!!! For whatever reason he can't seem to stay in a continuous sleep cycle. Every three hours he is awake, dragging his blanket and pillow over to our room and wanting to crawl in bed with us. I then drag everything back to his room and place him back in his bed. This happens numerous times a night. Last night was only twice so I really shouldn't complain. After this weekend away at a cabin we will have a gameplan (I hope) and will implement it next week. The marks on the ground behind me from my butt dragging are really not attractive. Neither are the dark circles under my eyes. Just for the record - he is so sweet and this is what probably got us into this mess. He makes it hard to be consistent when he asks to "nuggle".

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Things I'm Thankful For

This is the first Thanksgiving in over 10 years that we have not had to go anywhere! It feel really nice. We have had a relaxing and peaceful morning. Judah and Shane headed out the door in typical fashion by 8:30 to play in the snow and wreck their snowman that was built yesterday. Mark came in around 10:00 and said the boys wanted to go sledding so he was loading them up in the truck to go find a good spot. It is now 11:45 and I haven't heard from them so I know they are having fun. This means the house has been a little bit quieter and I have had time to really reflect on what I am thankful for.

First of all I am thankful for the whole concept of Thanksgiving Day. It makes you stop and take stock of all the blessings in your life. Ready for my list?

My Father God who has blessed me beyond measure and who loves me even though I had nothing to give Him in return. My husband who also loves me even though I am not always the easiest or sweetest person to live with. His ability to love our children, drop everything to spend time with them, his heart that has been forever made aware of the forgotten ones, his strengths, his weaknesses, everything about him - I'm thankful. For Judah - his intensity, his sensitivity, his smiles that melt the core of me. For Shane - his will of iron, his morning hugs for the "babies", his giggle. For Tristan - his quiet and quirky ways, the way he says "boogernut", his sweet blue eyes. For Eden - her smile, her eyes that now sparkle, her life, her feisty spirit.

For our families and friends - old and new. Everyone has had a hand in shaping who I am today.
For health, sunshine, flowers, washing machines, a house to clean, mountains, creeks, oceans, strawberries, indoor plumbing, music, cabins, campfires, adoption, worship, blue sky, Christmas music, disposable diapers, dishwashers, swedish fish, red licorice, pediatricians and so much more.

For little boys who think farting is so fun! And snow (which I don't really like) but it brings so much enjoyment for my children and my husband. And lastly, this new little life that continues to grow and thrive. Today, I can say in all confidence "I am blessed."

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Past Week

It feels so often that an entire week passes by and I am left confused by how it disappeared so quickly. We are in this blasted cold spell right now and I remember now why every year, right about now, I start campaigning to move south. Sort of like a migration thing. I really don't enjoy the cold weather very much but my husband and my boys do. And it seems like Eden does as well. Two mornings last week everyone was bundled up and outside by 8:30. I just wanted to sit at the table and finish my coffee but the boys were excited about the dusting of snow we would get every night and have to go play for a bit. Then Tristan and Eden would want to get in on the fun. I found it all rather ridiculous and completely unnecessary since warmth makes more sense to me. I didn't tell them I thought it was ridiculous - I just dutifully got everyone dressed and out the door. I don't even think it was 30 degrees either of the mornings I ventured out. And if I am completely honest with you it kind of felt nice. That cold blast of air really cleans out my congested sinuses and gets my day off to a good start.

We spent the day at my mom's yesterday for Thanksgiving. We went early enough to stop by the church my brother pastor's and catch up with some of our friends there. We then headed to my mom's for the chaos that ensues when all the cousins get together. We got to the end of the day yesterday and realized that there were no altercations between any of the kids. Pretty amazing when you have so many little people running around. I figured out this morning that their were 12 kids under the age of 8 running around. And of course the six older kids who aren't really kids any more but young adults. One of my nephews had an incident on Friday where he ended up in the ER from ingesting some kerosene. After things like that happen that can have horrible results I am reminded of how precious each of these children are in our family.
This morning found all the kids in a relatively good mood and all snuggling together on the couch. Shane called for me to come see them. It was so cute seeing them all snuggled together under blankets and giggling.
Here are the four munchkins hanging out together. I told them we were going to change things up today and not do school until Eden takes her nap. I get tired of the constant climbing on the table while we are trying to get work done. Plus, I am feeling a little fatigued from Tristan's restless sleeping the past week. So, I just didn't feel like I had the added energy to deal with Eden's antics while they did their work. I can't say the boys were disappointed with my proposition.
Here are Tristan and Eden playing together on Saturday. Shane has a good case of bedhead and Eden has her classic gross nose.
Tristan playing in the snow last week.
One of the sweetest pictures of Eden. I love her pensive looks that I capture from time to time. She normally doesn't stand still long enough to get a non-animated picture.
So....we are off to start the week. I will do better this week at keeping you updated on our lives and the ponderings of my heart. Just in case anyone cares!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Feeling Conflicted and Somewhat Wrecked - Again!

Sometimes I have a hard time getting the feelings/emotions that are swirling around internally to come out and make any sense on paper. I have again been wrestling with all we saw and were exposed to while in Ethiopia and what that means long term for not only me but our family. I talked before about what happens when you no longer just allow yourself to feel compassion but become fully engaged in the tragedy that happens on a daily basis around the world. When you project yourself into the lives of the mothers and fathers and imagine the tables being turned and you are the one forced to give your child away or they will starve, fall victim to abuse, contract HIV, it unlocks a grieving inside that you almost don't know how to process. At least I don't know how to process the feelings completely. Do I feel overwhelmed and like there is nothing I can do? No. But I do feel a sense of responsibility now that I never felt before. You do not just walk away from third world countries and continue on as normal - God has now given me a responsibility to do something about what I witnessed.

Mark and I have talked often about what this will look like long term for us. While we have talked about adoption again I kind of put that dream down upon learning of our pregnancy. Yet....I can't help but wonder if possibly someday......but I'll get to that.

On Sunday morning our pastor was speaking about the forgotten and hopeless of the world - children in particular. Last year he challenged us all to give 1% of our annual income at Christmas to give to the different orphanages we sponsor in Myanmar, Dominican Republic, Rwanda, etc. I guess the average American Christian gives 1/2 of a percent of their annual income to help the poor. He wanted to double that percentage and see what we could do. Over $120,000 was given and we have helped many lives of children as a result. We are back to that time of year and want to do more than last year. At least that would be my desire. Did you know that over 8,500,000 children under the age of five have died this year already due to poverty related illnesses? These are treatable illnesses! Go to www.emptytomb.org to see the number change hourly....it is quite sobering. So..I was back to "what can we do and what is our responsibility?" Adoption is a piece, sponsoring children is another piece, micro-lending for widows and families is another piece, giving a portion of money to help build another home in Rwanda so more young men can come off the streets is a piece, education is a piece....there are so many pieces!

Mark and I talked and mulled things over different times on Sunday and were somewhat amazed at how the Lord had been speaking so similarly to both of us. But why should we be surprised?! Then Sunday evening rolls around. We had watched some football and decided to swing on over and see what was happening on Extreme Home Makeover - which I enjoy but think the extravagance could be toned down a bit. The family they were featuring was amazing. Long story short this couple had three biological sons and went on a missions trip to Haiti. While there they fell in love with a sibling group and decided to adopt - the sibling group was 5 boys!!! Bringing their total number of sons to 8. But they didn't stop there - they adopted three more boys domestically from their city of Toledo! Eleven sons!!! Think about that people. I sat there with tears and a huge knot in my throat. Why, you ask? People who go against the norm always inspire me and cause me to dream the what if's. As we are watching the show Judah and Shane ask us, "When are we going to adopt again?" I looked at them and said, "You want to adopt again? Even though we are going to have 5 kids in our family soon?" Their immediate response, "Yes!!!" They want to adopt some boys from Africa who don't have a family. I was blown away. I so often feel like I am not meeting their needs, that they have to feel sidelined, that they must resent more children, etc. etc. Turns out that they are starting to understand, maybe even more than I am understanding, that life isn't only about them.

Now...I will admit that we have talked about "in the future" possibly adopting an older child. A child that has slim hope of being adopted because they are past the age of 5. Seems crazy, right? We will have 5 children already. We look out of place and not normal when we go out in public. But what is normal? Maybe we will create our own normal. And don't get all excited people - I mean Future. As in a few years from now. I must say though if our agency called tomorrow and said that Eden's brother had been relinquished we wouldn't get the chance to wait a few years. Because we would want to bring him home and have them together.

All this rambling and what is the point? Simply this: We are wrestling right now with how best to utilize the resources God has given us to make them stretch as far as possible to help as many children as possible.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Little Miss

To say that Eden is giving me a run for my money could be somewhat of an understatement. She definitely has a will of iron and tends to think it is funny when I administer any kind of discipline. Other times her world comes unglued when I administer the same exact discipline - usually a time out. She is feisty, full of life and a talker. Last night Mark and I were watching her last night and laughing thinking of the future. She will one of those girls that everyone will know has arrived or departed the scene. She is so loud!!! And her mouth goes almost non-stop. As soon as she wakes up in the morning the whole house is awake because of her loud talking from her crib. I look at her daily and just wonder if her strong personality is what aided in keeping her alive when she was so tiny. Yesterday I was attempting to scrub my floors. She woke up just as I was getting started. She very quickly decided she needed to "help" and was soaked almost immediately. Trust me - she did have a shirt all day until this point.
She almost tipped the bucket numerous times and somehow miraculously we kept the floor from being utterly saturated.
Notice her belly? She reminds us of a little sumo wrestler with her stocky little build. She is so muscular.
A little later after dinner (still no shirt). I was clearing the table and loading the dishwasher and turned around to this. The top of the table is one of our major battles right now. She just can't seem to keep herself grounded and must be climbing to the top of the table over and over. Combine her love for climbing and her love for food and this is what you get.
Gotta love those cheeks!!
I told Mark the other day that Eden's belly is almost as big as mine - we should do some belly shots before this baby grows any bigger. I have had a few weeks of not enjoying her a whole lot simply because she pushes things all the time. I was feeling a little guilty until Mark reminded me that I have gone through this with each and every child of ours. It is part of the growing process. Sometimes you really connect and sometimes it is a daily struggle to find a connection. Today for some reason I am enjoying her a lot. I must run now since I promised Judah I would help him build his dueling roller coaster K'nex system. Should be lots of fun!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008


All sorts of exciting things are happening at our house lately. The most recent and biggest cause for excitement happened early this morning when Judah went out to check on his chickens. He has been anxiously awaiting the appearance of the first egg. Now, for those of you that don't know Judah very well let me just fill you in on a small detail. He has little to no patience when it comes to waiting on pretty much anything! He has been asking numerous times everyday when the chickens will start laying eggs. I tell him every time (multiple times a day) that I really don't know but usually sometime around nineteen weeks of age which would mean anytime now. Well......this morning was the morning!!! He ran out to check the nesting boxes, came bursting in the door all excited yelling that we have an egg. In all his haste he forgot to actually bring the egg with him. So...back out he went to retrieve his prize!! It was in his belly within 10 minutes and he has continued to check the nesting boxes numerous times after he was done with his school work. He even had to call Grandma at 7:50 this morning to tell her and to also run over to our neighbor Mrs. Fisher to tell her. Everyone has been so sweet and equally excited for him!

Second exciting thing or not so exciting: we have a biter at our house!!! I have never had a child who was a biter but now I do. Poor Tristan is sporting some pretty nasty bite marks from his dear little sister. I am at a complete loss at how to begin curbing this behaviour. I sit her in time out but I am just wondering if anyone has some advice for me as to what may have worked for their child. It is rather horrifying to see the purple indentations from her teeth turn to welts on Tristan. She does have a very pretty bit though - very nicely spaced and straight teeth.

And thirdly, it looks like we will be moving sometime in the next two months. We are starting to outgrow our acre with Mark's business plus we really desire to be closer to both our families and our friends. We found a great spot with more space both indoor and outdoor for our growing family and business. And we will only be 10-15 minutes from State College instead of 25-30 minutes. A big difference when you make multiple trips a week. We are super excited and glad we were able to come to an agreement with the sellers. So now the trick is getting our house show ready with four little kids - any suggestions other than packing away a majority of their toys? Fortunately, we do not have to wait for our house to sell so we will be moved and settled before the baby will arrive. Of course we hope our house doesn't sit too long. I must say amidst all the excitement of moving I am very sad to leave our neighbors. We haven't broken it to them yet because I don't think I can. I told Mark he will have to do it. Especially Mrs. Fisher. The boys just adore her and she in turn loves them. But who knows - maybe they will be glad to see these tree peeing boys move on.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Take a Minute

So...a few weeks ago I had told you all about this beautiful Ethiopian woman named Gadese staying with equally beautiful people named Steffany and Adam. Gadese had her baby earlier this week and I encourage you to head on over and get the story first hand from Steffany at http://toliveloveandlaughtoday.blogspot.com There is no doubt after reading over Steffany's posts from this past week that God orchestrated everything perfectly so that more lives wouldn't be lost due to inadequate medical facilities. My only wish is that I lived closer to them so I could get my hands on this precious and miraculous baby!!! Please take 10 minutes and go read for yourself. It just makes it more special for me since I met the father of this beautiful baby!

Odds and Ends

I was able to get out of the house today thanks to my mother-in-law and get some shopping done. I also finally took all the necessary paperwork and documentation to our county courthouse to file for Eden's re-adoption here in the States. At this point she is a legal resident but in order for her to obtain US citizenship her paperwork needs to be reviewed by a judge here. We met with a lawyer who would represent us if we need to go before the judge but the prothonotary's office said the judge usually grants approval without a court appearance. So, our hope is that she will be a US citizen and have a Pennsylvania birth certificate by Christmas. It would just be sweet! I wish I could show you the picture of Eden that is stapled to her birth certificate!! It is stunningly beautiful. Her skin looks like porcelain. One day this week the boys were supposed to mix paint colors for their science lesson. We were experimenting with lots of different color combinations. We used finger paints and lets just say things got a little messy!
Tristan got in on the action and had to have a date with the tub when he was finished. It was just too much mess for a simple hand wash. I look at these pictures and I wish so badly that I would be a more relaxed mother and let them do this kind of stuff more often. I wish I could remember the twinkle in their eye instead of the cleanup afterward.

Hmmmm....not a very productive science lesson. Or depending on how you look at it possibly over productive.
See the twinkle?
While he was still being meticulous and careful!

This is the boys at the Washington D.C. zoo watching the new cheetah being trained to go into her "cave." I love pictures of kids from the back - something pensive about them.

Sitting patiently waiting on someone at the zoo to load him into the stroller and keep moving.

The three boys again. I am realizing that I don't have any new pictures of Eden in this post! I will have to rectify that next post.

One of my favorite pictures from our visit to Ben. Judah holding Ben's had strolling through the zoo. Our boys are so blessed with good men to look up to. Both our families have great men and we have been blessed with some wonderful friends too.
Not even trying to plan this way we ended being in D.C. on Halloween night. The boys brought some fun get-up along to show Ben. Turns out Ben's room mates were headed out to a party themselves. They all crowded on the couch for a photo shoot. Ben's room mates where Breann (dressed as the basketball player) and Eric (the carpenter on the right).
Shane catching a ride on his daddy's back after walking to the White House.

The boys hanging on the fence at the backside of the White House. It was kind of surreal seeing all the Secret Service everywhere!
My man with three of his kids. It was pre-bedtime storytime. They love having stories read to them but it is extra special when Mark reads. I am blessed!
Tristan wearing his Dr. Seuss socks (as Mark calls them) and playing in the cupboard. Every other picture I have of me at this age I am doing the exact same thing.
One last random picture. The White House. Pretty majestic!