Thursday, December 30, 2010

Parade of Poop.......

....has arrived at our house! My first clue was when I found Heidi with poop that had run down her legs into her socks and shoes. Of course this landed her in the tub which was fine with her. Shortly after the other two younger munchkins started with frequent trips to the bathroom. The only child in the home yet unscathed is Judah. Here is hoping his immune system stays strong! I found myself wanting to complain earlier and then I thought of Bethany spending weeks on end dealing with her cholera patients! I feel almost pathetic in mentioning the diarrhea at our house when it will not reach life threatening levels. It will just be a mild inconvenience to me and make really sore bottoms on my little treasures! But I don't have to rush to a clinic in hopes that I return home with my loved one. Lets not forget to continue praying for those in Haiti who are fighting for their lives on a daily basis due to the cholera outbreak. It is no longer making main line news but it is very real! And I will continue to clean up little children and scrub my hands! I thought I would upload a few of my favorites photos from the past week as a precursor to the Christmas pictures. Today was the first day in over a week that I felt like the kids were at odds and feeling restless. And some of that may be due to the fact that they have irritate bellies. We have had a really wonderful week!! Shane continues to support his Eagles even though they had a really shabby performance this week. He is a loyal fan!
Judah has of course spent lots of time drawing. Hard to believe we are on the brink of having a 10 year old in the house!
Over the river and through the woods to grandmothers house we go!!! All loaded up and ready to head to Uncle Mike and Aunt Donna's for the festivities on my side of the family. They had a ball with their cousins and all fell asleep on the way home (except for Judah).
Eden wanted her own picture. I kindly obliged!
Heidi looking all sweet and festive even though she is wearing shoes that do not match! She refuses to wear any other shoes than those. I am not sure what we will do when they no longer fit. She seems a little young to be so particular about shoes but she is. The only other shoes she will wear are ones that are 2-3 sizes too big. That is fine as long as we stay home but that isn't always practical.
Stay tuned for more Christmas fun! After the parade moves on.....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Long Overdue

So.....the holidays are over and things are starting to resemble something similar to normal again. We have been having great fun without the extra demands of school! Although I got hit with some sort of bug for the few days following Christmas. Still not feeling swell but much better. I was so thankful Mark was around so that I could get some much needed extra rest.

Before I share all the fun pictures from Christmas I will give you a glimpse of how our Christmas day played out. Thanks to our very own in-house planner we had a detailed description of how the day was going to unfold. This hand written list will go down in the history of our family and will be saved in the archives. Just need to get the archives started. I will type it out exactly as it was written - spelling errors and all. The spelling errors almost make me twitch but it adds to the fun!

Christmas day.

set out cookies and milk. (for the Santa that no one really believes in)
one. every body wak up.
two. Judah holds the christmas day ring, once taired, everybody run's to there preasents.
(we made a construction paper chain to count down the days until Christmas)
three. get all your peasant's next to you, and your stoking, and get ready to look through your stoking.
four. once done with stokings, move on to preasent's once everyone is done with there stokings.
five. once done with preasent's, group hug and kisse's to mom and dad and thank you's for the preasants.
six. play game's.
seven. tell christmas story's.
eight. go to grandma and grandpa.
nine. whatch the grinch.
ten. snugel and tell if we had a good christmas and think if we are going to have a good christmas in 2011.

plan's :Judah
writing: Judah

And that my friends is how our day went down! We had lots of fun and our children surprised us with their gratefulness! Pictures to follow......Oh....and my spell checker wondered what just happened here!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Through the Eyes of a Child

If you are my friend on facebook you got the shortened version of this story last week. It tickled my heart and caused me to think. I was sitting with Eden and Tristan and we were checking the Reece's Rainbow websit to see how many children have found families since their Christmas sponsorship's started. Twenty-two children last I checked. So exciting for these children who truly are the least of these in the world's eyes to find love in the arms of a family!

As we were looking at the website Eden started asking if they all needed mommie's and daddy's. I told her that every child we were looking at needed a family. We then were looking at the children with an hiv diagnosis and she wondered again if they needed families. I assured her that yes....they were waiting for a mommy and a daddy. She started pointing at every single child and saying, "We can have her. And him. And him. And I want him. And I want her." You get the idea. The following conversation is what followed:

Tristan: "Eden.....we can't have that many kids!"

Eden: "Yes we can. They need a mommy and a daddy."

Tristan: "Eeeeeeyah!! We can't have like 500!!"

Eden: "Tristan! They need a mommy!"

Tristan: "They will break our house and step on us!"

I sat in between them with a smile on my face. Eden.....the one who acts spontaneously and Tristan.....the voice of reason! It was like listening to a married couple argue!

Yet....I had to wonder. What if more of us had child-like faith and just went for it! What if we responded to the need without thinking about all the what-if's? I am not saying be foolish but I think the whole concept of "using wisdom" can become an escape goat.

So how about it? Anyone want to adopt a sweet child this next year so I can tell Eden another one has a family? She has been telling us lately that when she didn't have a mommy and daddy she wished for one and prayed for one! I think she is just saying this since she surely was too small to even process these thoughts. But I smile and hug here anyway and affirm that God answered her prayers!!

Looking Deeper

It has been a few weeks since I wrote my post about weariness and I would like to say I have done better at letting go of things and rolling with the punches! But.....wait for it......I am still having to learn everyday! I am still finding my stress levels high, my frustration levels higher and continuing to wonder where the joy is hiding amidst the added activities of the Christmas season. A few things happened this week to help get my focus back in the proper direction. The main one being numerous talks with my man. He knows me better than anyone and he is able to listen to my ramblings and decipher the underlying issues pretty well. And were right on when you said in the moments you feel like you need alone time that what you really need is alone time with Him!

Bottom line for me: I place a lot of expectations on myself and I have too high of expectations in general. Can anyone else relate? I somehow think that since I have so much extra to do that my kids will automatically put the fighting on hold. I assume that I will be able to accomplish all the normal demands as well as all the extras on my "to-do" list in the same amount of time. And when the normal interruptions that come with having small children happen I find myself aggravated!

I am purposing to write some things down this Christmas season to revisit next fall so I can hopefully ward off the downward spiral. make things clear I haven't been a scrooge and I haven't had a bah-humbug kind of attitude about Christmas. I really like everything about Christmas. I just have been too worried about what I am forgetting and what isn't getting done to completely bask in the wonder in my children's eyes! This next week until Christmas day I am going to really try and pull back, take my cues from my children and spend extra time down on the floor doing whatever it is my kids do all day! And right now that means snuggling with my Heidi girl who suddenly thinks she is too big to be held much. Except when it is time for me to make dinner. Then I am the best thing that has happened to her all day!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Everyday Life

Real life sometimes throws unexpected events at you. And of course events that are perceived as exciting to children are seen as a complete inconvenience to the parents! Like waking up to find your house is on the verge of being an island! We went to bed on the last day of November after a long rainy day not even thinking about the fact we might wake to find a flood outside our door. But.....morning rolled around and this is what greeted us. Along with a small amount of water in our basement that was no match to my husbands mad shop vac skills!! I had to drive Judah to the end of the driveway since walking through the water would have been quite cold and messy. Turns out he would not be able to get to school since a mile down the road this was what would have greeted the bus!
Mark drove down to see why the road was closed and this is what he found. Notice the poor vehicle stranded in the middle of the water!
So what do boys do when they get an unexpected day off? Roll up their pant legs and ride through the water of course!
Keep in mind it was barely above freezing and Shane was out riding around in shorts, t-shirt and bare feet! With his feet in the frigid water! They came in and soaked their feet in the tub for a while after their bike riding shenanigans!
And just because she wears cute so well! I really wish I could convey how sweet she is! I sat with her this evening and listened as Shane told her a few times how much he loved her while kissing her cheeks! She is a blessed little girl with all the doting from her older siblings! Although she is learning very rapidly that Tristan protests very loudly any bullying on her part! So guess what she does? Takes whatever he is playing with and runs down the hall giggling with him running after her wailing!
I love little feet! Not quite sure I am done having little feet running through my house and soft cheeks to kiss! I am not making any big statements here. Just saying I am loving this stage with Heidi and wouldn't mind having to go through this stage again.
And the little miss with the gross nose! Sorry but it is hard to get a picture minus the snot these days! I am grateful for days like today when she lays aside her demands and embraces kindness! What a gift! The glimpses that all the days of training that feel like they may never end will pay off. We had some precious times of our hearts being knitted even deeper which is a continued prayer of mine. We have gone almost a week now without any potty issues which may require a celebration!
And then there is the young chap! And chapped he is! Check out his chin. Is that his chin? I am not sure what that is classified since it is between his lip and his chin. Maybe a chip? Whatever it is it needs cream everyday! Little habits are hard to break.
I have a few posts brewing in my head. One about expectations setting us up for disappointment as mothers. Another about giving with purpose. And an update on things with Eden. I am writing this down more for my benefit than yours. So I can look back to remind myself what is swirling in my head because it may get lost!

Monday, December 6, 2010


So this evening I had a small revelation of sorts. Nothing too major. Very simple really. I have been kind of moody lately and just couldn't figure out what is wrong with me. Lack of patience with the kids, wishing for some solitude, feeling like I am failing miserably as I attempt to navigate the intricacies of the many dynamics involving relationships in our get the picture. I have been feeling almost melancholy and wondering where my joy has gone?

Tonight I was walking back the hallway and pondering yet again why I was feeling slightly sour. Mark had the two older boys out at a gun shop (yikes) and I had the younger three. We were doing the whole bedtime routine and once again I was meeting some resistance. They rarely want to go potty since they are sure they do not have to go. I kid you not...every night Tristan exclaims from the bathroom, "Yup! You were right mom. I had to pee." And I want to say, "Big surprise" but I bite my tongue.

Back to feeling grumpy. As I walked back the hallway to help with jammies I quietly said in my spirit, "Why Lord do I feel so weary?" You can look at the day to day demands and see why I might be weary and tired. But even though I often feel physically tired this is a different weariness. It is the kind that settles into your bones. The kind that robs your joy. The kind that makes you begin to look at yourself more than others. It is a weariness of spirit. I realized in that moment that amidst all the demands of the day I have become too busy to seek out the source of my strength. I have been trying to accomplish everything in my own strength. A sure set-up for fatigue and a recipe for discontent.

In the same moment I remembered a promise that is given to me in Matthew 11. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for our souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

I don't know about you but I find this promise to be incredibly life giving!! I have been trying to sort through daily challenges that seem plentiful in our home right now in my own strength. With what little wisdom I have gleaned. Apparently I am not very wise based on the progress we are making. Wow! I am convinced that having a "larger" family forces everyone to face their selfish carnal nature. Including the mother much to her dismay!

So I find myself this evening also banking on the promise found in Acts 3 which says, "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord." I am choosing to lay my sin of self-reliance down so that I may have it wiped clean and I can walk in the refreshing of the Lord."

This isn't an easy fix. Just like so much of life we need to walk things out and allow God to bring them to completion. I need to draw near to the Father, the source of my strength, the source of my life and rest in Him. This doesn't mean I sit idle and do nothing. It means I walk out the life set before me while relying on Him to sustain me.

Long story short....I feel renewed and hopeful tonight. I am grateful that when I seek answers He is faithful to meet me.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World Aids Day

Truth Pandemic

Take a few minutes and watch this video! Spread the Truth!!

And watch the Nightly News with Katie Couric tonight to see Carolyn's family! God is doing amazing things through this family. Truth is being spread and it is in fact contagious!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Would You Be Willing

Ok...I really have so much to say. If I could only get all the swirling thoughts downloaded with a USB cord you all would be reading for days! Unfortunately, I need to actually find the time to sit and type them out. Until I make the time I wanted to ask all of you, my friends, family and other readers, to consider doing something maybe a little different this year.

You all know that for whatever reason God has placed a burden on my heart for the children listed on the reece's rainbow site. From Down Syndrom, HIV, Cerebral Palsey to Fetal Alcohol Syndrom, etc. So many children handcrafted by my Creator that need families to love them.

Reece's Rainbow has a really neat awareness drive that takes place every year in the months of November and December. They set funds up for a lot of the children and you can donate to their adoption funds. This way they have a better chance at finding a family and you have been involved in a small way. If you are able to donate $35 to a certain child they will send you an ornament to hang on your tree to remind you to pray for them and for their family to find them. If you aren't able to donate $35 that is okay. Any amount helps these children.

Do you remember back in August I had posted about dear little Anna? She was one of the little girls who has DS and she had finally found a family. Long story short: her family fell through and she was once again waiting. Of course she was one of the children we chose to help simply because she has captured our hearts for some reason. If you go to the angel tree sponsorship page you can view all the children and their increasing adoption funds. Two days ago I looked for her and realized she had gone from having $471 in her adoption fund to over $2,700!! I was elated! And then yesterday when I tried to find her on the page I had to scroll all the way to the very bottom of the page where she is listed under the beautiful heading, "My Family Found Me!" She once again has a family who is working to bring her home!!

Would you think about donating to her fund? Or look over the other children and see if there is another child God may lead you to either donate to, advocate for or possibly even adopt?! Just a week ago there was only 5 children listed under the heading, "My Family Found Me!" Now...there are 17 children! I know I don't have a huge amount of people that read my blog but if everyone gave even a little we could help Anna and so many others! So my question today is, "Would you be willing?" Willing to maybe give up one of your Christmas gifts this year so a child may find life? Willing to give up going out for dinner one time this month so a child can know love? Willing to clip coupons for the first time in order to save some money for Anna? I know we can make a difference if we all work together! Are you willing?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Here I sit on a chilly Wednesday afternoon waiting for my pot of fresh coffee to finish brewing. Some days I lack motivation even though my to do list doesn't slow down. Last night was another rough one. Heidi was back at the doctor's office today for a recheck on her ears and sure enough her ear is still not completely healed. I could have told you that without a visit to the doctor though. She would only sleep on me in a reclined position on the couch and that was with wakeful cries every 20-30 minutes, lots of tugging on the culprit ear. She did have a stretch of about 3 hours after the Motrin kicked in but Eden and Tristan decided to disrupt my only solid stretch with multiple visits to our bedside, trips to the potty, help locating lost blankies......those of you with little ones know the drill. my body and spirit feel similar to the gray sky outside. Just blah! Feeling sorry for my little girl and wondering why we have such a hard time getting her ears clear after an infection. Her ear drum is definitely perforated from two weeks ago too. She handles it with more grace than I do I am afraid.

We spent Sunday with my side of the family celebrating the beginning of Thanksgiving and now tomorrow we will continue the festivities with Mark's side. I enjoy Thanksgiving so much. The whole concept of taking time out to recognize how blessed we are and to be grateful. I think we are going to start an experiment this year as well. Our pastor gave some statistics from a study that was done on people who kept of thanksgiving journal. I am going to see if he happens to have the statics on his blog or if he will forward them to me so I can pass them along to you. It was pretty amazing how the simple act of writing something down on a daily basis that you are thankful for causes a persons outlook on life to be transformed. I am hoping to start a daily thanksgiving journal with the kids since some of our children have a natural tendency to be pessimistic. What if by mirroring to them a grateful heart we can begin to help transform their minds?

I really have so much to be thankful for - too many things to even count. Thankful for the health of my children as I continue to watch my friend Lisa's little girl fight to hang onto life. Thankful for the things I take for granted on a daily basis - food, shelter, family. Did you know there is an absolutely horrible drought right now in Western Africa? Very similar to the famine in the 80's. How helpless a mother must feel listening to the cries of her children grow weaker and weaker as they hover on death's door. I am thankful for nice medical facilities. I hope to someday soon have my cousin do a few guest posts on my blog about her work with many Haitian patients during this cholera epidemic. I still need to ask her but I am waiting for things to slow down for her. I am incredibly grateful that when my child says they are thirsty I have clean water to pour into their cup. I don't have to worry about the chronic diarrhea that plagues a majority of the world's children. Really.....the daily things I take for granted are enough to make me thankful for a lifetime!

I am thankful for a certain little boy in my house who invited me to have a sleepover in his room along with his sister Eden. Even though a minute ago I heard him tell her she isn't allowed in his room because she stuck out her tongue at him. Come 8:00 he will change his mind. And he will probably change his mind in 10 minutes for that matter. How she delights in tormenting her brothers!!

On another note altogether (this is a random one post): I wouldn't normally ask you or encourage you to go buy a copy of People magazine but I am encouraging you to do so this week. You know the organization I told you about called Project Hopeful? I met the founder at the orphan care summit we attended a few weeks ago and some of the women and their husbands who work with them. Guess what? They have a 5 page spread in the center of this weeks People magazine about Carolyn's family, about Project Hopeful and about hiv adoption!!! It is an amazing story of God working. They have been working for 10 months on this article and it is released the week before World Aids Day! People is the largest subscription magazine with 44 million subscribers not including the ones on racks in stores. It is an amazing opportunity for God to work in people's hearts and for the stigma of HIV to be smashed to smithereens!! I am hoping to purchase a copy tonight. And if you don't want to buy it find it at the local library, the local salon, take a moment and read the article in the checkout at the grocery store. Just spread the word!!

And now I am going to drink a bit of coffee in hopes that my body will respond a little quicker to my brains attempts to get it to move.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another Day

I am sitting here trying to figure out how a week has passed since I posted last but the time just seems to have vanished! I have days that seem to just morph into the next day and the next without a real defining break. And suddenly you find another week gone to never be relived again. It makes me think. I really only have one chance. Only one life to live. And I want to make mine count for something!

My week started becoming a bit more complex when Heidi started with fever. Not that a fever is complex in itself. It just throws a wrench into everyday life when you a little one who is sick. As any parent knows when a child is sick everything seems to take the back burner and you need to be available to soothe the tears, snuggle away the discomfort and just hold your little lovie. I wasn't too worried about the fever but in less than 24 hours she had really yucky drainage coming out her ear which landed us at urgent care since it was the weekend. Heidi is so vehement in her dislike of any medical facility that it makes it nearly impossible to check her -ever! It usually takes two of us to hold her in order for her to just have her routine checkup. The doctor said he couldn't say with absolute certainty that she had a perforated ear drum but with the disgusting drainage her assumed that was the cause. Her ear obviously was badly infected and I left feeling like a negligent mother. My consolation is that she hadn't even been sick for 24 hours before the drainage started so I know that had I called the doctor's office they would have advised me to wait another day. Can you tell she has had her fair share of ear infections? I know the drill but I still felt horrible!

Which leads me to my dislike of amoxicillan. Call me crazy but my kids seems to take on a whole new personality when they are on that medicine! And it isn't a personality that is very pleasant to be around! But I am thankful for the availability and access we have to medicine.

And I don't mean to beat a dead horse but.......when any of my children are sick I can't help but think about the millions of other little ones who are sick on their own. No one to comfort them. No one to scoop them up when they cry during the night. No one to care! It is their reality and we can't stick our heads in the sand and pretend it isn't the glaring truth. Because it is!

On that note I have sweet little ones (and sometimes not so sweet) to tuck into bed. Until next time.......

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Face of HIV

I got some answers for the question posed in my comment section yesterday. I contacted Andrea to get the low down. Thanks Andrea! :)

In her words: "If you are actually in the middle of having to mop up blood then gloves would be a good idea. The reality is that the virus does not live very long outside of the body. It dies pretty quickly. The other reality is if you had a cut it would have to pretty much be gaping, bleeding profusely and you would have to rub your blood with their blood ALOT. The chances of transmittal are slim. I don't have glove very close. Maybe not the smartest move but it is that hard to transmit!"

I also asked her how a couple can have a sexual relationship if one is HIV+ without the other person contracting the disease. And how does a couple have a child without the partner becoming infected? Her answer: "There isn't a website out there that will tell you that you will not contract hiv if you have unprotected sex with a partner....even if you are undetectable. It would be on their heads and there would be backlash. That being said...there are statistics that show transmission is very low and mother to child transmission with ARV use is less than 2%. There is a sperm washing/IVF if the male is +. A very fine line for a couple to walk."

Hopefully that answers the questions a little bit. Keep the questions coming since it is good for us all to be educated so the stigma can be erased!

And on to the sweet face of Dasha! Who really opened my eyes to the reality of what hiv looks like in the face of a child!
Now...we can all agree that she is beyond cute! But if you could have witnessed her in action. Wow! Personality that is larger than life!
She is healthy and more importantly she gets to live her life with a family instead of in an institution! All because people like you and I are not afraid to tackle what would have seemed insurmountable only a decade ago! I really wish I could convey to you what this little girl did in us! It is not her fault that she carries a virus that is fatal without intervention!!
I have more to say (of course) but the children are restless and we need to get school started. If nothing else, just look at her little face, ask God to protect all the vulnerable children throughout the world and get involved somehow!!
Head over the click on the hiv page and see the children who are waiting for families. will no longer see Dasha's face on the waiting children list!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Shattering the Ignorance of HIV

I think one of the most eye-opening things for me at the Summit was just being educated further in the matter of living with HIV. It is an area I have been researching since HIV adoption seems to be on the rise. There are so many mis-conceptions so much ignorance surrounding this issue of HIV. Really....many people are stuck in the 80's when it comes to AIDS/HIV. I came away from the summit determined to do my part in advocating for these children and to help educate people on the realities of HIV.

Here are some facts:

You are 287 times more likely to be struck DEAD by lightening than accidentally contracting HIV from living with a positive person.

There are 33,945 car accident deaths in the US every year.
There are 3,650 swimming related deaths every year.
There are 3,109 fire related deaths every year.
There are 1,818 deaths from fall on stairs every year.
There are 872 choking deaths every year.
There are 82 lightening strike deaths every year.
There are 0 home HIV transmissions in a year.

There are only 3 ways HIV can be transmitted: Having sex with someone infected with HIV. Sharing needless and syringes with someone infected with HIV. Being exposed (fetus or infant) to HIV before or during birth or through breast feeding. per the CDC

Having HIV is considered a chronic and manageable disease in the United States. Children with HIV are expected to live long healthy lives. To marry, have children and see their grandchildren.

I met some amazing mothers involved with project hopeful who have all adopted children with HIV. Some pretty amazing stories! One little girl who was adopted from Ethiopia at the age of 10 was in stage IV AIDS. We are talking miraculous that she is alive!! She weighed only 32 pounds and was written off! Her mother arrived (founder of project hopeful) and fought to bring her home. Selah's hemoglobin levels were so low she was not even going to make the flight home. She needed a transfusion but since she was in advanced stage of AIDS and blood is so precious in Ethiopia they wouldn't even consider giving her a transfusion. The only way was if her adoptive mother would somehow be a match! Of course....just like God!!! Her mother was a match, she received a transfusion of her mother's blood, was able to travel to the US and within 3 months looked like a completely different child! She is doing amazing, viral counts very low and is a miracle of God!!

Countless stories of children written off by the world, scooped up, brought home and thriving. I am not sure yet how this will affect our family. I do know I will become involved on some level. Whether it is helping to debunk the myths, advocate for these children, adopt one, fund raise, etc.

And tomorrow......I will introduce you to a precious bundle of energy that forever changed the face of HIV for us! She captured my heart way before she kissed my cheek but the kiss sealed the deal!!!

If you want further information or education visit A great organization changing the face of HIV adoption.

Monday, November 8, 2010

This and That

I am finding myself with a lot of things I want to blog about today. Funny happenings with the kids, what I gleaned and learned this weekend at the orphan summit, ideas for Christmas presents that serve a dual purpose (a gift as well as helping someone in a developing world), etc. I think that for today I will keep it focusd on my silly children. After all.....some days I feel more annoyed than blessed by them which is a horrible state of mind. How easy it is for me to fall into my self-absorbed state of being.

A quick note about the summit: I really don't know how to put into words all I learned. There is a lot of work to be done people! Lives at stake!! I am purposefully holding off even beginning to write about the breakout sessions I attended because I am hoping to gain permission from a mother I met at the summit who had a daughter that may have single-handedly changed my life! Seriously!! I sent her an email today and hopefully will hear back from her within in a few days so I can tell you the story!

On to the daily grind here. Today is a sad day for one little boy in our house who is involuntarily going through rehab for his escalating Wii addiction! Two weeks ago we thought maybe it would be fun to teach Tristan and Eden how to play a few games on the Wii. Big mistake! At least for Tristan. He wakes up in the morning wondering how soon he can play Mario Kart and doesn't stop until bedtime. Literally!! It is the only gaming system in our house and we are fairly strict with the amount of time they are allowed to play. He will sit all day and do nothing at all until he is allowed to have his Wii time. So....this week he is experiencing life without his beloved Wii which ultimately affects everyone in the house but the other kids probably will not even ask. He has spent a considerable amount of time today mourning his loss but seems to be perking up now.

Tristan and Eden seem to be on a campaign to bring another baby into our home. Although they cannot seem to agree on the color of their baby. Eden wants a brown baby and Tristan is pretty set on a black baby. Forgive the lack of pc terminology but my kids don't seem to have any regard for what is proper. They just want a baby!

Judah and Shane had a sleepover at some friends on Friday night. They wanted to take all the kids to a later movie - 9:30pm. Judah almost opted to stay back at the house since it was his bedtime. How many kids do you know that would decide to miss a movie in order to go to bed? My children are indeed unique!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Daily Grind

One of my fears (stupid fear again) is that in having a blog I will portray myself in a light that isn't completely accurate. Like that I never raise my voice, I wake up with a smile on my face and spring in my step, am always happy to give my children what they ask of me........blah, blah, blah. Far from the truth! So to keep things real I will show you some of the "fun" from the past few days. What is this you ask? This is glorious crayola paint that is water based! Eden had been asking to paint for a day or two so I assured her when Heidi was taking her nap we would set her loose to create a masterpiece. I just didn't anticipate the masterpiece would be all over the floor and walls!!
In fact, part of the finished product ended up on the beautiful artist herself. Notice the tears streaking down her cheeks? I had left the kitchen to help Shane with something and came back to her crying and looking like this. She told me she was shaking the paint before taking off the lid. Apparently the lid was already loose and this is the final product.

Do you think there may be a chance the doctor asks about her inner ear being green the next time we have a check-up?
She also has taken to swinging on various curtains throughout the house. I noticed the curtain rod in Tristan's room was a little crooked last week and upon asking what had happened I was told Eden was swinging on the curtain. So we had a nice little chat about curtains being for windows and not for acrobatics! I guess it really sunk into her little brain since she tried again today in her room. Except this time the curtain rod was the cheap kind that doesn't stand up to childish antics.
Yes.....this innocent little girl can put a hurting on both people and property. Heidi is wearing the teeth marks today of Eden's wrath.
A friend of mine stopped by for a visit last week and my little ones acted as though they haven't seen a baby in next to forever. Poor child was nearly mulled by these seemingly innocent children.
And here is my sweet Shane who loves the little ones so much. Except for right now as he is elbowing Eden on the couch. She doesn't seem to understand personal space yet or simply doesn't care about other people's personal space. My hunch is the latter.
Heidi discovered the sand box last week. She loved the feel of the sand in her finger.
I overheard Tristan yesterday crying with much gusto and saying, "Eden almost killed me!" Upon further investigation I learned Eden stuck her tongue out at him. Who knew that the simple act of sticking your tongue out could nearly cause the death of someone?
Yes.....I need to devote a post to Miss E again sometime. But for now I need to get packing for the cabin. We are once again headed to the mountains for the weekend which means lots of preparation.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New Additions

I know I have mentioned my friend Charity on here before. I met her through the whole blog sphere. It is weird how you can have a connection with someone you have yet to meet. She lives in Turkey with her husband and children but she is a Pennsylvania girl!! There are a lot of fun details to our story but that isn't what this post is about.

I am over the moon excited for their family today! You see.....a few weeks back they traveled to Ethiopia to meet their newest addition to the family but they were waiting for some final paperwork to actually pass court. She shared pictures of their meeting with me and shared sweet details of his response to them. She shared how hard it was to leave him as he sobbed. Ugh! This adoption journey can just tear your heart out sometimes.

Long story short.....they passed court today!! He is now legally their son! Head over to my blog links on the sidebar and take 4 minutes to watch their introduction video. I dare you not to cry as you watch him meet his momma. But what really gets me is a little over 3 minutes in hearing him say dadda!!

Charity....we are thrilled tonight at our house for you! We are celebrating with you! And now you will be that much closer to coming back to PA to finalize his adoption and that much closer to us getting to meet and hang out in person! Woohoo!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mid-Atlantic Orphan Summit

Just wanted to put a plug in for people who may live relatively close to Hershey PA to consider taking some time on November 5th & 6th to attend the orphan summit. Mark and I are really hoping to attend but I am still working on a child-care plan that feels comfortable to me. Mark and I haven't been away for a very long time so this would be good for us on so many levels. Our main issue is that our youngsters do not sleep well. It isn't good for anyone to have their sleep disturbed multiple times a night but I feel like my body is somewhat used to it. Anyway.....I hope to see some people I know if I make it there.

Moving on to from the continuing saga of my sleep woes and back to the summit! It looks amazing!! Really amazing!! Worth the time for anyone to go. I started reading a book today by one of the keynote speakers (thanks Christine) and cried through the first chapter! Oh my! My heart has so far to go yet in being completely broken for the least of these!

Anyway...check out and see if you can manage a short jaunt to Hershey! And pick up some spectacular chocolate while you are there!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Bit On Adoption

I know I haven't posted a whole lot lately and have kept it light with antics of sweet, innocent children. Part of the reason is it has taken me far longer to get into a new groove with school this year (due to my poor attitude) and partially because I have had a hard time getting things out of my head without them sounding jumbled.

I have been having many conversations in regards to adoption these days. Conversations that have left me feeling challenged in the most uncomfortable way. Uncomfortable but good. I always get worried when life starts feeling mundane and comfortable. For some reason I feel like the life of Jesus didn't compute as comfortable or mundane to those around him. We label ourselves as Jesus followers yet are so hesitant to step into anything that may label us anything other than the typical, normal American family. Because lets face it - my life looks pretty comfortable to 90% of the world. Seriously....I am ashamed to admit that so often my hesitancy in stepping out into something that looks "crazy" is simply because I do not want to draw attention to myself. I think when someone does something that doesn't fit in with the majority we are much quicker to judge when something doesn't turn out perfectly. Am I right? It is tricky - this balance of walking in obedience to the Father and learning to walk through the pain if things do not turn out the way we envision. Adoption isn't all fun and games. It is tricky. It is life-changing. It is challenging. It is amazing. It is so, so worth it!

Three weeks ago a friend of ours called to say they had found out about a 13 year old girl who had been adopted internationally in July. For different reasons that seem altogether strange to me the adoptive parents were wanting to abrupt the adoption. Such a bizarre situation. I am not at liberty to divulge simply because it is not my story to tell. So our sweet friends who just adopted a beautiful daughter in January spent the weekend travelling to meet this 13 year old girl in hopes that she will be joining their family. They will have gone from 3 to 5 children within 10 months! Her comment to me was, "People are going to think we are crazy!" And I thought to myself, "Why?" Why are we so quick to pass judgement on people who are literally living out the gospel? Is it because it makes us uncomfortable? Suddenly our safe lives feel restrictive. The plan is she will be coming this weekend and more than likely all the paperwork will be signed. Just like that. A little over three weeks ago they didn't know she existed and now she will be joining their family! It inspires me!

I talked with someone else today who is near and dear to me who is embarking on domestic adoption. A whole different ball game! So much need right in our backyard! And I do not say that lightly! I am praying daily for them to hear to the voice of God as they have profiles handed to them to sift through.

And I am waiting to hear from a couple who had a court date today to find out if parental rights would be terminated so the sweet brothers who have invaded their home and lives for nearly a year now can be their sons forever!

There are children everywhere and as a wise young boy said, "It doesn't matter where they are. A kid is a kid!" I watched my children running through the house tonight - back the hall, around the kitchen table, through the living room, deafening shrieks (and I mean deafening), contagious laughter and my heart felt full! our children keep reminding us we have one more open seat at our kitchen table! Who could God possibly have to fill that seat? And that isn't to say we can't get a bigger table. :)

Life often feels overwhelming. But I wonder. What would happen if I really could grasp that this life is fleeting and that everything I do now has eternal impact? Would my life look differently than it does right now? Something I like to think about!

Friday, October 15, 2010

18 Months Old

How is it that my little sweet pea is 18 months old already? She really is sweet in every way! Except for the killer screaming fits she has begun! Other than the fits she is pure sweetness. With a dash of mischief for good measure! She is an accomplished and expert climber! I find her in many precarious positions but so far she has escaped relatively unscathed. Except for her fall off of the toilet in which her face met up with the sink in a very personal way which resulted in beautiful bruises and lots of blood. But it didn't deter her for too long. She is back to standing on the toilet to turn the light on and off.

She was definitely not an "easy" baby. And still doesn't sleep all that well. *gasp* Go ahead and critique my parental abilities. I am okay with it. For now I enjoy snuggling with her in our bed at various times of the night. I could do without her need to have her feet propped up on my body while she sleeps but it goes far too quickly. I remember when I was pregnant with Tristan that every morning Judah and Shane would come snuggle in bed with me after Mark left for work. And there comes a day when they no longer need that snuggle to feel as connected and it becomes rather inappropriate as well. So, for now I will muddle through the last fleeting months of lousy sleep to soak in, breathe in and feel my little girl nestled against my body. Because after all....she is our beautiful, surprise blessing for which we thank God everyday for being so generous to us!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

More Random Sleep Pictures

Last night I found Eden sitting in her basket of babies and stuffed animals asleep. She was supposed to be in her bed, tucked nicely under her covers with her head resting sweetly on her pillow. But no......awkward angle with the edge of the bed digging into her back. But she was sleeping great!!

I scooped her up, kissed her soft cheeks and tucked her in again. Which didn't last too long! When I went in the girls room a short time later to put Heidi in her bed Eden was sideways in her bed. For the life of me I cannot figure out how a person can move so much when they sleep!! If I had myself upside down and sideways in the bed I think I wouldn't feel very rested. That and Mark would probably kick me out of the bed.
One of these days I am hoping my brain doesn't feel like mush at the end of the day so I can return to a fairly normal routine at posting. I do have lots to say (big surprise) but can't seem to form coherent thoughts by the time the kids are all in bed. Speaking of bedtime......Judah and Shane are waiting for me to sing their songs. I wonder how much longer they will want me to sing to them? Time is passing all too quickly!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Muddy Fun

For once I had no words! I was rendered speechless upon being summoned out of the house to this sight! I did explain to Judah though that I was 100% sure he did not have a gnat in his eye since his face was plastered with mud! He continued to argue that it was a gnat! I wanted to roll my eyes and say, "Whatever!" but I refrained! What did your kids do on Saturday??

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wrong On So Many Levels

My husband has to rank up there as one of the best fathers! Especially after this past Saturday. Mark loaded the 4 older kids up to head to the insect fair while I stayed at home with Heidi. I spent some time cleaning with little interruption, sat on the couch and snuggled with Heidi and just soaked in the brief moments of having an only child again. What a strange concept, you know?

Anyway.....I got a phone call that the insect fair was a hit and that they were on their way home. Maybe I should have taken that as my clue to prepare for something but Mark is really good at calling to give me updates when he is out and about with the kids. I heard the car doors slamming, kids running, excited voices and in barged my kids with strange little plastic containers in their hands! Hmmmmm??? I was on the verge of asking what they were carrying but before I had a chance Judah informed me they had acquired Madagascar hissing cockroaches!!! Oh my!! Seriously? They are so incredibly gross!! Not only do they look creepy they also stink!! I looked at Mark with the 'how could you' look to which he kind of shrugged! Twice now Judah has come to me apologizing for accidentally dumping the containers "contents" in the kitchen sink. He really meant to dump it in the trash but somehow forgot. Ugh!! There is a valid reason you call an exterminator to eradicate them! But not us!! We welcome them into our home!

On another note altogether: Mark and I had a date night last week for the first time in 5-6 weeks. We went to a new restaurant in town that moved into the old Hooters restaurant space. The conversation went something like this:

Mark's mom: So....where did you guys go to eat?
Mark: To Kildare's. It is where Hooters used to be.
Judah: How far is this place?
Me: Not far. It is just in town.
Judah: Oh....I would love to go to Hooters!! (said with much dramatic flair)
Shane: Not Hooters- Tooters. You when you toot?

Dear Lord in heaven we laughed!!! And laughed!! And the boys had no idea what was so funny.

And another funny boy story: I heard the boys laughing in their room and upon investigating what was so funny I was shown an animal library book Judah had gotten from the library. They were looking at the red footed boobies, the blue footed boobies and black footed boobies. Judah said, "Look!! Their names are red footed booties, blue footed boobies"....(you get the idea). I asked them what was so funny about booties and they pointed to their butts! I said, " doesn't say bootie. What does it say?" I braced myself for even more laughter upon the discovery that these birds in fact were not named after a backside but.....the dreaded front side. They read the names correctly and didn't laugh at all. And that is when I left there room in shocked silence. My 7 and 9 year old boys do not know what a booby is!!! I vacillated between telling them and letting them remain innocent for a bit longer. Innocence won out simply because things like desperately wanting to go to hooter's offers us so many laughs!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

How do you sleep?

Strange question right? Asking how you sleep. Are you a back sleeper? A belly sleeper? Do you need a fan to block out noise? Do you wear one of those nifty eye masks to block out light? I think Shane will be getting a nifty eye mask in his stocking this year. That way he can do away with the turban wrap on his face. Seriously.......this is how Shane was sleeping recently when we had to inspect Judah's bed since he was positive he was being bitten over and over. Could the article I mentioned about an increase in bed bugs possibly be the culprit for Judah's paranoia? After the bed had been properly examined it was deemed he needed some lotion on his legs since they were dry. So.....if you misplace your eye mask to aid in your sleep efforts just make an extra large turban that reaches over your eyes.

Friday, September 24, 2010

My weekly post

It has been one of those weeks. A week that kind of drains the life out of you. Nothing within my nuclear family but something that is outside my immediate home that has a profound effect on me. Makes me realize once again that our choices and decisions affect far more people than just ourselves.

But...on so many levels this week has been grand! How about this - SASHA has found a family!!! Such wonderful news! I am always so delighted to find out one of these precious children has found a family but I usually feel a twinge of sadness that it isn't someone I know so I can't kiss their cheeks! Weird, I know but I have never claimed to be anything other than strange!

My email was hacked into this week so everyone in my contact list was notified that I had been robbed at gunpoint and now needed money to get back to the States from the UK. Ha!!! They hacked the wrong person's email. Anyone who knows me knows that I wouldn't dream of vacationing with all of my children anywhere that wasn't within a days drive. I told my Aunt that the only hostage I am is to the whims of my children!

Tristan and Eden had a date night with their dad this week and they were over the moon excited! They had ice cream and played at the park! They came back talking about their adventure but their absolute favorite part was that Mark bought them each their own pack of gum! My children are gum addicts. They ask for it by 8:00 in the morning. Sometimes they ask for gum before breakfast. *note to self - leverage the gum addiction to my advantage

This morning I met with some fellow adoptive mothers from our church to brainstorm. Our church has an adoption fund that adoptive families can apply for financial assistance. We are looking for ways to bolster the fund, create more awareness for the fund and to also begin designing a resource guide. We are hoping to create a support network for adoptive families. It is in the beginning stages but I am so excited!! It gives me a small avenue to channel some of my passion to advocate for the orphan in a local capacity. There are some really neat things on the horizon city-wide with other churches in regard to orphan care as well.

So in the midst of feeling depleted emotionally I have had so much to be grateful for this week. A husband who loves me deeply, a husband who cares about spending time with his children and creating memories with them, a family for Sasha, my children who leave chewed up gum on every surface in my home and other families to partner with on behalf of children who need homes. friend Lisa's little girl continues to grow, puzzle the doctors and defy the odds. You can read more about her here. That is a whole other element to be thankful for this week. I had a cousin pass away after her battle with cancer and the spouse of another cousin have a very scary bout with bleeding on his brain. I have been reminded that life is really a gift to us. A precious gift. I have tried to be more purposeful in taking the extra five minutes at bedtime to read the additional story, to take them each aside daily to tell them how much I love them and to kiss them as often as possible.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Say Cheese

Why do children plaster on fake smiles upon being asked to smile for the camera? Tristan can hold his own with the best of the fakers. And how about that dirty face? One thing I said my children would never have - dirty faces. Now I am just happy if they are fully clothed. Clean faces are completely over rated.
Heidi's "smile" face for the camera.
And then there is Eden. If only we were all so blessed with natural ease around a camera. Her smile is never fake!!
So typical for Eden. A smile that ends in a full fledged laugh!
Her and Heidi both really like helping to unload the dishwasher. Someone please tell me their desire to help is not a passing phase.
A true Heidi smile. So sweet with the drool about to drip from her chin.
Mark cut down a tree last week that was hollow on the inside. The tree had barely hit the ground and Tristan was inside the stump. We later burned almost the entire tree inside of the stump. It doesn't take much to entertain around here.
And lastly, here is Judah on his first day of school. He is liking it a lot and is very excited to be giving the saxophone a try this year. Good thing I have gotten pretty skilled at ignoring sounds that can otherwise drive one to banging their head off the wall. Not saying my son will make obnoxious sounds with the saxophone. Although the likelihood of squeaks and squawks is pretty good.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Boring Update

I just want to say thank-you to those of you who emailed me and left comments. I was encouraged. Thank you.

We are getting into the swing of things again around here with all things related to school. Judah is adjusting to his new classroom and teacher very well. There are 13 kids in his class and 11 of them are boys! Sounds raucous and rowdy! His teacher last year told me that having boys is actually easier than girls. Less drama. I find that hard to believe (insert sarcasm here).

Shane is getting into the groove as well. We are giving on-line charter school a try and so far he seems to like it. Relatively speaking. He still thinks all this education related are trivial and really would rather be outside or in his room listening to his Narnia CD's. We aren't 100% sure this avenue will work with him but wanted to give it a try. We told him we would try for 2-3 weeks before making our final decision.

Which brings me to my feelings of inadequacy. I look at other moms who home school and make it look so easy and fun. For me it isn't easy. I don't mind home schooling but it isn't my most favorite thing in the world. I think it is wonderful and a great thing to offer your children! I love having my children home. I love watching the relationships and interactions amongst them all. I just don't feel qualified! And wow!! Does it drain me some days. So Mark and I are really trying to sort out what is best for our entire family unit right now. We need wisdom which feels evasive. I am trying hard not to compare myself to others. Something that can be so crippling for me. Comparison never is beneficial for anyone in anyway.

We have had my niece here for a few days which has been very fun! At least for us. I am sure by now she is wishing for some peace and quiet. Not too much of that around here! We are all about running, yelling, laughing, crying, playing at high decibel levels. Life is much more fun when lived with gusto. At least that is what I have been told.

On that note, I will be signing off and going outside to run and play! Until later....
(amy - will send you a note telling you more about Sasha. I think he is so dear!)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I am finding myself some what conflicted lately. On a few different levels. First, the most trivial thing being this: my blog. Do people want to read about the antics of my children? Do they really care if my child lifts her shirt in public to squeeze her nipples and make her mother blush? Do they find the fact that my little boy thinks a silent fart really is something altogether different than flatulence? (he thinks his butt is blowing for those of you who haven't heard the hilarious story) Do they want less posts about adoption? Do they tire of hearing my angst about all the orphans?

Here is what I have concluded: these are two of my dearest passions in life. My children?family and the orphan! So, I will continue to blog about both. How is that for conflict resolution? Not too shabby!!

The second conflict is more of an internal/heart conflict. And it revolves around adoption. I am a huge proponent of adoption which you have gathered if you have read my blog for any length of time. I read some really horrible things last week from a fairly well-known man in ministry that had me seething! They were said out of ignorance and are non-Biblical to the core!! This is what was said: "Never adopt children even close to the age of your own. You should be past child-bearing age, and your children should be at least 10-15 years older than your adopted kids. I don't think there is any such thing as an orphanage raised child who has not been a participant in sexual participation. If you are older and your kids are grown, it is a wonderful, full-time ministry to adopt foreign kids. You will experience heartache, possible failure, but you may just save a soul from sure destruction. But if there is failure, at least your kids will not go down with them." - Michael Pearl of No Greater Joy Ministries. There was another statement very similar to taking care of foster children. I was in shock! I am not a regular reader of his opinions but this one garnered quite a bit of attention and outrage of course.

So I read those things, the response of many adoptive families and was unhappy that yet again fear was being cast into potential adoptive parents hearts.

Very shortly after I read those statements a woman who has spoken such truth from her blog about life and adoption started sharing their heart wrenching journey as of late. They are walking through an adoption disruption right now and it has just shattered their hearts! I can't explain what started happening internally because I still don't know. I am crying now just writing these words. Every time I think about their family I cry. For the pain, the hurt, the way they will be judged, their feelings of failure, etc. I cry for their little boy who is now someone else's little boy. Their story seemed to almost confirm the previous statement made about adoption being a bad idea with young children in the home. And it made me angry. The enemy is hard at work seeking to destroy lives! And when something happens to instill fear into people's hearts the enemy gains even more ground!

I started feeling fear. Which, by the way, from here on out is dubbed the F word!! Fear, as you know, in my life has been a huge battle!! It seeks to silence me. It seeks to make me doubt the power of my God! It seeks to make me incapable of fighting the good fight that I have been exhorted to fight!! I started hearing things like "what if someone you have encouraged to adopt walks through something like this family - can you even imagine how they would blame you for their pain?" and "you better never tackle adoption again - just play it safe" and other obnoxious things!

I have been renewing my mind by just grabbing the Word and reading every chance I get. Little snippets through-out the day to keep my saturated in the truth. And the truth is that adoption still is the core of God's heart. It is! It is a picture of salvation, of redemption, of laying down your life, of being rejected.......of being picked up, over and over and over. And you know what else? We aren't supposed to play it safe - we just aren't!! I have been reading the New Testament and I haven't found one verse yet that says to make sure you are safe. I just can't find it anywhere. There is a lot of mention of persecution though of that I can assure you. It is our nature to avoid conflict, avoid pain. It just isn't comfortable and comfortable is so much easier than pain.

So that is some of my conflict. One thing I know about my Father - He is generous with me. He is okay with me taking some time to question, search for the answer and seek Him out!

And talking about anyone seeking a sweet little boy? Remember Sasha? He still needs a family and it is getting to the critical stage. After he reaches the age of 4 he will be institutionalized and we do not even want to go there right now! I can't think about his smile being snuffed out forever. Can't think about him spending every moment of every day without human touch and stuck in a crib. He was created for love! He was created for His Creator! He is precious! Are you his mom or dad? Are you his family? If you aren't will you help spread the word?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Get Bridged

I have met a friend through this whole blog sphere that has turned out to be a real treasure. She is a good old Pennsylvania girl like myself. She commented on a post of mine one time and we just clicked. We grew up so similarly - barefoot farm girls! We have emailed quite a bit over the past months and have gotten to "know" each other the best that one can over a vast ocean. Oh yeah. She, her husband and children have been obedient and followed God to a world so foreign to mine. They now reside in Turkey. It has been a joy for me to share my heart with her and learn about the work they are doing in Turkey. Her sister's family also lives in Turkey with them (near them). I am constantly amazed at what she has given up, what she is learning, etc. I am very hopeful that we will connect in person someday since both of their families are in Pennsylvania. they launched their business website They have partnered with artisans in undeveloped countries to sell their products. This obviously increases their chances of growing their business which helps them better support their families. It is not a new concept but it is a concept that works!!

I am asking that you think about them this year as the holidays are approaching. You can buy beautiful products as gifts and help support families on the other side of the world. Go check them out!! And if you want to learn more about charity and her family head on over to

Monday, August 30, 2010

Last Day's of Summer

The end of summer is rapidly approaching! There is so much I love about summer but since I operate better with a routine I look forward to life returning to a schedule. We are trying to squeeze last minute fun things into the week before the start of school. I asked the boys this morning what they would like to do yet and the list became very long! I will do my best to accommodate a few of their desires but that is all I can offer! Here is a large spider that Mark and the boys found last week. Of course admiring it from a distance is not good enough. It is now residing in a large plastic container in our house!! I thought it would die within a day or two but I forgot to account for my boys capturing moths and other spiders to feed it. Lovely!! They are most fascinated with the amount the spider is pooping! Such a boy thing!
We didn't any kind of grand vacation this summer but instead tried to do a few smaller scale things with the kids. Stuff that wouldn't be completely overwhelming and things that felt manageable with the little ones. We did the mountains for a few days two different times. And this past week we took them to a local amusement park. It was a cooler day so the park was the emptiest I have ever seen it. No waiting in lines at all!! And to make the day even better some of our friends unexpectedly showed up at the park. Eden insisted on going on so many of the big rides, screaming the entire time because she was scared and then screaming after it stopped because she wanted it to continue.

Can you tell that a certain little girl was having the time of her life? Seriously....can she be any more photogenic?
As we were preparing to leave the park the boys asked me to ride the gravity drop with them. I tried not to scream for the sake of the poor gentleman riding next to me but gave up after the screams involuntarily came out!!
I have hardly any pictures of me with my kids since I am almost always behind the camera. I am purposing to change that.
Such big guys now! I love watching them become young men! We had a date night last week one evening which I will have to fill you in on when I have time. We were discussing future professions. Very enlightening!!
And to give a quick update on my friend Lisa's little girl. Madeline Grace continues to hang in there and seems to be a puzzle to the doctors. She had heart surgery last week and was alert and awake following the surgery. Would you continue to pray for Lisa, her husband, Madeline and their three girls as home? Madeline is now 2 weeks old and seems to be a fighter. They had over 30 doctors meet last Monday to discuss her case. She is a tiny miracle!!