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