Monday, February 28, 2011

Our Visit

I know I have mentioned my friend Charity numerous times but did you know I had never met her in person? We connected through our blogs ages ago and since she is half a world away we email regularly to keep in touch and learn more about each other. I feel like I have known her all my life yet I found myself extremely nervous when she wondered if they could come visit. Even though we had talked about it and planned on getting our families together when they were back in the States finishing up the adoption of their son Yohanis I was still nervous. I cannot even begin to imagine meeting a significant other through the internet and preparing for the first meeting. I should not have been anxious about anything! The connection was instant, easy and we thoroughly enjoyed our time with Charity, her husband Joel and their sweet children! I am glad she made me get over my dislike of having my picture taken because this picture of the two of us has become a treasure!
The kids all seemed to have a lot of fun too! Even though I couldn't tell you what all they did since I was busy learning about everything Joel and Charity do in Turkey. I am always so intrigued by other cultures.
Shane and their daughter Vienna became fast pals!
We lined all the kids up, minus Heidi, after they all had their footie jammies on! They looked so cute all lined up.
This picture is pretty much a duplicate of the other one except that Yohanis had clearly thought we had taken enough pictures. He was ready to bale off the couch and get back to his balloon! And Vienna looks like she was rubbing her nose on Shane's cheek!
We are really hoping for another visit before they have to return to Turkey. How is it possible to miss someone you have only met once? And now where you can all help. Joel has an amazing gift. He makes beautiful pottery! While they have been home he has been busy making pottery for an online auction. Since they are in missions this is a way to supplement their support and help with unexpected costs. Would you take some time and browse their auction site? We now personally have a piece of his pottery and I must say it is exceptional!! You will not be disappointed!! You can click on Charity's blog link over on the side and see more pictures of their visit. She has some really sweet pictures too!

Endless Winter

Can you tell winter is beginning to get the best of me? I feel so completely uninspired and mostly just like a blob! A blob that moves from one task to the next without really even noticing what is being done (or not done) until partway through the day when my eyes seem to actually register what is passing before them. I think I was feeling a little too good about myself and how well I was handling winter. Then I got blind sided somewhere in February! I keep telling myself that if I can just get through March all will be well.

But I don't want to just endure the next month. I want to enjoy it! I need to find that bounce in my step instead of stumbling through my day! The key for me is to not look at myself (which I obviously am) and instead look at what I can do to bless/help someone else. Hmmm....

I will soon post some fun pictures of a visit with my first "internet friend." And in that post I will give you an opportunity to bid on some incredibly beautiful pieces of pottery to help our friends! You really should bid on them! We have a piece of his pottery in our home and it is gorgeous! I promise you will not be disappointed.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Birthday Celebrations

First order of business for this post - MASHA HAS A FAMILY!! I do not know who yet but once I find out I will pass that info along. All I know is that she is spoken for and this makes my once dreary, snowy Monday seem bright! I cannot explain the ache that has plagued me since finding out about her. I know God has more for these little children than dying alone without ever knowing love!

And for the next order of business......

Judah happened to win a reading contest in his class and his reward was getting slimed by his teacher! Not sure that is the best strategy to getting your kids interested in reading. Except that for kids being in the spotlight is pretty appealing even if it means getting slimed! And on to Judah's birthday......birthday's are much more fun when you get to celebrate with friends, right? We packed up the kids after an early dinner and headed to our friends, the Sublett's, for a night of rowdy children and great conversation!
You cannot properly sing Happy Birthday unless you have accompaniment right? Sadie did a beautiful job playing on her cello while we sang!
Eden was waiting patiently for some cake and ice cream!
Hard to believe this handsome young man is 10 already!
Thanks Kim and Stacy for letting us crash at your house for the evening! I love watching all of our kids together. Their youngest is the age of our oldest but they still all mesh fairly well. And it is wonderful having friends who "get us"!
The day after Judah's birthday brought about his birthday date! He opted to just going to Wendy's for lunch because he was in a hurry to get to the skating rink. That's right folks! This momma had to put on some roller skates even though I haven't been skating since I was a teenager. He wanted to roller blade for his birthday date so that is exactly what we did. And do you know what? It was a blast!! We had fun and I actually want to go again soon!
Judah continues to be a very sensitive boy. He is very conscientious and we are hoping that stays through his teenage years! He knows he does better if he gets to bed on time so that can be a source of anxiety for him. There have been 2 times within the past month that he got to bed later than normal. He was so worried and mentioned numerous times on those nights that he should have just stayed home so he could have gone to bed. He would rather be early than late. He knows we leave the house every morning at 7:25 to walk out to the bus but without fail by 7:15 he starts worrying that I won't be ready on time. I have to remind him often that he has only ever missed the bus one time in nearly two years so I think we have a good track record. He is a creator, still loves art, loves to hunt, bird watch and be outside. He likes being around people, is social, thoroughly enjoys school, is highly competitive, doesn't do well with contact sports since he always gets hurt *wink*, and likes David Crowder a whole lot!
I find at times that we expect more out of him for some reason and that is something I am purposing to do better in this next year. Allow him to still make childish mistakes while calling on him to grow into becoming a man! We are grateful to have been blessed with 10 years so far with this sweet boy and look forward to the next 10!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Masha Update

I promised to update about Masha but have hesitated because nothing has changed! She still is waiting to be rescued. How my heart has languished for this little treasure! I know there is someone paper ready and approved that God has hand-picked for her. She flutters through my heart and mind so many times throughout the day and night! Would you please continue to storm heaven on her behalf?
Maybe you don't know what awaits her at the institution. It is a battle for survival! You have to fight for your food. If someone is able to move faster, is bigger and gets to your food first you go without. Little Masha has CP and isn't able to walk on her own yet. She really won't survive if someone doesn't come quickly! If you can handle having your world wrecked just go to you tube and start looking for Bulgarian institution video's. It is no different in the Ukraine!
So my big battle right now is this: if I know what awaits these precious children upon their 4th birthday why am I not getting my butt in gear and pulling paperwork together to welcome one home? I wish I had an answer for you. My heart has been broken for these treasures yet I know it would be uncomfortable, difficult with many unknowns if we were to walk that road. I wish I could say I am at the place of laying down my will completely but I am still holding on to a few strands - not even threads - more like strands!
So as God works in my heart would you stand with me and continue to pray for Masha? That God would protect her, preserve her life and for her family to come forward soon!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bedtime Mayhem

What is your bedtime routine like at your house? At least those of you with littles. It is the most precious time of the day in so many ways. Their little hearts become very open and soft, they want to talk about deep things and sometimes meaningless silliness ensues. Somehow though bedtime always drags on and on as the kids all seem to congregate together. Like this night for instance....... I was laying on Tristan's bed singing him his list of songs that never changes and pretty soon there was a pile on the bed. I really do treasure these memories!

So this is the breakdown at our house: Eden asks me to sing Twinkle, Twinkle...Jesus Loves Me.....Jesus Loves the Little Children and You Are My Sunshine - every night! And Tristan asks for the same songs as Eden! After they are snug in their beds we move onto Judah and Shane. For the past year almost every night I have sung Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Jesus Loves Me. Occasionally they will ask for something else but it is rare!

As much as I love tucking them into bed I always take a deep breath once they are all settled. Another day finished! Some days are survival, some days are utter enjoyment but all days are blessed! As I head to bed at night I make my rounds. Kissing their heads, fixing their blankets, breathing in the wonderment of my children! How is it that God has seen fit to entrust these treasures to us?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Birthday Pictures - Finally

Since there is a few less children in the house this evening I decided to take advantage of it and finally post a few pictures of Shane from his birthday. My days seem to swirl together and I sometimes wonder if I should even attempt to continue blogging. If I could connect a USB cable to my brain and download it straight to my computer we would be fine. It is finding the time before my brain is fried at the end of the day to post that is the challenge. But I decided this evening to sit down while Tristan and Heidi are playing to give you a peek into Shane's day!

Shane requested pancakes in bed for his birthday breakfast. We compromised on the location of eating the pancakes since they are messy and he was fine. There was 2 hour delay on his birthday so we had extra time to make the pancakes and bacon and open his presents. We took him out to the Waffle Shop again for his lunch date. He had lots of choices but went with his trusty side kick because they have wonderful hot chocolate and chocolate chip pancakes! I really think there date with mom and dad on their birthday is one of their favorite things. And he finished off his day with BBQ pulled pork, baked mac-n-cheese and corn. I love seeing what each child chooses for their birthday dinner. His Aunt Suzanne made his cake to his specifications! My kids have assured me that while my cakes are good they aren't as good as Suzannes! I have no problem with that because it is entirely true! Her cakes are delicious!
I always like the smokey candle pictures! Shane is a most amazing young man! He has the most sensitive of hearts and the tenacity of a lion! He loves his younger siblings in abundance and loves having Heidi snuggle with him every night on his bed! He plays with them every day and has such a creative imagination. Today they had blankets, sleeping bags and pillows covering the living room floor. For two hours they played that it was a beach, lava and I don't know what else. All I know is it was a huge mess but they had a grand time!
Like I said he has the tenacity of a lion which continues to be a challenge to navigate! He has an amazing inner strength and he does not like feeling controlled by anyone. If he feels like he has no options he shuts down. Tonight he and Judah had wrestling. It is one night a week for 6 weeks so it isn't too demanding. Well.....he decided he wasn't going. Oh boy! When he gets in that frame of mind you can have a war on your hands in split seconds. We told him that he needs to complete what he started to which he informed us yet again he was NOT going! Long story short he eventually went out the door stomping as loudly as possible and hitting the walls as he went. Good grief!! How can a child so sweet and sensitive be so hard headed? Still praying and asking for wisdom to hopefully get through some of this in the next few years!
And now I am going to spend some time with the two littles that are at home with me!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Urgent Need has been a while since I have advocated for a child but it is time! This little girl MUST have a family in days! And I mean days! I know the chances are very slim that anyone reading my blog is paper ready that could jump in and rescue this little girl. It truly would be a rescue. She is 4 years old, the size of a 12-18 month old, has over $17,000 in her grant fund, is precious beyond words, deserves a family and is just days away from being transferred to the institution!! I cannot even describe to you the horrors that await her there! She has already had her physical by the doctors from the institution which means any day now she will be gone. Please, please head over to to see her picture, read more about her and click on the links there to read first hand accounts of how precious she is!

So, if I feel that no one reading my blog is paper ready why am I posting? I know how incredibly powerful prayer is and I know how much our Father absolutely adores these precious children that He created!! I am posting and asking that everyone who reads this pray for a family to step forward immediately!! Will you join with me in praying her home? Print out her picture and put it on your refrigerator, your bathroom mirrors - whatever it takes to remind you to pray! I will let you know when a family is found!