Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The Good Brother
Our oldest son has some concerns about our families decision to adopt from Ethiopia. He has fears that it will feel like company is visiting. Not like they are all brothers and sisters.

I am sure this fear is not unlike that of many adoptive parents who ask themselves if they can really love a child they did not give birth to as much as one they did.

I am blessed to not have this particular fear, though I do wrestle with others.

I am praying for a way to take our two oldest with us to Ethiopia. I believe once they are there and see all those kids, meet them, form relationships, the fears will go away. They will understand.

Even if a way is not made available for them to go I know that oldest will still be a great big brother to his new siblings. Once he holds them in his arms it will be all over. His fears will be gone.

I believe this peace was given to me by God.

Before we adopted I prayed hard about the effect this decision would have on ALL of our children. God gave me peace then that all would be OK.

Zach is a good big brother.

Here he is helping Paige make sand castles in her sand box.

He helped her make a little river around her castle.
Then he discovered me taking pictures and put his head down.

The kid hates to have his picture taken.

I predict next year at this time there will be a few more kids in the sandbox enjoying the attention of their big brother.
The big brother just doesn't understand that part of it yet.

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  posted at 3:20 PM  

Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The Dreams
My nights have been filled with dreams again. Dreams of dark skinned children running towards me. For some reason they never seem to be able to make it all the way, we are reaching for each other but never touch.

Today my heart is aching for children I do not know. How can I feel such love for someone I have never met? I don't understand. There is a very real ache in my heart. I want to go and get my children.

Perhaps this is God's way of preparing my heart for our new children.

I really don't know and I don't pretend to understand these dreams.

I do feel peace. Peace that when we do receive our referral we will be going to pick up OUR children.

The ones God has picked out for our family.

Today we wait. We pray. We live in anticipation.

To take my mind off of my heavy heart we are headed out the door for a few hours at Chuck E' Cheese.

I'm not sure if it will work but I can guarantee you one thing.

This mama will have a very big headache in a few hours. However, the smiles on the kids faces will no doubt numb the pain quite a bit.

I'm putting on my happy face and heading out the door. I think I'll play a little pac man while I'm there.


  posted at 12:35 PM  

Monday, December 29, 2008
Meet Pablo
The following are conversations that have been going on at our house for several months.

Paige: Mom, I really want a hamster.

Me: That's nice.

Brother: What do you want for Christmas Paige?

Her: A hamster named flower.


Father: What do you want for Christmas Paige?

Her: A hamster named Pablo.

Father: I thought you wanted a hamster named Flower?

Her: I changed my mind, I want a boy hamster now.


Them: Mom, you HAVE to get her a hamster for Christmas. It is the only thing she has talked about for months.

Me: I don't want a hamster.

Them: You know mom it isn't always all about you. (Don't you love it when they throw your words back in your face?)


This was under the tree for Paige Christmas morning.

A pink and purple hamster condo. Not really the correct home for a Pablo, however, it was purchased when we thought we were getting a flower.

You can barely see him in this picture. He is a dwarf hamster, all of 1 oz. I think this condo is a little large for him, however, he seems to be enjoying it. He sleeps in the giant wheel on top, he isn't big enough to make it spin yet. Poor little guy.

The brother's who guilted me into this are in charge of hamster care.

I'm in charge of looking at his cute little face. I have to admit...he is pretty cute.

Welcome to the family Pablo.

  posted at 2:36 PM  

Saturday, December 27, 2008
Our Annual Day After Shopping
Most years my sister-in law Cheryl and I go shopping the day after Christmas. Clothes shopping to be exact. This girl really likes to shop and she has a great eye.

I do not. I am not a good shopper and prefer hanging out in jeans and a t-shirt. However, I like going with Cheryl because it is like having your own personal shopper.

We only shop the sale section and yesterday we found some great bargains.

My sister and brother in law joined us (he likes to shop more than my sister does!) and we had so much fun.

We like to go to Chico's. This store is a little pricey but if you shop the sales you can get great quality items at a really reasonable price.

Yesterday I did great and only spent $21.50 (actually $61.50 but I had a gift certificate for $40.00)

My sister had never been to Chico's and quickly feel in love with this store. She spent much more than I did.

Michael Phelps mom shops at this store and all during the Olympics I kept saying "I think I saw that outfit at Chico's". Turns out that's one of the only places she shops.

I was feeling very proud of myself for showing such self control and not going hog wild and spending lots of money on myself.

Until this afternoon.

Cheryl and I had to run an errand into another town. Turns out we passed another Chico's on the way and just had to run in and check out their sales rack.

I bought this. Cheryl bought this cute vest. I bought a jacket similar to this one (only mine is prettier) with a new pair of pants and turtle neck to go with it. I also bought two tops to wear with jeans.

All the items were 50% off the price they are showing on the website. I paid $35.00 for my long coat, it was originally $185.00.

I'm not going to tell you how much I spent total (umm, my husband reads this blog ladies) but I will tell you I paid a minimum of 70% off the original price of each item.

If you are looking for some good quality clothes that will last you a while. Go check out this store or shop online.

Do you want to know what my favorite part of shopping at this store is?

I wear a size 2 or 3 in their clothes.

No, I have not lost weight. The people at Chico's are just really smart and they know a girl would much rather wear a 2 or 3 instead of, well, a number that is double digits.

I'm just sayin.


  posted at 5:52 PM  

Friday, December 26, 2008
New Traditions
Three years ago we had a quiet Christmas and just my niece and her family were coming over later in the day. She called me before they came over, and we both were sharing how tired we were and how we just wanted to climb into our jammie's. She quickly said why don't we come over in our pajama's and you guys go put yours on.

We did, and a tradition was born.

The following year we decided that everyone would wear pajama's to Christmas dinner. Most of the family thought we were crazy and did not participate in our kooky idea, our two families however, thought it was a fantastic idea.

Yesterday we had a large crowd (around 20 people) for Christmas dinner. We told everyone to wear their pajama's again.

This time everyone did.

We snuggled with our loved ones.

We played our new computer games on the computer.
The teenagers played games on their new x-box while lying around in jammies wrapped in blankets.

We ate yummy food (aunt Cheryl didn't get the message that she was suppose to wear pj's, we're sorry Aunt Cheryl).

The guys carved turkey in their pj's.

We did play-doh in our pj's.

Hubby even went for a run before everyone got here with his cute Santa hat on his head.

We had a great day. Very relaxed.

Everyone is already talking about what pajama's we should wear next year.

I think this is a tradition that will definitely stick.

  posted at 9:15 AM  

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Jesus!!!!!

Paige is very proud of the cake she made for Jesus.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care.
The presents have arrived!

Wishing you all a wonderful day of celebrating our Kings birth with friends and family.


  posted at 12:18 AM  

Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The Gift Of Giving

Each year our children pick names out of a hat for a gift exchange they have together on Christmas Eve after church. Dave and I usually take the kids out individually to shop for their special someone and help them pick out an appropriate gift.

Well, today we realized that no one had shopped yet. I was feeling really good about my own shopping. I was done and all the gifts were even wrapped. This is almost unheard of at our house.

The kids were moaning that they just had to go shopping, so tonight I took them. By myself. At 9:30 p.m.. To Target where everyone who lives in our town decided to go tonight as well.


Lets just say that about 5 minutes into this adventure I was really wishing I was the parent at home reading books to Paige and tucking her into bed. Good grief.

Well, to make a long story short they just couldn't decide what to buy each other in the pressure packed environment that was Target this evening. So, they picked out their own gifts and gave them to the person who had their name to purchase.

Not exactly what their Dad and I had in mind but under the circumstances I did not argue the fact.

At first I was a little sad that this was the way it had worked out. But then I remembered watching the kids run around the store together, helping each other find something they liked, and then going to the cash register to purchase it. They all hid the gifts when they got home and said they would wrap in the morning.

They all did a good job of pretending they had no idea what their secret Santa had gotten them.

Hey, if they are happy, who am I to complain?

Merry Christmas!


  posted at 11:21 PM  

Sunday, December 21, 2008
Scene's From The Season
Paige is so excited about her pink Christmas tree for her room. Notice that she has a large stack of books next to her bed just like her parents. Must be hereditary.

She was very concerned that I was going to make her move her books to make room for the tree. She was very happy when they both fit.

She likes to play with the nativity. Last year I bought this little plastic set for her to play with. She kept chipping the animals ears off of my nice set from playing with them so much. Makes me smile when I look at all the chipped pieces. I think Jesus would smile to.

Hello! Hello! Jesus are you in there?

I love the little bottoms on the animals. What exactly does that say about me? On second thought, don't answer that.


  posted at 10:20 AM  

Friday, December 19, 2008
We were so excited yesterday morning to wake up to snow on the hills behind our house. This has never happened before and the kids and I couldn't stop looking and marveling at how beautiful it was.

I know you in snow country are probably laughing at us and our little dusting of snow. We just can't help being so excited about it.

Today it is still there (it is 42 outside) and I find so much joy looking out the windows at the hills while doing dishes. It seems so strange to have my view look so different and also so beautiful.

Most of these pictures were taken from our master bedroom window.

It actually snowed a little in our town but as you can see from this picture it wasn't cold enough to stick to the ground. We just had lots of ice.
When the boys went out to get in their car for school they had no idea how to get all the ice off of it. The doors were frozen shut. This made me laugh as they collected warm water to pour over the doors and windows so they could get to school. I had to explain to them that people who live in area's where it snows all the time have tools in their car to help with ice removal, etc.. They thought it was way to much work. The much prefer the hop in and roll approach they are used to. lol.

My sister who lives in the local mountains about 90 minutes from us got 4 feet of snow and they were snowed in with no power or heat for a few days. Definitely a little un-nerving for them as they are not used to that kind of extreme weather.

Remember, us Californians are a little wimpy in the "severe" weather area. We really have no idea how to deal with it.

Another storm is suppose to move in tomorrow. We are all so excited. However, it is for casted to be 70 degrees on Christmas day. That makes me a little sad.

Enjoy your day my friends. I'm off to stare at the snow while it lasts.


  posted at 10:46 AM  

Thursday, December 18, 2008
My Heart Hurts For This Family
We have had an exciting week with our agency. Many referrals have been given, lots of happy families, we are moving up in line quicker than I expected. Very exciting!!!

While I have been celebrating with all my friends at CHI, my heart has been hurting about this post I came across a few days ago.

This families beautiful little girl was murdered in a home invasion robbery while being cared for by a foster family in Guatemala. The foster parents, there biological children, and little Josi were all murdered. Her family was planning on traveling to bring her home, to be with her forever family, in just a few weeks. They had visited this little girl, bonded with her, prayed for her to come home to them, and then this terrible act of cruelty takes her from them just as they are about to go and bring her home forever.

You can visit Josi's families blog here if you would like. The adoption community is trying to raise money to help this family as they still have to pay $13,000 for her adoption. Please pray for this family as they go through this terrible time in there lives.

Sweet Josi


  posted at 4:20 AM  

Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Shopping And Wrapping, Shopping And Wrapping...
After my marathon shopping trip on Sunday afternoon I spent the next day wrapping for almost as many hours as I had spent shopping. I don't know why I always insist on making cute bows and making everything look pretty. It takes so much time. I could have been done in about an hour if I had just put everything in a gift bag. However, my children like to remind me (often) that it just isn't as fun that way.

Last night hubby and I had a "date" where we finished the shopping. I needed "one thing" at about seven different stores. I told him we should make a game of it and see how long it took us to get in and out. Kind of like Christmas power shopping. It was kind of fun.

The most fun hubby probably had on our little adventure is when I "necked" with him in the Target parking lot for a moment. I had to break it to oldest son that I thought one of his friends might have walked by while this was happening. He. Was. Appalled. This didn't actually happen (the part about the friend) but it was fun making him think it had.

The only store we did not successfully power shop in was the sporting goods store. I really do not think I have adequately explained my husbands obsession with all things baseball on this blog. We spent 20 minutes looking for the perfect glove for the upcoming season for our 5 year old daughter. Hubby is so excited to have a new player to pass his love of the game onto. He found a very cute pink glove and a matching pink helmet for her. I think this was the 2nd highlight of his evening.

We stopped into a nice restaurant in between shopping for some good conversation, yummy appetizer's and a bowl of soup. It really was a fun evening.

It has been raining her for a couple of days and it has really made me in the Christmas spirit. When I went to pick Tyler up at school at 4:00 it was 38 degrees outside. It is snowing in a town not to far from us. We have had light snow once in 20 years here. My kids are sooo excited that maybe we will get a little white stuff tonight.

You know us crazy California people. It doesn't take much to get us all excited!


  posted at 5:21 PM  

Sunday, December 14, 2008
Seven Hours
That's how many hours I shopped today.

Last year on Christmas morning it became abundantly clear that one of our five children had quite a few less gifts than the other four. I usually count and recount the kids gifts, I make lists, compare them, and make sure things are pretty fair in the gift department.

Last year I badly fell down on the job. This had never happened before.

The child in question never complained. He never really even mentioned it. However, this mom felt really bad.

So, today armed with my list I shopped and kept track of everything I bought. I only have two more gifts to buy and then I am done. Things are definitely more evenly distributed this year.

One child may have a few extra gifts however.

Somehow that seems only fair.


  posted at 10:28 PM  

Saturday, December 13, 2008
The Doggy Designer
Introducing Designs by Samantha. She made this little dress for Jo Jo out of an old shirt that no longer fit.

Here it is close up.

It is totally cute on. I think she may have a future in this field. Maybe she can make doggy clothes and sell them on eBay? Considering she had no idea how to sew and did it the old fashioned way (with needle and thread) I think the little dress turned out adorable.

What's an outfit without some accessories? I love how it even looks like she is smiling in this picture (ignore the feet of the ten year old boy behind her, he has no idea about fashion).

A Diva is born.

I hope Sydney doesn't get jealous of Jo Jo's new wardrobe. You know how those sibling rivalries can get out of hand sometimes?


  posted at 2:34 AM  

Friday, December 12, 2008
Say Merry Christmas!

*Twas the month before Christmas*
*When all through our land,*
*Not a Christian was praying*
*Nor taking a stand.*
*Why the PC Police had taken away,*
*The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*
*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*
*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*
*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*
* December 25th is just a "Holiday".*
*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*
*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*
*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*
*Something was changing, something quite odd! *
*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*
*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*
*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*
* At Lowe's the word Christmas - nowhere to be found.*
*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears*
*You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.*
*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*
*Are words that were used to intimidate me.*
*Now Pelosi, Now Obama, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*
*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!*
*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*
*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*
*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*
* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*
*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*
*The reason for the season, stopped before it started.*
*So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'*
*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*
*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*
not Happy Holiday!*

Please, all Christians join together and
wish everyone you meet
Christ is 'The Reason' for the Christ-mas Season!


  posted at 12:53 PM  

School? What School?
Monday morning we did school for a couple of hours and then the kids helped me clean the house for a while.

If I had known how the rest of the week was going to go I would have done school all day long.

I have to laugh at the perception of some of those who don't home school that our kids aren't socialized enough.

Well, I am here to tell you that my kids are over socialized. WE NEED TO STOP SOCIALIZING AND GET SOME MORE WORK DONE.

Samantha (in red) at the Christmas party with friends.

The members of our home school group seem to take the month of December off from school. They all start school in August. No one told me about this. lol. We started in September when we thought we were suppose to.

My children have been blessed by being warmly included in this group of wonderful children. The thing is, I had planned on doing school through the middle of next week. Yesterday I surrendered to the fact that not much school was going to happen for a while (that is book learning school I mean). There are just to many fun things going on we can't miss out on. The phone just wont stop ringing.
Paige doing a craft at the party.

We had a basketball activity and the kids school Christmas party this week. Yesterday morning I was getting their daily work organized for them when hubby called and said "You remember about my work Christmas party today, right"? Umm, yes, yes I do.

They made these cute little nativity snow globes.

So I ran off to get dressed and make myself look acceptable. Samantha asked if she could curl my hair on the hot rollers and I was thrilled to let her. I touched up my nail polish and put on makeup while she did that. The only thing is, I think she used the little rollers and my hair turned out looking like a really bad Afro. I didn't have the heart to tell her I didn't like it so I went to his party (where I only see these people once a year) with bad hair.

While I was gone the kids taught Paige how to play Chutes-n-Ladders. Then Samantha took some of the clothes that no longer fit her and made clothes for Jo Jo out of them. She didn't know how to sew, but she taught herself while I was gone. The little shirts are so cute, I will post some pictures tomorrow. We are going to have a fashion show today of all her new wardrobe

The boys playing basketball. Garrett is in the red shirt and black shorts.

So, see, I told myself. They might not have had a lot of formal schooling this week, but they are learning to teach each other and learn independently. We had a great week of schooling after all.


  posted at 7:09 AM  

Thursday, December 11, 2008
Pinochle Anyone?
This is my 89 year old mother doing what she likes to do best. Playing a good hand of Pinochle.

Isn't she cute? I am the youngest child and she gave birth to me just a few months before her 45th birthday. I read once that women who give birth after 40 are twice as likely to live to be 90 as those who don't.

I found myself thinking about this the other day when I was pondering how slow our adoption journey has been. Maybe I should have just tried to get pregnant again?

International adoption is definitely not for the faint of heart. I have been having this nagging feeling over the last few weeks that we should change agencies and adopt older children. Our current agency won't let us go out of birth order. I understand their reasoning, but my heart feels like all of these man made rules are not allowing God to work in our lives. When we started this journey we really wanted to adopt children that were between Paige and Garrett in age. Their is a five year age gap (they are currently 5 and 10) and I really felt we should adopt children in this age range. Then we were told by our agency that we could not adopt out of birth order. It was not until much later that we found out this was not an Ethiopia rule but the rule of our agency. We thought at the time about switching agencies, we prayed about it, and I still wasn't sure.

However, I am having that feeling again. My stomach has been churning and I am feeling very unsettled. I do see the hand of God in our timeline. Paige is in a much better place to welcome a sibling into her world. I have talked before about how far she has come and we talk about her getting a new sister. She seems excited and asks when her new sister will get here.

God's timing was much better than mine. I can see that now. My only question is if he is now nudging us in another direction. We would lose money. People would think we were crazy. I want to have the peace that God is leading us toward the children that were meant to be ours. I am really not feeling that right now. Maybe I am in a pre-adoption funk and it will pass?

We are praying hard at our house for some guidance. Any additional prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Now, back to the cards.

This is the very cute cake my brother in laws mother made my mom for her birthday. If you play pinochle you will recognize it as a double jack of diamonds/queen of spades. This is called a double pinochle and is worth 30 points (or 300 if you don't drop the last number when you score). Needless to say she loved her cake.

Thanks so much, Shirley, for making it for her.

Now, just to confuse you a little more here are some of the men of the family. My Dad is sitting with the blanket on him, he is seven years younger than my mom. She was way ahead of her time on that front. The man on the right is Bill and he is my sister Stacey's father in law. My kids love him. The man standing behind them is my sister Candy's husband, Nino. All of these guys are about the same age. My sister is 18 years older than me and then she married a man 15 years older than her. I know our family is very confusing.

The funny thing about Nino is that I worked in his doctor's office (he was an anesthesiologist) when I was 16 as a summer job. It wasn't until many years later that he started dating my sister and they would marry. It's funny how life turns out sometimes.

Here is some of the crew playing there beloved game.
Three of my kids now play and grandma couldn't be happier about this. Well, as long as they are not beating her. She does not like to lose!
Here is Uncle Barry who moments after this picture was taken put Jo Jo under his jacket and tried to leave with her. As you can imagine Samantha would have none of that!

Well, that's what's been going on here. Thanks for all your prayer's regarding our adoption journey, as always, I will keep you informed.

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  posted at 7:22 AM  

Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Another Reason I Love Home Schooling
Yes, my love for home schooling just keeps growing.

While Samantha and Garrett are happily sleeping away I am fighting with my teenagers to get up and get ready for school. I have heard their alarm go off twice, but still no movement.

I have run up the stairs three times already to remind them that IT IS TIME TO GET UP. None of our kids are morning people, no matter what time they go to bed. It is 6:30 a.m. and I am already exhausted from this ritual we seem to have to play out each morning.

On my next trip up the stairs I will be spraying cold water on them to force them out of bed. Yes, I am that mean.

Is their seriously a reason that 1st period has to start at 7:36? Haven't those in charge heard that teens really aren't fond of the early morning hours?

Well, at least it forces me to get up and get some stuff done before the other kids roll out of bed around 8:30.

On another note; Here are Samantha and Garrett doing an experiment on flight. They each built two different airplanes with different body styles to see which one was more conducive to flight.

Launching their aircraft.

Fixing a broken nose on one of the planes.

Working together to measure the distance.

Samantha's scientific speculation sheet. Don't you just love all the hearts on it?

Calculating data in her head.

Now if only my older boys could use this same work together attitude to get out of the house on time in the morning.

I've offered to home school them but the look of horror on their faces pretty much gives away their true feeling in this area.

I have been diligently praying that Tyler would change his mind. We have a private Christian school near bye that has a home school program for High Schoolers. They can take a few classes at the school and do the rest at home. They can also participate in all the sports and other activities the school offers. I thought this might be a good compromise for him. He didn't seem totally opposed to the idea so I am praying hard that we can go with this option next year.

My heart would be singing for joy if I only had one more school year at their current High School. The reasons I dislike it so will have to wait for another day as it will be a VERY LONG POST.

Have a good day my friends, I'm off to throw water at some unsuspecting teens.

Labels: ,

  posted at 6:56 AM  

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About Me...


I am a spontaneous, out going, daughter of the King, who is married to a wonderful guy who is a quiet, shy, non-spontaneous, scientist who also loves the Lord. Truly a match made in heaven! We fight and argue, love and laugh, every single day. I am passionate about orphan care and love to tell our story to anyone who will listen. This blog is dedicated to that journey.

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Cast Of Charachters

Me and Samantha (13)

Tyler (16) with Grandpa and Grandma

Hubby and Zach (18) at a game

Garrett (11) and Paige (6)

Waiting for a court date!

The Gang

Jo Jo


Mr. Fluffy Bottoms

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Blessed By Adoption

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Words To Live By
"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them."
~Psalm 127
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
James 1:27

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