Showing posts from 2011

Words to live by


// life

:: We're a family of 7! Christina joined our family early last month. She's 16 and I am over my head playing catch up in the world of public high schools, girl drama, BOY drama, lil Wayne posters and messy bedrooms. Welcome to the world of parenting a teenager I guess. :) Last Sunday's message was SUCH A GREAT REMINDER to love people. People who don't look like us, talk like us, act like us, think like us. Jesus did. And God can be changing someone on the inside before there is any evidence of those changes of the outside. Jesus didn't wait for me to my act together before he loved me unconditionally. Why should I do be any different? She is really a very sweet girl and I am thankful for her being around, especially when Dan is gone travelling for work.

:: I turned 30 yesterday. Goodbye 20's. Hello downhill slide to 40! I hope in this next decade I learn to fully embrace who I am. Every part-- the good the bad, the ugly, the uncomfortable and the stretching. I …

life is chugging along

There is so much to say, I don't even know how to begin. I try to start to write a coherent post and my brian starts firing in a million directions. Hence the tagline on this blog, I suppose.

A few talking points:

:: Rosie the cat is the best pet ever. The kids love her and Will faithfully takes care of her.
:: We got the top of our driveway paved yesterday and the the kids are LOVING riding their bikes on it!
:: Olivia is talking our ears off, all day long. Her vocabulary is cRaZy big for a not-yet-2-year-old!
:: When the kids were sick last week, I got our my card-making supplies as a fun project. I got more into it than they did and am still having fun making cards for special occasions that have been happening lately.
:: I am still using my laundry system and loving it. Who knew laundry could be so painless?
:: Will is back into cub scouts and is loving it.
:: Hallie is starting gymnastics class soon and she is super excited!
:: I made a wall organizer for the craft area of my…

Growing pains

I want to be less melancholy that my kids are getting older. Growing up. I want to be thankful that they are healthy and happy and safe.
I want to fully live in the moment of the time we've been given. Who knows when a day will be our last? I hope and pray it is far far away, but nothing is a given and aching for the past only insults the present.
I want to OWN every minute of my days with a grateful heart and open hands. The future is a glorious thing but today is what we've been given and today is all we have.
Be grateful.

Tristan-Spiderman is awesome!

Earlier this summer, flipping through a magazine, Tristan spotted a lego set that he really wanted--it was about $25. So I made a checklist for him, 25 boxes in three columns, and told him that each time he did an extra job for me, he could check off one box. Well here we are three months later, and he finally got that last box marked off! In the meantime, however, he decided that instead of a lego set, he wanted a dress-up outfit! So I went to this great website and let Tristan pick out his very favorite super-hero outfit. He chose Spiderman, and just two days later, a package showed up on our doorstep and moments later, Tristan was transformed into the very cool SpiderMan himself. :)

Side note: I was so thankful that I'd ordered a size bigger-- a M (6-8) (although Tristan is only 4 and he should be on the small side of the size S (4-6!)) thanks to my experience with Will's astronaut outfit earlier this year, I know that costumes usually run small!

He has worn this outfit fo…

new pics and a new pet :)

I decided my old pictures on this blog were in dire need of updating, so I did it. :) Sad to say, I don't have a new entire-family picture, or one of just Dan and me to update with! I will have to work on that.

Will got his long-desired cat today, Rosie. She was a stray at our friends' house, so we offered to take her. She's small and friendly, and she ate a whole can of tuna tonight. Needless to say, Will is beyond thrilled to be a pet owner, and spent most of the evening pulling a rock on a string around the yard for Rosie to pounce on and chase after. I guess I will have to get my act together and go get some cat food and ... what?! Toys? I guess a vet visit is in order. Ugh. Don't rain on my parade. ;) Hopefully she will turn into a great family pet!

Dan is in Haiti till Tuesday so I'm single-momming it. Not too much planned for while he's gone but I hope to get the rest of my school prep done, some scrapbooking, and maybe watch a chick flick one night. :)

A good morning's work!


life, in general

I love summers in Bear Creek. Generally, the days are hot and the nights are cool. We had an attic fan installed a few weeks ago, and I absolutely LOVE the end-of-day routine of switching on the fan and hearing the whoosh as the hot day-air leaves the house and the cooler night-air is sucked in. Lovely.
Zara Phillips, Queen Elizabeth's eldest granddaughter, is getting married this weekend. She was born the same year as me, so I have always sort of "related" to her, although I haven't followed her life very closely at all. When I saw the news headline about her upcoming wedding, I thought, "Wow, how different can two lives be..." Not only is she royalty (and I am clearly not) but she is getting married on a yacht and I'm a SAHM of four. Not that I'd ever trade lives, but a getaway in Scotland and a yacht party sound pretty nice! Ahhh to have the life of the rich and famous...

Actually, I am very happy with my life, but it is always fun to daydream…


My friend Alison tagged me in a bloggy game! Thanks Alison! Now I get to answer some fun questions and tag a few of you.

What do you think of when you the hear the word tag?
Playing freeze tag, TV tag, or Indian tag as a kid. Apparently we were really into tag. ;)

Do you think you're hot?
My current working theory is that every girl is hot... she just doesn't know it. :) 

Upload a picture or wallpaper that you're using at the moment.
It's a cute picture of Hallie wearing a sunhat. Unfortunately after a cursory look through iPhoto, I can't find it, and am not savvy enough (and do not have enough time) to go searching for the file. Sorry.

When was the last time you ate chicken?

Last night! We grilled chicken, grilled corn and grilled yellow squash. YUM, and Dan does all the grilling, so bonus for me.

The song(s) you listened to recently.
songs from the Walk the Line soundtrack

What were you thinking as you were doing this?
If I'll actually be able to finish this whole t…

Hallie loses another tooth!


Will the Astronaut

We've never been really into dressing the kids up elaborately for Halloween, but boy do my kids love to play dress up. For some reason, Hallie has always had a plethora of girly dress up clothes-- tutus, princess dresses, tiaras, tulle skirts, etc. My poor boys, when they play dress up with her, look hilarious in the poofy girly get up! I decided something needed to happen stat. After letting Will look through this really cool webpage (with so many really awesome dress-up appropriate options!)  he finally decided on this orange astronaut costume. Originally I ordered a size M (6-8). Will is 7, turning 8 in July, and is pretty average sized, so I thought it should work. After the costume arrived in TWO days (can you say fast shipping?!) we discovered that unfortunately, it was actually pretty small on him. Dreading a complicated and frustrating return/exchange process, I contacted the company and sent the suit back. Imagine my relief when, just a few days later, a size L (8-10) or…

Book Review: Radical by David Platt

Radical, by David Platt, is one of the most talked about books in Christian circles right now. I have been asked by several people if I've read Radical. Somewhat overlapping Francis Chan's Crazy Love, Platt's popular book calls Americans to reevaluate their lives and see where they can be more committed to serving the poor and giving of their resources, time and money. These are all great concepts and ideals, and the book overall is definitely worth reading. However, a few "problems" with Radical have been widely raised, and I feel they are worth mentioning here.
First, Platt wants to peg the American Dream as the cause of the faith crisis in America. The American dream is "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" and I personally don't think there is an inherent problem with that. Americans are known worldwide for being GENEROUS. Look at any crisis, anywhere in the world, and who is the first to respond with generous offers of aid? America.

quiet night... for now

Dan left early this morning for 4 days of traveling for work. The kids and I had a pretty good day... got school done, went for a walk this afternoon (see pic in previous post), built legos and marble chutes... pretty much a typical day. Tristan was sick last night (during the night) but seemed fine today (perhaps due to my insistence that he stick to the BRAT diet)... but either way, he had tons of energy and seemed to have bounced back just fine from his rough night.

When I saw Olivia walking around this morning sipping Gatorade from Tristan's "special" sippy cup, my heart sank. I quickly snagged it from her, but as we all know, the "5 second rule" is pure ridiculousness. So, despite my hoping against hope, it wasn't a great surprise to me when she got sick tonight after dinner... and then again at bedtime. Poor baby. She's never been sick like this before; she was so sad and confused! She's sleeping now, and hopefully she'll sleep all night l…

Spring Afternoon at the Culvert


on technology..

I love technology. Tonight while I was sitting in the dark waiting for Olivia to fall asleep, I decided to buy the book my book club is reading next month from Amazon. Two clicks and 30 seconds later, I was reading the book. Lying on the floor of my daughter's room in the dark. Seriously, how crazy is that?! Could anyone 50 years ago (or 10 years ago, who am I kidding) have imagined this scenario? How utterly convenient. And completely strange. I wonder what I will be able to do 10 years from now that I could never imagine doing today?

Ahh technology. My best friend, but quite possibly, the biggest potential invasive monster in my life. I really need to make sure I am actively not letting technology creep too far into my life and become too invasive in my daily doings. After all, gadgets and gizmos last year after year, but these little children won't always be here.

Baseball Boy

Will got his first hit tonight-- a single-- and made it all the way
home a short time later! Way to go Will!! :) He was sooo excited to
have gotten a hit. Pizza after the game to celebrate!


Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Dan is off to Haiti for work as of 6:30 this morning, gone till Wednesday. Thankfully we all got to attend Easter services at PCC last night. (Props to a church that has 6 Easter services over the whole weekend, including one in Spanish! :))

This morning while the kids wolfed down breakfast, I read aloud the Easter story from the Jesus Storybook Bible (easily my favorite kids' bible ever!) and was struck anew at just how much Jesus gave up for us. I'm so grateful to God for all he has done and continues to do for me!

I'll leave you with these song lyrics, and this video. I love them both! :)

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless Babe

a week "off"

With Dan's new job based out of Springfield, MO, we are entering a whole new season of life with him traveling for work. (He is headed to Haiti next week, and El Salvador two weeks after that!)

This week, he needed to be in Springfield, so we decided to send our older two along with him to spend the week with their grandparents in St. Louis. Ohhh were they ever excited to hear about this idea! 
So a few hours ago I kissed my three big travelers goodbye and shooed them out the door to the airport, leaving me home alone with my 4- and 1- year-olds. For the first half-hour or so, Tristan absolutely did not know what to do with himself. Never in his his life has he been left without at least one of his older best buddies to pal around with! Thankfully he rebounded quickly. 
Hallie will be turning 6 on Wednesday, marking the first time I've been apart from one of my kids on his/her birthday. Mima has great plans, though, and Hallie couldn't be more excited about spending her bi…

One Year Ago Today...

I had just landed in Ft. Myers, FL with our three older kids. My mom had picked us up from the airport and I had turned my cell phone back on. About five minutes later, it began ringing and I was absolutely shocked to hear our adoption caseworker's voice on the other end of the line saying, "I have great news for you-- We have matched you with beautiful 4 month old baby girl!" I started shaking and almost crying and my mom was celebrating next to me. After I got a few more details and got off the phone, I called Dan (who was working back home) and my mom was yelling "I have another grandchild!" over me sharing the good news. As soon as we got to the house, I checked my email and saw this:
and fell head over heels in love.  ~~~

We love you Olivia Hope, and are so glad God chose us to be your family!

:: on laundry

Okay, so this is normally something I would never (and I mean never) post about. Laundry is a distasteful task, and an even more distasteful blog topic. Yes? Yes.

However, I kind of stumbled into a system (of sorts) for doing our family's laundry after we moved into this house, and although I felt like suddenly my endless haunting laundry problem was suddenly much lighter, I  didn't really give my "system" (that wasn't really even that!) much credit. I mean, doing laundry is doing laundry right? No matter how you do it, you're still washing, drying and folding the same amount of clothes. So the easier-ness of it must all be in my head, or so I reasoned.

Fast forward to last month, a friend and I got out on a mom's ski night. On the lift up, she was lamenting her laundry woes, and I told her, sort of off-handedly, how I do mine. Well the next week she texted me, raving about how great the idea is and how well it's working for her! And while we both agr…

in support of a friend...

Brian and Ruth are friends of my family. They and I grew up going to church together (they were actually my sunday school teachers for a bit). They married when I was in high school, and moved away to New York where Brian became a pastor and they started a family. A few years ago, Brian was diagnosed with cancer, and I followed Ruth's writings of their struggles and journey on her blog. They travelled with their 7 kids (Joseph, Sharon, Christina, Sarah, Timothy, Joanna and Joshua) to New Mexico and Arizona and (I think!) Mexico during Brian's illness, giving their kids some awesome memories. Sadly, a few months ago, the day after Christmas, Brian went home to be with the Lord, leaving behind the kids and Ruth due with baby #8 this month.

Faced now with the incredible loss of her husband, and the (in my mind) insurmountable task of being a single mom of 8, Ruth recently launched an at-home business with Scentsy. Let me just say, I am a big fan of the theory of having my house s…

March 21

I stink at updating my blog. I sometimes think about updating but for some reason I get a procrastinating mental fog and don't want to do it. So I don't. It's partly because I feel like I have such an amazing and blessed life, that when I write about it I feel kinda like I'm bragging. On the other hand, everyone has issues, but when I want to write about those things, I feel like I'm whiny and have such a blessed life that I should never complain. It's not a big deal, but it's enough to be slightly prohibitive when I go to post. Also as I've said before, I'm kinda over the whole "sharing my life with the world" thing. And honestly, not to be rude, but I can think of a whole lot of things I'd rather be doing than blogging in my rather limited free time.

Anyway. While I'm at it I might as well share a little of what we've been up to!
:: My family (and Dan's parents and a bunch of our friends) all celebrated my dad's 60t…

Snowy Sunday

Dan and Will are out hitting the slopes this afternoon, and I'm home with the littles. (Actually Hallie is hardly considered a "little" anymore, so while she's not quite ready for skiing yet, I'm letting her have some much-coveted computer time while Tristan, Olivia and I head for naps!) Yay for lazy Sunday afternoons.

Will's turning into a great little skier , and I couldn't be happier. One of my "someday" dreams (with having our kids close together) is taking a family ski trip to Colorado and all hitting the slopes together all day long. How FUN would that be?! (Although Dan and I have pretty much totally switched over to snowboarding, which is a total blast too.) I have finally decided that (after 4 years, hah) I feel good enough on the board to trade in my beginner board for a more advanced one. (Heck yeah!! Who says mamas can't learn new tricks?! ;)) Dan and I went out on Thursday for my first time out this year. It was so much fun.  I …

over the hump

Tomorrow is our 7-month milestone having baby O home with us. June 26 of last year was gotcha day, and June 28 was her 7-month birthday. Which means pretty soon here, actually any day now (or was it yesterday?) we quietly slipped over the hump-- she's been home, here with us, longer than she was in Ethiopia. It's a bittersweet milestone to be sure. I wonder if she'll miss her homeland, the language she never knew, the misty mountains surrounding Addis Ababa. Her young mama who tried so hard to find a family member to care for her before placing her for adoption, and the unknown daddy she'll never know. I'm sure she'll face these questions and many more as she grows... but we sure are BEYOND happy to have her home with us. She is a most loved sister and daughter! Happy over-the-hump, sweet Olivia. Here's to many, many more amazing years together!

Being cute and mischievous
Eating snow off big sis's mitten
Sucking on an icicle "pop"
Cuddle time …

My cute twin nieces!