Friday, January 30, 2009


For some reason as I was writing about finding Hannah, the dates seemed wrong to me. I just now checked it out and saw we found her the 30th, emailed Robin the 31st. Should have checked it out first.
Last year on the 30th, I emailed Robin, just because I was curious about this girl and what international adoption means. Buddy came home and we talked about it. He told me he would be willing and obedient to what God asked us to do.
Last night we received news, not what we wanted, but news. At first, I was ready to cry, but then I chose- "none of these things move me." Things are moving, and the people involved now really seem to be ready to help us. I know this will give us more time to get projects done and mom to be in a better position to take time off. I got some left over garage sale things on craig's list and had some good interest on them, which is great. Room in the garage and money in the fund!
So, as I lay in bed last night, I thought of things I'm thankful for.
God- as huge as He is and the multitude of things that encompasses
Buddy- a loyal, faithful, hard working husband
Samuel, Catherine, and Caleb here with me. Filling my days with laughter, learning, stretching, good reminders to control your emotions, and unconditional love.
My parents- supportive and willing to do whatever they can tohelp and encourage us
Food in our fridge and pantry
Warm clothes
A sense of purpose and place
Friends who pray for and with you
A home that is our own (ok, the bank's, too until we pay it off)
A church to feel at home, fed, and challenged
That Hannah has pictures of us and knows mommy and daddy
That we have pictues of her
So many other things I can't even name. God is faithful and I'll never doubt it. Now it's time to finish up my huge tax project, clean out some more closets, plan my February, and get ready for whatever next God brings.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's snow fun outside!

The beauty of the ice. This tree was pretty damaged in last year's storm.

With Samuel at a friend's house yesterday, Catherine had to play by herself til we got up the courage to get cold!

Daddy and daughter enjoyed themselves.
Caleb's first sled ride. Catherine was trying to help him get the most out of the snow. After we pulled them around for a bit, she took over and very carefully gave him a nice ride. The grin didn't stop. It was so sweet to hear his excitement over the whole experience. His boots are way too big, but he was toasty warm!
Amazingly, it's just good slush left. S & C had a good time playing in it today. Both were soaked and very cold at first. Catherine was out without a coat on! My amazingly hot natured girl! Very much NOT like me!

One year ago

I was following the Urban's adoption of Ava and happened to click on a link and saw this. My world was forever changed.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Yesterday we got the news that we need to wait until another meeting Thursday or Friday. We're believing that we have favor, that everyone involved in our cases will have the right words and favor shining on them. We know this is the only reason we gotten so far and will finish our process.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Well, today the T's got their last piece of paperwork after "the last" piece of paperwork last week. Goodness! If this doesn't test your faith and patience- waiting, not getting pictures for a month, seeing others going really soon, trying to decide on whether to plan out your February or hold your breath anticipating being gone for an extended period of time. Isn't it amazing that in 3 days it'll be a year since I first saw that spunky little girl's picture?
Of course, there are others who are having a worse time with us. Paperwork mix ups, not having the money when they need it, countries changing laws about who can adopt, children being shipped off before they can get to them. I tell you, this adoption business is NOT for the faint of heart!
I must go back to the beginning and remember- it was all HIS plan, not ours. So there has to be a marvelous finish to it all.
I'm not having a pity party, by any means. Perhaps it's being at home in icy weather, Buddy gone for tonight and maybe tomorrow night since the roads are so bad, and other, less fun things like preparing for taxes waiting for me that make me want to let off a little emotion. Tomorrow is a new day and could be the day we hear something or perhaps nothing and still trust God. I think that's a really good plan.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Derby update

Samuel with his cool car and award from Friday night.

Saturday was a very fun day. We got to the Derby site and found out that the wheels, which were super glued in place, were NOT regulation! (Rules vary from place to place and on a web site Buddy read you could round the wheels a bit to reduce friction. I also missed in the email about NOT allowing rounded wheels, not knowing what the boys had done to prep the car.) 2 options- race and win in the afternoon, but don't qualify to race in the city-wide race, OR pull out the wheels and put new ones in that were not polished and could be duds. After much angst on Buddy's part, he pulled out the wheels, put the new in and off to the races.
Samuel beat everyone in his group hands down, which qualified him to race in the city races. Dad and mom had watched the 1st races and came over afterward for pie and some much needed moral support as they figured out what could be done to make the car as fast as possible and where they could put another 1/10 ounce weight.
Last night we piled in and went to the city wide race. My brother, Mark even showed up for a bit. Each car raced once on each of the 3 tracks, the times averaged and a winner announced at the end. Samuel won each of the three times down the track. However, there were some cars 1/10 of a second faster than his. The end result was that of over 50 cars, Samuel placed 11th.

Remember that prayer? God answered it. He helped Samuel win both in his pack and at the city-wide preliminaries. He did really well, too, considering the changes and challenges they faced. So, he got to be one of the happy losers. He was bummed with his placing since the trophies were HUGE, but we had him pray and thank God anyway for all the help He gave. I think it was a great lesson.

Caleb thoroughly enjoyed the day races, but stayed with a babysitter for the night race.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Field Trip Fun

Yesterday was another great field trip with the Urbans. I'm blessed to know a fabulous sculptor who is in the middle of a big project. She graciously took time out to teach our children the joys of working with clay. One of the things I really appreciated was her encouragement of being an individual and not trying to copy anyone else. It's what's inside you, not what you think others want you to do. She was willing to get down on the floor to help and gave great pointers, but let the kids do a lot on their own.
Getting started- you have to soften the clay. The nails will give them stability to their projects.
Getting some pointers on shaping the insides. I forgot the name, but you use foil to make the initial shape before you cover it with clay.
Catherine, of course made a cat.
Samuel is creating hair for Jesus.
Here are the semi-finished projects with Mrs. Roz.
After we baked them, we went to the Urbans to paint our projects. Catherine finally decided on a black cat and Samuel worked to make his very realistic. He intended to make muscles on Jesus' chest.
On our way home, the girls rode with me. We stopped to see one of Rosalind's sculptures in real life. Unfortunately, this is as close as we could get.
We all agreed that this was the best field trip yet! Thanks Mrs. Roz!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Derby update

Tonight was the pack race with just competition in his group. I left early to put Caleb in bed. At that time, Samuel had won 5 races, lost none. They just got home and he was the Grand Champion! God is so good!
Now, tomorrow we've got timed races and the top from each den go onto city competition. Stay posted!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


The Pine Wood Derby is tomorrow night for Samuel's pack. 2 years ago, Buddy had just come back from being with his dad who'd been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Buddy spent hours a night for several weeks working on that car, making it just right. I think it was therapeutic in 2 ways- keeping his mind off his dad and working to make a memory with his own son. He got 3rd in the city-wide race and 1st in his pack.

This year has been a little different. I got the design idea in October, but God has blessed Buddy with so much work he hasn't been able to devote as much time. In fact, it's only been 6 days since he started. Samuel is quite confident, though and prayed last night that God would give us wisdom on the car and thanked Him for helping him win. He also prayed that God would help everyone else be happy losers. Gotta love that boy's confidence! Although there's still work to do, it's looking good and God has helped us. I'll let you know Saturday how it went. If he does well Saturday afternoon in the city competition, there's a final that night. We did have plans for a basketball game, but may have to change them.

Here's another funny thing about Samuel. After the tea party, he was quite intrigued by the water pot that heats water really fast. He also found the "rules" really interesting. So, he set about making tea for us all the next day and again Monday morning. He had 3 tea pots out with the 3 kinds of tea, cups for all, and their saucers. The mechanics of it all was pretty fun for him. He took apart a pen yesterday and studied how it worked and explained it all to me in DETAIL, while he was supposed to being doing his work. It's amazing to watch his mind going, trying to figure everything out. He can come up with some really good explainations that are really close.

2 weeks ago, he came in while I was getting Caleb up and showed me he told he'd pulled another tooth. I didn't know any were loose, but he knew how to take care of it, had his salt water solution to swish. Of course, he wanted to know if I was going to be tooth fairy and give him his dollar that night.

A few days ago, he decided it was time to bake something and looked all over for something to make. He was ready to climb on top of the stove to pull down recipe books. It's the KitchenAid that is calling his name. How fast can it go? What happens if I raise the lever? Will it work if the bowl is not raised? Today he wanted to help me chop some garlic. The joys of using machines and knives!

Monday, January 19, 2009


Immediately after Catherine's party was done, I took off to return borrowed chairs and find an outfit for Caleb for his dedication. Then, back home to finish loading the car and leave for Branson. Although we didn't get there until 9:30, the ride really was not bad. First trip without a paci, way past bedtimes, so he cried for a bit. The sweetest thing was hearing him calm down when we sang to him. It was such a fast trip, only 24 hours, but probably one of the best. Amazing how when Buddy and I talked about it after we got home neither of us felt wipe out, as we have in the past. The service was beautiful. Caleb fell asleep in Buddy's arms while we were singing, and slept for a good 30 minutes, even when we went forward to present him to the Lord. Of course, when he was born and even before, we knew that we would raise him to know God in a real and personal way, to follow Jesus and live life according to the Bible. This was a public commitment to that- raise him to know God, train him to follow His ways, and to provide for him everything he needs as God blesses us. Then the Pastor layed hands on each child and spoke a blessing over them. Very sweet and special.
Here we are after the service. Our first family picture in quite a while. Caleb's ready for sleep, you can tell.
Just a nice sunset on the way home.
It's been about 1.5 weeks since we took away Caleb's paci and it has gone well. No problems with nap and only a little crying at night. Now we sing and pont out facial parts and snuggle. Almost as soon as we sit down he says, "eye" and is digging in my eyes.
Charissa, bless her, took Caleb with her during C's party. He said "doggy" for her and asked if they were "all done" when they were shopping. It's pretty cool how he's developing. He walks almost everywhere and only crawls if he wants to get somewhere really fast. He knows how to take things out and put them back in, which is really great when he's taken his favorite plastic containers out and I'm helping him learn to clean up after himself! He's discovring the joys of the toilet, so I bought him a potty seat very early, I know, to get him used to sitting every once in a while and being ok with it.
There are so many other things he's doing, but that's enough for today! I'm making bread and need to help Samuel finish up school.

The Party 's Over

For Catherine's party, I got some really great help from friends and my mom. I got some beautiful serving trays and plates, some very much needed last minute additions of napkins and chair covers after someone invited themself to the party! Thanks to Shawn who brought extras that matched perfectly! I got to use our quill pens to write the place cards, which was cool. Carmen used to live in England so she shared some really fun tidbits about etiquette and setting up the table.
Dress nicely and wear a hat. Never raise your saucer with your cup unless you're standing. Never wave your cup about. Rest your cup in between sips. Do not slurp your tea. Take small bites of your food. Use quiet voices when speaking. Stir your tea from the 6 o'clock postition to the 12 o'clock position no more than 3 times, then place your spoon on your saucer. Napkins go in your lap. That's all I can remember. The girls thought that was really fun.
The menu was cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches, 3 kinds of chutney (not on the table yet) with assorted crackers, tarts with vanilla yogurt and berries (not shown in the picture), mini chocolate bundt cakes with chocolate glaze, and 3 kinds of tea with milk and sugar.
Sadly, this is the only picture I have of the table or the party. Thankfully, 3 people had cameras and were taking pictures for me! I worked for 3 days on it and was quite pleased with how it turned out. I highly doubt I'd do it again for that many girls, but it was fun!

Catherine needed a hat and I borrowed one from a client. However, she was a bit disappointed it wasn't a big, soft hat, so we went to Hobby Lobby, got all the fixing and came up with this. Although it wasn't soft, she had a good time with it. I'll post pictures of the other girls once I get them from mom.

Samuel and Buddy went to my parent's to work on his pine wood derby car. I think they got some things done that were very helpful. This picture shows why it's good there were no boys at the party.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Happy birthday Catherine!

What a great 7 year old we have! We're so blessed to see her growing and becoming a little lady with lots of spunk and character who loves Jesus so much. We're having a tea party in the (as close as I can for 7 year olds) English fashion, hats included! Looking forward to it and then leaving as soon as it's done for Branson to have Caleb dedicated to the Lord! You can actually watch it online on Sunday!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Picture catch up day

I figured out and found the cable for the video camera, which also fits the camera!
After his first hair cut, really just trimmed around the ears and back.
Christmas Eve Cuties
Mr and Mrs Clause
They all love Santa!
Obviously, I needed to do a little more trimming!
Those silly kids STILL spiked it after I cut the top! Samuel put a sticker on C's forehead that didn't bother him in the least!

Some of the scarves I knit

We're still working on eating things with chunks in them. But today, hunger won over and he ate 2/3 of a banana by himself!

We're learning about George Washington. One of the books from the library told us how to make quill pens. After a trip to Hobby Lobby, they got to try it out.


OK, just on a small scale, but I put Caleb down for his nap yesterday and today without his paci and he went down with no problem! I was not willing to do it last night, since Buddy gets up so early, but maybe this weekend...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ideas, please!

Caleb is our first paci child. Samuel had his thumb, Catherine had her "b." We never had to deal with waking during the night from a very early age with them because they had their special thing with them and easily accessable. With Caleb, we're having lots of changes in our sleeping because he wakes during the night when he doesn't have a paci. I miss my full night's sleep and I know it's got to affect him, too. Knowing someone will be staying with the kids while we're gone getting Hannah, I want him to be done with it so they can sleep without disruption. Any suggestions to help with a smooth transition? He already has a "b" and likes his snuggle time. What else can I do?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Last night while we were reading the Bible, I got an idea about having a verse each week for us to memorize that has to do with our words for the year. This week's verse is- "Hear, my son, and attend to my words, that the years of your life may be many." Proverbs 4:10. Today we took the verse, wrote it in their journals, talked about parts of speech and talked about how we can apply it. I think this will be good for us.
We did have one of those school days after we have been on break, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow being much beter. We're going to go to power plant next week on a field trip to tour the gas plant side. I remember doing that when I was in high school and really enjoying it. After that, I'd like to learn from a client who is a famous sculptor. I'm enjoying this, most of the time! (Keeping it real!)
I did get the top of Caleb's hair cut and saved the hair before someone kindly cleaned up after me! Catherine spiked it again, so I didn't get a good picture.
Yesterday Buddy took the kids to fly kites in the upper 30's, low 40's weather. I'm so glad he took them, because I don't enjoy freezing that much!
However, my Christmas present from him was long johns! I'm now more prepared than ever for the call that we can take off for ROG. I also found some nice wool socks at Sam's and just need good boots and gloves. Then I think I'm set for clothes. Things are shut down now for their holidays, so sometime in the next 2-3 weeks we could hear something. I keep being hopeful and truly believe it's coming soon. Amazing to think that in a few weeks, it'll be a year ago that we first laid eyes on her picture and felt God's leading to bring her to our home. It was then that the Urban's were bringing home Ava. Seeing her progress in a year makes me so excited to think of what's ahead for Hannah.
Have to share about Christmas day. Caleb got hold of the candy cane the kids put in Buddy's stocking. He went around with it and kept saying "mmm" everytime he put it in his mouth. I eventually got him distracted and took it away, but boy was it a big uproar any other time someone touched it! Samuel got a big Lego Star Wars set from Gpa and Gma that he put together in a few hours with minimal help. He also got a City set from us that was "too easy for me." Then Uncle Mark got him an Erector set that he thought would be great, considering how much he likes Legos. Slyly, Samuel came up and asked if we could return it later and was really vigilant that noone opened the box so he could take it back! Catherine got a beautiful tutu from us that made her day. The next day in all the warmth we had, she was outside in a leotard and her tutu dancing in the back yard. She actually tried on several leotards with it to find the one that best matched!
Samuel and I have decided that will the 10,000 (probably underestimating) or so Legos he has, we should try to build something that uses every piece he has. The building began today and I'm sure will continue for quite a while. The funny thing is that he can't help but make what you're doing somehow better than what you're doing! He does have great ideas, though, so it's fine.
Caleb is now walking quite well, taking more and more steps and today was able to walk, change directions and continue without falling. He walked all over dance tonight and was pretty insistant that he go in one of the studios! He can climb the ladder on the bunk beds and if you're not watching, will go all the way up by himself! Time to take the ladder off or keep the door closed!
Promise, pictures WILL come soon!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Our word is...

really 2 words. Buddy decided it should be "listen and obey." Lot's of applications to those that I plan to post about throught the year.
When it's a little earlier in the day I'll post about some fun Christmas memories.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Word

I read an article today that said this particular family has a word for the year instead of resolutions. How many of those get broken in the first week, anyway? She had "fun" or "relax," "spontanaity" and another I don't remember off hand. How about "hope" (confident expectation is the Bible definition of hope) or "rejoice" (choosing to have joy in the midst of whatever is going on)? That sure suits me much better than "get organized" as I look at the piles of paperwork for 2 businesses on my desk!
What's your word?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Oh my! How fast time flies. Sadly, without being able to post pictures, blogging is not that fun sometimes. I want you to see the action as well as hear about it.
We are so happy to be in the new year, looking back on all the blessing the Lord brought our way, as well as looking ahead knowing that amazing things are up ahead of us.
We have had a really fun psat week. Christmas eve, Caleb got his first haircut- just around the back and his ears since he was getting shaggy! I did it while he was in the tub and just couldn't do the front knowing how he twisted and turned. S&C used that to their advantage yesterday when they gave him a mohawk about 4 inches high! We got to go to a beautiful candle light, carols and communion service with my parents.
Buddy got a Santa suit last year, so Christmas am the kids have to wait until we say it's ok to get down because he has to have time to get ready. He gets up earlier than all of us every day, so it was ok to wait til he was rested at 7:30. He was out in the living room in front of the tree waiting for them. Caleb had no fear and just jabbered away to Santa and sat on his lap. Buddy got a hunting video, which ended up being a good chunk of our entertainment for the day! Mom and dad came to spend the day with us, which was so nice. We ate all day, totally relaxed, played Monopoly and just spent good time enjoying each other. The next day we went to Branson and spent the weekend at a friends condo, kind of last minute.
Today we went to their house for the day and did the same- ate, played Monopoly, and enjoyed the family time. Caleb was walking around quite a bit and showed how he's been saying his thank you. (He can sign baby, eat, more, all done, and said a form of please, all done, hi, and I forgot what else! We're still working on the 4 molars, bless him.) Samuel got to shoot his gun with grandpa, which was pretty cool. After a gun safety course (since he shot a tree yesterday and caught a bee bee in the neck!) grandpa will take him squirrel hunting! We went to be early last night after watching "Super Size Me." Wow! Makes you think.
We have heard good knews about the T family's adoption paperwork. We know that big things have been taken care of recently with more news to come in the next few days. The anticipation is growing and we know it's coming quickly!
I've kept the kids doing 1 subject of school a day this week to help with our time while we're gone. I figured that's one day someone can have a break from school work, although they do a great job with their work and wouldn't complain for anyone.
I got a KitchenAid from my parents and think it's the greatest! I've made several things in it and am looking forward to having a day of food prep with all sorts of tasties for our absence. We eat a bit differently and I'd hate to have someone be concerned about our eating habits. My mom was asking me questions in case she's watching and she's super about doing things the way we do with schedules, eating, etc. and it'll be one less thing to stress about.
All right! Looking forward to a great new year with lots of really good things to share with you.