Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ribbit


I designed a frog hat! I have to admit I think it turned out pretty cute. (and the model might be pretty adorable too! We are having fun drawing out designs for fun hats and socks to crochet. I have stumbled on some basic hats and mittens designs and we add fun stuff to them. We now have a monkey hat, bear hat and frog. I have orders for 4 already!

Monday, November 15, 2010

new projects for sale


Hey there! I was posting this on facebook and forgetting there may be some of you interested. I am making hat and mitten sets. They are crochet sets and are super cute. I can make in any size 6 mos and up. I just need you to email me your child's head circumference and width of palms. (and color of set) I have the monkey set done in brown for a friend and thought I would share the photo so you can see a bit better. I want to do a frog set in green(eyes will be big circles on top!) and mouse in gray, bear, and maybe a rabbit in white and pink. So my email is hezra_at_home@yahoo.com These will be 20.00 a set and I will have to do them first come first made. Each set will take me a few days working a bit at a time. Let me know if you are interested!

Monday, October 25, 2010

My personal review for Time 4 Learning

I found this website has the potential to be very helpful for instruction and learning; however, some key improvements need to be made before I feel that it would be worth investing time and money into the service. Although, the website has plenty of animation and interaction, some basic design concepts are lacking that are holding the website back:

1. Users need to be able to skip forward and backward during character monologues.
2. Navigation seems confusing.
3. Lessons do not show as completed in some sections and seem inconstant with reports.
4. Upper level user was able to go to playground w/out doing lesson, but is typical for this kid anyway...
5. Children were generally frustrated with navigation. Not sure how to fix this.
6. Children need easy to follow assignment path.
7. Need log-out feature on every page.

Basically, our family found this to be time consuming, somewhat confusing, and a bit frustrating. I do see that it has potential to be a great tool for home educators. I just think it needs a bit more tweaking. I think another great tool for their website would be discounts for multiple kid families.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Review of Time4Learning

I have been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a home school curriculum, for after school enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. Go to www.time4learning.com to see how to write your own review!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Summer Lovin'





Where have I been you ask? Well, the hubster injured his ankle on the 4th of July. Then we found out in the same time frame that our 10 yr olds baseball team qualified for regionals and our summer vacation got a detour. I became the packer, loader and kid wrangler for the summer while you-know-who had to stay propped up. (generally with a laptop. Just sayin') So then he found out he had to have surgery to repair his tendon.(!?) And this began 8 weeks of recovery. Mercy. SO in the middle of all this, we began school and our 3 yr old golden retriever, Sam, decided he needs more space. Every day. He became an escape artist of top notch quality. He dug, chewed, pried etc every SINGLE DAY! Then proceeded to bark at the neighbors incessantly. Bark up the sun. Bark at the mailman... you get the idea. While he is a sweet dog, we were getting fed up with broken fencing and gathering his butt back to our yard! So, I took sweet pictures and posted him on facebook. AND we prayed. Many prayers. lol, anyway, a friend of mine who has 6 kids and also homeschools had lost her 5 yr old golden in AUGUST! He passed away. So they had been praying to find one and couldn't. They have 3.5 acres for him, and a pond. AND the husband said, I hope he barks, I can't stand a non barker.... well well well... Let's just say Sam might be just what you are looking for mister! They came last night with 4 of the kids and even gave us money for him!! They felt they were stealing such a great dog.(don't get me wrong, he is a great dog, but we are very very very tired. lol) So two families had their prayers answered and one dog got a really great new home. Ahhh, love that God takes care of even the things some people think are not so important.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

New "do"


Today I did a really silly thing. I deliberately and with appointments, took 5 kids and myself for haircuts! Our sweet ladies(bless their hearts) did two each and really fast. We all got trims, and some even 4 inches off(me Liv and Riley!) but we still have enough hair that it isn't that noticeable. It just looks better. Then the other two boys got the regular little boy short clipper cuts. Moriah, however, has been wanting short hair for a while. We waited, wondering if she really understood how long this would take to grow back out if she did NOT like it. She was adament about it still. So, today, she lost a whole ponytail. We are sending it to the Locks of Love foundation. She was as excited about THAT as the adorable new cut. We did not get a before, but we do have an after. We think our little sweetie looks pretty cute. And she keeps patting her hair and swaying her head. It is very swishy apparently. And it makes her smile.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Making memories

Do you ever find yourself just running at a breakneck speed? Unaware of the details of life because they blur by you? I have never been one to move too fast. As my mom says, she carried me until I was six(and she was expecting my little brother) just to get me from point A to point B faster. I cannot imagine her irritation at my slow pace in EVERYTHING! Then there was my brother, who moved fast and decidedly and with full on determination to what he needed or wanted to do. Then there was me. The Ferdinand of our family who stopped to smell the flowers and sit under the shade. I blissfully made creative messes that must have driven my mother batty. She still says she could never find a pair of scissors after I had used them. Life has a way of teaching you lessons. Now I have five kids, and they make messes and lose scissors and move slower than molasses in the winter. Sometimes I even find myself irritated by that. When you have to get 7 people out to a drs appt and really want them to all look presentable, it can be frustrating when one or three inevitably say,"I can't find my shoes!" Especially when each kid has a sweet shoe cubby organized by yours truly. They have a place darnit!!! It is your job to get them there!!!! Then I remember, look at life from their perspective just a bit. Remember what it is like to find wonder and awe in the weird bugs or beautiful flowers. Remember when you thought that fairies lived under the porch and the trees were doing ballet when the wind blew. Remember back to when you too thought that moss was the carpet for the fairies. Remember the amazement that came when you saw the wild things. Remember the marvel of the stars at night. Waking up to go out in the pick up to watch the meteor shower. Remember the fishing trips and never catching a thing but getting so wrapped up in the excitement of "what if the big one is next??" Remember the joy of watching for deer with dad up in the tree and falling asleep because you are not a morning person and you were too young for coffee. Life is about living. Remembering what brings you joy and DOING those things every day is what really living is all about. That is the fun of kids. They make you laugh, they make you wonder, they make you marvel. We laugh so hard over nothing at all. I hear one playing his guitar and sounding just like my brother at his age! It is painful to hear the same chords being murdered over and over... but now I can laugh and use earplugs. I know what he can become because I have watched my brother do it. I have one who is fascinated by the Beatles and reading 600 pg books. I have one who has wit that my gramma would have called affectionately "smart ass." His bright eyes and fast wit and ability to think outside the box keep me hopping. Then there are my girls. One who loves to sew and makes clothes for her dolls and bears and looks just like me at 8 when she concentrates with her toungue clamped between her tight lips. I giggle at her elaborate "fashion show" and am in awe. She has a knack and an artistic eye. My baby. Who is decidedly not a baby anymore... she is a dancer and a singer and even though her genes are not mine, she is so my daughter it brings tears to my eyes. As soon as she hears a beat she is moving. As soon as she can hear the first few notes she is humming along. She has an ear for pitch and harmonies even now at 5! It is just so much fun to see these magical, everyday, mundane moments. I have a plaque right over my desk that says, "Today is the day for making memories." Memories aren't always what you see in scrapbooks. Memories are who you ARE and why. Everyone's perspective is vastly different. (even of the SAME exact happening!!) I may have never ending laundry and chores and cleaning and dishes. But I have endless hugs and giggles and sweet snuggles. The jokes that we make that only we get,the dancing we hope that no one is watching, and the songs we sing and hope no one can hear those are the memories we are busy making. Don't forget to stop for a minute (or 50) and make a memory today!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Memorial Monday


Remembering the God's amazing acts. That was something the Isrealites did well. And sometimes not so well. They built alters and memorials at some places where wonderful things happened. When God proved Himself a faithful Father, they would DO something tangible to remember. Then came the wandering in the wilderness.... I would like to NOT be a part of that, thank you. I would, however, like to remember the GOOD things and be grateful for the good God has done.
There are times when a certain little boy in our home gets to be extremely difficult. There are times when I think I need the nap or the time out. He can show all the worst human traits at the same time it seems. The bottom line though, is that God loves him, and we love him. Our Isaiah came to us as the first adoption. I had a 5 yr old boy, 3 yr old boy and an 18 month old little girl when I began dreaming of adoption. I was literally DREAMING all the time about babies on my doorstep and women passing a baby to me in a busy crowd. Odd dreams. But the weird thing was, I had WANTED another child so badly, that the idea of adoption gave me hope. Still, when a woman with 3 kids and a previous medical condition AND no extra cash lying around decides to adopt, how WILL that work? I had heard horror stories of, "it is so expensive," and "people stay on waiting lists forever!" So, over time, I put it out of my head, but never out of my heart. Not a week after the MOST realistic dream yet, my dear friend for years called me crying. Her niece was expecting. We had all three had our girls at the same time. This niece was not 18, but a 23 yr old single mom trying to finish school. I cried with her for a bit and felt hopeless FOR M for a while. Then I said, "you know K, there are SO many families waiting for babies! M could find a family if she were really overwhelmed by the thought of raising another baby. I know this last year has been so hard for her and going to school is difficult already with J. But if she could do it, that would be a way to bless others and for HER to be able to finish school and get the career she is working toward." K said, "oh, I don't KNOW. Maybe she could..." We talked a bit more and then I had to go get everyone lunch. (meaning the PBS show they were watching was over!) While I was feeding the kids, I got another call. From M!! She was crying, I said, "OH! I am so sorry this has happened." She said, "would you and Dan adopt my baby? I COULD do it if it were you guys! I know that I could." I was crying and shakey and trying to get out an answer, I had to say, "I will call him and call you back." God had given me notice of the scripture in Isaiah spread wide your tent stakes, you will not be ashamed... I had the feeling we should but didn't know if Dan would agree. Three little kids under 6 was already an armload. Then the money. The house was too small(we had already talked about needing a bigger house) But when he came home for lunch we talked more. He agreed!
Then January 31st, my baby boy was born. We snagged Aunt Ash to come with us as nanny duty. We stayed in an awesome cabin with two bedrooms. When we got to the hospital, the nurses gave ME a room to be with our little guy. M handed him over and I took care of him. Everyone was in new territory. There were tears and awkward moments all around. The birth family had to have had their mixed feelings. WE had to look like the last group that needed a new baby with all our litter in tow. But the instant I held him. Dan looked over my shoulder. The little boy was splotchy, red, had dry scaly skin from being overdue. He was skinney and wrinkly. But his silky golden hair and big blue eyes were disarming. Dan said, "oh, isn't he beautiful?"(now my previous description was true!) I said, "oh,I just LOVE him!" On checkout of the hospital, we had an entrustment ceremony, where the birthmom had a pastor pray over him, and she said her goodbyes and handed him to us for the last time. We proceeded to finish up the world's fastest, most inexpensive and easiest adoption in our century probably. Driving home felt like I had kidknapped someone's little boy! It just felt ODD to be coming home with a new baby that I did not labor to deliver. But it was lovely. We stopped for cloth diapers on the way home and some other things.(he was a spitter upper deluxe) Then we made a brief stop at Aunt Ks(who really became a bio auntie that day too). The birth great grandparents were in for a quick visit too. So they all got to meet the new little guy. His name was Isaiah Luke Joseph. We only stopped for snacks and restroom break and letting the family quickly see the new baby. Then we were off again for the other half of the home trip.
Since then, we have had with our boy-- 4 ER trips, countless Dr visits, shotsstepping on rusty nail, bee sting, bug bites,spider handling, time outs, spankings, kisses, hugs, snuggles and songs...
Lately, he has asked me "will you sing me baby songs while I fall asleep?" He told me at church yesterday that he found the girl he was gonna marry. He recently informed me that he had spent 6 yrs with me and now he would like to spend 6 with M(we have an open adoption btw) I said, "well, buddy, that isn't the way it goes. I am your mama forever and always, and M is your special friend and the lady who birthed you. We can make a trip to see her this summer maybe? I am sure she is wanting to see you too!" He was satisfied with texting her a picture of him with his new tooth gap. There are moments of chaos that seems to be all at his hands. There are moments of bliss that seem to flow straight from his heart. There are moments of in between. There are odd words spoken you could never have prepared for. But in all of it, I am oh so grateful that God said, "spread wide your tent, you will not be ashamed." I love him. He has the funniest sense of seeing the world. His blue eyes wide. His mope of golden hair and his gap toothed grin are adorable and irresistable. I am thankful that God chose ME to be his mama even though he was born of another. I am grateful that she could make such a descision to give. I am grateful we have family on BOTH sides that love us and him. I am grateful to be a mother. The only thing I ever wanted to be I have gotten. I don't care to be rich and famous(though more money... well), I don't want to drive new cars. I don't want a huge fancy house. (just a clean one!) I don't want new furniture or expensive toys. I just want a peaceful, simple home and to be the joyful mother of many.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Widow's mite pendant

In our home schooling, we have used Sonlight for the last 2 years.
We received our first Sonlight core two years ago. Our first order came with the Widows mite pendant gift. I was so touched by that! The note that came with it brought tears to my eyes. I wore it nearly every day for a long time. We began an international adoption. Sadly, the country we were working with could not allow us to continue. So even after praying for nearly two years for our "two new sisters," we were not able to bring them home. Then this March, we were asked if we were interested in a new baby boy domestically --in state!! We had three days to get ready!! We had friends bring clothes, crib, everything while WE drove to get him! We met him first. He was beautiful!! A sweet baby boy with brown skin dark eyes and lots of black hair. I was instantly smitten with him. In the photo(of our first meeting), I was wearing the necklace. We met his birthmom and spent a lot of the 24 hrs with her. She held him and we took turnd caring for him. The hospital gave us a room right next door to hers. After she signed her parental waiver, he roomed with us. We kept our door open to her though.
The day we were leaving, my husband had to go out for a few extra things for the long trip home. I had a feeling I was supposed to give her my necklace. I had to pray. It sounded so odd. It was USED!(well-used) I said, "Lord if I am supposed to give this to her tell me FAST! (she had stepped out to pack her things. We were all being discharged. I heard Him say "yes!" so, when she stepped in, I had taken it off. I was holding it and said," I have something to give YOU. It seems like not much when compared to a baby. Sorry, but it is a 'widows mite' necklace.(she was not a Christian, so I explained the story from the Bibe briefly) I felt God take over and speak FOR me. "This is to remind you to give all that you can and for all the right reasons. AND remember that you are worth everything God has to offer you!" She took it and mumbeled "thank you". Then stepped out. I sat and cried for a moment wondering if I had done the right thing or not. I felt silly, and I was emotional about the rush and flurry of adoption. We a were released not long after that. We took our little guy home and spent the next two days falling MADLY in love. Our other 5 children were in awe of him. We called the first day home the "auntie parade." Aunts, Nonnie, and friends poured in to see him and hold him. On the third day, we were blissfuly alone. My husband had gone back to work. The kids were back into the school routine. The baby was so easily adaptable-- he was in the bouncy seat on the table while we did school! Or in the sling while I was up working with kids. That morning, our social worker called with devastating news. The birthmom wanted him back. There are 72 hours in which the birthmom has every legal right to request the baby back. I sobbed. I felt like my world was closing in and that I was having a full scale emotional breakdown. I called my husband who rushed home. I called my niece and close friend. They both came instantly. My friend said, "we can fight this-- it is so close! the papers were being filed today!" I had asked God what should we do. He said so very clearly,"Give back, show love, build trust." He said "she needs to see that I gave MY only son for HER. She needs somone to love and someone to love HER" Someone very close to me in our family, had placed her baby for adoption decades ago. She got her back when she was a few mos old. I called her. She said, "If I could have found who she was with(the baby had been placed in foster care as a legal risk adoption I assume), I would have gotten her back on the second day. You are doing the right thing to give back." I knew it was right. That didn't make it easier. We packed his little things. We made sure he had the outfits she had bought. We sent diapers and formula. We packed him a bottle for the trip. Then after he left, we left town to visit dear friends. My husband had a conference three hrs away and we decided to go with him the next day so we wouldnt be home missing the baby.
The next day, I found her on F*cebook. We had talked about that at the hospital. I wanted to know she had him and all was well with him. She sent me messages back. Pictures and all. Then she opened the door for something more when she said, "I have been thinking about my life needing to be very different with him in it. I have been asking a counselor about becoming a Christian."
I told her what God had told me about her needing to see that pain of giving up a son, and that HE had done that for HER. We messaged back and forth for days, then she asked again, "what does my necklace mean exactly?" I was able to share the full story with her. Later that week, she said, "I am going to become a Christian. I need a few days to think and pray-I have been PRAYING! AND I know he hears me!! I want it to be a real life change.
I had asked the Lord to show me the good in our situation. He did. I wish that I could say that I am okay with it still. I know what an awesome thing it is to have contributed to the salvation and change of his mother and giving hope to his life. I am human though. And the pain is still very fresh. It has only been a few months since his birth. In that time we have gotten rid of every baby thing we had. It was just too hard to live with it here. I gave it all to people who needed it, or gave borrowed things back to their owners. We miss him so greatly. We had two failed adoptions at the same time. It coincided then, with the reordering of school books because we are at the end of our year. I placed my order and saw at the end, that I may choose a free gift. As you can imagine, I WANTED a widows mite pendant(I miss that too), but I was actually afraid of it being too painful to wear. I asked God though. He said, "get it. you need to be reminded that YOU have given ALL you could for ALL the right reasons." And so, I got our order, I opened the pendant. It was very differnt from the first.(they are all unique) I am hoping today to get a new silver chain so I can start wearing it. I think it may end up being instead of a reminder of pain, a reminder of Hope. A reminder of His love for ME too. And above all it is a reminder that I still hear His voice and I am still on the right path No matter what storm or tornado or fire seems to hit (even if they feel like they are all hitting at once) He is there. HE has not forsaken.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

titles and boxes

There is this thing that just stabs me in the gut. I HATE being misunderstood. I HATE being labeled. (I do have a OCD style problem with labeling STUFF but that is a different post completely) I HATE being put into boxes. Sometimes it feels as if women are the worst about this. We need to put the other moms in groups for our own comfort's sake. Are you a Christian? Oh, well, then I know ____ about you already. Are you a home schooling mom? Ahhh, that makes so much MORE sense. Did you do home birth.... ummm yeah, now I see where we are heading. Do you stay home all day with 5 kids and you actually LIKE it? OK right, you are a bohemian, hippie Christian crazy person. See?? They think they have me pegged in one conversation. But I am more than any of those. So much more. I have this need to NOT be stuffed into those boxes because it limits your friends, it limits your connections and relationships and it limits your life. I want to glean and learn from people from all walks of life. From women who are different from me, but then relax sometimes with those who are similar. There will be those that are like sisters. Those you can be yourself with. There should be those that you feel challenged to be with. They challenge your thinking and your beliefs because they are different from you. I have been great friends with two different women who are atheists. Then I have a friend who has been bi sexual. I have one who is homosexual. I have ex alcoholic friends, I have friends who are or used to be involved in drugs. I have friends who drink and cuss. I have friends who are of different faiths. And each one of them are amazing awesome people with so so much to offer. I went to a church once that had a "prostitute ministry." It had a better name, I can't remember what it was called, but they went out on the streets and ministered to the girls and women. I think it is awesome. That is the heart of Christ. Reach people WHERE they are and love them! Meet their needs and draw them to Him. Not draw them to church, not make them look like you, not put them in your "Christian box" and set them in a pew. Go out to them. Meet them. Love them. Spend time with them. And whatever you do, do not discourage them or kick them while they are down about living life that is different from what YOU believe to be right.
A favorite quote of mine--
"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ" Ghandi
While this MAY seem like a slap in the face of Christians, it should be more of a wake up call. We should wake up, come alive and get involved. Each person getting involved where they FEEL the burden of love and life(for me it is kids). When every Christian does that-- they will be so busy DOING and BEING there won't be time for petty attacks and pecking and fighting between us. And no more people who think the title of Christian is a bad thing.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

the new pool

We have come to a solution on a pool... It has taken YEARS to figure this out! We ave joint ownership on a pool that will be in my neice's yard! She is only 7 yrs younger than I so we are more like sisters. We have kids simlimar ages. (ok she has 2 and I have 5, but my youngest two are close to hers) Anyway, our yard is currently needing work and being over run with itchy plants and irritating dogs. But our kids need a place to play and it is so darned hot we NEED water!!!
So I got this brilliant plan. We buy a pool that will live in their yard. Voila! I went with the kids and we helped set up the pool. It was a lot longer out in the sun than I guess I noticed, because by the time Nikki said, um you are looking kind of red... it was bad. I always get worse after I go inside. It becomes redder and redder. Now I am lobster red, I have a permanent white tank top. I hurt. I am greasy with cocoa butter. The pool is filling at a rate of about 1 inch per two hrs. So since we got a sort of big one, we may get to swim sometime next week with it fully filled. And here is the stupidest(is that a word?) part: I had sunscreen in my bag in her house. I just never got it ON me! duh. My sweet friend Stephanie reminded me, it is sunscreen BEFORE you go out. OK I will add myself to the dingbat list, because I ended up with cocoa butter AFTER. I now look like a freshly buttered lobster. hmm, I am hungry...

Friday, June 11, 2010

in case you wondered

In case you were wondering why I have removed some pictures from my blog, I have been having to remove comments from someone who uses odd characters in their comments. Then when I click on the website, it is not a good one! I feel I have icky people lurking around my blog and that makes me feel less safe about photos of my kids being up. So sorry if it makes the blog a little boring. But a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stepping up to the plate. again

No, this is not a post on adoption. So sorry. I am going to discuss a bit of motherhood. We have to do LOTS of things as moms. Some we like, some we love, some we HATE. But we do it because it is our job. We take the good with the bad and we love our kids. Last week, I let my 8 yr old practical BABY go ff to summer camp. It was a two day camp and her counselor was a dear friend of mine(who was sweet enough to txt me every night and say how much fun my baby was having). It was HORRIBLE to pack her up and send her off! I missed that kid like my left arm(I am a lefty). Then this week, my 2nd born 10 yr old boy was off to baseball camp for the first time. It involves staying with my parents for days. They have so kindly taken him too and from and packed him lunches and waters and rewashed his 1 pr of baseball pants every night. It has been so much fun for him and he has learned so much already. Today was mom and dad day. Meaning the moms and das go. And they bat. Now, my son did not gain ANY of his sporty ability from me. I wish, but sadly, no. So I spent Tuesday night wondering if there were any other way. Could I hire someone to bat for me? Could I just back out? I had my brothers 4yr old and 6 month old... I DID have kind of a lot of kids. But nope, mom offered her help there too. And she brought a camera.(bless her heart...) So,I talked to my kid the night before, I said, "you know I will likely not hit, right?" He said, "that's ok, mom, you wont be the only one!" I said,"It could be embarrassing." He said, "I won't be embarrassed." So this am, I did the hardest, out of my comfort zone thing in a long long time for the sake of motherhood duty. I will gladly tote along extra kids. I will accept slobbery kisses from any child. I even Accept my nephews darling hugs with hair pulling and squealing in my ear. I will endure the grate of my nieces whine that tends to feel like fingernails on a chalkboard. I will stuanchly time out my 5 and 6 year old without batting an eye for various activities of ill repute. I will even face the changing attitudes of my new teen. But BAT!?? Infront of my home run hitting very talented kid??? Come on....
So again this morning, as they were lining moms up in the dugout, I said, "ok, kid, here is the bottom line question... will it embarrass you more if I try and miss or if I don't try at all?" He said, "if you don't try at all." So, I got in line. I grabbed the first bat I came to. And after that gramma went, I heard "NEXT." I jogged up to the plate. I raised the bat and held my breath. I hit three out of the several he pitched. I heard lots of cheering-- GOOOO MOOOOOOM!! and some extra boy voices screaming "whooooo" that my son must have enlisted to help cheer from the campers. ANd I heard my nieces screechy whiney voice scream "GOOOOOO AUNT HEZRA!!!!!" and then "YAY YOU HIT IT!!!!" lol, and then my moms clicking brought me back to reality. lol, one of the coaches said, "nice cut!" about my hit? hee hee, bless his heart. Sweet guy.
So, today, I stepped up to the plate in a whole new way for me. I totally got ou of my comfort zone. And I hit a few and missed a few. But the kid was happy. I think that is what life is all about.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A teenager

The first teenager in our house! Ry has become a teen. Though he is handsome, funny and smart, it frightens me. I am not sure why. He has anamazing appetite for books of all kinds, he can play drums really well, and he can sing. He is a really fun kid(sometimes). He can make me laugh and he still wants a kiss and hug goodnight every night. I know I am fortunate. (sometimes I think, so is HE)We began this dance of parenthood 13 years ago. I was not a stranger to babies. I had baby-sat for years. We even had a daycare in my home growing up! Somehow though, the job of 24/7 full responsibility was a little frightening. Then the hubster was gone after he was about a week old, for a two week summer A*RMY training. I dont think I slept those two weeks at all. I was terrified of falling asleep and not hearing him cry. We had an apartment the size of a shoebox and I was afraid I wouldn't hear him cry. He was a textbook baby. Funny toddler and sweet big brother. He began schooling early-- 3 yrs. Reading by 5. He went literally from Dick and Jane, to "Journey to the center of the earth." He has patiently born the burden of being big brother many times over. He is crazy enough like me to hope he gets to again. He is currently in the summer children's theater playing the main villian. (He won singer of the week last week!)
"They" say, that teens are like toddlers, they )want to do the independance dance. They want to know you love them and accept them, but they want to know they have freedom. I pray that I may be able to balance that... and I am terrified that I will fail in some way. Because I am human. And a mom. I know there are so so SO many things that could have already gone so badly, but he is truly a great kid. Tonight we did dishes together late and had a long talk. Girls, siblings, and the latest books. He is so fun. Thirteen amazing years and now he is the same height as me. We see literally eye to eye. Only 5 years until adulthood legally hits!?? So glad we have more time.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

God provides-- Thankful thursday

I love to see how He makes things happen. I love it when He provides for us. A few weeks ago, my sewing machine was broken. Just not working. The light was on, but the motor wouldnt even make a sound. I borrowed my sisters and have had it for the whole month. I just could not make myself pay a hundred for a machine right now. Well, I just prayed about it, and ask God to show me what to do and when. I waited. I haven't even thought much about it other than thinking guiltily I should give my sister's back SOMETIME. I have asked around about machine repair. Anywa, this morning, a friend texted me "do you know anyone who needs a free sewing machine?" lol
I sent back, YES! Me!! I have been praying for one!! She sent back: "lol, ok, I will get it to you this week! Love to see God do that!"
YAY! the girls and I are going to get busy making their pj shorts, and capris and hopefully a sundress or two for each.
Another blessing:
Recently a sweet dear bloggy friend of mine who is currently working on getting her new litle guy home from China, was given 2000 dollars from a complete stranger! How cool is that??

Monday, May 24, 2010

green things


(poison sumac)


(poison ivy)



(poison oak)

The good news is, I think I can identify these pretty well now. The bad news is, they are all over our teensey not quite one acre property. I have heard goats eat this stuff, and I am not even kidding about buying a goat for that one purpose! I cant burn it, it may kill me! I cant cut it down. I cant leave it to grow and flourish and continue to be the Poison forest, or the yard of death. I can't hide out in the house forever.

I love to be outside. I love the fresh air. I love just sitting and watching nature happen. Unfortunately, nature is unkind to me. The sun blisters my skin, and freckles me so sadly. The stark light of day is unattractively florescent when hitting my freakishly white skin. I am allergic to everything. It is sad to admit it. Nerdy, un classy, and sad. But it is true!! The clothes line I love so much? It cost me 100.00 for a stupid teensey bottle of eye drops because my new eye Dr says my eyelids are breaking out on the inside???!!! I am allergic to wasps? Mosquito bites leave giant welts. (ok, I am not making this stuff up-- I had two great aunts that died(DIED!) from beestings, my dad tells me) Then top all that off with extreme sensitivity to poison leaves of any kind. Well, it really doesnt even have to be the poison variety. I once broke out from playing with little berry thingys on an evergreen tree. But the really bad stuff? Poison Sumac, Poison Ivy,and Poison Oak? Well, I don't even have to touch them. Two weeks ago, I bathed a kid that had cavorted in them. I got it worse than the kid! I looked like a battered wife with one eye swollen for several days! Just as that healed up, I was outside talking on my cell phone, and my cat jumped up on my lap. He swished his tail on my neck and I thought NOOOOOO!! I ran inside and hung up the phone, I used my handy new scrub and scrubbed my face furiously. Apparently I did not get my neck as well. I am now swollen and welted and itching again. I am taking benadryl. Again. I hate feeling this way and I love being outside!!! I hate looking at all green things with a feeling of fear and comtempt. I hate itching burning sensations that leave me swollen and hideous. I hate being whiney. It really is as unattractive as being allergic to practically everything. But I am whiney(and did I mention itchy?). I now want to mow the yard down to bare dirt, cut ALL greenery from my trees and yard...(we have tons of climbing vines) And find homes for all our pets.(2 cats, two dogs and a white rabbit that escaped our yard and has been living in the woods outside our fence for weeks. There is no stinking way I will even TOUCH that thing!!!) But for now, I wil escape to the bliss of a benadryl induced coma for the next several hrs. and try not to scratch. Maybe I will dream of moving to an apartment without any pets or plants. Maybe I will dream up a solution to my problem.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

mom survivor- oh the things I would do!


I was inspired tonight... when a friend mentioned how SHE would be killer on that show. I thought, wow! Wouldnt it be fun to have one that is full of stay at home moms of more than 1 kid? Imagine: a bunch of moms from every walk of life. Some moms with only two but others with 5 or 10! Moms who are street smart and moms who know how to make a meal with three sticks and a stone. Moms who understand what it MEANS to survive. gee, daily life in my house lately has me dreaming of at least the six week stint on an island. Those other gals would leave me alone or I would kick their bo bos. I would glare down an alligator with the single exposure of my "laser eyes" stare. I would crochet a hammock from dried grass. I would sip coconut milk like it was a full scale pina colada. I would work on a sort of tan(I freckle) I would lounge on the beach. I would cook some shell-fish on a rock, and style my hair with all natural ingredients. And with the tropical environment, I would probably have to learn to corn row it as well.(think of Monica from friends when she went tropical. lol) I would only feed ME for 6 weeks!! I would get PAID!! I would obviously lose weight and get into better shape. It would practically be like a free diet and personal trainer! Oh, yeah. I would win. Why? Because I. am. that. determined. BUT may I suggest a new reality show? Video the dads at home while the moms are gone. Hmm, what to call THAT one??Maybe, "oh shoot, she wasnt kidding?" or "Oh no, what HAVE I done?" or "While moms away..."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Butterfly Kisses(Spring Fling episode 2)

Ugh, My pictures are all in the wrong order. But it has been a long day and I have them on here so OH WELL!

Olivia was in Ballet this year. This is her third recital. Their song was "Butterfly Kisses" So sweet. Flittery, fluttery little girls everywhere. THIS age bracket did not abuse their wings OR each other. They were poised, pretty and somewhat calm. Although, after dealing with bent wings pinning wings,(and of course as soon as I pinned them a certain little one had to use the powder room!)So RE pinning wings. May I just say that next year I am going to ask(no, BEG) that we have costumes with no wings or wands?? It is so much fun watching Olivia in ballet. It is the same blissful happy look I see on Elijah's face when he plays ball. This "ahhh-- I am good at this and I like this!" sort of look. My budding ballerina has grace and beauty and such great form. It is amazing to see. I am just so proud of her. And may I just say, my heart melted when, at the end,She curtsied and she blew me a kiss! Such a sweetheart!

My sugarplum(spring fling episode 1)


Such Sweet feet!



This year at the Spring Fling recital, it was my Moriah's debut of dance. She is painfully shy and I cannot tell you how many times she would just leave class and put on her shoes and go because she was asked to try a new move. I asked her SO many times if she wanted to stop going to dance. She would cry and say "NO! I YIKE dance! I YIKE Miss Jenny!" so, we went. There was a sad sad sad day when I had to try the dance too to make her feel more comfortable. A woman in sz 14 Levis should NOT have to do ballet.
So, I have to admit, I was scared she would refuse to do the dance of the Sugar plum fairies for the recital. Dress rehearsal went off without a hitch. Then the day arrived. All the little sugarplum fairies were adorable. Wings. Wands. Satin. Tulle. Gorgeous slick little bunned hair. The moms took picture after picture of the sweet things. The minutes ticked by. Then the sugar plum fairies were running up and down the hall.
They were racing. They were climbing on the handrails. They were whacking people with their wands. There were runners in wings(!? I didn't even know this was possible!) Wings were sideways, wands were bent. Buns were loose and it was 15 minutes to show time.
Mom two and I were frantic, sweaty and chasing. Mom 3 just had a baby, so she was busy checking her lil one. The plan was, a few minutes before showtime, we had to leave them there in the hands of the sweet college kids who "watch them" while we sneaked in to be able to photograph their three second dance! Then we were to run like the wind to the back and around the auditorium to catch our babes on the OTHER side of the stage. Well, 2 minutes til start time. I kiss my baby tell her "show 'em how it's done Sweet!" and ran in. I got seated in time to snap on my camera and see my baby looking like a deer in the headlights. A flash of a look I had seen a thousand times ran across her face! She had seen the crowd. She was thinking of bolting. She knew where the exit was. She even looked that way for a brief second. Then the music started... and she danced the dance of the sugarplum fairies. My sweet, chubby tummied sugarplum danced! I snapped pictures like a maniac and breathed a sigh of relief. Then the music ended. She curtsied quickly and RAN like her tu tu was on FIRE for that stage exit!!! I took off like a flash. By the time we three moms got to the door where our girlies were supposed to be-- they were in the auditorium back in our seats! The girls got so excited they forgot they were supposed to wait for us and they ran to the daddies. I sat and thought, WHEW! one down, three to go. Spring fling was just getting started!

Take me out to the ballgame...



Elijah is the handsome kid on the far right. This was at our first scrimmage.
















Well, Baseball season has begun. Elijah has had one game and one rain out so far. He loves this game and it is so much fun to watch him have such a great time. He has been hitting harder and better this year so far. His coach asked what he has been up to because he has grown a lot over the winter and his hitting is so much better. We thought about it a while and Dan said, OH the guys have been playing with the N*rf swords! The boys battle with those so hard they may NEVER get worked up to wooden ones or, heaven forbid, real swords! He told me, "mom, I use the first second after the pitch to figure out where the ball will hit, then the next to meet it. If you take til three seconds, you miss it!" While I am not sure if he is completely right(um cause any skills he has with sports did NOT come from me!), his logic sounds good and he is really thinking this stuff out.
I think the best part is, that he really really likes the game. I heard a dad tell his kid "QUIT SMILING!" then someone must have asked him why he said that, because he said, "he plays better when he is mad." I felt so bad for that kid, because it seems so sad to take something that they love and twist it and pull all the fun out, or make it so competitive that they start to hate it. I am an awful "soccer mom" type. I am late. I am harried, and I have enough kids to have my OWN ball-team.(well, at least for some sports) I HATE trying to keep #4 safe during practices and games. I HATE feeling torn between watching the game and watching the other kids. I really stink at this stuff, but at the same time I really like letting them each do their fun thing, and for this kid it is baseball. I hope he never loses the love of the game.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Crabby

I am crabby. No, that is too nice of a word. Here is the problem. I have discovered I am not a cheerful giver, well, not when it involves babies anyway. I am STILL not over the whole baby going back to his mother thing. She asked me to friend her on FB and I did so I could see an updated pic of him. But it turns out, I am still not happy about the situation. I bagged up his clothes this week. The caseworker has closed her case. He is there. He is growing. I am mad. I guess that is the bottom line. I am angry. I am angry about the entire situation. This week was recital and at rehearsal, Isaiah asked a new mommy with her baby girl in a front pack if he could please "pet" her baby. Then he told her about our baby, and had to ask me "what was his name again mom?" I was trying hard to hold it together, but yes, watching him gently pet this baby's soft head and hearing him say, "yeah we miss him lots" was heart-wrenching. The frustrating part is that I have no idea what we are supposed to do. I know what I want, and I know what I would like to have happen. But I just feel like every time I pour my heart out to God I hear crickets chirping. It is odd, because I have always felt so able to hear Him so clearly. But this is baffling. I feel His presence. I know we are taking the right steps. We see a direction we think we should take-- foster care adoption. But we just wait. I don't know whether to leave the crib, build bunk beds, set up play space... school space... I just feel like NOT KNOWING what we will do is driving me batty. So we just wait. still. And I get pictures and updates about the birth-mom and how happy she is with her baby, and I am torn. I am glad for her to have him, I am glad for him to have his mom and bio grandparents and uncle... But I Miss him so badly that the pictures cause physical ache. Then I feel ridiculous and angry with myself. Even though I am justified and in fact I know it is healthy for me to BE angry about this-- just not live in that anger. I just want to move on. I want to hear His voice clearly again. I want to know at least a PART of the PLAN!! is that so bad?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

clothes line entertainment


So, we don't have cable. I know we are an oddity of our current times. We do usually have access to NetFl*x and we stream movies and get a DVD once a week. The hubster had to be gone this week(5 days) for a conference three hrs from home. He took the firstborn too, which meant all our tech support was gone. Day 1: DVD player stops working. Dryer dies-- appears to be an electrical problem. sort of trips the breaker and light goes off-- but the breaker switches dont actually move. hmmmm, it responds slightly when I flip them. This scares me so I flip them off for the duration of his time away, and bought clothes line and clothes pins and take 10 yr old to baseball practice. Littlest pees my bed. Not only that, she was resting ON a nest of pillows and my beloved down comforter. 15 loads of laundry made by one small bladder. Day 2: sick of not having my shakes and bought a blender. While at wally world, I bought a replacement can opener, toaster, and mixer too. Yes mine were all broken. Netfl*ix stops working.(!?) I hang out a million loads of laundry. Didnt get to the mattress pad and comforter though. At three I have an appt with a lawyer concerning my grammas current state of medical care and the fact that I am her guardian legally. She needs to be in a home. I have to go with my mother and my little boy. Potential for disaster was great, but it went well. Little one cries off and on all night with earache. Day 3: Little one fine in the morning, so I cancel all thoughts of urgent care. Do another 15 loads of laundry(ok maybe just 5) and finally hang out the comforter and mattress pad. First baseball game of the season. #4 was a total brat at the game. The guys lost badly. I was still getting clothes in off the line at about 9:30. Day 4: we are getting used to the clothes line thing.#3 loves to help me. It is relaxing to be out in the breeze,to see the pillowcases and sheets flapping. Something serene exist in the cool comfort of the billowing fabrics. I am flooded with memories of being with my mama and hanging my baby brothers rows of cloth diapers out on the line. feeling the freckles popping out as we giggled with wooden clothespins between our teeth. The wicker basket made scratchy sounds on the grass as we slid it around to catch the diapers. I remember my brother toddling around wearing ONLY the last clean diaper, and mom looking at the sky wondering if rain would keep us from getting more out later. I loved the crispy folded stacks of exactly alike diapers. I was six. I look down at MY little girl who is 8 and wonder if she will think of this one day too. The animals have gotten in on the fun. The cats are certain the sheets are for their entertainment and we all laugh at how we will explain it to dad if they shred them. The sleepy sheepy had to be washed and thus dried. #4s "night night" had to hang on the line by his ears. The dogs were tortured because they LOVE stuffed animals. Much barking and jumping ensued as he was just out of reach. The dumber of the two dogs is Addy. She chases things. Leaves, butterflies, and of course -- shadows. This means clothes flapping on a line are extreeeeeemely intriguing. She may have doggy OCD. But it is super hysterical to watch. She also chases the shadows of kids on the swings. (can you see where this could be dangerous?) I said "oh no!" Olivia says, "yeah I KNOW! I klonked her good yesterday,"(accidentally) I said, "oh THAT is what is wrong with her!" My dear daughter says flippantly, "oh no, she was stupid before I klonked her."
There has been a ton of laughter over that clothesline this week. We have dropped a few things and had to rewash a few things. It has take TONS of time. But I am guessing it has saved us in the electrical bill department. It has had us entertained and forced outside. We now have stacks of fresh air filled towels and my sheets.....and that deliciously cozy comforter... it is as if they have all soaked up the sunshine into the very fibers of the fabric and transported it inside. I only hope I did the same.

Friday, April 9, 2010

humbling

I have learned that motherhood is humbling. From the very beginning. You have to actually degrade yourself to urinating on a stick! COME ON!! Then you announce to friends and family. THEN they all know what you have been up to! I blushed everytime I got the knowing glances and the hubster got the elbows to the ribs. Then, came the Dr visits. There were invasive exams that bordered on violation. Months went by as my firstborn grew. And grew. And grew. (side note-- you should ask how big of a baby your fella was BEFORE you decide to marry him and bear his children.) My firstborn had a 15 inch head and he weighed 8 lbs, 5 oz and he looked like a three month old baby! There were more people in that room to see his birth than I could imagine! I thought at that moment, that I had lost whatever tiny bits of my pride I had left. I was a shy and modest person before birthing a baby. I STILL am to a degree. But it was definitely a culture shock. Then the nurse actually grabbed me in certain places to teach the baby to "latch on and nurse properly" It was all very humbling and in fact a big reason I have had doula training and love to help with baby care. I want to help women to see that pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding can be done with discretion, dignity and honor. I love to serve women in that capacity.

As my kids have grown, I have had the embarrassment of not getting to bathe alone, or find moments to dress alone... I thought those were humbling. Then, this week, I had to have a head-shot photo session done by my almost 13 yr old boy.(for photography class!) He was ruthless. "mom that one makes you look as pale as a vampire!" "hmmm, you are not gonna like this!" "wow! your arms look HUGE!" "bhaaaa haa ha ha, oh mom you gotta see this one!" yes it was sad sad sad.... I said, "your job as the photographer is to find the subject's most flattering sides and angles." It took a few hundred photos and him saying "nope, that is not it" a lot, before he finally produced this:


and am I going to complain about the slight shadows or not so great lighting. Nope. Not me. I will scoop my dignity up.For it is like jello on the ground. I will piece together my self-esteem like a puzzle. I will hope that child learned something and I will hope to never have to do this again. Lesson learned!(on MY part anyway)

sunshine and smiles

Riley had a photography class assignment to take pictures of family. So I tried to help him get ideas. So these I took but I thought I should explain why HE was not in the following shots.






Thursday, April 8, 2010

blue stuff

guess what? if you give a 5 yr old and a 6 yr old the blue mouthwash for kids(really cool-- it sort of temporarily stains the plaque, showing them where to brush more! you do this before they brush), and you put them in front of a couple of white sinks. Then you turn your back for a sec to check the 8 yr old's question. When you look back you will see two kids grinning all smurfy blue and the sinks will look like you ran the blue stuff through a sprinkler in your bathroom. I am trying to figure out if they actually learned anything. I did.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

If you loan a 6 year old boy a camera....

Or even if he "borrows" it, forgetting to ask, you will get some odd photos. You will get a lot of pictures of him. Self- portraits with flair. And with Dad and with the dog. You will get a photo of the neighbors pool from on top of the privacy fence that if they really wanted privacy from six year old boys, they would build it about 4 feet higher and top it with barbed wire. You will get a fun glimpse into his day. and see the world from his perspective. Even through the slats of his clubhouse.



Yes this would be the neighbors pool. REALLY Sorry Mike, but it was just too funny not to post. And yes we DID have a talk with him about not doing it ever again, and about not picking your flowers or climbing your tree. Every day this week. He has served countless sentences of time out for all of them. We are trying, but he acts before thinking, though you will be happy to know, this is getting to be less and less often the case!


From his clubhouse to the neighbors...


peace out bro! I am just too cool for my mom's camera!


let's have a pose with the golden retriever-- come on Sam, get your whole nose in there.(thanks for not licking the lens!)



and with dad. or dads mouth anyway... hmm, it would appear that dogs and dads do not fit in the viewfinder...

The madness of mess

Oh my. I wake this morning. I hear the birds. I know there is spring occurring out there. But in here, it is like March Madness had a far different meaning than sports. Our March WAS madness. I know. In the hellish situation we found ourselves in with new baby and sudden loss... I think I went into zone out mode. Thanks to N*tflix. We have caught up on Elv*s movies and every episode of Lilo and stitch. But we also did not much else. We did our reading aloud. Baths and laundry and dishes. But seriously. Not much else. For two whole weeks. It is awful. I am sipping a cold Dr Pepper and trying to figure out where to begin. OH, I did do something else. I decided to patch the cracks in the livingroom floor(concrete) and repaint it. So, I happily started this project.Scootched furniture away and began. When the first third of the floor was done-- it looked AWESOME!! Then the second third... great!! Then, last night, the hubster helped me move furniture onto it because we had NO where else to stash a sofa and loveseat except on the dried part. Well, technically it needs 24-48 hrs to cure. So, it scuffed. Badly. I felt a little hopeless. Because, well, if we move furniture and it scuffs, we know what will happen when daily traffic hits it. So, now my livingroom feels all upside down, and every other room too. But where do I even begin? Seriously. Because every room I look into is worse than the last. Clean laundry has been mixed in with dirty. Every system I have has been obliterated. REALLY wishing for a fairy Godmother and a wand.....or singing birds and helpful mice??? oooh, I havent watched THOSE movies in a while...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

My baby girl turns 5!


How does it happen!? Just 5 years ago, I was home alone with the 4 kids. Dan had a business trip. I begged him not to go. I said, I have a feeling our baby is coming soon. He said, "How could you know?? You aren't carrying it??" Well, I knew! I was right. I had a bag packed for each kid and a diaper bag ready. He left for his conference in another state. Then I got a call that the birthmom was heading to the hospital! It was late, she was in early labor. I had a two hour drive and four kids ages 7,5,3 and 13 mos! I couldn't sleep, so I got all our stuff ready. I buckled in the new infant seat. I called the hubster. He said he had to finish the trip, but he would rent a car(he was driving the group in a company car) and head back as fast as possible. We would meet in the middle at the hospital and we would both have a few hrs on the road. The baby was born in the early early morning. I couldn't STAND staying home knowing she was finally born! They said, "she has tons of dark hair and dark skin and big brown eyes! I loaded all the sleeping kids in their carseats and still in pjs. We drove without stopping! When I finally got to hold her, I was so in awe! She was just beautiful. Round cheeks, rosebud lips... and the nurses had put a tiny white bow in her hair. She was our smallest baby.
She was such a sweet little one. Calm, easy, and hardly ever cried! I had to wake her to feed her! We named her Moriah Isabelle Faith Moore. She soaked up the loving and snuggles and was a mama's girl from the start. She lived in the sling for her first 6 months! She loved when I would turn on Norah Jones and dance around the kitchen while we loaded the dishwasher at night. She loved my singing! Her first giggle was when she was only a few weeks old(no I am serious!!). When I was giving her a bath and washed under her little double chin, she giggled out loud!(yes she is still super tickly under her chin!(chins?)
Moriah is a beautiful little girl, inside and out. She loves with her whole heart and is cautious about everything. She is really shy. But she loves to sing, and dance and can giggle so hard it makes you laugh out loud. She loves kitties and puppies and anything small. Her favorite color is yellow, and she is my sunshine! Happy Birthday to Mama's sweet five year old girl!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New hope

I have been emailing the baby's birth mom. We have built a strange but yes God built relationship. Finally after a week of building that trust, she sent me a picture and update of him. Then this morning.... the best news(no not that she wants to give him back, though that would be great) She said she has been asking a nurse about becoming a Christian. She says, seeing this baby, knowing he is depending on her, and his innocence has her seeking the VERY BEST life she can give him. So, I was able to tell her, that God had told me she needed to see HIS love up close and personal, and that He had sent His only son, and that He loves her so much, He would have done it, even if she were the only one. I told her I would love to share with her about how to become a Christian, and how having God help you make choices is such a great way to live-- not that your choices will be easier, but that you know what is right. I also told her how awesome it is to lead your child to the Lord. I told her that three of ours have become Christians and been baptized. I told her how awesome that feels.
So, that is my good news! It has been a week since the baby left our home. And God has done so much in one week! He has healed our family, He has shown us a purpose and a plan and He has turned a life that was without direction and hope into one who sees hope, love and the possibility of faith. I am excited to see how it turns out. Meanwhile, I asked our social worker about what we can do about another adoption, that I want to plan, save and pray and be prepared. She says she has a few birthmoms right now who just are not decided yet. So, if we want a newborn, that WE would be her first choice for placement!!!! So we have favor. She says fees, we can work out because we have a history with them! She has also the possibility of a young sibling group. So we are asking God to send us exactly what our family needs. And those who need us. But in the meantime, pray for this birthmom. She is so close to calling out to God and I might get to help with that! It is an awesome thing to see Him made strong in our weakness, and to see His plan even when it seems to make no sense to us. And I just know that if we desire a child so badly He won't leave us empty-armed either.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

no other choice

Today I have had to make yet another hard decision. Well, it seemed almost made FOR me, but I still had to take action on it. I had to email our international agency and tell them to please put the girls back on the waiting lists. We are unable to continue. We had only asked for photos and the usual medical update type of information, and in a year and a half, their country has not given this. They then made so many demands and requests for information on our homestudy, that it took a YEAR! Then, we see they want us to sign over power of attorney to the lawyer there. His words last week about stabbed me in the heart. "the girls are available for adoption, and we are ready to begin this process." But they wanted us to show we were serious(um, by sending money I suppose?) While WE wanted them to prove the girls exist and So both failed adoptions in a single week. This has me feeling pretty down to say the least. I still am waiting to see how God fills the void and blesses obedience. I hope to see some good really soon.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

the kid in the middle


This is an oldie... but a favorite. The baby is my little baby brother, Joe. The pretty lady would be my mom, the sweet sunshiney girl in the middle would be, oh! That would be ME! Then the oh so funny, rabbit ear making big brother is Paul. My older brother. I was the kid in the middle. The only girl child left at home.What are some things a girl learns when sandwiched betweeen a couple of determined guys like these?? She learns to always watch her back, guard her stuff and stay out of their way when they are trying something stupid.
My older brother taught me that there are some things in life you should NEVER try. Like smoking in the hay barn, riding your bike off the garage, and trying to pack three kids on a two kid sled.(in case you don't know what will happen-- the smallest kid on front WILL fall off and then the sled WILL glide over her and she MAY break a few teeth!) My little brother taught me to change diapers, fold cloth ones, and to love something smaller than myself.
They taught me to laugh, love and live. They were rough, rowdy and crazy, but they are also such loving amazing people. They are the absolute MOST amazing brothers! Yay for brothers and ode to the issue of being the kid in the middle.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Showing God's love

This morning early, Dan took the kids out for Elijah's baseball practice. I was left home in quiet peaceful bliss.(ok aside from the fact the house looks like mom went on a week long holiday) I was praying, Lord, I need to SEE some good. I need to know what good so far has come from Jackson being returned to his birthmom. I need to see it desperately. I KNOW your perspective is higher and better and eternity based, and mine is right here right now and filled with my own selfish hurts. So SHOW me. please?
Because, from my perspective, I see my baby went to an unstable woman. I see an unstable woman was given a huge new responsibility, and of course MY family is missing our baby.
He said, "she needed love. She needed to SEE MY love, she needed to be able to GIVE something love. And She needed to see the heart of the Lord out loud, up close and personal. She needed to see that I sacrificed MY only son for HER, and I would have done it even if she were the only one."
How can I say it wasn't for a good reason? I mean how do you talk to God and say, but you KNOW, I um, gave up a baby boy.... yeah, you just can't.

I now feel like a birth mom. I want pictures and updates. I feel like I placed a child. To any who think birthmoms jobs are easy, you are wrong. It is a painful decision. It was painful not to fight this or beg for legal action on my behalf. It was so hard to hear Him say, "build trust, show love, give back."


I have always wanted to be an advocate for adoption. To guide and lead young women to be able to make the choice to keep or to place. Now I can see clearer both sides. I have taken the Job way of dealing with this loss. When you have nothing else you CAN do, you fall on the ground and worship. You let God into the places that are filled with pain. You see that what HE says is true, regardless of the way things look or feel. He WILL restore-- my heart, my hope, my home. I will lie under the mushroom cloud of exploding emotions and just worship, wait and see. All the while listening for His voice.And waiting to see what I know he will do-- Big time Bless my obedience. HE never fails to do that.

Friday, March 26, 2010

a new day and crazy love

My sweet bloggy friend Linny has been an inspiration to me in so many ways!
her blog is here : www.aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com
(sorry I can't get my make it a link button to work!)
This is an amazing family with such meek and humble hearts and a desire to help orphans like I have never seen before. She is having a Crazy love party. She is talking about giving above and beyond the tithe.

For Linny's blog party, those with needs are supposed to enter a post of their need. I am a far better giver than receiver so this is humbling and hard.
Dan and I have been married for 14 years. We have three bio kids and have two who have been blessed to our family through the gift of adoption. We recently(in case you are new here) adopted a third newborn. Within three days, his birthmom requested him back. It has been a challenge. A heartbreaking one!! The odd thing was, we were in the middle of an international adoption of two girls, 8 and 13. When the baby boy was born and needed a family immediately.
We have always gone to our interdenominational church "Victory life". It is an awesome body of believers that has several locations. (A huge and loving family of Godly people)
When we first got married, it was only a year before we found out we were expecting our first boy! Dan made not very much money, and it seemed our tithe was so much of the paycheck. But we had been taught, "you cannot afford NOT to tithe, do it and see God move" Be faithful with the little and he will make you rulers over much. Dan has been blessed with raises and promotions and Godly favor. He makes great money for our area, but due to circumstances (medical issues and such) we have no extra money really. It all has a place. We have been saving for the girls adoption, but just used a huge portion of that for bringing home a little one we did not get to keep. So now we are staring at nearly empty accts and wondering what do we do, and how do we do it. And that is just the money part! My emotions are shot. These two girls still are waiting for us, but their lawyer has just now said, "let's begin" We have been at this for 1 1/2 yrs!! I have no idea what to do. When God brought them up to me, I was so determined and so ready! When I said, what about the costs? HE said "freely you have given, and freely it shall be returned to you, pressed down, shaken together. . . . " We have had blessings(a great and cheap 12 passenger van! Clothes for girls! etc) But we are feeling so depressed we have about lost heart. I keep hearing "don't be weary in well-doing." But when we gave little Jackson back to his birthmom, we felt it was right, it was the meek, humble and selfless thing to do. But I also felt like, but Lord, what now?? We have always tithed, always given above and beyond to every need we could! Now I just feel as though MY heart has been pulled right out of my chest. We are looking to God for answers, direction, comfort and money. But we just have no idea what HE will do. I keep singing the Barlow girl song, "I believe in the sun even when it's not shining, I believe in love, even when I don't feel it, I believe in God, even when He is silent" So we are in wait and see mode. Listening and watching for His guidance and blessings and peace to show us where to go. If we receive any gifts of money they will go into that adoption acct. We are still hoping to get our girls home. We would like to hope That the little guys birthmom might change her mind, but not sure if it is selfishness or what on that one.
Our email address is
hezra_at_home@yahoo.com
so funny she has called this crazy love. I have been asked most often in our adoption journeys. "Are you out of your MIND?" hmm. Maybe so. Crazy loving is not such a bad thing when it gives a parent-less child a home though. Have a day filled with some crazy, chaotic, sweet loving!

googling grief

So, I google everything. Cause I am a nerd like that. And because I need to know stuff fast. I wanted to see how to help the kids move along those steps of grief as fluidly as possible. AND according to the 7 stages of grief... I don't know where the heck I am still. I thought maybe I was doing well because I can look at his crib without sobbing, I can see a picture of him and feel only slightly mushy and faint. I smelled the kids shampoo that I had used on him without falling in a heap. But then I have the slight hope she will change her mind again. So that probably means I am still not accepting it, so THAT means I am not trucking through the stupid stages of grief. Whatever. Stupid stages anyway, right?I do know that I have fully accepted the horrible feelings. I have let them wash over me like tidal waves and felt myself falling over and over. I do know I have tried to get us into a semi normal routine, even though what I WANT to do is hide under the covers. The hubster has gone back to work. I have immersed myself in kid-care and the house and laundry.


Yesterday we spent the whole day with dear friends. She is like a sister to me. We both have 5 kids, they have one who came by adoption as well, so we have that in common too. But we have been friends for 15 years. We have been at each others birth and we met them at the airport when they brought Sara home from South America. They asked us to stay the night that night! We are very close. Our kids dearest friends are their corresponding Reids. We hung out and the kids ran over the many acres in the cold windy sunshiney day. There were 10 puppies and 10 kids! Les gave me hugs, hot coffee and a box of kleenex. Then when the hubster got there.(mine) he brought kites and all the kids went to fly them. I will add pics when I get coffee flowing and can remember where the cord and batteries are. I have to say, it was very nice to get out of the house. It was SO good to have friends to go see. It was so good to see the kids so happy. The freedom of flying a kite was kind of nice too. So throw away the seven stages of grief thing, we know what has happened. We are dealing with it, but we also know we need to still see fun and life and friends. So we can't be too bad off.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

living truth

True grace is letting God be strong when we are weak. True faith is trusting Him when we don't understand the reasons. I sure God's hand holds us, but it is so hard to tell that to my head. My heart FEELS His presence, but my head cries out for "fairness" and my own selfish way. True life is feeling the roller coaster of the ups and downs, the waves of pain then the swirls of joy. But right now, I would just like to rest for a moment in His utmost peace. That one He talks about that passes all understanding. I know it, I have felt it before, and even today, I have had moments of it.

Lord grant us your Peace.Help us feel your presence and may your Comforter keep us. May my children not feel that the pain of love makes it an unbearable act. Help them to see the truth of You even in their pain.

sad news

We could desperately use your prayers. our baby's birthmom changed her mind. The social worker just left with him. She did this in the 72 hr time frame and it is legal. We are grieving, but the hard part is knowing I would have done the same thing. My kids are grieving really hard here. That is a really big part of MY frustration and anger. It is such a shocker, she had not given us nor the social worker any signs of changing her mind. She was stoic and fully determined. Outwardly anyway. But we are entrusting Jackson into God's care. We do know we gave him all the possible love and affection and prayers posible for the little guy in his first few days. We know he is in HIS hands. And so are our hearts. But please pray. I have so much to box up and take apart. I have crying kids. I am a sobbing mess. Even the hubster is really broken. But I also know God works ALL things together for our good. He can make good of any thing at all. Thanks for all your prayers that I know you will send up on our behalf.

Jackson and family

HERE HE IS!!!


Elijah thinks he is so tiny.


Isaiah and Jackson.


Moriah loves that "my new baby has hair just yike MINE!"


Riley sure is loving his new brother.


Jackson!!


(Olivia is in love)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jackson is HOME!



We are home! I am trying to figure out how downloading the pics from my phone goes. lol But for now, this is the picture Dan took of our first meeting. We had a lovely 3 second photo session and then Jackson threw up on me.Hee hee. He is a little laundry maker. He is peeing on everything no matter how well guarded I think we are, he spits up after you finally think the burp session is over. We are learning. I have all his clothes in the dryer now. He slept 5 hrs his first night and 4 hrs last night. He is a really sweet baby and puts up with the noise and chaos here so that is awesome. More later. I really need to find some coffee... maybe I will be more eloquent then. maybe not.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Baby number six!

oh um ,yeah so I did gasp a little. Cause six sounds like a big number . Lol i am in the hospital. The baby had to have his hearing screening. In the middle of the night?? He is a truly beautiful baby. Yeah I fall for the short,dark and handsome type. He is calm and alert. I can't post pics yet--some stupid law! Whatever! But I am thinking when we check out I will be posting from the hubsters I phone. The papers are signed. We are hoping they will do his procedures early!!! Then we can go home. And his name... Jackson Paul... Have I mentioned he is adorable?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

baby boy arrived

Our lil' fella has arrived. While we were snug in our beds, at 5:15 am. He is 6 lbs 1 oz. Birth mom still says come. We are now looking at traveling. Trying to figure out the how to get there part. It is only a few hrs drive normally, but the roads are all slick.(MAY I JUST SCREAM!!! IT IS SPRING!!!! I have A BABY to pick up!!!!!)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

waiting.....

Well, our case worker has said we wait until tomorrow. They are waiting to see if she will really have it. No progress so far. SO we are packed and ready. AND, My sweet niece and her family will come here and stay with the kids. So we can go alone! Just us!! We will be able to focus and sign papers and snuggle the baby alone for a bit before bringing him home to our loud, crazy family. lol POor lil' guy, hope he is a sound sleeper. I have two little kids who are whining, "but I wanted a baby brudder today!!!" Moriah asked, "can we make it a GIRL baby??" lol, um, nope sorry.
OK while we wait, I am taking name suggestions from anyone. Even your KIDS can get in on it. seriously we are desperate. We are having fun with it here.
I think his middle name will be Paul after my oldest brother. So something that goes well with that would be great.

My younger brother has suggested Shooter, Wayne, and Roscoe.Then nicely suggested Graham as a real option.
The kids are all begging for Jacob or Jake.
The hubster loves Isaac(but we already have an Isaiah!!)and Jacob
I like Judah(Jude?), Matthew(means gift of the Lord), Emmett, Bennett(means blessed little one!)Jack,Wyatt,
My mom has suggested Whit
alrighty.... share your options and we will let you know what we think he looks like when we see him. I am hoping and praying roads clear up a bit tomorrow! Thanks for all your prayers and kind words. They really have helped!

eeeek!!!

OK Um, BIRTHMOM IN LABOR!!!!!!! We have a few hrs drive and it is really horrible weather. Snow and ice. Pray for us? I have five backpacks to pack, plus me and hubby need bags. Our crib was not put together yet... lol my nest was not quite feathered. But I guess loving arms and excited siblings and a home are the important things. lol I will keep you posted!!!!!!

going to bat

OK I am just throwing this out there into cyberspace. I have to vent and have no other safe spot to do it other than my blog. I am crying now and have been off and on for the last 24 hrs. I have had to inform people of our new baby news, and understandably they are surprised. I get that. I am surprised. I would expect nothing LESS. What I am shattered by, though, is the quick judgments and harsh words and critical things that have been hurled at me IN surprise. It is so hard to deal with those who love you the most sometimes. When you all of a sudden think differently than they thought you did. I am just going to throw this out there-- WE love kids! We know there are kids who need homes. We KNOW we can't save them all. We KNOW it cost money to raise children. WE KNOW we are not perfect, rich or always stable and consistent. I do NOT see children from outside my genepool as "a gamble", a "blank check" or somehow less than me. And neither does God.
BUT that said.... We are aware of our imperfections. Please for heaven's sake do NOT point them out to us now.
I am so broken right now because the hardest thing for me ever is to feel misunderstood. I feel like people just think I go off and do crazy things without ever thinking them through. I DO!! I analyze things to death.
I don't expect everyone to adopt children. I know not everyone is called to that. And I don't judge others for NOT doing that. I would appreciate the same respect. It breaks my heart that I see a need that God has placed practically IN my lap, and gird up for filling that need, then get slapped around and questioned by people whom I trust with my heart. (um, no not the hubster by the way. lol he is fully in agreement with me on this)
I feel so frustrated that people say "there are so many people waiting for new baby's you shouldn't take him, let someone else." There IS NO ONE ELSE standing up to do it! This is HOW kids get families, someone stands up with papers in hand and says, I will do it!
I feel like we are in a game of life and there are moments when we all have to step up to the plate. So, here we are doing that. With our imperfect selves, our imperfect bank accounts, our less than organized home.... etc etc etc. But we step up and say, WE will go to bat for this one. Why is it so hard for them to understand that? I have no idea.

Friday, March 19, 2010

gratefulness

Today we have had so much going on as you can imagine. But I am amazed! I have had people calling and texting me all day about things they have for us to use! We have been promised a crib, changing table, some clothes,a sling, play pen. . . I am so grateful for such an outpouring of generosity!! I will probably spend most of tomorrow, getting the baby things and setting up crib and all. I bought just a bumper pad and crib sheet and car seat base tonight that we needed. I am anxious. WE are all nervous! The kids keep making name suggestions. Really funny by the way what a 4 yr old girl can decide for a new baby brother! I am having a very humbling day. But oh so thankful.

Whirlwind!(baby?!)

OH MY GOSH!! I have news!!! I been praying lately about a subject but not sharing(that is why I have been so quiet!! I knew if I got started here I would be begging for prayers and letting the cat out of the bag!) Our home assessment agency asked us a few weeks ago, if we were interested in a newborn baby boy! (in state) We were unsure, HA! I had just said, whew! we have finally gotten every kid potty trained and starting school and we hsve NO BABIES! We were saying, wow, this is kind of nice. lol
So it was the LAST thing on our minds. I mean how often to people in the adoption world get offered a brand new baby? We have already been blessed with two! We never dreamed another would come. So, we said, we could be open to it. Then the b mom decided on another family. We let it go. Then I got an email yesterday from our case worker asking if she could please share our information with the b mom. We prayed and I talked to a few people, and we said yes. She immediately sent back a reply that the b mom says "start the plans." We had a small glitch about home schooling. She wanted the baby to be in private school. I carefully sent back a respectful email that we would not be changing our home schooling. Then we waited until this morning to hear the reply. WE are ON!!! The baby boy is due the 23rd!! THIS TUESDAY!! We havent had a baby in this house for nearly 5 years! I have to gather crib/carseat and everything in the next 24-36 hrs! lol I am flustered, but in a flurry of excitement. I need prayers!! please? and um, maybe baby name ideas?? We have Paul(my brother) as a middle name possibility... I will update you when we have more news!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Husband hunt???

My sweet baboo, who is 8, saw the World's richest men list. I was amazed that the 3rd richest man in the WORLD lives in a home he bought for 31,000 in 1958! I think that is incredible. Well, while I am talking about that, she says oh, there is a whole list of the rich men and their homes! Well, yes, they are not all so frugal. She said, ooooh we can find a rich husband! There is one that lives in FRANCE!! I have always wanted to go to FRANCE!!! I said what?? she says, well, we can marry a rich man and live in a mansion! (probably thinking, fill it up with brothers and sisters and fund any adoption we could find!) Well, small problemo there Sweet thing. YOU are too young, and I am too married. lol So, I wouldn't pack for France any time soon.(poor Daddy huh?) Then I notice it shows his age. The young bachelor in question?? Our prime husband candidate?? He is a mere 70. lol Yes I need to counsel my daughter on the things to look for in a hubby. Where have I gone wrong?