Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween 2011!

It's that time of year again! Our Fall Halloween celebrations began pretty late this year... It just sneaks up way too quick! We carved our pumpkins last night, and lit them just in time for our festivities tonight!

It was pretty fun this year, having a first time experience of actually handing out candy to kids. Since we moved a few months ago, into a neighborhood.

Here's some pics of our traditions!

Our little Yoda! (from Star Wars)

Pretty Garden Fairy (a little costume that Erin wore when she was little, believe it or not)

Our jeti, also from Star Wars

Black eyed pea...Can you tell she's our extra creative one?

I was a cat! (Yes I still dress up, although I didn't treak or treat this year)

Happy Halloween from all of us! 


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall Funk

I'm going to copy Jody over at her blog and talk about some "Fall Funk". Sort of a brain dump, or small update on our crazy life.

1. I wish that the house would always be clean. All the time. Not have to worry about making messes, or ever having to use a toilet brush or vacuum again.

2. Homework is not my hobby. Even though it might seem like I like to do it, since I'm doing it 24/7 a few hours each night.

3. Siblings DO drive me crazy. Some more than others depending on the day, and what they do and will continue to drive me crazy throughout my life. Especially when they're hurting others at the same time...

4. I love Fall... I really do. But I mean really; why does it have to be this cooollldd? I know, I know it's Minnesota and almost November but I would love for it to heat up just a bit. 

5. I love compliments. Just today I got more than 4 compliments on my hair. Makes me smile every time.

6. Teachers frustrate me. Not often or a lot, but sometimes they just do. Do they think I like failing a paper, having to redo it in 2 days, and now currently having a C- in that subject?? Ugh


8. We seem to have a seat-buckle issue with 'T' right now. Sometimes refusing to buckle, and having mom get out more than 3 times to help her back in - In the middle of the carpool lane at school, thus backing up the long line.

9. I can't wait to drive. haha I'm getting Drivers Ed from my parents this year for my birthday!! Which is in 13 days! Thought I'd remind you again... 

10. Dinner and dishes seem to come faster and faster everyday... Poor mom. I was surprised to come home today and see the kitchen was clean. Then I told her nice job!

11. Halloween came up WAY too soon this year. Do we have pumpkins yet? Nope. Do we have any decorations up for Fall? One or two. (We don't put all those creepy decorations up like some people - no offense to anyone, but people can go over the top sometimes.)

12. I'm craving some Ethiopian food right about now. It's so expensive, and we haven't been there recently at all. I think it's a good sign to know we've been saving a little bit of $$$.

13. I don't think I've been to Walmart, or Target in more than a month! Oh. My. Goodness. Definitely need my shopping fix soon... Even if I don't buy anything.

14. My dad's boss frustrates me (and my mom), and especially my dad sometimes. He hasn't gotten a higher paycheck in more than 5 years, and just found out that they are hiring more employees for about the same salary as him. Talk about frustrating. I mean really people?! Wake up and look at my dad - He's the hardest working guy ever!

15. The End.

Thanks for reading my pretty very long vent about life. We're doing just fine... Taking one step at a time. Our God is good, and that's stuck in our heads at this point. Have a good Tuesday night!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Update - 15 months

This is an in-between post, because yesterday [15 months ago] my parents brought 'T' home with them forever, and in four days [15 months ago] they all were in an airport coming to greet us.

'T' has been taking 1 step forward and 2 steps back in progress. Somedays I'm amazed at how well she listens, and other days I'm amazed at how her behavior can go comepletely backwards. This past week has been extremely hard... There has been arguments, fighting, disobedience, and sometimes she's remembering her losses.

All these things are usually happening when we're at school, and my mom is home. She is so worn out by the end of the day - between driving back and forth 3 times, and trying to stay calm on bad days.

Reverting backwards is tiring, and it feels like we're making no progress. She can fight, and fight, and fight, and there is usually nothing to stop her. Forever we will love her, and forever she will be with us no matter how many tough things we go through.

She is a very smart little girl, and sometimes a little too smart. She's spunky, she's got attitude, and we love her. We have to be reminded often of how God put her here with us for his specific purpose and plan. Not because of what we want to be "normal" again, or how much we want her pain to go away, but because it's His plan for us to help her.

'T' you're amazing, and we pray everyday for strength and wisdom to help you. We will never fully know or understand your story, and you will never fully know our lives before you came.
Jesus loves us no matter what - remember that.

In Him,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Just for Fun! (Part 2)

Michlyn mentioned this to me, so I decided to do it. As she "interviewed" me all the questions. I think she enjoys hearing the answers... Some of which she probably didn't know before. Here you go!

1. Name someone with the same birthday as you. Princess Diaries' Anne Hathaway :)
2. What has been your favorite age so far? 32... Still young, but old enough to know better.
3. Where did you meet your husband? He's my high school sweetheart.
4. How many children do you have? 6 (5 that walk, and 1 with wings)
5. Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people? No. Unless singing in front of your whole Preschool class counts, and think you sound good.
6. What’s the first thing you notice about the opposite gender? Eyes or Abs... Or lack there of. ;-)
7. What really turns you off? Negativity/Complaining
8. What do you order at Starbucks? (Caribou Coffee - haha not Starbucks) Carmel High Rise
9. What is your biggest mistake? Unnecessary debt
10. As a child, what did you want to grow up to be? A nurse or teacher
11. Say something totally random about yourself. I loved being pregnant!
12. Do you still watch kiddie movies or TV shows? Yes... iCarly, Good Luck Charlie, or Cars (I've got little kids and teens... What can I say?)
13. Did you have braces? No.
14. Favorite Social Network? Facebook or blogging
15. What is the most romantic thing someone has done for you? Proposed - 18 years ago :)
16. When do you know when it’s love? When you can't imagine life without him and can only imagine life with him.
17. Do you speak any other languages? No... I've learned a little Amharic ('T's first language from ET.)
18. Have you ever been to a tanning salon? Yes, many moons ago........... Striving for that perfect glow for my senior prom.
19. What magazines do you read? Parents, Life Lines, and whatever is out at the dentist/ortho's office - Having two with braces, we're there often.
20. What is playing on your iPod right now? I don't have an iPod
21. Have you ever ridden in a limo? Yes
22. Has anyone you were really close to passed away? Yes - My sweet angel Laura Grace
23. Do you watch MTV? No... (insert digusted face here)
24. What’s something that really annoys you? Inconsiderate people
25. Which television show were you sad to say goodbye to? None... not attached to TV shows.
26. Can you dance? No, I'm not coordinated. Once upon a time I did do Line Dancing.
27. What’s your favorite place in the world? Home Sweet Home
28. Have you ever been rushed by an ambulance into the emergency room? Yes. I had kidney stones. I remember it like it was yesterday.
29. If you could meet anyone (dead or alive) who would it be? My daughter's birth mother.
30. If you could change one thing in the world for your child, what would it be? To protect them from heartbreak...


Monday, October 17, 2011

Just for Fun!

This is a fun post that I decided to do, thanks to my blogger friend Deborah! I tweeked it just a bit, because I think this questionaire might of been for moms. lol So if something seems different, it's because I'm not married, or have any kids. lol Hope you all can learn a little bit more about me!

1. Name someone with the same birthday as you. A girl that my cousin met at camp, and she has the same last name too!
2. What has been your favorite age so far? 14 - It might change soon... My birthday is less than a month away! :)
3. Where did you meet your best friend? I have a few best friends, and I met them all through church or youth group.
4. How many children do you want? Between 5 and 6... God has his own plan in mind though so that could definitely change!
5. Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people? Yes, I have in a group - I have done solos or duets but there wasn't that many people.
6. What’s the first thing you notice about the opposite gender? Eyes
7. What really turns you off? Complainers or people who boss me around.
8. What do you order at Starbucks? To be honest I have never been to Starbucks but I love Caribou Coffee! I usually order a hot decaf coffee drink or a smoothie.
9. What is your biggest mistake? It's something I'm working on... Taking things people tell me personally; depending on what it is.
10. What do you want to be when you grow up? An elementary teacher! I love kids, and teaching!
11. Say something totally random about yourself. I can't have anything orange flavored... not kool-aid, orange fruit snacks, any orange flavored candy... BUT the funny thing is I can eat actual oranges and orange juice! Otherwise everything will give me an instant headache.
12. Do you still watch kiddie movies or TV shows? haha not unless I see something my siblings might be watching.
13. Did you have braces? YES. I had them for three years, had them off for a year, and now they're on again... Oh I can't wait for the day they are off forever!
14. Favorite Social Network? Facebook
15. What is something really special someone has done for you? Hmm...There are too many to count, but last year on my birthday I went shopping and I really wanted a coat, but didn't have enough money. So my grandma helped me pay for it, and I was so grateful!
16. When do you know when it’s love? I have no idea... lol I'll find out sooner or later.
17. Do you speak any other languages? I'm taking my first year of Spanish... Actually had the Chapter 1 test today... I love Spanish and it's not too hard as long as you ask questions. I think that's super important when you are learning any new languages.
18. Have you ever been to a tanning salon? Uhh no. I don't EVER plan on it either.
19. What magazines do you read? haha I'm kind of a "gossip geek" (Not in a bad way - I just like that silly celebrity stuff) So probably PeopleBOP, and you know the occasional teenage magazine.
20. What is playing on your iPod right now?  I have an iPod Touch and somtimes it's my life... :) Nothing right now, but the Christian radio on and it's playing: "I will follow you" by Chris Tomlin
21. Have you ever ridden in a limo? No... I hope to someday.
22. Has anyone you were really close to passed away?  Yes.
23. Do you watch MTV? I might have just flipped through it on the TV... But definitely something I never ever want to get addicted to.
24. What’s something that really annoys you? When people think they are so much better than you.
25. Which television show were you sad to say goodbye to? Oh probably Suite Life on Deck (Disney Channel show)
26. Can you dance? hahahaha NO. I've always wanted to learn a few dances, but I have No. Moves. At. All. (Lets just say I get my moves from my momma... Lol love you mom!)
27. What’s your favorite place in the world? Being outside when the wind is blowing through my hair, where I am alone, where I can think, and can study the beauty of God's creations.
28. Have you ever been rushed by an ambulance into the emergency room?  Not yet. But my mom has, when she had kidney stones... Long story and maybe I'll tell it someday... One of the scariest things ever.
29. If you could meet anyone (dead or alive) who would it be? Probably Bethany Hamilton... She is an amazing inspiration to me, and a Christian too! I would also love to meet some blogger friends! :)
30. If you could change one thing in the world for the better what would it be? Wow that would be a tough one. I would try and illiminate the causes of debt. It's so hard right now especially in our economy, and it's so hard to see people you love, and other people in general to go through all the stress it causes.

Want to play? Just copy and paste and change your answers to fit you!


Fall Fling 2011

I'm quickly going to post about the weekend getaway that Erin and I got to enjoy with our youth group! We headed to Fall Fling this past weekend with our youth group at Camp Shamineau! A Christian camp for families, youth, they have father-daughter, or mother-daughter retreats, women rejuvienating weekends, and A LOT more.

We came home Friday from school, finished packing, and by 4:45 p.m. we were on our way to camp in one of our two 15 passenger vans. We stopped for pizza, and had a crazy two hour ride there! :) (You know how it is with teenagers)
There was chapel, many activities like - A climbing wall, ropes course, paintball, horseback riding, flag football, and some other fun tournaments. We got to learn a lot, praise God, and grow together spiritually. It was incredible! Here are some pictures:

Erin's things just about packed!

My things, that were all packed. Yes, I might have over-packed for the weekend, but I did use everything I brought, do don't judge. :)

Playing ultimate spoons!

It got a bit crazy, as everyone decided to dive for them!

Flag Football!

We won our first game, but lost our second so we didn't get to the championship. It was also great to watch other youth groups play together!

Erin, and three of our friends from church we shared a cabin with!

Our cabin for the weekend! It was heated, and so cozy! :)

Heading home after a much needed, and amazing weekend!

Can't wait to go back... Camp Shamineau is a great place to come anytime!

So that's where we were missing all weekend, and we ALL loved every minute of it! Hope your weekend was just as fun, and busy!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Portion Control (Part 2)

I was looking back, and I found an entry I wrote about "Portion Control". Well instead of explaining it -- This is what I wrote about 3 months ago:

For the past 2 weeks, I've had a goal to eat less at my meals. If you've ever seen me eat, then you know I can eat a lot. So before this "diet" I was eating until literally my stomach almost hurt. I know it was completely not healthy, and I was convincing myself that I was over-weight. I know that I wasn't but that thought was stuck in my head. Whenever I would mention it to my friends, or sister or anyone they would look at me like I was crazy. Trust me, I know that I'm not but I decided to go on a "diet". Now, I didn't have rules on this diet for ex: what to eat, or what not to eat. I decided that at my meals I would have one helping, and if I was still hungry I would have a drink or something small. (trust me it really works instead of completely over-stuffing yourself) Yes, there were times where I had no choice but to eat something not healthy. (During this time I went to a carshow with my dad and all they were selling was fair food of course.) I also wanted to keep track of my weight, and I didn't really have a goal of how many pounds I wanted to lose but I know I wanted to lose a few. So every other day I would weigh myself, and surely enough my "diet" was working! I haven't gotten into any workout/exercise routine, but I think that will be my next goal. So, after 2 weeks of this "diet" I have lost a total of 8 lbs! I'm much happier with my weight, even though you might be thinking... that's it? :-) I'll let you know if I decide to do any more "diets" or exercise plans.

Wishing you all a healthy and productive day!


I've recently been thinking about my weight, and if I need to start this "Portion Control Diet" again. Of those 8 lbs I lost, I've gained about Mmmm... ALL of them back. So my next goal is to do the same thing, but also keep track of a regular exercise plan, and to lose 10 lbs. My mom mentioned to me the other day that we should just go walking for an hour everyday after school. Ha! I said no... but I will go walking [or running] everyday with her, just not for a whole hour. 

The other day I was chasing my brother 'J' around, and let me remind you -- he's 8. After about 5 minutes we stopped... I couldn't catch up with him, and I was really worn out afterwards. Talk about Out. Of. Shape. I'll start this plan, and am looking forward to it. :)


Sunday, October 9, 2011


I've been thinking about our old house lately... After 2 months, we finally closed on it just over a week ago.

I'll always remember that place, and the big yard that we had. Just the freedom I felt when I mowed it, or ran around it, or even just climbed our trees.

As I was thinking about it one day, I found a picture Erin took this summer -

This is 'S' having fun outside, and just running around. His last summer here. And I just love this picture!

Wishing you all a great Sunday!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


As an adoptive parent I echo the words of [Author, Deborah Gray]

As parents we passionately want to succeed in raising emotionally healthy children, both the children that came to us through birth as well as through the miracle of adoption. We also want to enjoy our little ones. When children arrive later in infancy or childhood, we are more aware that we need to do more careful parenting. We are nurturing not only to build a relationship, but to help mitigate any impact of losses or maltreatment.
Many of these little ones have missed the joys of play. Most have missed the experience of having parents express joy as they played. Because of this, their reward centers were not stimulated. This restricted the association of exploration and play with pleasure. 
We've been home 14 months now with our 5 year old daughter, T ... And with much practice and patience, we've seen a new (if even small) trust allowing her to more freely begin to engage in play.

So today we're celebrating the gift of "learning to play." Praising the Lord for our big & small successes in the journey.

To Him be the glory,


I'm so glad that I have two brothers! I don't know what they would do without each other for even one day. 'J' is 'S's best friend on earth! There is not one person that could replace either of these boys, and it's totally God who put these two here for each other.

We only had a three day school week, so we enjoyed a couple extra days to relax and get plenty of fresh air outside! Yesterday however, 'S' and 'J' decided to swing in their pajamas. They sure do have active imaginations, as they would fling their shoes off trying to hit the "bad guys".

Yep, my brothers are like two peas in a pod! I'm so glad that they're in my life!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

World vs. God

Many of my daily preoccupations suggest that I belong more to the world than to God.

A little criticism make me angry, and a little rejection makes me depressed.

A little praise raises my spirits, and a little success excites me.

It takes very little to raise me up or thrust me down.

 Often I am like a small boat on the ocean, completely at the mercy of its waves.

All the time and energy I spend in keeping some kind of balance and preventing myself from being tipped over and drowning shows that my life is mostly a struggle for survival: not a holy struggle, but an anxious struggle resulting from the mistaken idea that it is the world that defines me.

As long as I keep looking for my true self in the world of conditional love,
 I will remain “hooked” to the world–trying, failing, and trying again.

 It is a world that fosters addictions because what it offers cannot satisfy the deepest craving of my heart.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011


J. received a character award for RESPECT yesterday.

[re·spect·ful:  full of, characterized by, or showing politeness or deference]

And this momma couldn't be more proud.

It is wonderful to know your children are true to who they are where ever they go.

J. is compassionate.



and respectful to all.

Way to go buddy.

We are so proud of you!

"Show proper respect to everyone" I Peter 2:17


Short Accounts

S. is a beautiful example of "keeping short accounts" to me.

His desire for peace in all his relationships  no matter how he may have been hurt, is so many things...





May God continue to use this precious little boy in my life to show us truth, love & grace.

I am blessed.


"Settle matters quickly..." Matthew 5: 25

Monday, October 3, 2011

Apple Crisp

I meant to post this a couple days ago, but that didn't happen so here it is now! I love Fall! When the colors change, when you can pick pumpkins, and the weather is almost absolutely perfect! On our way to school everyday we take the back roads to save time, and my mom noticed an "apple stand". You can go pick out the apples you would like for a small amount of money as a donation.

So this past weekend, my mom, 'T', and I stopped and picked up a pretty big box of damaged apples, since we would just be using them for cooking. They were delicious, bruised or not! We set up a a little area outside, to get some fresh air, and get to work right away. We made about three gallon sized ziplock bags worth of cut apples, and used two of them to bake. (The other one we froze)

Apple Crisp Recipe:

6-8 sliced and peeled apples
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup margarine or butter, softened

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place apples in ungreased 2 quart casserole pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, water, and lemon juice. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients; mis with pastry blender, fork, or wooden spoon until crumbly. Sprinkly crumb mixture evenly over apples. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes or until fruit is tender and topping is golden brown.

Serve warm with ice cream, or whipped cream! Enjoy!



I think I need to post more often about my projects, because I think it motivates me! I have finally finished embroidering my towel! After a couple months, of sitting on my dresser, off and on stitching, and the fun of showing a friend... my project it is finished!

Wishing you all a great Monday night, and good luck on finishing any projects you might be working on!


P.S. After thinking about how I would be stitching my tree, I love how it turned out! :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Vote for a Friend

My blogger friend Deborah, and her family have been nominated for the Circle of Mom's top 25 blogs with their blog: A Different Drum. If you can and find the time, please please vote for them! All you have to do is click the button below, scroll the page, find A Different Drum, and click vote next to it!

They would be so thankful, and it will help them keep their goal of staying in the top ten! Thanks to everyone who does! (You don't have to have an account or anything, just a click of a button)