Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Photo Funnies

Early last month, we did a quick photo session with a good friend of ours. She has great scenery on her property, and also has a really nice camera. So we decided to give it a shot, (no pun intended) in the freezing cold.

She took A LOT of pictures, and we were very happy with the ones that worked out! It was quite the experience though, as this was probably only the 2nd time that we tried to do a session with all 5 kids. (since 'T' has been home)

Plus when it's cold, it just adds another whole round of laughs! So as I sit here remembering all the funny comments, how cold we were, and even the complaints - I'm laughing. Just a glimpse, into what one of our photo sessions looks like.



Friday, January 27, 2012

miXed messages

I recently shared what an encouragement receiving a text can be for me :)

I'm touched when a friend will take time to say hi & send an uplifting word or two.

I received another one of those kind messages this week...

Except this time, I let the words get "miXed up"


Let me back up just a little here;

Our first four children attend a Charter School- that now has a nearly 2,000 student waiting list.

We were part of that waiting list when the big girls were new school-agers.

 God opened the door to attend back in 2009, when there was a 6th grade opening for E, mid year.

E started a new school that November with courage & bravery that made us so proud!

With one student in, our other children were placed on the "much shorter" sibling lists.

It was just this Fall ALL of our children were finally included on class lists.


But last Spring "pre-school" proved to be too hard for our T.

Home just 5 months before starting part-time Preschool.

The time away from Momma & in the company many outsiders, sent our little girl into SURVIVAL!

She lost me ... And was trying to take care of herself, in a way she knew too well ...Pushing & shoving away anyone or anything that interfered with her doing so. :(

After seeking post adoption council & much prayer,

we made the very hard decision to bring T back home.

Putting our focus on "teaching" T. how to be in a family first.

Step by step,

we CONTINUE to give & teach how to:
feel safe.
be kind.
  show & receive respect.
understand boundaries.
have self control.

This is just a small glimpse of the "attachment therapy" we diligently work on.

So the 2011-12 school year began, and we decided to keep our little T home.

Not an easy decision for sure...

Our school is beautifully diverse with many multi-cultural families.

I was giving up snippets of free-time & volunteer opportunities.

It would just plain be different from what we once imagined it would be.


And though some days are better than others,

We are right where we need to be!!!!

Making progress!


So when I received a text reminding me of the deadline date to include T. on the sibling (waiting) list again for next year...

I read it & got all miXed up!!!

I couldn't remember why we decided to be home?

Couldn't think of any progress we had made?

Forgot why it was I was giving away all moments of peace & quiet?

Or missing out on so many other opportunities...?


I shared these thoughts & feelings with a friend.

She so graciously spoke truth to me...

We are home because it's working!

We are making progress!

She has grown & changed so much!

The chaos that once defined us has been replaced with a new kind of peace & confidence!

Because being away from me for even short amounts of time, sends T. back into SURVIVAL!

Right now, her tools to function healthily in a family are easily forgotten! :(

Because she needs me to be home with her!


I am still very much blessed by those occasional encouraging text messages!

I am also blessed by friends brave enough to speak the hard truth - even when it's not exactly what I wanted to hear ... or was it? :)

With A Thankful Heart,
A home-schooling, Charter school chauffeuring, Grateful Momma <3

Please know, I DO NOT judge what ever decisions YOU are making for your own families / birth or adoptive children- especially concerning school. We all do what we have to do and make decisions based on what we believe to be best for each of us. God bless YOU, every step of the way!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

text messages

I've received a couple text messages this week that gave me a much needed "pick me up"!

In a season in life when there doesn't seem to be adaquate hours in a day,
or enough of me to go around,
it means so much to open 1 of these encouraging txt :)

My favorite this week;

Praying psalm 121 over your life, Becky!
Be encouraged! Love you!


"I lift my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from?
My help comes form the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip-
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you-
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm-
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore."
Psalm 121


Might seem silly to some, but it truly gives me the lift I'm so often in need of.

  And best of all it almost always comes at the exact moments I need it most :)

Thank you friends [P,J, C, B, M,] for listening to His prompting - and reaching out like you do.

An act that probably seems insignificant to you
but makes a world of difference to me & my family!

U r a blessing!

#Once again so very thankful for His creative ways of bringing JOY into each of my days!


not what it looks like...

Well, welcome to a real Minnesota January, I guess : /

We've been spoiled with unseasonably warm temperatures for this time of year.

And other than the lack of snow for the outdoor sport enthusiast, no one was really complaining.

That has now changed...

We got a little snow yesterday and as the sun went down so did our temperatures... Brrrrr!

For several days we enjoyed temps in the high teens & twenties,

Not too bad, if you ask me.

And perfect Winter weather to still enjoy the great outdoors.

As of last night though, we dipped into those dreaded below zero temps :(

Not so much fun, but inevitable.

But no matter what it's like outside,
I have a little girl who needs the fresh air & exercise only the great outdoors has to offer.

 So I bundled her up... head to toes.

Set a timer.

And sent her out.

Despite the bright beautiful rays of sunshine and T's big smile,

it's not what it looks like...

It's cold!!!!

But the few minutes she endured it, she enjoyed herself... sledding, swinging & upside down sliding. lol!

And all in all made for a happier & more peaceful home :)

Thankful for the beauty of this day & the shelter of His love,

"I long to...take refuge in the shelter of your wings." Psalm 61:4

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

lessons in liking

I read "one thankful moms" blog often ... Lisa has a way of speaking the very truth of my heart and breathes encouragement and support to me simultaneously!

Not everyone will relate to the attached topic but I am inspired by her courage to talk about this real issue and her positive & tangible ways of addressing it.

Thanking God today for His wonderful & creative ways of filling me with HOPE for all life's moments!

I am blessed!!


To check out her blog/post click here!

one of those days...

It's not even 9:00am and it's shaping up to be "One of those days"


But it's early, and I am bound and determined to NOT get stuck here.

"He put a new song in  my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God." Psalm 40:3

So we'll start again ... Ready. Set. Go. :)

Thankful His mercies are new every morning,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I Wish...


I wish teachers wouldn't give out so much homework

I wish my mom didn't get hurt while she tries to be the best momma she can be

I wish I had the stylish clothes and shoes ever

I wish my siblings weren't so mean or disrespectful

I wish I could please the Lord in a better way and more often

I wish my attitude was always good

I wish that making hard decisions wasn't so...well...hard

I wish the truth in some situations wasn't so hard to say

I wish that the house was always clean

I wish my makeup, hair, and face was always spotless and perfect

I wish that I didn't get so jealous over ridiculous things

I wish my dad had a better boss and a higher paycheck

I wish that money didn't get in the way of so much stuff

I wish that hearts could never be broken

I wish that there were so orphans in this world

I wish friends wouldn't lie and make things so complicated

I wish driving was a piece of cake and could be done with no possible accidents

I wish politicians could make decisions that help everyone

I wish athletes didn't have to get hurt and ruin their dreams

I wish that no one got sick and would stay healthy

I wish that I could take amazing pictures

I wish... I wish... I wish...


I know... That our God performs miracles and that some of the things above could eventually be fixed.

Nothing is impossible with God!


calendar pages

It's the second year we have been along side our Ethiopian born daughter during some
very significant and hard anniversaries :(

The losses aren't written on any calendar, but rather on our little girl's heart.

The time of year her world turned upside down, more than once is NOT consciously known but SO obviously felt in the very core of our daughter.

Everything changes for a span of time...

Goes backward!

Trust that seemed to be building, slips away and is replaced with intense grief, anger,
and a need to once again depend solely on herself.

Long before we ever saw her precious littel face or knew she would one day be our daughter...

A tiny little girl on the other side of the world experienced loss & pain far greater
than many do in a long life time.

Hurts, I was not there to comfort her through and still can't take away.

But she is a daughter to the King and He holds her heart in his hands-
He is able to give her healing and has divine purpose for every part of her life.


I believe without a doubt ADOPTION is God's heart.

"In love he predestined us to be adopted as His sons and daughters through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will." Ephesians 1:5

Adoption is wonderful and beautiful!

Adoption is also painful and one of the hardest things I have ever been a part of!

Our daughter remembers her birth family - misses them with everything in her!
And can't truly grasp the blessing of a forever family, when her first family wasn't forever.

I imagine it could take many years before she will begin to trust we are her "forever family" and won't ever give up on her!

So once again as we turn the pages of our calendar, 

our daughter, who came to us through God's miracle of adoption, grieves!

I wish it didn't have to be...

But as we walk this path before us, we cling to God's promises to each of us.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

One step at a time ... One day at time... Moment by moment

Prayerfully His,

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Same Face

We have one crazy girl, and she can still pull the same crazy faces!


We're Back | Road Trip

We took another road trip this weekend! It was a short 2 day one, but it was so fun! We went to see our friends the Zells. They live in South Dakota, which is only 4-5 hours away. We were all very glad it wasn't another 12 + hour trip.

Unfortunately because it was such a short trip, and we wanted to get as much time in together as possible I didn't take a single picture. Not one. Can you believe that? My mom brought her camera but we just never got it out.

If you remember they came to visit us in November and we had a lot of fun with them then too!

So that's why I've been slacking a little on this blog. Friday we didn't have school, but Erin and I had a group to go to that night and we also had to pack. We left Saturday morning, came home yesterday, and we're glad we don't have school today.

A couple of us still need to finish homework, the other ones are playing games or coloring, and we're definitely taking in this great weather for as long as possible! :)

Have a great Monday everyone and happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." - Dr. King


Thursday, January 12, 2012

that's better :)

even if I had to do 'em ;)

risky business...

At the "risk" of seeming less then the fabulous house keeper that I am [LOL!],
I have to ask....?

Does it ever seem like "momma's" the only one in your house that can [sometimes] SEE the dishes that need to be washed? Or is that "super power" exclusively mine? :D

Off to do that wonderful job now ...  praying for the beautiful people who dirtied the dishes as I work.

ho hum!

a dish washing momma,

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

the best medicine :)

Humor is so good for the heart!

a moment to just be silly.

time away from the stresses of life, given to JOY.

Joining in with "laughter" feels good...



As we spent time together with dear friends over Christmas break, the common theme for us girls were 'SCARVES'.

a couple of us girls could be found wearing one at any given time :)

A scarf or two could also be found hung over a chair or other piece of furniture.

And DJ does not like to be left out :)

So when given the opportunity,
he picked one up, wrapped it around himself and says,

"Don't hate me because I'm beautiful!"

Laura was quick to join in the "fun", re-wrapped her scarf and hammed it up!

I had to take a picture.

Laughter truly is the "best medicine!"

Happy Days to all of you,

Monday, January 9, 2012

Man Up

You see that cool "Man Up" shirt?

My dad sports it well don't yah think? I was just thinking about this "Man Up" thing after I read a post on a blog that I follow. This is what she wrote:

In the midst of this beautiful mess, I am very aware that God has blessed me with a unique man for a husband. Let's face it, most men don't want the big, messy life we have. Most men want to save money for "toys" or vacations, not adoptions and missions trips. It is not typical for man to leave the comfort of the simple life in favor of the big messy. ~LARA (The Farmer's Wife)

You can see her blog here!

After she wrote it, I instantly thought of my dad. Of course he loves cars, motorcycles (has actually owned a couple before), four-wheelers, and snowmobiles. (probably his favorite) But he chose to put that stuff behind him, and look deeper. To seek God in a time that seemed impossible. I now have a little sister, that came home from the other side of the world.

It takes gut. A lot of it too. To stand up against what this world thinks is "important" or "needed". To go against other peoples' thoughts and remarks that can be so rude. To look to a God, who can do more than we can ever imagine... and say yes. Yes I want to follow you. Yes I want you to guide me. Yes I'm going to do what you want. Not what I want, or friends or other family want... But what You want me to do Lord.

He calls us to "Man up... Love and protect the fatherless".

And that is exactly what the best dad, and superhero of my life did.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

any guesses...?

Happy New Year!

Somethings Brewing...

Our Hearts...

 are being stirred

and tugged!

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6

We are sifting through it...

it feels intense, wonderful, hard, stretching, and so much more.

More to come

Any guesses what has us "all shook up" ?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

and two eyes made out of coal?

Despite fighting her first Winter cold, T headed out to play today.

With all the other kids back to school, she quickly occupied herself with a little snowman building.

I do have to say, she's persistent.

The snow is hardly sticky but with a bucket and lots of determination...

A snowman was made!

I handed over the sought after carrot nose,
T. found twigs from yesterday's disgarded Christmas tree for arms
And what else do you use for eyes...
Doggie Doo ... Yuck!

Hey, it's her snow creation - who am I to squelch such orginal thinking???

A+ for creativity!

Happy New Year,
Momma to some cool genius kids ;)