Thursday, December 31, 2009

We are Family!

We've tried for two months to get a decent picture with e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. looking at the camera, or at least in the same general direction. We're waiting till spring to take a professional picture. Of course, by then we'll have two more in braces...
So here it is, our official 2009 family picture.
We have one who is growing out his shaved head - with a Mohawk -; one who won't show his braces; one who thinks he's pretty stinkin' cool; two who are a.l.w.a.y.s. ready for the camera (PTL!); and three ya' just never know.
Yep, it's all good!
And today we're going to load up this Krew and drive to the airport to meet Dale and Tina who are bringing precious Alyssa home from Korea! We are so excited for them!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Special Friends

Yesterday, Chris & Tami and their A-Team blessed our family with a visit!
There was food, praise, thanksgiving, conversation (though not a single one was finished due to busy children needing our attention), testimony, dreaming...
But the Lord knows our hearts, and He continues to share His plans with us. We look forward to what He has in store. Thank you, Tami, for your friendship and for loving the Lord in such a crazy way that you will follow wherever He leads!

Last year I had the privilege of traveling to China with Tami to bring Abraham home. It was such a blessing to watch the transition and interaction between a Mama and the precious child God grew in her heart.
We are so blessed by the friends we've made over the years through the miracle of adoption. If I had my way, we'd all get together several times a year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This Book... waiting for me every morning!
And every morning I get to pick it up. This is the third year I have challenged myself to read the Bible through, cover to cover. Praise the Lord, in 2009, despite two weeks of displacement following the flood, a week of youth camp and three weeks in China, I have read the Bible cover to cover! I praise God that I have the freedom to read the Bible anywhere, anytime I choose. That's the deal, choosing to do so. It is my source of Truth, strength, discernment, encouragement, conviction...

And in my final reading today was a passage that the Lord gave me just three months ago as we were awaiting travel and in desperate need of God's provision:

'Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,' says the Lord Almighty, 'and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." Malachi 3:10

Monday, December 28, 2009

We Interrupt This Series To Bring You ...


Gotta love the pre-Christmas injuries that happen when you run and fall with a cup in your mouth.

Now we can figure out where we're going... right?

What are these? Oh yeah, movies, entertainment, lounge material. Yeah, right!

Wow, this kid's got an entire fleet of new trucks!

Don't ask!
We had a very laid-back Christmas. It was awesome! Praise the Lord our newest Treasures were home to celebrate.
On a side note, that's a LOT of stockings! Am I crazy to think that one of these years Santa will have done his job before I check in?!?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours~
May the center of our attention be on the Baby in the manger who later went to the cross for all of us!
Clayton, Connie, Kuyler, Kolton, Kooper, Kenzie, Kayden, Kambry, Kaeleb & Kinley

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"Why Wouldn't I?" by Peder Eide

Don't forget to turn off the sound at the bottom of the page and listen to this beautiful message!

Older Child Adoption, Part II

Every day I realize that God truly wants the glory for my son's raising! I'm reminded of my weaknesses and lack of qualification to transition a 13 year old from a life of 'running the orphanage' to thriving in a family. What's that cliche ~ if God brings ya' to it, He'll get ya' through it. But I don't want to just get through it; I want to excel! I want to meet the challenges head on! I want Him to grant me the strength, endurance and grace (oh, and joy) as I become the child He desires and the mom my son needs.

Of all the families, God chose us to parent our son, l.o.n.g. ago. We have found that we are suddenly teachers, which has never been a gift of mine (ask the kids). I have this mindset that people should be equipped with an inherent knowledge and ability to do things asked of them (nope, I'm not a teacher). That is a reflection on my inability to give clear instruction! And yet, I get to teach my son English, math, reading...and the really good stuff, Truth.

We had no idea what level of education our son had. The question everyone asked was, "Does he know English?" We were fighting so hard to get him home, we never considered the language issue, and in fact I boldly announced that 'the language of love will speak volumes.' To answer the question of whether he knew English: 'NO!'

In fact, our son's education is, at best, a 2nd grade level. See, somewhere along the way he might have been called a failure...or he was never challenged...or it was easier to let him do whatever he wanted...or all 3! In any case, he hasn't had any formal education for over 2 years, and we suspect 4. When we met him we asked what kind of student he was. The stammering and hem-hawing around should have been a good indication.

Our son seems to live by the philosophy that "if I don't try, I can't fail." Very sad. But we get to teach him that he can do anything he sets his mind to. We get to teach him that just because he can't catch a baseball the first time doesn't mean he's a failure. We got to teach him to ride a bike. We got to teach him to read his first book. We get to teach him about love. We get to teach him how to be a son, a little brother and a big brother.

And last night my 13-year-old son who's been home for 6 weeks asked if he could say the prayer at supper! God is so very good!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Older Child Adoption, Part I

I think this will be a continuing post and I will share my heart as I can formulate the words. As I see the Lord leading more and more families to adopt older children (and for purposes of this post, I'll define older child as those over the age of 2), I want to be an encouragement.

See, a year ago as we were deep into the paper process to be matched by our agency with a SN toddler under 24 months, I was that person who said, "I'm so glad the Lord calls folks to adopt older kids...but I could never do that."

Nope, I could never do that! Until the Lord slammed me with the truth in April that it's not at all about what I can do and all about what He can do! We knew clearly the Lord was confiding His plans to us. We were once again on the blessed journey of adoption, and yet in the end the path would look much different from the way we envisioned.


"Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" Luke 1:45

What has the Lord asked you/me to do? Do you/I believe His plans? Do you/I believe He will bring them to pass? Is it time to take action?

Checking the List

Nope, not the gift list...the organizational list. Am I the only person who uses hosted gatherings as a motivation to get things done?!? We're hosting Christmas Friday and Saturday and there are some things that have needed to be checked off (besides the kitchen walls). The boys' room has two sets of bunk beds (ugh!) and needed to be decluttered. I shudder every time I walk by that room!
The girls have been sleeping in toddler beds - actually Kambry always climbs into the same bed with Kayden (poor Kayden) and it was time for big girl beds.
So since we have nothing else to do (lol!) we tackled those jobs yesterday. Now, to touch up the paint in the boys' room, clean house, wrap gifts and plan the menu....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Fun 'N Games

Our first Gingerbread House! It sure was fun. I had pictures of the kids building it...who knows? Probably some person under the age of 4 got my camera and we no longer have pictures of the kids building the Gingerbread House.
While Christmas shopping yesterday I found this game. We love the Eye Spy books, and I thought it would be the perfect game for all of us - no words, only pictures. I'm not sure the game is worth the $15.50 I paid for it...but the experience of playing it as a family is priceless!
I really should be working, making Christmas cookies, working, planning our Christmas menu, working and doing laundry...maybe later :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

In Awe of Him

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe... Heb 12:28

Heavenly Father, thank you for reminding me that You are in control, You still perform miracles today and You are worthy of my worship - not because of the things You do, but because of WHO You are! Thank you for adopting me and reserving a place for me in Heaven. Father, thank You for not only giving me everlasting eternal life, but full and abundant life here and now through Jesus. Please help me to focus on the things of eternal value and cast aside those which are not. In Jesus' name, amen.

I stand in awe of the things God is doing! Not just in my life, but in the lives of His children around the world. Things which are impossible in our own strength; things which are beyond our resources; things which are drastically outside our comfort; things which defy logic and reason. That is the God we serve ~ to Him be the glory!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Is it the Weekend Yet?

Just in case you wanted to know... we did finish the kitchen! Well, my hubby did. I pretty much cleaned the surfaces, taped, painted trim, played zookeeper, made sure everyone had warm food and clean underwear (nothing new really). In less than 48 hours we stripped the wallpaper, primed and painted, including the trim. It turned out kind of purply. It's a base coat of lilac with a sponge-on of sweet currant. Kind of purply, and I can't get a good picture. I need to hang more stuff on the wall to offset the purplishness. I like the change. The jury's still out as to whether I like the color.
This week we've had Kayden's school Christmas program and our youth Christmas party. Yesterday April and I made candy and cookies like mad women in between school and whatever else goes on around here in a typical day. It was a great party with a TON of food!
And since there is no order to this post... I thought this might finally be the year I didn't do Christmas cards...and I just couldn't stand it, so I threw something together. And they remain in a tidy stack on my desk, unsigned, unaddressed, unstuffed....
Kuyler comes home for break this Friday, and we can't wait! All the kids are excited. Let's see, I have a bunkbed for him to assemble, some techy stuff to fix ....
Thank you to everyone who ordered candles! Everything has been shipped. I still have more candles if you're interested.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thank you!

Thank you, sweet friends, for your birthday wishes, cards, texts and calls! It's been the best birthday ever...but you have to check out the other site to see why :) :) :)

If 45 Is...

...having a Heavenly Father who loves me, in spite of ME;
having an amazing God-fearing husband who happens to be a super daddy;
having a church family, extended family and friends who may think I'm crazy but love me anyway;
being surrounded by eight kids from 2 to 21 who express their exuberance for life;
where that same Khaos is slightly less lively in public (I said slightly);
where each meal requires planning;
where my laundry room could stock a large second-hand store;
knowing every day will require more energy than I can imagine;
knowing my Father will provide exactly what I need;
having friends near and far who share God's heartbeat for the lost and the orphan and are His hands and feet in effecting change;
ever so slowly recognizing what's really important and letting go of what's not;
experiencing joy and peace in all of this...
Then I guess I'm there!
I don't know what 45 is supposed to feel like, but it feels pretty good to me.
Besides, I was 'reborn' eight and a half years how old does that really make me?!?
Thank You, LORD, for this day!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hold up, Wait a Minute...

Let all wallpaper stripping cease so...
Daddy can remove a piece of cereal from Kambry's naval ...
and two hours later Mommy can extract a barbie shoe from Kaeleb's nostril.
What's the deal? Do these kids conspire, "Hey, the folks are busy; let's see how many objects we can put where they don't belong."
(Is it wrong that I would've taken a picture except Kenzie has the camera today for the Revolve Tour ;-)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What Goes Up ... (revised)

...must come down!

Ick! Can you believe I'm doing this NOW? I don't even know what color we'll paint, but I know the next birthday pictures we take WON'T have this paper in the background ;-)

ADVICE NEEDED!!!! If you know a good way to remove wallpaper, please share with me! I don't want to texture this wall - I want a quick paint job and be done with it! So if you have any advice about painting without texture, I'll take that too. In case you couldn't tell, this stuff is NOT my forte! But my hubby is a man of many talents...ummmm, I'm sure there's lots of laundry to do, and bathrooms to clean, and dishes to wash, and meals to plan....
Around noonish:
7:30 p.m.:
We're nearly done here, folks - well, with the destruction anyway. Next step, taping.
Wallpaper is the enemy! Never, ever again will I use it...

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