Sunday, April 29, 2012



playing baseball with a sting ray bat and a tea cup for a ball

loads of fun

sweet snugly children having movie night

mom finally making it back to the fields to watch the kiddos play

and brotherly love-safety first around here-always wear your helmet when playing Mario brothers

They make up for days like last Thursday when I told the kids "I quit" and went to lay down in my bed after a particularly trying morning of school.  I then told them they could "do whatever they wanted" (I know you're all super impressed with my parenting skills now) while I checked out for a few moments.

They all congregated in the girls' room to formulate a plan of action.  I could here every word and was quit amused to here them going back and forth about choosing the right path (girls mostly) and all the good things they should do.  Colton immediately ran to the freezer and chowed down on an ice cream sandwich.  When the kids scolded him, he said, "mom said we could do whatever we wanted." He knew exactly what he wanted--so he did it (interesting how he obeys when I tell him he can do whatever he wants).

I finally recovered myself.  Lectured them at length about how lucky they are to have books and pencils and paper and the opportunity to learn......yada yada yada.........and we returned to the three Rs as usual.

Lesson of the day: 
even moms throw temper tantrums every now and then
 tantrums look as ridiculous at age 33 as they do at age 3
Colton's the only one in the house who knows exactly what he wants

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Guest Posting Again

My friends at "Getting Through the Day" asked me to guest post again. It's actually a post I wrote a while back about our "rocking time" and other ways we keep the troops in order.  Since I'm still recovering, I'm not able to rock or really even cook right now, so we switched it up a little to keep the kids feeling special.  For the time being, we are letting the child of the day stay up a little late with us so they can have a special time of book reading, a game of checkers, a yummy snack or just time to talk.  It's working out pretty nicely.

Head on over if you want to take another peek.

Monday, April 23, 2012

First Timer

For the past two years or so, I've followed the blog A Place Called Simplicity.  It has been such an inspiration to me to watch God move in the life of this family over this time.  Even cooler, is watching them totally surrender to his call to care for the orphans. In their 50's, most people are settling in for retirement and grand kids.  They have grand kids alright, but they certainly are not slowing down.  In fact, they have just brought a very special baby girl home (their 11th child) to their family and launched a non-profit (International Voice of the Orphan) to continue their mission.

Every week, Linny hosts "Memorial Box Monday" where she tells some pretty amazing stories of God's miraculous faithfulness.  When I first started reading, I couldn't believe how clearly God was moving in this family's life.  I began to realize that the reason they heard from God so frequently was because they knew him so personally and spent a lot of time with him.  They also expected to hear from him and had learned to listen for his voice.

So often, we miss the miracles that God performs every day in our own lives.  Linny challenges us to remember each week by participating in Memorial Box Monday.

So, this week is a first for me.  With so many obvious miracles going on around me,
 I just had to join in the fun.

Earlier last month, I began having shoulder pain that eventually spread down my right arm and became so severe that I ended up in the emergency room late one night.  After a series of tests and an MRI, the doctors discovered the problem.  My spinal disk between two of my vertebrae had herniated and was completely compressing my spinal cord and all of the nerves in the area that controlled sensations in my shoulder and arm.  Hence the severe and unrelenting arm and shoulder pain.

When the results were read, it just so happened that one of the best neurosurgeons in our area was on call, he just happened to have a surgery opening that very afternoon at the hospital I was at and I was able to have a disk replacement and spinal fusion within 18 hours of arriving to the ER.

Now, the timing of this surgery was impressive for more than one reason.  This surgery requires that I be on bed rest, with a neck brace on, unable to drive, bend over, look down or lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk for at least a month.  They had heard me when I said I had six kids right?  When do I ever have time to take a cat nap, let alone be on bed rest?

Well, God had that all figured out too.  Conveniently, the next week just happened to be my spring break-I was already off work.  My mom and husband just happened to have the whole week off too, so I had tons of help(of course we were supposed to go to the Keys, so that was kind of a bust, but...).  It gets better.  Nick's mom had the following week off for her spring break and had already planned on coming for a visit (ended up being more like slave labor than a vacation for her :-).  And, by the time I got home, my wonderful friends (many of whom had already jumped in to help with the kids, grocery shopping, laundry....) had arranged for over a month's worth of delicious meals to be delivered every single night!

And, all the while God was working behind the scenes funding our adoption through our $7 for our 7th Fundraiser (click link to follow our progress and watch God work).  He'd already moved in amazing ways, raising over $3400 in the first week of the fundraiser.  Over the past month that I've been recovering that amount has nearly doubled to $6726.08!!!  We're getting closer to reaching our goal each day!

Just so awesome to look back at all the blessings that have been bestowed on us!

How about you?  Head on over to A Place Called Simplicity to share your own miracles.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

He Carries Us

I made it back to church today--what a great message!

We learning from the book of Judges.  The central theme is the Israelite's cyclical return to idol worship instead of reliance and undivided worship of the Lord.

It seems crazy that a people who had been delivered out of slavery and into the promise land would stray from their deliverer, but that just what happened.


This is the part that really hit home.

The answer....


Oh, such a theme in our culture today.  And I'm guilty as anyone of thinking I've got this and at times trying to live my life on my own strength.

So here's the story:

God blesses his people......they prosper.....their prosperity leads them to want  MORE, more than they want God....dependency on the MORE and getting MORE (more stuff, more security, more achievements, more promotions.....)....leads to idol worship of the more...and results in distance from God. 

We've seen this illustrated so clearly on our trips to Ethiopia.  The contrast of our American lives compared to the people there is stark.  How is it that people who have virtually nothing (at least by our standards) have everything in the Lord-joy, hope, peace, trust....

It's their dependency--solely on the Lord and their thanksgiving and acknowledgement 
of the giver of all good gifts. 

It's not as if we consciously make the decision to rely on ourselves and distance ourselves from God.  It is a slow progression.  We get a little more comfortable, work hard, have some success and before you know it, God is just an after thought-something we do on Sundays, with very little dependence on Him and we begin to think we have it all together.

Interestingly enough, it is when things get rocky that we find ourselves running back, just as the Israelites did.  Judges 6:6 states that after the Israelites had been oppressed for seven years by the Midianites that "Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the LORD for help.

These were God's chosen people, set apart to change the world.  To be different.  And they struggled--just as we do today.  And they cried out.....

...and the Lord answered them.  He sent an angel of the Lord to Gideon (not the strongest of fellows) and with this greeting, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior." Judges 6:12 the angel tells Gideon how he plans to use him to set the Israelites free. Knowing Gideon would have reservations, the message given is:

The Lord is with you.

And this is one of my favorite verses from this passage.  After telling the Lord of his shortcomings and inadequacies regarding the task Gideon had been called to,The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”  Judges 6:14

As we've run up against trial after trial these past few months, it's so reassuring to know that "the Lord is with us."

Somedays, when we look at the great task the Lord has already called us to in raising our six children for him, the doubts start to creep in.  Will we be able to raise another child well?  Will we be able to come up with all the money we need for this last adoption? Will we be enough?  

The answer is of course a resounding NO.  WE are never enough--
but Christ in us most certainly IS.

The Lord is with us. 

And most reassuring of all is knowing the one who has sent us on this journey of life.  Just as the Lord asked Gideon, "Am I not sending you?"  We know that the Lord has sent us to be the parents of our six children and  is sending us once more to bring our son home.

If He's the sender, that means we're never alone....may we remember who we should put our dependency, hope, trust, and energy in.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.  Psalm 143:8

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

On Our Way

What a great weekend we had. So many friends and family members have stepped up to spread the word of our $7 for our 7th fundraiser that we've made it well past the $6000 mark and we're now at almost $6400!!!

We'd love to make it to $7000 this week.

One person really can make the difference. Last week we had two friends pass our link on and we raised hundreds just because those two people shared our story!

Just $616 to go to meet our goal this week of making it to $7000

Pass it on :-)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

On The Edge Of Our Seats

So we've been at the top of the waiting list for a baby boy for almost 8 weeks now and while we've certainly been busy around here, the thought that "maybe today will be the day" is never far from our minds.

We never really waited with our other adoptions because our girls were all waiting for us on the waiting child list. So this feeling of anticipation for our child to be revealed is a new one.

I am thankful that I have not been anxious during this waiting period. I know we will see our baby's sweet face all in God's time (but surely that time has got to be coming soon :-)

It's easy to see why it didn't happen sooner. Had we received a referral a couple of month ago, I wouldn't have been able to travel because of my neck surgery and recovery.

I certainly couldn't hold our baby (can't lift anything over 5 lbs for a few more weeks still) or endure 24 hours of travel right now. God knew that and so he's used this time to prepare our heart and increase our trust and hope in him.

We know that there is a precious little one waiting for us and when the time is right, we will be introduced.

For the revelation awaits the appointed time,
it speaks of the end and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
It will certainly come and will not delay.

Habakkuk 2:3

I'm so excited for the day that God completes our family with the precious gift of our little son.

Friday, April 13, 2012

One Day Early

We made it to $6017 today-one day early of our goal!!!


We have been so blessed by so many.

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Phillipians 4:19

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Feeling Lucky

We are feeling so lucky to have the family and friends that we do. They have all been so helpful since my surgery. Our friends set up meals to be delivered to us every day for a month!! We've been so blessed by the many delicious dinners (and even breakfasts and lunches) that so many have generously provided.

some friends get pretty creative :-)

We've also had an out pouring of offers to take our kids for a few hours of fun.
Here they are at a pool party.

All the while, they have continued to support our adoption by giving and sharing our

We are VERY close to reaching $6000

a goal we hope to make by the end of the week

Just about $300 left to make it there!!!

You can be a part of bringing one more orphan to his family
by giving $7 today and sharing our link through facebook, emails, blogs....

or click on the icon at the top left hand side of my blog.

Together, we're making ONE LESS!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

We're Getting There

Almost $100 raised this week!

We officially have all the money we need to accept a referral whenever it comes (hopefully any day now) and are working on the funds needed to actually fly over and meet our boy.

Just $453 left to meet our goal this week
of making it to $6000.

Thanks so much to all who have donated
and passed our fundraising link on to others!

Help us reach our goal by giving $7 and sharing our link.

Every little bit really makes a difference.

The further it goes, the more our fund grows

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Couldn't Miss It

While I've been missing out on most of life lately, there were two things this weekend that I just couldn't miss.

The first was seeing our friends Clay and Neely bring their sweet daughter Ada home from Ethiopia.

Ada is just the prettiest baby. None of my pictures turned out very well, but she's got the cutest smile and the best little personality. I know she will be an absolute joy to her new family. So excited to have her here to join the rest of the kiddos that have come home from Ethiopia. It is such a blessing to see friend after friend decide to take the leap and follow God's call to bring these children into their families. I love airport home comings!

The second thing I just couldn't miss was church this morning to celebrate Easter.

First, the kids got to see their Easter treats. I always go practical, so they got new color coded bath towels and wash cloths along with new bathing suits. Nick, my mom and mother-in-law did all the shopping for me and my mom filled the baskets. I love seeing six of anything and feel so blessed to have a house filled with children.

We even made the first purchase for our new baby boy in his signature color of red-so exciting for me to see a seventh set of towels-makes it all seem a little more real that one day relatively soon we'll have our last little
baby home.

Then it was off to church.
I've missed going to church so much these past few weeks.
Makes me feel disconnected.

This week was an awesome celebration of Christ's
redemptive love for us and the hope found in Jesus.

These scriptures stood out to me in light of recent events our family has experienced:

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 1:7
And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

took my neck brace off for the family photo :-)
Thankful for the joy and peace that we have found as we trust and find our HOPE in the Lord!

Happy Easter

Saturday, April 7, 2012

I Missed It

I took this picture of my boys today heading out for their games. I had to stay home as car rides are still difficult as is sitting for 5 hours at the baseball field. I just knew I'd be missing some great plays.

Sure enough, shortly after Caleb's game started, I got a call that he had just hit a home run! So happy for him and totally bummed that I missed it.

Thankfully, Nick caught the home run on video!

Last time the kids played, Rahel and the boys all had games at the same time. I had gone to the baseball field that week because I'd been at the soccer field for her games all of the previous weeks. Wouldn't you know she scored her first goal EVER and I missed that too. Thankfully, my dad was there to cheer her on.

It's bound to happen with so many kids playing different sports. We are so proud of all of them for playing hard and doing their best.

Here's to many more years filled with fun memories!

Double Time

We've had both Gee Gees (aka. grandmothers) around this past week to help with the house and kids and boy are we grateful. Nick's mom came down and has spent her entire spring break keeping our house in order and taking care of the kids. She and my mom have kept my laundry baskets empty, floors swept, bathrooms clean, and kids entertained all while I rest and heal from this surgery.

As I've watched them scurry around to keep up with the mess and meals, I was able to see why my house is never as clean as I'd like and my laundry in NEVER all the way done and why I always feel like I'm chasing my tail--it takes two full timers to keep up with it all.

These two are so efficient that Nick wore a t-shirt one day and it was folded an in the drawer the next (let me just say that NEVER happens around here either).

While it feels kind of strange for me to sit around while everyone else takes care of my family, we are so thankful to have the help.

They even took care of carrying on our family tradition of egg coloring. We don't celebrate the Easter bunny in our house, but I've always enjoyed coloring eggs. It's just fun.

So, they got out the eggs and the dye and went to town.

This was of course Rahel's first egg coloring experience and being very artistic and creative, she loved it.

Job well done!

Thanks Gee Gees for all the help!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Yeah!!! We Made It!

In just one day, we crossed the $5000 mark!


has been donated so far to help bring our baby boy home!!!!

What a blessing! Now we are on the downward slop of this fundraising campaign.

We appreciate everyone who has donated and shared so much.

You can give your $7 by clicking on the icon at the top left side of my blog or visiting our fundraising site at and don't forget to share our link :-)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Almost Half Way!


That's how much we've raised so far through our $7 for our 7th fundraiser!!!

We feel so blessed by the generosity of so many.

Thanks so much to all who have shared our link

and to those who have donated.

Praying we'll make it to the half way point by the end of this week.

If you'd like to help us reach that goal by giving your $7, click here
and remember to pass it on by sharing our link

the fundraiser only works if it spreads beyond our circle of friends.

Thanks again!!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

While I Was Sleeping

One week down, three to go. I've been on bed rest for over a week now. As I drifted in and out of sleep, my family kept on moving thanks to the help of my family (especially my mom-so thankful she is close) and so many friends and neighbors. We couldn't have made it otherwise.

During this time of recovery, the trials of life seem to be unrelenting. Wednesday night, our ten year old first "baby" Lexi stared having trouble walking and was crying out in pain. The next day, Nick loaded her up (literally had to carry her out) to go to the vet. This picture was taken "just in case" she didn't make it home.

Praise-she pulled through and $650 later was back at home on muscle relaxers and pain meds.
Diagnosis???? You won't believe this, but they think she may have a slipped disk--just like me.

Are you kidding me? The only way to know for sure is for her to have an MRI-a $2000 procedure followed by a $3000 surgery to repair the disk. Well, she must have overheard Nick tell the vet that we just couldn't do that because she perked right up and seems to be doing ok now on the medications that they sent her home on. She probably is nearing the end of her life, but I'm just glad she got to come home for now--just don't want to have to deal with losing our dog right now.

welcome home Lexi

Nick has been keeping kids busy. He took the boys fishing while the girls went swimming with friends earlier this week and then took the girls to a local indoor bounce place and then the boys out to a major league game on Friday.

The boys LOVED it. Colton came home singing "Take me out to the ballgame." It was so cute!

My friend came over to bring us dinner and braided hair while she was here.
My "twins"
My mom has been organizing and weeding through the girls' drawers--a big help.
Rahel had her first Easter egg hunt at our neighbor's house Saturday.

And then, just because we haven't had enough things going wrong around here, our refrigerator decided to go out last night.

Praise--just like always God provided-our neighbor happens to repair appliances for a living and was able to defrost everything and get it working again.

Here I am with Caroline sporting my cool neck brace (she's wearing my shower brace). Attractive right???? I know you all want one.

I know that our family is under attack and that the enemy would like nothing more than for us to cave under all the trials that we've experienced lately. But we just aren't going to do that. I'm encouraged to know that we are not alone in this battle, but fighting it with the One that is victorious. So, we press on--striving to raise our kids up as arrows in the hands of the mighty warrior and continuing to work hard to bring our newest little arrow home-all for the Lords' glory.

My neighbor gave me a card with the scripture below. Just what I needed to refocus. Such an encouraging message.

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.

Ephesians 6:10-13

Please feel free to share any scripture that you've found helpful-we need all the ammunition we can get.

And please be a part of making one less orphan in the world by donating $7 and passing on our link

Colton Shooting a Bird

April Fools!!!!

Just checking out a butterfly that got stuck to his sticky little fingers.