Thursday, August 30, 2012

Allie Swimming!

Once again, a very determined little girl.  Barely two and already swimming on her own!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Off to first grade...

All day is a loonnnggg time away from his momma...


Not to be left out...


Allie missed it all...still in bed snoozing.
MUCH later that day... possibly the longer day ever.  Waiting for the bus to bring our Benny home!

He did it!!!  Only 179 more to go!  :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Soccer Sammy

Sammy's first soccer game!!!  He's so thrilled for it to finally be his turn to play after watching Ben all these years.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

First Grade Friends

We couldn't have planned it better ourselves.  Erin and I became best friends in first grade... all these years later we have sons who ended up in the same first grade class!!  The boys got to get acquainted with their new classroom!  School starts Monday!

Potty Time

I swear this girl 2 going on 12.  On Monday she decided she was done with diapers.  She has worn underwear since and has done beyond great.  Pees and poos on potty.  She has even stayed dry through naps.  Haven't tried night time yet; she sleeps a good 12-13 hours so not sure if she could do that or not.  She has peed on public toilets and acts like she has done this all her life.  She is very serious about her underwear and being a "big girl".  So strange to have a barely two year old potty trained...Boys were both 3.  We'll see if she keeps it up, but I doubt we are going back to diapers now!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Jen Hatmaker - The Truth About Adoption: One Year Later

I just read this amazing blog by another adoptive mom... she puts words to how many of us feeling going through the amazing process of adoption.

Jen Hatmaker - The Truth About Adoption: One Year Later

Monday, August 20, 2012

Kiss the Fish!

This was Allie's first time fishing... and she kissed a fish!  We meant it as a joke, but she is a wild woman and will try just about anything!

No kisses for Sam.

This is serious business for Ben.

One of my favorite pics.


Korean cuties

We got to celebrate pal Evie's birthday this weekend!  These girls are only about a month apart in age, and came home on the same flight from Korea!!

Going in for a kiss, but Allie shunned her at the last second!

Here are the 3 Korean cuties together!  Joel came home just a few months before the girls.  Evie and Joel were foster siblings in Korea!  Now all three of our families live close by and get together regularly.  We LOVE LOVE LOVE these families!


This weather is glorious.  Over the weekend we took a little hike thru the local woods and did some "creeking".  The kids discovered this creek was full of little salamander creatures and we found the biggest tadpole (it was enormous!). 

Post Red's Game

oh so tired....

Friday, August 17, 2012

It's a Date

It's a date night... boys are off to the Red's Game...

and Mommy and Allie are having a girl's night!  We shared a milkshake and went to feed the ducks at the lake!

Proud Gardeners

The proud gardeners.

Bigger pic of our little garden.

More Poo

It seems like everything revolves around poo in this house.  With three kids, 2 dogs and 2 cats, it's just an ongoing bodily function.  Yesterday one of our cats decided to poo in the family room, unbeknownst to us.  Allie discovered it first, picked up a handful and brought it to Jeremy.  Yes she did.  He of course flips out about why she has her hand full of poo... and has no idea where it came from.  But such is life, so he cleans her up and moves on.  A while later, the boys discover the same pile of poo (minus what Allie had grabbed).  Apparently when you are a 4 and 6 year old boy, finding poo is very exciting.  Their reaction was to get the camera, take pictures of it and run to show Daddy.  Poor Jeremy.  Alas, by the time I got home from the store, the poo was cleaned up, but all 3 kids were very excited to tell me all about it, and of course show me the pictures.  I could post them.  But I won't. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Best Laugh Ever

From one of our favorite movies... dare you not to laugh.

Money Pit laugh


Yesterday was such a beautiful day and the kids spent the morning playing outside.  I realized they were playing so quietly and so nicely that I should sit down and read my book for a while.  I was sitting in the house keeping an "ear" on them, they were right out back in the sandbox.  I was blissfully reflecting on how well they were playing together and loving that I had a moment to myself.  Then mommy-gut kicked in and I thought to check on them... and the bubble burst.  They were all dumping buckets of sand on their own heads.  How they didn't get it in their eyes I don't know.  I got them out and started stripping them down to come in and shower.  Got down to Allie's diaper, started to take it off and stuck my thumb in gooey poo.... it was up her back and all encrusted with sand.  Nice.  That's what I get for taking a moment!! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Break my Heart

It's easy to get so caught up in our daily lives. Occasionally it occurs to me that while Allie has found her forever home, there are MANY, MANY children who have not.  The Lord wants our hearts to break for the things that break His.  And thinking about all the orphans who are growing up without families TRULY breaks my heart.  I am dismayed to think of them growing up alone, many of them sick and malnourished. And most of all sad.  Sad, lonely and wondering why they don't have someone to love and care for them.  This is happening all over the world, in South Korea, China, Russia, Africa, everywhere including right here in the United States.  They are just little gems waiting to be discovered, to be held, rocked, fed and loved.

There are an estimated 147 million orphans in the world.  ONE HUNDRED FORTY-SEVEN MILLION.  Some estimates are much higher.

I don't know about you, but these numbers don't just break my heart.  They make me MAD.  FURIOUS.  And honestly frustrated with myself and our society.  We are so caught up in our world of technology, careers, social life and activities that we simply FORGET that these children exist.  Are they any less important than our own children? 

It's so much easier not to think about it, isn't it?  Because when I start to think about it, really think, it makes me want to DO SOMETHING.  And we must.  WE MUST.  First and foremost, these children deserve our prayers.  But they also deserve our action.  I get frustrated when I catch myself and others saying that we can't afford to help.  Yet many of us have Ipads,smart phones, new cars, pool memberships, kids in private schools... we have so much to give.  We have so much to share.  Why are we so selfish? 

I'm speaking of myself as well. Just because we adopted Allie, doesn't mean that we are done doing our part.    I pray for our hearts to soften and our minds to open.   I pray for us to pray and act BOLDLY.   We all have our own worries and hardships, but overall we are so LUCKY and BLESSED.   I believe that God is waiting for us!  Waiting for us to hear His call and follow us wherever He leads.  For us to be more open, more giving, more loving.  To make sacrifices for the good of others.  It's different for everyone, but I would guess that He wants more of us to answer the call to adopt when only a small fraction of the orphans out there are adopted.

Once you make that leap to live life more boldly and get involved, you will get back what you've given a thousand fold.  I know that from experience from my little lady who sleeps down the hall.  It is the BEST thing we've ever done for our family.  I wish that for you and your family.  Is God calling you to adopt?

Everyone can do SOMETHING.  Pray.  Advocate.  Donate.  Give.  Sponsor.  Foster.  Adopt.  SPEAK of these children.  Let them into our hearts.  Let our hearts break for them and then be led to act.

"I will not leave you as orphans.  I will come to you."  John 14:18

This video says it better than I do.  Please watch:

Love the Orphans video.  Click here.

A-farming we will go

Last weekend we went to a dairy farm... got to see cows, feed goats... but mostly we did non-farm things there.  Kids played putt-putt, jumped in a bounce house, rode a little train around the farm... and had homemade ice cream.  Yum!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Cutest Little Heads

The other morning I found the boys sitting side-by-side watching a humming bird visit our flowers outside.  I was struck by how similar their little heads are, and how adorable.  They were in deep observation and discussion about the bird.  Love these little moments.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mommy/Daughter Pedicure

Family Tradition

Jeremy and I began going to see the band Chicago in college, often going with my dad.  We've gone nearly every summer since, sometimes twice a summer! This year we took the boys with us for the first time...something we've looked forward to for a very long time.  They loved hanging out on the lawn at Riverbend and enjoying a night of some of our favorite music.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Officially Official

Last week we had Allie's appointment with Homeland Security to receive her Certificate of Citizenship.  This is proof that she is an American citizen.  We had to go downtown for an "interview", upon which we were granted her certificate and her little American flag.  She's now officially official!

These Days

Lovin' to read.

Brown-eyed boy.

Our summer morning ritual-heading outside on the back deck to paint!

Campout in the basement--too hot outside!

Nothin' better than a day on the lake in Grandpa's boat...

and Daddy's waverunner.

Ready, set, go!

4th of July

Allie's 1st Boat Ride!!!



Not to miss out on any of the fun.

Grandpa and Allie

Pool days.

I don't know where July has gone, but sure enough, here we are in August already.  July was a whirlwind of family time.  We've made an extra effort this summer to spend as much time together as possible as a family.  Soon Ben will be going to school all day (much to my dismay) and our family life will be forever changed.  We're trying to fill these summer days doing what's most important to us.  Time on the boat, time with cousins and close friends.  Time at home to just BE.   Here are some favorite pics.

Speaking of family time, we are adjusting to a new work schedule for Jeremy.  He has boldly chosen to move to a new group at work.  It's not a glamorous move, but one that we have been hoping and praying for.  After 13 years of working Saturdays and late nights, he's now home for dinner every night and working no weekends.  Praise the Lord.  I'm so proud of my husband for making a choice based on what's best for our family.  He's a family-aholic rather than a work-aholic!!!  I'm so thankful for this man and we are SO excited to have so much more family time together.  And I'm so thankful the Lord has provided us this opportunity for however long He sees fit.