31 October 2010

Guess where we went this weekend

Maybe you can tell by this photo:

My kids were very excited to see and hear this coming around the corner:

Before the kids climbed in the combine and tractor, I was able to catch a few pictures

I can’t help but look at this picture and imagine it being his senior picture.

My sweet son... well, most of the time he's sweet.

my oh, so photogenic one. To give her a little credit, she had a nasty rash, a shot of benadryl and we were missing her nap time.
Bethany and her grandma being silly.

After Dan unloaded the grain cart into the semi, he quickly explained a few things to Eunice, who was also getting her first ride in a combine.

Then it was time for the kids to get in the combine. MaryAnn tried to get Scott to ride in the tractor with her be he assured her that he preferred the combine.

After a while, it was Judah’s turn to get in the combine. Bethany climbed out of the combine and into the tractor with her buddy MaryAnn (and me)

It becomes a little crowded in a combine with two adults and two children. Likewise, it becomes a little crowded in a tractor with two adults and one child. I’m really, really thankful for the Donlons taking time out of their busy harvest schedule to let us invade their lives for a few hours!

And just to show you again, getting a good picture of all 3 kids is about impossible:

Test run for tonight

I knew it wasn’t a wise idea, but I also knew it wasn’t a bad idea so after baths on Monday night, the kids got to put their costumes on. Here’s a little bit of what we encountered:

From this brief experience, I learned or recalled a few things:
1.Sizes on the package can be horribly inaccurate (aka no, these aren’t last years costumes for the two older kids).
2. A couple dollars spent can be LOADS of fun.
3. I’m so glad I’m not a single parent!

Tonight, we do it all over again. Hopefully having worn their costumes once already will limit the controlled chaos. As we stop by a few friends’ homes, I hope that my little toy story characters bring joy to a few friendly faces.

28 October 2010

more on the weather

I just looked outside.  It's a blamy 61 degrees.  It's beautiful outside... perfect weather for having company and hanging out. 
Oh, wait, that just made me think of Shonda's comment from yesterday.  Shonda, it would be a perfect time for you to come visit.  You guys should jump in the big 'ol van and come on up next weekend to visit.  I promise not to take you stompin' through poop this time.  Instead we can check out the fall leaves (there surely wasn't enough wind yesterday to knock any off) at Pike's Peak State Park, take a ride in the combine and enjoy a little bit of farm life.  This time, I even have amazing water pressure so rest assured your shower will be better! 
And by the way, don't look at www.weather.com or you'll know I'm completely lying about today's weather.  Next week's is supposed to be nice though :)


27 October 2010


With this (almost) record low barometric pressure combined with the wind, if we were nearby the ocean, we would be in the midst of a hurricane.  I'm so thankful that I'm not near the ocean.  This wind is bad enough... and then I walked out to take the kids to AWANA and it was 39 degrees out.  Seriously.  Cold and windy?!?!  This is not fun!

26 October 2010

Zone Defense

When going from two to three kids, you go from man-on-man to zone defense.

It's true.

Last night I was talking to various people at a church social activity. The conversations were intersting. One woman in her 70's was stunned that I was still working and told me that I should consider quality over quantity in regards to considering adopting again. I gently told her that I was considering life versus starvation but that I do realize quality time is important. This wasn't the "zone defense" conversation but it was a conversation I won't soon forget - remember my last post about sitting in the midst of a church body who doesn't get it?

Back to the zone defense topic. Yes, I know, I'm easily distracted.

A few friends who's kids are college age asked me how about feeling overwhelmed going from two to three kids. This is when I gave the little move to zone defense chat. Judah is easy for the most part. Scott and Bethany are mostly well behaved. They're not perfect, we all know that. They don't behave perfectly and for those who think they do, those people need to spend more time with us! The hardest part about going from two to three is not having enough hands when in a parking lot. Thankfully Wallyworld makes carts that hold three kids - that is my saving grace (and I'm still a little nutty by time I leave) when I grocery shop!

This morning got me thinking a little more about this idea of zone defense and how we train and discipline our kids.

Ryan came in this morning and shared with me that he knew why "such-and-such" friends never have us keep their kids. So of course I asked why. Their reason was that we discipline differently than they do. They were concerned that we'd discipline their kids the same way. Really? That's a valid concern but sad that it took this long to be communicated. We've kept multiple other kids at our house. Some well behaved and some not. We run a certain kind of zone defense for our young team. Training and discipline look a little different for each of our three kids. We wouldn't and haven't disciplined other people's children. When little A was at our house and bit my daughter, I pulled her aside, talked to her about her action and set her in timeout for a minute. That is not exactly how I would have disciplined Bethany if she'd been the biter. So, I'm hoping that this conversation will be just that - a conversation and no longer a big pink elephant in the room.

I'll run my team in a manner that teaches and trains them to be thoroughly equipped for the future. That may mean they are disciplined differently. That may mean we don't let them attend children's church so they can learn to listen to the Pastor. That's my team. I don't expect others to run their team the same way.

21 October 2010

Overwhelming Thoughts

Today I read several different things about orphans. And today it has rocked my world a little more than normal. Maybe that's because it's that time of the month. Maybe it's because God continues to bid me venture out of my comfort zone. But today, my thoughts are overwhelming.

Did you know that the bible calls the church to care for the orphans yet there is said to be twice as many churches in America as there are orphans.

I read about the wake-up that is occuring in some churches - one small town of 300 has adopted 130 children. Local churches in Colorado are working to reduce the number of kids in the system to zero. I think those efforts are amazing. But then I struggle as I sit in judgement on my own church family. What are we doing? I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they're supporting the oppressed and the orphans financially. Maybe they're praying for those orphans. All I know is that I see a church full of people and children and only one of them is adopted. Am I really wanting to pass judgement? No! Am I wanting to know how to encourage them to open their eyes to the need both locally and internationally? Yes.

This was one post I read today that grabbed at my heart:
http://www.owlhaven.net/2010/10/07/james-127-and-the-church/. I love how the speaker talked about Pharoah's daughter: maybe she knew what her dad was doing and went to save one of the babies in the basket. And since I can't manage to spit out what I want to say, I'm just going to copy Mary's text below so you can read her post in part:

And then, after telling his story, Robert Gelinas had a question for us: How do you live in America, a country with a half a million children in foster care, and not do something?

He said, maybe Pharaoh’s daughter didn’t just go to the Nile for a bath? Maybe she knew what her daddy was doing to all those boy babies. Maybe she went to save one. Maybe she wanted her life to make a difference. She couldn’t save all the baskets floating by. But she could save one.

These days baskets are still going down the river in the U.S. foster care system. Most of them are safe for now. But they’re floating down the river, growing up, 19,000 of them aging out of the system every year without ever getting chosen by someone. Without ever having a family to call their own.

We the Church are letting those baskets go right on by. Psalm 68 says God is the Father to the fatherless, placing the lonely into families. He claims them all.

If He is the father to the fatherless, who is His bride?

The church is. We are. We are to be the mothers of these children. We can’t let those baskets keep going by us. If only the church would come together.

God has been waking up the body of Christ. Churches all over are getting more serious about caring for orphans. Possom Trot, TX is a town of 300. Pastor Martin’s wife said there are kids in foster care. We should do something about it. He said, we can’t. She said, I know we ‘can’t’ but it’s the right thing to do. He knew she was right and he told the need to his church. There are fifty families in his whole church and they took the message to heart. In that little church they adopted and fostered 130 kids.

The bride of Christ is waking up.

Six years ago Robert Gelinas took a challenge to the 1500 churches in the Denver area. At that time there were 875 kids legally free to be adopted in the Colorado foster care system. He challenged the Denver churches to commit to adopt 10% of those kids. So began Project 1:27.

Money should never get in the way of getting families for kids. When we say we can’t afford adoption, we’re saying the Father won’t provide for the fatherless, that He’s a deadbeat dad. Untrue. Our daddy is a really good daddy.

Project 1:27 set out to find families for orphans. Families would pay no more than the $50 it cost to fill out the application. For every one family willing to adopt, 3-5 other families were needed to come around that family and help out.

Right away amazing things began to happen. One man said he couldn’t adopt, but he pledged to buy bunk beds for every family that did. Another man finished basements at cost. Another person started college funds. You see, not everyone can adopt. But everyone can help. Everyone can be part of the solution. That is the body of Christ in action.

Since 1:27 started, 136 children have been adopted. 71 children have been placed in families working towards finalization. There are currently 163 more families lined up applying to be part of this program.

The number of kids in foster care in Colorado right now? 365.

The eventual goal? Zero.

They are well on their way.

20 October 2010


a note from hubby that made my day:


We have constant pressure water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Things to note.


Old well 77'

New well 85'


Water is safe to drink but it should be left in the lines for as long as possible (I'll explain later)

Run the hydrate outside for 20min three times a day for the rest of the week.

No good laundry for the rest of the week because of chlorine in the water (good thing hubby did laundry yesterday).  I'm guessing whites would be okay.

Fishing at the Donlon's

Mmm, I love me some old fashioned fun of fishing in a farm pond!

And I love this picture of my studly husband carrying a picnic bag on his shoulder and leading his little flock down to the fishing pond. He's yummy!

And this is Dan. I work with Dan and his wife on occassion at the office. He's told me that I can bring the kids out fishing in the pond any time. I finally took them up on that offer. Here's Dan getting ready to fish. How long do you think he'll do that before he's distracted by my three little ones???

My little fisherman with a smile on his face. The smile didn't stick around long when it got dark and he hadn't caught anything...

Meanwhile, his little sister who didn't even care much about fishing had caught TWO and had both D&M helping her out as she screamed with excitement.
And here's my youngest little fisherman. He doesn't quite have it down yet. Which is why he can be found most evenings practicing casting his line with Scott's old Mickey Mouse pole. He'll understand the concept soon. Until then he'll keep smiling and giggling and I'll keep untangling.

We had a great time at D&M's fishing with them. It's nice to have neighborly people who take time to do the simple things. Their willingness to take time away from harvest (which was yesterday's post) to entertain a busy little family like ours is much appreciated. Next time D&M, we'll try to plan a little better so we can have more time to fish while it's light out.
For those of you wishing you had these beautiful views and great fishing time, buy a license online at http://www.takemefishing.org/. You can even buy them as a gift for someone else since Christmas is coming up...
*this is a website wednesday link in case you wanted to know :)

19 October 2010

Harvest Time Fun

Friday night my phone rang and shortly after that we were on our way out to the farm to ride with the Donlon's in the combine. Pictures were tough to capture because it got dark quickly and it was dusty, but there are a few worth sharing.

We started out with Scott and me with Dan in his 4 day old combine. It was lots of fun learning a little about the process of harvesting corn. I had prepared Scott with some questions to ask Dan but Scott came up with his own questions. He even became an extra set of eyes for Dan while he was "unloading on the go" into the grain cart. It was cute to watch him interact with Dan. Meanwhile, Judah was riding with MaryAnn in the tractor pulling the grain cart below:

Eventually, we switched it up. Judah took the captains chair for a brief moment before letting Dan get back to work. Judah wasn't as enthused about the combine but then again it was dark out and about time for Judah to snooze.

Scott didn't have much fun riding in the grain cart. My well mannered child would have never told MaryAnn that "this is boring". Nope, not my son. Okay, maybe so. About that time, the hopper on the combine was full and Dan was ready to dump into the semi. We did just that and the boys were super excited to ride in the semi (aka wrestle in the sleeper) back to the house.

Thank you Dan and MaryAnn for showing us a little bit of what life as a farmer in rural Iowa is all about. We are greatful that you were willing to be inconvenienced, and maybe entertained, for a few hours while you put up with us.

Coming up tomorrow (cause I pre-wrote this one)... fishing trip out to D&M's farm pond!

18 October 2010

Well, it's all done. As of Thursday night, we had a well at 115' deep capped and done. This week they'll get it plumbed in. But for now, I wanted to share a little more about this project.

The well water has been a problem since Ryan and I got married. Filling the livestock water tank for the horse Ryan bought me right after we got married was the first time I remember the well running dry. Apparently the well was fine for one single guy but you add a woman and a horse, and the water didn't run so freely. You can imagine that adding a few children to the house, has added to our water usage.

With ongoing water issues in our home, we knew that our well was needing replaced. But it still ran clean, cold, fresh water. It just didn't always run water when I wanted it to. We decided that adoption was more important to us than a well and so we pursued an Ethiopian adoption instead. During the homestudy process, we learned that our water was slightly high in bacterial counts. Our water softener supplier (and friend) wasn't surprised. After all, it's the original well that went with the almost century old home. Thanks to state of Iowa requirements, our well water was tested. It was our state requirements that also made us put a UV filter on our water coming into the house even though we drink bottled water.

We brought Judah home in May and our family of 5 was all drinking clean, bacteria free, water. At this point, the well was more and more of an annoyance for me. You can say that I'm a snob about it but I think I put up with way more than most women would with our lack of water pressure. It was one thing to not have much pressure upstairs (3 stories above the well), it was another thing to not have water pressure on the main floor, or to lose pressure at the kitchen sink if someone flushed a toilet.

Over the 4th of July we had friends visiting and our water pressure was horrible. In fact, I was embarrassed about it. I tried to make light of the situation by saying it was an old house and didn't have great pressure. But something was seriously wrong. I dreaded each morning that I had to shower under the trickle of water that came out of the pipe. At least I didn't have long hair, right? Finally I'd had enough and was tired of casually mentioning this issue to my husband (who shaves his head and has no idea what it's like to shampoo and condition hair under trickle water). I demanded that it get fixed. Amazingly that night, it was all better and the next morning I had a full pressure shower. A-maz-ing! Too bad we couldn't have it that way when we had company I thought. I liked the new water pressure.

Only I learned that this was a band-aid sorta fix. See, our well was degrading and pulling dirt into it. The dirt was clogging our expensive but much needed UV filter. When Ryan replaced the $30 filter, water flowed again. With the degrading well, it was only a matter of time before the filter was clogged again. So let's recap: in February, the filter was installed. By June it was clogged. In July it was replaced, and by August sometime clogged again. Seriously we don't have $30 a month to replace this thing. Plus we knew it was a band-aid approach anyway. So, we began talking about wells. Gulp. They're expensive. Ryan said he didn't want to replace the filter until we got the new well. I was getting tired of trickling water and wanting the filter changed. Ryan was smart and loving and began getting bids for a new well.

Thankfully the last several months, we kept putting away all extra money to reimburse our emergency and savings funds that we'd emptied to complete an adoption (which officially isn't done, by the way). Now, with bid folders sitting around the house, we began comparing bids to the money in our emergency fund. I began spending with more purpose in mind. We were staring at three issues:
1. we needed a new well.
2. we didn't have the money for a new well.
3. we don't agree with taking on debt.

Great, those three things don't go well together. Fortunately, we weren't hopeless. We were looking at two bids:
1. Hit water at 120' like the neighbors 1/4 mile to the north = $9,000 bill
2. Hit water at 500' like the neighbors 1/4 to the South = $19,000 bill.
Like I already said, we didn't have the money to cover bid #1 but we weren't hopeless either. Thankfully we had not done a flex-spending reimbursement for months. So, we took care of that and came up with some more money. Plus another few paychecks came in which gave some more money. We also began praying that God would bless us with water at 120'. My prayers went something like this:

God, you know my heart on this. We could have saved up the first time for a well but we chose adoption. You care for the oppressed and the orphans. I want to be a good steward of the money you give us. God, would You see to it that we hit water at 120 feet so that we can use that money for other things like another adoption, or caring for those in need?

Ryan and I have prayed for weeks. Wednesday night, I arrived home to Shawver's in my driveway. Busy with other things, I headed right inside to the chaos at hand (preparing a meal for my family plus Grandpa, getting them to eat, and getting everyone back out the door - all in 75 minutes). At one point I was serving the kids, arguing with Scott about eating, trying to keep my cool and wondering where Ryan was at when I clearly needed some help. When Ryan came in and announced that Shawver's was drilling the test well and hit water at 115', I quickly forgot my frustration with Ryan and became overjoyed at the answered prayer.

Thank you Father for hearing our prayer. Thank you for providing an abundance of water at a short depth. You are good to us!

I went from being tired and overwhelmed to being energized and excited. Really, God didn't have to have them hit water. God really is involved with those little details. And now God expects me to continue being a good steward in His name. Wow.

Thursday, I came downstairs to amazing pink sky as the sun was coming up. As I looked at my window, my view was changed from the last sunrise I saw. This time there were Shawver's well drilling trucks and a reminder of God's blessing in the front of my view. That day the well was drilled and capped. It's done. This morning, the pressure was horrible. Not fun. This week they'll hook up the piping. I can't wait to take a shower with constant pressure!!!

15 October 2010

pet peeves

The other day I was trying to thinking of specific pet peeves.  Well, I just thought of one big one:
If you have a scheduled appointment for 11, don't show up at 1030.  If you by some chance happened to get through with your other business in town early, then call and ask if it would work to come in early.  Or stop and get gas.  Or stop and get a donut.  It annoys me when people come in here expecting to be helped early even though I may have 2 other things to accomplish before their scheduled appointment.
Thankful that it's Friday,

14 October 2010

Resonating Thoughts

Three things from yesterday are resonating in my mind:
1. When an middle-aged cranky woman sat at my desk for some planning, I'm so glad I looked past the crankiness knowing that I had no clue what was going on in her life. I ended up hearing about her crankiness: 3 years of chemo treatments one of which had been the day before, painful days and not sure how long she'll hang on. My am I glad I extended grace to her!

2. A friend asked me last night if I was spread to thin. At work or at home? I tried to clarify. Truth be told, it's probably both. Lately when Ryan has been out cutting wood, and working on the honey-do-list, I've felt like I've taken more than my normal load of the family. This means that my normal things still aren't getting done like sewing bags, playing my guitar, etc. Sometimes I like being spread thin but sometimes it does get too thin...

3. Well guys hit water at 115' feet in the test hole last night. Halelujah. More on that later because it's a detailed story about God's faithfulness as we seek Him.

Lessons you can learn from me today:
1. You never know what someone is going through in life. Be kind, you might be the only person to offer love and hope to them.

2. Don't spread yourself too thin. You need time to rest, and time to make yourself available when someone needs you.

3. Look for God working in your life in the little things. He is at work if only you'll acknowledge Him.

13 October 2010

Linebacker Evangelist

Thought you might appreciate a good laugh on this Website Wednesday: the Linebacker Evangelist on YouTube

12 October 2010

More to Life

Why is it that my my life at home seems to revolve around my kids bowel issues? I feel like that’s all I have to talk about sometimes. Really, isn’t there more to life than my kids’ stinky drama?

Seriously, making the story brief, I’ll share my morning so far. I took the *4* kids to the park to meet up with a friend. While there, Judah had to pee which he managed to get all over himself. Bethany had to pee so she popped a squat right out in the open. Scott, he was the only one who was taken to the bathroom 100 yards away because he had #2 issues. Not just once, but twice.

Now, this is the most frustrating thing in our family. Seriously, it’s annoying! Why can’t my kids, especially my 5 year old go like normal? He goes through multiple pairs of undies a day because he won’t even try to push poop out. Even when I take him every hour. He must like sitting there for 20 minutes! Thankfully, Bethany is outgrowing her issues. She has been going like a big girl for a few weeks now. This is not me bragging. After all, she is 3 years and 3 months old. This is me falling on my knees thanking God for the little things - including my daughter’s potty issues.

I know that my kids grow too fast and I’m going to miss the snuggle stage of my little ones. But for now, I look forward to getting beyond these issues. This too shall pass - quite literally I’m sure.

* any reference to 4 kids = my three plus my neighbor boy. Usually Scott is down at their house, or he’s up at ours a couple times a week.

A few pictures

*** I started this post a week ago and blogger didn't like me that day. So, here it is:

I haven’t had much time to play on the internet. That means I haven’t kept up with blogs, haven’t posted pics to facebook, haven’t blogged much, or taken care of several other things. Well, real quick I just want to share a few random pictures with you.

From Grandpa’s 90th birthday celebration:

Scott telling his Great Grandma what he’s been learning in school
Bethany and Judah not doing a good job of posing for a picture. Bethany is being sweet with Judah so I’ll take that!

From our short trip to Kahler’s Korner pumpkin patch:
The dog that tortured and then played with the kids.

Trying to get a group shot but Scott was cold and almost shivering and Bethany was trying to get her hands in her pocket.

Bethany sitting with the squash.

I can at least get Judah to crack a smile

Last night the kids playing Mancala:
Eating a sucker and playing. I had sticky rocks when they were done.

Bethany showing off for the camera making spooky faces.

07 October 2010


My mail-buddy called me today to let me know we had a package. I was quite surprised to see that the package she dropped off at my mom’s was not something Ryan ordered off the internet. It had my name on it and it was from Jayme.

I tore open the box and pulled out an Ethiopian blanket with a little hand written note from Jayme. It said something along the lines of “This blanket is from your friend, Cori Calvert. Love Jayme.” I was blown away.

It didn’t take me long to figure out how Cori came up with the idea. I’ve had a link to Jayme’s blankets on my blog ever since I started drooling over them. I so appreciate this gift. Thank you Cori for the surprise gift. Thank you Jayme for sharing in the surprise. Cori, you seriously don’t know how much this means to me. This is something that I totally wanted but not something I could justify spending money on. You rock my friend. Your thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated.

When Scott was born, our church threw a baby shower for us and we received lots of gifts. It was wonderful. When Bethany was born, some people within our church provided us meals and we received a few gifts. It was nice and appreciated but definitely not the gifts like Scott received. When we brought Judah home from Ethiopia, I think we received two gifts from friends and some meals. Now, I’m not saying that anyone should feel obligated to give a gift or that I don't appreciate what I did receive. I’m just pointing out that in my little world, with each child you bring home, the gifts decrease. And with bringing an adopted child home, most people here are only used to the traditional method of adding to your family so they don’t even know how to react to adoption. Is it normal to give gifts to those who adopt? Is it normal to have a “baby” shower for an adopted child? Seeing how people have or haven’t reacted to our family situation has been interesting. Now, I’m very curious about how it’s worked out for other adopted families and what their family situation was/is.

My goal is not to come across as whining or complaining. I’m super thankful for what we have. In our specific situation, many friends and family participated in us raising financial support to bring Judah home. In my mind, that’s worth as much, if not more than receiving gifts. Thank you, thank you, thank you for our friends and family who’ve prayed for us, helped us raise money, and sent Judah a gift once he got home. We are truly thankful.

06 October 2010

Suh-weet, or so I thought

Because my life is never normal, I just thought I'd share some more about it.
Today is Wednesday.  That means it's an AWANA night for our family.  Ryan was out working cattle way late so we had to re-arrange our schedule a bit.  No biggie though.  I headed out to the school with the boys.  Just as club was getting started, my neighbor boy showed up.  Scott had called him while I was feeding the little kids and I wasn't in on the communication so I was glad to see Aaron show up.  I guess I should talk to them next time cause the neighbors thought I'd pick Aaron up (and I would if it hadn't been for the change is schedule).  They also assumed that since I was here at the school, I could take Aaron home.  Judah was tagging along with me as I volunteered to listen to the clubbers says their sections (verses, etc).  Twenty minutes of time and I could head home with Judah to bake some cookies and get him in bed.  Only now I get to stick around to take Aaron home.  It's worth it to have him here.  He's such a sweet kid. 
I learned tonight that SPARKS (the age-group that Scott is in) is actually an acronym... who knew!  It was a tailgate themed night which was fun except that we don't have football stuff around the house and Scott wasn't dressed up.  Anyway, I listened to kids say sections and Judah sat next to me.  He's such a good kid.  He was quiet and gently rubbing my arm.  I kept telling him how sweet he was as he gave me kisses and snuggled up to me.  When I picked him up, I realized why he'd been so quiet... his pants were soaked down the crotch and insides of the legs.  Nice son.  Now, we can't go home and change you either.
So, I'll grab my laptop since the school has wireless... only I can't get on blogger.  I can't get on facebook.  But, I can post a message via email.  So, I have a real message to post but I can't post it from here and add the pics in like I want.  Shoot.  Maybe later.  In the meantime, I'll get back to my wild trio.


I was listening to Dave Ramsey today. He’s funny stuff. I appreciate his humor, his passion for “living like no one else” and his compassion for people who call in. Two things are stuck in my mind since listening.

First is that I’m so glad that we don’t have stupid debt. I’m praying that it stays that way as we’re looking at the expense of a new well in the coming month. With that said, we do owe on our house. It kills me to be paying so much in interest each month. I want to have “gazelle-like intensity” to get this thing paid off. Or move to a cheaper one. The thought of living on beans and rice sounds easy in some aspects and really hard in others. I know we can do it. But I’m not sure if I’m willing to yet.

Second thing is how blessed we’ve been. Dave was asking people to call in with their debt stories. We don’t have this amazing story of getting out of debt. Fortunately debt has never been something that we’ve taken pride in. We already live unlike many in our culture to avoid that nasty thing called debt. Though we don’t have an amazing “get out of debt” story, we have a story of God’s blessing which includes our finances. A little over a year ago, we signed our names to paper obligating us to the financial commitment of an international adoption. At that time, we didn’t know where we’d come up with 30-grand, but we believed that God would provide. And He has! Because we’ve been mostly decent stewards of our money, we didn’t have the big bad cloud of debt hanging over our heads. That alone is freeing financially and emotionally. We made several financial decisions in our family that allowed us to save more money each month that could go toward adoption. We held two fundraisers that brought in some extra cash. In the end, we chose to empty our savings and emergency to fund the adoption. It worked out great. Seeing God’s hand in the financials as we continued to walk in faith was amazing. Though we already knew how to be good stewards of our money, it was through the Dave Ramsey program that we were able to make wiser decisions. We had a goal, we focused on attaining it and we have a cute little boy asleep in the next room over to show for it. Thank you God for continually blessing us!

Are you familiar with Dave Ramsey? Have you heard of The Total Monday Makeover book? If you haven’t already done so, I would encourage you to invest in the book. It can change your life and has the potential to change your family tree. Now how’s that for a $12 to $20 dollar investment? Check out the resources at daveramsey.com

05 October 2010

What to Write About

Much has happened and I would love to post about many funny little moments in our family. But you know how it goes, unless I write it down right away, it doesn’t get done. Life happens and we move on to the next funny thing. If I can remember any of the funny moments, I’ll incorporate them here.

While on the phone with mom yesterday, Scott needed some help wiping:
Me: okay Mom, I need to get. A child’s butt needs wiping.
Scott as he’s bent over in the wipe position: that’s me. Grammy, I need my butt wiped.
Okay, one of those moments where you had to be there. It was just humorous.

While trying to make life a little easier this weekend, I managed to add a little more chaos. It was time for once a month cooking. Only, I didn’t have time or desire to cook a months worth of meal so I started with seven or so. My plans to go Friday night didn’t work out. And Saturday morning thoughts of shopping were set aside when I decided to take the kids to the pumpkin patch instead.

Another story inserted here:
Stopping out at Kahler’s Korner should be nothing but fun right. Climbing out of the van, we were promptly greeted by the farm dog. This cute border collie made for a rough start in the cold and windy weather. The dog was all over the kids, one of which still isn’t real trusting of dogs yet. She was even climbing in the van to get to the kids. Now, it would have been fun to play with her but she kept jumping on the kids and knocking them over. Not real fun for a 2, 3, and 5 year old. With my hand on the dog’s collar, we made it to the pumpkins and eventually the dog settled down with her old volleyball. She wandered around the kids and managed to get in a few pictures with the kids before my little popscicles were ready to go home.

After pumpkins, picking up toys, an early lunch and naps, we headed to get groceries. My kids are, for the most part, well behaved children. Shopping with them is still stressful. I think I went down each isle twice. But that seemed to be fine with Judah who greeted people multiple times. This was also the first time in almost 5 months that I got stares from people. Lots of them. Seriously, I’m not sure if they just hadn’t seen a black child in person before or if Judah had some major boogers hanging out that were invisible to me.

Speaking of things, I can’t see, here’s another quick story:
I’m super anal about washing new clothes before they’re worn. I don’t care if its socks, jeans or a sweater. I do not wear clothes that haven’t been washed. Neither do my kids. But this one instance, I decided to just go for it. I mean seriously, I should be fun. Chances are they’re really aren’t poisonous spiders hiding in the new clothes, right? Okay, so it’s funny that on more than one occasion (at least 3 but who’s counting) I’ve found a sticker on the clothes that I’d been wearing around. Friday, it was the afternoon before I saw the little round sticker with the size on it. That’s nice considering I would typically not even wear them without being washed first. Anyway, back to my story.

Groceries with three children = not peaceful. Scott wanted to stay at his grammy’s and so I gave him a quick bath and packed his clothes. I managed to get a break from two kids while Bethany rode with Ryan to drop Scott off and stop at the clinic. In the middle of a few meals, I bathed Judah and got him in bed. Four meals and having put one more child to bed, I showered and headed to bed myself.

Having watched Legally Blond on Friday night with Ryan, I thought it was a good idea to watch the sequel at 1030. Beyond tired, I managed to fall asleep before the end. Surprise, surprise.

After a full day at the church, I got home at almost 4pm and Ryan headed out for another few hours of wood cutting and I started back in the kitchen. Thank you Jesus giving my children patience for part of the time. I managed to get a few more meals prepared, including supper. I fed the wild Indians who apparently weren’t as hungry as they’d been communicating. Stinkers. Bed time for them couldn’t have come too early as the drama continued even as I didn’t finish praying with them but decided to keep my sanity, turned out their light and walked out.

After finishing up in the kitchen, where I managed to avoid sweeping the floor, I headed upstairs. I really wanted to play guitar, but I put my sewing stuff in the office so that I could work on sewing while Ryan worked at his desk. Since Ryan was upstairs, I headed up as well. Good thing cause I had a pair of Jen’s kiddo’s jeans that I was patching for him. Of course, I’d broken the needle a few weeks ago and didn’t want to dig out a spare so I waited until a wallyworld trip to buy new ones. Back to patching Daniel’s jeans I went. What a frustration. I will never again offer to patch jeans where the butt of the jeans has the whole. My home-made patch kept getting doubled over and sewn under. So Jen, when you get Daniel’s jeans back this week, feel free to rip out the crazy strings that managed to get tangled more than once and let your mom fix them like you said from the beginning. Sorry friend, I tried. Bag to the bags I go. Only I don’t really want to do the next step at 1030 at night so I grab my laptop.

Now, a full weekend has past. And a full weekend it was. Only I was hoping to have a weekend full of sewing bags (still offering my “you buy one, I donate one” deal), cleaning house and getting rid of the gnats who are trying desperately to survive in my house. I did manage to fold loads of laundry, pick up my living room and wipe down the counter in the bathroom. So much for having a clean house! Right now I sit here, listening to some song in Spanish that I don’t understand and wonder how it got on my itunes. It does sound vaguely familiar. I look up from my computer and see the most amazing sight. It’s my husband, having had a full week, scheduled to get up in 7 hours, yet organizing bills on the desk.

Ooh, one more story, but not so funny:
I have some awful knee-jerk reaction this morning. Ryan was putting on a wrinkled church and thinking he couldn’t go out in public like that I tell him his shirt is too wrinkled. And when he asks me to iron it for him, I might have well fallen on the floor and thrown a tantrum. My reaction was that ironing his shirt would make me late for church (cause I was otherwise perfectly on time, yeah right). Instead of just serving my husband, and loving him, I tried to blame him for me being late. I suck like that. I did iron his shirt and went on to make him hot chocolate too.

He’s amazing. He’s studly. He’s strong. He’s loving. He’s handsome. He laughs at my dumb jokes. He takes time for our children. He pays the bills. He loves me when I’m selfish, mean, and ugly. He cooks. He’ll share the starbucks gift card he just found on the desk (subliminal messaging in case he reads it. Yes, I’m classy like that). He has an amazing smile. He serves others. He’s compassionate and passionate. He’s smart. He’s mine. I’m so thankful.

With all of that, it should take care of at least two, if not 5, days of posts that I’m behind on. Good night.

04 October 2010

You Know it's Monday Morning When...

- You can't manage to drag your butt out of bed early.
- Water pressure in the shower stinks (wait, that's daily right now...)
- Hubby makes you breakfast but you forget about it until 5 before you get to your office.  A cold egg muffin sandwich is still good even when it's cold.
- You see that your son forgot his breakfast on the counter and then you forget it too.
- You tell the kids to go get in the van and walk out 4 minutes later to the honking of a horn.  Scott in the driver's seat (big no-no at our house), with the windows down, Bethany in the back seat trying to climb in her carseat in her winter coat with her back pack on and her flip flops over her socks but on the wrong feet.  And Judah, he's wandering around the oustide of the van cause Bethany wouldn't let him in.
- Driving down the road Bethany realizes she forgot her hot chocolate in the house. Whining begins.  Scott tells me he's hungry and I feel bad but think this might be a good lesson for him.
- Realize after dropping the kids off that I forgot to leave Scott's carseat.  Shoot.  Thanks to superDad, Scott will have a carseat in a few minutes.
- While pulling over to call Ryan (why drive farther down the road if I'll have to turn around), my hot chocolate spills in the crotch of my pants.  I frantically dig out a napkin but it proves to be of little use. I'm already late to work, should I turn around to go home and change?
And the best part about my day so far (besides my rockstar hubby) was that while pulled over digging my phone out and spilling my hot chocolate, a state patrol car drove by me.  You know what that means?  It means that I didn't get pulled over for driving *slightly* over the speed limit after my crazy start to the day.  And because I'm thankful that I met the trooper while I was stopped on the side of the road, I guess I'm okay with the hot chocolate that spilled...
Happy Monday!