29 May 2011

We went on a little walk. I took the camera along. Today I heard Shane talking about God's attribute of being "beautiful". Shane's seminary professor summed beautiful up as "all things desirable". What a way to describe our God. Below are a few pictures of some of the beautiful people/things God has blessed us with:

Look at this beautiful smile.

our Judah.

our beauty queen.

can't get a "normal" shot from this girl. her candids are awesome. crazy hair and all.

no longer a kindergartner.

glad they have a sense of humor.

and this was the "serious" one.

I get this look all the time. ALL the time. This is BEtHANy

(she typed her own name and requested the purple font)

thanks big brother for helping.

i think the gloves helped her grip

little brother helped a bunch too.

I have to sweet talk them with a silly picture...in order to get a normal one
our beloved dog isn't normally so beloved. this is Scott shaking his fist at Harley and Harley running off looking ashamed.

this girl loves her new garden gloves. too bad i didn't get to dig in the garden with her yesterday. she carried around a pack of seeds and asked me multiple times to plan them.

Bethany: "no Harley!"

Prayer Calendar for our Trip

right click and save as if you want to print it for your fridge or put it as your wallpaper for your computer.

Summer Vacation

Right now, I'm wishing I was still in college so I would have a summer break. This summer is going to be crazy busy. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to all of it. Just wishing though that I had more time to focus on the fun things this summer which is hard to do when you (thankfully) have a full time job.


  • Ethiopia for 2 weeks

  • Dental appointments for kids and me.

  • Hosting NAB Missionary (not hosting him in our home, but hosting the activity along with the others on the missions committee)

  • Ethiopia presentation


  • Hosting annual 4th of July celebration for our Ethiopian adoption travel group. Wishing those from farther away would join us and thankful for those nearby who can join us.

  • My dad and nephews come to town for a week.

  • What else am I forgetting? Where's my calendar?


  • CVC. Ryan's annual trip to Kansas City for continuing ed. This year I don't think I'll be able to go with. Which is a huge bummer cause I love hanging out with the Dietz'.

  • Vacation Bible School

  • Back to school and Bethany starts pre-school.

I'm sure there's more. I also really, really want to host a hunger banquet. We'll see if that happens. After all, I can't even manage to keep my house clean at this point. And I haven't gotten a garden planted either. Oh the joys of a busy life.

27 May 2011

More time would mean more well thought out posts. But, what you see if what you get here... a busy momma sharing a little about life today. A few things from the last week or so:

Rain, wind and tornados oh my. Sunday was a whirlwind of activity. Who knew that those whirlwinds would end up as a tornado. The storm came and the tornado sirens were going off in town. Our dear friends who survived the tornado that flattened Parkersburg two years earlier were out and their kids were at our house. The kids, fortunately, were oblivious to what was going on outside. So much so that when we decided to take 7 kids into a non-kid-friendly basement, the older boys thought that they had to pee first. Great. The tornado didn't hit our place. But our neighbor just one mile down the gravel lost EVERY tree in his yard. We were so thankful that their house was left standing and that their son's graduation party was the night before!

Adoption has been a great thing in our house. But not 100% wonderful. One of the great things is that Judah and Bethany are pretty much attached at the hip. Even right now, they're sitting right NEXT to each other on the couch. A not-so-wonderful moment came this week when Bethany told me that she didn't like Scott and wanted to give him away. It was so sad. She used to LOVE her Scott. Right now, she doesn't have much, if anything, to do with him. I think it's because Judah is her buddy. It might also be due to the fact that Scott is gone all day to school and Judah is with her all day.

May 24th has lots of significance in my family. On May 24th a long time ago, my mom and dad were married. On May 24th my brother was born 29 years ago. Nine years ago on May 24th I graduated from Fresno State. And then exactly one year later on May 24th, I married my Ryan. My Ryan. You'd think I'd be able to remember that date. Every one else in my family did. Ryan forgot too. Rather than celebrating our anniversary that night, we had friends and my parents over for supper. What fun!

Delayed Celebrations are still fun. Ryan suggested we go out Thursday night and since I had in my mind that we'd celebrate up in Minneapolis, I shrugged off a Thursday celebration. Since I married an amazing and thoughtful and loving guy, I realized that I should have agreed to an outting with my love. So, Thursday afternoon I arranged some friends to watch the kids. My kids love the D's. I finally got a hold of Ryan, asked him to get off the mower, shower and put a button down shirt on. We dropped off our kids and headed to a wine bar/bistro. There were 3 amazing things that night: 1. hanging out with my husband, 2. a fabulous meal and 3. our friends who took our kids home and put them to bed for us.

Usually we are able to withhold our reaction to our kids' funny, but inappropriate, attitudes. Not so much tonight. Her looks are amazing. I'm so not looking forward to that in a few years... when it's no longer cute. She had that look multiple times tonight but I was too lazy to capture it with the camera. Since we all know she's not perfect, I'm sure I'll get that look again. She's too much.

In 3 days we leave. I suppose we should converse more with our kids about it. Oh shoot, I just realized that I never finished the letters I started so they could have one each day to read. Anyway, tonight while talking to the boys about leaving for Ethiopia, Judah perked up and said "for me?!?" With a huge smile on my face, I told him that I'd already went for him and was so glad. Scott wanted to know if we were adopting again. He asks me that each time we talk about this trip. I informed Scott that we were going to "serve" others there. It took me a second to grasp why he replied with "there are no more slaves mommy". No son, there are no more slaves. But we can serve others by giving them breakfast in bed, or helping pick up toys. Boy, do we have a lot to discuss in the next 3 days.

26 May 2011


I know it's really confusing to some people.  I live in the country.  Between C and WU.  But our address is E, a third town.  And since Ryan works in E, we go to church in E, and our address is E, we call E our home town.  We do not call C home even though it's the closest town.  It's no surprise that some people refer to us as being from C.  It's a point of frustration for me.  So, if you're reading this, please know that I call E my home town (and still call Kingsburg my hometown because I grew up there).
Similarly, I love my full name.  My real name.  My given name.  But I also grew up with a nick-name.  It managed to follow me to Iowa even though I tried, a little, to go back to my full name.  After all, I heard my mom use my given name in combination with my middle name plenty while growing up!  Anyway, it's a point of confusion for people.  They know me by my nick-name.  They call me that.  I'm fine with that with my close friends.  But, I love the name my parents gave me.  So, any time I write my name, I write my full name.  When I introduce myself, I use my given name.  I prefer my given name.  But I'm okay with close friends using my nick-name.  And a few really close friends even shorten that.  When people who call me by my nickname write it out, it always gets spelled wrong.  Imagine that.  So, it's another point of frustration.  They did nothing wrong necessarily, I just like to see my name written out.
Pet peeves.  I have lots.  Like when people leave their trash on the counter. 
Thankfully my friends, no matter what they call me, love me!

25 May 2011

Thanks for sharing

Monday I got a text message saying "Lots.  We will share."  When I downloaded the pic, I was pleasantly surprised.
Last night we shared a meal with our generous friends and parents.  The meal included fried mushrooms, roasted broccoli, grilled asparagus, grilled burgers, rhubarb dessert and ice cream.
Thanks everyone for sharing your food and fun.  We're blessed by each of you.  And a big thanks to the kicthen help for making sure it was clean before we sat down.  And another big thanks to mom for taking home the cupcake mix and frosting for Scott's birthday snack at school and baking it. 
Maybe tonight, pending continued storms, I get back to my goal of walking every night this week.

24 May 2011

Not Something I Should Forget...

8 years ago today.
Wish I would have remembered this morning :)  Thanks Mom for the reminder.
Thanks to everyone who celebrated with us.  Especially my brother who spent his 21st birthday at my wedding instead of out with his friends.
I love you all.  But most of all, I love the man I married 8 years ago. 

23 May 2011

Soaking it Up

I'm learning a lot from my sustainable food production book. The following quote scares me:

"Remember, a foreign innovator or teacher is always closely watched. It is a serious error to introduce a technique or crop that is not a definite improvement."

Okay, this isn't a new thought for me at all. Just a fresh reminder that I'll have a lot of eyes watching me. I want to do good, be helpful and be a good example. For months I've wondered how I can really help. Do I really have the knowledge to share with FOVC? Will I lead them astray? This is why I've been praying and praying asking God for wisdom and knowledge so that I can help them improve.

22 May 2011

Find Me Elsewhere

Today, I'm a guest blogger on the FOVC blog. Check it out to read my thoughts on being an "average" person and being able to help.

Click here to read.

18 May 2011

The Best

  • I have the best dentist who cleans my teeth. Little secret is that I'm his favorite too. I happen to be his daughter in law. Only daughter in law.

  • I have the best friends. Taking us mushroom hunting. Letting us borrow tillers. Praying for us regularly. Lots of reasons and explanations can go here.

  • I have hte best mom. She keeps my kids so Ryan and I can go mushroom hunting. And when we come up with very few, she gives me hers!

  • I have the best husband who tills the garden, even though he's tired, after he's done mowing.

  • I have the best children who try to prove that wrong daily. Judah was perfect tonight. Scott, not so much. Bethany was normal.

I would love to be blogging. I would love to be cleaning my house. Actually, I'd love for my house to be clean. I would love to be tan and have a flat belly too though. Anyway, my point was that I'm reading a book on sustainable agriculture and my goal is to finish it this week. So, with tonight almost over, bible study tomorrow night, and graduation parties scattered this weekend, I better get to reading...

16 May 2011

Love This

My girl talked the whole way home last night.  I was tired.  Had a big headache and she talked for 40 minutes straight.  Well, that's not completely true, she did take a 3 minute pause.  She is adorable.  And though I enjoy her fun little personality, I also enjoy when she's quiet (aka when asleep)
Thanks Uncle Mike for the picture of my napping child yesterday!

14 May 2011

Lots to unload

For sale in bulk: all boy clothes 0-2t and girl clothes 0-3t. Let me know if you're interested.

13 May 2011

What a Joy

For several months Scott has asked me if I would come to school and have lunch with him. My heart ached as I imagined him being made fun of during lunch and wanting his momma to beat those other kids. Or at least to eat with him and keep them from their nasty remarks.

Fortunately, he wasn't being made fun of. After asking around, I found out that it's fairly common for parents to come to the school and have lunch with their kids. It worked out yesterday that I was able (and willing) to make the trip to Scott's school for lunch.

I showed up at the school and met him as he was coming in for recess. He was excited but not over-the-moon excited. Scott grabbed my hand and we walked together to the classroom. Because I didn't plan well enough in advance, I didn't have my own lunch. But I was happy to sit with my son at the table for his lunch. I even got scolded by a kindergartner for being in his seat. After scooting over, Scott and I enjoyed about 30 minutes together. It was great to see some of his friends that I know and meet some of the kids I don't know.

This momma was so glad I took the time.

My son was so glad his momma took the time. It was the first thing he told his daddy when he got off the bus! Thanks Scott for inviting momma to school. Maybe we can do this again. I wonder how old you will be when you decide you no longer want momma coming to have lunch with you.

11 May 2011

To Do List

Dare I start one? I'm sure it would be over 100 right now.

  1. Write kids letters for each day I'm gone.

  2. Fill out the "while we're gone" paperwork for those who will have our kids.

  3. pray for my widows, 10 guy farmers and 5 trainees whose names I don't know.

  4. Give my husband some lovin'

  5. Read to the kids

  6. Clean the stinkin' asian beetles out of the window sill again

  7. Think about packing

  8. Drink more coffee

  9. Drink less foo-foo coffee that is all calories and very little coffee.

  10. Prepare lessons for widows

  11. Finish "A Hole in Our Gospel"

  12. Finish "Sustainable Agriculture"

  13. Start reading "When Helping Hurts".

  14. Rescshedule dentist appointment

  15. Follow up with Doc about back

  16. Remember to take amox. 3x/day for 10 days total.

  17. Clean House

  18. No really, CLEAN house

  19. To my standards

  20. Keep up with dishes

  21. Pray against Satan (hello: back problem, different back problem, strep throat).

  22. Rest

  23. Hide God's word on my heart

  24. Say I'm sorry

  25. Schedule family pictures before we leave

  26. Write article for 2 work things regarding our trip to Et.

  27. Don't stress out about being swamped at work. It's normal.

  28. Update resume.

  29. Ask neighbors to take care of pets while gone.

  30. Purchase thank you gifts for Ethiopia.

  31. Purchase luggage for Et.

  32. Sweet talk Ryan into taking care of anti-malaria pills

  33. Eat Healthy.

  34. Soak up vitamin D.

  35. Go for a run... and feel good afterwards.

  36. Love my neighbors, even if they are mistreating the land by tearing out the trees.

  37. Serve Ryan with a joyful heart.

  38. Test drive J&J's flip camera.

  39. check to see if MK eye primer does it's job. It didn't last for 18 hours yesterday.

  40. Be thankful that though I'm vain I can go 18 hours without looking in a mirror.

  41. ...

There's more. This was my quick list. But it's time to check out pictures from the water party Ryan had before I got home from work. I love that he thought to invite friends over. I didn't love that I was hungry, it was late, and friends saw my house looking like a pit. Pictures will be good...

10 May 2011


Lately, I've been more aware of how our culture belittles large families with the comment of "don't you know what causes that" and other similar comments. I've said stuff like that a million times to lots of different people. Not because I don't value large families, but because I think I'm funny. With my new awareness, I'm catching myself before I insert my foot into my mouth.

Well, today was the perfect opporunity and I thought before I spoke. Rare, I know.

At a area-wide staff meeting. Boss's boss talked about staff time and how there's been someone on maternity leave constantly since he's been here. He wasn't saying in it a bad way, it just came up in conversation about staff hours and being stretched too thin ALL the time. As the meeting closed, someone went up to boss's boss and told him that she was expecting in June. (Congrats to her BTW). A few minutes later we were on the road back to the area office and I was with boss's boss (his name is Dave) and 3 others. Somehow being spread too thin came up again. Me, being the joker that I am, tapped Dave on the shoulder and said "So, you wouldn't think it was funny if I told you I was expecting". He replied with a no. Relax friends, he would be totally supportive if I was. As I assured him that I wasn't, he replied with that comment I'm now aware of and said "if you said that you were, I'd reply with: don't you know what causes that?"

I laughed. I was aware. And since I'm so funny (at least I think I am), I replied with "well yeah, and it's a lot of fun!!!"

Dave's reply: T-M-I.

Sorry Dave. You started it. I ended that conversation real quick. :P

Another Book

Got a new book yesterday. If I didn't have such a headache when it arrived, I would have started it immediately. I still need to get through "the connected child" but I want to continue to go through that one slowly. And I need to finish "A hole in our gospel" and will try to get that one done before this new one.

Next up: When Helping Hurts. It was suggested by several friends and by my FOVC friend, Lory.

09 May 2011

Mother's Day

Stinkin' blogger. It won't upload the pics I want it to. Grr. I had it all written out in my head to match with the pictures I tried to upload twice. But, noooooo. Grr. Anyway, I'll share the text version and maybe add photos later that would be well worth checking out. They're on facebook if you know me there. Okay, here it is.

Saturday we celebrated Mother's Day with my mom and Ralph. Clouds in the sky but no rain. My throat was killing me when the day started but it improved with time. We headed to a local fishing spot where we had a picnic, followed by some fun on the swingset/slide mixed in with tossing and kicking around the football. Then we grabbed our fishing poles and headed over to the dock.

This was Judah's face when I pulled out a night crawler and asked him to open his mouth. When I assured him that I wasn't going to put it in his mouth, he opened wide and we got a few more pics.

When we had been out on the pond a while and I didn't feel like pedaling us around anymore, I asked Scott if he was ready to leave. He said "no, not until I catch a fish. I usually beat the pants off of Papa". That's my boy. Shortly after he did catch a nice bass and then we headed back to shore.

It was great to hang out with my immediately family and celebrate Mother's Day with my mom. She's an amazing woman and I'm so thankful for her.

On the actual Mother's Day, I didn't feel like celebrating much. My throat was hurting worse and not going away so easily. Ryan and I headed to different churches Sunday morning so I could pray with a friend during discipleship hour and he could honor his mom and grandma by going with them. I found a spot on the couch and didn't want to move. My throat got progressively worse throughout the day. It sucked. I didn't want to be a fun-hater but I didn't feel good. I wanted my hubby to ask how I was feeling but he didn't. I wanted to go home but didn't want to ruin the family fun. After all, it's not often that we all get together, Grandma included.

It became miserable to swallow. By this morning, it felt like my throat was swelling shut. I took the day off. Not what I like in a day off of work but I managed. A mid morning Doc appointment confirmed strep throat after I pushed the doc to swab my throat. It was pouring rain outside and I was soaked and cold. Layed on the couch the rest of the day, wincing in pain every time I had to swallow. By request, Ryan came home and made mac-n-cheese for lunch. I didn't move off the couch until 530pm. At which point the kids were on their 3rd viewing of Looney Tunes (driving me looney), it was hard to talk and I had a massive headache. About that time I took a second dose of antibiotic, some motrin and painfully ate a milkyway since I hadn't had much else to eat all day. This was so not how I wanted to trim up that belly that makes me look 6 months pregnant. But, hey, I'll take it. Something worked. I began being able to swallow without pain and able to talk. Still having hot and cold craziness with my body temp but at least I can move.

Thankful for meds and my hubby, and my ever-patient children. Tomorrow will be a better day.

08 May 2011

On Call

My husband is studly. And amazingly intelligent. And a wonderful veterinarian. And a great cook. And so much more.

Last Sunday night Ryan was the on the on-call doc. So, when Farmer Allan called with an emergency, I asked if the whole family could go. The calf was sick enough (and prices are expensive enough) that Famer Allen decided to bring the calf right into the clinic.

After Farmer Allan carried the heifer calf into the clinic, Ryan immediately began his work. Below is a picture of Ryan setting an IV while Judah looked on with much curiosity.

Ryan didn't give this heifer a good chance of survival. She was very dehydrated. I think he said something like a 25% chance of survival. Not good odds.

As the guys discussed who knows what, we also watched the calf closely to see if she was still breathing.

And of course I have to throw in a picture of my cute little boy. He sat on the counter for a while watching and playing with Farmer Allan's pliers.

Eventually, after several liters of fluid, the heifer calf began to perk up. It was amazing to watch. And we were all thankful that she beat the odds. Here, the calf holds her own head up which is 100 % different than when she came in and Ryan was listening to her lungs maybe.

And before Farmer Allan headed out the door with his lively heifer calf, we got a picture with Bethany and her namesake. Since the calf is a heifer (female) and Bethany was the female kid running wild around the clinic, the calf was named after her. Thanks Allan, that was sweet of you and I'm so thankful you didn't name it after me :)

04 May 2011

my Girl

Yesterday I look out the window and see my precious little girl picking beautiful dandelions.  I grabbed the camera and rushed outside to catch her in the act.  She met me on the sidewalk with her hand reached out to me and said "I picked these for you momma".  I didn't get the picture I was hoping for but this was 100 times better.  Thank you Miss Bethany, you melted momma's heart. 
And then she went inside and gave some of them to her true favorite - her daddy!

02 May 2011

Done With One More

So, I just finished Decision Points, President Bush's memoirs. One of my recent goals is to get through the who-knows-how-many books I've started.

Adopted for Life. Also Done

There's No Me Without You. That one didn't gather any dust.

Now back to a few others: The Connected Child which I'm slowly moving through. And I don't think I ever finished A Hole in Our Gospel. I can't remember any others I may have started at some point but I'm sure I can find them laying around the house somewhere. On to dishes...