Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Should I be worried?

This is what I saw when I walked into the playroom a couple days ago. Should I be worried that my little girls keep their zhu zhu pets in the microwave?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

We have a roof!

Just barely two months after breaking ground, we have a roof! Hopefully progress will continue pretty well through the winter since the house will be closed in. We spent the entire day today working on clean-up. The girls are about to pass out from exhaustion. They gathered nails and filled Pa's trailer with scrap wood to make money. Ruby is asleep on the couch already. They are so excited about the new house!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I'm Thankful

Thanksgiving had special meaning to me this year. I'm so grateful for everyone and everything God has placed in my life. I sometimes lament growing older, but I shouldn't. My life has never been as right as it is at this very time. I have made more good decisions in the past seven years than at any other time in my life. I'm blessed with an incredible husband, the most special children imaginable (and grown children and grandchildren), loving and supportive family far and near, good health, plenty of food on my table every day, life in a free country, and the promise that God is in full control of my future. It took a while for me to realize that I'm not in control, and when I let God guide me I'm much happier. There are so many things to be thankful for, and I never want to forget that every single one of them is a gift!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Back...After Six Months!

It's been six months since I've blogged, and I think it's time to get back to it! I was reading my post What is reality? And how much is enough? and thinking about how much has changed during the past six months. When I posted in May I wasn't sure if we would ever get to build our house. We had more than a few setbacks, but we finally broke ground on September 25th. What a day that was! This week the exterior walls started going up, and it's really looking like a house. I'm thanking God every day that we are able to build, but I'm also thanking Him for the tiny house we live in now and the many, many blessings He gives us every day.

I'm especially thankful that God placed Tony in my life. My life with him is more than I ever imagined. He's my rock when I hit rough spells and my best friend every single day.

Friday, May 7, 2010

It was a beautiful day Wednesday, so we took advantage of the weather and went to the Aroboretum. The girls love walking and skipping around the trails looking at all of the flowers. I'm so happy that this place is close to us and free!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What is reality? And how much is enough?

Tonight I had....I don't know...a moment of clarity...or a dose of reality.

We live in a small farm house with three little girls. It's a tight squeeze sometimes, but it's a choice we made in order to be financially responsible while adopting our daughters. We always intended to build a house, and we're finally in the process of doing just that. I said process -- it's a long and drawn out process. Right now we're working with an architect to design the house. Sometimes I get discouraged and feel like actually building the house is just a dream.

Tonight I had a few moments to myself while Tony took care of our girls. I spent some of that time sitting in the grass in the exact spot that is staked out to be our future family room -- a spot where I might someday sit in a comfy chair in front of a crackling fire. But...I sat there feeling gloomy and wondering when or if we will actually see a foundation being poured and walls going up. I felt discouraged and maybe a little sorry for myself that we are still cramped in our little house with one bathroom and a dishwasher on wheels. I sat there listening to my iPod filling my head with the sounds of Chris Tomlin singing Amazing Grace -- and then it hit me.

I was sitting there on land we own. Acres and acres of land we own. I was surrounded by the stakes that designated where our new house will someday be -- whether that someday is next month or next year. I was listening to an iPod. I was looking out at the sun setting in the west and watching the trees billow in the wind. Tony was inside taking care of our daughters. I have a bathroom and a dishwasher, even if it is on wheels. I go to the grocery store and it takes five trips to bring all the food in from the van.

It's so easy to be in China or Ethiopia and see how other people live -- and die -- and to fall down on your knees and give thanks for every single thing you have. Once you get home and go to a few play dates at fancy houses the mind seems to put a lot of distance between that reality and our reality. But reality is what hit me while I sat there in the grass tonight.

Halfway around the world in Ethiopia there is a mother who couldn't provide her daughters with basic things like shoes, food, a bed, or even a bathroom. Her daughters never slept in a real bed when they lived with her. Indoor plumbing was not a possibility for her and a dishwasher on wheels simply would have been an unimaginable fantasy. That mother had to make a decision we could not even fathom. Halfway around the world in China there is a mother who didn't have the freedom to keep her daughter. Can we even imagine putting our infant daughter down on a sidewalk and walking away because our government and our family left us without a choice? And what about things that happen right here in our own country or city? My sister-in-law lost her husband a year ago, and their son lost his dad. Our friend has lost his wife and his daughter in the past two years. His sons have lost their mother and their sister. How do you live through that?

And what do I have? I have three beautiful, funny, smart, and amazing daughters who love me and call me mommy, because another mommy had to give that up. I get to tuck them into bed every night and feed them breakfast every morning (and lunch and dinner and a snack in between). I live in a house with bedrooms and a bathroom and lots and lots of food every single day. I have sons who are grown up and independent. Our children have a mommy and daddy who love them and love each other. When one of us gets sick, we just get in the car and go to the doctor.

I'm not saying I won't ever revert back to feeling sorry for myself because I want something I don't have. That seems to be human nature, even if it is wrong. I think the main reason I'm writing this is so that when I do start to feel like that I can re-read this and give myself a reality check. How much is enough? I have more than enough. I have everything I need. I have a family and a home and a God who I know watches over us all every day. I think I will be a better person if I can keep that perspective.

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Things They Say

I know many of my posts revolve around the funny things my girls say, but here goes again...

Heard today from the back seats of my van:

Elizabeth: "Mommy, lions are faster than anything."
Nora: "No, God and Jesus are faster than anything in the whole world."
Ruby: "I don't think God and Jesus really like to run that much."
Elizabeth: "Yeah, they're probably too busy working."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

An Angel Now

It's hard to understand why some people have to endure so much. Our friend, Brent, lost his wife two years ago and his daughter yesterday. Brent and Lisa traveled to China with us two and a half years ago to bring home our daughters. Just five short months later, Lisa died suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving behind her husband, newly adopted daughter, and three sons. Yesterday, Brent and his sons suffered another tragic loss. Their beautiful Vivian died suddenly and with no warning. She was 4 1/2 years old. Please keep them in your prayers as they travel an emotional road most of us can't even imagine enduring. In memory of a beautiful angel, here's a picture of Nora and Vivian (on the right). She's resting at peace now and with her mommy in heaven.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Yard Spelling

There are so many great things about homeschooling. Spelling in the front yard on a beautiful, sunny day is just one of many! I'm so grateful that my kids have the opportunity to learn this way.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Oh, Nora...

At dinner tonight the girls were talking about us having another kid (yeah, right). Ruby said we could buy another kid. I explained that we absolutely never, EVER buy kids because we are human beings and God's children. Then Nora says, "I know why we never buy a kid. You know why? Because kids can't breath in a box." I went on to elaborate on human beings and God's children. Then she said, "Yeah, Mommy, you know why we're human beings? Becuase we can TALK if we're in a box." Oh Nora, where do you get this stuff?