Saturday, November 29, 2008

I am thankful for.......

Here is a shot of the boys room in progress. These are the bunk beds from Meijer! I am a Pottery Barn girl at heart but when it comes to shelling out the money...I cannot do it! We ended up only spending $400 on these 2 beds and Annie's new bed. I am still trying to find a better nightstand/piece of furniture to go between the beds. I love those bins but they look so messy and the red has to go!

Once we get the crib in I will take pics of the whole room.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Oh my, I just read this friends blog and boy did it bring on the tears!
One of the many reasons I hear of couples not adopting is the financial aspect.
No one assumes they have an extra $25,000 sitting around.
I have heard stories, and read stories about random money falling in the hands of those just when they need it. Well while I believe in everyone of those stories I have never known the people it happened to. Well I know Jana and we are adopting children from the same orphanage, so this is happens!
Please read her blog...see the words she uses about Gods!


Okay, as I begin to write this I feel kinda like a hillbilly......but yes we attended the North American International Livestock Exposition ! Picture the animals at the state fair and add in lots of hands on learning expierences and teaching stations. This is one of our favorite FTs of the year.
Here Carson is concentrating on roping his steer! Annie picks apples.

Carsons favorite part was watching the chicks hatch.....he was amazed!

Here is some of the 38 children who attended. (Yes, Madelyn is missing , she was sick with a virus :( )

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Art at co-op

So sorry for so many pics...blogger has not been working for when it works I over do it!

The other co-op that my kids attend had our open house night and it was lovely. These are for Teaque especially, her little boy got sick and they could not attend...he was very dissapointed :(

Below is the art display from the Art class that Teaque and I taught. The class was K-1st graders. We meet for 8 weeks, so we had 8 different techniques or projects for the children.
Below is a PAPER MACHE maraca......a pinecone (3D art) turkey CLAY ornament,

From top to bottom: We did magazine collage where each child assembled their "family" from the facial features of the magazine pictures.
Next was our "Eric Carlish" picture. On day one we did texture painting. We painted with feathers, combs etc. On the second day the children cut out shapes and made a picture. (Madelyn's was titled The Very Busy Animals.....notice the horse on the left and the bird)
The blue blob...was learning about abstract as well as monochromatic. The children drew their shapes and then colored in all the spaces with differnt shades of the original color.
On the bottom is their mosiac. They hand drew a picture and then glued on the mosiac tiles. (FYI this one did not go as planned!)!

Guess who is a big girl now?

Little Annie finally has a big girl bed! She is a bit over three and had refused to sleep in her crib for the past few months (which is no wonder as "big" as she has always been).
We originally were putting off buying a new bed until we received our referral. Not knowing the ages or genders of the children, we did not know where everyone would be sleeping...etc. Once we got our referrals we decided the boys will share a room (which meant selling Carsons loft bed and getting 2 twins) and the girls would stay in her own room. Then the girls decided they wanted to share a room. Which meant selling Maddie's twin bed and buying a full.
I decided to just get Annie a toddler bed for the time being, until we see how everything is going to work out with the current room situation.
So here she is......

Gotta love Craigslist...I got the bed (Pottery Barn) for $50!!
It needs to be mentioned that Annie was a bit dissapointed because the bed was not "high" ...she wanted it "higher and higher"!

Our little turkeys..

I found this cute little turkey craft here. My friend Marcy had the idea posted on her blog. This was the only thing that we got done this week, despite my overzealous plan that I had prepared because of the sickness that has been running rampit through our home. I had promised Annie for over 1 week that she was going to paint turkeys. If you know Annie....she does not forget!!
Once we got going we decided we would make one for each member of the family for place cards tomorrow. (I did not photo the name cards).
Madelyn began and she fizzled out quickly (to my surprise as she loves art/painting etc) but she came back and finished. Annie is so ....well....Annie. That girl did her own glue (Elmers people...not a stick!) and placed each little piece on hers and most of Maddie's....she has patience for the details...inlike big sis!

Isn't she a doll....!! Oh and I need to make the Carson disclaimer: Carson chose to ride his bike rather than participate!!LOL

What happens when mommy is on strike!!

Okay, we have all heard..."What did you do all day" from our hubbys or even that other little voice in our head! First I must make a disclaimer that I HATE posting these messy pics...but I had to do it!
So anyhow I was diagnosed with a throat infection at around 1pm on Tuesday...I was fine until about 4pm. At that point I went horizontal on the couch and never got up. I had chills, weakness, etc. I might also add that 2 of the kids were also sick, meaning they were lounging around too (not making much mess). So here is evidently what happens in LESS than 24 hours when mommys don't do what mommy's do!!!
If only you could appreciate the syrup all over the counter...crumbs etc. scrapbooking bag has been there for a few days....but the rest wasn't!
Again..picture the cereal that is permantly stuck to the table....
Wow what is this?
Yeap....mommy is feeling better and managed to clean up all the mess, plus sterilize the bathrooms, a few loads of laundry, make Rice Krispie Treats, Brownies and 12 turkey place cards for tomorrow....

just another reason I cannot die......

they will not...cannot survive........

Thursday, November 20, 2008

This might or might not be my precious 3 year old son! By law we can not show faces!! Although those cutie patootie hands and feet are pretty sweet too!! I just cannot wait to HOLD HIM!! This last leg of the journey feels more surreal than the rest has. The very beginning of the adoption held so much paperwork and excitement of the unknown. The middle of the process had ups and downs and the anticipation of who would our child or children be.
Now that we know who our children are, it is just hard to wrap your head around! I look at their pictures forever...but it has not sunk in that they should be home soon! That they will be in my car, that they will flush toys down my toliet, that they will call me mommy?!??!?!?!? That on Sunday morning I will have 5 rooms to visit BEFORE I get to my class!! I could go on and on but it is hard to "get"...I am assuming this is kinda like when you are pregnant but have not felt the baby move yet?

Precious isn't he?????

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Co-op D&D

In the homeschool world there are many types of co-ops. The co-ops we are a part of basically consist of about 35 families. All the mothers lend their talents to teaching, administration, rocking babies in the nursery etc. This gives children the benefit of attending class with friends and learning to listen to other adults and taking classes that they may not otherwise get at home!
I get the benefit of staying with the children (usually I spend one hour/class with each child) and wathcing them interact. The classes are small, usually no more than about 10 children with three teachers. All the families are Christian...I could go on and on about the wonderful parts of co-op!
At the end of each session we host a Dessert and Display (basically an open house) for dads and grandparents to see what we have done. We have tables displayed from each childs class and then we have do songs, or presentations in the sanctuary.
Madelyn showing off her Spanish book.

Annie showing off some of her work!

Our entire family (minus my hubby!-he is taking the picture) came out to see the kids work! It was awesome to have everyone come out. My family is great!

Carson showing off his Indian pueblo (made of sand paper-pretty cool!)

Madelyn LOVES being on stage...she LOVES singing and signing! She has the most angelic voice and has learned about 8 songs in sign language this fall.

Our cute little family!!!

Carsons co-op classes: Native Americans, Karate, PE and Art
Madelyns classes: Character First, Spanish, PE and Kindermusic
Annies classes: Letter of the Day, PE, Arts and Crafts, Boz the Bear
We actually attended 2 co-ops this session on on Mondays and one of Thursdays. More on the Monday co-op coming soon!

Home Ec. 101

If you have not seen the Baby is pretty cool! She talks and responds to different actions. She eats baby food and of course (the girls favorite part) she POOPS and PEES!!! So for a few hours the other morning we made baby food and juice and fed our babies, cleaned our babies, learned about how to tie on bibs, changed diapers etc.!
It made me realize that this is the longest our home has been without diapers!! Since we about to enter that realm again, this was a good practice!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Dolls!

Here are the first 3 dolls of the five I need to make! I am still working on the dolls for my 2 Ethiopian cutie pies!! (trying to figure out the hair!!) I got this idea from Tara and the actual design came from this talented lady! It is fun to get together with other ladies and try something new!

The girls picked out their own fabric. However today when I gave the girls their dolls Annie was very naughty! She said she did not like it and wanted Madelyn's. She said "I not like it" Madelyn happily took them both and played with them for hours. Carson was sweet about it...he was like how did you do that? He asked a ton of questions about it which was super cute! From left to right...Annie, Carson and Madelyn.

Love this shot....I found Madelyn on the couch having a very deep conversation with the dolls...awwhhhh!!

Oops.....BUSTED!! hehe

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Halloween fun...

Better late than never, I have had problems getting pics to load !! So for the last few years we have invited the whole family out for Trick or Treating. I decided to not drive the kids around on Halloween to see everyone (I hated that as a kid!) so if they want to see the kids they come to us!! I make all kinds of appetizers, snacks and desserts.
The kids and I have so much fun preparing for our guests!
This is half of the group because all of Pauls family was in from Chicago. Carson, Madelyn, Paige, Bella & Annie

Annie playing Mummy Bowl!!

Some of our sweet treats! The bottom row are the little ghosts the kids decorated.

Annie icing her ghost!

Carson with the Halloween cinnamon rolls!

The kiddos with the pumpkin pizza I brought from Papa Murphy's. (BTW They would not eat it, they are so picky!)

Hippie mommy with her flapper girl!!

Monday, November 3, 2008


This lady is amazing....this is from her blog.
“A pessimist, they say, sees a glass of water as being half empty; an
optimist see the same glass as half full. But a giving person
sees a glass of water and starts looking for someone who might
be thirsty.”
(G. Donald Gale)

You guys ready?
We’re digging for water.
The lack of access to clean water is the leading cause of death in underdeveloped countries.
Try to imagine walking on a three hour journey…twice a day…to collect a liquid which shares “two diabolical identities–life mixed with death. It is both cure and poison.”(Dan Haseltine)
Inside the containers of millions of people around the world is a mixture of “water, dirt, algae, cow and goat feces, bacteria, mosquito larvae and other insect eggs and parasites and various waterborne diseases waiting for a host.” (Haseltine)
They are forced every day to make the choice…drink and die.
Or don’t drink and die.
And die they do.
4500 children die EVERY day due to water related diseases.
Did you get that?
4500 children every day.
And the solution lies simply below the surface…in a relatively inexpensive and permanent solution.
And for these reasons, we knew from the beginning one of our projects was going to be an attempt to dig a fresh water well.
This is hard for us to imagine because WATER is NOT something we worry about.
But again, please try. Eyes open.

We found the above mentioned organization to partner with and were so excited about a well-digging opportunity.
But as the holidays approached, we got nervous. We feared everyone (including ourselves) would start holding their money a bit tighter as Christmas approached. We didn’t want to commit to building a well and then have to come up short.
We thought about it and prayed about it for several weeks.
I was absolutely consumed by it.
Then it hit us.
Isn’t that the point?
It’s the point of all these things. All these projects. To force us to loosen our grip on earthly consumption. To strengthen our resolve to issues of justice. To keep our eyes open. To give more. Sacrifice more. To keep the world from changing us.
Then it was these statistics that sealed the deal—
Americans spend 450 billion dollars on Christmas every year.
It would cost 10 billion dollars to give the whole world clean water.
Are you kidding me?
That was it. We were no longer digging one well. We were launching in the middle of holiday season. And we’re going for 10 billion.

Water For Christmas.
We’re buying Water For Christmas.
We are doing it because we want to. Because it resonates with who we want to be.
And we are inviting everyone to join us.
If you want…individuals, families, churches, businesses.
We can all give up something.
Little somethings.
Big somethings.
This holiday season.
In order that people can have clean water.
We have a web page set up with Charity Water where donations can be made. 100% of our donations go directly to digging wells. Donations can be made there or by check and/or cash collection. Through them, we will be able to track our progress. Details coming.
They said they have a huge need in Liberia right now. And well, where the needs are is where we want to be.
So we are working on well projects in Liberia.
Charity Water provides the post-drill training in maintenance and repair to the local community. A very important piece of long term impact.
We will wrap this campaign up on Dec. 31st.
It’s not hard to imagine what Jesus would desire from us in the celebration of His birthday–
“I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me….To the extent that you did it to one of these, even the least of them, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:35,40)
It’s His heart. And I want it to be mine.
And so this year I am asking for Water For Christmas.
I know these issues are on the heart of many of you as well. If we joined forces we could begin to make a serious dent.
And sometimes we just need the opportunity.
So that is the point of Water For Christmas…to unite people from all across the country in a common goal. Clean water for all people.
We also know that when we come together in heart and mind, “there will be no needy persons among them.” (Acts 4:32-34)
Clean water is within the reach of this generation.
For goodness sake, it’s 2% of American’s annual Christmas spending.
We can do that.
And we’re starting with Water For Christmas.
Our friend Pastor Larry in Maryland was one of the first to join us in Water For Christmas commitment. It’s a cool story and you can read it here. He says this perfectly so I’m just going to steal it–”So, if you want to join me in saying, “All I want for Christmas is water,” great, but don’t do it out of guilt or obligation or anything like that or else you will have a miserable Christmas. Do it because you want to. Maybe you will want to give up one gift for water. Or simplify Christmas dinner and give the savings to Water for Christmas.”
This is going to look different for everyone.
But we can all put water on our radar of things to care about.
I can say personally that since I have decided to think water and simplify Christmas a great deal this year…excitement and not stress have been reigning in my heart and mind. We’re still pulling out the tree and hanging lights. Just not buying any new decorations. We have plenty. We will buy the kids gifts…but probably just one. One meaningful gift. Andy and I will forego trying to come up with something to buy each other…and instead buy water. And watch our money tip the scale ever so slightly from consumerism to compassion. We’re still thinking about continued ways we can incorporate water into our Thanksgiving and Christmas. And I can tell you I think about it every time I turn on the faucet, or fill a glass with ice, or take a hot shower, or turn the cap of a brand new water bottle.
And in the next two months, each time we make a sacrifice or a reduced spending effort, we will donate immediately to
And if we all did something, we would be well on our way to world change by Dec. 31.
I do not see this as another token charity that we pull out at Christmas time–appease our conscience–and then carry on as normal. This is not meant to replace or compete with the programs already in place in your churches and family traditions. I guess I kind of want us to feel it. To give up something. Not to do this in addition to overindulgence. Sacrifice something. Make it’s absence felt. Mother Teresa said, “I hope you are not giving only your surplus. You must give what costs you, make a sacrifice, go without something you like, that your gift may have some value before God. Then you will be truly brothers and sisters to the poor who are deprived of even the things they need.” (Believe me, I’m squirming as I type that too.)
$20 gives one African clean water for life. $5,000 dollars digs a well for a whole village.
10 billion dollars gives the WHOLE WORLD clean water.
So the only thing standing in the way of life and health for millions of people in Africa the inability to pay for the drilling to clean water.
We can do that, people.
In Africa, “Water is Life.”
We can give life.
And that’s what we are going to do.
Water For Christmas.
(OK, details later today on how to get started! Lots of fun things for you to use to get Water For Christmas started. Stay tuned
My boys putting together the new beds for our expanding boy room!! (after pics to come soon....) Those freckles!!!
Okay cute story....Annie seems to be more excited about her "brodders" than any of us! She talks about them non stop.....she will carry around the phot album of their pics for hours...she says she is "holding her brodders". It is weird that at her age she "gets it"!
So on Sunday morning as we are getting ready for church (which is always mad chaos) I walk around the corner to see her lying on her belly with those pink boots a swinging looking at the pictures of her brothers. She was pointing at them and saying their names.......too cute!!

Madelyn and her good friend Camille had a playdate after church, they were so excited!! They had a blast and played about every toy in the house!!

Madelyn and "little Madelyn" wore their matching Asian dresses to church...they were so adorable!

Don't forget to VOTE tomorrow.......VOTE biblical and pray!