As for me, I know of nothing else but miracles. - Walt Whitman

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Today We Are Celebrating....

...Shana! Our firstborn is ten years old today! I remember so clearly when she was born and the nurses laid her in my arms for the first time. She was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen!! It is hard to imagine that ten whole years have gone by since then, but she is quickly growing into a wonderful young lady.

Shana - Happy Birthday! We love you with all our hearts, and we are so thankful that God has blessed our lives with you. We hope you have a lot of fun being 10, and are excited that you will be traveling to Ethiopia with us sometime this year. Thanks for all you do for us - we know that it's not always easy being the oldest as that brings more responsibility with it, but you do a wonderful job. May God continue to richly bless you always!

Lots of love, hugs, and kisses,
Daddy and Mommy

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Afternoon Art....

This afternoon I was looking for something to do. It's not that I was bored; in fact, I never run out of things to keep me busy. But I was procrastinating because I really didn't feel like cleaning my bathrooms just then. So instead, I headed to my scrapbooking/painting room in the basement and came up with an idea. First, I dug around in my stash until I found a plain, brown decorative charger. Then I pulled out some adhesive vinyl and began cutting away. When that was finished, I cut some letters out of the vinyl using my Cricut cutter. (Well, actually, the Cricut belongs to a friend of mine that told me I could have it and use it for as long as I wanted.)  :-) Anyway, the project turned out looking like this:

And now the charger graces the top of the computer desk. It was a very simple, easy and fast project, and now we have something else displayed that will remind us of our family member(s) who are half a world away. They are always in our hearts, and we look forward with great anticipation to the day we get to see their precious faces.

OK, I guess I'll go clean the bathrooms now. :-) Have a great Thursday, everyone!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Seasons Change......

Today, the kids were supposed to go to school as a make-up day, since they have missed so many days already this year due to snow and ice. However, today was cancelled as well due to ice! So, another day will have to be made up. :-( We all enjoyed the "warmer" weather this past weekend, though. By "warmer", I mean around 40-ish degrees, but sunny and near windless for once. That may not seem very warm to some of you, but hey! A week and a half ago we woke up one morning to the thermometer reading negative 23 degrees! So we're definitely making some progress here! I can tell that the kids are ready for spring - I reminded Adrian all day on Saturday to get his coat on, and he just looked at me like I had sprouted horns. "Are you crazy?" I was asked. "It's HOT out here!" Yeah, ok, whatever. We're obviously from the north.

Some signs of the changing season that we noticed around the house over the weekend include:

1. Fat, fuzzy leaf buds on the trees:

2. Geese flying north:

3. Green life pokin' through the dirt:

4. Our dog, Copper, having a ball rolling around and lounging in the grass:

5. Less snow. All we have left of the white stuff is this little bit between the playhouse and swing set:

In comparison, this is what the yard looked like a week ago:

6. The kids spent all day on Saturday playing outside:

 (See? No coat - only a sweatshirt. What am I gonna do with this kid?)

 We're awfully happy to be outside!

7. We played basketball and baseball, rode bikes, and took walks. Malia enjoyed riding her new bike that she got from her grandma for Christmas:
 And she took her bike-riding very seriously. Everytime she came to a stop and needed a little help getting started again, she would tell us, "I need a head mark!" Not exactly sure what that meant - maybe a head start??

8. Deer prancing about in the fields (I even saw a baby one this week):

Sunday was really special for me as well. In church, I was sitting there listening to the service and how God calls each of us to do different things in life. Our calling may not be the same as someone else's. But we all need to step forward and do exactly what God is telling us to do. My mind went to our adoption journey, and I wondered, "Why, out of all the people on the face of the earth, did God choose us to parent this child? I certainly don't feel very qualified. Why did He specifically call us to this?" Then I looked down at the open Bible in my lap. We had read the last chapter of Galatians together, but instead my eyes fell on these verses in the first chapter of Ephesians: "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace...." (Eph. 1:4-6) 

God has known all along that He had this adoption for us, even back when we were completely ignorant to the plight of the orphan. In fact, maybe we were put on this earth because of this very reason - for such a time as this. Though we may not totally understand and though we may not feel very qualified for this position, God will be there every step of the way. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. I know that He does not call all of us to adoption; but He does have something for each one of us to do if we will just listen to Him. Isn't it exciting to think that He has a special project in mind just for you? What will you let Him do through you? And we need to remember that it is not we who are doing a great thing; it is God. Yet He can use even the weakest among us to perform wonderful things.

Later in the day I was talking to one of my friends on the phone. He asked how our adoption is going. I explained to him that even though we don't know when the call will come, we are expecting it at any time. It could be months away, or it could happen today. We are just waiting and ready. His next comment really struck me. He said that is exactly how we need to live our lives. Expecting Jesus at any time. We don't know when He will come again, but we need to be waiting and ready. It could be months away; it could be today. Are we ready?

Have a great day, everyone!

Friday, February 18, 2011

8 Months Ago Today......

......we entered the waitlist! And what a journey it has been! We started out at number.....

# 71 for girls.....

#44 for boys.....

and #40 for siblings.

So, in eight months we have moved 47 spots for girls, 29 spots for boys, and 30 spots for siblings.

I am also getting really pathetic. Since there have been several referrals over the last few days, I find myself checking our agency's yahoo group for more referral news all the time. I'll stick a load of laundry into the washing machine, check the listserv, make a phone call, check the listserv, clear the lunch dishes from the table, check the listserv, and so on. My mom always told me that a watched pot never boils, and I know that my constant checking is not going to speed things up, so I'm not sure what this current computer addiction is all about. Help! I'm starting to drive myself crazy! It's probably because my "pregnancy" has now lasted for about 14 months and my hormone levels are off the charts! I need to keep reminding myself:

"... they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." - Isaiah 40:31

and "...the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: Though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry." - Habakkuk 2:3

God is faithful, and He keeps His promises. Have a great weekend, everyone!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spring Is On Its Way......

This is what I saw when I was outside a few minutes ago:

My crocuses are pushing through! Yay! Here in Ohio, we still have piles of snow on the ground in places, but the warmer temperatures this week are melting a lot of it. Just last week, we had sub-zero temperatures, and today it is in the upper 50's! A big change in just a few days!

I love Spring, a time to celebrate new life, and I am so ready for it this year! It has been a long winter, but these crocuses are proof that Spring is just around the corner!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I've Started a Collection....

....of items to donate to Hannah's Hope when we travel over to Ethiopia.

 I also found this HUGE bag of suckers that I hope to give out to the children over there...

And I have purchased a couple of books to give to our adopted child(ren). If you know of any other good books for adopted children, I would love to hear about them so I can add them to our library!

I'm hoping we get the opportunity to give these items soon...... after all,

Have a great day!

Monday, February 7, 2011

New February Numbers and a Prayer Request.....

We got an email from our case worker today that included our new February waitlist numbers. They are:

# 27 for girls

#17 for boys

#11 for siblings

Although I thought we would've had our referral by now, I'm at peace knowing that God has everything under control. He's orchestrating everything in the background, just waiting for the right moment to give us our long-awaited phone call. And then our lives will never be the same again......

My husband's grandmother passed away this afternoon. Chris's family is huge - Grandma Evelyn was an amazing mother to 14 children, and her descendants total somewhere around 250 people. She was a wonderful Christian example to all of us, and she will be greatly missed. We ask for your prayers this week as we are hosting a large church conference, keeping guests overnight, planning meals, and preparing for a funeral. Thanks, everyone, and have a wonderful week!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Difference Between Boys and Girls.....

When girls play with Legos, they make cute little apartment buildings with kitties and flowers on the roof.

Or, they make cute little boats with girls in them that have their hair being blown back. They also put cute little pink bows in the girl's hair.

Or, they start the foundation for a cute little brick house.

Boys, on the other hand.....

....make a couple of guys who are aiming a cannon at some other poor guy. Then they proceed to tell him that they are going to blow him up....

....and for some reason, this poor man looks awfully happy about staring down the barrel of a cannon in the last few seconds of his life....

What is wrong with this picture? I'm convinced that my boys have some loose wiring somewhere..... they are just not right at times.....

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Our Crazy Week....

OK, so I've been missing from Blogland this week, but I've had good reasons. Really! Chris left on Sunday for Nevada, and has been gone all week. Monday, I found out we were supposed to get a huge winter storm, so I spent the day getting groceries, hauling firewood into the garage and making preparations in case the power went out. The kids have been out of school now for three days straight, and Shana has had the flu all week. The weather did get pretty nasty, but thankfully the power only blinked out several times before coming back on. We're all starting to get a bit stir-crazy, but are thankful that Chris is supposed to arrive home tonight. Yay!

So here are some photos of what we've been up to:
 Before the storm, our neighbor boy came over and gave the kids rides on his snowmobile.

 We've also been playing games,

 sitting by the fire,

working on Valentine's Day cards,

taking pictures to email to Daddy, (and yes, some of us have stayed in our PJ's all day) :-)

and spending time outside. (playing in the snow and shoveling the walks.) The trees were beautiful this morning, so I had to snap a few pictures.

 We didn't actually get as much snow as they predicted, but I know some of you probably got buried in snow drifts! Hope you're all staying warm! I am so ready for Spring.

Have a great Thursday!