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

Thursday, August 30, 2012


I guess you have to let your tongue hang out of your mouth to show you're working really hard!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I'll spare you another video of Jalen playing the Bop-It, but this morning he made it to 100 on the toy! He beat it! That is some serious hand-eye-brain coordination for a 3-year-old! He obviously doesn't get it from me, as I can only get a score of about 15. :-) Anyway, it was pretty amazing and he was very proud of himself!
Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, August 27, 2012


*Disclaimer - If you think that the title of this post has anything to do with the content, you're mistaken. "Hamper" is what Jalen insisted I call it - for no apparent reason. When I asked him why, he came up with, " 'cause." So there you have it. "Hamper" it is, and "Hamper" it shall stay. (?)

This is what I had to face early in the morning the other day, before I even had my coffee:

The Bop-It has quickly become his favorite toy, and he plays with it all the time. Hopefully it's just a phase......

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Double Digits!

Today, we are celebrating Adrian! He is 10 years old!

Adie, we are so thankful that God gave you to us. We love you with all our hearts, and hope you have a wonderful year as a 10-year-old!  XOXOXOXO

Happy Birthday!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Counting My Blessings

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

Sometimes I find myself too caught up in life's busyness, too consumed with the work that needs to be done, so frustrated with disobedient children that I forget to be thankful for the little things. Sometimes I am so focused on the way that one of my children plants his foot against his sister's head and shoves, while smirking viciously, the way that the insurance company still didn't pay their portion of the surgery bill, and the fact that there are way too many projects around the house that need to be completed. Sometimes I forget to just stop and be grateful for all of the small blessings in my life. So the other day, I decided to slow down, notice, and make a list of all the little things I'm thankful for. Here's what I came up with:

1. Fresh coffee in my favorite mug

2. Early morning Bible verses

3. Soft, green grass

4. A flower-covered arbor

5. 2 sets of sleepy brown eyes

6. A special envelope in my mailbox

7. After-school stories

8. A drive through the country

9. Puffy, white clouds against a bright blue sky

10. Hugs from my children

11. Homemade banana-berry smoothies

12. A bowl full of ripe, red cherries

13. A cute, little green tree frog clinging to the side of the garage

14. A kiss from sweet little lips

15. A kind salesclerk

16. Happy neighbor kids waving to me from the back of a four-wheeler

17. A stranger's smile

18. Little boys singing along to their favorite songs

19. A helping hand in the kitchen

20. Looking through old family scrapbooks

21. An improving medical report

22. A freshly-mowed yard

23. Squeals of delight as I chase a child around the house :-)

24. Adventures in Odyssey stories

25. A mid-week church service

26. Willing nap-takers

27. Bible stories

28. A big pot of chili

29. Gorgeous pink clouds at sunset

30. 3 little voices saying bedtime prayers in unison

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It's That Time Again.....

Yes, our summer has drawn to a close, and today is the first day of the school year. The kids were excited to get up early this morning, but I don't expect that to last too long! 

Shana is going into the 6th grade this year. It is so hard to believe that she is in middle school now! Where has the time gone?

Adrian is starting 4th grade.

Ashton is in 2nd grade this year.

And Malia is starting 1st grade.

Praying that everyone has a fabulous school year filled with God's blessings!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Chris had a business meeting in Iowa early this past week, so the kids and I loaded up and went along. We had 4 fun-filled days of eating out, shopping and swimming - a great little last-minute summer getaway!

Here is Jordan dancing in the backseat to his favorite song, "Circle of Life" from The Lion King - he would listen to this song all day if I'd let him. Pretty sure it has something to do with the African beat. ;o)

This is Malia's "hurry-up-and-take-the-picture-mom-so-I-can-go-swim" smile:

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sometimes I Forget.....

Sometimes I forget where our twins came from. They just fit into our family so well, and sometimes it's easy to just assume that they've always been here. I forget about the heartbreak, the sadness, the poverty, the redemption. I forget about Ethiopia. Oh sure, the dire circumstances that you see stay with you for awhile, and you come home thinking that your life is forever changed. And it is, deep down inside. The amazing story is always there, in the back of your mind. But it doesn't take long to get back into your old, comfortable routine. Back to the way you've always done things, the way you've always lived. Back to the same selfishness. And Proverbs 24:12 comes to mind: "If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? And he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?"

I don't want to forget. Please, God, don't let me forget.

Sometimes I forget that we are not a "normal-looking" family, until we go out in public or travel somewhere and everybody stares at us. Some people ask questions, some people make comments about how many kids we have, some people just stare, and others talk about us behind their hands. But that's ok - I just hope they can see a little bit of Jesus shining through when they look at us.

I don't want to forget to let my light shine and try to be an encouragement to at least one person every day.

Sometimes I forget that to whom much is given, much is required. I have been given much.

I don't want to forget that much is required of me.

Sometimes I forget that God knows best. He always has. He always will. You would think that I would certainly know that by now. But sometimes it's hard to let go and give everything over to Him. There have been times in my life when I've done things my way, only to find that I was wrong. Times when I thought I wanted something, but God didn't give it to me. And it has been for the best. Times when I didn't want something, yet God gave it to me anyway. And it has been perfect. So why is it so hard sometimes to trust and leave everything up to Him? My heart knows that I want what He wants for me, but my head sometimes forgets.

I don't want to forget to leave it all to Him. Everything. Always. 

Sometimes I forget that life is short. At this point, it sometimes seems like the days go on forever. That I still have plenty of time in this life to do what matters. But sometimes I imagine a rope that is stretched around the world many times. It seems to go on forever and ever, and you can't, never will, see the end of it. The very first inch of that rope represents our life here on this earth. And the rest is only the beginning of eternity. I need to make every second of this life matter, and store up my treasure in heaven instead of here on earth. That is what matters, after all.

I don't want to forget to number my days. And to make the most of them. 

Sometimes I forget that this earth is not my home. I am only passing through. I don't want to get too comfortable. But I don't want to get too upset, either, when hard things happen. When life seems unfair. When those I love get hurt. After all, Jesus told us that " the world ye shall have tribulation." (John 16:33) We are not exempt. In fact, we should expect it. This is a fallen world, after all. We need to forgive, just as He has forgiven us. And we are not to worry, because He has overcome the world. And we can rest in this promise.

Dear God, please help me to never forget.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Things Have Been Up-In-The-Air Lately.....

.....because of our new trampoline.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Like As a Father.....

"Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him." Psalm 103:13.

"...for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." Matthew 6:8.

"Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful." Luke 6:36.

"For the Father....loveth you..." John 16:27.

" have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." Romans 8:15.

"And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." 2 Corinthians 6:18.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


.....we have been enjoying cousin-time!

.....Malia learned how to ride a bike with no training wheels!

.....Jordan loves to show us how big his muscles are.

.....we have been enjoying all of the cuteness around here.