Friday, December 24, 2010

Wishing you...

an abundance of joy, love, and hope in Christ this Christmas!!!
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A foster baby for Christmas

We just got a call! Four days before Christmas and there is a little tiny baby needing a home. Before I could even allow my heart and mind to think about it, I said no. It was the same woman that placed baby C with us 9 months ago. She said she thought we were full, but was "hoping".
I immediately called DH to tell him, and to my surprise he was asking questions like, "Was it a boy or a girl?" and "How old?" I cannot believe he would even consider it, with how overwhelmed we are! I tell people all the time that this is our limit. I cannot imagine caring for 3 babies, plus the other two. This morning was a great example, there was one diaper change after another, one older child sick, and crying coming from every direction. It took both of us to get things under control. It was complete chaos for awhile, the kind where you need to stop and pray, because you realize you really need God's help in that moment.
But, of course, I still wonder, where will this baby end up? Who is this little one? Should I have considered it, prayed about it, instead of saying no right away? A baby for Christmas...I pray this precious one finds a wonderful family just in time.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Oh, child!!!

The other day I thought miss L looked so cute in her snowbunny outfit as she got ready to go out and play in the snow. I wanted to capture a quick picture before she went outside. I quickly remembered how hard it is to get a good photo of her. She has a VERY hard time just looking at the camera and smiling. This has always been an issue...and, it is actually better, but just to give you an idea, here are some samples of that days "photo shoot".

Please, just stand and smile, say cheese, anything but dance around, all I want is one quick picture, then you can go out and play!

Oh my goodness, what is that face? Please, little one, just smile, your normal, natural, adorable smile....and this is the best I got! {she was really trying here, lol!}.

Poor thing, she really thought that was the smile I see all the time when I am not trying to take pictures....this is not fun anymore!!! Come on, sweetie, one more try!!

Okay, I'll take this's not really your typical smile, but you tried really hard for mommy, and you need to go out and play! And off she went to join her sister in the back yard for an afternoon of sledding.
This is only 5 of the many other pictures taken during what turned into a photo shoot, just looking for one simple picture...smiling at the camera. This is what I go through pretty much every time I try and get a picture of her where I want her to look at the's exhausting! She has so many faces she puts on in an attempt to pose...yet none are her natural smile. It does make for some pretty funny photos, and lots of memories when looking back at them! Oh, my sweet little Lil, you are a unique, fun-loving little girl, and I wouldn't trade you for the world! Love ya my little snow bunny!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I was just reading this blog, and this is not something I had heard about, other than reading it there. How scary for this family!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Facebook is CRAZY...and so is life!

This is going to be a really random post, because my life is just, well, really random right now!

My first *serious* boyfriend used to pop back into my life every year on my b-day, after I broke up with him at the age of 14! It was crazy. In fact, the year I met my husband, I had forgotten that this ex-boyfriend of mine did this, and on my 19th b-day, I heard someone knock on the door, and I peeked out and saw the back of what I thought was my current boyfriends head. To my utter shock, when I opened the door, it was the blast from the past again....the guy who had showed up on my doorstep for the past 5 years, every birthday! Talk about awkward, as I knew my current boyfriend (now my husband) would be driving up any moment!

In 1997, I was completing my Occupational therapy degree. I wanted to do one of my 6 week internships at one of the big state mental me crazy, I know...and it was one of the most bizarre, outrageous experiences I have had to this day! I was a poor student, not knowing how I was going to find a place to live for 6 weeks, but somehow, I ended up being offered a room in a home of one of the employees that worked there. A single african american woman and her daughters. They were so kind, and supportive, especially after she informed me that the supervisor I was assigned to should actually be one of the patients there, and not an employee, lol! Needless to was a horrific experience, but God had me right where I needed to be...and this christian family supported and loved me, a complete stranger, through it all!
Fast forward 12 years, and I got a call from this woman last year! This was the first time I had talked to her since that 6 week internship, and she said she had found my number somewhere and wanted to call and check up on me! Thankfully, I remembered her and we had a nice conversation, and I thought it was so sweet that she actually picked up the phone and called!

Now, my 10 year high school reunion was a different story. I remembered most of the people there, but at one point, I was standing there, and saw this guy coming toward me with a big smile on his face and his arms spread out to his sides saying "MICHELLE!" as he gave me a big hug. I was stunned, and caught off guard for a moment, and he must have noticed, because he then said, "Don't tell me you don't remember me". Now this was an attractive guy, someone I would think I would remember, but honestly, I had NO CLUE who this person was. I still don't remember what I said to him because at that point I felt so horrible for not remembering him, and I even tried looking him up in the yearbook later, and he wasn't in it. Crazy!

Facebook is the newest way we now connect with each other, and honestly, I don't have much time to spend there. I have a hard enough time trying to maintain and sustain real life relationships, and think these are so much more important, that if I spend time on facebook I really begin to feel like I am neglecting my family and friends. I am shocked every once in awhile when I open my email and find a friend request from someone from the past. Even more surprised when it's someone I haven't talked to since I was like, 13. Today I got that friend request. It was a friend I met at the summer camp I used to go to every year in the San Juan Islands. Even more surprising, I actually remember her! Once again, it just seems so crazy to me. Crazy.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"Cleaning the house while the kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk as it's still snowing!"

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bring on the season!

I love everything about the Christmas season! The snow, the Christmas music, even the shopping and wrapping! I can't get enough. I love sitting by the warm woodstove, while the girls make ornaments and special gifts for those they love. We have a tradition of celebrating Advent now and we never forget the tradition of baking and decorating Christmas cookies. We always read lots of books about the true meaning of Christmas, as we sit by the Christmas tree every night. There are so many memories worth making at Christmas time.
This year the babies are not quite aware of what is going on, but they are ever curious about the lights, and the sights all around. Miss L, at 4 years old, is able to sing Christmas carols this year, and the excitement in her face makes this year a very special one as we experience Christmas through her eyes. M is busy in the craft room, creating and creating as always. She is making many of the gifts she will give this year. Blessings to you this Christmas, and may your holiday season be merry & bright!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


We have been covered in white here in central washington! Today more beautiful snowflakes fell, and the girls have been sledding, building snowmen, having snowball fights, and ALWAYS coming inside afterward, asking for hot cocoa.
I love that this winter wonderland arrived a bit early this year. It just makes the start of the Christmas season all the more beautiful!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I heard from the hospital I work for today. I have been DENIED!!
This means that I am getting fired from my job because I refuse to give into forced vaccines. WOW. I am speechless.
Of course, they worded it this way, "Your reason for not getting the flu shot has been denied, and you will be taken off the pay schedule". I said, "What you mean is I am getting fired for not complying with a forced vaccine, right?" She paused for a moment, and then said, "Well, yeah, I guess you can say that".
I asked if this is legal, and she said that they consulted with attorneys before updating their flu shot policy this year, so she thinks it's all legal.
Unfortunately, I am stuck. There is no organization that I know of to back me up. There are no resources to access, and no guidance as to what to do in this situation. The research I have done shows that in this state, hospitals across the board are all going for 100% compliance with the flu shot, for all employees, this includes back office staff that never come in contact with patients. The funny thing is, all patients that go to the hospital I work for have the right to refuse any medication offered to them, but employees don't.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Blessed with Bento!!!

My sweet friend L over at a blog I adore sent me an amazing surprise the other day in honor of my bday! Thank you L!!! Not only did she include some of her wonderful handcrafted items-in an owl theme which I am just loving right now, she blessed us with Bento supplies! I was so excited, I got right to work, creating my first "real" bento lunch...

And here it is!!! This was so fun to make! The sandwich was cut with one of the new cutters she sent which can cut bread, meat, or cheese. It is made of pita bread, cream cheese and cucumber, and the kitty face was cut out of turkey pepperoni! No kitty should go without multi colored fishy crackers and babybel cheese.

Miss L waited so patiently for her bento. She ate every bite, and asks me for a bento lunch every day now!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I made it!!!

Yep, I made it to the fabulous age of 40!!! It was a very special day..I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes...

"Don't fret about getting older, it's a privilege denied to many"

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Here we go again...

As many of you know, I work one day per week out of the home as a pediatric Occupational therapy practitioner. I have loved this job for 13 years! Last year, due to the swine flu scare, they began mandating flu vaccine to all employees that work for the hospital I work for. I refused, as I don't believe they should force a vaccine on anyone. Finally, after talks with supervisors, etc., they finally told me that they didn't want to lose a good employee over this.
Well, this year, even though the swine flu issue turned out to be much less than what was predicted, my hospital is cracking down and stating that we must all be in 100% compliance and get the flu vaccine which is seasonal and H1N1 all in one shot this year. This year they are saying that we will be taken off the payroll if we do not comply. That's their version of saying they will fire us if we don't give in to forced vaccines, I guess. I have let them know that I have not changed my mind from last year. Will I be fired? Stay tuned to find out!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My first Bento lunches!!!

Here is my very first attempt at a Bento lunch. Above you have roasted chicken and cheddar on pita bread, carrot chips, babybel cheese with cheddar chickadee's. The girls absolutely loved this lunch, thought it was very fun and ate every bite!
Here is the second Bento lunch I served up-risotto in the pink cup, celery sticks with hummus, and mini honey ball cookies for dessert. Another success! M doesn't like hummus, but I have it around here a lot, and usually convince her to take a bite or two. With this lunch, she actually ate more than her usual small bites. So, serving up a Bento lunch has proven to make trying something unappealing a little easier somehow!
I don't have the usual Bento supplies yet, like the Bento boxes, and the cute little picks and all, but I am aquiring a few things here and there. Can't wait to expand my Bento skills!
I am teaching a healthy snack preparation class at our homeschool co-op this year, and have decided to teach my class how to prepare thier own Bento lunches. It makes eating healthy fun, and there really are so many ways to prepare these lunches, you can be as creative as you wish. I am planning on serving up lunch in this manner to my girls at least 2-3 times a week. It really doesn't take longer to prepare, either.
By the way, my little obsession with Bento all started when I came across this blog, and since then I have found so many other Bento blogs, and have stashed away many delicious and creative ideas!
Have you tried making Bento lunches for your family? If so, please share, I would love to see your creations!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What part of the gospel is optional?

Have you read this book? No, I was not asked to review it, I just have to share it with the world!! The way I got this book into my hands is a miracle in itself, and reading it was an absolute incredible blessing. It's amazing how God provides even before you ask or act in some cases. This book is hands down, the most important book, besides the Bible I have ever read. It left me speechless, and, well...speechless. I cannot adequately describe it. It answered so many questions I have had lately, and I finished it, wanting more. I have never re-read a book in my entire life, but I am ready to re-read this one. I highly recommend this book to anyone.
Read it, it will change you, and it will challenge you in ways no book ever has. I am so grateful to have found it! And, I have an extra copy!!! If you want it, be the first to email me and it is yours!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Lunches around here have been tranformed and revolutionized!! I made my first Bento box lunch today for the girls, stay tuned for pictures!!!


Bento (弁当, bentō?)[1] is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container. Containers range from disposable mass produced to hand crafted lacquerware. Although bento are readily available in many places throughout Japan, including convenience stores, bento shops (弁当屋, bentō-ya?), train stations, and department stores, it is still common for Japanese homemakers to spend time and energy for their spouse, child, or themselves producing a carefully prepared lunch box.
Bento can be very elaborately arranged in a style called kyaraben or "character bento". Kyaraben is typically decorated to look like popular Japanese cartoon characters (anime), characters from comic books (manga), or video game characters. Another popular bento style is "oekakiben" or "picture bento", which is decorated to look like people, animals, buildings and monuments, or items such as flowers and plants. Contests are often held where bento arrangers compete for the most aesthetically pleasing arrangements.
There are similar forms of boxed lunches in the Philippines (Baon), Korea (Dosirak), Taiwan (Biandang), and India (Tiffin). Also, Hawaiian culture has adopted localized versions of bento featuring local tastes after over a century of Japanese influence in the islands.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy November!!!

So happy it's November!! I will celebrate each day to the fullest, as it is the last fall month of the year, and I don't like to see this season end! There will be lots of playing outside, jumping in piles of leaves with the girls, b-day celebrating (yes-I turn the big 40 in just a few days!!), and I WILL eat cake! There will be an adoption anniversary to celebrate, family to visit, and turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie to feast on! My days will be full, of course, with babies and little girls who fill my life with joy! Yes, this month will be filled with so many beautiful, wonderful, bountiful things! Hope your November is filled with many blessings as well!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Do you wanna be an angel?

The holidays are just around the corner, and my sweet friend over at Frugal Trenches, has a wonderful opportunity to give and help a child in China! There is a huge need in China for clothing for the babies and children in institutions to help them stay warm over the winter months. They are also greatly in need of toys. Could you send a few items, and bless an orphan this year? You will be so blessed!!! Go over to her blog and get more details...this is an exciting opportunity....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kitty Love

" A MEOW massages the heart "

Monday, October 25, 2010

Life is fragile...

Just one week ago, I was just out of the hospital ER, beginning to recuperate from a serious health crisis. It came out of the blue. I thought I had a slight stiff neck. It progressed to the point of unimaginable pain anytime I turned my head in the slightest in any direction. IV narcotics only took the edge off. It was crazy. It was bizarre. But, through it all I have learned to truly appreciate the access to healthcare we have in this country. I am still on antibiotics now, and off all steroids and pain medication. I can still feel the infection, as the antibiotics work to kill it off day by day. I am so thankful, and greatly blessed, as I know that if I lived in many other nations I may not have lived through this. I could have never had the opportunity to get the meds I needed. I could have had to suffer in the agony of that pain, as the infection spread from my neck through my head and brain. I am so aware of how very fortunate I am to have the medical care I needed right when I needed it. Thank you, Lord. I pray that somewhere, right now, someone else suffering will be relieved of their pain and suffering and a miracle of healing would be upon them! Amen.


I have always wanted a DVD from the Homestead Blessings is the chance to enter a giveaway for one of their DVD's.

Email them here to enter:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Foster care update...

So much is going on around here, but I did want to do a quick foster care update!

Since the BIG meeting about baby L, and her mom getting out of jail, things have been going well with visitations. It had been 7 mos. since they had seen each other, so I wasn't sure what baby L would remember since she is now only 16 mos. old. I was able to go to the first visit. I wanted baby L to feel comfortable and I wanted to fill her mom in on things about baby L. It was great to see them together. She loves this baby so much! She was so excited to spend time with her. I was happy that with some reassurance from me, mellow little baby L was able to ease back into it. I showed her mom what makes her laugh, how to get her to talk, what foods she loves, etc. She brings presents to her at every visit now. She is getting another chance at regaining her rights to her, but the dept. states that it is very close, and may not be enough time for her. The dept. will be making their decision on who they feel the next option is, the relatives, or us, next week. A court date will then be set, and depending on what her mom does in the next few months, a permanant decision should be made at the hearing sometime in the new year.

Baby C's father continues to protest everything the dept. and the courts are doing. He is even contesting the adoption of a prior child of his that has already been adopted by a relative. Most of it is getting thrown out all the time, but apparently they have to hear him out. He was recently described to me as a legal nightmare. Since he is doing all this it is delaying her case further, while both parents work none of their plan. I guess they just like to fight the system but do nothing to really show they are doing what it will really take.

That's about it! More updates will come as I find out more!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Reece's Rainbow

I have a friend who is currently considering adopting a child through Reece's Rainbow. They specialize in international adoption, specifically children with Down syndrome.

I have been working with children with special health care needs since 1998. I have worked with a handful of children with Down syndrome over those years. They became my favorite kids to work with after awhile. They were always happy, smiling, and loving. They brightened my day, and I came to the realization that parents with children with Down syndrome are truly blessed.

It can be challenging raising a child with Down syndrome. They can have attentional challenges, learning difficulties, and will need more care than a typically developing child. Parents must look into the future and find supportive resources out there for their adult child with Down syndrome at some point. But the blessings far outweigh the challenges. What I love about Reece's Rainbow is the fact that they focus internationally. Many of these children in eastern europe get moved to a mental hospital at the age of 4 if they are not adopted. That is where they will remain. They will not know the love of a family they so deserve. They will experience deprivation, and neglect, and most possibly, abuse. It is sad to see that happening, when here, in the US, there are resources, therapies, and so many options out there to assist these very special kids.
I look at their site often. I am amazed at how many sweet little faces there are there. Take a peek for yourself, and maybe, just possibly, you might see a face you will call your own.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thank you!

Thank you to those that have prayed and emailed me! I think I am going to live. I am on 3 types of meds, and can finally move my head again without tremendous pain. Apparently it is some neck infection, that can happen to anyone when you eat from the bacteria you have in your mouth, it can get lodged in your throat, and move into the neck muscles, and create an infection and abscess! I have never heard of this. But, it would be me to come down with something so strange!

In the next day or two I should have a babies update! I got to go to the first visitation that baby L had with her mom, after getting out of jail. It had been 7 months since they saw each other.
More soon...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Please pray....

I am heading to the ER for the 3rd time in less than 24 hours. The pain I am experiencing (neck & head) is more intense than anything I have ever felt, it is disabling...none of the meds the Dr's have prescribed are helping....thank you.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

So cute!!!

My 4 year old, miss L, has been saying the sweetest things lately. She always tells me that I am her special mama, and she is my special daughter. She always talks about the love in her heart, and how happy she is that we came to China to get her. She also goes out on the front porch to sing songs to the moon each night. Tonight we all quietly peered out the door to watch her as she was singing "Twinkle twinkle little star" into the night sky.
Then later on, when we were spending some time playing with her this evening, she looked at me and said, "Mama, you are my rainbow, daddy is my superhero, and I am your heart!" What more could you ask for to make your heart swell? The pure, sweet expressions from a little child are priceless. Thank you, Lord for the gift of her.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Praise and Worship-Family Style!

The other night we did church at home, with praise and worship, family style. Daddy picked out a few different songs, played them and we all praised and worshiped God right in the living room. Baby L danced around in circles giggling, and we all had a great time. Daddy then read from the Bible, and we ended with, of course, my current favorite, amazing, worship song of all, it's one that seems to bring you right into the presence of God...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Good-bye sweet Sophie

I loved this kitten. We decided to keep her from the last litter of kitten's M's cat had. M found her cat dead when Sophie was 5 wks. old. Because of this, we have been keeping Sophie in every night, but we let her out to play during the day and especially when the kids are out playing. The other day we went to visit some friends for a couple hours, and when we got back, she was gone. We live on a small farm, we have a huge barn and we should be able to have a couple barn cats. Not anymore. There is something evil lurking around here. We have never had coyotes, and the barn owls didn't come back this year. I just don't know what happened.
Good-bye dear Sophie. We miss you.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


The decision making meeting was interesting. It's hard to go into great detail, so I will try and make this brief. First off, the most shocking news we recieved was that baby L's mom was found not guilty to a very serious charge she has been in jail for since March. She is getting out tomorrow. I am actually excited that she will get to see baby L soon. Since we have been writing her and sending pictures to her in jail, we have recieved letters back, and I know how much she loves and misses her.
The relatives of baby L that appeared at this meeting by phone live in another state and are the aunt and uncle of baby L's grandma. I believe they are in their 50's. They are definately fighting for her, as we heard everything they said during this meeting. They have grown children and many grandchildren of their own. They do not know baby L's mom, and said they have only met her twice before. Baby L's attorney informed everyone that her mother does not want baby L going with these people. Since she is getting out of jail now, she will get a chance to work anther plan, rehab, etc., however, she does not have much time, and will have to show huge progress within weeks. The dept. (all the employees at the dept. of children and family services) will be making a decision of who they want baby L with permanantly if her mother does not follow through and make huge strides. They will make their decision within the next few weeks.

Our state has very strict laws favoring relatives for permanancy, even very distant relatives like this. They said due to the uniqueness of this case, they will be having a conference with several other supervisors to try and make the best decision. They find this case unique for these reasons:
The bio mom wants her baby to remain with the foster family, when they don't usually see this as most moms choose family members for their children. (but since termination of parental rights have already been filed, they say her wishes don't hold a lot of weight, but they still want to consider them)
They also know that we would like them to consider an open adoption, and we have a positive relationship with the mom, which they also said is very rare. The moms attorney actually mentioned during this meeting that she has never heard of foster families writing to her clients while they are in jail, and she told us 3 times that it seems strange, but we are really are the only people that this mom trusts and has ever really felt support by, ever, in her life! She said that this has meant so much to baby L's mom, and everyone at the table was in agreement that this was a really good thing. Given her mom's background, I believe this is probably true. She was raised by a drug addict, and taught criminal behaviors. She never had a fair chance.

The bottom line for us is that we know how much she loves baby L, and we really hope that whatever the decision is, she will be allowed contact with her child. She was able to be part of the God Pod the entire time she was in jail. She has now heard, and claims she has a relationship with Jesus. She will taste freedom tomorrow, and I really hope she can draw on God's strength in the days to come.

I am seeing God's hand more and more in this case. It really appears that this jail time was a godsend for baby L's mom. It got her off the streets, off the drugs, and in a place where she studied God's word twice a day. It gave her hope, and allowed her head to clear, and she was able to get her priorities straight. She met Jesus. When I think back to the call we got about this baby, and how we finally decided to take a foster placement, it's amazing to me. Knowing nothing more than a baby needed a home and a family to grow in for awhile, I see that God had a plan from the very start. It's always great to look back as things unfold, and see clearly the Lord's design in it all. The next few weeks will definately be interesting, and we would appreciate continued prayers during this crucial time as the dept. makes their final decision they will present to the court.

God sets the lonely in families....

Psalm 68:6

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

M turns 9 yrs. old today. I can hardly believe she is this old already. She has had a whirlwind week of special visitors, trips to the county fair, and we will top it off with a little party at the soda fountain. M asked only for people to give dog toys, collars, food and treats for the animal rescue for her b-day this year. I am so proud of her. She spends her days reading, playing with her animals (and making crowns and clothes for them), playing with her sister and baby foster sisters. She is a joy and treasure, and I am so thankful to God for his amazing blessings! Happy birthday, sweet-pea, I love you!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Tomorrow is the decision making meeting for our little angel. It doesn't necesarily mean that a final decision will be made at that time, but everyone present will be able to state what they feel is in the best interest of baby L. After the meeting, the Dept. (the state that has dependency of baby L) may decide what permanant plan they would like for her. I have talked with the court appointed special advocate, and although I really don't know what her position is, she is the voice for this baby, and will be giving her input. There is so much riding on this. Her biological mother is supposed to be present, however, I have not heard that she is out of jail yet. It will be a very interesting meeting, and I hope it really does help to move this case forward. Please remember us in your prayers. I will update soon.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Why can't I be a fancy farmgirl?

Oh my goodness...I just came across this blog and I am ashamed to say...I am jealous. Just look at this woman. And her chicken coop...I am drooling. And the phots of her chickens...stunning. And the creative conference she attended, love it! And she met Mary Jane Butters, of Mary Jane's farm. And she is just the coolest farm chick I've ever seen. Now, my mind is spinning, how can I get my chicken coop to look like that? I am on a mission...and it's starts tomorrow, with the barn...and it's overdue paint job. Pictures to just wait fancy farmgirl, I will have a coop like that one day!!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A must read post...

Awhile ago I wrote about how it has been really hard for me to understand why christians feel the Twilight series is okay for them to read as well as their children. I came across this blog post today, and some of these people have explained so much better why this is so dangerous. Please go here!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Will you pray for baby L?

We urgently need prayers here. Today our SW called, stating that her supervisor decided a "decision making" meeting needs to be held next wed, Sept. 29th to decide on a permanant home for baby L, who we have now had in our care for 14 months. Even though moms termination trial won't be for months, they want her in her permanant place now. It sounds like her supervisor already has her mind made up that the relatives from another state will be the first choice. They have never met baby L, but will be at the meeting by phone. We have always been told that all parties will be weighed carefully, but that doesn't sound like it is actually the case. We will get to speak and share our feelings, but I am not sure it will do much good. That is why I am seeking as many prayers as we can get for this! We would appreciate it so very much! We also found out that her mom's trial is happening all this week. We should know the results by friday.
We know the Lord has His hand on this entire situation. We know she will be okay wherever she goes, but we also know we will miss her greatly if she has to leave. We all love her dearly. Please also pray for M, as she is taking the possibility of her leaving soon very hard.
Blessings to you all!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Foster babies update...

Our two foster baby girls thankfully have the same social worker, and the same CASA/GAL (court appointed special advocate, guardian ad litem).
The SW comes once a month to see how the babies are doing, per law. She doesn't usually bring much information with her, but she is open to any questions we have and always welcomes emails if we forget to ask about something. Our foster babies don't have any court dates coming up any time soon. Baby L, who we have had for well over a year now will have a court date in Nov. to set a date to have the termination of parental rights trial. These trials are usually set 6 months out from then. So, baby L will more than likely be 2 yrs. old by the time this occurs. This is also when they will decide where she will go, or if she will stay. Alot also rides on what happens to her mom. Will she still be in jail? Will she be out, and complying with her treatment plan? The great-great uncle and aunt have been approved as a placement as well, but they are out of state. If termination of mom's parental rights does happen, it will come down to us or the relatives. Mom's wishes will be considered. The GAL will advocate for what she thinks is in baby L's best interest in will be an intense day...and one we all wish would be much sooner than later. So, we have a long wait, still. In the meantime, I am loving all this baby time we have with her, and I am also sad that her mom is missing it all. Foster parenting brings up so many emotions, and I think every case is different. I know baby L's mom wants her, as many of these parents do, but they just don't have the ability to make the changes that need to occur in many cases. In this case, we would love to do an open adoption. Please pray that this option will be fully looked at and considered in the coming months and that when this case gets closer to an end, all parties will agree. We would love for her mom to stay connected, if she is not able to parent. Please pray that the Lord's hand will continue to be upon this situation and that we will all trust in Him as this case plays out.
Baby C's parents haven't shown up for one visit yet this month. So sad, and hard to comprehend. Please pray her case will not be extended out as long as baby L's! Please pray for God's guidance and wisdom for everyone involved. We greatly appreciate it!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The big day...

So L started preschool last friday. She goes for 2 1/2 hours a day, three days per week. She loves it!!! She is so outgoing, she talks to everyone, enjoys every aspect of it, and loves staying busy with all they do there. They will be walking to an orchard/fruit stand for their first field trip, and she is excited about that. They will be picking out their favorite peice of fruit.
Tomorrow she gets to bring something for "sharing" day and she is looking forward to that far this was a great choice for her.
The social worker comes in the morning, so stay tuned for another "babies" update soon!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Birth parent search analysis

I recently found out about a birth parent search analysis you can order for your adopted child from China. I ordered one, and should get my analysis in a few weeks. It is an analysis of many factors surrounding your child's abandonment, location, number of other children found in the area, and orphanage. It is used to determine how fruitful a birthparent search may be for your child in their future.
I thought this was an important piece of information to gather. When our children from china are teens they may have many questions. They may want to search for birth parents just like many adoptees do here. More and more china adoptees are doing birthparent searches, and by the time L is at an age where she may choose to search, it might even be an easier task. I think having this information on hand will be important to have if she does ever come to us asking for help in searching. I also think it is important to do this now as the information gathered could get lost the longer we wait, or the service could possibly end.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

So many orphans...

Since the waiting child program in China has basically "exploded", every day, I am so aware of the vast amount of babies and children that are waiting in China. Our former China adoption agency currently has 70 children just on their website! These are mostly babies, with a large majority of them being baby boys with absolutely nothing else wrong but a cleft lip and/or palate. This is such an easy special need to manage in comparison to some. I so wish we were prepared to return to China to scoop up one of these adorable little guys!!! There is also a shared list that many agencies get from China, and I believe there are over 1,000 children on that, possibly more. It is mind blowing when you think and begin to comprehend how many orphans there are in China and how, daily, babies and older children continue to be abandoned in every city, and every town there. The amount of orphanages there are is staggering. There are so many little ones that are waiting for a family of their breaks my heart and I pray for them all.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Simple pleasures of fall...

I love fall, and look forward to it every year when mid-summer temps here are in the upper 90's and low 100's. I dream of crisp, chilly weather, picking pumpkins in the garden, and decorating my home with warm fall colors.

It's here! The weather has cooled. I went out to pick some blackberries and tomatoes in our garden this morning. The sun is out, but the crispness in the air tells me it's my time of the year! Pure heaven!!!

I love walking through the pumpkin farms with my kids, hay rides, crunchy piles of leaves in the yard, and glowing pumpkin spice candles at home. I love fall craft shows, cozy fires, scarecrows, apple picking, and drinking pumpkin lattes with friends.

Fall brings many opportunities for making memories and creating traditions with your family. I am so looking forward to every single day of fall this year, and hope it isn't over too fast.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Photo editing

This is fun! I decided I need to try some unique, fun, and free photo editing that you can try all around the web. I like the vintage look this one ended up with. I printed out an 8x10. I think I'll frame it. Now...back to playin around!

Found, Called, Adopted

God didn't look at our frazzled lives and say, "I'll die for you when you deserve it."
No, despite our sin, in the face of our rebellion, he chose to adopt us. And for God, there's no going back. His grace is a come-as-you-are promise from a one-of-a-kind King. You've been found, called, and adopted; so trust your Father and claim this verse as your own: "God showed his love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners" Romans 5:8 And you never again have to wonder who your father is--you've been adopted by God and are therefore and heir of God through Christ. Gal. 4:7.
~In the Grip of Grace

Friday, September 3, 2010

Saying good-bye...

Animals are a big part of our life here, and this is M and L at the beginning of the summer, with their favorite kitty cats.
A few blog posts down, I linked to M's blog, where she talked about losing her cat, Winter, pictured above. She was heartbroken. And it was heartwrenching watching her grieve the loss of her cat, who, at the time of her disappearance was still nursing a litter of 6 kittens. L is holding Frisco, our friendly orange kitten who just disappeared a week ago. This is just too much for M. We have now found homes for all of the kittens, except the two we are keeping, a little calico for L, and a white kitten with blue eyes for M, to remind her of Winter. We think we will keep these two inside most of the time, as there must be something lurking about outdoors, causing harm to our beloved pets. Saying good-bye is hard to do when you are animal lover like these two.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A little update...

Here is a picture of M when she was just a tiny baby, probably about a year old. She took this photo to church and recently won a "cutest baby picture" contest they were having.
Looking at that picture, makes me realize just how quickly babyhood flies by. And, I also look at my foster babies, and am so thankful and blessed to have been entrusted to care for them during such a precious time in their lives. I also get emotional when I think about baby L's mom, and how she really loves her, but is stuck in jail, and even if she were to get out, she may never have the tools and support that she needs to get well, so that she could ever parent. She was never given a chance in life, and was raised in an environment that got her where she is today. It is heartbreaking, and she is one of those people that we would all want to scoop up, and help, but you know that with her past experiences, she just may not be capable of accepting and embracing that help. We have a lot of compassion for her and we do pray for her.
I did put a call in to the SW and she called back today when I was out running errands. My Dh got to talk to her, and from what he explained, here is the latest news: There was a court hearing for baby L's bio dad, which he did not show up for, and so his parental rights are now terminated. So, she said he is out of the picture. Then there is the "fake" dad, who showed up there, and talked to the judge! He said he is doing everything to get custody of baby L. He even said he felt an "attachment" to her. He's never even met her. The SW said it is ridiculous, and is trying to get him out of the picture, but it may be tricky, since he's now listed on the birth certificate as her father. Apparently there is some form he can file, and if he does, there will be another court hearing where the judge will need to make a decision based on what he hears. Thankfully, the SW feels the same way we do now, and she was shocked when she heard about the medical card we got with this guys last name on it. So, this is the latest! When people told me to expect the unexpected when you do foster care, I had no idea what that meant, but now know it is very true. Stay tuned, who knows what will happen next week...

Sunday, August 29, 2010


If I wasn't living this, I would never believe it.
I guess I will call this post an update on our foster babies, but it will also probably turn into a rant.

A few weeks ago I got a call from the SW. She said that there was a really nice guy that came forward, stating he was the father of baby L. Now, keep in mind, the dna test was underway on guy #1 , the man that baby L's mom has always named as the father. The SW stated that she had to go along with this guy, and help him. They went and put his name on baby L's birth certificate! She said to be prepared, that baby L would start visitations with this guy soon. DH and I were shocked that there is nothing legal that has to be done first. Apparently, any random man can come forward, state they are the father, have their name legally placed on the child's birth certificate, and be granted visitations to the child. This is so unbelievable, and ridiculous, in my opinion. This guy is actually an ex-boyfriend of baby L's mom. From what we gather, her and this guy have been talking and devised this plan. Since she is still in jail, she would have this guy take custody of baby L, then move in with him when she gets out.
Within a week after this, the dna results were in. Guy #1 IS the father. Since then, I have heard nothing. The bio father hasn't even requested to meet his daughter yet. The fake father has not had visitations either, and I also heard that there is a chance that he may still have a chance at visitations just by showing interest. I also heard that they have to go through a major process to get him off of the birth certificate now. Then, what really surprised me was, yesterday I recieved a new state medical card in the mail for baby L. When DH and I ripped open the envelope, and saw what it was, our bottom lips hit the floor--It had the fake dads last name hyphenated with moms last name! Give me a break, this has gone way too far! Where has the common sense gone? I have no idea what will happen next with this case, I think I will put in a call to the SW this week.
Meanwhile, baby L continues to thrive, and laugh, and giggle and smile! She will be 15 mos. old in a couple days. Let's hope her case speeds up, and also becomes a little less full of drama. You just can't make these things up, like I said, I would never believe this if I wasn't in the middle of it!

M's Blog

My 8 yr. old, M, has a new post up on her blog. We had some issues with it, but they are fixed, and she is now hoping to blog regularly. Go here to see what she is up to.

Friday, August 27, 2010

New plans...

" I am a princess" miss L likes to say. She just got this new dress from her aunt and uncle and it is adorable on her. Thanks D & A!

We have some exciting new plans for her...

She is getting ready to go to preschool soon-three days a week!

Although we are very commited to homeschooling, we know this is something L will thrive with, and it will keep her busy, as she is a very energetic, social, and outgoing child who loves to be occupied throughout the day.

We sent M to preschool when she was 5. We had already decided to homeschool by then, but M had huge separation anxiety issues even at that age. This was something we had noticed since babyhood. We had tried everything, and it didn't help. We thought preschool might help. The teachers saw her extreme separation anxiety, and assured me this was normal, and that it would disappear in a couple weeks. I smiled, and explained that although that would be ideal, they didn't know M, and they might be surprised. Four months later, her separation anxiety was not lessening, as I suspected. The teachers held a conference, and said they had never encountered a child like her, and they put her on their prayer list. We decided to continue with preschool even though her anxiety continued. Nearing the end of the school year, we saw a slight improvement, and we also noticed that she was enjoying herself, learning, and fully engaged in the class. To this day, she still has very fond memories of preschool.

Miss L is a very different child. There is no separation anxiety to deal with, and she thrives with lots of activities, music, and attention. She is a social butterfly. We decided to allow her to have a year of christian preschool just like M had. Then we will start up with homeschool Kindergarten next fall. I am sure it will be a year of sweet memories she will always remember.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I don't understand...

I don't understand why christians are allowing their children to read the Twilight series, and they are also allowing them to watch the movies. They don't get the danger in it. Do they not see the dark side of this, and how this is not at all associated with God's light? We as christians should always be moving toward His light, not the darkness. Is it okay for christians to take part in this type of thing? Just ask yourself, "Would this be pleasing to God?" And then you will know the answer.
The guy below has a very good message, and it is A MUST WATCH:

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Blog

My sweet friend just started a new is gorgeous (so jealous!), and will surely bless you! Go here , to be inspired, and blessed!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Babies Update!

Here are my sweet, precious, foster babies! My littlest, baby C is now 5 mos. old, sitting up in her bumbo seat and playing with toys. Baby L is now 14 mos. old, walking, and tearing the house apart! She is incredibly smart, and using baby signs to communicate, as well as talking a lot! She still laughs at everything, and brings so much joy!
Baby C is adorable, and very cuddly. She smiles a lot and loves to be held. Both are right on track developmentally. Yeah! This is a blessing, due to their past history of exposure.
Yesterday I spent all afternoon in court. A hearing for baby C was happening, and the judge likes to see a foster parent there. I sat through so many sad cases. I heard story after story of children needing to go to counseling due to their parents poor choices. I heard heartbreaking stories of brokenness, and hopelessness.
There is still really no movement on either case...and everyone anticipates at least another year before anything permanant is decided. Baby L's mom remains in jail, with no end in sight, as her trial is cancelled again. DNA did come back, and we now know who the biological father is, so that is one positive step I can report. The rest of her case is truly the most ridiculous situation I could have never dreamed is literally something that could happen that would send us all to our knees in prayer, asking-how? why?
My God is bigger than all of these scenarios. He knows His children. Through prayer, we know these children are in His hands.
We trust. We surrender. We love. We wait.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A must read.

Read this for some enlightenment, and for a good laugh. This made my day, and I am so thankful I did not need dental care when I was in China.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Here she is!!!

Meet Angel, our new foster puppy. First off, I want to appologize for not getting these pictures on sooner, so that you would all understand that I am not crazy, and did not take in another foster human baby.

Miranda is an animal lover, and she is passionate about saving animals. Angel was brought to the animal rescue organization we are working with last saturday. She was almost dead. They did not believe she would live, but they began giving her fluids, and she improved! They were waiting for a few days to watch how she did before placing her in our home. She is so skinny and her ribs are showing, but she seems to be getting stronger. I have been asking Miranda what she would like to do this year to develop her own talents and interests. Ballet? Art classes? Continue with piano lessons? Every time I asked her these questions she would always reply, "I want to help animals". Just last month I started working with a new little boy at work. His mom shared with me that she works for a dog rescue. It's amazing how God just provides! When I asked her more about it, and if my daughter could help, she was so excited! The more she explained, the more I knew this was exactly what we were looking for! She came over to our house, and spent 2 hours training Miranda and getting her ready for her first foster puppy placement...and that brings us to today. Angel will be with us for 3 weeks, and then will move on to her forever home. Miranda will then be able to help another puppy, and she is loving it so far!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's ANOTHER girl!!!

We have another foster baby, a sweet little girl, 8 weeks old. We just picked her up this evening! She has dark brown eyes, and is so cute!!! Pictures to come!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Unfortunately, it's true...

What's the stupidest thing you've ever done?? I have too many to count, but thankfully, most of my days of doing the not-so-bright thing are over, I hope! A few years ago, my supervisor and I were talking at work about the dumbest things we've ever done. She thought she could top mine by saying that she took a can of therapeutic icy cold spray (we're both therapists) and sprayed it non stop on her hand until it hurt, not knowing she had given herself a severe frost bite burn, and burned a hole right into her hand! Now, my story is, one day when I was 15 years old, I was basking in the sun on a beautiful lakeside beach one summer, and as I was enjoying the bronze tan the sun was giving me, it must have also fried my brain. Somehow, I decided that I would play a little game with myself. I called it "How long can I stare at the sun???" So, I tried it. I counted up until about 9, I believe, and finally had to look away. Later, I met my parents back at our campsite. I had no idea anything was wrong until I looked at my mom. I could not see her face. I could only see a faint outline of her head and body. I couldn't see anything I tried to look at. All I saw was one big black BLIND spot! To say that I panicked was an understatement. I freaked! My mom did too. And then I had to tell them about my little game with the sun. It was night time by then, and I prayed I would wake up with my vision restored. Morning came, and when I opened my eyes, the big black hole was all I could see.

When monday morning arrived, my parents rushed me to a Seattle hospital to see a vision specialist. A very kind and compassionate older doctor examined my eyes. He told me that my retinas were burned from the sun. He said that when people look at an eclipse, this is exactly what he sees with their eyes. Except mine was worse, as I had stared at the sun for a longer period of time. He was so warm and kind, and he gave me some hope. He said to go home, and come back the next week, and he would know the extent of my damage. I went home, and I prayed. My grandmother prayed for me and told me that God could heal my eyes. I believed her. That week of blindness was a very humbling experience, and it was a turning point in my faith in God. I went back to the doctor, and I felt that I was seeing a bit better! He examined my eyes, and noted that my right eye had completely healed! Praise God. I wasn't really a christian then, but I think this was the beginning of my walk with God. The next time my eyes were examined, my right eye(retina) was still healed, and my left eye only had minimal scarring. The amazing thing was that my vision was completely restored! When both of my eyes are open, my right eye compensates for the blind spot that remains in my left eye, so that I don't see the blind spot at all! I was healed, and I thank God for that healing to this day!

So, as you can see, this was not a lie from my post below, it is a truth, and a wonderful testimony of God's mercy, grace, and healing!
My little fib was the one about adding Llamas and Alpacas to my farm...I am a little overwhelmed with all my little girls and goats, and can't imagine adding more critters to the farm.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Three truths, one lie!!!

I can't believe I am doing this, but I just saw something like this on another blog and felt like playing this fun little game too! Below are three actual truths, and one lie, leave a comment with your guess as to which one is the lie, this should be fun!!!

1) I have an aunt named Dolly and a cousin named Buffy.
2) I once intentionally stared at the sun on a hot summer day for as long as I could, resulting in temporary blindness, and retinas that are burned and scarred permanantly.
3) I hope to add Llamas to my farm one day, and possibly an Alpaca or two.
4) When I gave birth to my one biological child, I did it without having an epidural, but hallucinated during labor.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Never in my wildest dreams...

China plans HUGE BUS that can drive OVER CARS...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's Official!!

This piece of machinery is the first step in our new ADDITION!
We need more room for our sweet little foster babies, so we are building on an additional bedroom! Due to the location of the new room, it will be ours, (a master bedroom & bath) and the baby girls will get our current bedroom! This will be so nice, as we have been tripping over baby stuff for a year now.

I will keep you posted as the room begins to take shape. Also, stay tuned for another baby update soon!

Friday, July 23, 2010

With Everything....

I love this song!!!!!!! I could play this over and over, and just praise my Lord all day long! Listen...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

We have a 4 year old!

Friday July 16th, miss L turned 4 years old!!! It is hard for almost everyone to believe she is this old already! She chose Disney princesses as her birthday party theme, and couldn't wait to wear this dress on her special day. The morning of her birthday she was so happy and truly believed she was much bigger and could do many things now that she couldn't do before. Some things about little miss L: she is very girly, and loves to wear "pretty dresses" which she asks to wear every day. She would wear make-up if she could. She loves to learn, and loves to do "school". She loves to sing and dance. She loves barbies, and can play with them many times a day. She loves to swim, and loves "lots" of attention. She loves food, her favorite being chicken nuggets. She also loves cereal, and ice cream. She is one of the most loving kids I know. She walks around saying "You are my special momma, I love you" "You are so cute" "You are my momma, and I want to be a momma when I grow up just like you!" She loves hugs and will readily give them at any moment. She is full of life, and energy, and lots of love. Today I asked her to sing me a song and this is what she sang: (It was to the tune of "you are my sunshine")Hmm hmmm hmmm hmm hmm, you make me happy when you do a job, when you don't listen you make me sad, you make me maa-aa-aad! M and I burst out laughing! You would have had to hear it directly from her mouth. L and I talk a lot about listening and following directions as this can be difficult for her at times. She really likes to please, but also has trouble linking her disobedience to how it effects others at times. She recently sees that it does make people sad at times, and she doesn't like this. She is very outgoing, and willing to try anything new. She is a character, that's for sure! Happy birthday sweetie, you are growing up way too fast!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sisters...and other random thoughts

I always wanted a sister growing up...I have one brother, 3 years younger. I even cried the day he was born, and stated, "I didn't want an Alan, I wanted a Jennifer!" My poor brother had to put up with me dressing him up, and role playing in the skits I would put on for our parents, and more. We fought a lot growing up, too. It wasn't pretty. It was downright, violent! I even remember my mom locking us out of the house, so we could just go at each other in the back yard, in the rain! What fond childhood memories I have.
Even as an adult, I still wish I had a sister, or two, or three. My mom was visiting this weekend, and she shared that she has 88 cousins, and this is just on her mother's side! My grandmother was one of 17 children. Only a few decades later, and my children have no cousins on their mother's side of the family because my brother doesn't have any children. It's amazing how things change over time, isn't it? I find it sad that many americans now value materialism over children. I find it sad that they feel they just cannot afford another child, but they can afford 2 SUV's and a dream home. We had several family members visiting this weekend, and one of them made a comment that we are really pushing it with the 4 children that we have right now. He actually couldn't believe that we would ever consider even one more. He looked shocked! He has one child himself, but will probably never have another. Adoption is something he would never consider. Fostering? No way. My mom has been here for 3 days and tonight exclaimed that she is tired of babies.
Yes, it can get tiring caring for 2 babies, but it is not something I regret now that we have them. I realize often that our experiences really do have a lot to do with our beliefs. It's how we look at what we have that determines how we will experience it. I look at our foster babies, and children as precious gifts from the Lord. Others look at children as more of a burden and a hardship, not something to cherish. This motivates me even more to foster and adopt. I can't imagine anything more meaningful. I am so thankful for the children I have, biological, adopted, and foster, and I am so glad my girls have each other. I really believe having a sister is a special gift, and I remind my children of this often.