In Sanity

I know, I know. Long time no post. I thought this was an appropriate time though, with the very last bit of my sanity. Apparently, four kids, a disobedient dog, a mountain of adoption paperwork for our next child, and homeschooling (among the many things that keep us busy and exhausted) wasn't enough. We obviously needed another little mouth to feed and something else to clean up after and keep us up all night.
Meet Alex.
We met Alex after a brief shopping trip, and J fell head over heels. Since we have several birthdays back to back, we collectively decided to get the pup as a birthday present to everyone. It was an emotional decision which is not surprising coming from the kids or me, but quite unexpected coming from the dad. We can always count on him to keep us all grounded. But not this time. This time we ended up with a whole puppy.

That's all the sappenings I have time to write about now....
He is pretty cute though, don't ya think? Until next time....



School is going well. I've really been encouraged by the progress the kids have made in their academics. We've also done a science co-op with some friends that's been a lot of fun, and plenty of outside activities have kept us on the move. In spite of our busyness, we're really enjoying our kids. They're at such fun ages right now, and we're just so blessed by them everyday.

We had a great time at the fair, and were able to share the experience with extended family. The kids love being with their cousins, aunt, uncle, and grandparents! Brother won a stuffed panda for his baby sister. The big kids are so sweet and loving to their baby sister. They are so good with her and love her unconditionally. She definitely tests them at times!

J has gotten very serious about gymnastics lately which hasn't helped our busy schedule. K and B also take gymnastics, but only recreationally. They opted out of basketball this year, but B is looking forward to spring soccer. Piano and drum lessons are going well. K and B will perform together at the Christmas recital this year!

A highlight this fall was the baptism of our oldest daughter. Her daddy had the privilege of baptizing her as he did her brothers before. It's been so neat to watch the children grow in their relationships with Jesus. It's amazing to see Him working in their lives in spite of us.

We have so much to be thankful for!

Until next time....


Joys of Motherhood...and stuff

Well, I guess after our exciting summer vacation ended, I haven't had time to post...or, maybe I haven't deemed our summer sappenings worthy of posting. I really don't have anything to post about in particular tonight, but just felt the blog could use an update.

I guess I could post about the beginning of school. It's always been so exciting to start a new school year! I'll admit this year (and last if I'm gonna be just real honest) are not bringing the excitement and joy that my previous 30-something years have. I'm just tired. Just really tired. It's late though, and M has been wearing me out lately. She's getting some monster 2 year old molar that is causing her incredible pain. She cries a lot because it hurts so much, and she's just generally cranky and difficult right now. I'm just worn out. Oh, and then I have three other kids. And I'm homeschooling them. There's also my husband. I'm spread pretty thin right now, and feeling oh so weak and incapable. But what a sweet promise that I have from Jesus: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Boy, does His power have the opportunity to be made perfect in me. I've often joked that I was going to get a shirt that read on the front, "i am weakness," and on the back the above verse (from 2 Cor. 12:9). Maybe I really should--even if only to remind myself.

Motherhood is such an incredible gift from God. I can't think of much greater, actually. I'm honored and humbled that God has called me to it, and that He's gifted me with the four most precious children I could have ever hoped to have. But motherhood may possibly be the most difficult, time-consuming, and exhausting job that there is. I'm definitely, without a doubt, not worthy of this calling, but praise be to God that he has chosen D and me to raise these incredible children! How blessed we are!

As a side note, M is now in my lap (it's 11:20 pm) begging and crying for coffee. She's asked for it a couple of times lately, and, feeling sorry for her with the tooth coming in and all, I've given her coffee with milk and sugar. I didn't think much of it, and I was glad that it made her happy and temporarily distracted her from the pain. Anyway, I think the child is addicted now! Oops! My bad. Motherhood mistake number...oh, I've lost track now, but certainly not the first mistake, and probably not the last. Okay, now she's throwing a fit on the floor, so I guess this post is over. And it was just getting interesting!

Until next time...


At the picnic

Dad & Meg on the Metro in DC

Looking at the Declaration

And the winner is....(drumroll please)....swimming in the hotel pool!


A Tale of Three Cities (Part 3)

Okay, now for the finale of this amazing tale. We had a great time in Washington DC! We really slowed down once we got there. We were at a really nice hotel with a pool, and fellow adoptive families were also arriving for the adoption reunion. DH had a hard time just hanging at the hotel when our nation's capital was just a few minutes away, but after dealing with ridiculous traffic, getting our car towed, and having to find a bathroom every ten minutes, he eventually relented and let us all relax a little. DC was so overcrowded and hard to get around in, we decided our down time at the hotel was quite enjoyable. We also discovered very quickly that the train (like a clean subway) was by far the best way to get around if you were going to venture into DC.

So we spent the last four days in the DC area with the highlight being swimming in the hotel's indoor pool. (That was always the highlight for me when I was a kid too.) On Thursday, we went into DC and to the Spy Museum, but ended up just enjoying the gift shop. It would have been quite pricy to get everybody in, we would have had to carry Megan the whole time, and it would have been a long tour. They told us that the younger kids probably wouldn't get anything out of it anyway, so we bribed the kids with a toy from the gift shop. They had a lot of fun just looking around and picking something out. Once we recovered our rental car from where it had been towed, we drove through Georgetown and saw the university. Wow! That is a very impressive looking school! And Georgetown was such a neat little town. We drove by the Vice-President's mansion and some other countries' embassies that evening as well.

We saw the White House from a distance. It is impossible to get very close to the White House now (since 9-11) without being preapproved for a White House tour. We had been and were scheduled for a Friday morning tour, but our congressman had a change of plans and needed to leave DC, so our tour was cancelled. We were fine with that because it meant we didn't have to all be up, dressed, and into DC at some ridiculously early hour. We were pretty much worn out by then anyway after NYC and Philly, and I think the kids were on information overload, so we weren't terribly disappointed.

We did have a chance to go to the DC zoo on Friday and onto the Navy Memorial which was especially meaningful to my veteran DH. The National Archives building was just across the street, so we were able to see the original Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Unfortunately, one of the kids was not feeling well, and dragging him around in the heat wasn't helping, so we headed back to the hotel. We had a fun evening fellowshiping with the other families that we had traveled with to China. It was so neat seeing the girls together again. They had all grown and changed so much!

On Saturday, we went to the reunion picnic at Bull Run. That was definitely a special part of the trip. We had more time to visit with the other adoptive families, the boys had more time to play with Brett whom they had bonded with during our China trip, and there were a lot of fun activities for the girls. They both had their faces painted, rode ponies, and played in the bounce houses. We had some good old-fashioned barbecue, too. It was sad to say good-bye as some of the families were heading home from there. We all hugged, and some of us cried, but it had been so nice to be together again.

Our last day was Sunday, so we went back into DC for a final attempt to see some of the sights that we'd hoped to visit when we planned our vacation. We saw the Washington Monument, the Capital Building, the Iwo Jima WWII memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, and other places of interest as we drove around the city. It was raining, so we stayed in the car most of that day, but enjoyed seeing the sights.

We had scheduled an evening flight out so that we could spend as much of DH's vacation time as possible actually on vacation. The timing would have been great had it not been for the three and a half hour flight delay that resulted from a storm. We boarded the plane absolutely exhausted. Well, except for Megan who was a bit wired. She would not stay in her seatbelt and was just kind of all over the place. The flight attendant got on to us and wanted us to keep her strapped in. She did not know what she was asking! Megan fell asleep about 10 minutes before we landed. Perfect timing as usual.

Overall, we had a wonderful trip and are so thankful for the time we spent together as a family. My absolute favorite thing is for all six of us to be together. I've been so blessed with the best family in the world. Maybe I'm a bit biased. :)

Until next time...

A Tale of a Three Cities (part 2)

Continuing on from the last post....
We spent a good part of Monday traveling to our next destination: Philadelphia. It was a lot of fun, but wasn't exciting like NYC. We really only spent Tuesday there walking those historic streets. We visited the oldest residential street in the US that still qualifies as residential. Every house on the street is occupied--with the exception of a small downstairs room and backyard that serves as a tourist center.

We visited an old fire house that had a lot of information about the history of fire fighting as well as a memorial to the NYC firemen who lost their lives on 9/11. We were able to visit Independence Hall and stand in the actual room where the Declaration of Independence was signed. We saw the Liberty Bell and watched an outdoor duet about the Revolutionary War right outside Betsy Ross' house. We visited Christ Church (still active, btw) and saw the pews of Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross. (FYI, before pastor salaries, parishioners had to pay a rental fee to sit in a pew at church.)

I spent a lot of time reminiscing about my 1976 trip to Philadelphia and racking my memory trying to recall having seen those sights before, while Darren was in awe visualizing our founding fathers walking and talking in those very halls in 1776.

Unfortunately, I'm completely out of blogging time. I'll have to finish this tale in the next post.

Until next time...


A Tale of Three Cities

We just returned from a wonderful vacation. We flew into New York City, drove to Philadelphia, and then on to Washington DC. This trip started as an adoption reunion in DC with our agency and slowly progressed to become a sort of "National Treasure Tour."

The whole trip was such a blast, although Dh wore us all completely out by the first day. The man had an agenda, and by golly, we were going to hit everything on his list. Dragging 4 young children around Manhattan turned out to be a feat in itself, but it was certainly doable. We'd all six jump into one little cab--my husband would throw the stroller in the trunk and jump up front with the cabby, and the rest of us (all five!) would cram in the back. We did a lot of walking and standing in line. We even all rode the subway once.

We started Saturday with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We had to go through pretty heavy security to even get on the ferry. We saw a really neat play on Ellis Island that really helped us all understand what it might have been like coming to America as an immigrant so long ago. After we got off the ferry, we watched some street performers called the Positive Brothers. They were very entertaining with their physical strength, acrobatics, and comedy. At the end they pulled my boys up, and one of them ran and did a flip over mine and two other boys. They ended the show with the "positive" message telling the kids to stay away from drugs and alcohol. We went to Ground Zero and passed by Trinity Church(from National Treasure) on the way. We went to Spy Shops and Times Square also. Sunday was a little slower. We went to JR's church and had a few minutes to visit with the Vassars afterward. We also went to FAO Schwartz and Central Park. The kids got to watch a great street performer(mostly juggling and comedy) while we were in Central Park. We left the city on Monday in a rental car, but drove by some of the sights we'd missed over the weekend.

I'll have to write about the rest of our trip later. Until then....