Sunday, October 23, 2011

Some Day's Don't Go Like You Planned

And sometimes it is entire weekends.  This last weekend we had a little get-away planned with Derek's family. The last couple years we've gone to my parent's cabin at Shell Knob, Mo on Table Rock Lake but 1) we've outgrown that house and 2) we've seen the sights there a couple times now. So, we headed to Salina this year. We made plans for a couple museums, the Rolling Hills Animal Reserve and of course some time hanging out playing games, swimming and talking.  A lot of that was accomplished for our family.  Taryn particularly loved the swimming pool and it's impressive water slide.  And having her best cousin friend Lucy on hand to play with.  A down side was trying to get all 5 of us asleep at once in the hotel room.  For some reason Brecken, who usually sleeps just fine, was up and crying Every. Single. Hour. the first night.  Add in Mara's feedings, a noisy hallway, and a bed with a mattress that was literally U-shaped and it is no surprise that sleep was hard to come by.  We rallied the next day though and had a great time a local museum that was very hands-on for the kids and a beautiful picnic lunch at a really fun playground.  We settled in for night two praying that the girls would just be exhausted enough to sleep a few hours uninterrupted.  It started out better but 3 a.m. found Taryn up this time with a tummy ache.  Shortly after she started throwing up and continued every half hour for the next few hours.  She finally stopped around 2 pm. the next day.  Poor sweet thing was pale, limp and so so sad.  She was really looking forward to going to the "zoo" on Sunday but obviously that was a no-go and we drove home with momma in the back seat beside her holding a bowl and praying for a quick trip home.  I felt so bad for her as she pleaded and promised that she wouldn't throw up if she could just go to the zoo.  Bless her heart.  She seemed to perk up a tiny bit tonight, had a few swallows of some pedialyte and a saltine.  So, now I'm praying for a full night's sleep and my bright eyed beauty back to herself in the morning. 

I'm so very blessed to have Derek's family in my life.  I wish the weekend had gone a little differently but we were so lucky to have all his sweet siblings and his parents nearby for help.  I'm glad for the fun we did have and I know that Taryn took some good memories away from Salina.  Here's hoping next year's trip will go a little smoother though!

To prove that lots of fun was had.....



Only 24 Hours in a Day

Been kinda quiet around here.  I've been trying to spend every spare minute working on adoption things.  Grants, our I-600a application, our dossier completion and getting enough copies of our homestudy made to send in with all the various grants we're sending in.  Whew.  There's still a long way to go.  I think the biggest challenge for me is that I really don't like tackling any project for 20 minutes (or whatever time frame the three little angels in the house will allow me).  If it's doing my quiet time or Bible study lesson, cleaning the house, catching up on e-mails, or whatever, I'm of the personality type that really, really, really wants to just start it and work until it is done.  Having kids has obviously put a stop to that.  I've learned I'm learning to make it work.  I'm getting little Mara on a more predictable schedule so that I can try to guess how much time I might be looking at.  I'm able to squeeze more time between my workout and waking the girls up.  I'm trying to become a little more of a "night" owl and be more productive in the hours after 8 pm.  But honestly, a lot of times I just dream of what I could do with 4 straight hours alone.  Heck, I'd be thrilled with 2 hours.  But, as I look at the season of my life that I'm in right now I know that that's not realistic.  And truly, I wouldn't trade the three sweet girls who need me, the hard-working loving husband that I have the honor of making a home for and the housekeeping roles that should always take priority over me wanting to work on photo albums, send out thank you letters or go to lunch with an old friend.  Becoming a parent has a way of pointing a glaringly bright arrow at my faults and selfishness.  My desire for time to myself is in there big time.  But, with a day filled with these smiles...who could wish for more?  : )

Thursday, October 13, 2011

More Bottles!

We finally got in some more fundraising bottles and they're all set to go out.  Thank you SO MUCH to those of you who have already filled one for us.  You are some fast fillers!  It is so fun to watch what God is doing and how he is using so many of our family and friends to help bring our boy home. 

I know that some of you asked about bottles and we had run out so please don't be afraid to ask again if we don't just give you one.  : )   We truly, truly appreciate your help and know that while pennies, nickles, dimes and quarters seem insignificant on their own, there is great power in bottles and bottles full coming back in. 

Thank you!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Trouble With Time....

is that there is just never enough.  Another step we are taking to prayerfully offset the cost of this adoption is to apply for grants.  There are many out there.  Finding the one that fits our particular situation is a lot of work.  I've spent hours into the night researching which grants apply to our family, the requirements for applying and what our odds might be of receiving a gift from each organization.  I've narrowed down to 7 that I feel like we might stand a chance and that might be worth the time. 

While I originally thought that finding the grants would be the most challenging part I've quickly realized that getting each one completed will be the hardest and most time-consuming task.  Each one of these grant opportunities has a very extensive application process.  To apply one must become very transparent in living.  We will be looked at financially, spiritually, educationally, relationally.  It is a very big process that sometimes makes me feel very critical of our family because I start to try to imagine how we will look to a group of people that we are trying to convince to give us money.  It is exhausting.  Add to that all this paperwork and information gathering is on top of what needs to be completed for our adoption agency.  I sometimes feel so overwhelmed.  Towards the beginning of this process I was venting to a friend about how I felt like every time I felt like I had everything in order and lined up to move forward, I found out there was some step I missed or wasn't told about.  She told me to hang in there.  She said that she had a feeling that this process was designed to weed out those not truly committed and that international adoption certainly wasn't for the weak at heart.  She was so right. 

Each stack has the application under it and a checklist of all that has to be
submitted with the application on top. 

Whew!  Tired just looking at it.

A struggle I've been having lately is a guilty mind.  When I fall tired into bed after putting a four year old, 8 month old and 1 month old to bed I feel so guilty if I didn't accomplish anything towards the adoption.  I start to think about how that is just one more day that our baby is spending in the orphanage.  I fear that if I was really committed to bringing him home then I would have to just sit down and fill out all this stuff until my arm fell of and it was done.  To combat this I'm continually reminding myself that God is orchestrating my days.  He is lining out exactly what will get accomplished when and in what time frame.  Each day lost or each day that if full of steps forward is designed to line us up with exactly the child God has ready for our family.  I pray that the time moves quickly.  That for his sake I can complete the work I need to do to get him here.  But if it takes longer than I hope, I have to trust that there is a devine plan for that too. 

When reading another woman's blog about waiting for her international son, a quote she made stuck out to me. 
"We are concerned with time.  God is concerned with timing." 
His timing is perfect.  I will fill out 20 more grant applications if that's what we need to do to be able to afford to bring our son to us.  I will also trust that each day God is watching over him and preparing him for our family and us for him. 

I'll also be looking into bulk paper suppliers and maybe one of those carpal tunnel wraps for my hand.  : ) 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Just Life

Nothing much to talk about here.  Just some random shots from the last few weeks...

Is it a problem when your 4 year old can completely hide behind your 8 month old?


Taryn went to her little friend Blake's birthday party.  Aren't little kids at parties so cute?

 Taryn started cubbies
and loves it.  Ok, mostly
she just loves that vest. 
Who can blame her?

Made ya smile. 
I can tell.

I think these girls could
color all day long. 
 I LOVE listening
 to their conversations
 while they do it. 

Well, that's about all from our house! 

Friday, October 7, 2011


My thought as I glanced down and saw Brecken playing with the bag of cheetos:
     "It's ok, she won't be able to get the clip off, get it unrolled, and make a mess." 


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Help

One of best parts of having Mara join us is watching Taryn interact with her.  She coos at her, brings her things, rocks her, and, (her favorite thing) feeds her a bottle.  Because I nurse Brecken she hasn't had a lot of opportunities to do that and she's really enjoyed taking on that task with Mara. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Small Town Fun

Our little town recently had it's Fall Festival.  I know I'm a grown up and nothing there is really catered to me but I have to admit I still get excited for it.  Something about it really solidifies the fact that fall is really here.  Plus, each year gets more fun when I watch Taryn grow and remember and get excited for it herself.  Her best friend London and her were SUPER excited to watch the ferris wheel go up.  You could see it from our house and Taryn sat on my dresser watching it all evening. 

If you look close you can see the lights of the ferris wheel. 

Saturday morning was the parade.  I'm not sure what's going on with Taryn.  Parades do that to her. 

Brecken had the most fun playing with the leaves and grass.  Until the firetrucks blew their sirens.  Then she jumped 3 feet, did the silent scream for about 10 seconds and jumped into daddy's arms.  Poor baby.

Next came the carnival rides.  Taryn is pretty fearless.  I don't have a lot of pictures but she wasn't afraid to do the tilt-a-whirl, a gigantic slide, or any of the other rides she saw.  Her height did hold her back some though.  Maybe next year she'll be over that 42" mark for some of the rides. 

And of course, the weekend was closed out with a surprisingly good fireworks show. 
 Love these three together.  : )

Sunday, October 2, 2011


So having one kid was no trouble.

Two kids adds a challenge but it wasn't completely impossible.

Three kids though?  Forget about it.  You won't be able to get a picture of them together.  Ain't happening.

Give up the dream. 



Take what you can get Linds (Cinderella panties and all):

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Been Kinda Quiet

So I've been a little slow to post lately and that's mainly because if there is a spare moment I'm trying to wash the pileup of dishes, switch out a neglected load of laundry, or glance in the mirror for the first time in a week (a mistake I won't be making again, it wasn't pretty).  We're a newborn home again!  We said goodbye to Serenity after having her couple months and as I dropped her off the social worker said, "Do you want a baby?"  After a pause I said, "like right now?"  Turns out the answer was yes.  So, we welcomed tiny little Amara into our home.  She had just turned three weeks old although she was about 5 weeks premature so so was quite small.  Now she's about 5 and a half weeks and has stolen everyone's heart. 

I'm fairly certain that I will never be able to tell Youthville no when they ask if I want a baby. 

 Her hair is fantastic.

Everyone is a fan:

Even our girls are getting the hang of having a new tiny one around.
It hasn't been all wonderful.  I've questioned whether it was right to have brought a baby into the family with Brecken still so young.  Amara has had some rough evenings/nights/early mornings that have left me with just a couple short naps to get me through the day.  Knowing when I lay down at night that I'll have to nurse Brecken at least once and bottle feed Amara 2-3 times is a little disheartening.  However, I'm honored and don't take lightly the responsibility of giving such a tiny gift a consistent loving start.  When I look at her sleeping and think about all the drama surrounding her family it makes me so sad.  For as long as she's here we'll love on her and provide her the most healthy start she can have. 

I'm even learning to let a dish or two sit in the sink till the next morning.  Ok, lets not get carried away....we know that's not happening.  : )