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Daily Verse

Sunday~
"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from you commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:9-11

Why do we try to conform God to our will? Live in His word and know true joy.

Monday~
"Make me to know your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old."
Psalm 25:4-6

God reveals the truth of our time and all time to us through Scripture.

Tuesday~
"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the tstimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple: the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb."
Psalm 19:7-10

All the laws in all the books in all the libraries of the world are but a footnote to the law of God.

Wednesday~
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways ackowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6

To know and understand God comes not through our intellect, but through the wisdom given to us by the grace of God.

Thursday~
"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart."
Proverbs 3:1-3

Don't measure success by society's standards. Use Christ as your measuring stick.

Friday~
"The the LORD answered Job our of the whirlwind and said: 'Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding, Who determined its measurements - surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? Or who laid its cornerstond...?'"
Job 38:1, 4-6

When we measure God by our limited standards, we attempt to measure the elephant by weighing one strand of its hair.

Saturaday~
"Philip said to him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so lon, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, Show us the Father?'"
John 14:8-9

Christ is God made flesh. If you want to know God, you must draw closer to Jesus.

J.E.N.E

Patch

12.14.03

8.20.04

1.20.05

4.26.05

Anniversary

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Princess

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Sunshine

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Cupcake

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Love Bug

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Ri-Bear

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Bo

Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers

Healthier Me!

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

Disney Dream Cruise with Mom!!!

Daisypath Vacation tickers

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

National Adoption Month

As we bring November to a close, it makes me think of the fact that November is National Adoption Awareness month.  There are so many different 'causes' people can take up as THEIRS, obviously God has put adoption on our hearts.  We are blessed to have our Princess and our Sunshine in our lives...and we are looking forward to meeting our newest addition to the family whenever we are matched and that little one is born.

But something I was to point out is that adoption costs ALOT!  Not just financially, though we will talk about that too!  But emotionally, while we {adoptive families} are celebrating our joy of growing our fmaily, there is a birth mother and her family that are grieving the loss of that same little one.  In a perfect {or even semi-perfect} situation you are able to maintain contact so that loss isn't AS great, but still there.  In both of our situations contact is not in place.  With Princess we had contact with her birthmother until Princess was 6 months old, but then her birthmother disappeared, we have not heard from her nor has the agency.  With Sunshine there are legal restrictions the prohibit any contact between him and any of his birth family due to the situation he came out of. 

But just because Princess' birthmother left us and Sunshines' birthmother isn't allowed to have contact with him doesn't mean they do not hurt.  I cannot imagine {especially now that I am experiencing the joy of pregnancy myself} having that little one grow and kick inside of you and go through the pain of delivary without getting that reward of parenting and loving on that child at the end of it!  I am sure both of these caring women still have hurts from the fact that these children are not in their lives, and I want you all to know it is something I think about often.  I am forever greatful for the fact that these mothers chose us to parent their precious little ones that now call us Mommy and Daddy, but I forever hurt for those two ladies as well!  Now I know in Sunshines situation it was not healthy nor safe for him to be in his birthmother's care, but that doesn't take away her emotions...maybe it even makes it a little worse for her!

There is emotional pain on this end too.  My kids are getting old enough now that they are asking questions....LOTS AND LOTS of questions...but we made the decision when they were babies that they would grow up knowing that they were adopted, it wasn't going to be some secret we kept from them until later in life.  Princess knows she grew in *****'s tummy and Sunshine knows he grew in ****'s tummy and now their question of 'why' is starting to come into play.  While I am thankful to their birthmother's for allowing my husband and I the chance to be parents, it still hurts that I was not able to be EVERYTHING to my children.  Now does that make them less of children, NO!  Does it really make me less of a mother, NO!  But sometimes it feels that way.  We see people in the community that disreguard them as our children because I didn't birth them...that hurts too, to see children rejected because they were born to someone else.  But Princess and Sunshine love us, know us, and call us Mommy and Daddy...they just know their stories are a little 'extra special.'

Now on the financial end of it, there is great sacrifice on the end of most adoptive parents.  Princess' adoption cost us right around $27,000 that we took out almost completely in loans.  We did receive $1200 as a gift to help with travel expenses and one of my Aunt & Uncles sent us $500 to help with the cost, but otherwise it was all loan that we are still working on paying for!  Sunshines adoption was slightly less, and with him we received no help, so again there was around $25,000 in loans we are still paying for!  This time we have tried fundraising.  Last Spring we did a coffee fundraiser that helped us raise about $200, this fall one of my wonderful Patch moms did a 5K for us that helped us raise $350, and we just wrapped up a Pampered Chef fundraiser and have a Blessings Unlimited one starting on Sunday.  My guess with the PC is that we raised about $40 and I am praying for at least $100 with the BU one!  So while we have had fundraisers and we are thankful for every bit that comes in, the cost of the adoption will still be right at or a little more than $25,000!  We do not expect other people to just hand out money to us, though we have had a neighbor hand us $50 and a friend also send us $50 (Thank you L&L and D&R, we are VERY appreciative!) we are praying that there might be a little more help out there somewhere.  We have already sent a $10,000 check off that we have in a loan, and the next payment is due when w are matched.  That payment is $7500, and another $7500 is due when the baby is born.  It would be wonderful if some how a miracle could take place and both of those payments could be raised so we didn't have to take out loans for them!  We are applying for grants, but since we already have two children and are now expecting that isn't going to put us up high on lists for receiving grants.

So my question is, would God lay on your heart to help out an adoptive family somehow?  I am not saying just us...there are hundreds of adoptive families out there.  In fact I know several families that the only thing stopping them from adopting is the money, they just simply cannot afford the $25,000+ it costs to adopt a child.  But there are also great organizations out there that help adoptive families in need of financial assistance.  ABBA Fund in North Carolina gives Christian adoptive families no interest loans so if you give to them your gift will help more than one family, because as the families pay back their loan that money is recycled and used with other families!  Steven Curtis Chapman also has a grant association I believe his new website is showhope.com.  Parenthood For Me is a new grant not for profit in New York I personally have donated to to help get them going, they give grants not only for adoptive families, but also for families going through fertility treatments!  The list goes on and on, but maybe donating financially isn't something you can do...that is okay, there needs to be people willing to pray for families going through the adoption process because it is a rollercoaster ride! 

Just my thoughts as National Adoption Awareness Month comes to a close! 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

Happy Shopping Everyone!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

"Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude." ~E.P. Powell




I love Thanksgiving! It is my favorite Holiday...it reminds people to be thankful (though we should be year round!) But people are generally happier on Thanksgiving, than even Christmas...because they do tend to focus more on giving thanks...which does make a person happy!


I look back over the years of my husband and I spending Thanksgiving together and we have spent it in several different ways!


With his sister and huband (pre children), with a Pastor & wife (friends), with different families, on our own, we even hosted it once too! But since our children were born I particularly remember Thanksgiving.


2006 ~ We had a precious 3 month old baby girl and we drove more than 14 hours through the night to get to Hudson, WI where my mom's older sister lives and mom's family would gather for the holiday. I was so proud to be bringing Princess to a family get together, really her first! She was showered with so much love...I wouldn't say the weekend went without a hitch, but there was a big one involving myself and my grandmother...but that was getting to be kind of normal. It was amazing to have that time with family and see my daughter being passed around and loved on!


2007 ~ I believe this was the first year we started the 'new' tradition! We broke away from Mom's family and decided to have Thanksgiving at Mom & Dad's house with just them, my brother & wife, and our family...which had grown since the year before. We now had our Princess, our Sunshine, and three foster children that were 3, 2, & 5 months old at the time! It was a lively house to say the least! But it was still wonderful. I remember sitting at the table after we had finished the meal and seeing my Seester-in-law holding our little 5 month old foster girl, Sunshine was sleeping, the 2 & 3 year old foster boys were playing, and my mother and husband were trying to get Princess to hang a toothpick out of her mouth! It was beautiful! Mom was also successful in teaching my newly standing on her own Princess to stand and snap to Elvis! lol


2008 ~ We had the privilage of hosting Thanksgiving this year, only Mom & Dad made it to our home in the Hills...and we did without a snowstorm this time! Scratch that, I think one came in before they went home...don't remember! Anyway, we were down to our two children only, but were starting to pray that God would permanently grow our family again...and SOON! We also had a gentleman from the church join us, our kids called him, "Papa Denny" and he was such a sweet man to be around! It was a marvelous time.


2009 ~ We were back at my parents house again and once again it was too much fun! I always enjoy being together with family...we did have to sneak away a little earlier than planned to beat the snow storm, but it just allowed us a longer time to be there with them!


2010 ~ We have been told that November I should take it easy and not travel more than an hour away from home just to be safe, so once again Mom & Dad are HERE! We have been invited to join our Pastor & family/good friends for the Thanksgiving Meal. It should be fun...our kids love their kids and Pastor and D. are tons of fun to be around. This year brings extra things to be thankful for, Grasshopper being just 18 1/2 weeks away from birth and also the knowledge that any time we could receive our phone call from our agency in Texas letting us know a birthmother has chosen us! There are so many other things, but those two in particular are at the front of our minds.


Which brings me to being thankful...how many times a day are you thankful, yes I said A DAY!?!? Really, each day brings to reason to be thankful and trials too...do we take time to be thankful for the little things? Water running from our tap? Socks that keep our feet warm? Soap to wash our bodies? Tires on our car? Shingles that help our homes shed water? The people in our lives? The fact that there is a positive balance in the checkbook, even if only a few dollars? Your every living moment is something to be thankful! I, for one, do not take enough time to be thankful...I am too busy or full of worry.


It is interesting how God works, in the midst of typing about Grasshopper my phone rang and it was my clinic informing me that they found my ultrasound to have extra fluid around the baby...which can mean nothing at all, or can mean alot too. I can instantly worry about premature birth, or a baby with birth defects...or I can be thankful that there is a baby to be worrying about!

Anyway, there is a reason to be thankful every day....today being Thanksgiving is also one of my 'Thankful Thursday' posts...


I am thankful for family & friends...and haveing knowledge of the need and importance of being thankful!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Patch!

*Photo from file, 2 of those kids are mine, 2 are drop ins, and three of them are no longer attending the Patch...I just realized when searching for a picture that most of my pictures of The Patch are on my phone and not on my computer!  Sorry for an 'out dated' picture!

Yesterday was kind of a funny day at the Patch.  I had my regular Tuesday crew: a 4 year old (Princess), an almost 4 year old (Sunshine), an almost 3 year old, 3 - 1 year olds, and little sweetie that is 7 months old.  

Anyway, with the addition of our house there are people coming and going all day and funny noises that are happening outside all the time.  Yesterday was no different.  Two guys came in the morning to deliver sheet rock and it let a bunch of COLD air in the house.  I planned ahead and had all the kids that were awake pile on the couch and snuggle under a blanket while watching Toddler Action Songs on TV.  I had the three oldest, and 2 of the 1 year olds sitting on the couch snuggled up together.  At first they thought it was tons of fun because they are not usually allowed to sit on the couch, but after about 10 minutes the little ones started getting restless.  I actually asked Mr. R if he would like to sit on the couch or take a nap...he responded with nap!  Too funny...

Anyway, it was just so sweet (the first 10 minutes) while they were allowed to sit there and snuggled up together.  Some put their arms around their neighbor, some kept making sure those next to them were snuggled in warm and moving the blanket closer to them!  For the first 10 minutes I saw nothing but concern for the other Pumpkins sitting with them.  These days around here are fun.  While we have been dealing with sharing and attitude adjustments, it is moments like these that remind me why I love my job.  Not only do I get to be with my children all day every day, but I get to be the one to take care of other peoples' children too.  What a great honor!

Children make life fun! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Princess and the REALLY BIG FISH!

Last Friday while feeding the little Pumpkins lunch, one of the kids did something naughty and I corrected them and said they needed to speak kindly and have a good attitude.  Also said it is better to do what is right than things that are bad.

After that I went about cutting up the apples for the Pumpkins and I hear my Princess telling the little girl who had just been 'naughty' that one time 'last week' (because anything that happen in the past was 'last week' I stole some of my brother special crackers and that is a SIN.  Then I went potty on my floor one morning 'last year' and that is a SIN.  And when I do not obey my Mom and Dad, that is a SIN and it makes Jesus pleased (think she forgot the 'dis' in displeased!)  And we shouldn't sin because if we do we will get eaten by a REALLY BIG FISH!

We hadn't talked about Jonah in a while, which just goes to show how important it is to be cautious what you put into your kids' minds because IT STICKS!  I think that a 4 year old's interpritation of the fact that Jonah didn't obey God (which we have taught our children if you disobey God that is a sing) so God sent the 'REALLY BIG FISH' to eat him up is simple and to the point, not to mention precious!

Now just yesterday she thought it would be good that her and I pray together every day for all the people that we know that 'have babies growing in their tummies' so that the 'babies can grow big and strong and be born.'  Now we do at every meal pray for our Grasshopper and the 'other 6 babies' but with this request we are going to set aside a time of the day...maybe right before nap time when everyone else is laying down already...to pray specifically for the Mommies & Daddies, babies, and older siblings (were there are older kids!) 

As a Mama to little ones, sometimes they are the ones to knock you off your high horse and make you realize that faith doesn't have to be as complicated as what we adults make it sometimes!

I am thankful for my children's interest in learning about God!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Baby Belly!

14 weeks

15 weeks

16 weeks

17 weeks

 18 weeks
 20 weeks
(I was sick at 19 weeks and forgot to take a picture!)
21 weeks!

I am fearful of how big Ms. EMH is going to make my belly over the next 18 1/2 weeks!  But as one of Handsome's relatives said last night, "You are short so there is no where to go but OUT!"  I'll take it!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

 Today I am thankful for my wonderful Patch Parents!  I have 5 families at this point and one family that uses me as a back up daycare and each of them are great!  Everyone of them have been so understanding and helpful since we found out about the pregnancy and I appreciate it greatly! 

All of my little Pumpkins are also wonderful!  My pumpkins are all excited about baby 'Grasshopper' and I get to hear about that excitement daily!  My youngest Pumpkin is almost 7 months old and my oldest is my daughter at 4!  We have much fun day to day and look forward to the addition of two more Pumpkins in April & May of 2011!

Thank you Patch Parents for being an amazing group of people that are so thoughtful, kind, and understanding!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's a...GIRL!!!!!









We had our ultrasound today and found out that we will be adding a girl to our family in the Spring!  Mom & Dad are very happy (we would have been happy either way) but Princess is especially happy with this news!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Blog!

Yesterday was my blogs 3rd birthday and I didn't even remember until today!  Thank you all who have read and left comments on this in the last three years! 

Tomorrow is the big Day!


Tomorrow morning the Patch will be closed and we, as a family, will be heading to the hospital to find out if Grasshopper is a boy or girl!  This is something that I have personally been looking forward to almost since we found out we were expecting!  But especially since we reached the 12 week mark and looked like everything was still going strong!  I would love to hear you weigh in...what do you think?

Mama ~ Girl
Daddy ~ Girl
Princess ~ Girl
Boo ~ Boy
Best Friend A~ Boy
Best Friend D~ Boy
Grandma~ Girl

It would be fun to see your comments on if it is a boy or girl!

*I have not been sick really with this pregnancy
*The heartbest started in the upper 170's, and has settled as of the last few weeks in the 150's
*I think I am carrying in the middle...but I would say low middle.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Back Track...July 3rd 2010

 Somewhere in June...Julyish my blog wasn't letting my upload photos.  SOOOO, I am gonna do some 'catching up' here and there!  Here are Princess & Boo getting some snuggles in with Grandpa!
 Boo & Princess eating some yummy treats from our friend the Ice Cream Man (in the yellow truck!)
 A couple shot at the rodeo...I was down 50 lbs here...before Grasshopper started the scale going the other direction!
The only picture from the rodeo I have this year....apparently I am learning to enjoy it more and take less pictures!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tomorrow

*Not a new ultrasound picture...just the latest (uncomfortable looking) one!

Tomorrow is a big milestone in our pregnancy journey, we will be 20 {twenty!} weeks!  I never in my life ever imagined being here, when we found out shortly after we were married that we could have trouble with having biological children it was harsh but God had already prepared us for adoption and so we focused our efforts on growing our family through adoption.  What was not without its own set of trials, but now...we ARE here.  We ARE going to be half way through this pregnancy it doesn't seem real.  I still have my, "wait, I'm pregnant, what?!?!?" moments...because when for 8 years you are told NO NO NO how is your mind suppose to just switch like that! 

I am working on our Christmas letter and having a difficult time writing it this year.  Usually I sit down one evening and have at least my draft for my husband to slice apart for my bad grammar, but I have been working on this for over a week now...and really have nothing to show for it!  We have had so many changes this year, GOOD changes, but changes none the less.  How do you encoperate that into a letter (year after year) without sounding unstable?  God did some amazing things this year.  He opened and closed some great opportunities and allowed some miracles to happen in our life as well!  We could be raising support to be missionaries in Panama right now, and working on getting ready to go on our first trip down there in February.  We backed out in April/May, at that time we had no idea why we just felt God closing the door.  Well, first off, for the mission trip...I would be almost 8 months pregnant and both Handsome and I agreed that our next mission trip we wanted to do together, not apart!  SO, God knew I would be unable to travel at that time!  But He also knew there would be another adoption coming around the corner too, there were children in the USA that needed us.  The stories like that are endless when it comes to the 8 1/2 years Handsome and I have been married.  I am sure my mother has had many heartattacks when I called her and said we are looking at: Boston, the South, Panama, etc. etc.  all so very far away from 'home.'

God does amazing things in a persons life.  I look at the pain and heartache that was endured (barely) when we lost our four precious babies early in our marriage and while it was a great pain that still hurts, look at all the joy that our Princess and Boo have brought.  I can honestly say we wouldn't have such a heart for adoption if Grasshopper would have come along 8 years ago!  We miss our babies, I really would have loved to at least know if they were boys or girls so we could properly name them, but God has plans.  So now, while we are working on all the paperwork and legal stuff to contract for adoption in the midst of this pregnancy and getting much criticism for it, that is fine.  Handsome and I both know that the very day that we decided in June that it was time to start the adoption path again God already knew that Grasshopper was working on planting himself/herself into his/her cozy warm bed for the next 8 1/2 months!  I was already pregnant when we knew God was leading us in the direction of adoption again, but we didn't know that I was.  It was the thing farthest away from our minds because of all the medical evidance supporting the fact that I would NEVER (they did use NEVER) carry a child again! 

This may not be the path you would choose for yourself or your family.  This may not even be the path we would have choosen for ourselves and we have certainly made our share of mistakes along the way, but it is the path God has put out for us to travel.  Besides, how cool is it that we are going to have 4 children born from four different wonderful ladies (3 more amazing than myself) and 2 of our children will have been born here in our hometown and two in the same (most likely) hospital in a very large state 23 hours away from here!

We are thankful for where God has led us to be.  We are thankful for our life God has given us.  We are thankful for our Princess, Boo, Grasshopper, and whomever God is going to bring into our lives through our wonderful Family to Family Adoptions, Inc!  I am excited about what the next year will bring!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

 This week I am thankful for my amazing husband!  I could not even begin to explain all the things he has done in the past few months while we have so much on our plate.  With my pregnancy being one of certain risks, there has not been much tht I could do...so he has taken up my slack, along with his regular work, and doing as much on the house project as he can to save money!  This is one amazing man and I am very thankful that God saw fit for us to be together!  What a blessing he is to me, my children, my family...and I see him being a blessing to other people often too!  I am greatly blessed to have Handsome as my husband...thank you Lord for such a strong, Godly man!







Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Family Pictures 2010

 I couldn't decide which one of my 'favorites' really were my favorites, so be prepared for LOTS of pictures in this post!
(Though I think the very first picture {which is the first picture of the entire day} would be my favorite if it would have been warm enough for Princess to be without her purple sweatshirt!)
 Keep an eye on Boos silly faces throughout the photo shoot!

 Clearly a family of 5, rather than of four!  Grasshopper is making his/her presence known via my huge belly!
 Thought this was a cute idea...don't know if one of them will make the Christmas Card cut, but a cute picture anyway!
 I think this one is my favorite of the kissing ones!

 Again, love this picture...just not the purple!
 This picture isn't turned like this when I upload it...but then every time it comes onthe blog it is....sorry for the uncomfortable twist you will have to do to view it straight on!

 Like this one alot!  Grasshopper is the center of attention!
One week until we know if Grasshopper is a boy or girl!
 Lake Benton isn't as beautiful as our Hills, but the lake is a fun back drop!
 Possible Christmas Card contender!


 Or maybe this one!













 This one is fun too...so many choices!  Hopefully I will be able to steal my husband for a while and get our Christmas Cards ordered so they are ready by Thanksgiving!