Daily Verse

"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.

"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.

"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.

"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.

"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.

"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.

"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.








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Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas and a Happy Happy Happy New Year by Cupcake!

So before I tell you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year - you need to know I GOT TO SEE CINRELLA!!!!!!
The biggest new this year is we went on this really BIG boat and we packed summer clothes in December and we saw princess', Mickey & Minnie and the gang!  It was totally awesome!

There are some other things I can share my sister (the Princess) thought she would steall my spotlight and the very first day of my very first year of dance class she went and had her tonsils & adenoids out.  
I was so mad all I did was sit in the middle of the classroom floor and NOT dance!!!
And the next week my big sister CAME to my class to be an assistant to my teacher.  I was so mad she was stealing my spotlight all I did was sit in the middle of my classroom floor and NOT dance!  Eventually I got over it and learned to do my froggie dance!

Speaking of sister problems, my little sis was keeping me up at night so right at the beginning of the year Mama and Daddy worked really hard and put me in my own room with a big girl bed and  sparkly walls!  I love it!!!
 So my mom has this cousin, but he isn't really her cousin - anyway they live in our town and he cheers for MY day he and his wife and their son invited us to go bowling with them.  My Mama had us all dressed in Vikings clothes which was really funny because his wife likes the Packers...she was surrounded by Purple & Gold!!!  My brother was teasing her a LOT that night!

We also had to go to this Starpower Dance Competition thing so the Princess could have MORE time in the spotlight.  Don't tell her, but I think she nailed it and did a really awesome job!  Her team won a bunch of awards that they call 'hardware!'

In March I turned 3 and Mama took my paci away.  She also started talking to me about these things called panties - but you all know things are only done in MY time - so that talk didn't go very far!  My Daddy was gone for 75% of this month which was tough on Mama...she was home with 6 kids and her daycare.  He even missed my birthday.  :(   But Mama too Princess, LoveBug and I to the mall to shop, get my ears pierced and get pedis.

It was okay, but we missed Daddy and Ethan was at school.  

One of the reasons Daddy was gone was because he and LoveBug went with the Shriners up to Minneapolis MN to see doctors at a special hospital.  They did all kinds of tests on her and measured her legs to make braces for her to walk better.  This confused me...Princess has braces on her teeth so how would braces help LoveBug walk?  We had a party for them when they returned home...Mama let us help make cupcakes and decorate because we missed them so much!

April was really busy...we went to my Aunt and Uncles by Mankato for Easter.
And then all the was up to Minneapolis for a visit with LoveBug's doctors to get her braces!!!

She really does well with them.

The Princess and I also had our dance recital, she danced really well in her 4 dances...I kind of stood on the stage and looked cute.

April was also the month that Mama and Daddy told us we were going on the big boat with Papa, Gweema, Mickey & Minnie!  All of us kids were REALLY REALLY  exited about that!

For Mother's Day we went to Cheyenne Wyoming to see one of Mama's REAL cousins.  She and her two adorable girls were there because she is really important and serves our country.  Mama and Daddy had to bring special information to be approved to go on base - but we didn't play baseball so I'm confused!!!

We had fun there until the blizzard!  But even in all the snow we went to Perkins for lunch and I noticed that both Mama and her cousin LOVE strawberries.  They said it was a Norgaard thing...whatever that means.  

Just a couple weeks later we were 4-wheelin' at Papa's farm and roasting marchmellows for s'mores.  It was after the weekend at Papa's that I finally decided this potty thing was okay and I pretty much stayed clean and dry from that weekend out.

In June our family grew!

Little Lena came to us so tiny and fun.  Daddy and Sunshine also started running 3-4 miles a day and actually think it is fun!  And the 'Princess' was crowned LIttle Miss Firecracker.

It also rained lots in Mama would let us put our swimsuits on and play in the rain!

July is always my favorite because we go to fireworks, a rodeo, a carnival and a parade (that the Princess was in).  We also went to Hills Alive and listened to some amazing music...Mama was most excited about Steven Curtis Chapman!  

Princess and Sunshine also went to VBS and had tons of fun!

With LoveBug's bouncing birthday party she turned 3 and it was time for my older siblings to start 2nd grade.  

Sunshine likes to ride the bus to school but Princess wears her PJ's and does her school in her room on her computer.  (though Mama doesn't like her to stay in her jammies all day and she gets in trouble.)

On Labor Day we went to the State Fair and ate Alligator!  It was good.  LoveBug started pre-school 2 days a weeks and  Princess turned 8 with a Princess party...that wraps up September.

Fall is always fun because Mama really likes it so we decorate and have lots of pumpkins - we even got to carve one - and by the way, the insides feel disgusting!  I PROMISE!  

October also means dance starts.  Princess has class Sunday through Wedesday and Sunshine & I have class on Tuesdays.  Our family will be a part of 7 total dances in the next recital!  LoveBug decided that she was going to start climbing out of her crib so my Daddy built her an AMAZING  security bed...everyone sleeps better now!

November was pretty boring though I did sweet talk Papa into coming out for Thanksgiving by promising him my Mama would make him pumpkin pie.  We were sad to say good-bye but knew we would see them the next week at an airport!!!

The airplane took us to Florida where we got on the Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship for 7 days!!!  

Princess liked seeing Princess Tiana, Sunshine like the food, LoveBug liked Goofy and playing on the beach and in the ocean at Castaway Cay, Daddy liked his Segway tour of San Juan and the broadway style shows and Mama says her favorite was watching us kids take it all in.  None of us wanted to leave but we all missed Bo & Ry (our foster babes who have been with us since November 2013.)  Daddys says we will go on another big boat someday because it almost seemed like time stood still for a bit on the big boat - and that was really nice!

We came back to the busy Christmas time.  Christmas programs at school for LoveBug and Ethan, Christmas parties, gifts, baking, shopping and looking at lights.  We have to spend Christmas at home this year because Daddy has to work, but I know when he gets home he will tell us about how baby Jesus was born to die on the cross for our sins.  That is what is important about Christmas.  Then just after Christmas but before the New Year my Sunshine will turn 8!  He is really excited about his special day!

I hope you all had an amazing and happy 2014.  God has been good to us and for that we are thankful!!!  Merry Christmas and Happy 2015!

Love, Cupcake 
(for Daddy, Mama, Princess, Sunshine & LoveBug)

By the way, Princess and I were able to go to JodiBPhotography and take pictures in Mamas wedding dress this Spring too!!!  ;)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Season of Trials

We seem to go through seasons, and our current season is one of trial.  The enemy is very real and he is trying to get us to step away from God and lean on ourselves...that doesn't work so well.  When it gets to that point, the point where we buy satan's story, that is when things crumble around us.  It is no secret that Handsome and I pretty much do things alone.  There are not many people that have decided to stick by us...which is fine, but that also means that Handsome and I are everything to each other.  Sure, I am blessed to have my mom and dad that support....but they are not here.  I chat with mom when I can, but I also don't want to dump everything in her lap every time we talk!  So Jason and I tend to hold our 'stuff' in until no more can fit and then we 'dump' it on the other and then the other feels like we are not good enough...right now we are battling the school (again) on behalf of what is best for Sunshine.  Along with the fact that our 7 year old is back in diapers full time, has a compulsion to eat anything he THINKS is consumable...and doctors just don't have much advise on how to handle his case other than "you are doing exactly what he needs, good job mom and dad" (which by the way, isn't much comfort).  There is no book on "how to handle your drug baby with ODD, bi-polar, encephalopathy, ect..ect..ect.." So we wing it.  But God doesn't promise life to be easy.  Then you look at Princess, she is about to turn 8, and she is becoming such a beautiful soul.  When she is thinking about her actions she thinks of others...she cares for babies...she offers to get drinks and food for Mama and Daddy...she LOVES her brothers and sisters and does a fantastic job of being their big sister.  But the effects of the stress in caring for special needs children gets to her, she gets sad...she cries...she feels like she is second best because the others require so much attention and because she doesn't she doesn't always get as much as she should.  She is definitely my right hand around here, and I try very hard to not take her for granted.  She is AMAZING!  Next we look at Cupcake, and well much like her older sister she doesn't have any major needs....but she does like her snuggles, and she needs physical touch more than any kid I have ever known...and some days Mama just cannot sit and snuggle.  Some days Mama just doesn't have that spare moment because of the needs around the daycare/house/other kids....and then we act up.  But there are nights like last night, this precious Cupcake, this girl who grew inside of me...she needed those snuggles so bad she stayed up until the late night hours waiting to snuggle in my bed, she looked for ways to help so we could get there more quickly, she put out a new potty pad for the dogs, she cleared the dishes from the table, she brought me my water when I didn't have it....until she passed out in her daddy's arms because she just couldn't wait any longer.  HEARTBREAKING!   But there are medical bills that require paperwork, and paperwork for the school (that we already filled out but here are some of the issues preciously mentioned), seriously...I am only one person.  We also have our LoveBug...who is having MANY struggles right now.  She started pre-school this fall, just a couple weeks after turning three.  She goes two mornings a week to receive her therapy's...but she doesn't like it, and it is turning her into a monster.  She comes home exhausted from the events of the morning (and tear stained cheeks and dried crying boogers under her nose) all she has left in her is too eat and sleep pretty much the rest of the day.  But she isn't the happy little girl she once was, she is cranky, crabby, and mean.  She also has decided that she doesn't like to wear diapers any more (though she is no where close to potty training) and she takes them off and leaves messes for Mama and Daddy to clean up...the liquid ones aren't too terrible, but when she decides we need drawings on her crib and walls and the only color option she has is BROWN the smell alone overwhelms me...let alone the clean up.

On top of our 4 kiddos we have two foster littles that have been with us since November that are at the point in the case that something needs to happen for them.  They need permanency...they need to start working on their future rather than being kept in limbo.  The two year old Teddy Bear is confused and acting out..often, but she can also charm the pants off of you, she is just confused.  Her 1 year old brother follows her lead...and we have many melt downs.  But they continue to have visits with bio mom every Friday where they also see their 4 older siblings.  They do not understand....but they want to know what their future holds! I am trying to brace myself for when they leave...I love them like my own, as I do with all foster kids in my home.  I invest in them like my own...and I would love for them to become my own...but we are still trying for reunification.  Which breaks my heart!  The odds of that happening are slim, but in the event that doesn't happen the state will rip them away from the place they feel safe, the place they learned what love and stability was all about, the place where they got to be kids rather than having to learn life skills over survival...and they will be moved out of state to be with some distant (older) relatives that they have never met.  How long will it take the kids to recover and trust/love again?  Will that be able to?  I don't know...but I am trying to prepare myself for their departure.  Prepare myself for the ache my children will have when these two kiddos leave our home.  It will be like loosing some of our family.

Please know this is not a complaint about my life...we are living the life that God intends us to live...He just doesn't promise it is going to be easy.

But back to doing it alone, in this world there are very few people that understand why Handsome and I have chosen a life that clearly requires much work, little rest, and a LOT of hurt.  Do you know that I work because I am trying to pay for our adoptions?  One of our three adoptions were supposed to have been paid for, but when we made a decision to follow God in a direction He was leading us the family that had raised all of the money for that adoption decided we didn't deserve it.  Okay God, we will trust you!  Did you know that for LoveBug's adoption there was a surprise $11,000 to get her out of the hospital?  Okay God, we will trust You!  Did you know that if we wouldn't have adopted our children I could be that stay at home Mom? that I dream of being?  Except then what would be the purpose of being a stay at home mom???  We have lost many things by choosing to follow the path that God has paved for us, we have lost Handsome's family, we have lost adoption funding, we have lost most of our friends, we have lost churches (seriously!?!?), we have lost sleep, we have lost babysitters, we have lost date nights, we have lost much....God never promised it would be easy....

But here is what we have gained: a relationship between Handsome and myself that is truly rock solid-it may not always be pretty, and it may not always be lovey dovey-but rock solid there until death do us part!  We have gained a child like faith in God, because honestly, there are days that I just don't know how it is going to work out....but God does!  We have gained 3 beautiful adopted children and one amazing biological child, all of whom are exactly the children that are supposed to be in our family, in our home, and in our hearts!  We have gained so much in choosing to follow God no matter what the cost...

So I am not complaining, I am not asking for pitty...or money...or anything else.  We go through seasons, and ours is a season of trials right now.  From our experience trials are usually testing, and if we don't pay attention to the test at hand and learn the lesson that God is trying to teach He will surely present it to us again and again until we get it.  We are trying to get used to handling this craziness by ourselves...with Him.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

3 years...

About this time 3 years ago we got a fun phone call from Family to Family Adoptions Inc in Texas.....they had news for us...a baby girl due September 6....We already had Princess (4), Sunshine (4) and Cupcake (4.5 months) and we were going to be a growing family!!!
 I don't remember the exact date they called...but the call itself...I will never forget!
My mind instantly went to this....having my arms full and my heart overflowing!

 She was tiny and beautiful...

And she was ours...well not until the end of August was she born...and then in March we finalized her adoption....but how she has changed this family for good!  We laugh more because of her...we smile more because of her....we fight more (as in fight for each other and the needs of our kids/family)...we are stronger because of her...we face the day differently because of her....she is our LoveBug...and this is the song I have chosen for her:

So Far To Find You
by Casting Crowns

You were broken, abandoned
And crying all alone
We were waiting and praying 
And longing to bring you home
And then we saw your face
In a moment you were wrapped up in our hearts
We took a step of faith
And now here we are

Will you let me hold you in my arms tonight
I have come so far to find you
So far to find you
Will you take my love and give up the fight
I have come so far to find you
So far to find you

From a world away, I journeyed
Just to hold your hand
You will never be alone again
I've come so far to find you
So far to find you

You were fighting and fearful
You were hiding your heart away
But I was trying so hard to show you
'Cause there were no words that I could say
If you could see my heart
You would know that all I want to do
Is care for you

Will you let me hold you in my arms tonight
I have come so far to find you
So far to find you
Will you take my love and give up the fight
I have come so far to find you
So far to find you

Here in your eyes I see
Reflections of myself
How I"m the child that's really running
But I can hear a voice that's whispering my name
Saying come to me, don't run from me
I'm all you need and I am calling

Will you let me hold you in my arms tonight
(I have come so far)
Will you take my love and give up the fight
(I have come so far)

Will you let me hold you in my arms tonight
I have come so far to find you
So far to find you
Will you take my love and give up the fight
I have come so far to find you
So far to find you

From Heaven's throne
Down to a rugged cross I came
It was My love for you that brought Me all the way
So far to find you
So far to find you

You were broken, abandoned
And crying all alone


It is an amazing song...Our LoveBug was 6 lbs 1 oz when she was born addicted to crack cocaine.  She was tiny and frail, she needed someone who could fight for her.  It was a difficult road.  She was so stiff should wouldn't latch on to nurse (I was already nursing my 5 month old) she cried for hours on end.  While I was pumping/attending to Cupcake my Handsome would hold this little tiny baby in the wee hours of the night/morning and sing to her, quote scripture to her and hold her tight/close skin to skin.  There were 5 months of withdrawals.  She stayed in preemie diapers until she was 3 months and only because of quantity of fluids we then put her into Newborn diapers which leaked almost as bad because her tiny little legs were too small for the diaper to fit tightly around.  She was in Newborn diapers until she was 8 months old.  She couldn't grow...she cried...we cried...she doctored.  But there was a miracle in this child....she had a desire to live....a will to fight...far greater than anyone could ever imagine.  She also had an amazing smile and an awesome giggle! This girl came to us broken...I mean her body was in tact and every finger and toe was in place...but inside she was struggling with an addiction she didn't choose.  We thought we were there for her, but let me tell you something...she is here for us!  This girl is still so cute, funny, smilie, full of laughter and just adorable!

To say that this girl has my understatement.  She was meant to be in this family...she was meant to be my daughter...I was meant to be her Mama!