Friday, September 28, 2012

And in other big baby news . . .

Social services called Tuesday and asked if we were ready for a baby. We said yes, and "Nikki" arrived later that evening. She was born Sunday and is teeny tiny. Nikki is a beautiful baby and has been an angel so far. Of course she sleeps a great deal but when she is awake her big, dark eyes are just drinking in the world around her. Annie and JJ have learned to say "baby" but other than pointing to her and saying "baby" have no interest in her. Which is probably for the best. :) Nikki has some good prospective relative placements that are being checked out by social services now. It looks like she will be with us for a week or two and then be able to move on to a fairly permanent placement.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

April showers bring May flowers. And babies.


Meet the newest member of our family, expected around May 23! Six week ultrasound was today and baby is perfect. We even got to hear the heartbeat. Your prayers over the next weeks and months are welcomed!

Luke 2:47-50
My soul magnifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for He has looked on the humble estate of His servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed,
for He who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is His name.
And His mercy is for those who fear Him
from generation to generation.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Oldies but Goodies

I was cleaning out photos last week and came across these from our college days. I forgot how much fun we had. :)

We packed in those day trips to the beach.
photos 162

A lot of love and money went into this sparkle!
photos 123

I was really happy with it. And the Gent, too, of course.
photos 125

Ahhhh graduation.
photos 167

Friday, September 21, 2012

Even Newer Wheels



We took the plunge this week. Bought a mini van of our own.

I took the kids with me to do the negotiating and we made a great team. I got exactly what I wanted for what I wanted to pay. The Gent and I had intended to buy a used van but when we got to looking at prices we could get a new one with all the accessories we wanted for only a couple thousand more. So we test drove one last Monday and bought it this Monday. We'd been thinking about buying a van for a couple of years, so when we finally decided it was time we moved fast.

Her name is Modern Millie Van (from the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie) and she drives beautifully. I am starting to figure out all the bells and whistles; wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

JJ: Sixteen Months

JJ doesn't hold still for long! These photos will give you an idea of the boy in constant motion. :)




At sixteen months JJ is looking more and more like a big boy. Getting his first haircut helped. JJ loves ride-on toys, stacking toys, and stuffed animals of all kinds. He likes music and finger games (like peek-a-boo and patty-cake). He is having fun with our family--most of the time. JJ is still having lots of tantrums when he doesn't immediately get his own way, which happens pretty often around here. Patience is a very, very hard virtue for little boys to learn. I look forward to him learning more words and having other ways to express himself. :) He has learned to eat some new fruits; we're up to five different kinds now! He loves dairy and meat. He is taking two good naps a day and sleeping 8-8 at night. JJ is wearing 12-18 month clothes but starting to transition to 18-24 month, and size 3 diapers.

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Transformation from a Political Junkie to a Single-Issue Voter

Back in the day, when I was working in the political world and wearing suits with pantyhose and heels, I spent a lot of time keeping up with the latest political news (aka muck). Sometimes hours a day. A lot of it was entertaining. Some was educational. I was full of useless facts. But they don't have questions about state politics in Trivial Pursuit.

Now my life has changed a bit. I hardly ever watch the news. I scan the headlines (national and local) on my iphone once a day. I read World magazine cover to cover every two weeks, and I try to read a few Wall Street Journal editorials when I can. Other than that, I rely on my husband to inform me of anything else I should be aware of.

Sometimes I wish I was still as informed as I used to be, but it is not a priority anymore.

I've transformed from a political junkie to a single-issue voter.

When I get ready to go to the polls, all I look at is "is this candidate pro-life?" If the answer is yes, they are getting my vote. And if it's no, then I won't even consider them.

This may seem over-simplistic to many. But I look at it this way: the respect a person has for the sanctity of life (for all ages and in all stages of development) underlies every other decision they make. "How do I view other people?" is the foundation for a worldview.

So before I vote, I check the pro-life box. And not just the lip service, but prior voting records and history.

To me, there's nothing more important.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Please Help!

I don't make a lot of political statements and calls for action here, but please consider writing your Senators and Representative (you can find your elected official and their contact information here) and asking them not to End the Adoption Tax Credit This credit has helped thousands of families adopt kids who desperately needed a family. There are so many wonderful people with hearts open to kids in need but not the means to pay the adoption fees (especially for international adoptions!) required. This tax credit helps fill that gap. Take ten minutes of your time and speak up for the little ones who don't have a voice. Every child deserves a forever family.

Bebe's Visit

Bebe came for a visit this week while the Gent was traveling. Annie and JJ and I were so glad to have her here! Mama Rita and Papa Gene came by and had lunch with us one day, too. We've enjoyed our company!








Annie's necklaces are her constant companions.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Great Garage Clean-Out



I helped the Gent build this awesome workbench. :)

Yay for organization!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Play Space Project

We've had a couple of big projects going on around here the past two weekends. A big thanks to Honey and Poppa for helping us pull them off!

First up was making something out of this wasted space on the side of our house. It was just utilities and weeds. Not enough sun for grass.

view from rear: before

view from front: before

view from rear: after

view from front: after

We spread gravel in the utility area, and then turned the back section into a play yard. Found this Little Tikes castle on Craigslist, bought a couple of chairs for the adults, and now it is a great space for kiddos to play! I'm still looking for a picnic table and maybe next spring I'll look for a water table.





Friday, September 7, 2012

Love this Song

The kids and I have been listening to Passion's Here for You cd in the car this week. It is full of great worship music, but this song (Shadows) by David Crowder Band is one of my current favorites.

Life is full of light and shadow
O the joy and O the sorrow
O the sorrow

And yet will He bring
Dark to light
And yet will He bring
Day from night

When shadows fall on us
We will not fear
We will remember

When darkness falls on us
We will not fear
We will remember

When all seems lost
When we're thrown and we're tossed
We remember the cost
We rest in Him
Shadow of the cross

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

JJ's big boy haircut


There were a few tears at first, but the arrival of a lollipop quickly banished them. He was quite content to let the barber snip away while he enjoyed his sugar high. We saved a few curls in an envelope and JJ is now in possession of an official First Haircut Certificate. Congratulations, JJ!

Monday, September 3, 2012

New Wheels


One of God's names is Jehovah Jireh. It means "the Lord provides." A friend from church heard we were willing to take in another child but unable to do so until we had a larger vehicle, and offered to swap cars with us until we are able to purchase one of our own. Thank you!!!

So now we're driving this! And it has so much space!! LOVE how much easier it has already made my life.

I have a call in to our social worker to discuss the next steps. Our family is ready next time they have a newborn to place. It could be next week or it could be months from now, we'll just have to wait and see. At this time we can't handle another toddler, but feel ready to take on a little one who can't move yet. :)

I know some people probably think we're crazy, and yes, taking on another child will make our lives more complicated. But that which God calls you to do, He equips you to do. He multiplies the hours in our days and gives us the extra energy required. It doesn't feel like a chore or a burden. It is serving from love. As the Apostle Paul wrote, "the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love" (Galatians 5:6).