I am wife to a magnificent man and mother to five wonderful children. Three of my children were born in the Northwest and two were born thousands of miles away in Liberia, West Africa. Birthplace is no matter, all of my children were born in my heart. This is our journey.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

We hit triple digits!

Yep it was over 100 degrees yesterday. We enjoyed the evening at a waterpark for a party celebrating the track season. There was lots to do for all ages and the park is well run so I felt comfortable with the older ones running around from place to place. There was the huge waterslide, water channel with a current that was so fun and the swings and giant water guns that the little ones could play with.
Then last night I was awakened to the sound of thunder rolling at 1:00am. What strange weather. Welcome to the Northwest.
Tonight we spent an hour as a whole family for the first time in our pool at home. We had so much fun playing with the beachball, making our own whirpool and just getting exercise in general. We decided that we most definitely are going to enjoy this pool. Other than me taking out the ladder and nearly knocking Lij back into the water during whirlpool time, we really enjoyed ourselves. We really had quite the current going. I may suffer some bruises but in the name of family fun I am no worse for wear. The kids were beat this evening as they headed off to bed. Now that's worth it's weight in gold isn't it?

Monday, June 23, 2008

The pool

First remove fence panel behind the shop and get one yard of sand.

Replace fence panel and instruct eldest son to level layed sand while eldest daughter looks on.

Lay down black plastic for weed control.

Lay down what everyone has been waiting for.

Fill top tube with air. Notice the swimsuits in anticipation?

Find three really cute kids and have them push out the wrinkles while starting the hose. (Really Daddy did a lot of the work, I just didn't catch him in very many pictures. Coincidence? I think not.)

Seven short hours of filling the pool later and you have a plan for summer.

It was the best 30 minutes of freezing cold water they have ever experienced.

That was until a certain little guy was grounded due to climbing in and out every two minutes with sandy feet. Oh well. You can't have it all. It will get warmer little man.

Expect many more swimming pictures in the near future since I am sure we will spending a lot of time there this summer.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Party, pool and such...

The graduation party was great. The guys played great music and the visiting and time with friends and family even better. Sister-in-law had a great time catching up with people she hadn't seen in awhile.
Today we are setting up our new pool we got on Craigslist. Pretty exciting! Of course at 3100 gallons, it is still filling up and we are at 4 hours and counting. The fence goes up around it tomorrow. It is propped up at the moment as safety is a priority around here. Pictures to follow.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


I have been decidely absent from my blog this week and so I thought an update was in order.

We are having a graduation celebration for my 45 year old sister-in-law with approximately 80 of her closest friends and family. She is getting her degree from a local university. In a moment of weakness I offered to plan it. What was I thinking?

No, really it is going to be a lot of fun, it is just time consuming. Various members of the family have taken lots of tasks to help out. I couldn't do this without them. Lots of food, music and catching up with a lot of old friends. We decided to have it a park that has a covered wood table 93 feet long made from one tree. Impressive really. It sits next to an outdoor kitchen with bathrooms on the backside, important features for this momma of 5. Thunder and lightning woke me this morning but the sun is now moving in. I hope it stays.

I'll post some pics tomorrow and let you know how it went.

Monday, June 16, 2008

You know it's time for a break when...

you get a new phone, set up the greeting message, call it from your cell phone to make sure it works and when your house phone rings hang up the cell phone to answer the house phone. Yep, one bright candle I am.

On the fun side my wonderfully talented son has picked a winner and MJ won the book! Congratulations. It's a great book that has some practical applications. A worthwhile read and one I keep on my bookshelf.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bank note to fill up the tank...and a contest.

I know you all know about the current gas "crisis" we are all experiencing. Honestly I do find it frustrating but it's not surprising either. It has been a long time in coming and when you look at what other countries are paying we have really been spoiled for quite some time. When we were in Haiti last year they were paying $7 per gallon and I saw on the news this morning that most places in Europe are over $8.

We saw the writing on the wall last year. We sold our favorite vehicle so far, our roomy and comfy Ford Expedition. We purchased an almost 10 year old 8 passenger mini-van and I am so glad we did. It's not my favorite vehicle but it has more cargo space and I am grateful to be getting 23mpg instead of 14.

While I don't appreciate the impact on my pocketbook, I am liking the benefits of finding alternative ways of transportation. Just this last weekend I needed some supplies for a project. So off Lil and I went on our bikes. We probably saved $1 in total on this trip by not driving. Not a huge amount, but when you consider that I got 30 minutes of exercise and quality time with my daughter doing something she loves well than I think my $1 savings will be worth more long term.

I see many more bike rides in our future this summer. Hubby bought me a new bike for my birthday this winter and I returned the favor and bought him one for his birthday this last month. We really do have a good amount of options for things to do in our little town and all of it is within a 10-15 minute bike ride. A few years ago we received a bike trailer to use while we have little ones and so the two youngest get to ride in style and it doubles as a place for items we purchase when we don't take the littles (thanks C&K!).

So, how are you coping with the current state of fuel affairs? Leave me a comment. I will place the comments in a hat and let one of my cute kids pick out a name for a brand new copy of the book "Helping Your Kids Deal with Anger, Fear and Sadness" by H. Norman Wright. It's a great practical book that has been a valuable resource to us as adoptive parents.

Contest ends June 13th.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


I miss her.

I watch my children and I miss her.

She was only ten days old but her impact is never ending and profound.

The miracle was that she lived.

If you have speakers turn them on and listen to the song that is playing.

He never promised that it would be painless, only that He would hold me while I cry.

This is what it means to be held...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Where does the time go?

One thing about my Liberian children is that their vocabulary has a way of entertaining us. They have aquired so much of the language and for the most part they use it correctly but every once in awhile a word slips into a conversation in the wrong place.

This morning we were in the van chatting about a teenage girl in our old church that Bub used to have a crush on. How that when he was little he used to say he was going to marry her when he grows up. His response to this conversation was "Ok mom, too much information, you are making me bluff."

Close but no cigar.

I enjoy hearing how they use the language. It reminds me of times gone by. I miss the way they used to talk when they came. It's been six years and I wonder at times where those two little African three year olds went. The ones that used to say fini when finished with dinner, rye for rice or mo soup for more gravy. When they first come as a parent you want to make up for lost time, give them a leg up and help them learn everything they can. But before you know it it's all gone too quickly. One day you wake up and they are sitting at the dinner table sounding like American kids, wearing their favorite team t-shirts and talking about the next track meet.

Teaching them the language and the way we do things here means that some of the things that make them African will disappear. That's the part that makes me sad.

My encouragement is to enjoy those first few years and pace yourself. The language will come, the bonding and attachment will come, the new normal will come.

I have been feeling very nostalgic lately. I remember those feelings of trying to teach them the language, the way to behave here, how to play and how to be in our new family. See they aren't the only ones who change. We change too. Our family will not look like it used to. It becomes a new creation really. Before they came plantains were not a Thanksgiving tradition, but they are now. Before they came we didn't listen to African choirs in the car on the way to church, but we do now. Before they came we thought the American way was the right way, but we don't now. Sometimes I wonder if it's it not the parents who change the most. Hmmm, another post maybe?

In conclusion, they arrived, I blinked and it's now a precious memory I hope to never forget. Blessings to those of you who are in the first few years of creating your new family. It is a precious, precious time and I sometimes envy the place you are in now even as hard as it is at times. It's like having a newborn. It's the hardest most sleepless time of your life but yet when they a few years go by you wish you could go back and do it again.

It is time you will never get back and it's worth every minute.