Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Big Surprise of 2010

Can you guess what the big surprise of 2010 was? 

Look carefully at this picture for a clue.

That's right, on Christmas Eve Will popped the question to his long time girlfriend!

Even more surprising, since Will won't have leave for a year, they have decided to get married now!

Now.  As in, the next few days, now.  Crazy, but crazy is normal for us, right? 

It's all coming together and I know it will be a very special day. 

C is a wonderful girl who loves our crazy family, and we are excited to see them begin a new adventure in their lives.

CONGRATS!  We love you both and we wish you a lifetime of happiness!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Family Needs Urgent Prayers for Urgent Referral

Remember the posts (here and then here) regarding this wonderful boy who will age out in Feb?

Another blogger also posted his information and now there is a family who wants to adopt him!

Please join us all in prayer for a Christmas miracle!

That family needs: agency approvals, homestudy updates, USCIS and other travel approvals, and $$$ to make it happen--all before Feb 9, the day this boy turns 14. 

Some say it is impossible.

I say God is in the business of making the impossible--POSSIBLE!!! 

PLEASE PRAY FOR A MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!


Christmas 2010
Filled with excitement and surprises
Lots to share
Coming soon to a blog near you

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas 2.0

A light-hearted look at what it would be like if Jesus had been born in 2010. 

It was passed on to me by a friend of James' and I hope it brings a Christmas smile to all of you.

Have a blessed Christmas!  See you on the other side!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Finding The Spirit of Christmas

Last week had me in a bit of a huge Christmas funk.  Too much to do, too little time!  I felt I would never catch up.  The Grinch had taken residence in my heart.

SO RIGHT HERE AND NOW I make a public vow that NEXT year I will be more organized!

I will!  Seriously.  I really will.  I'm going to start my Christmas shopping in January.  Really.

Did I say the same thing last year?  And the year before? 

Yeah, but this time I really mean it.  Cause this year I was feeling all the Christmas joy sucked right out of me.

HOWEVER, there has been much rejoicing and laughter in our house the past few days.  I've also been able to get a fair amount of shopping and wrapping done.

My joy is back.

Will came home on leave and my sister arrived with her family.  What a happy day!

Hubby did the traditional cookie baking.

Will brought home an MRE (military food ration kit thingee) and I had the privilege of drinking the coffee.  Kim mixed it in the bag then I poked a hole in the bottom--Will said that's how it's done.  It felt like something one might do at a college frat party--not that I would know of course.

It is so good to have family back home.  I love watching the cousins together and the boys playing video games on the couch. 

We also watched movies and I'm finally having a chance to read the stack of books that have been calling my name (NON-college books!).

Let the true season begin.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Will Made It!

Just heard from our soldier.  He made it through selection.  We are very proud of him.

I refused to watch the Two Weeks In Hell video until he had completed the course. 

I watched it tonight and I'm so glad I waited until he finished.  Will says he is sore and tired, but also feeling he has achieved the greatest accomplishment of his life.  Watching the video makes me even more appreciative of all our US soldiers.

The last couple of nights I would wake up worried and just start praying for Will and all the guys.  Maybe tonight I can sleep.  I know that's what Will is doing.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Older Child Adoption

Are you thinking of adopting an older child?  Here's some inspiration.

 read the amazing story here

See some older kids who are waiting on Holt's waiting child website--some will age out soon, including the wonderful boy I posted about previously:

Praying God will move some hearts from fear to free-falling belief.  Time is running out.

My Favorite Teacher

Homework is my nemesis! 

I don't mind the bigger projects, which are kind of fun, such as Vu's recent Veteran's day poster:

and Patrick's Thanksgiving immigrant doll:

I just don't like nightly homework.  I understand why older kids have it, but kids younger than ten?  They spend most of their day in school only to come home to more work at night.  I am not talking about just reading, which I support, I am talking about reading PLUS additional worksheets, flash cards, AND math--every night.  Ugh!  And often, younger kids need adult support.  Which means it isn't just their homework, it's mine too. 

There have been many years I have threatened to unite with other homework exhausted parents creating a homework boycott.

But I'm too tired.  You know, from helping with all that homework.

And I don't want the teachers to hate me.

Or to think I'm a bad mother.

Because I do have a lot of kids so some teachers probably already think I'm a bad mother.

Anyhoo, getting to the point . . . (thanks for listening to me nag) I was delighted to see the weekly homework sheet for Patrick.  His teacher has just become my favorite teacher. 

"In an effort to clear some time and alleviate some of the rush, we are keeping homework this week to a minimum.  If you can, fill the time with some one-on-one time with your child - baking, reading, playing a game, shopping, decorating, and making gifts."

Here's Patrick making muffins this afternoon.

Guess who is my favorite teacher?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Best Christmas Present

I don't need anything else for Christmas.  Santa delivered our . . .


Here's a picture Rose made. 

She now knows she is being adopted by our family. 

I wonder what she thinks.

We hope to travel in about three months . . .

With all three little boys and hopefully our oldest son too.

(The girls went to Vietnam, so now it's the boys' turn).

LOA makes it so real, ya know?


Thursday, December 9, 2010

On Every Child's Wish List . . .

Big and small, all want a Pillow Pet!

They are so cute and cuddly, I want one too!

We bought this ladybug for Rose.  I smile every time I look at it because I think of the day she finally cuddles up with it--home at last.   

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Toy and Gift Ideas

I don't need to blog anymore.  I can just link you to my old blog posts.  It will save us both time.

Seriously, I wrote these in 2008 but not much would change on my list of the best toys (both classic and with wow-factor) and last minute gift ideas. 

Best Toys--The Classics

Best Toys--The Wow Factor

Last minute gift ideas

And my friend Lisa has more great ideas over at A Bushel and a Peck

Happy Shopping!  And more posts coming since I just finished my final term paper.  Woot!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Counting The Days With Prayers

10 . . . 11 . . . 44 . . . 18

These are the numbers circulating around our house today. 

Tomorrow they will be 9, 10, 45, 17. 

Make sense?

18--number of days before Christmas of course!

10--number of days of Selection that Will still has to survive.  Selection is the final phase of Will achieving his dream of being part of the Army Special Forces. 

For any that have watched the Discovery Channel special Two Weeks in Hell that is what my baby is going through right now.  Only now it's been lengthened to three weeks.  I refuse to watch the show until my baby is through being tortured.

11--number of days until Will comes home on leave!  Woo-Hoo!  Kim made a chain to count down the days.

44--number of days we've been waiting for LOA--our next step in the China process to bring Rose home.  LOA can take anywhere from 30-150 days.  After that it will be 3-4 months until travel. 

An adoptive family we know is traveling to China to pick up their son from the same orphanage and they offered to take Rose a gift.  We made sure it was light and flat but still filled with the goodness of love--stickers, Polly Pocket, Christmas socks, candy, notepad, paperdolls, hair clips, stick-on earrings, and a teeny tiny little stuffed pink poodle.

Lots of counting and lots of prayers.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Filthy Animal Now Needs Camera Advice

Thank you to all who gave me vacuum advice.  I am now the proud owner of a Dyson, bought on Black Friday for half off!  Score!  Dyson has a new style out which is much lighter, but for two-hundred bucks, I will beef up my biceps. 

Err . . . I mean, the biceps of my children.

The worst part about the vacuum is that it is bagless.  While I originally thought this was a marvelous invention, I now realize it is an in-your-face way of showing what a filthy pig house we own.  I can't believe the amount of dog hair this thing consumes!  Wow! 

Anyhoo, the next big purchase in our family is a new camera.  I want something small for our trip to China.  I want to keep it under $300.  The main thing I am looking for is zoom and picture quality.  ADVICE?

Thanks everyone!

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Faith of a Mustard Seed

I don't need to write any more.  I can just post videos.  Ha!  I am currently finishing up term papers but wanted to celebrate with an 8 yo who had the faith of a mustard seed, and raised over $3,600 for wells in Ethiopia. 

This author was part of the inspiration.  Great book for someone on your Christmas list. 

Watch the video.  Absolutely worth 2 minutes of your day.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

For The Least Of These . . .

A video worth watching, particularly during the frenzy of the holiday season.  If your child was suddenly on the other side of the world, all alone, hungry, at-risk, what would you be willing to do to save him?