Friday, July 31, 2009

Blueberry Fun!

I love tradition! Blueberry picking is a favorite summer tradition. We meet our friends there every year and pick and eat and play. The farm that we visit plays classical music over a loud speaker while you pick to your hearts content. I love it! I have heard that the neighbors don't, but I'm only there for an hour.

As our kids have grown it has become even more fun. They are also better berry pickers than they used to be. I can't wait to bring our little ones along next year.

Now all that is left to do is decide how best to consume these precious berries.
Sweet Momma

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Brand New Life!

We came home from vacation last Sunday and left town again on Monday. Before we left I checked on our Momma bird and her eggs, they were still eggs. On Wednesday we came back into town and this is what I saw. They are less than two days old. So precious.

I thought the Momma bird was protective of her eggs before, that was nothing. She was joined by the Daddy bird and they were dive-bombing me as I tried to take these pictures. I think God puts that Mother-love in all Mommies.
Sweet Momma

Monday, July 27, 2009

Home from vacation

With Lewis and Clark, Seaside, OR
Flying our kite

I love to go on vacation and spend all that uninterrupted time with family. But I also love coming home.

We had a great time together. Our little Sweet Pea is recovering from her skim boarding accident quite nicely. Thank you for your prayers.

Here are a few pictures of our week.
Sweet Momma

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Change of Plans...

A few posts ago I shared that the Ethiopian Courts would remain open all summer. We found out today that it is not the case. They will be closed from August 21 through the first week of October. This is not as long as they are usually closed for the rainy season, but it will not allow us to travel in September or October. I guess God could surprise us with a court date before August 21st, but we are not expecting that. A more likely scenario is a court date some time in October and travel in November.

As I stated in the last post, I believe God is everywhere at all times. He is with our sweet little boy and girl. He is with those who are caring for them. He is with the Ethiopian Courts as they evaluate our paperwork. His timing is perfect.

I wish I could get on a plane this minute and bring them home. It is hard to wait. But two weeks ago I didn't even know their names and faces. It's so wonderful to have this information. Soon, very soon, they will be here!

We can't wait to see how this all unfolds.
Sweet Momma

Is God Really Everywhere?

My answer is...absolutely!!!

We are on vacation at the beach. I love it here! I love standing all by myself on the sand and looking out at the vast sea and sky. I can't help but be overwhelmed by how big God is in that moment. I feel so small and insignificant, and yet I am not. God delights over me and showers blessings on little insignificant me on a daily basis.

Yesterday was our first full day here. My little Sweet Pea had an accident while playing at the beach. We talked to phone nurses twice during the day. Around 10pm we found that she really needed to be seen by a doctor.

She was afraid and tired and hurting. Stand-Up Dad and I prayed with her before we left for the ER. I kept trying to remind her that even though she was scared, God was with her, He loves her and will protect her. One of her biggest concerns was that she wouldn't know the doctors at the hospital. So we prayed that all the people we met would be kind to her and that God would give them wisdom.

We got to the ER and God answered our prayers. There are very nice people at Seaside Providence Hospital. After an IV and x-rays the doctors decided that her issues were beyond what they could do and wanted to send us to the Children's Hospital in Portland. They wanted a Pediatric Surgeon to look at her tonight. Really???

So at 12:30am this morning we drove 80 miles through the mountains to Portland(Just Sweet Pea and I). More prayer for safe travel and God's hand on all the deer and elk along the road.

We arrived after 2am. More prayer for kind and wise doctors and God's hand on it all. Again God showed his goodness and protection. We met many wonderful doctors and nurses at the hospital in Portland. My Sweet Pea was amazing. God had definitely given her His peace. She did so well. Her fear was now gone and she was trusting in the big God who made the sea and the sky.

At 4am after she had been seen once again by another doctor, she looked at me and said, "Mom, it is so great that God is here with me and I don't have to be afraid." I completely agree, sweet heart.

Around 9am she had a "procedure" that showed the doctors that she is going to be just fine, just as we had prayed they would. Thank you God!

Now the time is 10:30am and I have had no sleep in the last 24 hours, and I have to drive 80 miles back over the mountains. Coffee and more prayer. All the way home Sweet Pea spoke of God's goodness. I reminded her that God says that in this life we will have trouble, but He will use that trouble to grow us and He will be with us through it.

We made it home safe. Thanks again God! This was not the way I anticipated spending our vacation. But through this tiring ordeal my daughter has seen God as a really big, loving, and present God.

Just like the same God who made that amazing sea and sky.

My prayer today is for healing for Sweet Pea, rest and a very uneventful remainder of our vacation.

James 1:2-4
"Consider it a great joy, my brothers, (and sisters) whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing."
Sweet Momma

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Camp Fort Nisqually

Sweet Pea braiding leather
Pumpkin loved his first year at camp.
Here is Elsie after completing the Trapper's Race.
They came in 2nd!
M&M, holding the prize she chose after the Trapper's Race.
Waiting to sign on with the Hudson Bay Company

Here are just a few pictures of the kids at history camp this summer. They all had a fabulous time living in the year 1855.

Our family is off to a week at the beach in Oregon. We are all looking forward to rest, relaxation and tons of fun. This vacation will be great as we anticipate meeting our new little brother and sister. But next year will be better, when they are here to enjoy it with us.
Sweet Momma

Friday, July 17, 2009

Camping In!

This week Elsie and M&M were at History Camp. It is a day camp that is spent at Ft. Nisqually in Tacoma. The camp is amazing. Our kids get a chance to see what life was like in 1855. They wear costumes and learn to do things like carry water, throw hatchets and start a fire with flint and steel. One of the best parts of the camp is when the campers are allowed to spend the night at the fort on Thursday night. They sleep outside under the stars. So much fun!

Sweet Pea and Pumpkin went to History Camp earlier this summer. At their age they are not allowed to spend the night at the fort. They got it in their heads that they wanted to have a camp out too. But they didn't want to camp outside. A pup tent in the living room was the answer.

Maybe now that their big sisters are back home after camp they will be willing to move out to the back yard.

Wonderful News About Our Little Ones

God has truly blessed this referral and I have no doubt that He will continue to hold all of us in His hands as we move toward the day when we will all be together as one family.

Sharon Turner is the Director of the Ethiopia Program at Children's Hope International. She was in Ethiopia last month. She was the one who met our children and took their pictures for us. I feel so privileged knowing that someone I can call has met our little boy and girl.

I emailed her this week to ask if there was anything that she could share with me about our kids. She called back and shared, at length, how much she enjoyed our children. She recalled a few specific characteristics about each one. She ended the call by sharing that she believes that they will be a wonderful addition to our family. We know that there will be challenges and we are preparing for them. It just seems as though God has given them a good start and we are so thankful.
Sweet Momma

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New Life at Our House

This past weekend we spent a lot of time on our front porch. We weren't sipping lemonade. We were completely replacing the porch railing. The builder of our home did not spend much time while building our porch and it showed.

We replaced the railing with better quality wood and a better paint job. The truth is I don't know that anyone will notice. But we are glad we completed the job. I think it looks great!

The new railing is not the only new life on our porch. A momma bird decided that one of our hanging fuschia pots would be a lovely place to lay her eggs. I noticed her a few days ago as I went out to water, but didn't think much of it as she clicked at me while I reached up to water my pots.

Today when I went to water I clued in that there might be a reason that she was up there. You can see what I saw when I took a look. So precious! Now each time I go out the momma makes a clicking sound at me. The picture is of her above me on the gutter, clicking to make me go away.

The only sad thing about this is that I will be without a lovely fuschia pot before long without being able to water it. I think four baby birds is worth the sacrifice.
Sweet Momma

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Two more makes Eight!

Last night Stand-Up Dad and I signed the acceptance papers for our referral. Right before we did, I couldn't help but pause and talk about what signing this document meant. Our signatures would change our lives and the lives of two precious gifts of God forever.

Adoption is such an amazing way to add to your family. We are still in shock that this whole process is happening about nine months earlier than we expected. Of course we are thrilled, but I have had a hard time concentrating on anything. My sweet friend sat down with me this afternoon and helped me write out a to-do list. This will help me stay on task, I hope.

We also heard great news today about the courts in Ethiopia. They have decided to remain open all summer. They usually close for two months during the rainy season. What this means for us, is the possibility of a court date in September and traveling in October. That is just a guess. We will have to wait and see. God is in control of this one, obviously. He surprised our socks off with this early referral, let's see what happens with the court date.
Please keep praying.
Sweet Momma

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Still on Cloud Nine...

It has been two days since we heard the news of our precious little ones and we are still in disbelief over God's goodness.

Yesterday Stand-Up Dad and I spoke with a Pediatrician from U of W that specializes in International Adoption. He had reviewed our little ones information and gave us a full report. The short version is that they look great! He was impressed with how healthy there medical information was and that their pictures "were exceptional." We completely agree!

This was the information that we needed. Now we can accept the referral and stand in the next line to wait for a court date. The court date will be when these kiddos will officially become ours. We will not be there on that day, but will travel three weeks later.

Please continue to pray for our kids, all 6, and pray for a court date. We expect that it will be several months from now.

The word from our four at home is, "Extremely excited", "Bouncing off the wall happy", "Thankful" and "Overwhelmed with joy!" They each have a small photo album with the six pictures of little brother and sister that they have been sharing with everyone who will look.

Stand-Up Dad and I are in "Project Mode", get it done, get it done, get it done before they come home. None of the projects are major and we will live quite comfortably if we don't complete any of them. We will have to see what time allows.

In the mean time we dream of the day when the faces of our sweet little ones will be smiling at us, face to face.
Sweet Momma

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Today is the Day!!!


Surprise and excitement does not begin to express what is going on at our house!

At 11:59 am I got a call from Children's Hope. When I saw the caller ID I thought, "How strange, I wonder why Erin would be calling." Then I heard Erin ask if Stand-Up Dad was home because she had some news for us. I just about fell off the chair! How could this be? We were told it could be 12-16 months until our referral. If you read our last post, we have only been waiting for five months.

It took us about 20 minutes to get Stand-Up Dad on the phone. Our kids were jumping up and down as we heard the news that God is bringing a little boy (almost 3) and a little girl (almost 5) into our family. We are thrilled!

They are beautiful and I can't wait for the day when I can share their faces with you. Right now we are rejoicing at God's timing, that they are safe and fed and soon will be home with us.

Please praise God today for His goodness and His promises! He is so very good to us!

Isaiah 43:5
"Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west."
Sweet Momma

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Five Month Update

It's hard to believe that it has already been five months since we finished our dossier. It has been 8 1/2 months since we started the process to bring home a little boy and girl from Ethiopia.

Each day is busy and filled with fun here at our house, but something is missing. Well, two somethings are missing. We pray each day for our little brother and sister. Our prayer is that God is protecting them, that they are fed and safe and that He will bring them home to us soon.

We are approximately #64 on the list of families waiting for a referral. I don't know how many of those families are waiting for siblings. I look forward to the day when the phone will ring at our house to tell us the good news we have been waiting to hear. It will be quite a few months from now, but I can dream.

Happy summer! Please keep praying!
Sweet Momma

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Birthday America!!!

We spent the 4th at Gramma and Poppa's house in Wenatchee. It is fun to get away and play with cousins. The kids all enjoyed watching the fireworks over the Columbia River.

I love the Fourth of July. It is a great holiday. I love all the fun with family and friends with no pressure of buying gifts or cooking the perfect turkey. Hot dogs rule and it's OK to spit your watermelon seeds. The best part of the fourth is that it is followed the next day by my birthday.

I am so thankful to live in America. We are blessed to be able to worship God freely, as we wish. May God continue to bless our country and hold it in His hand.

Sweet Momma