Saturday, October 24, 2015


I am a mom who loves tradition.  Our family is covered in them.  Some of the silliest things make us who we are.  I am sure every family has this to some extent.  As our kids have grown I am having a bit of difficulty knowing how to continue traditions if everyone can't be a part of it.

Having adult children changes things.  Although our oldest is now 19, she still lives at home, but is very busy with work and school and many other activities that I find hard to keep up with at times.:)

Last year at this time she was working crazy hours at a pumpkin patch.  I kept waiting for a day when we could all go to our "traditional" pumpkin patch and take our yearly picture under the 
"How Tall This Fall?" sign.

October came and went, without a day that worked for everyone.
It made me sad.  We have gone to the pumpkin patch every year since our oldest was a baby.  I thought about letting go of the tradition and then felt bad for the younger ones who are still in the middle of marking their years with memories like the pumpkin patch.

 You might notice that Bookworm is now the tallest.  
He has passed everyone, but Dad.  That will happen soon.

My new thought is that we will try to keep traditions that are feasible and not stress the ones that don't work.  We need to be ok with one or a few of the kids missing out on the traditions that don't work for them and their schedules.  Those of you with older children see this truth as obvious, but I'm just now settling into it.

There is so much comfort in the familiar.  The old red tractor, sitting on the pumpkins and choosing the best pumpkin as a family.  I remember six years ago walking through the corn maze and saying to Stand-Up Dad, "Next year we will have six kids running through the maze instead of four."

It was six years ago this month that I saw Sunshine and Little Buddy's faces for the first time as we received our referral.  So much has happened since then.  Time surely does fly.

This Fall also marks the beginning of Cate's Senior year of high school.  She is attending our local junior college full time and will graduate in June with her high school diploma and an Associate of Education degree which will qualify her to enter a University Teacher training course.  She plans to work toward a degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Teaching English as a Second Language.

I had a great time taking her Senior photos last week.  I still need to spend some time editing them, but here are a couple raw photos that I like.  I'll have to remove the guy walking behind her.:)
Don't you just love her shoes?

Our Cate has a zest for life that is completely contagious.  I am loving watching this young woman grow in the Lord and use her gifts to bless others.  I can't wait to see God's plan unfold in her life.

Cate is a lot like me in her love of traditions.  She loves all the fun that life can bring and her attitude can keep me going.

What traditions do you enjoy?

Sweet Momma

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Still Alive in Washington... :)

My kids are giving me a hard time that I have not posted on this blog since last Christmas.  One might say we have fallen off the face of the earth.

The truth is, I am not sure that there are many people out there reading this, as I originally intended this blog to be a living scrapbook off our adoption story and our lives after we became a family of eight.

Since last Christmas, a lot has happened in our family.  But much of it was very hard to work through and not really blog worthy.

Now that we are on the other side of some of the "awful" I can say that God continues to be faithful and is definitely in the business of forgiveness, redemption and restoration.  Each day is a step of grace and faith that God is on the throne and madly in love with each one of us.

If you are reading this and are wondering what we have been going through... I might write about it later.  But for today... please keep our family in your prayers.  As always, God knows what's up and will hear your prayers and move in response to them.  Please know that any prayers lifted up on our behalf are pure gold to us.  Thank you.

Because it has been an eon since I wrote I'll try to do a short update on the kiddos.

Elsie:  Not quite a kiddo anymore.  Almost nineteen.  Loving her online college courses to become an ASL interpreter.  Spent a month in Colorado this summer for schooling.  She went on a short term mission trip to India and fell in love with the culture there.  She is a lifeguard, swim instructor and Bible Quiz Master in her spare time.

Cate:  This is her Senior Year!!!  She is taking courses at the local Junior College to complete an Associates degree and hoping to enter into a teacher education program after graduation.  She is just completing a job with our church as the first ever summer intern in children's ministry.  She is loving teaching swim lessons.  She has also enrolled, with Elsie, in a discipleship training course offered at our church.

Sweet Pea:  She is our newest High Schooler.  She had an amazing time volunteering this summer at an event that raises money for Ultrasound Machines for Crisis Pregnancy Centers.  She has also become a mother's helper to a sweet family at our church.  She is maturing beautifully every day and is showing a deep desire to serve God in all she does.

Bookworm:  He is in seventh grade this year and has officially grown taller than mom by TWO INCHES!  His shoes are size 11.  We can't wait to see how tall he is when all this growing stops.  He is enjoying Boy Scouts and attended camp for the first time this year.  He enjoys playing guitar and beating dad at foosball.  He is quickly growing into an amazing young man with a soft heart toward God.
Sunshine:  She is entering the sixth grade and seems more like a teenager to me.  She is just now eleven, but has matured by leaps and bounds this year.  Her most exciting challenge this year is the opportunity to be a part of our Bible Quizzing Team.  She just completed her first meet today and scored first in the rookie division.  She is a very determined individual.  We believe that God has gifted her in this area and constantly look for ways to steer that determination towards Him.

Little Buddy:  He just turned nine and is in the fourth grade this year.  This has been another challenging year for our little guy.  He has been a part of adoption/attachment therapy and has been working on his past to get a chance to focus on the future.  It is a hard process.  The phrase "Old Habits Die Hard" would describe the struggle we see daily.  Our love grows for this boy daily and we wait and pray in anticipation to see a miracle of transformation in his life.

Our time is filled with homeschooling, practicing law, college courses, facilitating parenting classes, swim lessons, piano practice, date nights, Bible quizzing, Boy Scouts, AWANA, etc.  But our greatest pursuit is to know God more each day.

I hope to blog more... we'll see.:)

Sweet Momma